On Topic with Renato Mariotti

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.


Jeffrey Epstein Indicted: Will He Finally be Brought to Justice? (with Mimi Rocah)
Jul 14 • 61 min
Renato discusses the recent indictment of Jeffrey Epstein as well as the prior non-prosecution agreement that caused the resignation of former Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. He is joined by MSNBC Legal Analyst Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor in the…
Census Questions: Can Trump Add a Citizenship Question to the Census Despite the Supreme Court Ruling? (with Daniel Jacobson)
Jul 6 • 66 min
Renato and Patti discuss the Trump Administration’s reaction to the Supreme Court ruling on adding a citizenship question to the census, including the apparent reversal of its decision to remove the question after Trump tweeted about the issue. They are…
Insanitary Conditions: What is Wrong With Our Immigration System? (with Anthony Enriquez)
Jun 29 • 51 min
Renato and Patti discuss the recent death of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Valeria, the Trump Administration’s defense of insanitary conditions, and recent calls to repeal the illegal entry statute. They are joined by Anthony Enriquez,…
Opening an Impeachment Inquiry: Would It Help Democrats Obtain Evidence? (with Laurence Tribe)
Jun 24 • 38 min
Renato discusses what an impeachment inquiry would look like and whether opening an impeachment inquiry would help the House of Representatives obtain documents and testimony. He is joined by Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, the author of To End A…
Trump Welcomes Foreign Aid: How Can We Stop Future Election Interference? (with Asha Rangappa)
Jun 16 • 55 min
Renato and Patti discuss Donald Trump’s recent comments that he would accept aid from foreign nations and discuss whether our laws adequately protect our elections from foreign interference in the future. They are joined by former FBI counterintelligence…
Attack on the Free Press: How does the First Amendment protect the press from Trump? (with Kristy Parker)
Jun 6 • 60 min
Renato and Patti discuss Trump recent call for a boycott of AT&T due to CNN’s coverage, Trump’s attempt to prevent the AT&T-Time Warner merger to punish CNN, and other ways in which Trump has attacked the free press and undermined the First Amendment.…
Mueller Speaks: What Do His Carefully Chosen Words Tell Us? (with Garrett Graff)
May 30 • 40 min
Renato and Patti discuss the first public statement of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and what his words tell us about his decision not to reach a prosecutorial judgment as to obstruction of justice, his message to Congress, and more. They are joined by…
Attack on Reproductive Rights: How Will the Legal Battle Play Out? (with Caroline Frederickson)
May 20 • 35 min
Renato and Patti discuss new state laws that radically restrict reproductive rights, including new laws in Alabama and Missouri, and how these laws will fit into the nationwide legal battle over reproductive rights. They are joined by Caroline…
Aggressive Use of Executive Privilege: Will Trump Block McGahn’s Testimony (with Bob Bauer)
May 15 • 51 min
Renato discusses the White House’s use of executive privilege to keep former White House Counsel Don McGahn from complying with a House Judiciary Committee subpoena. He is joined by former White House Counsel Bob Bauer.
Fight Over Oversight: How Can Congress Fight Stonewalling? (with Josh Chafetz)
May 6 • 44 min
Renato and Patti discuss the Trump Administration’s strategy of stonewalling all subpoenas for documents issued by Congress as part of its oversight responsibilities. They are joined by Josh Chafetz, Professor of Law at Cornell Law School.
Unprecedented Obstruction: Can Trump Stonewall the House Indefinitely? (with Ro Khanna)
Apr 29 • 42 min
Renato and Patti discuss the Trump Administration’s attempts to stonewall the House investigations, including the investigations of the facts underlying the Mueller report. They are joined by Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), a member of the House Oversight…
Redacted Mueller Report: What Does a First Read Tell Us? (with Jennifer Rodgers and Asha Rangappa)
Apr 20 • 72 min
Renato and Patti discuss some of the important findings and conclusions in the redacted Mueller report, as well as Attorney General Bill Barr’s deceptive and misleading statements prior to his release of the report. They are joined by former federal…
Arrest of Assange: Does His Indictment Implicate Press Freedom? (with Barb McQuade)
Apr 14 • 46 min
Renato and Patti discuss the indictment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including whether there are implications for press risk and potential obstacles for the Justice Department posed by the charges. They are joined by MSNBC Legal Analyst Barb…
Full Disclosure: Will We See the Full Mueller Report and Trump’s Tax Returns? (with Asha Rangappa and Mimi Rocah)
Apr 9 • 51 min
Guest host Asha Rangappa (former FBI agent and CNN Legal Analyst) and Patti discuss the disclosure of the full Mueller report as well as Trump’s tax returns. They’re joined by former federal prosecutor and MSNBC Legal Analyst Mimi Rocah.
Following the Money: What Potential Financial Crimes Could Ensnare Trump? (with Asha Rangappa and Shan Wu)
Apr 1 • 47 min
Guest Host Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent and CNN Legal and National Security Analyst, and Patti discuss potential financial crimes that could create liability for Trump. They are joined by former federal prosecutor and CNN Legal Analyst Shan Wu.
The Barr Letter: What Questions Does it Raise? (with Barb McQuade)
Mar 27 • 56 min
Renato and Patti discuss the implications and aftermath of the letter of Attorney General Bill Barr purportedly describing the contents of the Mueller report, as well as Barr’s own conclusion that Trump did not obstruct justice. They are joined by MSNBC…
Mueller Report Arrives: What Does It Mean? (with Natasha Bertrand, Jennifer Rodgers, Shan Wu, and Asha Rangappa)
Mar 23 • 76 min
Renato discusses the questions raised by the transmission of the Mueller report to Attorney General Bill Barr, as well as what we can expect to happen next. He is joined by Atlantic reporter and MSNBC Contributor Natasha Bertrand, former federal…
Unexpected Prosecutions: Manafort’s State Charges and the College Admissions Scandal (with Joyce Vance)
Mar 16 • 47 min
Renato and Patti discuss the charges brought against Manafort by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance as well as the wide-ranging college admissions fraud charges brought by federal prosecutors in Massachusetts. They are joined by Joyce Vance, former…
Manafort Sentenced: Does Manafort’s Lenient Sentence Tell Us How Federal Sentencing Should Be Reformed? (With Ken White)
Mar 9 • 58 min
Renato and Patti discuss the lenient sentence given to former Trump chair Paul Manafort by federal judge T.S. Ellis, as well as sentencing disparities and other structural inequities in federal sentencing law. They are joined by former federal prosecutor…
Michael Cohen Testifies: Evidence of Financial Crimes? (with Mimi Rocah and Ro Khanna)
Mar 2 • 72 min
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…
Facilitating Lies: What Should Trump Administration Lawyers Do When They’re Asked to do Something Unconstitutional or Immoral? (with Erica Newland)
Feb 27 • 45 min
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…
End of the Mueller Investigation: What Will We Learn and What Will It Mean for Trump? (with Asha Rangappa)
Feb 23 • 54 min
Renato and Patti discuss recent reports that the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller will end soon and that Attorney General William Barr will release a summary of Mueller’s report but not the full report. They are joined by former FBI…
State of Chaos: What Comes Next for Mueller and for Trump’s “Emergency”? (with Barb McQuade and William Banks)
Feb 16 • 83 min
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”…
State of Lies: How Should the Press Cover Trump’s Lies and Misleading Statements? (with Daniel Dale)
Feb 8 • 53 min
Renato and Patti discuss Trump’s frequent false and misleading statements and how the media’s coverage of Trump’s lies could contribute to the distortion of public debate caused by his false statements. They are joined by Daniel Dale, the Washington…
Suspension of the INF Treaty: Did Trump put Russia’s interests Ahead of Our Own? (with Sam Vinograd)
Feb 4 • 45 min
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…
Roger Stone Indicted: What Does This Mean for Mueller, Trump, and Congress? (with Mike Quigley and Barb McQuade)
Jan 26 • 68 min
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…
Mueller Corrects the Record: What Does This Mean and What Happens Next? (with Neal Katyal)
Jan 21 • 76 min
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…
FBI Counterintelligence Investigation of Trump: Was Trump working for Russia? (with Asha Rangappa and John Sipher)
Jan 13 • 89 min
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…
State of Emergency: As the “Wall” Fight Looms, Has the Mueller Investigation Moved to its Final Stage? (with William Banks and Mimi Rocah)
Jan 10 • 78 min
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…
The New Democratic House: How can Gerrymandering and Campaign Finance be reformed, and what will House Democrats do? (with Paul Smith and Ro Khanna)
Jan 5 • 74 min
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…
Answering Your Questions: What Happened This Year and What is to Come? (with Joyce Vance)
Dec 28, 2018 • 67 min
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…
Whitaker Doesn’t Recuse, Barr’s Memo, and Flynn’s Hearing: is the Mueller investigation in jeopardy? (with Matthew Miller and Carlton Larson)
Dec 22, 2018 • 74 min
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…
Trump Implicated: Is Trump Guilty of a Campaign Finance Crime? (with Josh Gerstein, Trevor Potter, and Bob Bauer)
Dec 17, 2018 • 90 min
In this special episode, Renato and Patti discuss in depth the allegations that Trump committed a campaign finance crime when he caused hush money payments to be made to two women during his campaign. They are joined by POLITICO reporter Josh Gerstein,…
Cohen Sentenced and Butina Flips: Who will federal prosecutors in New York charge next? (with Mimi Rocah)
Dec 13, 2018 • 61 min
Renato and Patti discuss the sentencing of Michael Cohen, the non-prosecution agreement with the company that owns the National Enquirer, and the potential cooperation of Russian spy Maria Butina. They are joined by Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor…
Cohen and Manafort Filings: What Criminal Liability Does Trump Have? (with Neal Katyal)
Dec 8, 2018 • 70 min
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…
Cohen and Flynn Sentencing Memoranda: What Do They Reveal About the Mueller Investigation? (with Ken White)
Dec 5, 2018 • 54 min
Renato and Patti discuss the revelation in Michael Cohen’s sentencing memorandum that Cohen discussed his false testimony with Trump’s lawyers. They also discuss the sentencing memorandum in Michael Flynn’s case, which was filed as the podcast was…
Cohen Cooperates and Pleads: What Does This Mean for Trump? (with Asha Rangappa):
Nov 30, 2018 • 53 min
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…
Manafort Allegedly Lied to Prosecutors and Met With Assange: What does this mean for Mueller and Trump? (with Joyce Vance)
Nov 28, 2018 • 46 min
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…
Trump Against the Courts: Will Courts Continue to Check Trump When He Violates the Law? (With Chris Geidner)
Nov 26, 2018 • 61 min
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…
Revocation of a Press Credential: Assault on the First Amendment?
Nov 19, 2018 • 41 min
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…
Acting Attorney General Whitaker Under Scrutiny: Will He Last? (with Asha Rangappa)
Nov 12, 2018 • 57 min
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…
Sessions is Fired: Will Whitaker Fire or Limit Mueller? (with Mimi Rocah)
Nov 8, 2018 • 31 min
Renato and Patti discuss the firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the appointment of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. They are joined by Mimi Rocah, a MSNBC Legal Analyst and former federal prosecutor.
Trump’s Racist Immigration Strategy: What Does It Mean For Our Nation? (with Kimberly Atkins)
Nov 6, 2018 • 43 min
Renato and Patti discuss the racist ad released by Donald Trump depicting immigrants as dangerous and falsely blaming Democrats for permitting criminals to enter our country. They are joined by Kimberly Atkins, the Washington Bureau Chief of the Boston…
Voter Suppression: What is it and How does it Impact Voters? (with Hannah Fried)
Nov 5, 2018 • 37 min
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…
Hate Crimes on the Rise: What Can be Done? (with James Gagliano)
Oct 29, 2018 • 54 min
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…
The murder of Jamal Khashoggi: How Should the United States Respond? (with Max Boot)
Oct 22, 2018 • 37 min
Renato and Patti discuss the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives and the Trump Administration’s response to the murder. They are joined by Max Boot, Washington Post columnist and Fellow at the Council on Foreign…
Family Separation: Why Does it Continue and What Can Be Done About It? (with David Leopold)
Oct 14, 2018 • 51 min
Renato and Patti discuss the Trump Administration’s family separation policy and the legality of young children signing away their rights. They are joined by David Leopold, the past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and a frequent…
The Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh: In the Wake of this Defeat, Should Democrats Adopt Questionable Tactics Used by Republicans? (with Matthew Miller)
Oct 9, 2018 • 43 min
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…
The Kavanaugh Hearing: What Does it Mean for His Nomination and the Nation?
Sep 28, 2018 • 47 min
Renato and Patti discuss the testimony of Professor Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Recorded moments after the hearing ended, they discuss what happened, what it means for Kavanaugh’s nomination, and what the lasting impact of this…
Professor Christine Blasey Ford Comes Forward: What Does This Mean for the Kavanaugh Nomination and for Women? (with Judith Lichtman)
Sep 23, 2018 • 43 min
Renato and Patti discuss the implications of Professor Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that Judge Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her 37 years ago. They are joined by Judith Lichtman of the National Partnership for Women & Families, who testified at…
Manafort Flips: What does this mean for Mueller and the Trump Presidency? (with Joyce Vance)
Sep 16, 2018 • 37 min
Renato and Patti discuss the implications of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s decision to “flip” and cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller. They are joined by Joyce Vance, the former United States Attorney for the Northern District of…
The Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh: How Would He Change the Supreme Court? (with Neal Katyal)
Sep 10, 2018 • 44 min
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…
Firing the White House Counsel: Part of a Scheme to Obstruct Justice? (with Bob Bauer)
Sep 4, 2018 • 48 min
Renato and Patti discuss the implications of Trump’s firing of White House Counsel Don McGahn, including whether it was intended to obstruct the Russia investigation. They are joined by Bob Bauer, who served as White House Counsel for Barack Obama
Cohen Guilty and Weisselberg Cooperates: Beginning of the end for Trump? (with Natasha Bertrand)
Aug 27, 2018 • 35 min
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…