Transcript of OA360: The Tuesday Afternoon Massacre

Listen to the episode and read the show notes

Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 360.  Oh!  Nice number.  Good old 360. 

Andrew:         Yeah, the Babylonian year, right?

Thomas:         Sure. Yeah.

Andrew:         [Laughs]

Thomas:         I was just gonna say it’s like when I was a kid and you’d just try to jump and spin around in a full circle and be like “360!”  But yeah, you’re-

Andrew:         Oh, yeah!

Thomas:         Your reference too, exactly!

Continue reading “Transcript of OA360: The Tuesday Afternoon Massacre”

OA360: The Tuesday Afternoon Massacre

Today’s episode covers the “Tuesday Afternoon Massacre,” in which Donald Trump’s tweets prompted his sycophantic Attorney General, William Barr, to overrule career prosecutors and file a “Supplemental and Amended Sentencing Memorandum” reversing the government’s position from literally the day before in order to urge leniency on convicted criminal Roger Stone.

We begin, however, with a less-than-exhaustive (but exhausting) recitation of the various ways Trump has abused his power — and yes, committed crimes — in the mere eight days since he was acquitted during impeachment. From firing Lt. Col. Vindman to placing Barr in charge of all future “political investigations,” Trump is consolidating his now-seemingly limitless power to run the U.S. government as his private fiefdom, with no consequences whatsoever.

Then it’s time for our main segment, where we explain just how corrupt the “Supplemental and Amended Sentencing Memorandum” really is. Along the way, we explain Pre-Sentencing Reports (PSRs), the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and much, much more!

After all that, it’s time for a brand-new #T3BE that starts off as a question about hearsay before the curveball takes us down the question of witness impeachment. How will Thomas do? There’s only one way to find out! And remember that you can play along — just share out this episode on social media using the hashtag #T3BE and we’ll pick a winner!

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. You can check out the Barr memorandum on “political investigations” by clicking here, and Lindsey Graham’s confession here.
  2. Firing Lt. Col. Vindman is very clearly a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1513(e).
  3. We referenced Manafort’s nonsense “solitary confinement” claim that was refuted by the DOJ itself a year and a half ago in this filing.
  4. You can click here to read the DOJ’s initial sentencing memo, and click here to read the “Supplemental and Amended” memorandum filed the next day.

-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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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!

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.

-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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OA263: Nielsen v. Preap and Due Process Due Aliens

Today’s breaking news episode contains your guide to the hotly-debated Supreme Court decision in Nielsen v. Preap, regarding how and whether aliens can be detained without due process.  What does it all mean?  Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with a brief update on the Congressional Investigations we discussed in Episode 259 with the news that Hope Hicks will cooperate.  Listen to our past episode if you don’t realize how huge this is.

Then, we move on to some news regarding a recent order handed down by Judge Kollar-Kotelly in the District Court for the District of Columbia with respect to the trans ban.  We dive into the unique procedural issues giving rise to this order and tamp down on your enthusiasm that this may put the trans ban in jeopardy.

Then, it’s time for our main segment breaking down Nielsen v. Preap. We tell you exactly what this decision means along with the reasons why the Court reached the result it did.

But that’s not all!  After that, we have our weekly trip to Yodel Mountain with two items:  (1) an Andrew Was Right about the source of the National Enquirer‘s acquisition of compromising material about Jeff Bezos; and (2) a follow-up on the New York indictment of Paul Manafort.

And if all that isn’t enough for you, well, we end, as always, with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #119 involving long-term contracts for the sale of wheat.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

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. First discussed trans ban back in Episode OA: 247
2. We were assisted by Alice Ashton – trans Arabic linguist who contributed to the Advocate article located here and by Deirdre Anne Hendrick.
3. Here is a link to Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 19-004.
4. Pre Show: Hicks to cooperate. This is HUGE!
5. 1/4 – DC Cir. Reversed and vacated the injunction.
6. 1/22 – Supreme Court lifted the stays in two of those cases. We covered it the next day on Episode OA: 247.
7. Next day, on 3/8, the government filed a notice and this is the Plaintiffs’ response.
8. Here is the link DC Circuit’s Opinions issued 3/8
9. Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s 3/19 Order
10. 3/20 Gov’ts Motion to Clarify
11. Nielsen v. Preap is linked Here
12. 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a) vs. (c) – 1952
13. Demore v. Kim, 538 US 510 – Supreme Court 2003
14. Wall Street Journal article on Becker/Bezos
15. CHN article on the problems with New York’s double jeopardy.

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA261: Sentencing Paul Manafort

Today’s extra-long episode contains your guide to all of the developments involving Paul Manafort over the past week.  What does it all mean and what can we expect next?  Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with a brief update on Episode 247 now that the Department of Defense has issued a Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM 19-004) implementing the ban on transgender service in the military.  With the help of some friends of the show, we break down the most pressing issues on the near horizon.

Then, it’s time for All Things Manafort (TM), which sneakily includes a deep dive into exactly how the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines came into effect, when they were mandatory, how they became advisory, and what the hell happened in the Eastern District of Virginia.

But that’s not all!  After that, we have a discussion on when sentences should run consecutively versus concurrently, and how that interacts with Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s sentencing decision in Manafort’s DC case.

AND we also have breaking news regarding new state charges brought against Manafort as soon as both federal sentences were handed down.

And if that’s not enough for you, well, we end, as always, with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #118 that’s a dreaded real property question.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

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. First discussed trans ban back in Episode OA: 247
  2. We were assisted by Alice Ashton – trans Arabic linguist who contributed to the Advocate article located here and by Deirdre Anne Hendrick.
  3. Here is a link to Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 19-004.
  4. This is the Feb. 22, 2018 Mattis directive.
  5. Here are the DSM-5 guidelines on gender dysphoria
  6. We first discussed the Sentencing Guidelines in Episode OA: 162.
  7. The accompanying statute is 18 U.S.C. §3553.
  8. For a primer on “variances” versus downward departures, check out the Sentencing Commission guidelines.
  9. Judge Ellis transcript can be found here.
  10. Concurrent/consecutive is governed by 18 U.S.C. § 3554.
  11. Manafort’s NY State indictment involves Residential Mortgage Fraud 1st degree (4 counts) under Penal Law § 187.25 and Falsifying Business Records 1st Degree (8 counts) under §175.10.
  12. We discussed Gamble v. U.S. in Episode Episode OA: 215.

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA257.5 Michael Cohen Testifies, Part 2

Today’s episode continues our breakdown of ex-Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House of Representatives and all the Yodel Mountain implications that stem from it that we started in Episode 257.  What’s next?  Listen and find out!

We begin where we left off — with Michael Cohen.  Find out how Cohen’s testimony (and documents) implicate our favorite legal genius, Stormy Daniels!

After that, it’s time to check in on Roger Stone’s former flunky, Andrew Miller, and his quixotic quest to undo the Mueller investigation.  That effort was just slapped down by the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and we’ve got the full opinion covered for you.

Then, it’s time to check in on an odd development in the sentencing saga of Paul Manafort.  What does the government’s latest (redacted) filing portend?  We’re not entirely sure… but we want you to know what we know.

And then — after all that! — we  end with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #116 regarding a rather odd traffic accident.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances
Andrew was just a guest on HBO’s Vice News!  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. Here are the documents Michael Cohen brought to Congress.
2. Marcy Wheeler’s article: How Trump Suborns Perjury.
3. DC Circuit’s opinion in Andrew Miller’s In Re: Grand Jury appeal.
4. Court’s sua sponte order.
5. Government’s sentencing memo in Manafort’s DC trial.
6. Manafort’s response memo.
7. Government’s Supplemental heavily redacted memo.

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com


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OA255: Wall of Emergency

Today’s episode breaks down Trump’s recent declaration of a state of national emergency as a pretext to build his big, dumb wall.  What’s being done about it?  What can be done about it?  Listen and find out!

We begin, however, with a trip up Yodel Mountain to observe one of its most bizarre members, Roger Stone, who recently posted a “notice of apology” after having uploaded a picture to Instagram of Judge Jackson with a reticule nearby.  What does this mean for the gag order entered in his case?   We tell all — even before the court ruled!

Next, it’s time for our main segment about the wall.  Andrew breaks down exactly where the funding is going to come from, and details all the lawsuits to try and block it.  We end the segment, of course, with a (pessimistic) prediction.

Then, it’s time for even more yodeling.  Is the Mueller investigation really coming to an end? If so, what’s next?  And what about

We end, as always, with a brand new Thomas Takes the Bar Exam Question #115 about offers to compromise.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances
Andrew was just a guest on Episode 87 of the So Here’s My Story podcast; go check it out!  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. Stone’s notice of apology.
2. Stone’s original partial gag order.
3. 18 U.S. Code § 1512: Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant.
4. The Emergency Declaration.
5. The Presidential Border Security Victory Proclamation
6. Episode OA 243: BUILD THAT WALL!! where we first discussed states of emergency.
7. The Landowners lawsuit filed in DC, Sierra Club/ACLU lawsuit, and finally the California lawsuit filed by 16 states discussed in the show: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia.
8. 31 U.S.C. § 9703 (TFF).
9. Department of the Treasury Forfeiture Fund.
10. 10 U.S. Code § 284 – Support for counterdrug activities and activities to counter transnational organized crime.
11. 10 U.S. Code § 2808 – Construction authority in the event of a declaration of war or national emergency – discussed in OA: 243 and “Military construction” defined in 10 U.S.C. § 2801(a).
12. Cummings report on Saudi Arabia.
13. Manafort sentencing discussed DC in OA 253: Religious Freedom and Domineque Ray
14. The transcript of Judge Jackson’s findings on Manafort’s lies
15. Manafort gets a 38 in the E.D.Va sentencing memo
16. Cohen to testify publicly before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 27th.

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com

 

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OA253: Religious Freedom and Domineque Ray

Today’s episode tackles the recent Dunn v. Ray decision in which the Supreme Court used a procedural mechanism to allow the State of Alabama to execute a devout Muslim without affording him the same sorts of religious freedom they do to Christian inmates.  Is it as bad as it looks? (Yes.)

We begin, however, with an unfortunate Andrew Was Wrong (and a promise to get better)!

Then, it’s time for a depressing deep dive into Dunn v. Ray and what ‘religious freedom’ actually means to this Supreme Court.

After that, it’s time for a trip to Yodel Mountain where we review the latest ruling from Judge Amy Berman Jackson about exactly how big a liar Paul Manafort is.  (Hint:  yuge.)  What does this mean for a potential Manafort pardon, and does the federal system have parole?  Listen and find out!

We end, as always, with a brand new Thomas (& AG!) Take the Bar Exam Question #114 about whether banks own everything.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!

Appearances

Andrew was just a guest on S3E6 of the fabulous Mueller, She Wrote podcast; go check it out! 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. Supreme Court – Dunn v. Ray order
2. 11th Circuit ruling in Dunn v. Ray
3. We discussed Manafort’s plea on Episode OA: 211
4. Text of Manafort plea deal
5. Judge Jackson’s determination
6. 18 U.S.C. § 3624 Release of a prisoner (b) Credit Toward Service of Sentence for Satisfactory Behavior

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, which now has its own Twitter feed!  @oawiki

And email us at openarguments@gmail.com


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OA231: The End of the Beginning (for Trump)

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” – Winston Churchill.  And yes, today does, in fact, mark the end of the beginning of the Mueller Investigation… and perhaps for Donald Trump.  Why?  You’ll just have to listen and find out!

In this super-sized episode, we tackle:

(1) Michael Cohen’s just-announced plea to a new count of lying — this time in connection with his prior testimony before the Senate and House Intelligence Committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 elections;

(2) A follow-up on Andrew Miller and Concord Management and Consulting, including a fascinating new blog written by Randall Eliason with Yodel Mountain implications;

(3) Paul Manafort’s apparent repudiation of his plea deal with Mueller, what that means and when we’ll know;

(4) Jerome Corsi’s public refusal to plead and cooperate with the Mueller investigation over WikiLeaks and Julian Assange; and

(5) An update in the Brain Frosh

Finally, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #103 on a property owner who has the rug pulled out from under him due to a new law.   If you’d like to play along with us, 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!

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. Click here to read the new Information to which Cohen pled guilty to today.
  2. This is the BuzzFeed article on Cohen, Felix Sater, and Trump’s efforts to get a building in Moscow over the past 30 years.  Oh, and here’s a link to Trump’s tweet that he has “ZERO INVESTMENTS IN RUSSIA.
  3. We discussed the Andrew Miller lawsuit in OA 229; you’ll definitely want to read the two new filings: Silbey’s supplemental amicus “letter”, and Christenson’s… something.
  4. You’ll definitely want to check out Randall Eliason’s blog analyzing the Concord Management and Consulting lawsuit and what it means for 18 U.S.C. § 371 conspiracy charges (of the sort that might be filed against Trump).
  5. Here’s Manafort’s original plea deal, and this is the Joint Status Report filed earlier this week. Oh, and this is Manafort’s waiver of his right to appear at the scheduling conference.
  6. This is the Marcy Wheeler article we broke down; for the other side, here’s the Wall Street Journal report suggesting Manafort lied about non-Trump-related personal business dealings.
  7. This is the Guardian article connecting Manafort to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks; here is the fantastic Washington Post article and timeline on what that means if true.
  8. Here’s Corsi’s draft deal with Manafort that he rejected.
  9. Finally, we discussed the Brian Frosh lawsuit against Matthew Whitaker in Episode 227; you can now read the amicus brief filed by 15 state attorneys general.  Phew!

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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OA220: Carter Page, Clownhorn

Today’s Rapid Response Tuesday takes an in-depth look at OA’s new favorite clownhorn, Carter Page, and his delightfully mad lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee, the law firm of Perkins Coie, and (I think) the Ancient Order of the Illuminati.  Strap in!

We begin with some good ol’-fashioned yodeling, with a roundup of stories with Yodel Mountain implications, including (1) the report that Mueller’s probe will conclude after the midterms; (2) Paulie Manafort’s latest motion; (3) the departure of White House counsel Don McGahn; and (4) some news regarding Michael Avenatti’s White House run in 2020.

Then — oh man — it’s time for a deep dive into Carter Page’s lawsuit regarding this September 23, 2016 Yahoo news story, written by esteemed reporter Michael Isikoff, that Mr. Page delightfully believes is defamatory.

After all that, we end with an all new Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #98 regarding constitutional law standards for a group home.  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. This is the Bloomberg News article suggesting that Mueller’s probe will conclude after the midterms.
  2. You can click here to read Judge Ellis’s order denying Manafort’s motion to appear in street clothes.
  3. This is the New York Times story on McGahn’s departure.
  4. Click here to read the FEC data on Michael Avenatti’s Fight PAC.
  5. This is the Sep. 23, 2016 Yahoo story
  6. This is the Carter Page lawsuit, which you absolutely must read.  Oh, and check out the (heavily redacted) FISA application showing that the FBI believes Page to have been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.
  7. This is the September 23, 2016 Isikoff story in Yahoo that Page believes is defamatory; we also referenced Page’s trip to Moscowthe terrorism statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2332b, and, of course, the fact that Page previously sued Yahoo over this exact same story and lost.

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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