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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.




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...


When federal judges hit ‘reply all’

Fallout continues this week from Jeffrey Epstein’s death, which has now been officially ruled a suicide. Where’s his longtime confidante, Ghislaine Maxwell, who’s widely suspected of participating in a conspiracy to sex traffic girls for him? She’s been missing or at least she hasn’t been in public. Those photos of her at an In-N-Out Burger in the Valley? They appear to be fake. Josh and Ken talk about those dupes and if they were likely to have misled the Feds. Should we assume the...


What happens next in the Epstein investigation

Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell at the Manhattan Correctional Center on Saturday, as he awaited trial. What happens next in the investigation? Attorney General Bill Barr said the Department of Justice would still come after his co-conspirators. What happens to his estate and his assets? Plus: your questions about emoluments and if anyone has standing to sue President Trump for an emoluments clause violation, the latest in former White House Counsel Greg Craig’s trial, Peter...


Impeachment ifs

The House still isn’t moving to impeach the president, but House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said *if* his committee *were* to proceed in that direction, articles of impeachment could pass his committee in the late fall. Nadler cited key court decisions about the committee’s efforts to obtain evidence and witnesses coming in October or November. But: is there a need for more fact-finding? Ken and Josh take some questions from listeners on impeachment and the new California...


Nope, it’s still not RICO.

This week, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Democratic National Committee, which had alleged that the Russian Federation engaged in a RICO conspiracy with Donald Trump, the Trump campaign, Paul Manafort, Julian Assange, Roger Stone and others. RICO, of course, is the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (as you ATPL listeners already know). It’s a law designed to allow prosecutions and lawsuits aimed at the mafia and others who operate criminal...


It’s Finally Mueller Time

At long last, members of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees got to question special counsel Robert Mueller about his investigation of President Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election. Special guest former prosecutor Renato Mariott spoke with host Josh Barro about whether the little that Mueller said was noteworthy. Mariotti says Mueller was trying to be very careful with his words because he did not want to say something that could become a soundbite. One thing...


Should Jeffrey Epstein be released on bail?

There have been arguments this week about whether Jeffrey Epstein should be released on bail — is he a danger to the community? Would he commit other crimes if he’s released? Is he a flight risk? Could he be trusted to fund his own house arrest in his New York mansion? Should it matter to the judge that so many other defendants struggle to post even a couple hundred dollars in bail? Then: CNN is reporting that Trump Organization executives are unlikely to be charged in the case where...



Reclusive billionaire (or multi-multi-millionaire) money manager Jeffrey Epstein, a one-time associate of both Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, has been indicted by SDNY prosecutors for sex trafficking. The broad allegations — that Epstein had an apparatus to bring girls to his homes in New York and Florida for paid sex — are not new. A decade ago, facing federal charges, Epstein assembled an all-star legal team (Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz among them) that obtained for him a...


All the Presidents Lawyers: You asked, we answered

This week on All The President’s Lawyers, Ken and Josh take questions from listeners. Several of your questions were about impeachment. It’s a complicated topic and one without a lot of legal precedent and case law. You also asked what would happen if Trump was defeated in 2020, yet refused to give up the presidency. Here are a selection of questions and answers (note: these questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity If the Democrats decide to impeach Trump, will he be...