Versus Trump: Enforce Your Own Subpoena!
On this week’s Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason discuss the D.C. Circuit's recent opinion holding that courts have no power to enforce subpoenas issued by the House. They discuss the opinion's rationale, whether it makes sense, and whether the House might—or should—take the court up on its offer to start jailing Trump Administration officials in their own brig. Listen now!
Was Impeachment Good Or Bad? The Conclusion
Last week, I took both sides of a series of important, related question: was Trump’s impeachment a good thing for democracy? The rule of law? For Democrats? Now I have to render a verdict. Which one was it?
Versus Trump: Was Impeachment Good or Bad?
On this week’s Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason discuss Jason's ongoing essays for the Take Care blog about whether impeachment was good or bad, net-positive or net-negative. This leads them to discuss whether the Democrats should have more aggressively pursued witnesses and whether this whole proceeding did much to vindicate the rule of law. Listen now!
Was Impeachment Good Or Bad? The "Bad" Side
I'm not sure whether the impeachment and expected acquittal of Donald Trump was a good or bad thing. This series presents both sides. In this post, I make the "bad idea" case.
Was Impeachment Good Or Bad? The "Good" Side
I'm not sure whether the impeachment and expected acquittal of Donald Trump was a good or bad thing. This series presents both sides. In this post, I make the "good idea" case.
Updates | The Week of February 5, 2018
The Nunes memo set off aftershocks; agencies scrambled to implement the Trump Administration's policies to mixed effect; and Congress passes a budget after a brief overnight shutdown.
Updates | The Week of December 18, 2017
Following the logic and example of Clinton v. Jones, sitting presidents should also be subject to suit in state courts. If President Trump decides to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it might result in impeachment. Commentators disagreed about the legal status of an obstruction of justice charge against the President.
Updates | The Week of November 13, 2017
The House passes its version of a tax bill that would dramatically alter the tax code as President Trump faces trouble over the diversity of his federal judicial nominees and the fitness of his appointees to office, some of whom have alleged conflicts of interest.
Versus Trump: A Real Impeachment Episode
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie really talk impeachment. They answer two questions that have been debated in the media. First, does the full House need to vote to formally start impeachment proceedings? Second, does the President have a right, at this point in the investigation, to have his lawyers in the room to cross-examine witnesses or present opposing views? Listen now for the answers!
A Memorandum of Misunderstanding
Mueller didn't indict Trump because DOJ policy prohibited him from doing so. That same policy points to the need for impeachment.
Versus Trump: Uncle Charlie's Comity Hour
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss the major recent decision dismissing the President's attempt to block his accounting firm from turning over his tax returns to the Manhattan DA. Listen now!
Versus Trump: We're Famous! And There Are Articles
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha respond to Rep. Matt Gaetz's shoutout to this podcast during the Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearings. They then discuss their reactions to the Democrats' strategy with their public hearings and articles of impeachment. Listen now!
What Will You Do if Mueller is Fired?
If your tendency, like mine, is to deliberate when called to action, my humble suggestion is simply this: Deliberate now. Reflect on what you will do now. Decide now.
Versus Trump: Kavanaugh's Coming, Plus Updates
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha discuss the retirement of Justice Kennedy and how his presumptive replacement may rule in Versus Trump cases. They then do some quick hits to update a handful of important cases. Listen now!
Versus Trump: The House Versus The FBI
On the latest episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Easha talk all things Russia investigation (or tangentially Russia investigation)—the Nunes #meh-mo, the fallout therefrom, and whether Trump will be interviewed by the Special Counsel.
Versus Trump: Can You Hear The Whistle Blowing?
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!
President Trump Shouldn't Be Impeached If He Hasn't Committed a Crime
It would be a grave mistake to call for President Trump's impeachment if he hasn't committed a crime. In an era of tit-for-tat partisanship, lowering the impeachment standard to “anything Congress thinks is wrong” is a recipe for dysfunctional government, one in which the House of one party could perpetually threaten to impeach the White House of another.
Versus Trump: The View From 10,000 Feet (Joshua Matz Speech)
On a new episode of Versus Trump, we bring you a podcast version of the speech that Take Care publisher Joshua Matz gave at Harvard Law School on April 3, 2018. The talk, titled "The Legal Resistance to Trump," describes themes, achievements, and limitations of various lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration and its policies. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Versus Whitaker (JH solo)
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason has a solo episode where he talks about a motion by Maryland contending that Matthew Whitaker was not legally appointed as Acting Attorney General. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Trump Versus Trump's Banks
This week on Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha discuss a new lawsuit by the President seeking to prevent two banks from responding to Congressional subpoenas that seek information about the his business dealings. Listen now!
Discretion and the Impeachment Power
There are many ways in which this presidency is unlike so many that preceded it—and those differences are relevant to decisions about impeachment
Versus Trump: 2017 Scorecard
On the first episode of Versus Trump of 2018, Jason and Charlie look back at Versus Trump cases in 2017 and score them as Administration wins, losses, or not-yet-decided. They also look ahead at big issues to come in 2018. Listen now!
Trump, Pardons, and Guilt
By Mark Osler: Pardons by Trump would be a significant departure from what the pardon power has meant. Clemency is for the guilty, not the innocent.
Versus Trump: Mueller-ing Things Over
The Mueller Report is kinda, sorta here, so, on this week's episode of Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason analyze the Barr summary and then dive into the legal troubles of famous Trump antagonist Michael Avenatti. Listen now!
Versus Trump: It's Here!
This week on Versus Trump, Charlie, and Easha discuss the long-awaited Mueller Report. They break down the report step-by-step, discuss the legal issues it raises, and have an all-around good time while they're at it. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Vs. The Inaugural Committee, Plus Bolton Update
On this week’s Versus Trump, Charlie and Jason look at a new lawsuit by D.C. claiming that Trump's inaugural committee overpaid for space at the Trump Hotel and thus "wasted" at least $1 million in charitable funds. Spoiler alert: the lawsuit seems convincing. Listen now!
Tax Consequences of Legal Defense Funds
President Trump and a number of his associates have established legal defense funds (LDFs) in connection with various Congressional investigations. What rules govern these LDFs?
Versus Trump: Versus David Dennison
On a new episode of Versus Trump, Easha, Jason, and Charlie do a near-live episode about Stormy Daniels' lawsuit against David Dennison—we mean, Donald Trump. Listen now!
Why Impeachment Must Remain A Priority
The appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller must not lead progressives to put the thought of impeaching President Trump on a back-burner.
How Do We Check the President?
If impeachment is impossible and even talk of impeachment can be destructive, how do we check a president who is violating the Constitution?
Can the President Pardon Himself? Well, He Can Try.
By Brian Kalt: Presidential pardons are an important part of our constitutional system of powers, checks, and balances. A self-pardon would test several others parts of that system. As interesting as that might be, here’s hoping that it never happens.
Versus Trump: What Is Bribery?
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha discuss the definition of "bribery" for impeachment purposes, since Nancy Pelosi claimed that's what the evidence is showing at the impeachment hearings. They talk about how Congress and citizens should think about this notoriously slippery idea. Listen now!
Versus Trump: The Senate As Impeachment Court
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie dive deep into two impeachment-related questions. First, what is the formal role of the Senate in an impeachment trial, and what power does the Chief Justice have? (Hint: Senators have all the power; the Chief Justice has basically none.) Second, what did the House say in its impeachment report about why it chose not to go to court or otherwise force recalcitrant Administration officials to testify—and does it make sense? Listen now!
Versus Trump: Versus Mueller
After two special interview episodes of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie get back to the usual format and talk about the leaked Dowd memo arguing that President should not be required to sit for an interview with the Special Counsel. Listen now!
Risk-Risk Tradeoffs in Presidential Impeachment
Presidential impeachment involves risk-risk tradeoffs. While some of these risks might be mitigated, and while all deserve to be identified and weighed, the basic dilemma is inescapable.
Treason and Cyberwarfare
By Carlton Larson: There are two forms of treason recognized under the United States Constitution: (1) levying war against the United States; and (2) adhering to our enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Each raises slightly different issues with respect to cyberwarfare.
Versus Trump: A Two-Level Versus Trump Case
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie talk about a case that fits our podcast on two levels: it's a lawsuit against the Trump Administration about grand jury secrecy, and any decision could impact the Mueller investigation, which is the biggest Versus Trump case of them all. Listen now!
Don’t Let Impeachment Dominate Politics
It is surely ironic for the authors of a book about impeachment to warn about the risks of too much focus on impeachment. But that's what we do in our latest Atlantic essay.
Versus Trump: Dems vs. The IRS?
This week on Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha discuss the brewing dispute over Trump's tax returns. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Trump Wins One Versus Stormy
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie talk about the recent decision that dismissed Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against the President. Listen now!
To Save Democracy
Introducing a symposium on our new book, 'To End A Presidency: The Power of Impeachment.'
Trump, Trust, and the 25th Amendment
Imagine that the President lacked credibility entirely, whether because he was a pathological liar or because his lying was – hypothetically speaking – one symptom of a narcissistic personality disorder. Would there be anything the American people or government officials should or could do about it, short of waiting until the end of the President’s term.
The One Question Worth Asking
Here's the most important question to ask about indictments, pardons and self-pardons, and obstruction of justice.
Versus Trump: To End a Presidency? (Interview with Joshua Matz)
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason talks about the past, present, and future of impeachment with Joshua Matz. Joshua is the publisher of Take Care and the co-author, with Laurence Tribe, of the acclaimed new book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment. Listen now!
Versus Trump: The Coming Exec Privilege Showdown
On this week’s Versus Trump, Jason, Charlie, and Easha talk executive privilege. They outline the legal landscape of several hard questions in this area, like can the President completely prevent executive officials from testifying, and what role do the courts play here? Listen now!
Insubordination and Impeachment
The widespread executive branch practice of ignoring Trump's statements—or treating them as merely advisory—has saved him from potentially dire political consequences
Impeachment as Punishment
There is an important connection between impeachment and criminal law. Not in technical or legalistic doctrinal nuances, but rather in the core purposes underlying these two domains.
Russia and 'Enemies' under the Treason Clause
By Carlton Larson: If we use “treason” in a loose, rhetorical sense, it is plausible to claim that Trump, Jr., Kushner, Manafort and others committed treason by knowingly meeting with a Russian operative for the purpose of obtaining dirt on Hillary Clinton. But the argument fails as a legal matter.
Versus Trump: The Unique Manafort Plea
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie talk about pardons, Double Jeopardy, forfeiture, and the Manafort guilty plea. They also weigh in on the Kavanaugh developments and what would happen if Rosenstein were fired. Listen now!
Versus Trump: Versus The Trump Foundation
On this week's episode of Versus Trump, Jason and Charlie discuss the New York Attorney General's petition to dissolve the Trump Foundation and ban President Trump and his children from serving as directors of charities in the future. They then do some a hit on the new Mueller indictment. Listen now!
Presidential Bad Faith
If the President cannot be trusted to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” then that obligation falls on “We the People."
Versus Trump Podcast: Prosecuting Trump FAQ + James Williams
On today's two-part episode of Versus Trump, Take Care's podcast, we answer three burning questions related to whether the sitting President can face criminal charges, and how that prosecution could be started. We also have an interview with James Williams, the County Counsel for Santa Clara County, where he discusses his County's lawsuit against Trump Administration that has so far successfully prevented the Trump Administration from enforcing an executive order that would have withdrawn federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities.
By Bernadette Meyler: History teaches that Trump should not be considering whether he possesses the power to pardon himself but rather what the consequences of employing that power would be.
To End A Presidency
Take Care is pleased to host a symposium on 'To End A Presidency: The Power of Impeachment'—a new book by Larry Tribe & Joshua Matz.
First Tragedy, Now Farce
Those who forget history are indeed doomed to repeat it. But when history repeats, it often shifts in the repetition: first acts come as tragedy and then return as farce. By many measures, Nixon was a tragic figure. Trump, by contrast, is pure farce. And unlike tragedies, farces don’t end with a flash of recognition—a moment of self-awareness like King Lear’s on the heath. Farces just keep going until someone cries "enough!"
The Contempt of William G. Barr
Attorney General Barr recently said that "the Left that is engaged in the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law." Barr's outright partisanship relies on misunderstandings of history and a misguided view of the role of the attorney general.
Updates | The Week of September 11, 2017
Trump's decision to end DACA spurs a flurry of legal challenges; his election fraud commission gets into more trouble; and the Supreme Court stays the Ninth Circuit's latest trvel ban ruling.
Updates | The Week of October 30, 2017
Rep Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) announced that a group of House Democrats plan to file new impeachment charges against President Trump before Thanksgiving and are currently consulting with constitutional scholars
Updates | The Week of October 16
A group of mental-health professionals launched a petition to remove President Trump through the Twenty-Fifth Amendment on the grounds that he is psychologically unfit to be president. Eugene Robinson argues President Trump should be impeached if he withdraws emergency assistance to Puerto Rico before Puerto Rico is ready.
Updates | The Week of May 29, 2017
As calls by local officials for President Trump’s impeachment mounted, commentators continued to analyze the standard for impeachment.
Updates | The Week of March 27, 2017
Proposals for a "special election," potentially in response to evidence of Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential Election, raise major constitutional, political, and policy questions, as Ian Samuel explains on Take Care.
Updates | The Week of July 24, 2017
President Trump targeted special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation for criticism as the president reportedly considered whether to pardon himself, family members, and others tied to the Russia investigation.
Updates | The Week of July 17, 2017
Representative Al Green continues his fight to impeach the President, but it is unlikely a majority of the Senate will join him, which some believe is an abdication of congressional duty.
Updates | The Week of June 12, 2017
"Hope" is a sufficient basis for obstruction of justice, argue Daniel Epps and Leah Litman (in one Take Care post) and Ryan Hayward (in another). Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating possible obstruction of justice by President Trump.
Updates | The Week of August 7, 2017
Examining impeachment solely through the lens of criminal law and prosecution obscures the real purpose of the impeachment power, wrote Gene Healy at the Cato Institute. Also this week, Eric Posner evaluated the chances of President Trump's impeachment.
Updates | The Week of August 28, 2017
Trump's pardon of former sheriff Joe Arpaio sets off a firestorm; another battle over Trump's immigration ban is heard by the Ninth Circuit; and investigators and journalists turn up more evidence of Trump's business dealings with Russia.
Updates | The Week of September 25, 2017
Representative Al Green plans to introduce articles of impeachment next week in response to President Trump's comments about the NFL protests. The President's denial of Russian interference may have consequences for potential impeachment proceedings.
Updates | The Week of July 31, 2017
Anthony Scaramucci was fired after only ten days as White House communications director. Congress could censure President Trump without pursuing the formal impeachment process.