“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.

Ted Talks

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The Feds are honored to be joined by Rep. Ted Lieu, a forceful presence on the House Judiciary Committee. We begin with a probing look at the legal, ethical, and political implications of the President’s suggestion that it’s fine for a campaign to take negative information about an opponent from a foreign country, including the seemingly untenable position that Trump has imposed on FBI Director Christopher Wray by directly contradicting him in public.  Following a sidebar from Prof Larry Tribe on the federal government’s obligation to provide information to criminal defendants, the Feds engage in a candid assessment of Congress’s attempts to date to bring the Mueller report to life before the American public, ending with Rep Lieu’s declaration that  "[w]e are going to get McGahn to testify at some point."

Along with Congressman Lieu, host Harry Litman is joined by Josh Campbell of CNN a former FBI agent. He’s also joined by Professor Laurie Levenson of Loyola Law School, former trial and appellate lawyer, and one of the chief public authorities on prosecutorial practice.

A House Divided

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The Feds consider the White House’s radical and unprecedented strategy to not only rebuff all investigative demands from the House, but to deny the very legitimacy of the House’s oversight.  They unpack the voicemail from the President’s lawyer asking Michael Flynn’s lawyer for a “heads up”of Flynn’s communications with Mueller.  They then bat around a new proposal from Prof Larry Tribe that potentially could break through the drastic logjam.

Host Harry Litman is joined by former Feds Asha Rangappa, Elliot Williams, and Barbara McQuade.

High Crimes and Misdemeanors (feat. Professor Laurence Tribe, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, and Congressman Jamie Raskin)

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An unbelievably high-powered panel-- Professor Laurence Tribe, Dean Erwin Chemerinksy, and Congressman and Judiciary Committee member Jamie Raskin--take up an incredibly important topic,  "High Crimes and Misdemeanors." The three set aside some common misconceptions and agree on important aspects of the constitutional term. They then turn to plow new ground, each opining on what potential offense by the President is the most serious and predicting how the Congress may view differently the Venn diagram of potential impeachable offenses.  Finally, they offer their thoughts on whether we are at a moment of constitutional failure, and whether the constitutional scheme is likely to prove equal to the stresses that the President has imposed on it.

Host Harry Litman is joined by:

Professor Laurence Tribe is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. Professor Tribe has prevailed in three-fifths of the many appellate cases he has argued (including 35 in the U.S. Supreme Court); was appointed in 2010 by President Obama and Attorney General Holder to serve as the first Senior Counselor for Access to Justice; and helped write the constitutions of South Africa, the Czech Republic, and the Marshall Islands. His treatise, “American Constitutional Law,” has been cited more than any other legal text since 1950. He has written 115 books and articles, most recently, To End A Presidency: The Power of Impeachment (co-authored with Joshua Matz).

Professor Erwin Chemerinsky is the Dean of Berkeley Law and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law. From 2008-2017, he was the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at University of California, Irvine School of Law. He is the author of eleven books, including leading casebooks and treatises about constitutional law, criminal procedure, and federal jurisdiction, including We the People:  A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court.  

Congressman Jamie Raskin, (D-MD 8th District), member of the Judiciary Committee and the Oversight and Reform Committee, the House Committee on Rules; and vice chair of both the House Administration Committee and the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. Before entering Congress, Raskin was a three-term state senator in Maryland, where he also served as the Senate majority whip. For more than 25 years, he was a professor of constitutional law at American University's Washington College of Law and authored dozens of law review articles and several books, including the Washington Post best-seller Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People and the highly acclaimed We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America's Students.

The Day Bob Mueller Spoke

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On the day when Robert Mueller broke his 2-year silence, the Feds convene in a special @talkingfeds Now! Episode to tell you what wasn’t said in the wall-to-wall coverage.  Each Fed offers up in roundtable order a detail or nuance that the coverage overlooked or underreported, filling in some critical blanks and implications in the first and perhaps only statement that Mueller will make.

Host, Harry Litman, is joined by Barbara McQuade, Elie Honig and Mimi Rocah.

Do Overs and Cover Ups

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The Feds analyze the current apparent impasse between the Administration and the House of Representatives and discuss possible inroads that the House Democrats could nevertheless execute.  They detail possible witnesses that the House still can call.  They conclude by considering the legal and political implications of the two district court victories upholding subpoenas for financial records of the President, including before 2016.

Host, Harry Litman, is joined by Joyce Vance, Matthew Miller and Jennifer Rodgers. Former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Richard Cordray explains the sidebar.

Game of Trump: A Song of Vice & Ire

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The Feds discuss the implications of the revelation that some member(s) of Congress helped dangle a pardon to Michael Flynn, and the importance of the district court’s muscular intervention in ordering that the information be made public. They then consider Trump's deranged tweet about treason and the overall impact of Trump's threats now that he has an apparent ally and loyal servant in the Attorney General of the United States.

Host Harry Litman is joined by former feds Mary McCord, Glenn Kirschner and Mimi Rocah.

Sidebar by Scott Johnson, cartoonist, podcaster, and founder of Frogpants Studios, where you can enjoy Scott’s ExtraLife comics.


The Counterintelligence Investigation: What it is, why it matters

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Of all the many aspects of the various Trump dramas, the counter-intelligence investigation of the President and his campaign can be the hardest to understand and follow, not least because it remains highly classified and we have no way to chart its progress with certainty.  But we can bring a depth of knowledge and experience to the topic, and that is what Feds Frank Figliuzzi and Josh Campbell, who both have extensive FBI experience, do in this episode.  The Feds provide a detailed but nuts-and-bolts explanations of how counter-intelligence investigations work, and then analyze the prospects over the next two years for the remarkable counter-intelligence investigation of the Trump campaign and the president himself.