OA277: The Republican Civil War

Today’s episode breaks down everything you need to know about what’s going to happen with the House Judiciary Committee’s vote to recommend holding Bill Barr in contempt of Congress. Is this all going to go nowhere in a Trump-dominated executive and a right-wing judiciary? Find out why Andrew’s optimistic, and why he calls the underlying dynamic the coming Republican Civil War! All that and we revisit the Republican Andrew called the “key to the apex of Yodel Mountain” over a year ago!

We begin, however, with a big MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner: you did it! Opening Arguments listeners opened up bar complaints with the Florida Bar about Congressman and nasty little troll Matt Gaetz, and now he faces a state bar disciplinary proceeding.

He’s not the only one, either; we got breaking news today that Paulie Manafort has indeed been disbarred by the District of Columbia!

During the main segment, we break down (1) the contempt recommendation by the House Judiciary committee and exactly what is going to happen next; (2) what the House’s “inherent sanctions” powers are, and whether they can really sic the Sergeant-at-Arms on Bill Barr (hint: yes!); (3) assertions of executive privilege; and (4) the Republican Senate Intelligence Committee’s subpoena of Donald Trump Jr. Is Richard Burr (R-NC) the next In Rod We Trust? Listen and find out… and brace yourself for the coming Republican Civil War!

After all that, it’s time for a Thomas Takes the Bar Exam featuring special guest Andrew Seidel. Together, the two sit in for an evidence question about the admissibility of prior bad acts. Brush up on your “Ol’ Switcheroo” law and play along with us for #TTTBE!


Andrew was just a guest on Episode 194 of God Awful Movies, reviewing the Law’d Awful Movie “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer.” And 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. Check out the news about Matt Gaetz’s investigation in the Tampa Bay Times.
  2. If you love old-timey law review articles, this University of Pennsylvania Law Review one about Congress’s inherent sanctions power from 1925 is pretty fun! Or, if you’d rather something from this millennium, check out the 2007 Chafetz article we discuss on the show.
  3. The crime Bill Barr has committed is a violation of 2 U.S.C. ยง 192.
  4. We discuss how this exact same scenario has already played out before in Committee on the Judiciary v. Miers, 558 F.Supp.2d 53 (2008).
  5. AAG Boyd cited this 1982 Reagan memo, but conveniently forgot to cite this 1984 OLC opinion that definitively shows he’s full of it.
  6. Finally, we first discussed the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Russian interference written by Sen. Burr back in Episode 190.

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