Transcript of OA341: Articles of Impeachment (& Espinoza)

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Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 341, I’m Thomas, that’s Andrew.  How’re you doing, Andrew?

Andrew:         I am spectacular, Thomas!  How are you?

Thomas:         Ah, doing great.  I can’t wait for today’s episode, I wanna learn more about impeachment, and I also love that you’ve slotted our Wild Card segment that [Laughing] we haven’t been able to get to for, I dunno, a month.

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Thomas:         You’ve slotted that into the A Segment to make sure we get to this good listeners question.  But before all that, a quick 35-minutes on my Fantasy Football birth.

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Continue reading “Transcript of OA341: Articles of Impeachment (& Espinoza)”

OA341: Articles of Impeachment (& Espionza)

Today’s episode breaks down the Articles of Impeachment currently being debated in the House Judiciary Committee. Find out Andrew’s disappointment, the hidden clause that lets the Senate consider Mueller evidence (if they want), and what these articles can’t let the Senate evaluate in determining whether to impeach Trump. You won’t want to miss it! Oh, and also, you’ll get a mini-deep-dive on the Espinoza decision and so much more!

We begin with an important listener question about whether Donald Trump could plead the 5th Amendment during the impeachment process. The answer might surprise you — and you’ll enjoy the deep dive into the Constitutional protections against self-incrimination.

Then, during the main segment, we tackle the two articles of impeachment in depth, evaluating what crime(s) the articles consider, how they respond to the Republican arguments, and much, much more.

After that, we’re excited to bring you a segment in which law students can win up to $10,000 in an essay-writing contest that also gives you a chance to make a real difference in a case pending before the Supreme Court, Espinoza v. Montana Dep’t of Revenue.

Then, of course, it’s time for another #T3BE, this time about a homeowner who paints over some water damage. Is there a viable reason for the buyer to rescind the contract, or is it “buyer beware”? Listen and play along on social media!

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. Our opening segment discusses the 1957 Supreme Court case of Watkins v. U.S. and also references this 1956 law review article.
  2. Our omnibus impeachment explainer is Episode 319 (you can also read the transcript for that episode).
  3. This is the text of Rep. Nadler’s proposed two articles of impeachment.
  4. Finally, if you’re a law student, please do check out the FFRF essay contest! Resources: (a) Art. X, Sec. 6 of the Montana Constitution; (b) Montana Code Ann. § 15-30-3101 et seq.; and (c) the FFRF amicus brief in Espinoza.
  5. Also, don’t forget that we broke down Trinity Lutheran before the Supreme Court ruled way back in Episodes 14, 17, and 18, and then dissected the travesty of an opinion in Episodes 82 and 85. Phew!

-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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Transcript of OA339: Who is Jonathan Turley, Anyway?

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Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 339.  I am Thomas Smith, that’s Andrew Torrez.  How’re you doing Andrew?

Andrew:         I am fantastic Thomas, how are you?

Thomas:         I’m great!  You know, we have so much to talk about today, so many good segments that I’m not even going to mention the fact that I have my 27th consecutive cold in a row.

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Thomas:         Not even gonna bring it up!

Continue reading “Transcript of OA339: Who is Jonathan Turley, Anyway?”

OA339: Who is Jonathan Turley, Anyway?

Today’s episode is a timely impeachment-themed deep dive into the testimony of George Washington University law professor — and legitimate legal scholar — Jonathan Turley before the House Judiciary Committee. How should you evaluate his arguments? We walk you through them, of course!

We begin, however, with a new segment: the Wingnut Lightning Round(TM), in which we evaluate — or rather, make fun of — two preposterous new lawsuits filed this week by two complete idiots.

After that, it’s time for an #AndrewWasWrong about Ronald Burris, the interim Senator nominated by Rod Blagojevich to fill Barack Obama’s unexpired Senate seat. Find out the twists and turns to this rather fascinating story as a side bonus to Andrew’s well-deserved comeuppance.

Then, it’s time for the main segment: the news that the House is going to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump despite the testimony of Jonathan Turley. How do the lone Republican-called witness’s arguments stack up? (Hint: they’re not good.) Surely the Republicans wouldn’t have called someone who’s on the record saying the exact opposite of what he’s presently saying 20 years ago, right? (Guess.)

After all that, it’s time for a fiendishly hard #T3BE about a trial, a videotape, and a jogging plaintiff. You won’t want to miss it — and you’ll want to play along!

Appearances

Thomas was just the main guest on Episode 498 of the Cognitive Dissonance podcast, and Thomas and Andrew make additional appearances to roast and be roasted for Vulgarity for Charity. 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. Oh man, you just have to read batshit-crazy Rep. Devin Nunes’s eleventy million trillion dollar lawsuit against CNN.
  2. For more of the Roland Burris story, check out Wikipedia.
  3. Click here to read Turley’s testimony for yourself.

-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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Transcript of OA337: How to Talk to Your (Republican) Family About Impeachment

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 337.  Gobble, gobble, gobble!  I’m Thomas-

Andrew:         [Laughs]

Thomas:         -that’s Andrew.  How’re ya doing?

Andrew:         Gobble gobble to you, Thomas!  Happy Thanksgiving, we’re gonna get this episode out a little bit early for listeners so that if you have a long commute on Thursday out to visit your family you’ll have something to keep you company and maybe we’ll have some guidelines for how to have a productive conversation with your Republican family over Thanksgiving.  I think that’s kind of our goal for this episode, right?

Thomas:         Yeah, I think we’re gonna touch on the controversial stuff, like for example, mashed potatoes: skins in or out?  I think there’s no more contentious – I mean, there’s impeachment all that crap, but-

Andrew:         Yeah, but obviously that’s a skins out.

Thomas:         Oh thank god!

Andrew:         You’ve gotta use a-

Thomas:         Oh thank god, okay, finally!  We don’t have to have a big public fight, Andrew and I agree on the correct opinion.  Look, I’m not throwing mashed potatoes with skins out of bed, [Laughs]

Andrew:         No, that’s right! 

Thomas:         I mean I’ll eat them, but…

Continue reading “Transcript of OA337: How to Talk to Your (Republican) Family About Impeachment”

OA337: How to Talk to Your (Republican) Family About Impeachment

Share this episode with your (open-minded) Republican friends, family, and co-workers! We’re happy to bring you this Thanksgiving Special a day early in which we break down the latest “trial balloon” defense of Trump’s conduct: that Trump was actually encouraging a legitimate investigation into a top-secret conspiracy in Ukraine to hack the DNC servers in 2016 and throw the election to Hillary Clinton. If you don’t know what “CrowdStrike” and “Chalupa” mean, you won’t want to miss this one!

We begin on that key issue, breaking down the sole legal issue at stake in impeachment — bribery — and exactly what Congress needs to show in order to impeach and remove the President from office. From there, we turn to the next likely defense from Trumpland and explain exactly why it is bananas-in-pajamas-level bonkers.

After that lengthy breakdown, it’s time to check in on the status of various lawsuits seeking to compel witnesses to appear before various House committees. What’s going on, and is there any cause for optimism? Listen and find out!

Then, as always, it’s time for #T3BE, in which Thomas tackles a curious fact-pattern involving a landlord, a new tenant, an old tenant who won’t move out, and a surprising legal result. Can he figure out why? Can you?

Appearances

Thomas was just the main guest on Episode 498 of the Cognitive Dissonance podcast, and Thomas and Andrew make additional appearances to roast and be roasted for Vulgarity for Charity. 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. Please do participate in our favorite charity event of the year, Vulgarity for Charity! To participate, just donate $50 or more to Modest Needs, and then send a copy of the receipt to vulgarityforcharity@gmail.com along with your request for a roast. You can even request that Thomas & Andrew roast the victim of your choice.
  2. We broke down Amb. Sondland’s testimony in Episode 335. But don’t just take our word for it! You can read the federal bribery statute, 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(2), for yourself and figure out what it takes to prove bribery.
  3. We also cited to (a) ADNI Joseph Maguire’s testimony before Congress; (b) the whistleblower’s complaint (which we previously broke down in Episode 318 and a special bonus episode); (c) internal evidence as reported in the New York Times that Trump’s lawyers briefed him on the whistleblower complaint in late August, before aid to Ukraine was restored; (d) the TELCON (edited transcript) of the July 25 Trump-Zelensky call released by the White House; (e) the CrowdStrike report from their own website; (f) Trump’s April 2017 press interview in which he began peddling the CrowdStrike conspiracy; (g) Fiona Hill’s opening statement in her testimony to Congress; (i) the reporting surrounding Sen. Kennedy’s appearance on Fox News Sunday; (j) the 2017 Politico story upon which Sen. Kennedy purported to rely; and (k) Vol. 2 of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the 2016 Election, authored by Republican Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC). Phew!
  4. In the closing segment, we referred to Rubin v. U.S., 524 U.S. 1301 (1998).

-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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Transcript of OA328: The Impeachment Inquiry Resolution! (H.R. 660)

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Topics of Discussion:

[Show Intro]

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 328, still cruising!

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Thomas:         I’m Thomas, that’s Andrew, always on a ship, on a boat, how’s it going Andrew?

Andrew:         It is going fantastically well, obviously the time I picked to take a vacation I am pleased that world events decided to take a vacation with us-

Thomas:         Yeah.

Andrew:         -and absolutely nothing is happening.

Thomas:         It’s not like the President’s being impeached or anything like that.

Continue reading “Transcript of OA328: The Impeachment Inquiry Resolution! (H.R. 660)”

OA328: The Impeachment Inquiry Resolution! (H.R. 660)

This week’s Rapid Response Friday breaks down exactly what’s in H.R. 660, the impeachment inquiry resolution, and what it means for the ongoing process. We also help you digest the legal significance of Alexander Vindman’s testimony and much, much more, so strap in!

We begin, however, with Thomas’s favorite segment — Andrew Was Wrong. Here, Andrew issues a correction regarding baseball law and the chemistry of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from our popular Pizza, Beer & Guns episode.

After that, it’s time for a trip up Yodel Mountain where we digest H.R. 660, the soon-to-be-passed resolution authorizing the House Intelligence Committee to take the lead on the impeachment inquiry. Is it “still without any due process for the President,” as the White House claims? [No.] As a bonus, we also break down the companion change to the rules adopted by the House Rules Committee pursuant to the resolution that’s managed to confuse a number of media outlets.

But that’s not all! While we’re high atop Yodel Mountain, we also break down the significance of Alexander Vindman’s testimony this week regarding the Trump administration’s holding hostage of aid to Ukraine pending an “investigation” into Burisma, and Hunter and Joe Biden.

After all that, it’s time for #T3BE, in which Thomas tackles a dreaded real property question — this one about whether a grantee can revoke an easement. Those are words! Will Thomas decipher them?

Upcoming 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 H.R. 660, and here for the companion change to the rules. Here’s the Democratic summary of those changes.
  2. This is the transcript of Alexander Vindman’s opening statement, plus more on his testimony from the Washington Post and the (failing) New York Times, as well as the Politico story on how some Republicans are pushing back against attacks on Vindman.

-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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Transcript of OA326: When the SCIF Hit the Fan

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Topics of Discussion:

Announcements

[Show Intro]

New Show Intro

Thomas:         Hello and welcome to Opening Arguments, this is episode 326.  I’m your host Thomas Smith, that over there is Andrew Torrez, your legal expert and Andrew how are you doing?  And I just remembered we all just heard a brand new intro that was so funny, I don’t even.  I was laughing the whole time and I don’t even remember what the new quotes were!

Andrew:         [Laughs]  

Thomas:         In this timeline I haven’t done it yet, but they were great, weren’t they? [Laughs]  

Continue reading “Transcript of OA326: When the SCIF Hit the Fan”

OA326: When the SCIF Hit the Fan

Today’s episode tackles all your latest developments from high atop Yodel Mountain, including the national security-threatening stunt led by America’s Dumbest Congressman, Matt Gaetz, as well as the significance of Bill Taylor’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.

We begin with a brief overview of the “due process” argument throughout history with an eye towards how it applies to the Trump impeachment.

From there, we move to a specific application: the (false) claim by Matt Gaetz and others that the House impeachment inquiry violates Trump’s rights of due process. Along the way, we’ll learn what a SCIF is and why it was such a big deal — a criminal big deal — that Gaetz and others violated it.

Then, it’s time to dive deeply into Bill Taylor’s testimony and how that fits into the overall impeachment picture and whether Trump is guilty of bribery with respect to Ukraine. (Hint: yes.)

After all that, it’s time for another fabulous #T3BE about an inexperienced innkeeper and a cleaning company that doesn’t work on Sundays. Play along on social media, and remember to #T3BE in your answer!

Upcoming 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. Share out the Episode 324 super-transcript with your favorite Uncle Frank today!
  2. This is the WIRED article we referenced on the technical data regarding SCIFs, and these are the 174-page technical guidelines set forth by the DNI.
  3. Laws! Obstruction of justice is 18 U.S.C. § 1505, bribery is 18 U.S.C. § 201, and the relevant portion of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act is 2 U.S.C. § 683.

-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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