tv Bob Bauer and Jack Goldsmith After Trump Virtual CSPAN August 2, 2021 6:05am-6:28am EDT
decision to report president trump's call to the ukrainian president, onto his first impeachment. national security analysts peter bergen books in the life and the rise and fall of osama bin laden and an honor bound, recalling her military service in her decision to better politics and run against senate minority leader and a leader mitch mcconnell. also being published this week, wall street journal tech reporters provides history of elon musk auto company tesla and powerplay. in the ambassador, historian susan reynolds describes joseph kennedy's time as ambassador to great britain in the lead up to world war ii. and rebecca donner, tell the story with american mildred who led an underground resistance group in germany during world war ii and all the frequent troubles of our base. find these titles this coming week wherever books are sold in watch for many of the authors to appear in the near future on
book tv. >> good evening everybody and welcome, braddock graham the co-owner along with my wife and we have a very relevant and thought-provoking program for you this evening featuring two accomplished attorneys with high-level government experience. bob bauer and jack smith their here to talk about the book, after trump, reconstructing presidency. and jack is a veteran of the republican administration, walmart in a democratic one and together they have present the consort of god to the damage to donald trump's presidency did to our company institution and suggested how to go about repairing and better protecting our system. a couple of house keeping notes, to post a question and any point, just click on the q&a icon at the bottom of the screen. the function will also be active
for comments not questions i was questions in the q&a column. in the column, you'll find a list of purchasing copies after trump. and jack served under president george w. bush first as a special counsel to the department of defense from 2002 - 2003 and then as head of the office of legal counsel the justice department in 2003 - 2004. now professor at harvard law school, is also cofounder l'affaire in written previous books one a firsthand account of legal battling in the bush and ministration over territory imposing actions in there about the disappearance of jimmy hoffa and jack's relationship with his own stepfather was a prime suspect in the disappearance. involve service white house counsel to president obama, 2010 - 2011 and was a senior advisor
to joe biden's campaign. he's professor at nyu law school and the codirector there of the legislative and regulatory process clinic. and jack and bob's book came out last fall before it was known whether or not trump would win a second term. another these out of office, the book is especially relevant to today's national discussion over how to repair the better institution trump left behind. books basic premise is that the reform effort will require more than just a different and more appropriate attitude by biden and his team and presidency jack involve argue it's gaps and ambiguities and laws and norms and broader weaknesses of presidential accountability. and it will require serious restructuring and guarding against. [inaudible]. excuse me, have something here.
well it will guard against similar exploitations by potential future president with authoritarian tenancy. the authors put forward in the book as many as 60 changes to laws regulations and forms as measures. i'm sure were in pretty lively discussion. so mom and jacket, the screen is yours. >> thank you so so much and i'm going to speak first. i'm jack goldsmith i'm very grateful as always for having us discuss this book and everybody for listening get. in the book is called after trump reconstructing the presidency and i'm going to talk about why bob and i wrote this book and then briefly summarize with one project that we propose the book that mr. graham said the book was published in september of 2020 and we didn't know if after trump would be 2021 or 2025.
that we now know that after trump is with us, and so i try to be slain in general terms of the book is about bob is going to talk about where the reform project is now in the urgency of reforming the presidency now and the priorities to the reform. and what we are doing to help achieve reform. all started by to talk about how bob and i came to write this book be served in the obama administration i served in the george w. bush administration. we will serve as senior executive lawyers positions about was in the white house and i was in the justice department. i different political outlooks on things, became friends after bob left the obama administration. about was teaching a class at nyu law school which i went to and we started discussing our views about the proper role of lawyers and the executive branch. and actually agreed initially to write a book about the white
house counsel read which is the office the top lawyer in the white house with fighting as the present on the personal basis representing the government been a very close basis. there's never been a great book about white house counsel bob had strong views about it is a nice predict from different perspectives and make met one day to talk about that book. an outline the book and this is about a year and half ago and in the course this was in january of 2020, and in the course of trying to sketch of that book which kept coming back to the truck presidency. we kept talking about all of the things a trump done to violate the norms and exposed limits and accountability. and we are both students of the presidential reform in 1970, the ones that were famously
implemented after watergate in vietnam after the church commissions. reforms that really regulated every aspect of the presidency after the debacle of the imperial presidency in the early 70s. reform is a work markedly well interview for 40 or 50 years but the reforms would seem to have on the course by the type trump came to office. so by the end of the day, bob and i decided that when trump left office and will be a similar conversation in a similar need comprehensive reform of the presidency. and like would have in 1970 so we set out to basically write a book that would be something of a roadmap of how to think about those reforms. so before i get to what we proposed i just want to expire because i don't think this is very clearly understood. the unique challenges to the presidency.
that donald trump posed. obviously trump was on first president to be accused of excessive use of the president's power. some of trump's predecessors characteristic excesses released alleged excesses such as unilateral uses of force and aggressive ways or unilateral extensions of the administrative power, these were not the kind of where is my boss is bush did, disregarding laws in the name of article to power presidential power, these are not trump's characteristic views. truce abuses i had to summarize them, were the following. he basically merged the institutional presidency, the office of the presidency the public office, with his personal interests in a way that had never been done by the president and in a way to basically cover the landscape in every form of
corruption. just to give you some examples, these are examples remembering from the truck presidency, nondisclosing's taxes nondisclosing his finances, these are all things the presence had done going back to the 70s. in a really great his wife mixing his business interests with his public office and using his public office for profiting off of his business interests and separating itself from its businesses the weight of the presence had and the justice department cases in ways we have not seen since watergate to protect himself and to protect others. in his political friends and also to try to urge the justice department to uses very powerful tool to help him read trump used his control over the diplomacy and law enforcement technology or powers to help him win the election, john bolton's book,
the very conservative john bolton who saw trump up close and personal said that in the context of his kind of law enforcement and in his kind of abuse diplomatic our, he basically said the trump seem to commit of obstruction of justice as a way of life. another example of the lustful use is the parking power work trump use this power promiscuously and not in obvious ways illegally but certainly abusively, there's not been present has come close to using the pardon power and self-serving ways to help them to pursue political agenda and help himself. in the way the truck didn't some presidents presidents had done some of that in the past but that was exceptional and trump made it the rule. so these were all that i would call serious abuses of power and amazingly, not necessarily illegal.
some might've been illegal in software the most of these abuses of power, were for various reasons not law, there were certain. norms of the expectations of behavior that we have for presidents that aren't necessary are enforceable by law they don't have a penalty illegal diligently and you can enforce them in court. there is no potential prosecution. these are rules and expected behavior presidents who act like presidents are expected to do. and these norms are the most they grew up naturally enough in the 70s they grew up self-consciously. president had complied with conflict of interest rules and independent rules of the justice department and the like and trump blew through all of these norms and exposed all of these norms as basically useless and concerning the president.
he was indifferent to these norms which are vitally important to our confidence in executive power into ensuring the president acts in the public interest in accordance with the law even if the sanction is norms is not law. pretty clear that trump also attempted to violate the laws many times he may have, we can talk about the different instances if you want read the most extraordinary episode of this is the ten episodes were counted in them mueller investigation about trump trying interfere with law enforcement, the connection with the investigation. now come back to that in a moment. another element of trump's abuses were that this is typical of popular dialogues, he made it commonplace to attack the most important institutions of the american presidency, every afforded institution the start of trump's attack is including congress, the courts, his own
officials, members of his own party. judges, i'm sorry, brady said that, state officials, institutions within the executive rash like the fbi the cia he sought to denigrate and deny and to destroy trust of all of these institutions. what you do about the president hike this. the book of bob and i wrote are premised on the idea that we may have another trump and indeed we may have much more clever trump, one of the most extraordinary things to understand about him was that he was actually in many instances thankfully incompetent read over the executive power he was a very good. and i mentioned in the mueller report the trump 20 get somebody to stop it into fire mueller an amazing thing was that he had the power in the formal power to accomplish that, he couldn't get anyone to do it. he was not good at using the
executive power to achieve his head. in the worry is that these gaps and accountabilities these week norms, these gaps in law, are going to still be there when we have another president who is a populist demagogue and it could be a republican/right wing for democrats/left-wing populist demagogue pretty but the worry is that you can have a more competent president who can take an even greater advantage of these groups. so we basically think the contrast is now and will talk more about that. so if i were to describe, let me just say, for thanks, four assumptions are working assumptions and proposing a reform that we do for between the presidency so to speak. neither bob nor i would say this in the book explicitly, our project is not to significantly
reduce presidential power. don't think that the office of the presidency needs to be significant to trump, there's a conversation to be had about that. it's on our project. we think that the is and see is vital to the station the operation of the economy into national security and we have a powerful presidency on the presidency needs republicans have confidence in the presence actually enforcing the law the president is acting the public interest. so the president needs to be constrained to be accountable to the people. that is a project were also very attentive, lots of reforms that end up in the past that have ended up making things worse rather than better pretty famous example of this is an evident counsel statute after watergate was created a super independent counsel to examine allegations of executive branch. i was in the 1970s by the end of the 1990s, have the experience with the clinton
impeachment and the like, those bipartisan consensus that had gone too far and made confidence in government worse not better and this happens a lot in president reforms predict we are very attentive to help the reform can be weapon eyes and abused and proposing it the reforms we do. and bob i actually acted on by what we called the golden rule and that is that we tried to or we don't agree on everything, especially about political matters but we tried to use that as a strength going into this project thinking that if we could agree on things, maybe there was a way to achieve a broader consensus about these things. ended up agreeing on everything in the book except one thing we can talk about it again if you want. but the idea was that any constraint that we are proposing for president, we decided was a constraint i would be the extent of us both of us if our
preferred present was in office and power and discretion we were given the president is one that we would be comfortable being exercised by a president that somebody we didn't want to be an officer we did above for. and political detachment for ourselves but we tried to step back as much as we could from the politics and addressing these issues in the final general point that i will make is that we really were attentive to the lessons of history which is important for many reasons here every chapter of the book and there are 14 tactics of the 13, every chapter in the book sketches the history of the particular presidential power or discretion issue tenant talks about how these powers have worked with prior presidents and for a lot of these trump laws, most abusive the present, and all the most, a lot had prehistory some of the presidents doing thing similar
we thought it was important to both prior reforms and prior presidential actions in each chapter to put trump in context and to learn from those prior presidential actions and attempts to reform is not to commit mistakes. with that, rather lengthy background, i am just going to briefly summarize the reforms of the book without getting into the details and bob will discuss some of these in more detail. so the book has three parts, part one focuses on how to achieve better protections against abuses of presidential power for personal and political gain. in most of these reforms are reforms that need to be implemented by congress and most of these reforms are basically have the following qualities. divide norms in the past tax disclosures, conflict interest limits on the part of power and they were governed pretty successfully bite norms in the past we think trump shows those
norms are just inadequate we need real enforceable hard legal constraint to ensure that the presidents for example, to encounter the growing state presidential campaigns and mueller report revealed gaps in the way that foreign influence new selections are regulated. we thank you so gaps need to be close by statute. and we think that the norms work pretty well in preventing conflict of interest, need to be made into very strictly enforceable laws and and the president needs to be separated by law and obtain a criminal penalty and for the businesses there needs to be completely open. it is for estate investments especially need to be open and reported to congress in all of this needs to be legal machinery behind it. the tax disclosure requirement which worked quite well as a matter of norms is been made a matter of law and finally this chapter we think that it is hard
to reform the pardon power because the bargaining power is one of the core powers of the president in article to read we believe there are ways that congress can bacardi rails on extreme abuses of presidential power especially use them to pardon for the use of a pardon to obstruct justice. and we think the law can and should be clarified even if he does these things and were pretty confident that these are constitutional and permissible for the congress to do and make very clear that the presidential self pardon which trump threatened but did not follow through on, is not constitutional in the congress has the final word in that we can certainly have a safe and with the final view is from the supreme court. as part one of the book in part to the book focuses on very complicated and delicate relationship between the white
house and the justice department when it comes to enforcement the rule of law in this country. this is a really tough issue, the reason and there is no single reform to fix this and we have lots of proposals and one of the problems is in this area, it is hard for congress to regulate because this is again a hard presidential power, law enforcement and supervision of the justice department is at the core of the presidency executive power. and this is why so many elements starting at watergate and managing this relationship has been done by norms rather than statutory reform. and bob and i have a series of reforms to basically a lot of this came up with the norm for cleared when they were not clear, the work disregarded or circumvented. a lot of instances, the norms were just missing. in a lot of instances the norms learned, they didn't have an
enforcement. so there a lot of people are skeptical that reforms can be done, the norms that will be binding on a future president is left to hold into and that is certainly legitimate concern. but norms work even in the trump presidency. there's a lot that he has people wanted him to do but he didn't. now perfectly that they worked remarkably well we think are a lot of steps that can be taken special counsel regulations to make it clear of the prosecutions are not allowed and throughout all of the guidance and to how the fbi investigations of presidential campaigns and presidents should be conducted read into rethinking the relationship between the lawyers the white house and the lawyers in the justice department actually taking power away from the white house where politics are e
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