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LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers

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LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers

LRC Presents: All the President's Lawyers

KCRW

128
Followers
1.2K
Plays
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About Us

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. 

Latest Episodes

Hot en banc action

On Tuesday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals held its en banc hearing to reconsider whether Judge Emmet Sullivan should be forced to dismiss the charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who already pleaded guilty and was awaiting sentencing. The hearing was long: four hours, which was a stretch even for a legal nerds, Ken White says. How did it go for Flynn? Also from the DC Circuit in the last week: the court ruled 7-2 that the House of Representatives does have standing to sue to enforce its subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn to appear and testify. We’re far from that now, though, and maybe even in weirder territory as a result of the Trump administration probably pushing its argument against complying with subpoenas too far. Attorneys for President Trump said Manhattan District Attorney’s inquiry into the president’s financial records is a fishing expedition and constitutes illegal “harassment.” Is it? They’ve asked for the DA’s office to give a justification for everything piece of information they’re seeking in a subpoena. Is a judge likely to go for this? And if a judge does go for this, would it be in the president’s interest? Plus: a former Trump campaign employee pursues a class action suit that seeks to void all nondisclosure agreements, a judge allows E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit against President Trump to proceed (in which she seeks his DNA), and Michael Cohen wants to accept a job with a political action committee.

34 MIN12 h ago
Comments
Hot en banc action

The value [of this podcast] is unascertainable.

First, a correction to last week’s show: Ken and Josh talked about Attorney General Bill Barr’s House committee testimony in which he said federal prosecutors had brought charges he didn’t think any current US attorney would bring and that this prosecution was for “some esoteric, made-up crime,” not a “meat and potatoes crime.” Well, we mixed up which prosecution Barr was referring to. Barr was first asked about Roger Stone, but he was referring there to the Michael Flynn prosecution. So, we’ll take that one this week. Was Michael Flynn prosecuted for an esoteric, made-up crime for lying to the FBI about his contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition? Ken White says he would prefer it if charging people for lying to federal investigators wasn’t routine for the Justice Department, but it is. It is very routine, and the Justice Department routinely rejects exactly this argument that Barr made. So, those charges against Michael Flynn — they still hav...

27 MIN1 w ago
Comments
The value [of this podcast] is unascertainable.

Meat and potatoes

Attorney General Bill Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee this week and it went, well, basically how you might expect. There was some news: in justifying his intervention in Roger Stone’s sentence, Barr said it was “excessive” for a man of his age (67), and he didn’t think any US attorney in the department today would prosecute the case because it couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and the charges (witness tampering, false statements and obstruction) were “esoteric” and “made-up” crimes, not “meat and potatoes” crimes. Okay, but Roger Stone was tried and convicted by a jury. Ken White says this and other moments of Barr’s testimony were ridiculous, unconvincing, implausible, and not reflective of any past or future Justice Department policy. Michael Cohen is out of prison again. Judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered him released, saying the federal government had retaliated against him for his plan to write a tell-all book about the president. Is it ...

28 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Meat and potatoes

Why was Michael Cohen sent back to prison?

Michael Cohen is suing to be let out of prison, saying the government violated his First Amendment rights by sending him back to prison when he refused to agree to terms that would have blocked him from writing a tell-all book about President Trump while on furlough. Charles Harder apparently sent Cohen a cease-and-desist letter about the book, claiming Cohen signed a nondisclosure agreement (but he didn’t attach it) — but does it seem strange that Cohen had signed one of those agreements? And isn’t writing a tell-all book about his former client...more of a legal problem for Cohen? There are reasons why President Trump might not want to sue Cohen for the book though, and that’s a messy discovery in which he’d have to show that he was harmed by Cohen’s book. Ken and Josh answer some questions from listeners about what happens now that the Supreme Court has told lower courts they have more work to do on those lawsuits seeking the financial records of President Trump and the Tru...

27 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Why was Michael Cohen sent back to prison?

The greatest hits

Why didn’t Roger Stone get a full pardon from the president? Is the president’s commutation or pardon power reviewable? Nope. He gets to do whatever he wants, but Congress could decide it’s an impeachable offense. Could it be an obstruction of justice? That’s a harder question to answer and it would need to be tested in court, but it’s a pretty uphill battle — this is a power specifically given to the president in the Constitution. To sum it up, President Trump tried many things to intervene in Roger Stone’s case and ultimately ended up here, commuting his sentence, and maybe this commutation was a bad move and a norm-breaking move to some extent, but it’s explicitly within the president’s power. The Supreme Court issued its major opinions on whether Congress and New York’s attorney general can seek the president’s financial information and records from financial institutions. It doesn’t mean the public will find out about what’s in those records (for a few reasons) and...

33 MINJUL 16
Comments
The greatest hits

When the horse is out of the barn

33 MINJUL 9
Comments
When the horse is out of the barn

Trump vs. the tell-alls

Mary Trump, President Trump’s niece, has a tell-all book about the president that’s supposed to be published later this summer. The president doesn’t want it to be published and he says Mary Trump signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of a settlement over the estate of Fred Trump (the president’s father and Mary Trump’s grandfather). So, President Trump’s brother Robert has been suing to stop the book’s publication and a trial judge in New York granted a temporary restraining order, saying the book can’t be published before he holds a hearing on Robert Trump’s request for an injunction. The book’s publisher is appealing that restraining order. So suppose Mary Trump really is bound by an NDA. What sort of relief would Robert Trump get? Might the book never come out? Would the other Trumps get damages? And why is Robert suing and not the president himself? Then: Roger Stone was supposed to report to prison by June 30, but Long-Suffering Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson a...

29 MINJUL 2
Comments
Trump vs. the tell-alls

Flynnterrupted

Well, it wasn’t quite a Friday Night Massacre but Friday night was pretty weird. Attorney General Bill Barr released a statement late Friday saying Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, was stepping down. But a couple of hours later, Berman released his own statement, saying he wasn’t quitting and he was surprised to see the attorney general claim he was quitting. Then, on Saturday, Bill Barr announced that the president had dismissed Berman and Berman agreed to admit he had been fired, but not before a key concession from Barr: pending the confirmation of a new US attorney, SDNY will be run by Audrey Strauss, Berman’s trusted deputy. What’s going on here? Is this retribution for something Berman did or something he was about to do? Then: a divided three-judge panel of the DC Circuit ordered (while we were recording this episode) Long Suffering Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn, the president’s former nation...

28 MINJUN 25
Comments
Flynnterrupted

Bolton’s book

The US government is suing former national security adviser John Bolton. Details about Bolton’s tell-all White House memoir started to come out right after we taped this episode, but let’s focus on the big issues here: the president is using the US Department of Justice to stop a former government official from talking about him. The suit says John Bolton breached both his obligation not to disclose classified information and his obligations under a non-disclosure agreement he signed when he took the job at the White House. President Trump says any conversation he has with people is classified — that’s not true, but it does reflect the expansive view he has of his ability to suppress public comments of his former employees.

38 MINJUN 18
Comments
Bolton’s book

What should Judge Sullivan do?

Where were we? Right: Michael Flynn. Listeners will recall the president’s former national security adviser pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI investigators, but following his guilty plea and literally years of maneuvering on the way toward sentencing, the Justice Department has decided he wants to dismiss the charge against Flynn, which is fairly unusual. Judge Emmet Sullivan decided that he wanted to hear some arguments before he decided whether to allow that dismissal, which is fairly unusual but then this is an unusual situation. Flynn appealed, saying Sullivan should promptly grant the motion for dismissal, which is also the government’s position. Flynn is seeking what’s called a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary action where an appeals court intervenes and tells the trial court what to do. Another unusual aspect of the situation is the Judge Sullivan appointed an outside attorney, Beth Wilkinson, to argue against the granting of the writ. So there are two sep...

35 MINJUN 11
Comments
What should Judge Sullivan do?

Latest Episodes

Hot en banc action

On Tuesday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals held its en banc hearing to reconsider whether Judge Emmet Sullivan should be forced to dismiss the charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who already pleaded guilty and was awaiting sentencing. The hearing was long: four hours, which was a stretch even for a legal nerds, Ken White says. How did it go for Flynn? Also from the DC Circuit in the last week: the court ruled 7-2 that the House of Representatives does have standing to sue to enforce its subpoena for former White House counsel Don McGahn to appear and testify. We’re far from that now, though, and maybe even in weirder territory as a result of the Trump administration probably pushing its argument against complying with subpoenas too far. Attorneys for President Trump said Manhattan District Attorney’s inquiry into the president’s financial records is a fishing expedition and constitutes illegal “harassment.” Is it? They’ve asked for the DA’s office to give a justification for everything piece of information they’re seeking in a subpoena. Is a judge likely to go for this? And if a judge does go for this, would it be in the president’s interest? Plus: a former Trump campaign employee pursues a class action suit that seeks to void all nondisclosure agreements, a judge allows E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit against President Trump to proceed (in which she seeks his DNA), and Michael Cohen wants to accept a job with a political action committee.

34 MIN12 h ago
Comments
Hot en banc action

The value [of this podcast] is unascertainable.

First, a correction to last week’s show: Ken and Josh talked about Attorney General Bill Barr’s House committee testimony in which he said federal prosecutors had brought charges he didn’t think any current US attorney would bring and that this prosecution was for “some esoteric, made-up crime,” not a “meat and potatoes crime.” Well, we mixed up which prosecution Barr was referring to. Barr was first asked about Roger Stone, but he was referring there to the Michael Flynn prosecution. So, we’ll take that one this week. Was Michael Flynn prosecuted for an esoteric, made-up crime for lying to the FBI about his contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition? Ken White says he would prefer it if charging people for lying to federal investigators wasn’t routine for the Justice Department, but it is. It is very routine, and the Justice Department routinely rejects exactly this argument that Barr made. So, those charges against Michael Flynn — they still hav...

27 MIN1 w ago
Comments
The value [of this podcast] is unascertainable.

Meat and potatoes

Attorney General Bill Barr testified before the House Judiciary Committee this week and it went, well, basically how you might expect. There was some news: in justifying his intervention in Roger Stone’s sentence, Barr said it was “excessive” for a man of his age (67), and he didn’t think any US attorney in the department today would prosecute the case because it couldn’t be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and the charges (witness tampering, false statements and obstruction) were “esoteric” and “made-up” crimes, not “meat and potatoes” crimes. Okay, but Roger Stone was tried and convicted by a jury. Ken White says this and other moments of Barr’s testimony were ridiculous, unconvincing, implausible, and not reflective of any past or future Justice Department policy. Michael Cohen is out of prison again. Judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered him released, saying the federal government had retaliated against him for his plan to write a tell-all book about the president. Is it ...

28 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Meat and potatoes

Why was Michael Cohen sent back to prison?

Michael Cohen is suing to be let out of prison, saying the government violated his First Amendment rights by sending him back to prison when he refused to agree to terms that would have blocked him from writing a tell-all book about President Trump while on furlough. Charles Harder apparently sent Cohen a cease-and-desist letter about the book, claiming Cohen signed a nondisclosure agreement (but he didn’t attach it) — but does it seem strange that Cohen had signed one of those agreements? And isn’t writing a tell-all book about his former client...more of a legal problem for Cohen? There are reasons why President Trump might not want to sue Cohen for the book though, and that’s a messy discovery in which he’d have to show that he was harmed by Cohen’s book. Ken and Josh answer some questions from listeners about what happens now that the Supreme Court has told lower courts they have more work to do on those lawsuits seeking the financial records of President Trump and the Tru...

27 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Why was Michael Cohen sent back to prison?

The greatest hits

Why didn’t Roger Stone get a full pardon from the president? Is the president’s commutation or pardon power reviewable? Nope. He gets to do whatever he wants, but Congress could decide it’s an impeachable offense. Could it be an obstruction of justice? That’s a harder question to answer and it would need to be tested in court, but it’s a pretty uphill battle — this is a power specifically given to the president in the Constitution. To sum it up, President Trump tried many things to intervene in Roger Stone’s case and ultimately ended up here, commuting his sentence, and maybe this commutation was a bad move and a norm-breaking move to some extent, but it’s explicitly within the president’s power. The Supreme Court issued its major opinions on whether Congress and New York’s attorney general can seek the president’s financial information and records from financial institutions. It doesn’t mean the public will find out about what’s in those records (for a few reasons) and...

33 MINJUL 16
Comments
The greatest hits

When the horse is out of the barn

33 MINJUL 9
Comments
When the horse is out of the barn

Trump vs. the tell-alls

Mary Trump, President Trump’s niece, has a tell-all book about the president that’s supposed to be published later this summer. The president doesn’t want it to be published and he says Mary Trump signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of a settlement over the estate of Fred Trump (the president’s father and Mary Trump’s grandfather). So, President Trump’s brother Robert has been suing to stop the book’s publication and a trial judge in New York granted a temporary restraining order, saying the book can’t be published before he holds a hearing on Robert Trump’s request for an injunction. The book’s publisher is appealing that restraining order. So suppose Mary Trump really is bound by an NDA. What sort of relief would Robert Trump get? Might the book never come out? Would the other Trumps get damages? And why is Robert suing and not the president himself? Then: Roger Stone was supposed to report to prison by June 30, but Long-Suffering Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson a...

29 MINJUL 2
Comments
Trump vs. the tell-alls

Flynnterrupted

Well, it wasn’t quite a Friday Night Massacre but Friday night was pretty weird. Attorney General Bill Barr released a statement late Friday saying Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, was stepping down. But a couple of hours later, Berman released his own statement, saying he wasn’t quitting and he was surprised to see the attorney general claim he was quitting. Then, on Saturday, Bill Barr announced that the president had dismissed Berman and Berman agreed to admit he had been fired, but not before a key concession from Barr: pending the confirmation of a new US attorney, SDNY will be run by Audrey Strauss, Berman’s trusted deputy. What’s going on here? Is this retribution for something Berman did or something he was about to do? Then: a divided three-judge panel of the DC Circuit ordered (while we were recording this episode) Long Suffering Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn, the president’s former nation...

28 MINJUN 25
Comments
Flynnterrupted

Bolton’s book

The US government is suing former national security adviser John Bolton. Details about Bolton’s tell-all White House memoir started to come out right after we taped this episode, but let’s focus on the big issues here: the president is using the US Department of Justice to stop a former government official from talking about him. The suit says John Bolton breached both his obligation not to disclose classified information and his obligations under a non-disclosure agreement he signed when he took the job at the White House. President Trump says any conversation he has with people is classified — that’s not true, but it does reflect the expansive view he has of his ability to suppress public comments of his former employees.

38 MINJUN 18
Comments
Bolton’s book

What should Judge Sullivan do?

Where were we? Right: Michael Flynn. Listeners will recall the president’s former national security adviser pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI investigators, but following his guilty plea and literally years of maneuvering on the way toward sentencing, the Justice Department has decided he wants to dismiss the charge against Flynn, which is fairly unusual. Judge Emmet Sullivan decided that he wanted to hear some arguments before he decided whether to allow that dismissal, which is fairly unusual but then this is an unusual situation. Flynn appealed, saying Sullivan should promptly grant the motion for dismissal, which is also the government’s position. Flynn is seeking what’s called a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary action where an appeals court intervenes and tells the trial court what to do. Another unusual aspect of the situation is the Judge Sullivan appointed an outside attorney, Beth Wilkinson, to argue against the granting of the writ. So there are two sep...

35 MINJUN 11
Comments
What should Judge Sullivan do?
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