The Republican Opposition

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For many Republicans, the Trump Administration has posed a stark choice between values and outcomes, a choice that seems increasingly irreconcilable with the norms and practices of previous Republican administrations.

Host Harry Litman talks with three Republicans who made the choice early on not to support the President's policies. William Kristol, political author and commentator, Peter Keisler, former acting Attorney General of the United States, and Carrie Cordero, former senior associate general counsel at the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The Pardon Power

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What are the values and purposes behind the pardon power? How has President Trump used this executive power in his first term and how might he use it in the future? 

Harry talks with an expert panel including Robert Bauer, former White House counsel and professor, Margaret Love, former pardon attorney, and Rachel Barkow, professor of Law at New York University and a former member of the United States Sentencing Commission.

Who Fights for The People When the Government Won't?

Who Fights for The People When the Government Won't?

They've sued domestic terrorists after Charlottesville, fought for bail reform in Missouri, and stood up in court for Welcoming Cities like Gary, Indiana.

The former Feds at the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law left the Justice Department to take on cases that have Constitutional claims at their core. They discuss the impact of their litigation efforts in areas where the U.S. government would traditionally play a role.

Host Harry Litman is joined by ICAP's team of former Feds: Mary McCord, Joshua Geltzer, Amy Marshak, Annie Owens, Nicolas Riley, Seth Wayne.

The Witness Has Left The Room

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Three familiar Feds are joined by director Rob Reiner to assess the testimony of special Counsel Robert Mueller and consider the prospects for continued congressional investigation. Mueller testified to Congress for seven hours about the contents of his report. Although his answers were brief, he nonetheless painted a clear picture of misconduct and potential crimes committed by the President and his associates.

Host Harry Litman, is joined by former Feds Melinda Haag, Martha Boersch and filmmaker Rob Reiner.

Mooting Mueller

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Feds including some of the finest and most experienced trial lawyers in the country proffer specific, word-for-word, 5-minute lines of questioning for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. They defend their own lines of questioning and critiques others in turn. The Feds then engage in a trial lawyers’ discussion of what goals are achievable from Mueller’s testimony, which risks are worth taking and which are not, what tone to take in the questioning, how to handle the expected obstreperousness of the Republicans, how exactly to make use of the Mueller Report, and other fine points of the trial lawyer’s art as applied to this critical hearing.

Host, Harry Litman, is joined by Elliot Williams, William H. Jeffress, Jr., & Glenn Kirschner.

Congress's Last Stand: Mueller's Testimony

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When Robert Mueller testifies on July 17th, the stakes for the House are enormous. The two committees must use the opportunity to make the American people understand the gravity of the offenses and misconduct laid out in the Report, but that is no easy task. How should they approach it in broad strokes? How do they get meaningful answers, respectfully, from Robert Mueller? 

Harry Litman is joined by Andrew McCabe, Ron Klain, Tim Lynch, and Matt Miller for a discussion in front of a live audience. You can also watch video of the live discussion on C-SPAN.

This episode was sponsored by Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and The American Constitution Society.

Read More: Andrew McCabe is the author of The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump

Trump's Interference with the DOJ

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Feds Jamie Gorelick, Paul Fishman, and Amy Jeffress – a group with hugely rich experience from line Assistant U.S. Attorneys to the highest reaches of Main Justice—describe and explain the norms that should govern the interactions between political employees and career prosecutors.  Those norms were firmly respected before the Trump Administration, which has routinely flouted them, infecting DOJ’s law enforcement function with crass political considerations.  The result is a series of body blows to the Department, from the morale of career employees to its reputation for impartiality before the federal courts.  The Feds close with some surmises about how likely it is that the damage will outlive the Trump Administration, and what restoring DOJ culture will require.

For more about this episode:

Who is Justice Robert H. Jackson? John Barrett of St John’s University, who is writing Jackson’s biography runs The Jackson List site:.

Here also is Jackson’s famous speech, in which Jackson says i”while the prosecutor may strike hard blows, he must never strike foul ones.”

What are “the letters?” Listen to Jamie Gorelick explain this concept in the Lawfare podcast.

“Public sentiment is everything”

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Pivoting off President Abraham Lincoln’s famous maxim, the Feds consider the state of public opinion about the current President’s many serious transgressions. What explains the apparent indifference of wide swaths of the American public to the President’s assault on constitutional values and the rule of law? What are the prospects for Mueller’s upcoming testimony or other events to break through the apparent impasse? And is there a moral obligation to push back on the constitutional outrages whether or not there are reasonable prospects of changing the current calculus?

Harry is joined by Barbara McQuade, Frank Figliuzzi and Julie Zebrak.

And stay tuned after the discussion for a preview of the Talking Feds live event July 8-11 in Washington, DC. 

Mueller Report Myths and Gerrymandered Maps

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In this special Feds Now episode, The Feds break down the myths of the Mueller Report, as first elucidated in a recent Time Magazine article. Host Harry Litman is joined by the co-authors of the article, former US Attorneys and Talking Feds charter members Barbara McQuade and Joyce Vance. The Feds then turn to the ramifications of the 5-4 Supreme Court on political gerrymandering with Richard Cordray, who clerked for two Supreme Court justices and was the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

These 11 Mueller Report Myths Just Won’t Die. Here’s Why They’re Wrong by Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance.

No Hope

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The Feds take up the administration’s assertion of absolute immunity for Hope Hicks, including whether absolute immunity is even a viable legal concept. They then consider a new Supreme Court decision that potentially points the way towards a legal breakthrough in the impasse between the White House and Congress. Finally, they consider the sobering possibility that the race is over even as Congress continues to run in place.

Host Harry Litman, is joined by Paul Fishman, Matt Matthew Miller and Judge Nancy Gertner.