Transcript of OA320: The (Idiotic) Hearsay Defense

Listen to the episode and read the show notes

Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 320!  Heh!  320, huh, Andrew?

Andrew:         [Laughs]  Is that a thing?

Thomas:         I was gonna see if I could try to make you fall for it-

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Thomas:         Of course it’s not.  That’s a joke that you’re a precious cinnamon bun.  How’s it going Andrew Torrez?

Continue reading “Transcript of OA320: The (Idiotic) Hearsay Defense”

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

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:

-Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

-Facebook:, 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!

Download Link