Former federal prosecutor. Legal analyst for TV and print. Host, #OnTopic podcast. Columnist, @POLITICOMag. Partner @BCLPlaw. Instagram: renato.mariotti

Chicago, IL
Joined July 2016
Tonight I’ll be in @MSNBC @AymanMSNBC with @AymanM at 9 p.m. Eastern / 8 p.m. Central discussing the upcoming January 6th Committee hearing and the ongoing Mar-a-Lago investigation and New York AG litigation.
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Renato Mariotti retweeted
Yesterday I met Judge Luttig in person for the first time, when he came to @umichlaw to be our Constitution Day speaker. A thread: (1/11)
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Tonight I’ll be on @MSNBC @allinwithchris with @chrislhayes at 8:20 p.m. Eastern / 7:20 p.m. Central discussing today’s news that Trump’s attorneys are trying to use privilege claims to block grand jury testimony, as well as the New York Attorney General lawsuit.
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Renato Mariotti retweeted
“There is some precedent that’s not favorable to the former president. I’d say that’s an understatement. There’s a case directly on point.” --@renato_mariotti says Trump lawyers trying to block 1/6 testimony likely won't succeed because of what happened in Whitewater case.
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Do we know whether Joe Biden has silently declassified everything about Mr. Majewski with his mind?
Trump endorsed congressional candidate JR Majewski today says that the reason why there is no record of him serving in combat in Afghanistan in his service record is because it is “classified.”
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Biden’s speech pushed things back, but I will be on for back-to-back segments discussing (1) the January 6th subpoena fight over Eric Herschmann’s testimony and then (2) the Special Master proceeding before Judge Dearie.
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First segment starts at 43 after.
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Renato Mariotti retweeted
THREAD: Will Trump be able to block the testimony of former White House attorney Eric Hirschmann?
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4/ But what is even more important is what we *didn't* hear from Mr. Hirschmann. He did not tell the January 6th committee about advice that he provided to Trump. It's possible that he didn't provide any advice to him, but there have been recent reports to the contrary.
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5/ It is also safe to say that Trump would have no basis to block Hirschmann's testimony if he was only communicating to third parties, such as John Eastman. So does Trump have the right to block Hirschmann from testifying regarding his legal advice to Trump as president?
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6/ This is a rare situation where there is a case that is *directly* on point, which puts DOJ in a particularly strong position because this issue would be decided by a court that is bound to follow the prior decision, since it was by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
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7/ Back in 1998, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals (the appellate court right under the Supreme Court) decided whether then-Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr could compel Deputy White House Counsel Bruce Lindsey to testify to a grand jury regarding his advice to Bill Clinton.
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8/ Lindsey asserted attorney-client privilege over some communications with Clinton. He asserted executive privilege over other communications. Executive privilege is broader -- it covers communications that are not for the purposes of seeking legal advice -- but weaker.
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9/ The D.C. Circuit found that the discussions between Lindsey and former President Clinton were attorney-client privileged. However, in very definitive language, the court held that Lindsey was required to testify regarding privileged conversations. law.justia.com/cases/federal…
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10/ The court held that "when an executive branch attorney is called before a federal grand jury to give evidence about alleged crimes within the executive branch, reason and experience, duty, and tradition dictate that the attorney shall provide that evidence."
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11/ That is very different from the obligation of a private attorney in this context. If Hirschmann was in private practice and represented Trump personally, those communications would be privileged. Here he was a government attorney representing the Office of the Presidency.
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12/ As the court held, the duty of a government attorney "is not to defend clients against criminal charges and it is not to protect wrongdoers from public exposure" but rather to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed" as the Constitution requires.
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13/ Ironically, Brett Kavanaugh (who then worked for Kenneth Starr) was one of the lawyers arguing on the winning side in this case. Here, Hirschmann isn't asserting privilege, which puts DOJ in a stronger position than Starr was in against Lindsay. Plus there is the prior case.
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14/ This may take some time to play out, but DOJ is in a very strong position and is extremely likely to prevail here. This is just another example of why the DOJ has much stronger tools than Congress to investigate January 6th. Now they're using them. /end
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