Congress's Last Stand: Mueller's Testimony

TF 23: Congress's Last Stand

Harry Litman [00:00:07] Welcome back to Talking Feds, a prosecutor's roundtable that brings together prominent former federal officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. 

Harry Litman [00:00:19] I'm Harry Litman. I'm a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General and a current Washington Post columnist. We are here in Washington D.C., live, to tape a series of podcast episodes just blocks from the Capitol Dome. All this thanks to our gracious hosts here at Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection. And for this episode as well, the American Constitution S-- Constitution Society, the leading progressive organization and network with over 200 lawyer and student chapters nationwide. All this week we're talking about what happens after Mueller. What are the challenges and prospects for our democratic institutions. 

Harry Litman [00:01:07] Today we're focused on what happens the day of Robert Mueller's testimony to Congress. Prior to the announcement of Mueller's testimony the House's effort to bring the report to life seemed to be getting nowhere and near checkmated. 13 weeks had passed and the House hadn't succeeded in having a single fact witness testify publicly. Stymied repeatedly by the administration's reflexive, and ultra aggressive policy of interposing dubious defenses that left Congress having to choose between caving and litigating the latter involving significant time. But Mueller is a law-abider and he got a lawful subpoena, and agreed to testify notwithstanding clearly preferring not to. 

Trump's Interference with the DOJ

Harry Litman [00:00:00] If you're hearing my voice and it's the week of July 8th we are in the middle of our six episodes series here at Georgetown Law School and to reserve your seat for coming episodes, you can go to Talking Feds-dot-com-slash-news. 

Harry Litman [00:00:28] Hello to everyone here at Georgetown Law School and listening to the podcast. The Talking Feds have come to D.C. We kept hearing that there were some significant events happening here and we wanted to see for ourselves. I'm Harry Litman. I'm a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General and a current Washington Post columnist. 

Harry Litman [00:00:50] We're here in Washington to tape a series of podcast episodes at the Georgetown University Law Center, just blocks from the Capitol Dome, where someone appears to have angered the gods, because apocalyptic rain has been falling all morning but thanks to our gracious hosts at Georgetown Law's Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, we've put together six podcasts based on the theme After Mueller: Challenges and Prospects for U.S. Democratic Institutions. 

"Public Sentiment is Everything"

TF 21: "Public Sentiment is Everything”

Harry Litman [00:00:00] Talking Feds is coming to Washington D.C. for six live podcast tapings with a phenomenal array of commentators July 8th through 11th. Stay tuned after the discussion for more details. 

Harry Litman [00:00:22] Welcome to a holiday weekend episode of Talking Feds, a prosecutors roundtable that brings together some of the best known former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. This holiday weekend we're taking a little pause from the ongoing discussion of current events. We're going to have a mini episode to talk about a quote from a certain former president that many people these days are taking to sum up where things stand. 

Harry Litman [00:00:55] The quote: "Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail, without it nothing can succeed." The president who said it of course, Abraham Lincoln. 

MUELLER REPORT MYTHS AND GERRYMANDERED MAPS

Harry Litman [00:00:07] Welcome back to Talking Feds, a prosecutors roundtable that brings together prominent former federal officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. I'm Harry Litman. I'm a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General and a current Washington Post columnist. 

Harry Litman [00:00:27] On Talking Feds, we do special episodes which we call Talking Feds Now to react to breaking important news. And there have been two hugely important stories in Talking Feds land this week. And we're here or actually spread out across the country to talk about both of them. First, the revelation that Robert Mueller will be testifying before two House committees on July 17th. We're going to look at that story through the prism of an important and timely article by two charter Feds well-known to listeners of this program and MSNBC, both of whom recently testified in the House about the Mueller Report. 

NO HOPE

Harry Litman [00:00:07] Welcome back to Talking Feds prosecutors roundtable that brings together prominent former federal officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. I'm Harry Litman. I'm a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General and a current Washington Post columnist. Today we're talking about absolute immunity. What is it? Does it even exist? And what can Congress do in the face of the White House's assertions of it?

Harry Litman [00:00:38] Then we'll turn to discussion of one of the Supreme Court cases that have issued in the court's end of term flurry. We've got Feds in Boston New York and Washington D.C. to talk about it. I'm joined here in Manhattan by Paul Fishman. He's well known to this podcast and also he's the immediate past United States attorney for the District of New Jersey. But before that Paul was the mighty PADAG, the principal associate deputy attorney general meaning he oversaw and got involved with nearly every issue at Main Justice which he managed to do by talking twice as fast as anyone else.

TED TALKS

Harry Litman: Welcome back to Talking Feds. A roundtable that brings together prominent former federal officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. Today we are privileged to be inside the Los Angeles offices of Congressman Ted Lieu. We're going to talk about the president's remarkable assertion that there's no problem receiving dirt from a foreign adversary as well as the general state of play of the House's investigation into the counter intelligence aspects of the 2016 election.


Harry Litman: We'll then turn to a discussion of where things stand with respect to Congress's efforts to bring public attention to the more incendiary conclusions of the Muller report and a clear eyed look at whether the opportunity is possibly slipping away.

A HOUSE DIVIDED

Harry Litman [00:00:07] Welcome back to Talking Feds -- a prosecutors roundtable that brings together prominent former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. I'm Harry Litman. I'm a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General and a Washington Post columnist. Today, we're talking about the administration's continuing campaign to basically shut down any investigation in the House of the conduct of the president and his circle. As well as a possible proposal from Professor Larry Tribe to try to break through the logjam. And we've got Feds in several cities to talk about it.

HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (FEAT. PROFESSOR LAURENCE TRIBE, DEAN ERWIN CHEMERINSKY & CONGRESSMAN JAMIE RASKIN)

Harry Litman [00:00:07] Welcome to a very special episode of Talking Feds. We have an amazing show for you today and I feel incredibly fortunate to be hosting it. We're going to be taking a close look at the constitutional concept of high crimes and misdemeanors -- which the Constitution specifies is required to trigger the impeachment and removal of the president and other officials. That concept feels amorphous and arcane to many people, and yet it is the key to determining how the country should respond to a long series of legal and political abuses by the President of the United States. And the task feels all the more exigent in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's statement, leaving no doubt that the issue of the president's conduct is now firmly in Congress's hands.

DO OVERS AND COVERUPS

Harry Litman [00:00:07] Welcome back to Talking Feds, a prosecutors roundtable that brings together prominent former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. I'm Harry Litman. I'm a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General and a current Washington Post columnist.

Harry Litman [00:00:29] This is a week that saw the Trump administration and the House of Representatives hunkered down in their respective positions, with the White House allied with the Department of Justice seemingly committed to preventing the Congress from securing any additional witnesses or testimony. We're going to discuss two aspects of the hardening standoff. First, we'll address the question whether and how the administration is engaged in what fairly could be called a cover up, as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi alleged this week, prompting the President to storm out of a meeting with the Democrats on infrastructure, and declare that he will not govern so long as he is under continuing investigation.

A GAME OF TRUMP: A SONG OF VICE & IRE

Game of Trump: A Song of Vice & Ire

Harry Litman [00:00:07] Welcome back to Talking Feds, a prosecutor’s roundtable that brings together prominent former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day.

Harry Litman [00:00:20] I'm Harry Litman. I'm a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General and now a Washington Post columnist. Today, we're going to focus on two important topics from just the last couple days, and their implications for the broader Mueller probe and congressional investigation of the President and President's Campaign in 2016.

THE COUNTERINTELLIGENCE INVESTIGATION: WHAT IT IS, WHY IT MATTERS

Harry Litman [00:00:07] Welcome back to Talking Feds. A prosecutors roundtable that brings together prominent former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. I'm Harry Litman. I'm a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General and a current Washington Post columnist. 

 

Harry Litman [00:00:31] I'll start today with a personal confession. I feel very on top of the various issues we discuss here on Talking Feds and that dominate the headlines, with one exception: whenever the subject turns to that counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign and the President personally, I have to redouble my concentration just to stay in the game. And, of course I recognize that the counterintelligence investigation may be the most grave, intricate and important topic of them all. 

BARR ON THE ROCKS

Harry Litman [00:00:07] Welcome back to a special episode of Talking Feds -- a prosecutor's roundtable that brings together prominent former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. And what a day. Probably one of the five biggest days of the entire probe the day when Attorney General William Barr came to the Senate Judiciary Committee in a much anticipated appearance to explain why he had decided, contrary to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, that the President the United States did not commit obstruction of justice. 

 

Harry Litman [00:00:52] Barr spent hours responding to aggressive questioning from Democratic senators about his decision making layered in with sweetheart valentines from the Republican members of the committee who seemed to be focused on the inception of the probe and Hillary Clinton's emails and the like. I'm Harry Litman. I'm a former United States Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General and also an assistant United States attorney or line prosecutor and a Washington Post columnist. 

MUELLER IN THE HOUSE

Harry Litman [00:00:00] Talking Feds is brought to you by Constantine Cannon. Constantine Cannon has extensive experience representing whistleblowers under both federal and state whistleblower laws. Their team of attorneys has an unsurpassed record of success. Learn more at Constantine Cannon dot com. 

 

Harry Litman [00:00:18] A quick heads up on this episode, we recorded it before the redacted Mueller Report had come out. So you're going to hear a couple instances that now have been overtaken by events. But really the thrust of this is exactly contemporary, it's what's happening in Congress now that the Mueller Report has been delivered to it. And it really is in our view, down the middle, germane to the coming weeks. 

 

Harry Litman [00:00:52] Welcome back to Talking Feds, a prosecutors roundtable that brings together prominent former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day, including the investigations of the president and his circle. Today we have sort of a hybrid show, we're here in Washington D.C. with three former federal officials who have extensive experience both at the Department of Justice, but also in working on the Hill, either in Congress or with Congress. So now that the main field of operations is moving over to Congress, we have the opportunity to talk to people whose rich experience in the sometimes tumultuous back and forth with Congress can really illuminate what the next week and months will show. We're going to talk first about the prospects for the house to get an unredacted Mueller report at all and then turn a little bit to the nuts and bolts of a possible independent investigation in Congress, how much of a sort of replay of what Bob Mueller did can we expect in Congress in the coming months. 

A DEEP DIVE INTO MURKY WATERS

Harry Litman [00:00:25] Welcome back to Talking Feds. A prosecutors roundtable that brings together prominent former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. 

 

Harry Litman [00:00:39] This week has probably been the single most important of the last 22 months. We've now finally had our first look at the redacted version of the Mueller Report. Along with everyone else,we gave our quick take on the top line conclusions of the report. And now we are delving deeply into the almost 400 pages of facts, law and analysis set out there. 

REDACTION REACTION

Harry Litman [00:00:25] [MUSIC] Welcome back to Talking Feds, a prosecutor's roundtable that brings together prominent former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. Today we're in Washington D.C. and talking about the question that is really on everyone's mind, the Mueller Report and the redactions in it that are going to be delivered within the next few days. And then we will turn to a brief discussion of the Julian Assange arrest and prosecution, and the different both practical and you could say moral issues or constitutional issues raised by that arrest.

REPORT SUMMARY [REDACTED]

Harry Litman [00:00:27] [MUSIC] Welcome back to Talking Feds, a prosecutor's roundtable that brings together some of the most prominent former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day, including still today the investigations of the president and his circle.

Harry Litman [00:00:46] Today we're talking about the strange goings on within the Department of Justice and the apparent war of words between the Attorney General, William Barr, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. And then we will turn to the prospects for Congress to get some of the Mueller Report and related materials, and the president's tax returns.

THE MUELLER REPORT: AND NOW WHAT?

Harry Litman [00:00:07] [MUSIC] Welcome to a special episode of Talking Feds, a prosecutor's roundtable that brings together prominent former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day. And today we have maybe the most important legal topic of the year or the Trump presidency because we finally have the Mueller report in our hands, and we finally have Bill Barr's account of exactly what he did with the Mueller Report, and we're going to talk about both. Now I'll say we've had the report for oh an entire half hour, so these will be top line reactions, and there will be more. This is Harry Litman, a former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General. [END MUSIC]

THE MUELLER WE KNOW

Harry Litman [00:00:07] [MUSIC] Welcome to Talking Feds, a prosecutor's roundtable that brings together some of the best-known former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day, including the investigations of the president and his circle.

Harry Litman [00:00:23] Today we're talking about the surprising recent turn of events with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who delivered his, we now know 300-page plus report to the Attorney General last Friday. And we're really privileged to be talking with some of the former feds who know him best and have worked closely with him.

MUELLER PUNTS, BARR INTERCEPTS

Harry Litman [00:00:07] [MUSIC] Welcome back to Talking Feds, a prosecutor's roundtable that brings together your favorite former Department of Justice officials for a dynamic discussion of the most important legal topics of the day, including the investigations of President Trump and his circle.

Harry Litman [00:00:24] Today, the four page cryptic letter from Bill Barr to the Congress and the non-decision by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on potential obstruction of justice charges by President Trump. Finally we'll talk about what if anything is now left open to decide.