Defending the “Defender in Chief”: John Yoo on Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power

Recorded on July 29, 2020

On the occasion of his new book, Defender in Chief: Donald Trump’s Fight for Presidential Power, Hoover visiting fellow and Berkeley Law School professor John Yoo joins the show to make a spirited case against the criticisms of Donald Trump for his supposed disruption of constitutional rules and norms. The conventional wisdom is that Donald Trump is a threat to the rule of law and the US Constitution. Mainstream media outlets have reported fresh examples of alleged executive overreach or authoritarian White House decisions nearly every day of his presidency. In the 2020 primaries, the candidates have rushed to accuse Trump of destroying our democracy and jeopardizing our nation’s very existence. In his book and on this show, John Yoo argues the opposite: that the Founders would have seen Trump as returning to their vision of presidential power, even at his most controversial and outrageous. It’s a fascinating and often humorous discussion that could not be more timely.

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  1. The founders were so correct! This document has stood the test of time but that will not matter if the leftists return to the presidency! They have travelled too far to return to any normal constitutional behavior!

  2. Moses was not a good man, but a great MAN, and yet GOD knew capabilities of moses, because he made him and knew him (true heart) before birth. I prefer calling him Mr Trump, or The Don, because after Pres Reagan , the Title has been trashed. HE GOING TO RAISE IT FAR GREATER than ever.

  3. You still don’t understand Pres. Trump! Trump loves our country and citizens. He knows the Constitution up and down. He knows the Bill of Rights up and down. That’s not an accident. That’s love of country and planning how best to reclaim it from liberals.

  4. Kamala Harris was chosen because she verbally hates President Donald J Trump and that gives her the VP – Biden will claim the 24 amendment and Harris will become president – you will be voting for Harris – and she is not for AMERICA. The media wanted Harris as there first choice! Vote for President Donald J Trump for president for the next 4 years.

  5. What garbage. The electoral college wasn't created because of slavery. Good lord, are you people insane. Interesting that Gates has donated $250 million to news agencies and now they're pushing a race war. Nothing like using hate to bring in the NWO.

  6. Trump is a champion of our Country and our Constitution. The Dems have sold out to Socialist/Marxists/Communist China! If the Socialist Dems take back control in America our Country will be devastated!

  7. Who do you think you are kidding Mr Yoo? Those agents did not go after Trump on there own! They went after Trump under the direction of Obama and Clinton! Do not doubt that for one moment! I am disgusted that the Obama administration is not going to be held accountable for what they have done! Americans have a right to seek, demand and expect Justice from our AG in this matter!

  8. Hillary calling for the abolition of the electoral college is just sour grapes and you would have to hiding under a rock to not know that. The electoral college ensures the cities dont hollow out the economy and particularly the rural economies .. it is vital to the fair running of the nation. If you don't want the electoral college, then you don't beleive in fairness.

  9. these people are missing it big time….the people that are trying to remove Trump are people who hate the USA and it's constitution…they are greater than the founding fathers in their minds…they think they know better …world government is their drive …and the USA is in the way …… Trump is make America great again they are trying to put down the USA

  10. This is about the good that the constitution is all about, but what about the bad (I know this "bad" is very broad) that is being promoted by the dems who ignorantly worship the devil?

  11. The way we the people keep the government accountable for their actions was through our Constitutionally provided Common law grand jury!According to the late Antonin scalia In an opinion You put 4 in USV Williams Where he stated the common-law grand jury Belong to no branch of government It was in effect 4th Branch of government.Make sure you have all the facts Why are you label a person a constitutional scholar Which apparently neither 1 of you Are a scholar in this regard

  12. ​ @Tim Jester – GREAT Point ! – " … adaptable and a quick study … varied experience in different fields … predatory instinct … " as the President, and fiercely loyal to The Constitution and the LIBERTY of the Sovereign – you and me, the American Citizen – is EXACTLY why we hired him !
    I'd say WE did a great job selecting OUR President !
    That he has DEMONSTRATED the ability to weather the storm, just as this nation has done for more than 200 years, ESPECIALLY through this last century is nothing less than AMAZING. This reflects the TRUE nature of The American Spirit.
    While individually we – as individuals – might not ourselves be able to weather such a storm, we as Free American Sovereigns WERE able to see in him as a Primary candidate, then candidate for office, someone who embodied these traits we could elect to that office. That he has turned out to be equal to the challenge shows that he as an individual embodies the Virtue of The Aggregate who put him there !
    It THEN falls to US to BACK his play, support him in OUR CAUSE (he's ONLY our representative for that cause) and be READY – if called upon – to DEFEND the President AND The Constitution and our Home & Liberty if needed.
    This of course, is where the machinery of a "Well Regulated Militia" (well regulated in the parlance of the Framers was 'well trained, prepared and equipped' not well-bound by feckless statute) comes into play. Strictly speaking, EVERY Citizen of The U.S. is part of the American Militia- to be READY if needed and called up, but the Well REGULATED Militia refers to those formally organized – but ONLY those so organized in order to Defend The Constitution that enumerates and Codifies their existence.
    Its a GOOD THING we chose
    well !
    ALL the VERY BEST to YOU and yours, from Texas ! –

  13. The Electoral College was to stop the big states like New York from always getting to elect the President, because of big numbers, they thought it might result in civil war between the states

  14. @Daniel Wagner – EXCELLENT POINT. The States were INTENDED to be local "experiments" in various aspects of governance, so that it could be SEEN by ALL which was worthy of ADOPTION and which – REJECTION . I'd say OUR Constitution has fared pretty WELL even IF under nearly CONSTANT assault by The Liberal (Progressive) LEFT for nearly a CENTURY ! Daniel- Well stated !
    All the very best to you and yours, from Texas ! – Chuck.

  15. ​ @Care Bear – WELL said ! As FREE STANDING SOVEREIGNS, one could ONLY hope so. With his FIERCE DEDICATION to The Constitution and The Liberty of The American Sovereign Citizen (the exact OPPOSITE of FASCISM, by the way … ), we should STRIVE to understand what he's put into play here – American, and by EXTENSION – World-Wide – LIBERTY of The Individual , MORE than "minions" but ACOLYTES of his operating principles. ANYONE who is aware of OUR President's foundation personally ( I myself READ "The Art of The DEAL" when it first came out, and re-read it twice more … ), will readily recognize this TRUTH. Remember – a FIERCE commitment to LIBERTY is NO VICE, and CLEARLY SHOULD be emulated and adopted. So- MINIONS it IS then !!

  16. The three million votes more on the side of Mrs Hillary R. Clinton were the fraud voters who voted two times, from the illegal migrations to vote where they couldn't vote ? !
    That is the explanation !