Episode 19: Inherent Contempt Works Better With a Congressional Jail

May 22, 2017

School’s out for summer…but the National Security Law Podcast keeps trucking along.  In Episode 19, we find that the suddenly-student-less professors have used their newfound free time to…wait for it…add music to their intro.  And just in case that brief riff is not enough, Chesney and Vladeck do go on to discuss some actual law and policy matters.  They start with the appointment of Bob Mueller as a “special counsel,” and go into considerable detail on the nature and origins of that particular office (contrasting it with the more-familiar “Independent Counsel” of Whitewater fame).  This leads, inevitably, to a discussion of Mike Flynn invoking the Fifth Amendment in relation to a congressional subpoena for documents (from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence).  Among other things, they survey SSCI’s options for enforcement of its subpoena, noting along the way that the “inherent contempt” power is less fun without ye’ old Capitol Jail (converted into a dining hall, alas, back in the 1850s).  Then it’s a brief review of the recent airstrike U.S. forces conducted against an Iran-backed pre-regime force in Syria as those forces persisted in approaching an airbase used by U.S. forces there, distinguishing the legal from the policy questions that strike raised.  And finally, there are digressions galore, including a (very favorable) review of All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai and celebration of the fact that Kawhi Leonard made the cut for the NBA MVP Final 3 (well, only Bobby celebrated because, as you may recall, they bet dinner on it).  Oh, the also *totally* forgot to follow-through on announcing the winner of last week’s trivia contest, so watch the Twitter feed (@nslpodcast) for that, and stay tuned for it to be addressed on the show next week!

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