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 //  6/8/17  //  Commentary

On a new episode of Versus TrumpTake Care's podcast, Easha, Jason, and Charlie discuss Congress's role and powers in investigations of the Executive. Then, Jason talks with Steven Wu, a Deputy Solicitor General in the Office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, about the case against Trump University, the active role of states in recent years, and other issues in which New York is adverse to the President. As usual, you can listen online below or at takecareblog.com/podcast, and subscribe here with any podcast player or here in iTunes.

The discussion begins [start-28:30] with an introduction to Congressional investigations, including a discussion of Congress's role and the powers it has to issue subpoenas, hear testimony, and gather facts in the course of investigations. Jason, Easha, and Charlie then turn to the upcoming testimony of former FBI Director James Comey and discuss executive privilege, and then discuss former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's invocation of the Fifth Amendment in response to a congressional request for information. Finally, the group discusses a recent Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel Opinion concluding that the President and executive agencies are not obligated to respond to requests for information from individual members of Congress—only to requests from committees and Congress as a whole.

Next, Jason interviews Steven Wu of the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman [28:30-1:01:30]. Jason and Steven discuss the fraud case against Trump University that his office brought several years ago and recently settled. They then discuss the role of states, progressive and conservative, in challenging federal policies that are adverse to the interests of citizens of states or the state's own interests. Finally, Jason asks Steven a few lightning round question about New York's role in debates about healthcare, climate change, and voting rights.

The episode concludes with a few quick Trump Lumps and listener feedback. [1:01:30-end]

Listen online below or at takecareblog.com/podcast, and subscribe here with any podcast player or here in iTunes.

Please share or provide feedback, and rate us in iTunes. You can find us at @VersusTrumpPod on twitter, or send us an email at [email protected]

Links

Congressional Investigations

  • A recent report that the President will not invoke executive privilege to block Comey's testimony is here.
  • A helpful overview of the Congressional subponea process, prepared by the law firm Mayer Brown, is here.
  • The letter from Michael Flynn’s counsel explaining and justifying his invocation of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination is here.
  • The recent OLC opinion concluding that "individual members of Congress, including ranking minority members, do not have the authority to conduct oversight in the absence of a specific delegation by a full house, committee, or subcommittee" is here.
  • A report that the Department of Homeland Security will respond to letters from individual members of Congress–despite the OLC opinion concluding that departments need not do so—is here.
  • All of Take Care's coverage of Russian interference-related matters is here.

Steven Wu Interview

  • A recent Politico profile of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is here.
  • An article discussing the approval of the Trump University settlement is here.

Versus Trump: An Impeachment Primer...

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Gotcha! No impeachment dessert until you eat your immigration broccoli. On this week’s Versus Trump, Easha (back from parental leave!) and Charlie (just starting parental leave) discuss two immigration losses for the Trump administration. The first concerns Trump’s attempts to roll back court-ordered protections for migrant children; the second, Trump’s attempt to subject more immigrants to expedited removal. Listen now!

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Charlie Gerstein

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Although Trump isn't deliberately using each new scandal to distract from the last one, the phenomenon is nonetheless maddening. It's like a game of Bizarro World Whack-a-mole in which each time you whack a mole another hammer emerges that somehow enables the same mole to escape.

Michael C. Dorf

Cornell Law School

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On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason discuss the legal stakes of the fight over what Trump said to the President of Ukraine and the related whistleblower complaint. A lot happened between when they recorded the episode and when it's being posted, but we still think it's a useful primer on the legal questions in this dispute. Listen now!

Charlie Gerstein

Civil Rights Corps