Episode 56: The State of the Uniom Is…ExStravagant!

January 30, 2018

You might not want to watch the State of the Union tonight, but don’t miss this episode of the podcast! This week we cover:

  1. The missing Russia sanctions?  A statute enacted last summer appears at first blush to require the Trump administration to sanction people doing significant business with Russian military and intelligence entities, starting this week.  It didn’t happen, and some are alarmed.  What did this statute actually require?  We’ll explore the situation, walking you through the statutory carve-outs.
  2. The #releasethememo story evolves: alas, this bizarre topic from last week has not gone away, and with HPSCI now voting to release it seems we are headed still further into the woods.  We review the context, explain how this relates to a mounting effort to delegitimize Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, and why #releasethememo should also entail #releasethedissent.
  3. Would it be constitutional to empower courts to oversee decisions to remove the Special Counsel? Revelations that White House Counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign rather than convey President Trump’s directive to fire Special Counsel Mueller last summer have drawn renewed attention to two pending bills that would subject such decisions–which according to DOJ regulations must be made based only on a showing of good cause–to judicial review.  Would such a law be constitutional? Asking for a friend…
  4. About that GTMO closure executive order: Several times over the past year, reports circulated that the White House was prepared to issue a GTMO executive order repealing the 2009 Obama order directing GTMO’s closure.  It may finally happen this afternoon, in the run up to tonight’s SOTU.  Tune in for our predictions as to what it might entail.
  5. The location of the hidden rebel base: Anyone who watched the Last Jedi should know that sometimes it is possible to track the movement of the military in unexpected ways.  Still, who would have guessed your jogging app would be the cause?  We note the way Stravagate might inflect perceptions about larger issues involving metadata and third-party data (where is that Carpenter decision, anyway?).

That’s more than enough, but if you want to hear thinly-reasoned takes on the Grammy’s, by all means listen until the end!  You go, Gary Clark Jr.!

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