• Congressional Investigations,  Impeachment

    A Libretto for Impeachment

    People sometimes ask for good basic texts about impeachment generally.  Given the operatic nature of the recent and upcoming hearings, and the recent release of their investigation report by three House committees, here are a few suggestions: Impeachment: A Handbook by Charles Black.  This slender, clear, nuanced volume is where you should start. As noted by Lawfare blog: The most important book ever written on presidential impeachment is only 69 pages long. Charles Black, Jr.,’s Impeachment: A Handbook was published in the summer of 1974, at the height of the Watergate crisis, and reissued in October 1998, two months before Bill Clinton became the second president in U.S. history to…

  • Cocktails,  Congressional Investigations,  Music

    Impeachment Cocktails, Mob Movies, Crime Music

    In the midst of impeachment investigations, it is often best to turn to cocktails and music. Here are three leading cocktails for Democrats and Republicans, all from the folks at Liquor.com: the Corpse Reviver No. 2, the Porter’s Old Fashioned, and the Improved Dunlop. An updated White Collar Wire playlist is out on Spotify. Note the new contributions from Gucci Mane (“Richer Than Errybody”), Gallant (“Sweet Insomnia”), Miranda Lambert (“Way Too Pretty for Prison”), Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash (“Wanted Man — Take 1”), A Winged Victory for the Sullen (“The Slow Descent Has Begun”), Dr. John (“(Everybody Wanna Get Rich) Rite Away”), and Kendell Marvell (“Hard Time with the…

  • Music

    Sturgill Simpson’s White-Collar Anime

    To start your business Monday in gear, here is the anime for “Sing Along,” from Sturgill Simpson’s new album Sound and Fury. Consider, towards the end, the decadent white-collar types on the flying contraptions: As he notes: “Compromise is made out of peace/But history’s made out of violence.” White-collar crime anime is difficult to find, but Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a good place to start:

  • Impeachment,  Internal Investigations

    Impeachment, Ukraine, and The Midnight Special

    With all of the renewed interest in potential impeachment proceedings regarding President Trump, a replay of this post from 2017 seems in order: Impeachment Lessons and The Midnight Special Much may unfold, but here are three notes that may be relevant.  1. “Impeachment lite.”  Thus far at least, and even after Speaker Pelosi’s announcement and the advent of the Ukrainian-phone-call-whistleblower, what we have seen is not an impeachment proceeding (or investigation, or inquiry, or whatever term one prefers), at least compared to the available historical examples.   An impeachment proceeding will likely start with a resolution, which is a formal and serious invocation of congressional authority.   Unless the matter…

  • Data and Analytics

    Big Data, Big Pocket Square

    Data is dispositive in many internal investigations and white-collar prosecutions. This panel I shared with Erica Barnes, John Floyd, and Jamila Hall about “Big Data” at the recent ABA Southeastern White Collar Crime Institute was fun and, one hopes, useful. Joe Whitley and Brian McEvoy did a masterful job of leading the conference. The blue pocket square on a blue suit is a challenge, I realize, but these are challenging times: And, if you do not care for big data, here is a primer on the pocket square:

  • Music

    Brigitte Bardot and White-Collar Crime

    For the remainder of this Labor Day week, here is an updated White Collar Wire playlist on Spotify: New entries include Chris Stone, the Seratones, Sheryl Crow, Lana Del Rey, The Hold Steady, Handel, Raphael Saadiq, and — thankfully — Brigitte Bardot.

  • Cocktails,  Crime Fiction,  Music

    Cocktail Codex, Summertime Crime

    Readers, writers, and drinkers are irretrievably linked. “I’m an occasional drinker, the kind of guy who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Singapore with a full beard.” ―Raymond Chandler Barry Day, ed., The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words (2015) Books about cocktails, on the other hand, are often unhelpful. Where they are practical, they lack insight. The best I have come across in a long time is The Cocktail Codex, by the folks at Death and Company: “‘There are only six cocktails.’ So say Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, the visionaries behind the seminal craft cocktail bar Death & Co. In Cocktail…

  • Due Process,  Grand Jury,  Presumption of Innocence

    A Meditation On Independence Day

    We all like the Fourth of July; most of us want it to mean something beyond cookouts and fireworks.  When my children were little, I would read aloud to them the entire Declaration of Independence, an oration they found both alarming and distracting. The nation’s Independence Day celebration has changed over time, as has its people (alarmed or distracted) and their culture. We have an Independence Day in film and in song, works of art that speak to a patriotism grounded in a corporate concept (national independence) and in a citizen concept (individual independence).  We have Nike and Colin Kaepernick. Here in the early portion of the 21st-century, it is…

  • Congressional Investigations,  Executive Privilege

    The Privileged Few

    From Morgan Chalfant at The Hill, notes on the production of that political and constitutional theater known as “executive privilege”: Jack Sharman, a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigation, noted that there have not been many judicial opinions concerning struggles between the legislative and executive branches over congressional oversight requests and that in most cases the two sides resolve the dispute outside of the courtroom. Sharman also said executive power has generally increased over the last several decades, apart from a handful of what he termed “retreats” of presidential authority. “The few occasions in … the last 50, 60, 70 years when executive power ended up being…

  • Leadership

    A Meditation On Father’s Day

                            At age 58, I am now six years older than my father was when he died.              For many years, I rarely thought of Daddy.  Primarily, I thought about him every January 6, the anniversary of the day he died. Annually, this was a day upon which my mother and I had the same conversation, rehearsed and hushed.  I loved him, and one might expect me to have thought of him more often, to have honored him, but I did not, at least not until recently.  Before you draw too many conclusions, though, bear in mind that I could not see him clearly.             Have you ever looked…