OA70: Donald Trump & Obstruction of Justice – Are We at the Peak of Yodel Mountain?

This episode begins the switch to a new, more responsive format in which we are better able to cover breaking news within a day of its release.  And, of course, what better way to kick off that format by addressing the most pressing topic of the moment:  is Donald Trump guilty of obstruction of justice in his firing of James Comey in light of the recent evidence?  We break it down for you with the help of a guest expert, Prof. Randall Eliason of the Sidebars blog.

First, though, we continue our ascent up Yodel Mountain with the question as to whether it’s legal for Donald Trump to surreptitiously record White House conversations (as Press Secretary Sean Spicer recently failed to deny).

In the main segment, the guys turn to a former prosecutor and expert on public corruption and the obstruction of justice, Prof. Randall Eliason, and ask about the strengths and weaknesses of mounting a case against the President for obstruction of justice.

After that, Andrew answers a question from Jake (the Fake Jake) who wants to know whether the President has immunity from civil lawsuits, as he’s claimed.

Finally, we end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam question #24 about hearsay-within-hearsay.  Remember that TTTBE issues a new question every Friday, followed by the answer on next Tuesday’s show.  Don’t forget to play along by following our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and/or our Facebook Page and quoting the Tweet or Facebook Post that announces this episode along with your guess and reason(s)!

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Show Notes & Links

  1. Check out Prof. Eliason’s blog, Sidebars, and in particular the most recent post on this subject.
  2. Here is the link to the L.A. Times story about how Press Secretary Sean Spicer won’t deny that President Trump is secretly taping White House conversations, and this is the link to the operative statute, § 23-542 of the D.C. Code.
  3. This is the text of Acting AG Rod Rosenstein’s order appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel.
  4. The operative regulations governing the special counsel can be found at 28 CFR § 600.4 et seq.
  5. This is a link to the CNN story regarding Gen. Flynn’s refusal to comply with the Senate’s subpoena duces tecum.
  6. Finally, here is a link to Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1997), the Supreme Court case that established that Presidents do not have immunity from civil suit while in office.

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