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LRC Presents: All the Presidents Lawyers


A civilized yet provocative discussion of the politics of law, libel, litigation and the White House.

A civilized yet provocative discussion of the politics of law, libel, litigation and the White House.
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A civilized yet provocative discussion of the politics of law, libel, litigation and the White House.




Thumb-headed henchman

Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani’s thumb-headed henchman, who is under indictment for campaign finance violations, has been really trying to cooperate with Congress in their investigations of President Trump. A judge allowed him to share seized documents with Congress and well, they turned out to be pretty interesting. Ken and Josh talk through the dump of documents and what this new character Robert Hyde was/is up to. Then: it looks like the impeachment trial could start next week. Nancy Pelosi...


The standoff continues

Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell are still in a standoff over the rules for the Senate impeachment proceedings. Pelosi still hasn’t sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate, and it looks like McConnell is ready to start the impeachment trial with no witnesses. So, is Pelosi’s strategy to hold onto the articles pay off? We’re still waiting. Josh and Ken discuss the influence Chief Justice John Roberts might have as he presides over the trial, with Republicans having enough votes to...


Impeachment Day

With the impeachment vote, All The President’s Lawyers is wrapping up for 2019. Ken and Josh will be back on Jan. 8, 2020. As the House of Representatives debates the impeachment of President Donald Trump, Josh and Ken ducked into a nearby studio to discuss all the other news from this week. The president’s 6-page tweet/letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about why impeachment is wrong and bad. Mitch McConnell is signaling how he might run an impeachment trial in January. Do Democrats have...


Two articles of impeachment

House Democrats announced two articles of impeachment for President Trump this week: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. What’s in the articles? Should Democrats have added more charges? And what happens next? Given the outlook in the Senate, Ken says this “lean and mean” approach is the right one. Ken and Josh also discuss the Inspector General report on the origins of the FBI’s investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign, upcoming sentences for Rich Gates and Michael Flynn,...


Judiciary, take the wheel

Adam Schiff and the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee lay out their case for the impeachment of President Trump. How strong is the case? And should they have taken more time to gather more information? Republicans also submitted a report, which Ken says is more like creative writing than a report. As Ken and Josh taped this episode, the House Judiciary Committee began its first hearing. When can we expect articles of impeachment and what will be in them? Also, what the hell has...


The king of frivolous lawsuits

President Trump is a litigious person, but when it comes to winning defamation and libel lawsuits, his record is pretty terrible. He’s 0-8 in fact.Ken White andJosh Barro talk about the president’s First Amendment record withSusan Seager of USC’s Gould School of Law, and take questions from a live audience of lawyers, law students and alumni.


Bonus: All The President’s Lawyers at USC

Josh and Ken discuss the impeachment testimony of Gordon Sondland, Laura Cooper and David Hale and other timely topics in this special episode of All The President’s Lawyers, recorded in front of an audience at USC Gould School of Law. More of their conversation with Gould law professor and First Amendment lawyer Susan Seager will be released next week.


Who should be afraid right now?

Seven witnesses have appeared for public testimony in the impeachment inquiry, and more are testifying today. There are all witnesses who have previously testified in closer session. What have we learned that’s new and important? (EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland was beginning his testimony as Josh and Ken recorded this episode — check back Thursday for a bonus episode.) At this point, should any of these people be worried about criminal liability, either now or in the event that a new...


Impeachment, now in public

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...


Dishonesty or bad preparation?

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...


Fruit of the poisonous tree

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...


Quid pro quo

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...


Does Rudy Need a Lawyer?

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...


Recognize the legitimacy of this podcast

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...



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...


President Trump. Ukraine. Joe Biden. Impeachment.

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...


All kinds of privilege

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,...


It’s an impeachment *investigation*

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....


A conversation with Asha Rangappa

Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa joins Ken White for a special All The President’s Lawyers. Ken and Asha talk about what the media gets wrong (and right) about how the FBI and federal investigations work, and the wall between counterintelligence and criminal investigations done by the FBI. Plus, Ken asks Asha about the counterintelligence side of the Mueller investigation, and what her advice would be if a federal agent comes knocking.


The most commonly committed federal crime

The New York Times reports federal prosecutors are nearing a decision about whether to prosecute Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI. McCabe was fired last year (on the day he was set to retire) based on an inspector general report that found he repeatedly lacked candor in interviews with investigators looking into a leak to the Wall Street Journal. According to the IG, the leak essentially confirmed the existence of an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation just...