OA325: Putin’s Puppet? The Open Skies Treaty

Today’s show features a few segments from the LA live show, including a medium dive on the Open Skies Treaty. We break down what it is, what Trump is intending to do with it, and why his behavior is incredibly… weird. We also break down a story involving Covington and Burling winning legal fees against the government.

-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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OA324: Trump’s 9 Crimes and Misdemeanors

With impeachment in full swing, today’s episode reminds you that we already have more than enough evidence to impeach & remove Donald Trump from office for the nine distinct crimes documented by Robert Mueller in Vol. II of the Mueller Report.

We begin, however, with a pre-show update: the 4th Circuit has just voted to rehear the Maryland emoluments lawsuit en banc on Dec. 12, 2019.

After that, it’s time to check in on the latest Republican argument: that Democrats need to authorize an impeachment inquiry via a full floor vote in the House of Representatives. Learn why Nancy Pelosi said “Nope!” and why that might be shots fired… at the Supreme Court.

Then, it’s time for the deep dive into the nine unambiguous, inarguable crimes that we already have proof Donald Trump has already committed, thanks to Vol. II of the Mueller Report. You will get a choose-your-own-adventure guide for how to steer your disbelieving Uncle Frank through the Mueller Report and prove that Trump acted with criminally corrupt intent to obstruct justice. “The cover-up is [still] worse than the crime”… isn’t it?

After all that, it’s time for an all-new #T3BE involving a hate crime. Is the Intellectual Dark Web correct that such things are protected by “free speech?” If not, why are they wrong? Play along on social media — remember to #T3BE with your answer!

Upcoming 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. Here’s the latest ruling from the 4th Circuit on the emoluments litigation.
  2. Don’t forgot to follow along with this week’s episode by reading the actual Mueller Report.

-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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OA323: LA Live Show QnA!

The live show in Los Angeles was an absolute blast. We had so much great content that we’re going to use it in bits and pieces here for the next few Tuesday shows. But if you’d like to hear the entire live show right away, and also hear the special intro Brian and Thomas cooked up for it, go to patreon.com/law right now!

-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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OA322: Blackouts, Taxes & House Rules

Today’s episode breaks down the recent news relating to (1) legal efforts to subpoena Donald Trump’s taxes, (2) the latest kerfuffle over the standing House rules and whether the impeachment inquiry is “unconstitutional” and “illegal” (it isn’t), with a bonus (3) rant about PG&E’s blackouts — excuse me, “public safety power shutoff events” in Northern California. Phew!

We begin with a discussion surrounding PG&E’s decision to shut off power for up to five days, affecting potentially two million people. These blackouts will have a tremendous economic and social cost — and may cost lives, as well. Why are they happening? What’s the law? Can we do anything about it? Listen and find out!

Then, it’s time for a deep dive into breaking legal news this week. You may have heard that a court ordered the release of Trump’s tax returns, and then that order was immediately appealed and blocked. What does it all mean and why? We dive deeply into this issue, and on the way you’ll learn about Younger abstention, § 1983 cases, and much, much more!

After that, it’s time for a look at the latest goalpost-moving excuse by the Republicans, this time the honestly-not-very-good argument that the impeachment inquiry is “illegal” unless authorized by the entire House of Representatives. Find out why this just isn’t so.

Then, it’s time for a follow-up #T3BE to last week’s child-on-thin-ice. This time, we want to know: can her parents sue the day care? Listen and find out!

Upcoming 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. Don’t forget Opening Arguments LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2019. Here is the link!!
  2. The “de-energization events” are authorized, at least implicitly, by Section 451 of the California Public Utilities Code, as further interpreted by recent rules. PG&E, of course, is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
  3. The anti-injunction act is 22 U.S.C. § 2283 , and you can brush up on Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) while you’re at it.
  4. We discussed the OLC memos in Episode 290, and then again in Episode 300.
  5. You should definitely read Judge Marrero’s order, even though it’s been appealed to the Second Circuit.
  6. Here are the standing House Rules (check out pp. 322-323), and the 2015 CRS report referenced during the 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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OA321: More on #Brexit

Today’s episode is an interview and a deep dive with British solicitor Emma McClure, who helps walk us through the recent activity regarding #Brexit and also gives us some signposts as to what’s next for our wacky neighbor across the pond.

This episode is a follow-up to our first #Brexit show, which was Episode 315. Find out what, if anything, Andrew got wrong in that show, while Emma also helps us break down the U.K. Supreme Court’s (shocking to Andrew) 11-0 decision that PM Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament was an abuse of his powers and done for an improper purpose. We compare legal systems and learn a ton about what law is like in England. You won’t want to miss this episode!

After the interview, we head back to a tricky #T3BE regarding a 12-year-old who sneaks out and falls in thin ice. This is one of those questions that Andrew admits he would have gotten wrong! Did Emma or Thomas manage to get it right?? Listen and find out!

Upcoming 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. Don’t forget Opening Arguments LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2019. Here is the link!!

-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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How To Shut Up Liars & Conspiracy Theorists

Yes, people are still arguing that ICIG Michael Atkinson — a Republican appointed by Donald Trump, by the way — “secretly gutted the requirement” that whistleblowers must file a complaint on the basis of first-hand knowledge in August of 2019, just before this whistleblower complaint was filed.

That’s a lie. Some people repeating it are just idiots, but others are very clearly deliberately lying to you.

Here’s ICWPA Form 401, which was last changed on May 24, 2018. You will observe on page 3 that it asks whistleblowers whether their information is from “personal and/or direct knowledge,” if “Other employees have told me about events or records involved,” or from “Other source(s)” (or a combination of some or all of those). Those last two are, by definition, hearsay,

Here’s a screenshot:

OA320: The (Idiotic) Hearsay Defense

Today’s episode is a must-listen, timely deep dive as to what exactly constitutes “hearsay” — and why the latest Republican talking points to discredit the whistleblower complaint as being “based on hearsay” are nonsense piled upon nonsense.

Remember that this your LAST CHANCE to come see Opening Arguments LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2019. Here is the link!!

We begin today’s show with an (unfortunately lengthy) Andrew Was Wrong segment about the Javelin missile, Al Gore’s non-tie-breaking non-vote in 1999, and more. But was Andrew actually right about anything? (Maybe one or two things.)

Then, it’s time for the main segment in which Andrew breaks down exactly why “hearsay” isn’t the same as “stuff you maybe kinda overheard in the neighborhood.” Learn what hearsay actually is, and why the latest round of unhinged Republican talking points are even more laughable than they seem.

After that, it’s time for a frenzied visit back to Yodel Mountain, where we explain exactly what happens next in the House impeachment investigation.

As a bonus, we tackle a question many of you asked on social media: what exactly does happen if President Trump is removed from office via impeachment? Could he run again?? Listen and find out!

We conclude, as always, with #T3BE, including next week’s guest, solicitor Emma McClure, and a wandering 12-year-old who falls through the ice.

Upcoming 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. Don’t forget Opening Arguments LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2019. Here is the link!!
  2. Here’s the latest news from The Guardian about the President committing bribery on national television. And yes, it’s bribery, 18 U.S.C. § 201(c)(1)(B) and not extortion or any other crime.
  3. Curious about that 1955 law review article summarizing that grand juries can issue indictments based on nothing but expert hearsay testimony? We’ve got you covered.
  4. And if you liked that, you probably also want to check out the Federal Rules of Evidence on hearsay, Rule 801 et seq.
  5. If you see anyone sharing the absolute lie propagated in the Federalist that the intel community “secretly gutted” the requirement that whistleblower complaints be based on first-hand knowledge, you can send them to the May 2018 form 401. If you need a quick response, just share out this graphic that clearly shows it’s a complete fabrication.
  6. Oh, and don’t forget to curl up with this subpoena served on Rudy Giuliani.

-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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OA319: Your Guide To Impeachment!

Today’s Deep Dive can’t help but stay high atop Yodel Mountain. We imagine that by the time you’re hearing this, the House will have voted to begin an impeachment inquiry. Curious about what that means, why it matters, and what happens next? Then this is the show for you!

Don’t forget Opening Arguments LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2019. Here is the link!!

We begin, however, with a brief update on #Brexit; no, we haven’t forgotten that our closest ally is also suffering under the weight of an insane leader hell-bent on a racist policy that everyone knows is an impending disaster. But unlike the U.S., it looks like the U.K. Supreme Court…. still understands the rule of law? What a novel concept.

Then, it’s time for a deep dive into impeachment, where we tackle:

  1. Exactly why President Trump’s conduct towards Ukraine in particular is so reprehensible;
  2. Why beginning an “impeachment inquiry” matters;
  3. What the Nixon articles of impeachment looked like;
  4. The Clinton impeachment timeline;
  5. ALL the ways Mitch McConnell and the Republicans can try and screw this up; and much, much more.

Then, it’s time for the answer to Friday’s #T3BE involving real property, and specifically, the condition to a contract requiring the buyer to procure a loan at 10% and whether that allows the seller to back out even if the buyer turns over the purchase price. Find out if Thomas got this one right!

Upcoming 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. Don’t forget Opening Arguments LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2019. Here is the link!!
  2. This is the Time reporting on Ukraine from which Andrew quoted; and this is the New York Times story about Manafort turning over polling data to Akhmetov.
  3. Politico first reported the OMB hold on aid to Ukraine on August 28, nearly a month ago.
  4. An ongoing proceeding makes it easier to prove obstruction of justice pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1505.
  5. Click here to read the Nixon articles of impeachment, and (show-note only bonus!) here to read the vote breakdown.
  6. We explained the “nuclear option” on Senate rules way back in Episode 59; these are the current Senate rules on impeachment (that can be modified at any time with this One Weird Trick).
  7. Finally, if you’re feeling super optimistic, remember we explained that Mitch McConnell can Mitch McConnell all of this in Episode 272.

-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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OA318: Quid Pro Quo Burger

Hooooo boy! Today’s episode breaks down the tipping point that finally got House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to back an impeachment inquiry: the now-disclosed whistleblower complaint that lays out exactly how Donald Trump abused our foreign policy to pressure a foreign leader to aid him in his 2020 re-election campaign. It’s every bit as bad as it looks, and we walk you through exactly what it means.

Don’t forget Opening Arguments LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2019. Here is the link!!

Here’s the topline: Acting DNI Maguire changed his story as to why he withheld the whistleblower complaint to a completely bogus claim of executive privilege. We’ll tell you why that won’t hold up. We’ll also answer:

  • What’s a TELCON, and do we have reasons to believe that the “transcript” of the President’s July 25 conversation with Ukranian President Zelenskyy was “Bill Barr”ed?
  • Are we at PEAK YODEL MOUNTAIN?
  • Did the Republicans really email their stupid talking points to Nancy Pelosi? And if so, how do we spot a hack? (Hint: he — and they’re pretty much all ‘he’s — will have an “R” after his name.)
  • What did we learn from Maguire’s testimony today, and how incriminating was it? (Very.)
  • What does the complaint say and how bad is it?
  • And finally — what are the FIVE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT Andrew thinks will be brought against this President?

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new #T3BE, this time a dreaded real property question that Thomas feels oddly confident about his answer. Do you share his optimism? Let us know!

Upcoming 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. Don’t forget Opening Arguments LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2019. Here is the link!!
  2. Remember that the operative statute requiring Maguire to have turned over the whistleblower complaint is 50 U.S.C. § 3033, and particularly subsection (k)(5).
  3. Here’s the New York Times reporting that Trump mentioned Giuliani way back in his first call to Zelenskyy on April 21, 2019.
  4. Extortion is 18 U.S.C. § 355(c)(2); treason is 18 U.S.C. § 2381, and neither are a good fit here.
  5. What laws are a good fit? Well, how about (a) illegal solicitation of a campaign contribution, 52 U.S.C. § 30121; (b) bribery, 18 U.S.C. § 201 ; (c) obstruction of justice, 18 U.S.C. § 1505, and much more??
  6. Finally, remember that we first discussed illegal campaign contributions back in Episode 116.

-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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OA317: North Carolina Rep. Christy Clark

Don’t forget Opening Arguments LIVE in Los Angeles, CA on October 12, 2019. Here is the link!!

North Carolina has been in the news and on OA a lot lately, so to help give us more context and on-the-ground info, we’re fortunate enough to get to speak to NC State Representative Christy Clark! We discuss the awful stunt Republicans pulled in order to override the Governor’s Veto, previously discussed in Episode 315. We also talk about gerrymandering, and Rep. Clark gives tells her inspiring story!

-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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