DiscoverLRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers
LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers
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LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers

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There are so many lawyers, so many lawsuits and so much legal news surrounding President Trump that we decided to call our own lawyer to catch you up.
81 Episodes
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Impeachment, now in public

Impeachment, now in public

2019-11-1300:36:351

The impeachment of President Trump is out in public and on TV now. What does the schedule look like? How long will this take? And will testimony always take place while Ken and Josh are recording this podcast?John Bolton has joined his former colleague John Kupperman in asking a court for clearance before they testify to Congress. Bolton has also been sending some signals that he has some interesting things to say, but he’s not going to just show up, and Congress doesn’t seem that interested. Is it just because he’s trying to get publicity for a book? And what about Mick Mulvaney? Mulvaney tried to intervene and was told he couldn’t join the lawsuit, Mulvaney said he would file his own lawsuit, and now he’s just going to ignore the subpoena.Closing arguments in Roger Stone’s trial are expected today. How’s that trial been going for Stone? Has it turned out to be the circus he dreamed of? Ken says it’s been pretty straightforward and traditional, actually.Plus: What is Lev Parnas doing? And Rudy Giuliani might start a podcast.
EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland has provided an update to his testimony. He now says his recollection has been refreshed, and he remembers now that he communicated to Ukrainian officials that release of military aid was conditioned on President Zelensky announcing an investigation into Burisma, the company whose board Hunter Biden sat on. Is it possible that Sondland’s recollection on the quid pro quo is a good legal strategy? And will the rest of his testimony stand as others (including Sondland) testify in public? Speaking of: are all the witnesses now on the same about this quid pro quo and whether it was to squeeze Ukraine? Is any of this illegal? Impeachable? Wouldn’t it be smarter for Democrats to call this extortion or bribery, or something more in line with criminal statutes?Republicans are saying President Trump has a right to confront the whistleblower as his accuser and that the whistleblower should be cross-examined. Ken says that’s absolute nonsense, and not based in reality at all. Plus: The fight for President Trump’s tax returns gets closer to the Supreme Court. Is it likely the court will grant cert? Lev Parnas has lawyered up with a non-Trump lawyer and he says he’ll be complying with Congressional subpoenas. Does that mean he’s “flipped”? It looks like Michael Flynn is more formally angling for a presidential pardon. E. Jean Carroll is suing President Trump for defamation.
Fruit of the poisonous tree

Fruit of the poisonous tree

2019-10-3000:41:544

For weeks, Republicans have been claiming that the impeachment inquiry isn’t a real impeachment inquiry because the House of Representatives never held a formal vote at the outset. But now, House Democrats are saying they will have that vote this week. Many Republicans still aren’t satisfied. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the investigation was started improperly and therefore cannot be fixed: “it’d be the fruit from the poisonous tree.” Did he get that legal doctrine right?Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a former White House official who served as the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, testified earlier this week. Vindman, who heard the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, testified that crucial words and phrases were left off the transcript of the call and he tried and failed to correct the transcript accordingly.Then, the investigation into the Russian investigation is now a criminal inquiry. Is that big news or is that a political move to change the news cycle?
Quid pro quo

Quid pro quo

2019-10-2300:37:156

In his testimony to Congress, William Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine, described a quid pro quo: US military aid would be released to Ukraine if the Ukrainian president made a public statement pledging an investigation into Burisma. Ambassador Taylor heard that from someone on the National Security Council, and then he spoke with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who clarified that “everything” depended on Ukraine complying with President Trump’s wishes about Joe Biden.This seems important. What happens next? What about all the contradictions to Sondland’s testimony? And what’s going on with the investigation into the 2016 investigation?Plus: more about the travails of Rudy Giuliani, Viennese pastries, and why the jury in Roger Stone’s trial won’t be able to watch The Godfather: Part II in court.
Does Rudy Need a Lawyer?

Does Rudy Need a Lawyer?

2019-10-1700:39:164

Rudy Giuliani has lots to worry about this week. He has refused to comply with a subpoena in the impeachment inquiry and says that he doesn’t need a lawyer. But Ken begs to differ. Giuliani did have a lawyer write up a letter defying the subpoena, which Josh and Ken agree was the written equivalent of giving the middle finger. Adding to Giuliani’s full plate, federal prosecutors are looking into whether he may have broken foreign lobbying laws. And Ken says investigators are almost definitely trying to flip Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. They were indicted last week on campaign finance charges.Despite warnings from the White House about executive privilege, several key figures are testifying in the congressional impeachment inquiry. Former EU ambassador Gordon Sondland will testify Thursday and clearly doesn’t want to go down with the Trump ship. Less clear is whether Trump’s dismissal of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, while politically risky, is evidence of anything impeachable. And, former White House foreign policy advisor Fiona Hill spoke with impeachment investigators this week. Her lawyers argued in their own letter that executive privilege may not apply to her testimony because of possible government misconduct.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to Congress laying out why they won’t be participating in the impeachment inquiry. Ken says it’s eight pages of bloviation and very short on rule of law. And what’s really new here? Shouldn’t we have expected this reaction from President Trump and the White House legal team? Ken says this shows a level of defiance from the White House that hasn’t been there before, but what happens if a court eventually makes a call on the relative powers of the legislative and executive branch? Josh says that’s the real uncharted territory here. But, as Ken notes, this is a specific defiance of a specific constitutional procedure: the Constitution is clear that the House has the “sole power to impeach” and this letter essentially says the White House doesn’t recognize that power.Plus: why hasn’t there been a vote in the House to proceed with impeachment? How long could it take for Congress to get what they’re seeking from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland? A federal judge in New York rejected President Trump’s argument he and his people and entities are immune from federal and state investigations -- this is the case where New York state is seeking his tax returns. If New York succeeds, will we get to see them? Maybe. Is Rudy Giuliani right that there’s a conspiracy to remove the president -- in other words, is it RICO? And wait, is Rudy Giuliani Donald Trump’s lawyer?
Hearsay

Hearsay

2019-10-0200:37:276

A lot of Republicans are defending President Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president because the contents of the whistleblower’s complaint are hearsay. But that’s a weird defense -- we already have independent confirmation of a lot of the events described in the complaint. Ken and Josh discuss hearsay, and whether anything the president said or did in those calls broke the law. Abuse of power? Bribery? Thing of value? Witness tampering? Obstruction of justice? Ken says some might make a better case than others. Plus, will current and former State Department officials obey congressional subpoenas or obey Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who doesn’t want them to talk? And did Congressman Adam Schiff commit treason, like President Trump says?
Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with her caucus on Tuesday and announced the House is beginning a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump. The impetus for this is a whistleblower report Congress hasn’t seen, because the acting director of national intelligence overruled his inspector general, saying Congress isn’t entitled to see it. But we’ve been learning more and more about what’s in that report, and it seems to concern President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. On Wednesday morning, the White House released an approximate transcript of this conversation, and it shows Trump pushing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for an investigation of the Bidens and urging him to work with Rudy Giuliani on such an investigation.Is pushing a foreign country to investigate your political rival, withholding aid from that country, possibly linking the two matters -- is any of that a crime?And regarding impeachment: since President Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, essentially admitted to this on national TV, do Democrats have what they need or is an investigation or inquiry necessary? Ken and Josh discuss Democrats’ impeachment strategy, and the politics of assembling either a broad or narrow impeachment articles. Should the president’s lies about the hush money payments figure into this?
All kinds of privilege

All kinds of privilege

2019-09-1800:34:333

The White House claims top advisers have absolute immunity from testifying to Congress about their interactions with the president. Is there any legal basis for that? And does either side of the argument want a court to weigh in on this? Not really. Ken White tells us why. Former Trump campaign chair Corey Lewandowski, who testified (or rather, tried very hard to not give any answers to any questions about possible incidents of obstruction of justice) in a House Judiciary Committee hearing, never served in the White House. Does executive privilege extend to him in any way? What remedy does Congress have in this situation?Then: one of the foreign emoluments cases is back in the news. A federal trial judge in New York threw out a suit from the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington on behalf of hotels that compete with Trump hotels in Washington DC, but a three-judge panel from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has brought it back because the New York judge had too narrow a view of standing. Standing, of course, is the issue that has tripped up the other emoluments cases.Plus: listener questions about Andrew McCabe, the Manhattan district attorney subpoenas eight years of Trump’s tax returns, and a very specific discussion about the Department of Justice and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Congress is back, so we’re got some investigation action in the committees. The House Judiciary Committee will vote this week on a resolution setting rules for an impeachment investigation into President Trump. What significance will this vote have? And if there is an impeachment inquiry, will it help Democrats get documents they are seeking? Committees are also looking into whether the Trump administration improperly pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden and his son. And with the reports the Air Force stayed at Trump’s hotel in Scotland on a refueling stop, there’s an investigation into whether Trump violated the domestic emoluments clause. We’ve talked about the foreign emoluments clause before -- this is different, but a potential case has a lot of the same issues as the other emoluments cases.Former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig was acquitted in a federal criminal trial of lying to investigators. Paul Manafort and his lawyers are arguing a New York state case against him presents a double jeopardy issue. Michael Flynn has a dramatic day in court, and there’s more Jacob Wohl antics to discuss.
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Comments (8)

Mike Brennan

Scandal: attorney asserts that "the proof is in the pudding": in fact, the proof is not in the pudding, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Now we are doomed to search desperately through the pudding of judicial committee proceedings, in search of proof that is not there, when we should be eating the pudding... perhaps I shall stop torturing this metaphor....

Oct 31st
Reply

Terri Hunt

it's like you combined two of my favorite shows for me! Cafe Insider and ATPL...like peanut butter and chocolate.

Mar 20th
Reply

Jeffery H

Informative and to the point in cutting through the partisan feedback loops cultivated by tribal biased news that act as mouthpieces for their party's.

Dec 13th
Reply

Eric Skattebo

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Oct 7th
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Duke of Bread

it's only a public forum when the govt. officials post.

Sep 13th
Reply

Terri Hunt

what are the chances Trump knows he's going down and he's trying to see if/ when the rest of the GOP will actually stop him? just a crazy thought...

Sep 6th
Reply

Mantis Toboggan

So if Twitter is a "public forum", then why are they allowed to ban people? Is Milo not allowed to respond? The answer is that Twitter is not a public forum and this is a harassment case. Y'all have gone nuts

Jun 6th
Reply (1)
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