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Should Robert Mueller Subpoena President Trump?: Podcast

Reason editors assess Rudy Giuliani's media tour, make bets about Iran policy, and gently suggest that some economic policies in Seattle may be suboptimal.

Can't look away ||| Fox NewsFox NewsRudy Giuliani's headline-generating media tour these past few days has had two essential functions: 1) to deal (however clumsily) with the yawning chasm between Trumpworld's initial serial denials about the Stormy Daniels payout and the discoveries to the contrary made in the unusually aggressive raids on attorney Michael Cohen; and 2) to wage a public relations campaigned aimed at pressuring special counsel Robert Mueller away from issuing President Trump a subpoena to testify.

It is that latter possibility that could be the first domino in what many fear may end up as a constitutional crisis. As such, it is of primary interest in the new edition of the Reason Podcast editors' roundtable, featuring Katherine Mangu-Ward, Nick Gillespie, Peter Suderman, and me making unsound metaphors about the news of the week. Also under discussion are the latest in the Iran/nuclear deal (including Giuliani's startling assertion Saturday at the Iran Freedom Convention for Democracy and Human Rights that President Trump is "as committed to regime change as we are"), plus Millennial non-affection for both major political parties, democratic socialist policies in Seattle, and (obviously) various references to Westworld.

Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast at iTunes. Listen at SoundCloud below:

Audio production by Ian Keyser.

'Quittin Time' by Patrick Lee is licensed under CC BY NC SA 3.0

Relevant links from the show:

"Giuliani Confesses to Spreading 'Rumors' About Stormy Daniels," by Jacob Sullum

"Rudy Giuliani's Latest Fox Debacle Shows Not Even Trump's Closest Advisors Can Keep the President's Stormy Daniels Story Straight," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"What Would William Howard Taft Do About Robert Mueller?," by Jeff Rosen

"Donald Trump Shouldn't Talk to the Feds. And Neither Should You," by Ken White

"New Poll Shows Millennials Are Defecting From the Democratic Party," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"News Outlets Ignore Millennials' Skepticism of Gun Control," by Christian Britschgi

"Seattle May Hit Peak Progressivism With a Literal Tax on Jobs," by Christian Britschgi

"Yikes! New Seattle Bike Lanes Were Supposed to Cost $860k per Mile. Some Are Costing $13 Million Instead," by Christian Britschgi

"Seattle Officials Knowingly Lowballed Streetcar Costs by 50 Percent," by Christian Britschgi

"Big-City Mayors Think They Can Mandate Their Way to Affordable Housing," by Matt Welch

Don't miss a single Reason Podcast! (Archive here.)

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Photo Credit: ABC

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Why is every fucking thing that happens in Washington D.C. deemed a "constitutional crisis"? Nobody in that town even reads the Constitution.

  • Flinch||

    Thanks for the laugh. The made members of the cocktail party in DC would indeed be the last to know. The 'obamaphone lady' has more sense than most members of congress.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, the president has the constitutional power to fire those who work for him.

    If he fires those who are investigating him, it might be unseemly, unethical, evil, or wrong, but it isn't unconstitutional.

    If the House sees fit to impeach him for firing those who were investigating him, that isn't a constitutional crisis either.

    If the senate sees fit to remove him from office for firing those who were investigating him, that's perfectly constitutional.

    I fail to see the constitutional crisis, too. Maybe it's because we aren't inside the bubble and so we're unaffected by the so called "conventional wisdom". I swear, these days, watching cable news is like watching inter-dimensional television on Rick and Morty. It bears some relation to the world I live in, but their world is operating on some fundamentally different assumptions.

    It's hard to believe it's about the bubble people still not being able to accept that Hillary lost and Trump won, but when you get down to the bottom of it, it's hard to find a better explanation for their delusions. Maybe that's the constitutional crisis people are struggling with in bubble world: What do you do when the wrong candidate wins by constitutional means?

  • Flinch||

    The crisis is that Mueller isn't following DOJ policy, with the aid and comfort of Rosenstein. So... is a rogue employee actually a part of the executive branch, or is he a man without a government? Whose law is he following? Or, is this a flat out coup attempt stealing imbued legitimacy from the source of their [ill gotten] paychecks? The reason most special prosecutors always get somebody on something is they used to begin with hard evidence of a crime [as statute demands], not a fishing expedition in search of a crime. Of note: the same people who put together "the dossier"used to kick off this kabuki theatre were working inside the FBI up to a year before the election - with full unfiltered database access that violated department policy.

  • Nardz||

    Flat out coup attempt

  • Zebra Jr.||

    That's all bullshit. Rosenstein was appointed by Trump. Rosenstein is bound by his oath of office but and rules of professional conduct for attorneys. You see Trump can lie all he wants without consequence but Rosenstein cannot. I if you think you have a case against Rosenstein then file a complaint with Bar Association and prove it. If any of the shit you and Trump were alleging were true Rosenstein would lose his law license and be criminally prosecuted. Rosenstein and Mueller are bound by rules. Trump thinks he's above the law.

  • Sevo||

    Zebra Jr.|5.7.18 @ 8:34PM|#
    "That's all bullshit."

    Seems you had no response to this:
    "The reason most special prosecutors always get somebody on something is they used to begin with hard evidence of a crime [as statute demands], not a fishing expedition in search of a crime."
    Put up, or shut up.

  • Tony||

    Do not question the abuses of leadership at the highest levels of government, this is a libertarian website!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Mueller is investigating an alleged crime based on the "Russian Dossier" which has been proven a fake, paid for by the Clintons. So now there is no alleged crime before us.

  • Mr. Gus||

    Interdimensional Cable is more entertaining than C-Span. No lie only truth really straight.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I could certainly go for some "Ball Fondlers" about now. Or maybe a new episode of "Baby Legs".

  • Pro Libertate||

    Except that from the libertarian view, we've been in one for at least a century.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "If the House sees fit to impeach him for firing those who were investigating him, that isn't a constitutional crisis either.

    If the senate sees fit to remove him from office for firing those who were investigating him, that's perfectly constitutional."

    I disagree. Impeachment is supposed to be for stated: "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.". Not "any shit we don't like".

    She joe firing Mueller doesn't come close to any of the aforementioned items, it isn't sufficient grounds for impeachment.

  • Just Say'n||

    www.nationalreview.com/2018/05.....-missteps/

    Russia fever dreams are collapsing. But, Bill Kristol and the FBI are still with you

  • Just Say'n||

    It is amazing, though, how the same people who were propagating Russia fever dreams have seamlessly transitioned to Stormy Daniels, as if it is the same issue.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    It IS the same issue, and that issue is Trump. He's their white whale.

  • Just Say'n||

    Where did you find that picture?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    On the Internet, dude.

  • Just Say'n||

    Trump is like a joke that writes itself.

    *smh*

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    He should at least put a shirt on if he's going to play tennis in public.

  • MAGA my NAGGA||

    The Donald got a big ol' butt

  • Mr. Gus||

    BUCS! Your porn is here!

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Anything related to Stormy Daniels is a feeble attempt to trap Trump for some kind of process crime.

  • Flinch||

    The day Bill Kristol immolates himself, I will take him seriously. Until then, he can shove off.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Why aren't we getting Game of Thrones references instead of Westworld references? The new GoT season has to be starting any day now. #hashtag: NOSPOILERS

  • Aloysious||

    John Snow is actually Tulpa.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    No GoT until 2019.

    https://tinyurl.com/ybujuxre

  • Libertymike||

    We shouldn't forget that Rudy Julie Annie was Robert Mueller before Rudy Julie Annie became just another Trump errand boy.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Rep. Massie's theory: Voters who voted for libertarians and then Trump were always just seeking the 'craziest son of a bitch in the race'

    https://goo.gl/8a9v3u

    Well said.

  • Flinch||

    Should a special prosecutor subpoena a sitting president? Back up one moment and observe that in both Nixons and Clintons cases, the DOJ arrived at a policy that you cannot indict a sitting president. Clinton's deposition [as we all know] was a colossal legal blunder. So... to move on an indictment [while inverting the employee relationship Mueller currently occupies] means changing DOJ policy. Now who green lighted that? Rosenstein? When did he go through confirmation hearings to become co-AG? Mueller is acting like DOJ policy has changed and... it has not. Congress [as usual] is making all the wrong moves and is lurching towards impeaching Sessions, where it is Rosenteing who has assumed powers not granted to him and directing the legal frankenstein of the current special counsel office to fall in line with his unconfirmed perspectives. Heck... maybe both Rosenstein and Sessions do need impeachment but Rosenstein has to go first, or the constitutional crisis just gets bigger.

  • Zebra Jr.||

    A subpoena isn't the initiation of a criminal prosecution. It's the way of getting people appear before a fact finding body.

  • Flinch||

    If you are telling me that hitching a horse to a wagon might mean somebody isn't going to haul something... that might be correct, but I would bet against it.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Shitcan both Rosenstein and Sessions. Hell, maybe criminally prosecute Rosenstein too.

  • Rich||

    Can a sitting president subpoena a special prosecutor?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Would a sitting president have standing?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Well, he's not going to take it lying down.

  • Libertymike||

    Depends upon which judge is sitting at the time the question is resolved.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In regards to Giuliani, there are two things going on here:

    1) With one major exception, the only Republicans who were willing to risk their political future on the Trump campaign during his campaign were Republicans who had no political future to risk, e.g. Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, John Bolton, Newt Gingrich, Larry Kudlow, and Rudy Giuliani.

    These are the people Trump can trust because a) they were with him when everyone else was against him and b) If his presidency disappears, so does their importance and influence--probably forever.

    2) The chances of Trump being impeached roughly approximate the chances of the Democrats taking the House.

    If Speaker Pelosi doesn't impeach Trump quickly, the Democrats will probably replace her with someone else who will.

    Given those two observations, Trump would have to be an idiot not to circle the wagons and only trust those who are most loyal to him. After all, even the FBI was out to get him. Giuliani may not be in his prime anymore or even on top of the issues in the Stormy Daniels case, but when the Indians have your wagon train surrounded, loyalty is the first, last, and most important qualification for being inside the circle. That's all this is about.

    Every Democrat in Washington and half the Republicans, too, would throw Trump under the bus if they could--for any reason they could stuff through the Overton window. Giuliani is simply Trump's reaction to that.

    Under the circumstances, that isn't unreasonable.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Very true. So many seditious pieces of shit in both parties anymore. I do wish we had a real fire breathing AG ready to,stick it to all these people. Comedy, McCabe, all the Sanctuary City politicians, the Clintons, etc, should be viciously prosecuted. But none of that is happening.

    Which is all very bad for the country. All those people not o lay should be removed, but also have their careers and legacies shattered as well. Most should lose their freedom. Their sort should be living in mortal fear. Not arrogantly pushing their agendas.

  • BYODB||

    Since you literally can not indict a sitting President per Department of Justice rules, one might ask 'why the subpoena'?


    Of course, the answer is patently obvious unless you've taken a severe blow to the head: build a case for impeachment.

  • Zebra Jr.||

    Trump is a crucial witness. If Trump somehow manages to avoid answering questions because he's president those questions will still be there the day he's no longer president. Trump can run but he can't hide.

  • Sevo||

    Zebra Jr.|5.7.18 @ 8:40PM|#
    "Trump is a crucial witness."
    For what supposed crime?
    Pretty sure we have a loser here who just can't grow up.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    What questions? About what? In what psositons he fucked some bimbo a decade prior to announcing his run for the presidency?

    There is no crime before us for him to answer for. With 'the dossier' discredited, the only people looking at probably having committed an indentifiable crime are the aclintons, their lackeys, and many of the people currently investigating Trump.

  • Rockabilly||

    I dunno should he?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    Nope.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Under whose authority would Mueller be seeking a subpoena?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    The authority he and Rosenstein are pulling out eadh other's greasy assholes.
    Fm

  • Sevo||

    "Should Robert Mueller Subpoena President Trump?"

    IANAL, but is seems a subpoena is used to discover evidence regarding a specific crime. What crime is alleged?

  • Eidde||

  • Elias Fakaname||

    I could certainly give her some additional probing.

  • Tony||

    ^^ What are the odds on this guy ending up in federal prison for something truly horrific?

  • Elias Fakaname||

    A lot lower than you getting pinched for fucking little boys, you dirty pedophile.

  • UnityFollowsValues||

    The future of a nation given in to corrupt influence by big money now depends on a man with a track record of objective integrity. I also think Americans need to put their cell phones on secondary status and deal with the challenges real like is throwing at us to rediscover what matters to more of us than less. Those open dialogs - so sorely missing in government - can shape shared values and solutions to issues. Then both parties can be held accountable to how well they solve each need. Right now, the game has no winners. Let's change the game.

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