State Department Legal Adviser

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After Tillerson’s trip to Moscow, will Trump lift sanctions against Russia, or ever criticize Putin?

Rex Tillerson met Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin for two hours, in addition to his over three hours of meetings with foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. See Maxim Kireev (Moskau), “Gar nichts ist jetzt einfacher:…

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Trump’s tweets on nuclear build-up: A response to Putin’s implicit threat?

Developing See Mchael D. Shear and James Glanz, “Trump Says the U.S. Should Expand Its Nuclear Capacity,” New York Times, December 22, 2016. Shear and Glanz report: WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President-elect Donald J….


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The emoluments clause and potential collusion with the Russians: Two Reasons and 37 Profiles in Courage needed to Stop Trump

Developing We owe an obligation to ourselves and to history to not meekly acquiesce in the what might be termed the normalization of outrage regarding Donald Trump and his actions, both before and during the…


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Russian intervention in U.S. elections is flagrant violation of international law principle of non-intervention, giving rise to right to adopt countermeasures including strong economic sanctions

Developing Russia has intervened directly in the 2016 presidential and congressional elections, in a manner according to U.S. intelligence sources aimed at throwing the election to Donald Trump and to Republican Congressional candidates. The Russian…


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REPRISE — Civilization falters: Aleppo Burns; Obama looks the other way; Putin threatens, Petraeus underlines feasability of military options; U.S. government paralyzed by Obama’s obstinancy (Updated October 8, 2016)

Check back for further updates UPDATE: October 8, 2016 Russia has this afternoon vetoed a French-sponsored Security Council resolution aimed at halting the war crimes in Aleppo and Syria, just as it vetoed a Security…


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Fethullah Gulen extradition request: Extradition Treaty between Turkey and the United States (full text in English and Turkish)

Turkey has formally requested the extradition of a controversial Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen from the United States. The Department of State and Department of Justice are considering the application. See Cristina Sáenz Pérez, “Turkey requests…


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Thinking clearly about Putin and Syria

Barack Obama, John Kerry and other Western leaders should always bear in mind wiho Vladimir Putin is, and what he has done in the last four years with respect to Syria, the Crimea, the eastern…


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REPRISE: Veterans’ Day, 2011: “Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?”

First published, November 11, 2011 My uncle died in a field in northern France with a German bullet in his head. To him, and all the other veterans of America’s wars, I am immensely grateful…


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Crumbling world order: Power politics and international law—the way forward

See Stefan Kornelius, “Putins Machtspiele; Ruhe in der Ukraine, Druck in Syrien. Russlands Präsident sendet rätselhafte Signale. Sucht er einen Weg aus der Isolation? Oder einen neuen Schauplatz, um Stärke zu zeigen?” Suddeutscher Zeitung, 9….