Talking Feds is a roundtable discussion that brings together prominent former government officials, journalists, and special guests for a dynamic and in-depth analysis of the most pressing questions in law and politics.
info_outline Focus on American Universities: Fighting for DACA Dreamers and Coping With COVID-19 03/30/2020
Focus on American Universities: Fighting for DACA Dreamers and Coping With COVID-19 A special episode bringing together the Presidents of the University of California, Princeton, and Notre Dame. The Presidents first explain how they are responding to the fears and threats in their institutions posed by COV-19. They then discuss at length their ardent support for the DACA Dreamers program and their opposition to the Trump Administration’s attempts to rescind the program, which the Universities have litigated all the way to the Supreme Court, where it is now pending.
info_outline Governments’ Responses to COVID-19: The Good, The Bad, and The Ridiculous 03/23/2020
Governments’ Responses to COVID-19: The Good, The Bad, and The Ridiculous The long-predicted grim effects of COVID-19 began to hit home in earnest, with numbers of cases in the U.S. doubling every 2-3 days, the economy in free fall, supermarket shelves emptied, and whole states and communities ordered to stay at home. Chris Lu, Barb McQuade, Anne Milgram, and Asha Rangappa –former feds with rich and varied experience in governmental responses to emergencies – join Harry to assess the governments’ work to date and to analyze the formidable difficulties that await us.
info_outline Corona Cataclysm: a national emergency and a political wild card 03/16/2020
Corona Cataclysm: a national emergency and a political wild card Juliette Kayyem, Matt Miller, and Natasha Bertrand join Harry and bring to bear extensive expertise on the emergency management, policy, and political aspects of the Covid-19. We run through testing, turf battles, failures of presidential leadership and more before looking ahead to capacity problems and specific needed measures, closing with an analysis of the likely effects on the presidential race. Lots of rich analysis and nitty-gritty details that will be new to listeners.
info_outline Corona Clusterf**k 03/09/2020
Corona Clusterf**k The Coronavirus (Covid-19) exploded into public consciousness this week, and nobody seems to know how widespread, long-lasting, and serious its impact will be. The Administration was caught flat-footed, having squandered several weeks of preparation time. Dramatic measures such as quarantines and school closings were suddenly in play.National security experts Frank Figliuzzi and Juliette Kayeem and public health law expert Wendy Mariner join Harry to explain just where we are and where we might be headed.
info_outline Was the Killing of Qasem Soleimani Legal? 03/02/2020
Was the Killing of Qasem Soleimani Legal? The Trump-ordered drone killing of Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s second ranking political official, raises profound and exquisitely difficult questions of legality under international law and the federal constitution’s war power clauses. A spectacular panel of war powers experts-- Harvard Professor Jack Goldsmith, New York Times Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter Charlie Savage, and University of Texas Professor Steve Vladeck --join Harry to grapple with these questions.
info_outline Ignorance is Strength: Trump’s War on Fact 02/24/2020
Ignorance is Strength: Trump’s War on Fact In the wake of the impeachment trial, the President has gone into overdrive seeking to root out from government anyone seen as personally disloyal, including those who provide truthful information pursuant to legal duty. At the same time, he seems obsessed with trying to scrub away any facts that might reflect poorly on him. Feds Frank Figliuzzi, Matt Miller, and Sam Vinograd analyze the President’s mad assaults in the context of the Stone sentencing and the ouster of Joseph Maguire.
info_outline Stone Cold Disaster at DOJ 02/17/2020
Stone Cold Disaster at DOJ The Feds convene inside the LA office of Congressman Ted Lieu, a critical figure in the impeachment effort from his post on the House Judiciary Committee, at the end of a week of scandal and tumult at the DOJ. Congressman Lieu, former AUSA Prof. Laurie Levenson, and Atlantic writer Todd Purdum join Harry to discuss the cross currents of DOJ conduct, which ended the week with a Barr interview pushing back on Trump’s tweets and the announcement that Trump enemy Andy McCabe would not be prosecuted.
info_outline Has the Presidency Grown Too Powerful for the Constitution? 02/10/2020
Has the Presidency Grown Too Powerful for the Constitution? Notwithstanding serious misconduct by President Trump of the sort that impeachment and removal seemed designed to address, there never was a serious prospect that the Senate would convict him. What went wrong? Scholars and former government officials Bob Bauer, Rick Pildes, and Kate Shaw join Harry to discuss how Supreme Court decisions, executive branch aggrandizement, congressional acquiescence, and social and political forces have sapped impeachment of the strength the Framers intended.
info_outline Partial Acquittal 02/06/2020
Partial Acquittal In this special Talking Feds Now! episode, taped hours after the Senate voted to acquit President Trump, Frank Figliuzzi, Glenn Kirshner, and Barb McQuade join Harry with initial reactions and analysis. Is the verdict an unalloyed triumph, as Trump’s ardent defenders proclaim, or inconclusive given the failure to even present evidence?
info_outline Can I Get A Witness? 02/04/2020
Can I Get A Witness? Republican strategist Rick Wilson joins Matt Miller, Jen Rodgers, and Harry for a post-mortem on the Senate vote to deny witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial and an assessment on the political ramifications of the decision. They consider whether and how the Senate can rationalize the vote, and the possibility that McConnell’s political calculation was errant. Looking past the coming acquittal to the election season, they then assess how the decision will play in the election and in history
info_outline We're Lost 01/27/2020
We're Lost Adam Schiff and the impeachment managers wrapped up three days of tightly focused and at times stirring argument that with few exceptions seemed to full on deaf ears of Republican senators. Paul Fishman, Anne Milgram, Asha Rangappa, and Todd S. Purdum (calling in from the hearings) join Harry to discuss the legal strategies of both sides and Adam Schiff's momentous performance.
info_outline Will All Senators Now Stand 01/20/2020
Will All Senators Now Stand In a week in which the impeachment trial of President Trump commenced, there were ½ dozen other blockbuster stories, including the Parnas documents and interviews. Natasha Bertrand, Matt Miller, and Joyce Vance join Harry to analyze a series of the biggest developments, including the Parnas materials, the ongoing battle over witnesses, the appointment of Starr and Dershowitz as Trump’s lawyers, and the investigation of James Comey for a three-year old leak.
info_outline The Big Picture in Homeland Security: 2020 and Beyond 01/13/2020
The Big Picture in Homeland Security: 2020 and Beyond Three of the country’s premier experts in national security -- Frank Figliuzzi, Malcolm Nance, and Juliette Kayeem—in frank, unmediated discussion about the new threats to the nation heading into the 2020 election. The Russian intervention in 2016 presents a sinister, existential hazard that calls for the same kind of paradigm shift in homeland security that the 2001 attacks required in intelligence. And the Administration’s hostility to career professionals makes the threats that more keen.
info_outline From Russia with Blood 01/06/2020
From Russia with Blood A panel of specialists in Russian Organized Crime join Harry to plumb the depths of a singular threat to Western democracies. OC stepped into the gap left by the fall of the Soviet Union to play an illicit and controlling role in virtually every important industry in the country. It maintains close ties to Putin, who ultimately controls its actions, including targeted killings of people all over the world; and possibly played a role in some of Trump’s shadier business dealings.
info_outline Demagoguing the Border: The Trump Administration’s Treatment of Migrant Families 12/30/2019
Demagoguing the Border: The Trump Administration’s Treatment of Migrant Families In an episode taped live in Washington DC and co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society and George Washington law School, Vanita Gupta, Leon Rodriguez, Lindsay Harris, and Andrea Senteno join Harry to describe and analyze the Trump Administration’s treatment of migrant families at the Southern border.
info_outline Trump Impeached: An Act of Constitutional Fidelity 12/23/2019
Trump Impeached: An Act of Constitutional Fidelity Mary Gay Scanlon, Vice-Chair of the Judiciary Committee, joins Joyce Vance, Maya Wiley, and Harry Litman on the week in which the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, making him only the 3rd president impeached in U.S. history. The congresswoman adds to the group’s analysis the account of how it felt on the floor of the House as the Articles moved toward passage, and the sentiments within the Democratic Caucus.
info_outline "The Articles Are Agreed To" 12/16/2019
"The Articles Are Agreed To" The House Judiciary Committee voted out articles of impeachment against a President for the first time in a generation and only the fourth time in history, and sent to the floor a two-count case for impeachment. But the vote was along strict partisan lines and all indications are that the Republicans will hold near total ranks in support of the President. Feds Natasha Bertrand, Ron Klain, and Matt Miller join Harry to analyze the week and assess what happens next.
info_outline What Will The Trial in the Senate Look Like? 12/09/2019
What Will The Trial in the Senate Look Like? Congressional and political experts Norm Ornstein, David Frum, and Elliot Williams join Harry to analyze the probable workings – from the broad strokes to the nitty gritty – of the expected upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate. Will Mitch McConnell control all aspects with an iron fist, and what if anything will make him part company from President Trump? Will it all be a strictly political affair or will broader considerations of country and Constitution hold some sway?
info_outline Impeachment Academy 12/02/2019
Impeachment Academy The impeachment process moves to the Judiciary Committee, beginning with a panel of scholars addressing constitutional standards for impeachment. We engage the historic moment with a two-part episode featuring a remarkably high-powered group of commentators exploring the political and the constitutional considerations of the prospective impeachment. David Frum, Jill Wine-Banks, Liz Holtzman, and Harry analyze and appraise the Democrats’ strategy.
info_outline The Impeachment Week That Was: If an avalanche of evidence falls in the Congress, can Republicans hear it? 11/25/2019
The Impeachment Week That Was: If an avalanche of evidence falls in the Congress, can Republicans hear it? It was one of the most dramatic and consequential weeks in the history of the Presidency as the testimony of a series of witnesses before the House Intelligence Committee appeared to establish conclusively that President Trump had engaged in a corrupt and illegal course of conduct. Yet at the end of this series of hearings, it appeared the House Republicans were prepared to stand with the President. Feds Matt Miller, Frank Figliuzzi, and Natasha Bertrand join Harry to assess where things stand.
info_outline Sondland Testifies: The Answer is Yes 11/21/2019
Sondland Testifies: The Answer is Yes Feds Jill Wine-Banks, Elie Honig, and Barb McQuade huddle for a deep dive on today’s blockbuster testimony from Gordon Sondland acknowledging that Pres Trump conditioned the White House meeting and the release of military aid on the announcement of investigations of Burisma/the Bidens and the 2016 Election. Is there room for Republicans to continue to argue there was no quid pro quo? And will there be a public drumbeat for testimony and documents that the Administration has so far managed to withhold?
info_outline The Impeachment Hearings Begin 11/14/2019
The Impeachment Hearings Begin In this Special Talking Feds Now! Episode on the first day of impeachment hearings, Harry, Barb McQuade, and Glenn Kirschner assess the performances of the Members of Congress, starting with Adam Schiff and Devin Nunes; the staff counsel; and the two opening witness, William Taylor and George Kent.
info_outline Deja Vu: The Trump Impeachment Through the Prism of Past Impeachments 11/13/2019
Deja Vu: The Trump Impeachment Through the Prism of Past Impeachments With Congress poised to begin public impeachment hearings, the Feds consider the coming historic juncture through the prism of the impeachment investigations of Presidents Nixon and Clinton. The episode brings together Judiciary Committee members and players from all 3 impeachment dramas—Elizabeth Holtzman, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, and Lanny Breuer.
info_outline The Troubled State of Voting Rights Heading into the 2020 Election 11/04/2019
The Troubled State of Voting Rights Heading into the 2020 Election The last 15 years have ushered in a series of daunting obstacles to voting rights in this county. It turns out that the supposed principle of "one person one vote" falls short in the field to a series of impediments. Joyce Vance, Congress Member Joaquin Castro, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Vanita Gupta, and Federal Election Commission Chair Ellen Weintraub join Harry to break down the state of voting rights in the country.
info_outline “Is the Dam Breaking?” Part 2-- LIVE from Politicon in Nashville, Tennessee 10/28/2019
“Is the Dam Breaking?” Part 2-- LIVE from Politicon in Nashville, Tennessee Charter Fed Barb McQuade joins David Frum and Malcolm Nance for a deep dig of two other issues circling the impeachment crisis. First, the Feds discuss the crazy wild card that is Rudy Giuliani, including his prospects for indictment from his old US Attorney’s office. Turning to the prospective drafting of articles of impeachment, the Feds consider whether and how to integrate into the basic charges the President’s term-long record of grave damage to national security and to the rule of law.
info_outline “Is the Dam Breaking?” Part 1--LIVE from Politicon in Nashville, Tennessee 10/28/2019
“Is the Dam Breaking?” Part 1--LIVE from Politicon in Nashville, Tennessee Former Clinton Press Secretary Joe Lockhart (who served Clinton during his impeachment trial) joins Feds Maya Wiley Jill Wine-Vance, and Harry Litman for a discussion of a number of facets of what is suddenly an impeachment crisis for the White House. Turning to the Congress, the Feds consider whether the Republicans “no due process” argument is getting any purchase and speculate on how both the House and the Senate Republicans will approach the coming crisis.
info_outline The Federal Death Penalty 10/25/2019
The Federal Death Penalty The Feds take up the most sober, and one of the most controversial, topics in the federal criminal justice system -- the federal death penalty. The federal government has executed only 3 federal prisoners since 1963. So why do we have, and why do we need, a federal death penalty? Feds Rod Rosenstein, Johnny Sutton, and Carmen Ortiz unpack all these questions and detail the personal experience of seeking the ultimate penalty.
info_outline Get over it! 10/21/2019
Get over it! After a blockbuster week in both Congress and the Southern District of New York, Feds Frank Figliuzzi, Barb McQuade, and Elie Honig join Harry to assess the damage against the President and his country lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Several witnesses gave forceful closed-door testimony about the President’s turning over Ukraine foreign policy to Giuliani, who apparently executed a scheme designed to further Trump’s political interests to the derogation of the country’s national security interests.
info_outline Bill Barr’s Justice 10/11/2019
Bill Barr’s Justice Guest host Matthew Miller sits down with three reporters who cover The Department of Justice to find out what’s going on with Attorney General William Barr, the Ukraine investigation and more. Featuring Evan Perez, Katie Benner, Devlin Barrett.
info_outline The Whistleblowers’ Moment 10/07/2019
The Whistleblowers’ Moment The whistleblower complaint filed by a member of the intelligence community has brought the Trump Administration to the precipice, imposing a far greater threat than did the Mueller probe. Several more whistleblower complaints against the Administration are stacked up and ready to go. Whistleblowers have arrived. But who are they, and what tends to happen to them after they blow the whistle?