Tag Archives: Mueller investigation

OA206: Will This ONE WEIRD TRICK Unravel the Mueller Investigation?

Today’s episode takes us back to Yodel Mountain, where we take a look at a popular article making the rounds suggesting that (you guessed it) this ONE WEIRD TRICK might unravel the entire Mueller investigation.  Should you be worried? (No.)

We begin, however, with the rare (but delightful!) Thomas Was Right segment revisiting 3-D guns and the Arms Export Control Act.  What’s going on?  Listen and find out!

In the main segment, we take apart this Politico story suggesting that McKeever v. Sessions hold the key to Yodel Mountain.

After that, we tour what’s left of Yodel Mountain to discuss the latest developments with our buddy Paulie M.  Did he really try to plead out in advance of his next trial?  What’s next on the horizon for everyone’s favorite ostrich-vest-wearing money launderer?

Then, we end with Thomas (and Andrew!) Take the Bar Exam Question #91 regarding the separation of church and state and graduation prayers.  Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent 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 injunction granted in the 3-D guns case.
  2. This is the Politico story regarding McKeever v. Sessions.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA204: The Perjury Trap (w/guest Randall Eliason)

Today’s episode welcomes back one of our favorite guest experts, former prosecutor and current law professor Randall Eliason of the Sidebars blog, who will help us break down what exactly a “perjury trap” is — and whether Robert Mueller is laying one for the President.

Of course, when we have a guest this good, we also have to take advantage of his expertise in a couple of other areas.  So we begin by checking in on the news of the day:  Mueller has already reportedly offered immunity to David Pecker, the CEO of the National Inquirer, whom we discussed at great length on Episode 203 in connection with the Cohen plea.

After that, we delve into Rudy Giuliani’s contention that Mueller is laying a “perjury trap” for the President.  Is that a thing?  Is that what he’s doing?  Listen and find out!

After that, we revisit the issue of reporters and confidential sources, where Professor Eliason has been a consistent voice opposing a federal privilege.  Is that a view he still holds?  There’s only one way to know for sure!

Finally, it’s time for the answer to Thomas Takes the Bar Exam, where our intrepid hero tries to inch closer to the coveted 60% mark with a question about torts.  Remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Recent 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. Prof. Eliason first guested on the show way back in Episode 70.
  2. Here is the link to the NPR interview with Prof. Eliason discussed on the show.
  3. To read more of Prof. Eliason’s work, click here to visit the Sidebars blog.
  4. Here is a transcript of Prof. Eliason’s statement on reporter’s privilege in the age of Trump.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

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Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA195: Lordy, There Are Tapes!

Today’s Rapid Response Friday breaks down all of a busy week’s developments in the Trump Administration’s trip up Yodel Mountain, including the surprising revelation that Michael Cohen has audio tapes of his conversations with Donald Trump.  What does it all mean?  Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with a challenging listener question regarding legal ethics and summer associates that hearkens back to our last episode.

The main segment tackles an entire week’s worth of yodeling, including the Cohen tapes, the emoluments lawsuit, and the Manafort trial.  Phew!

After that, we check in with our buddy Andrew Seidel from the FFRF about a recent victory in the 9th Circuit regarding prayers at public school board meetings.

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #86 involving the questionable sale of a used car.  If you’d like to play along, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent 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 to tune in to our live Q&A this Tuesday, 7/31, at 7 pm Eastern / 4 Pacific.  And, of course, participate in the questions thread!
  2. Here’s the Reuters report that there are 12 Cohen-Trump tapes; we’ve heard just part of the first one regarding Karen McDougal, whom we first discussed back in Episode 158.
  3. You can read the Emoluments ruling for yourself; we covered this most recently back in Episodes 160 and 162.  For our original two-part interview with Seth Barrett Tillman, check out Episodes 35 and 36.
  4. Some documents from the Manafort trial:  2018.07.22 Yanukovich govt response2018.07.20 Yanukovich motion in limine2018.07.25 orders on motions in limine; and 2018.07.26 government jury response.  And, of course, you should take a look at the government’s Exhibit List.
  5. We discussed the “Bernie Sanders” lawsuit against the DNC back in Episode 106.
  6. Finally, for some good news, check out the 9th Circuit’s opinion in FFRF v. Chino Valley Unified School District; we discussed Town of Greece v. Galloway in Episode 85.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA193: This Is Worse Than Watergate – PLUS Mandalay Bay Suing Victims?

Today’s Rapid Response Friday breaks down the recent lawsuit filed by the Mandalay Bay casino regarding the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.  Is it true that the casino is suing the victims?  What’s that all about??  Listen and find out!  Also, we check in with Yodel Mountain and figure out, once and for all, if this is really worse than Watergate.  (Hint:  yes.)

We begin, however, with everybody’s favorite segment, Andrew Was Wrong, in which we revisit the Supreme Court with a few corrections.

The main segment tackles the Mandalay Bay lawsuit and explains the concept of a declaratory judgent as well as the 2002 SAFETY Act upon which Mandalay Bay is attempting to rely.

Next, we return to Yodel Mountain to discuss the recent Mueller indictments, Donald Trump’s Treason Summit with Russia, and ingenue Mariia Butina.  It’s as salacious as OA ever gets!

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #85 involving (ugh) real property.  If you’d like to play along, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

If you didn’t see Andrew’s live appearance on Left-Right Radio with Chuck Morse, you can check out the YouTube archive of it.  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. This is the link to the 2011 Ethics Report authored by Chief Justice John Roberts.
  2. Here’s the Above The Law article we mentioned at the start of the main segment.
  3. We’ve uploaded a copy of the MGM/Mandalay Bay lawsuit so you can read it for yourself.
  4. The SAFETY Act can be found at 6 U.S.C. § 441 et seq., and the implementing regulations are at 6 CFR § 25.7.
  5. We discussed the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report in Episode 190.
  6. Here’s the link to the Mother Jones article about Butina documenting the claims made in the C segment.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

For show-related questions, check out the Opening Arguments Wiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA182: Paul Manafort is Going to Prison

**Today’s episode is brought to you by The Great Courses Plus! Go to thegreatcoursesplus.com/OA to start your free month!**

Today’s Rapid Response Friday spends a lot of time on Yodel Mountain, and in particular evaluating whether Paul Manafort is headed to prison for violating the terms of his pre-trial release as per 18 U.S.C. § 3148(b)(1)(A).  You’ll know soon enough, but we’re predicting that Paulie M is headed to prison.

Of course, no trip to Yodel Mountain has just a single stop, so we also discuss the late-breaking New York state lawsuit filed against Donald Trump, his kids, and the Trump Foundation; the status of the media’s efforts to unseal the Mueller documents, and much, much more!

After that lengthy trip to Yodel Mountain, we also update you on the recent court decision upholding the AT&T / Time Warner merger first discussed in Episode 128.

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #80 which asks how a court would rule in a convoluted case involving car-washing, sudden deep freezes, and incompetent trial attorneys.  Have we piqued your interest yet?  Listen and find out!  And if you’d like to play along , just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess and the #TTTBE hashtag.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

Andrew was recently a guest on the David Pakman Show, with a two-part appearance discussing whether President Trump can be indicted and if so, whether he can pardon himself.  You can watch the video on YouTube.

Show Notes & Links

  1. Click here to read the just-filed New York state lawsuit against Donald Trump, his kids, and the Trump Foundation.
  2. Here’s the government’s motion to revoke Paul Manafort’s pretrial release pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3148(b)(1)(A) ; here’s the superseding indictment; and here’s Manafort’s response to the government’s motion.  Witness tampering is a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 1512.
  3. You can read the primary case relied upon by Manafort’s lawyers, U.S. v. Edlind, 887 F.3d 166 (4th Cir. 2018) for yourself.
  4. A (federal) criminal motion for a “bill of particulars” is governed by Rule 7(f) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.  You can also check out Judge Jackson’s Order denying Manafort’s Motion for Bill of Particulars,
  5. We first discussed the press’s motion to unseal the Mueller investigation documents in Episode 168; now you can read the Media Coalition Response brief to the government and Manafort’s separate objections to unsealing the documents.
  6. We broke down the AT&T/Time Warner merger in Episode 128, and you can read Judge Leon’s Order Approving the Merger.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA170: All Yodel, All the Time

Well, it’s another Rapid Response Friday, and we’re here with everything you need to know about Yodel Mountain, including:

  • Breaking news regarding the wiretap of Michael Cohen’s office several weeks before the search warrant issued and that the SDNY has at least one conversation between Cohen and Trump
  • Rudy Giuliani’s rather bizarre appearance on Hannity, during which he admitted that President Trump is DD and paid Michael Cohen back for the $130,000 in hush money paid to Stormy Daniels — directly contradicting the President’s own earlier statement
  • Whether the repayment scheme alleged by Giuliani (a) makes sense and/or (b) constitutes money laundering
  • The “leaked questions” regarding Mueller’s efforts to interview Trump
  • Trump’s decision to replace Ty Cobb with Emmett Flood
  • The House Freedom Caucus’s efforts to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; and, of course
  • Stormy Daniels’s latest defamation lawsuit against President Trump

Our tip to journalists — the  question you want to ask is “What ‘information’ does Stormy Daniels have under Paragraph 2.1 of the Agreement?”

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas (and next week’s guest Andrew Seidel) Take The Bar Exam #74 that’s not about real property, but is instead about the rules of evidence and whether a particular line of questioning is permissible.  If you’d like to play along, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on Episode 141 of the God Awful Movies podcast, reviewing “Cries of the Unborn.”  Check it out!

Show Notes & Links

  1. We first discussed how unhinged Rudy Giuliani is way back in Episode 13, “Hillary Clinton’s Damned Emails” — which is one of our all-time favorites.
  2. This is the not-to-be-missed Laura Ingraham reaction video to Giuliani’s Hannity appearance, which led to this set of tweets from the President.
  3. The money-laundering statute is 18 U.S.C. § 1956.
  4. This is the New York Times article we mentioned that breaks down the political implications of the switch from Cobb to Flood, and here is the list of questions Mueller wants to ask Trump.
  5. Finally, this is the Stormy Daniels defamation complaint.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA168: Michael Cohen Takes Five

In the main segment, we discuss the intersection between the Paul Manafort criminal trial and the public’s right to know about the Mueller investigation.  Oh, and … isn’t there a bill pending to protect Mueller?  We break down that, too.

But we’re not done!  After that we delve into all things Michael Cohen, including his efforts to stay the California civil suit and his less-than-likely efforts to stay out of criminal trouble in New York.  If you love Stormy Daniels — and who doesn’t? — you won’t want to miss it.

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #73 about landlord-tenant-friend relationships.  If you’d like to play along, just retweet our episode on Twitter or share it on Facebook along with your guess.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent 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. From our grab bag:  here is a link to the Kobach memo that’s PROBABLY NOT WORTH ARGUING; this is the New York Post report on the hilarious Make America Great Again bar lawsuit; and this is the link to all the gun control bills passed in Maryland.
  2. Click here if you want to read the Comey memos.
  3. We first discussed the Manafort trial back in Episode 118; this is the Government’s Memorandum in Opposition to Manafort’s Motion to Suppress, and here is the press motion to unseal portions of the Mueller investigation.  Oh, and this is Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988), discussed during the show.
  4. Here’s the link to the Washington Post article reporting that Trump has conceded that Michael Cohen “represents me with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal.”  In this segment, we discuss Kastigar v. U.S., 406 U.S. 441 (1972).
  5. Finally, you can click here to read the government’s status report filed in Cohen’s New York investigation.

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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OA160: Schrodinger’s Andrew

In this rapid-response episode, Thomas and Andrew take a look at the things Andrew Was Right about over the past few weeks (yay!) as well as the things Andrew Was Wrong about (boo!).  It’s Schrödinger’s Andrew Day!

In the pre-show segment, the guys go through the scenario for all of our Opening Arguments Community March Madness potential winners.  After that, it’s time for Andrew Was Right! (TM).  We cover the Alex van der Zwaan sentencing memorandum and what it means for Yodel Mountain, as well as both the Amended Complaint and the Motion for Expedited Trial filed by our next Attorney General, Stormy Daniels.  You won’t want to miss it!

After that, it’s time for Andrew Was Wrong (TM), in Andrew owns up to a few corrections about Watergate and revisits the emoluments lawsuit discussed way back in Episode 78.  Andrew was skeptical then; has he changed his mind?

Finally, we end with an all-new TTTBE #69 that questions your knowledge of the “firefighter’s rule” and whether it protects cops who get sideswiped.  Remember that you can play along with #TTTBE by retweeting our episode on Twitter or sharing it on Facebook along with your guess.  We’ll release the answer on next Tuesday’s episode along with our favorite entry!

Recent Appearances

Andrew was recently a guest on Episode 255 of the Phil Ferguson Show and Episode 96 of the Naked Mormonism Podcast.  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. This is the Alex van der Zwaan sentencing memorandum; he pled guilty to 18 U.S.C. § 1001.  You can click here to read the Christopher Miller story suggesting that “Person A” is Konstantin Kilimnik.
  2. This is the Amended Complaint filed by Stormy Daniels; you can also read the Notice of Removal filed by EC and the Motion for Expedited Trial filed by Daniels.
  3. Stormy’s expedited trial motion is pursuant to 9 U.S.C. § 4.
  4. This is the Washington Post article on Alexander Butterfield, which is definitely worth a read.
  5. Here’s the District Court’s opinion in the emoluments litigation, which we first discussed back in Episode 78.
  6. If you want to dive more into emoluments, you can read Mississippi v. Johnson, 71 U.S. 475 (1867), or listen to our two-parter with originalist Seth Barrett Tillman:  Episode 35 (Part 1) and Episode 36 (Part 2).

Support us on Patreon at:  patreon.com/law

Follow us on Twitter:  @Openargs

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/openargs/

Don’t forget the OA Facebook Community!

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com



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