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May 12, 2020

CAFE Insider 5/12: Water Under the Bridgegate

  • Show Notes

In this episode of CAFE Insider, “Water Under the Bridgegate” Preet and Anne break down the politically-charged legal news making the headlines, including:

  • The fallout from Attorney General Bill Barr’s decision to dismiss the DOJ’s case against Michael Flynn — and whether Flynn’s supporters have reason to be upset with the FBI’s handling of his investigation. 
  • The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Kelly v. United States to overturn the fraud convictions of two members of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration — and the implications of that decision on the future of public corruption prosecutions. 
  • The case surrounding the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old unarmed black man who was shot to death by a white father and son while on a run in suburban Georgia. 

We hope you’re enjoying CAFE Insider. Email us at [email protected] with your suggestions and questions for Preet and Anne. 

References and Supplemental materials below. 




  • Friday’s special episode of CAFE Insider on the DOJ’s decision to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn
  • The Department of Justice’s Motion to Dismiss the case against Michael Flynn
  • Department of Justice alumni statement calling for Barr’s resignation, 5/11/20
  • Unsealed documents relating to FBI’s Flynn investigation, 4/29/20
  • 18 U.S. Code § 1001, the statute which makes it a felony to lie about a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch
  • Standard for “materiality” under 18 U.S.C. § 1001
  • The Logan Act, which criminalizes official correspondence by unauthorized private citizens with foreign governments 
  • Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which requires lobbyists for foreign governments to make public disclosures 
  • The Attorney General’s Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations
  • “The Justice Department’s Faulty Arguments in the Flynn Case,” Robert Litt, Lawfare, 4/8/20
  • “Bill Barr Twisted My Words in Dropping the Flynn Case. Here’s the Truth,” Mary McCord, New York Times, 5/10/20
  • “The Long List of People Who Thought Flynn’s Lies Were Material,” Chuck Rosenberg, Washington Post, 5/10/20
  • “Flynn and the Anatomy of a Political Narrative,” Andrew McCarthy, National Review, 5/9/20
  • Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale’s statement on the DOJ’s decision to drop the case, 5/7/20


  • Kelly v. United States (2020), the unanimous Supreme Court decision overturning the convictions of former NJ Governor Chris Christie’s associates for their roles in Bridgegate
  • McDonnell v. United States (2015), Supreme Court precedent which narrowed the legal definition of public corruption 
  • Skilling v. United States (2009), the Supreme Court case concerning the Enron scandal which significantly curtailed the scope of the “honest services” fraud statute 
  • 18 U.S. Code § 1343, Fraud by wire, radio, or television
  • 18 U.S. Code § 666, Theft or bribery concerning programs receiving Federal funds
  • 18 U.S. Code § 241, Conspiracy against rights
  • Doing Justice, Preet’s book, in which he discusses prosecuting bad behavior under imperfect statutes 
  • President Trump’s tweet congratulating Chris Christie on the Kelly decision, 5/7/20


  • The disturbing video showing Greg and Travis McMichael fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery [Violent content]
  • Video showing Arbery inside a construction site shortly before his murder 
  • Waycross District Attorney Greg Barnhill’s letter of recusal, in which he recommended that charges be dropped due to “insufficient probable cause,” 4/3/20


  • The mysterious toilet flushing during Supreme Court oral arguments livestream, 5/7/20
  • “Investigation: I Think I Know Which Justice Flushed,” Ashley Feinberg, Slate, 5/12/20


CAFE Insider 5/12: Water Under the Bridgegate