Former Federal Prosecutor on Mueller Testimony


Is the day after now we have the benefit of following up on the testimony of Robert Muller yesterday in the two house committees the judiciary in the intelligence committees immediately afterwards but now people have had a little bit of time to ruminate about what they heard what went on what it all meant and we have a couple of people who will be joining us this afternoon the first one I am delighted to say is Laurie Levenson Laurie Levenson is a professor of law at Loyola law school and she's also a former federal prosecutor and she joins us right now Hey Lori welcome to KGO thank you so much I'm so pleased to be with you I am pleased to have you as well I I don't know why but I didn't realize that you were a former federal prosecutor and I just think that gives you a different kind of look at what went on yesterday than those of us who are lay people especially those of us who aren't even lawyers so from the get go let's start it it out easy what did you think what was your overall impression of his testimony you know you're right I see things a little differently I think lot of people when they tuned in wanted to see the show and I was more interested in the information that we got so I so what mother many other peoples you know Bob Miller is not a great witness most lawyers are not that's not a comfortable role for him but that's not what mattered I think what was important was in the first session they were identifying four to five instances of obstruction and laying out what they believe the president and all these men did in that regard and the Republicans were using it for a totally different type of hearing they wanted this hearing to be held at the mall or investigation get started so was much more of a political show than it was but as we would say a legal proceeding I saw the hearing though before Adam ships committee a little differently for small Adam is a former federal prosecutor I had the pleasure working with him and his family just like that you know he sat out the theme that this is about this loyalty to the country and line and greed and I thought the questioning was much crisper at that point and I think Miller was giving up a little bit more than he had in the morning yeah in the morning it seemed as if a specially at the outset his questions were so limited and there were only certain areas that tended to animate him so a lot of the criticism that we heard immediately following and even into today and if you're reading newspaper articles today and especially if you tune into fox which I really try not to do that a lot of the criticism really does have to do with the performance of Robert Muller and not with the content the context of the information that was being presented what a lot of people say is that it didn't make any difference to the viewing public that most people had already taken a side on this and that based on Muller's testimony nobody is going to change their opinions you agree well I think that there is sort of this entrenchment in politics and along the parties we certainly saw that among the you know congressman who were there and they seem to just follow the pod poly it party flying but you know I am a little more optimistic I mean some of the messaging I do think that across there was and has been and continues to be tremendous Russian interference so to the extent that it gives the president stopped to acting cavalierly about his relationship with pollutants and stop saying things like well yeah I take that information again maybe that's a little bit of a step I don't think that people are going to believe that there's an exoneration but on the other hand I don't think a lot of people here so in the big steps now I don't think it moves the needle in open court and closer to impeachment in fact we may back off from it but the facts are a lot clearer having heard them from Bob Muller yeah I would have I will I want to believe this and so maybe that's the reason I say I would have work I am a member of the Judiciary Committee I would want to move forward with impeachment increase with it with the hearings not a voting right now on articles but moving forward and getting some of the other important figures from the Mahler report and others you know this doesn't have to be limited to what was disclosed in the mall report other witnesses to come in and to testify as to the corruption and the potential criminality in the high crimes and misdemeanors of the of Donald Trump wouldn't you well I think that's where they're headed I mean and I heard that during the hearing name suspect they really want don McGann to come in and testify I don't know if he's any better than Bob Muller is as a witness but I suspect he might be and he certainly had the direct contact with the president I'm here is that nobody got the president to actually provide a statement in person I think that's the biggest lacking in this entire investigation I don't disagree with you that continuing the requests for subpoenas makes sense but there's a trade off and that's what Nancy Pelosi saying she saying are we gonna lose our own people will never get the trump people but will we get lose our own people by being so busy focusing on that and not moving the needle on some real issues that need to be addressed problems out of the house out of the house they can do whatever they want to Mitch McConnell's going to kill it right and I'm you know and that's what the the patch for those who don't want to do impeachment is to say why are we going to do this when we know what's going to happen in the Senate but the outlook tournament of argument is we still don't have all the facts yet you know in my mind do you bring in more witnesses didn't have hope picks come in and don McGann but he just go for like the tax returns because if you have to pay that there are other directions all right lord let me ask you this and I'm I'm very serious about this were speaking by the way with Laurie Levenson she's a professor of law at Loyola and she's a former professor of federal prosecutor now I forget residents saying it was a so utterly important I don't remember anyway altera plunging okay you didn't mention well you're coming back here thought which is you know there was some discussion yesterday and whether he could be charged when he got out of office right and one does wonder what's happening up in New York that would be a normal jurisdiction for that to happen so you know all of this might just sort of be a way to say he's got to be held accountable when the hardest way but the way that's most important is that the coming election and it's frustrating I think that we didn't hear any of the major candidates yesterday remark on the ceiling two yeah none of whom said we second this is the guy who killed said scire Muller this is a guy who told people to lie and he's still somebody you're considering this is a guy who cozied up to the Russians welcome their information I just thought there was a huge irony when the Republicans were saying exoneration doesn't mean anything what was the president himself will interject at that so I nobody called him on the double speak they came after the hearing yeah and I I was very disappointed the democratic candidates because if they want to become president they will also be the head of the Democratic Party and so it's time for them to show that sort of leadership capability but in your comments you did remind me of what I had forgotten to say and it is important and it is bill bar bill bars the Attorney General of the United States and I suspect that he is somebody who can more readily more easily should he choose to obstruct investigations obstruct justice when it comes to president trump including those investigations are happening in federal courts outside of Washington DC how much should we be concerned about what bill bar is doing behind the scenes I am I'm actually very concerned you know when he first came into office I thought well you know he's career he is going to be loyal to doing what's right I don't have that same confidence anymore the what I'm most worried about is the investigation into the steel dossier in the beginning of the investigation I wanted to if you want to play politics he could twist that right against the Democrats and that would be much more damaging than anything that's happened up to now I think that's what they're attempting and there's another thing too and that also relates to some of what you were talking about when the president leaves office and and it Robert Muller made this clear yesterday certainly you can pursue criminal charges against him when he's no longer president except for the statute of limitations and he did not have an answer to that question the LC memo really didn't adequately address that so what does happen doesn't doesn't that by abiding by the LC terms you're assuming the president's only going to serve one term in office and otherwise if he's reelected is above the law well I think that's right I mean this all comes down to the election because I don't agree that that somehow and you told the time while he's in office if he gets a second term he's never going to be prosecuted and that's just a clear message that maybe has to go out to the public yeah I think I think that's absolutely true and I really appreciate you bringing that up listen let's get a one quick call here from one of our listeners before we go this is Lee calling from San Jose Lee welcome to KGO your own with Laurie Levenson go ahead that's wonderful I called the other day and I was very upset I read Gibbons decline and fall of the Roman Empire I could just about Roman history yeah are it and Bob and Cicero on duty right okay yes I'm scared but was just sort of had a scared chopped off are you are you we're gonna take Donald Trump to the guillotine no no well what's your question professor Levinson there's money and power yeah and and the thing is it is but err I will I used to be in touch with senator Robert Bork yes and we were we were to change letters in mail right yeah and he wrote losing America and that was when bush was president right so do you have a question for professor Levinson because I have limited time with her right now only no I understand I'm sorry it's okay I mean I I would like to respond to him yes please thank you Sir thank you Sir for realizing that what we face now is something that we've been warned about for centuries and then it comes down some of those basic values I think when Adam yes didn't get into the details but he got into what is at stake here as you mentioned before that really is what's at stake it's not about an individual prosecution it's not about an individual count it's not about about an element of the crime it's about the really big pictures and a threat to democracy so I don't mean to be overly dramatic but I think you're right on the spot I think we're being unduly dramatic at this point I mean it is turned into what some people view is a political game and the stakes as you said are so much higher than that we all need to pay attention and I do believe that Congress has to do its duty under the constitution and so do we as citizens we have to clamor for the kind of for the Congress to do its job and for the president to not be above the law and unless we do that man we set a precedent that I think it's scary you know I heard somebody that I respect tremendously yesterday he was actually in studio with me he's one of my colleagues and he said I'm opposed to impeachment Pat I'm opposed to impeach with because it overthrows the will of the people and I boggles my mind as well is it ever appropriate then because anytime you impeach an elected representative you're gonna overthrow the will of the people but there's a reason for it well you know I think that what we've learned is impeachment and politics can I like law a lot because it's a lot more certain were in really uncertain times thank you for having me on and thank you so much so it's been a pleasure talking with you eighty eighty a tennis or telephone number will come back with your telephone calls as we talk about the aftermath of the molar testimony and where do you think we go from here will the Democrats do you think by pursuing impeachment inquiry will they begin the hearings the hearings which really will allow them to get more witnesses and more information because the courts are going to be tilted toward what the Congress is asking for when what they are asking for is part and parcel of an impeachment investigation which is which is entirely within the purview of the Congress eighty eighty eight ten is the

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