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Mason experts available to comment on Trump turmoil

May 19, 2017

There is no indication the turmoil surrounding Donald Trump’s presidency will die down any time soon. Between the probe into Russian influence in the presidential election and whether Trump was involved in obstruction of justice with the firing of James Comey, journalists must get behind the scenes and at times explain complicated legal and political issues.

George Mason University is ready to help with experts and presidential scholars available to provide commentary or context:

Mark Rozell

Dean, Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government

The Journal of Politics called Rozell’s book, Executive Privilege, the definitive contemporary work on the subject. Rozell’s books and articles on this topic explore the foundations of this presidential power, as well as its limits. Rozell has testified before Congress on executive privilege disputes.

“Executive privilege has long been exercised by U.S. presidents, but not without substantial controversy,” Rozell said. “Most Americans associate executive privilege with Watergate and with the Clinton impeachment controversy. Yet the privilege is well-grounded in constitutional law and historical precedent. With a special counsel recently appointed, issues of executive privilege inevitably will arise and there will be conflicts between the special counsel office and the White House over refusals to divulge information. Like with Watergate, the fate of this presidency could ultimately hinge on how an executive privilege dispute is resolved.”

Rozell can be reached at or 703-993-8171.

Jeremy Mayer
Associate Professor, Mason’s Schar School of Policy and Government

A presidential scholar, Mayer has written several books about national policy systems, and media politics and policies. He speaks regularly to State Department groups, and from 2002 to 2013 trained diplomats for the Foreign Services Institute.

“The scope of what Trump is accused of doing and being involved in is equal or greater than the crimes that Nixon was accused of being involved in,” Mayer said. “There was not a whiff of foreign involvement in Watergate. … It is hard to imagine Trump being removed from office without his party suffering terribly in the 2018 midterms. Until Republicans in Congress believe that sticking with Trump is worse than that electoral disaster, most of them are likely to put their own political futures ahead of any theoretical concept of national good.”

Mayer can be reached at or 703-993-8223.

James Pfiffner

University Professor of Public Policy

Pfiffner has lectured on the presidency, American national government and public management at universities in the United States and Europe, as well as at the National War College, the United States Military Academy and the departments of State, Justice and Defense. His books include “The Strategic Presidency: Hitting the Ground Running.”

“So far, Republican members of Congress have distanced themselves from Trump, but they still want him to sign bills into law that congressional Republicans want to become law,” Pfiffner said. “The big risk is if there is a national emergency, terrorist attack or war that will intimidate Congress and keep them from trying to thwart his actions.”

Pfiffner can be reached at or 703-993-1417.


For more information about any Mason expert, contact Damian Cristodero at or 703-993-9118.