Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio to discuss the potential for the 2020 election results to be decertified and the consequences of unelected bureaucrats.
Leahy: I’m always glad to have that great, steady, calming influence of that find Southern gentleman Andy Ogles, the Mayor of Maury County.
Ogles: Good morning. Because, you know, it’s good to have that calm, thoughtful, responsiveness to the hot energy I bring when we’re looking at these election issues. I would love to get your reaction to this.
And we have a story at The Tennessee Star. I’ll read the headline and the first two paragraphs and then get your reaction. This is a national story, but it does have state impact because we’ve got the problem here of illegal aliens coming into Tennessee. And it’s causing difficulties and expenses from the state.
We’ll get to that in a bit. Let me look at this story. I want to get your reaction. Headline. Former Trump Campaign Advisor Boris Epshteyn Predicts States Will Decertify 2020 Election Results.
Boris Epshteyn, attorney and former strategic advisor to the 2020 Trump campaign predicted many states will decertify their election results for the November 2020 election. In an interview with Gina Loudon, our friend, Epshteyn said the series of audits that may occur could lead to the reversal.
Additionally, this is what he says. There is no language in the Constitution that prevents such a move. “The further we go on this freight train of audits from Arizona to Georgia to Pennsylvania, and the more deeply horrifying information is uncovered. Ballots missing. Databases missing in Arizona. Fulton County, chain of custody documents missing in Georgia and Atlanta. Pennsylvania, a total cesspool of disaster. The more that information comes out, the more Americans believe this was a fraudulent election,” Epshteyn said.
What do you make of this claim that states will decertify their election results?
Ogles: I think that the last statement is key. We’re in unprecedented waters here constitutionally. The question is, there is no mechanism. So what happens next? And so ultimately, you think, well, it’s going to get kicked to the Supreme Court.
Well, the Supreme Court has already dodged this bullet. They wouldn’t hear it. You only had two dissenting votes in that case, and it was Alido and Thomas. So if they decertify and there’s a case to decertify and it goes to the Supreme Court, What’s the standing? How do you get standing before the Supreme Court?
Leahy: Neither of us are attorneys. But I think you’ve asked a critical question. I do think that it’s entirely possible that Georgia and Arizona, and in particular, Arizona because the state Senate is Republican.
The state House is Republican, same as in Georgia, although they’ve been a little weak in Georgia, they’re controlled by Republicans. I think it is possible that a special session could be held or even a regular session in January.
And reviewing all this evidence, I think they could say we vote to decertify the election. Okay. What’s the impact of that? And the answer is in terms of legal mechanism, nothing. Now in terms of public opinion, however, and I think this is the angle they’re going at.
I think a growing belief that this was an unlawful election and in many cases, and we’re looking in Georgia more and more that they can’t produce chain of custody documents as we speak today, seven and a half months after the election, there are no chain of custody documents for more than 300,000 absentee ballots cast in that election where the margin of victory was less than 12,000.
Ogles: Wow. At what point does this one become criminal? But, you know, I’ve had the opportunity kind of here as COVID’s been waning to speak, quite frequently across the state. And I can tell you, overwhelmingly, as I go around and I’m talking to these various groups from Jackson to Knoxville and everywhere in between that people think this election was stolen.
And I think more and more of these audits are showing that there’s a whole lot of monkey business or incompetence that took place. But at the end of the day, we were defrauded out of a true and honest election.
Leahy: Well, that’s the mantra now from the Secretary of State in Georgia. Sloppy but not fraudulent.
Ogles: Yeah, right.
Leahy: Sloppy, but not fraudulent. And it’s not just The Georgia Star News our site in Georgia. Just the News. Did you see what they got? John Solomon’s group. They got a 29 page memo from this guy by name of Carter Jones, who observed what happened in Fulton County from November second to November seventh.
And it is just a litany of a massive chain of custody problems. We’ve only reported on the movement of absentee ballots, which, by the way, they still haven’t produced the 385 missing transfer forms for 18,000 ballots to us at The Georgia Star News.
Fulton County claims to provided or Georgia Public Broadcasting complains that they provided all the missing documentation to them on Wednesday in 48 hours of receiving a request from them.
Six and seven months after we’ve requested it. We don’t have any of that data yet. They still haven’t provided it to us. And by the way of the ones we looked at, five percent of those absentee ballots were delivered to the registrar before they were collected at the dropbox. (Ogles chuckles) Time travel. If you believe in time travel, you believe in the certification of that election.
Ogles: I mean, that’s like Pulitzer Prize-winning. You just proved time travel.
Leahy: Time travel!
Ogles: But, you know, Laura Baigert who was on this story for The Georgia Star News, she got a shout out from our former President Trump. That has to be an amazing accomplishment from a journalist’s perspective.
I mean, Trump is Trump. Whether you like, like Trump or dislike Trump, he’s in his own kind of stratosphere. And to be given a shout-out by the former President is pretty amazing.
Leahy: Well, he’s tracking this, and it’s important stuff. And what’s interesting is you get in the weeds on this stuff. But in an election where you have absentee ballots placed in drop boxes, what a formula for fraud that is.
By the way, the Georgia state legislature did not authorize the use of drop boxes. There were 300 around Georgia. 37 in Fulton County not authorized. It was an emergency election code rule passed by the Georgia State Election Board that put them in place.
They had a rule about how you track them. So it’s very complicated. But the chain of custody was broken on so many levels there. The way they worked it is you would put these ballots in a dropbox.
And then these election workers, some of them who worked for apparently, this attempt service called Happy Faces, who got the contract with Fulton County because they were represented by wait for it…Stacey Abrams. (Ogles chuckles)
Gee, what could go wrong there? But what we can trace is they took these ballots, apparently, to a warehouse. And they held them there until they were going to count them in the election. Supposedly they tracked the movement of absentee ballots from 37 drop boxes to the warehouses.
They’re also supposed to, although it’s not an election code rule, apparently, there were some instructions that there’s a mechanism for tracking the movement of absentee ballots from the warehouse a couple of days before the election to four miles away to the counting center at the State Farm Arena, and then back.
You’re supposed to put them in a box. Number the boxes and track all that. They haven’t done that at all.
Ogles: So you’re saying an unelected bureaucrat change election law under the nose of the legislature, kind of like CRT in Tennessee.
Leahy: Exactly like it. This is why this is kind of circling back to what is making people so angry.
Ogles: That’s right. Because our bureaucrats are doing things that they’re not authorized to do by law, and we’re being forced to live with it. And not just on the consequences of this election, but in everyday life and in everyday life here in Tennessee.
Ogles: That’s right.
Listen to the second hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Philip Hamburger who is a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School to the newsmakers line to discuss constitutional covenants and abuses of administrative law.
Leahy: We are delighted to welcome on our newsmaker line, one of my intellectual heroes. I’ve never had a chance to interview him. But Professor of law at Columbia Law School, Philip Hamburger. A leading intellectual in America today on issues of the Constitution. Welcome to The Tennessee Star Report Professor Hamburger.
Hamburger: Thank you. It’s a great pleasure to be here. Thank you so much.
Leahy: Well, look, we have talked often on this program about the overreach of the administrative state. And you’ve talked about administrative law. You’ve written about when administrative agencies regulate us, they exercise the legislative power that the Constitution gives to Congress un-elected bureaucrats, thus displace elected representatives.
This has been a dangerous trend. You’ve written about it extensively. Can you briefly describe what kind of difficulties this is cause for our constitutional Republic?
Hamburger: Well, there are so many. I don’t know. We can take the whole program listing the problems. (Chuckles) The real danger is that we are established as a Republic in which we elect our lawmakers.
We govern ourselves. Our laws are binding on us because we consent to them through elections. And we don’t always win the election. We don’t always get our way. But we know we participate in a process in which we get to elect those who make our laws.
And the problem, of course, is that much of the law-making, in fact, I’d say about 90 percent of it these days is not made by legislators who were elected but by unelected bureaucrats. And their tastes and their interests don’t coincide with ours and even if they did, they’re not terribly responsive to our needs. So that’s a disaster.
Leahy: It’s entirely a disaster. Professor Hamburger. Crom Carmichael, our original all-star panelist and another big fan of yours has a question for you.
Carmichael: Professor, the question that I have is this. Suppose an administration came into power and I would assume it would have to be a Republic administration but they haven’t done much better on the subject that you’re addressing. (Hamburger chuckles)
But suppose one did come into power that proclaimed during the inaugural address that under this person’s administration that the practice of administrative law will be believed to be unconstitutional on its face, and that any bureaucrat who presumes that they have the power of the legislature and tries to assert that power shall be terminated. Is that legal?
Hamburger: It certainly is up to the point of termination where there are some complicated questions. But I entirely agree with you. I think this is absolutely on point. You don’t have to wait for the Supreme Court.
A President who understood the problem could, I think, quite wisely, decide simply to instruct all federal officers not to pursue administrative power at all. And by the way, I think the President has a duty to do this.
The President has a duty to take care that the laws are faithfully enforced in the highest law of the Constitution. Although the question I think constitutionally, the President should be able to fire such officers, there would be a legal battle over that.
But the President, I think, could quite easily simply insist that administrative power not be exercised. It’s complicated but possible.
Carmichael: Well, then what I think I’m hearing you say is that the laws protecting government bureaucrats are a powerful law. But if a President did assert in the inaugural address and then a bureaucrat shortly after that, I’m sure somebody would test it.
And if he fired that person, that person would then have to sue to get their job back. And the court would then resolve whether or not a bureaucrat has a power greater than that of Congress.
Hamburger: That’s right. I must say I actually have proposed something like this in the past, and I think ideally it would be done in a proclamation followed up with executive orders.
I think one would have different orders and proclamations for different agencies because in some cases it would be a clearer path than others. But constitutionally, in the end, I think the President certainly has the power to do this. The real question is whether President would have the fortitude and the wisdom to do it.
Leahy: Absolutely. You started in 2017, the New Civil Liberties Alliance, and you’re using the courts to stop this administrative overreach by bureaucrats. How is that succeeding? And are you stopping this growing tide of bureaucratic power?
Hamburger: Well, as a friend told me, Rome was not burned in one night. (Leahy laughs)
Leahy: I love that line.
Hamburger: (Chuckles) Yes. I wish I had thought of it. But we are having some remarkable success with such a young organization. The New Civil Liberties Alliance now has about 20 employees who are litigating every day.
I’ll give you just one example of where I think we’re having a real effect on the ground. I just learned that the Security and Exchange Commission has greatly reduced the number of prosecutions it conducts in its own in-house administrative tribunals, these Kangaroo courts that are biased, that don’t give juries.
They now only have 12 of these proceedings. And I think that’s very much in response to our litigation against the Security Exchange Commission. Our goal is to have that effect across the administrative state.
And it’s actually very gratifying that already they’ve been forced to cut back so much at such a leading administrative agency. So I think we are having a very real effect, but we just want to keep on pushing and pushing until we restore constitutional covenants.
Leahy: We have a couple of our friends who are on the board of advisors at the New Civil Liberties Alliance, our good friend, Professor Randy Barnett from Georgetown University and Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is on your advisory board. That’s a great lineup.
Hamburger: And we are honored to have them on board. And we actually also been gratified not only by our success but also the backing we’ve had from intellectual such as these.
Leahy: Is this a 501 (c) (3) and can people donate to it?
Hamburger: That’s right. It’s a 501 (c) (3) and we’ve had a remarkable outpouring of support, some very large donations, but also small donations, but also the people, all walks of life who really get it and who realize there’s a danger. And we have a chance to overcome it.
Leahy: It’s on the web at Nclalegal.org. You can go there and hit the donate button for it. And Professor Hamburger, I want to extend an invitation to you, if you’re interested. Every October for the past five years we’ve been hosting for secondary school students a National Constitution Bee here in Tennessee.
It’s open to any student around the country. Last year Alan Dershowitz addressed the group. The winner of the Bee gets a $10,000. educational scholarship and second and third also. I want to invite you down. Come down and be one of the judges in that event.
Hamburger: I would love to do that. I’ll have to consult my wife because she is the chief administrator of this agency. (Laughter)
Carmichael: She would enjoy coming to Nashville also.
Leahy: Have you been to Nashville?
Hamburger: I have not. I have driven through it but I wasn’t able to stop.
Leahy: We are going to give you a tour of Nashville.
Carmichael: And your wife will love it.
Leahy: By the way, I know you are at Columbia Law School and you are probably paying state and city income tax. (Hamburger chuckles) I don’t know if you know this, but in Tennessee, we have no state income taxes.
Hamburger: I’m jealous. I’m very very jealous. (Laughter)
Leahy: Hey, look, will you come on again? Because as I said, you have been an intellectual hero of mine for many years. I’m just delighted to get to meet you here.
Hamburger: I would love to join you anytime. It would be a pleasure. And thank you so much. The more the word gets out of this stuff, and you guys seem to be doing a great job on that, the more we can actually restore our own self-governance. Thank you very much.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.