Can the President of the United States be dragged out of the Oval Office via subpoena and forced to testify? We may find out soon, but this has nothing to do with Bob Mueller and the Russia, Russia, Russia probe. This time it’s none other than Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the National Football League. Still feeling snubbed by not being signed by a team, his grievance against the NFL is now expanding. His attorneys seem to feel that the President was in on some plot to keep him off the field. No… I’m not even kidding. And they want to subpoena Donald Trump to come and testify about it. (Yahoo Sports)
After months of circling President Donald Trump during NFL depositions and discovery, Colin Kaepernick’s lawyers are expected to force Trump directly into the ongoing legal battle between the quarterback and league.
Kaepernick’s legal team is expected to seek federal subpoenas in the coming weeks to compel testimony from Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other officials familiar with the president’s agenda on protesting NFL players, sources with knowledge of the quarterback’s collusion case against the NFL told Yahoo Sports.
The aim will be a dive into the administration’s political involvement with the NFL during Kaepernick’s free agency and the league’s handling of player protests, sources said. This after recent disclosures that multiple owners had direct talks with Trump about players kneeling during the national anthem.
The idea that the White House was somehow involved in a vast, underground conspiracy to keep Kaepernick from being signed may be laughable, but stranger things than this subpoena threat have been going on lately. So perhaps we should revisit the question as to whether or not this is even a possibility. Not very long ago I looked at the question of whether or not President Trump could be compelled to testify before a grand jury in the Mueller probe, and that might give us some hints here.
As I concluded at the time, it clearly remains an open question as to whether or not Trump could be forced to come and testify before Congress or a grand jury if he didn’t want to. It’s been attempted three times in the history of the country that I could find (Andrew Jackson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton) and all of them refused. Compromises were found in each case, with Jackson providing some documents, Nixon sending in tapes and Clinton agreeing to a private interview at the White House. But none of them were successfully compelled to appear as requested.
And those were for high-level government investigations. This isn’t even a trial and it’s not being handled by a court. It’s a grievance being examined by the NFL between the league and the Players Association. Kaepernick’s attorneys are operating on the theory that if the league’s arbiter agrees that the testimony would be relevant, that might open the door for them to request a subpoena in district court under the Federal Arbitration Act. Such a move might actually work if we were talking about a regular citizen, but as I noted above, good luck with that. Trump’s lawyers could most likely either blow them off entirely or respond with a gif of a parrot laughing hysterically.
If Kaepernick really wants a job as a quarterback in the NFL he knows how to get one. Agree to follow the rules and prove that he can still play well enough to improve a team’s chances at a Super Bowl ring without creating a PR nightmare for them. Right now this just makes him look like he’s enjoying the circus atmosphere of these protests more than anything else.