OA351: Who’s the Next Justin Amash? Your Guide to Impeachment, Part XVIII (Feat. Lev Parnas)

Today’s episode is one big Andrew Was Right! As we predicted, the House transmitted the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate this week, and we unpack all of this week’s news in connection with impeachment, including the new GAO report on the Impoundment Control Act, the testimony from Lev Parnas, and much, much more. By the end of this super-sized episode, we’ll also give your our predictions as to who might be a surprise profile in courage. The answer WILL surprise you!

We begin with the GAO report that’s being quoted everywhere. Are media sources getting it right? And what’s in the report that’s not being talked about? Listen and find out! Did Trump’s OMB violate the Impoundment Control Act? (Hint: yes.)

Then, we take a look at the transmission of articles, the House managers named, the rules involved, the President’s amazing legal team, and much, much more.

After all of that, we get to the ultimate question: will this moo the noodle? And if so, who are the Republicans that can be moo’ed? We name names! We also evaluate the Lev Parnas testimony and try and steelman Trump’s arguments.

Then, of course, it’s time for an all-new #T3BE on cocaine smuggling, featuring a special guest player (and next week’s guest) Phil Ferguson.

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the GAO report on the ICA, and the two relevant provisions of that act: 2 U.S.C. § 683 (rescission) and 2 U.S.C. § 684 (deferment).
  2. We referred to the 1991 Cheney GAO opinion on “programmatic delays.”
  3. Click here to read the Parnas SDNY indictment.
  4. Finally, here’s the evidence on our Mystery Amash Candidate.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

-For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

-And finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA350: Interview with House Candidate Chris Armitage

Chris Armitage is running for the House in Washington’s 5th District against Trump devotee Cathy McMorris Rodgers!

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

-For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

-And finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA349: Bolton Will Testify; Iran, Soleimani & So Much More

Today’s episode takes on (some of) the two biggest pending news stories right now: (1) the U.S. assassination of Iranian Gen. Soleimani, and (2) the pending impeachment of President Trump. Oh, and we also cover a bunch of other things along the way, including the latest CNN settlement regarding the kid from Covington Catholic, and, well, you’ll just have to listen to find out everything!

We begin with a pre-show grab bag of mini-stories, including the “drain the swamp” news that outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry has joined the board of a holding company that owns a pipeline company. Is this 100% the same scandal as Burisma hiring Hunter Biden? (Hint: yes.)

Then, we delve into some disturbing background information on the Solemani strike and answer the first of many listener questions about it: was the strike arguably justified by the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the 9/11 hijackers?

After that, it’s time for some Yodeling! We look at the current state of the House/Senate standoff on articles of impeachment and what the likely way forward will be. You’ll learn that former NSA Director John Bolton is willing to testify; the question is whether two more Republicans care about that at all.

Finally, we cover the latest news that CNN settled the defamation lawsuit brought by Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic relating to the video shared by CNN nearly a year ago.

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new #T3BE 161 — this one is a constitutional law question regarding anti-discrimination laws. Can Thomas get it right??

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Pre-show links: (a) Rick Perry rejoins the board of a pipeline company; (b) the Hofeller Files; and (c) the 5th Circuit’s decision on Trump’s stupid wall, which we last covered in Episodes 243 and 255.
  2. Iranian strike links: (a) Washington Post story on Pompeo masterminding the strike; (b) the Heather Timmons piece in Quartz warning us that Trump was listening to Rapture loons like Pence and Pompeo 18 months ago; and (c) Mary Lee Bigham-Bartling’s 2018 doctoral dissertation on Rapture theology.
  3. This is the 2001 AUMF, and you can also verify that Solemani is named in neither the 9/11 Commission Report nor the 2019 State Department Fact Sheet. We also quoted from a VOA News report on Sunnis “celebrating” the death of Solemani.
  4. On impeachment: the important thing is to click here to read John Bolton’s public decision to comply with a Senate subpoena.
  5. Finally, although you can’t read the CNN/Covington Catholic settlement, you can still watch both the original Sandmann video, and the updated video released a few days later.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

-For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

-And finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA348: The State of the Secular States, with Alison Gill

Today’s show features an interview with American Atheists’ National Legal and Policy Director Alison Gill! American Atheists has just released their 2019 State of the Secular States Report, which you can find here. With how much the Trump Administration and the Christian Right have tried to enshrine conservative Christianity into our nation’s laws, American Atheists has worked hard to bring us this comprehensive report detailing which states have good laws in place to protect the separation of Church and State. Some states are doing better than others, and some states might surprise you! The report provides a great blueprint of action for how we can work to fight the theocrats on a state by state basis.

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

-For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

-And finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA347: Pennhurst and the Voter Purge in Georgia

Today’s episode tackles a bunch of important developments in the new year — and not all of them are even Trump-related! Our main segment features a deep dive into the recent voter purge decision in Georgia and what that has to do with the Eleventh Amendment and the Pennhurst doctrine. We also tackle the latest scare meme regarding 2020 and update you on all the developments in pending litigation regarding Donald Trump. Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun ride!

We begin with a quick off-the-white-board note about the “$100,000 verdict” in the Alex Jones defamation lawsuit that isn’t what it appears to be.

After that, we take a look at a recent meme that’s circulating regarding 2020. Should you be concerned about the legal implications of writing 1/1/20 on your documents?? Why or why not?

Then it’s time to check in on the status of several pending cases involving Congressional subpoenas, including a decision that’s being mischaracterized as a setback for impeachment (it isn’t), and a bunch of irons that are still in the fire.

Then it’s time for our deep dive into Pennhurst and the recent denial of injunctive relief to Stacey Abrams’s organization dedicated to restoring the voter rolls in 2020 in Georgia. Find out what happened & what’s going to happen next.

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new #T3BE in the New Year: can a bakery tell a flaky flour supplier to go clownhorn itself? Don’t forget to play along via social media!

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the New York Times article about Alex Jones’s lawsuit.
  2. The article we referenced on FOIA documents connected to OMB from Kate Brannen at Just Security is here.
  3. Filings: click here to read the Order of Dismissal in the Kupperman lawsuit, and here to read the Court’s Order denying injunctive relief in the voter registration lawsuit.
  4. Oh, and feel free to brush up on your Supreme Court decisions by reading Pennhurst State School & Hospital v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89 (1984).

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

-For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

-And finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA346: Faithless Electors (w/Lawrence Lessig)

Today’s episode features an in-depth interview with Prof. Lawrence Lessig, counsel for the Colorado faithless electors, about the electoral college system.

We also go through the answer to last week’s #T3BE about the differences and similarities between burglary and larceny. You won’t want to miss it!

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

-For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

-And finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA345: How John Roberts Saved Christmas (Or: Everything You Need to Know About Nixon v. US)

Happy Holidays, everyone! Today, we tackle a number of issues that managed to distract us over the holidays regarding impeachment and do a deep dive into Nixon v. US — all while weaving in a John-Roberts-as-the-Grinch-Who-Saved-the-Country-From-Mitch-McConnell story. Can it happen? Absolutely. Will it? We don’t know. Do you need to listen? ABSOLUTELY.

We begin, however, with the recent filing by the lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee suggesting it might “impeach Donald Trump again.” What on earth does that mean, and why is he taking this position? We explain it all.

Then it’s time for a brief foray into the debate between Noah Feldman, Laurence Tribe (and Jonathan Turley for good measure) as to whether Trump has really been impeached given that the House has not yet transmitted the articles to the Senate.

As we all know, that question is really academic — the real issue is: what power does Mitch McConnell have to transform impeachment into a sham proceeding? The answer lies in a 1993 Supreme Court case, Nixon v. US , 506 U.S. 224 — and it may just reside in Chief Justice John Roberts. You won’t want to miss this deep dive storytelling.

After all that, it’s time for a brand new #T3BE involving burglary, larceny, and the world’s angriest ex-employee. Remember to play along on social media!

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the House’s filing before the D.C. Circuit in the McGahn subpoena litigation.
  2. In the battle of expert turncoats, we have Noah Feldman arguing that Trump hasn’t been impeached, and Jonathan Turley arguing that he has.
  3. Finally, make sure you read Nixon v. U.S., 506 U.S. 224 (1993).

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

-For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

-And finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA344: Did the Mormon Church Really Hide $100 Billion in Assets From the IRS? (Feat. Bryce Blankenagel)

Today’s episode combines a deep dive into the IRS’s tax exemptions with some breaking news about allegations made by a whistleblower that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (that is, the Mormon Church) has hidden over $100 billion in assets that should otherwise be taxed. Grab some yarn and pushpins, and we’ll try and disentangle this conspiracy together!

Joining us is the host of the Naked Mormonism and Glass Box podcasts, Bryce Blankenagel, who has first-hand knowledge of some of these events and has done serious work trying to parse through the documents and help us figure out what the mainstream reporting on this story might have missed! Along the way you’ll learn a ton about the various corporate entities owned by the Mormon Church.

After that, we return to a popular #T3BE question involving whether the court can instruct the jury as to one of the elements of a crime. Can Thomas add to his amazing one-question win streak??? Listen and find out!

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the whistleblower’s 78-page letter to the IRS, and here to watch his 7-minute video summary. NOTE: We do not endorse all of the claims and/or analysis made in that video.
  2. Check out 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) for the statutory provisions regarding non-profits, and here to read the special rules as to when the IRS can investigate or audit a church.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

-For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

-And finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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OA343: The End of the ACA? (Also: Some Stuff About Impeachment)

Today’s episode takes a deep dive into the recent 5th Circuit ruling you may have heard about that… is supposed to have declared the ACA unconstitutional? How can that possibly be the case? We break it all down for you. Oh, and yeah, we also talk about the fact that the third president in American history has been impeached.

We begin, however, with an Andrew Was Wrong segment about the procedural history underlying the Syed appeal.

Then, it’s time to break down the 5th Circuit’s ACA opinion. How is it possible? How is the case ripe? Wasn’t all of this decided in 2012 in the NFIB v. Sebelius case? We explain everything you need to know — and what you need to know about the future — in this main segment.

Then, it’s time to tackle some impeachment questions like, “what the hell is going on?” and “is it true that the President can’t be pardoned for crimes over which he’s been impeached?” (No.) You definitely won’t want to miss this one.

After all that, it’s time for a brand new #T3BE involving jury instructions during a criminal trial. Can Thomas build on his amazing 1-question winning streak? There’s only one way to know for sure!

Appearances

None! If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. We tackled the Syed case for the very last time in Episode 340.
  2. You can read the 5th Circuit’s ACA opinion here.
  3. Finally, on impeachment, don’t forget to check out (a) Episode 90 where we explain that Trump can probably pardon himself, and also (b) Laurence Tribe’s article that changed how the House handles impeachment.
  4. Oh, man, and if you missed last episode’s humor, check out “Larry ‘Bud’ Melman” advertising “Mr. Larry’s Toast on a Stick” from the old Late Night With David Letterman show.

-Support us on Patreon at: patreon.com/law

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/, and don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

-For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

-And finally, remember that you can email us at openarguments@gmail.com!



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