Professor Rebecca Roiphe, an expert on prosecution and a former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, was quoted in The New York Times and Reuters about President Donald Trump’s demand that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate whether the FBI “infiltrated or surveilled” his campaign.
In a news analysis piece by Times Washington correspondent Charlie Savage, Professor Roiphe said, “It’s an incredible historical moment.” She added that it is “the culmination of a lot of moments in which he has chipped away at prosecutorial independence, but this is a direct assault.”
The Times piece also summarized a scholarly article co-authored by Professor Roiphe, and forthcoming in the Alabama Law Review, “Can the President Control the Department of Justice?” The article argues that the Department of Justice’s decisions in individual cases and investigations are largely immune from the President’s interference or direction.
Coverage by Alison Frankel, a legal columnist for Reuters, also focuses on Professor Roiphe’s forthcoming co-authored paper and quotes her. Asked whether the tradition of prosecutorial independence may end during the Trump administration, Professor Roiphe said, “The convention is strong – stronger than people make it out to be.”
In the Washington Post piece, “Believe the autocrat,” opinion writer Greg Sargent also outlines Professor Roiphe’s co-authored work, stating that her “new scholarly paper helps shed light on the deeper conundrum at work here.”
And Slate staff writer Issac Chotiner has a Q&A with Professor Roiphe titled “Trump’s Assault on Prosecutorial Independence.” Asked for specific concerns about Trump and the Department of Justice, Professor Roiphe said, “Every time the president tweets about what his preferences are, what he thinks should happen, what he doubts or doesn’t doubt, it is hard for individual prosecutors not to experience that as pressure.”
Professor Roiphe is scheduled to appear on MSNBC and CNN to discuss similar issues.