536 The Presidency and Criminal Investigations

Recent developments have brought to the fore a collection of legal issues, some novel and others dormant for many years, relating to the interaction of the criminal investigative process with the White House and the presidency.  The seminar will discuss the legal boundaries around the criminal justice process’s interaction with the White House, while exploring larger themes about the office of the presidency and the constitutional structure of the national government.  The course will be structured around six relatively stand-alone topics:  (1) Independent and special counsels and their interaction with congressional investigations; (2) The grand jury, immunity, the Fifth Amendment privilege, and perjury/obstruction of justice, as they relate to White House investigations; (3) Representing the president:  attorney-client privilege, the White House counsel, and the private defense bar; (4) Executive privilege and potential executive immunity from indictment, trial, conviction and/or sentence; (5) The pardon power; and (6) The law of impeachment.
Students will be expected to lead one class meeting discussion during the semester, and a total of 15 pages of writing will be required. Students may elect to write four response papers of approximately four pages each, or one longer paper at the end of the semester of at least 15 pages.  Students will receive feedback on both written expression and class participation. Students who plan significant research projects on related topics may register for a second credit, and this research project may be used to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

Course Areas of Practice
Course Type
Seminar
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context
2018
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

536.01 1
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Class participation
Samuel W. Buell, Lisa Kern Griffin W 10:30-12:20 PM 4172

Recent developments have brought to the fore a collection of legal issues, some novel and others dormant for many years, relating to the interaction of the criminal investigative process with the White House and the presidency.  The seminar will discuss the legal boundaries around the criminal justice process’s interaction with the White House, while exploring larger themes about the office of the presidency and the constitutional structure of the national government.  The course will be structured around six relatively stand-alone topics:  (1) Independent and special counsels and their interaction with congressional investigations; (2) The grand jury, immunity, the Fifth Amendment privilege, and perjury/obstruction of justice, as they relate to White House investigations; (3) Representing the president:  attorney-client privilege, the White House counsel, and the private defense bar; (4) Executive privilege and potential executive immunity from indictment, trial, conviction and/or sentence; (5) The pardon power; and (6) The law of impeachment.
Students will be expected to lead one class meeting discussion during the semester, and a total of 15 pages of writing will be required. Students may elect to write four response papers of approximately four pages each, or one longer paper at the end of the semester of at least 15 pages.  Students will receive feedback on both written expression and class participation. Students who plan significant research projects on related topics may register for a second credit, and this research project may be used to satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.

Grading Basis: Credit/No Credit

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.