In what has amounted to an intensification of the suspicion surrounding President Trump’s administration, the president has recently discussed ousting Jeff Sessions, attorney general, in an effort to end special counsel Mueller’s investigation of him. This has caused some alarm because of the extent of measures Trump would need to take to do so. However, the Senate has bound together, promising to block any of Trump’s efforts to fire Sessions. Led by Republicans, the Wall Street Journal reports that “senators said they would try to thwart him through legislation, control of the calendar and the chamber’s parliamentary rules”. Unusually given the current climate, Democrats are siding with Republican senators and backing the push.
FINSUM: We don’t like a limitless investigation like Mueller’s, but in anyone’s book it is hardly fair for someone to be able to fire the man investigating him.
Many have been banking on the DOL finding a way to overturn the fiduciary rule through the review it is currently doing. It is currently conducting a request for information as part of an effort to delay the full implementation of the rule. However, the DOL shocked rule opponents yesterday when it submitted a robust 135-page brief defending the rule in a court hearing. The DOL, represented by the DoJ, argued in support of all aspects of the rule, bar the private right of action which allows clients to sue advisors for violations of best-interest. Advocates of the rule took the news with pleasure, contending that it will make overturning the rule much more difficult.
FINSUM: Well the DOL seems to have clearly defined is intentions with this move. There will likely be no overturn of the rule itself, but it does want to do away with the private right of action clause, which would be a significant victory for opponents of the rule.
The special counsel assigned by the DOJ to investigate the White House’s involvement with Russia is growing broader. The head of the investigation, former FBI director Robert Mueller, is reportedly now investigating President Trump himself. Trump was drawn into the official investigation because of his firing of James Comey, an event the special counsel will now investigate. The counsel wants to see if Trump fired Comey as part of a broader effort to redirect the investigation into his administration’s alleged ties to Russia.
FINSUM: We still don’t understand what the special counsel is actually investigating. We have not seen a single allegation which actually accuses Trump or his administration of doing something illegal.
The dual investigations of President Trump’s White House—both Congress and the DoJ are investigating him—are continuing to gear up. The House has just issued seven subpoenas in connection to their probe of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee issued two subpoenas for Mike Flynn, former national security adviser, and Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer.
FINSUM: The parallel investigation that is going on seems illogical and counterproductive, yet it is a reality. Whatever happens, we hope that these investigations do not sidetrack the administration from trying to fulfil its agenda, but we fear they inevitably will.