On Topic with Renato Mariotti
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Join former federal prosecutor and CNN Legal Analyst Renato Mariotti as he breaks down the news in depth with WGN Radio host and comedian Patti Vasquez and a weekly guest.

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    Michael Cohen Testifies: Evidence of Financial Crimes? (with Mimi Rocah and Ro Khanna)

    Renato and Patti discuss the Congressional testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, including his discussing potential evidence of financial crimes as well as the evidence underlying his campaign finance convictions. They are joined by MSNBC Legal Analyst Mimi Rocah, a former Southern District of New York prosecutor, and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), a member of the House Oversight Committee.

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    Facilitating Lies: What Should Trump Administration Lawyers Do When They’re Asked to do Something Unconstitutional or Immoral? (with Erica Newland)

    In this special episode, Renato interviews Erica Newland, who quit the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel because she believed that by aiding unconstitutional and dishonest policies, she was assisting the Trump Administration by legitimizing lies. Erica is now a counsel for the nonprofit group Protect Democracy.

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    State of Chaos: What Comes Next for Mueller and for Trump’s “Emergency”? (with Barb McQuade and William Banks)

    Renato and Patti discuss numerous new legal developments, including the confirmation of Bill Barr as Attorney General, comments by Senator Richard Burr about evidence of “collusion” allegedly not found by his investigation, and the “national emergency” declared by Trump. They are joined by Barb McQuade, former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan and a MSNBC Legal Analyst, and Syracuse Law Professor William C. Banks.

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    Suspension of the INF Treaty: Did Trump put Russia’s interests Ahead of Our Own? (with Sam Vinograd)

    Renato discussed the Trump Administration’s decision to suspend the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) with Russia, and whether the Trump Administration’s foreign policy has put Russian interests ahead of our own. He was joined by Samantha Vinograd, a CNN National Security Analyst who was a former National Security Council official and held numerous foreign policy roles in the Obama and Bush Administrations.

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    Roger Stone Indicted: What Does This Mean for Mueller, Trump, and Congress? (with Mike Quigley and Barb McQuade)

    Renato and Patti discuss the recent indictment of Trump associate Roger Stone, who was indicted for lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstructing the investigation of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. They are joined by Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL), a member of that committee, and Barb McQuade, the former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan and a MSNBC Legal Analyst.

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    Mueller Corrects the Record: What Does This Mean and What Happens Next? (with Neal Katyal)

    Renato and Patti discuss the recent Buzzfeed News report that indicated there was substantial evidence that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress as well as the public statement by Mueller that the article is inaccurate and calls for Congress to investigate this and other matters. They are joined by former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal.

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    FBI Counterintelligence Investigation of Trump: Was Trump working for Russia? (with Asha Rangappa and John Sipher)

    Renato and Patti discuss the recent news that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation to determine if Trump was compromised by Russia and whether he was working for Russia to advance their interests ahead of our own. They are joined by former FBI counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa and former CIA officer John Sipher, who ran the CIA’s Russia’s operations.

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    State of Emergency: As the “Wall” Fight Looms, Has the Mueller Investigation Moved to its Final Stage? (with William Banks and Mimi Rocah)

    Renato and Patti discuss the president’s “emergency” powers, including the limits of those powers, how they can be challenged, and how they should be reformed, with Syracuse Law Professor William C. Banks. They also speak at length with MSNBC Legal Analyst Mimi Rocah about many recent developments in the Mueller investigation, including the revelation that former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort provided private polling data to a Russian intelligence operative.

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    The New Democratic House: How can Gerrymandering and Campaign Finance be reformed, and what will House Democrats do? (with Paul Smith and Ro Khanna)

    Renato and Patti discuss gerrymandering, which dilutes the power of voters to choose representatives, as well as campaign finance reform with Paul Smith, who has represents citizens in important gerrymandering and campaign finance reform cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. They also speak with Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) about the legislation introduced by House Democrats to combat gerrymandering and reform campaign finance, as well as the agenda for House Democrats in the year ahead.

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    Answering Your Questions: What Happened This Year and What is to Come? (with Joyce Vance)

    Renato and Patti discuss the most important legal news from the past year and what we can expect in the year ahead from the investigations of Donald Trump and his associates. Patti asks many questions from listeners to Renato and Joyce Vance, the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and MSNBC Legal Analyst.

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    Whitaker Doesn't Recuse, Barr's Memo, and Flynn's Hearing: is the Mueller investigation in jeopardy? (with Matthew Miller and Carlton Larson)

    Renato and Patti discuss three topics related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation--the hearing regarding General Michael Flynn's sentencing (and whether he committed treason), Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker's decision not to recuse from supervising the Mueller investigation, and the lengthy memo written by Attorney General nominee William Barr and sent to Justice Department officials and Trump's lawyers. They're joined by Matthew Miller, former Justice Department spokesperson and MSNBC contributor (regarding Whitaker and Barr) and Carlton Larson, Professor of Law at University of California at Davis (regarding treason).

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    Cohen and Manafort Filings: What Criminal Liability Does Trump Have? (with Neal Katyal)

    Renato and Patti discuss the recent filings by federal prosecutors in New York and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, including the conclusion by federal prosecutors that Donald Trump directed Michael Cohen to commit federal crimes. They are joined by Neal Katyal, the former Acting Solicitor General who authored the Special Counsel regulations.

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    Cohen Cooperates and Pleads: What Does This Mean for Trump? (with Asha Rangappa):

    Renato and Patti discuss Michael Cohen’s plea to the crime of lying to Congress and his cooperation deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. They also discuss the news that Manafort’s lawyers shared confidential information from Mueller with President Donald Trump’s lawyers. They are joined by Asha Rangappa, a CNN Legal Analyst, former FBI counterintelligence agent, and professor at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

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    Manafort Allegedly Lied to Prosecutors and Met With Assange: What does this mean for Mueller and Trump? (with Joyce Vance)

    Renato and Patti discuss Mueller’s allegation that former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort repeatedly lied to Mueller and the FBI after he agreed to cooperate. They also discuss the news that Manafort allegedly met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange multiple times. They are joined by Joyce Vance, the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama and MSNBC Legal Analyst.

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    Trump Against the Courts: Will Courts Continue to Check Trump When He Violates the Law? (With Chris Geidner)

    Renato and Patti discuss Trump’s criticism of Chief Justice Roberts as well as the asylum decision that prompted Trump’s attack on the judge that prompted Chief Justice Roberts to act. They also discuss the Trump Administration’s unusual decision to seek early Supreme Court review of the transgender ban. They are joined by Chris Geidner, Legal Editor and Supreme Court Correspondent at Buzzfeed News.

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    Revocation of a Press Credential: Assault on the First Amendment?

    Renato and Patti discuss the revocation of the press credential of CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta and a federal judge’s ruling that excluding Acosta violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.

    They discuss what the judge’s decision meant, how Trump’s attacks on the press endanger the First Amendment, and how future government actions will pose unique First Amendment issues.

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    Acting Attorney General Whitaker Under Scrutiny: Will He Last? (with Asha Rangappa)

    Renato discusses whether Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was lawfully appointed, whether he must recuse himself, and whether his extreme legal views should disqualify him from serving.

    He is joined by Asha Rangappa, a CNN Legal Analyst, former FBI counterintelligence agent, and professor at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

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    Voter Suppression: What is it and How does it Impact Voters? (with Hannah Fried)

    In this special episode before a live audience at Georgetown Law Center, Renato and Patti discuss efforts to make it more difficult to vote, including recent government actions that reduce registration and voting by minorities. They are joined by Hannah Fried, co-founder and Executive Director of Access Democracy.

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    Hate Crimes on the Rise: What Can be Done? (with James Gagliano)

    Renato and Patti discuss the bombs sent to targets of Donald Trump by one of his supporters as well as the mass murder at a synagogue by an anti-semite. They are joined by James Gagliano, a former FBI Supervisory Special Agent and CNN Law Enforcement Analyst.

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    The Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh: In the Wake of this Defeat, Should Democrats Adopt Questionable Tactics Used by Republicans? (with Matthew Miller)

    Renato and Patti discuss what Democrats could have done differently to oppose the Kavanaugh nomination, and whether Democrats should change their tactics to match Republican strategies that shatter well-established norms. They are joined by Matthew Miller, former spokesperson for the Justice Department and MSNBC Contributor, who argues that Democrats should have been more aggressive in attacking the limited FBI investigation of Kavanaugh.

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    The Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh: How Would He Change the Supreme Court? (with Neal Katyal)

    Renato and Patti discuss the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, including how he would impact the Court's rulings and recent controversies that arose during his confirmation hearing, including allegations that Kavanaugh lied under oath. They are joined by Neal Katyal, the former Acting Solicitor General who has argued many important cases before the Supreme Court.

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    Cohen Guilty and Weisselberg Cooperates: Beginning of the end for Trump? (with Natasha Bertrand)

    Renato and Patti discuss the implications of the charges and guilty plea of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as well as the cooperation of Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer of the Trump Organization, who reportedly received immunity. They are joined by Natasha Bertrand, a reporter for The Atlantic and MSNBC Contributor, who closely covers the Russia investigation and other legal matters related to president Donald Trump.

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