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Barbara McQuade on Justice and Accountability for January 6

Barbara McQuade on Justice and Accountability for January 6

This week on “The Tent,” Barbara McQuade joins to discuss Donald Trump's legal jeopardy and U.S. democracy, and Daniella and Erin chat about the latest on Justice Clarence Thomas.

Part of a Series

Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade joins the show to discuss Donald Trump’s legal jeopardy, whether the 14th Amendment could bar him from running for office, and the need to protect U.S. democracy. Daniella and lead producer Erin also talk about MAGA Republicans’ bogus impeachment inquiry attempts and why Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should resign.


Daniella Gibbs Léger: Hey everyone, welcome back to “The Tent,” your place for politics, policy, and progress. I’m Daniella Gibbs Léger, and I’m here with lead producer Erin Phillips, who’s filling in for my co-host, Colin Seeberger.

Erin Phillips: Hey Daniella. Happy football season. That means it’s fall, right?

Gibbs Léger: Yes, sports! It is football season, which, I believe I may have mentioned a time or 10, is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s been a rough Week One in the NFL if you are someone who follows or has a fantasy football league, or if you root for the New York football Giants like I do. It’s tough but it’s just the first week, so I’m not going to totally throw this year in the trash.

Phillips: Yeah, I’m very sorry to hear about the luck that you all have had this week—I’m thinking of you in this difficult time.

Gibbs Léger: Thank you.

Phillips: Well, it’s also a busy time of year in the courts. And I think you talked a little bit about that with our guest today.

Gibbs Léger: I did. I spoke with lawyer and legal analyst Barb McQuade about Donald Trump’s legal jeopardy, what the 14th Amendment has to say about his ability to run for reelection, and why extremists have become increasingly hostile to democracy.

Phillips: I am a big fan of her podcast, “#SistersInLaw,” and we’ve had her co-host Jill Wine-Banks on the show before, so I am sure that will be a great interview with Barb. But first, we’ve got to get to some news.

Gibbs Léger: Do we?

Phillips: Yes.

Gibbs Léger: Fine, because the news this week is super frustrating to say the least. MAGA Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) just announced that the House will open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. Let’s be clear: The American people want their elected representatives to make their lives easier and help them save a little more money at the end of every month. But you wouldn’t know that based on the priorities of MAGA Republicans. All they care about is seeking revenge and holding on to power no matter the costs. After years of investigating Hunter Biden and his business dealings, and holding failed hearings on the subject, they have found no evidence of wrongdoing by President Biden—even after reviewing 12,000 pages of bank records. And yet, here we are. This is nothing more than a partisan political stunt to hurt President Biden and help Donald Trump. And it follows weeks of threats from MAGA Republicans like [Rep.] Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to shut down the government if House leaders refuse to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. This is something the American people do not want. Recent polling shows that the majority of voters in key battleground districts think these impeachment efforts are more about political stunts to harm the president than efforts to investigate serious issues.

Phillips: Well, they would definitely be right about that. There is no good reason to launch this impeachment—not a single one that I can think of. Their so-called evidence does not exist. Conservative news outlets like Fox News have reported there is no evidence to launch this impeachment, and a number of Republican members of Congress say that their investigation of Hunter Biden has revealed no evidence of any sort of high crime or misdemeanor committed by President Biden. So, that includes Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), a member of Republican Senate leadership, as well as Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE), David Joyce (R-OH), and Dusty Johnson (R-SD). It’s so clear that this is just a bogus effort to harm President Biden and help former President Trump politically. House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) has even touted the political impact he thinks his investigations are having on President Biden and former President Trump’s poll numbers in recent months. And there’s a real irony here: At the same time MAGA Republicans have launched an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, they’re also working to expunge the former president’s impeachment records. They want to defund the FBI to protect Donald Trump but also shut down the government to get the revenge impeachment they want. In recent days, President Trump has even said he’d tell his Department of Justice to indict his political opponents without any evidence of wrongdoing if he’s elected president again. So, while Democrats are focused on real issues—growing the economy by growing the middle class, investing in America, and lowering the cost of living—MAGA Republicans are prioritizing Donald Trump and fighting old fights.

Gibbs Léger: Right, not to mention ripping away Americans’ health care, making prescription drugs more expensive, and trying to enact extreme cuts to things like education and public safety—things Americans care way more about than a bogus impeachment inquiry. Anyways, let’s pivot to someone who really does deserve to be held accountable for his multiple alleged wrongdoings that have come to light. Yes, I am talking about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Phillips: Ooh, well, in case anybody missed it, Politico published a very interesting investigation over the weekend that made some hefty allegations. According to their reporting, in 2010, Justice Thomas’ wife Ginni worked with billionaire Harlan Crow and conservative activist Leonard Leo to leverage the not-yet-issued Citizens United decision for political aims. They allegedly created a dark money group that would remake the judiciary and work to overturn long-standing legal precedents on affirmative action and abortion. This comes after ProPublica reporting earlier this year that Justice Thomas accepted gifts and luxury vacations from the very same Harlan Crow involved in this scheme. It’s really hard to believe that Ginni Thomas could orchestrate a large-scale, multiyear conservative power grab like this without her husband knowing or being in some way involved, given his position of power on the Supreme Court.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, it’s quite a stretch, to say the least, to believe that Clarence Thomas was no way involved in this. And for that reason, along with all the other evidence of ethics violations, he needs to resign from the Supreme Court. Now, I know he’s not going to. We obviously cannot count on the court to govern itself after the past year of reporting on alleged violations from Thomas, Alito, and more. So we will ultimately need accountability from lawmakers. The Senate Judiciary Committee can and should launch a probe of improper behavior by Thomas. And Congress needs to double down on efforts to pass a binding, enforceable code of ethics for the court, similar to the ones other branches of government follow. They also need to establish term limits for justices to restore balance and integrity to our courts and our democracy. Justice Thomas and his wife’s alleged corruption is shocking. And it needs to be met with swift action from within the court and Congress. They really feel like the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde.

Phillips: They really do.

Gibbs Léger: Well, that’s all the time we have for today’s news. If there’s anything else our listeners would like us to cover on a pod, hit us up on Twitter @TheTentPod, that’s @TheTentPod. And stick around for my conversation with Barb McQuade in just a beat.

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Gibbs Léger: Barbara McQuade is a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and a co-host of the “#SistersInLaw” podcast. She also serves as a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. From 2010 to 2017, she served as a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, and was the first woman to serve in that position. Prior to that, she was an assistant U.S. attorney in Detroit for 12 years.

Barb, thanks so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Barb McQuade: Oh, thanks for having me. My pleasure to be here.

Gibbs Léger: So, let’s jump right in. There are two cases I want to talk about in particular with you: the case in Fulton County, Georgia, and the Department of Justice’s case around Trump’s efforts to undermine the 2020 election results. Could you start by giving us an update on what each of those cases are about, where they stand, and what comes next?

McQuade: Yes, so in the Georgia case, most recently, we saw the judge sever for trial two of the defendants who have demanded a speedy trial, Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell, who have trial dates set for October 23—they’ll be tried together—and the other 17 defendants in that case, including Donald Trump. The prosecutor, Fani Willis, had asked the judge to schedule all 19 together. They say it’s going to be a four-month trial with 150 witnesses, and it would be most efficient, to trial, to try them all together. But as the judge points out, it’s really kind of logistically inevitable that because two of them have demanded speedy trials and the other 17 have reasonably requested some additional time to get ready, that it really just can’t happen that all 19 would be tried together. So, he did say that the two will go to trial October 23. He did not yet set a trial date for the others. Based on my experience, most often what happens is some defendants, statistically at least, will enter guilty pleas and kind of pare that number down. And so I would imagine that once they get a better sense of the size of that group, they’ll set a trial date, either for one additional trial or maybe more, depending on how many remain.

In the federal case, we see that Judge Tanya Chutkan has that trial. She has set a trial date for March. And one of the interesting things there, of course, is that special counsel Jack Smith took a very different approach strategically to the case than Fani Willis in Fulton County, Georgia, where she charged 19 defendants with a very broad set of charges under the RICO statute—Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—whereas Jack Smith, in the federal case, took what appears to me to be a more streamlined case with only the one defendant, Donald Trump. He named some other people as unindicted co-conspirators. Maybe he will get around to charging them later. But he seems kind of focused on trying to get a trial completed before the next election. And with the March trial date, he appears on track to do that. Now, there’s certainly things that could derail that, motions and other complications, but as of this moment, that’s the trial date.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, I was going to ask you if there was something that could stop that trial from happening in March. So the Trump legal team could try and appeal the decision? How does that work?

McQuade: Well, typically, you can’t appeal the trial date. But my guess is what will happen in the case is there will be a series of motions that are filed in the case, and the parties will get a chance to brief them, and the judge will have to decide them. And sometimes those just end up taking longer than people originally anticipated. So I think it’s good to have a date on the calendar that everybody’s working toward, as opposed to keeping it open ended. But original trial dates don’t always last. They don’t always stick around and stick in being the ultimate trial date. But Judge Chutkan has to keep in mind that it’s not just the defendant who has a right to a speedy trial, and many defendants actually want to have an un-speedy trial. They want to delay the trial as long as possible because they hope the evidence will fade or witnesses’ memories will fade. Sometimes witnesses die. All kinds of crazy things can happen. So they often want to delay, delay, delay. But the public also has a right to a speedy trial, and the prosecution and the judge have to be working to make sure that that right is also honored. So, so far, the judge has set that date of March. It seems like a reasonable amount of time for Trump to prepare his defense. But as we said, sometimes things happen. Litigation is very organic. Things arise. People get sick. All kinds of things that can happen that could derail that trial date, but as of now, it is full speed ahead.

Gibbs Léger: A few of Trump’s co-defendants in the Fulton County case, including, most notably, Mark Meadows, have sought, unsuccessfully, to move their cases from state court to federal court. Why are they requesting this? Why have they been turned down? And, do these appeals have any impact on Donald Trump’s case in Fulton?

McQuade: Yeah, so there is a statute that says that if a federal official is charged with a crime focused on the scope of his employment, and he’s charged in a state, he may request that that case be removed to federal court. And the idea is, we don’t want states interfering with the execution of federal power. We don’t want states encroaching on federal activity. And so, that’s why we have the existence of that statute. I imagine there’s some strategic reasons that Mark Meadows would like. Jeff Clark is another one who has filed a motion to remove, who was a DOJ official at the time of the alleged conduct in the indictment. One is, trials are televised in Georgia. They’re not televised federally. And so, I suppose just to avoid embarrassment, they may want to avoid that.

If they are tried in federal court, they may fare better on some of their federal defenses. One of them, I imagine, will be this supremacy clause argument that, “I was just doing my job and you can’t criminalize the execution of my job.” So there may be a number of reasons they would prefer to be in federal court. To date, that has been unsuccessful. The judge ruled—the federal judge—that this case was properly charged in state court. And that’s because the alleged conduct does not relate to the execution of Mark Meadows’ duties as chief of staff but instead, as the judge found, it is political activity. It was about pressuring the Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) in Georgia to change the outcome. It was about going down and visiting an office where they were matching signatures to ballots and being thrown out of that meeting. It was about attending an Oval Office meeting with legislators from Michigan and trying to pressure them to reconvene the legislature and elect a new slate of electors. And so what the judge said, he was acting as a part of the Trump campaign. He was not executing his duties as chief of staff of the president, a job he’s paid by the taxpayers to do, and so, therefore, it was not within the scope of his employment and therefore not appropriately removed to federal court. He has appealed that issue, and the Court of Appeals seems to be working without delay to jump on that. They’ve demanded a very prompt briefing and are going to have oral argument on that very soon.

Gibbs Léger: So, I want to turn and talk about the 14th Amendment for a second. Many states and advocacy groups are now calling for Trump to be disqualified from running for office under the 14th Amendment, for helping foment the January 6 insurrection. In fact, in Colorado, a lawsuit to that end has been filed and is currently making its way through the court. So I’m curious if you think that this will make its way all the way to the Supreme Court? And if it does, what happens?

McQuade: Yeah, so, this is some pretty untested waters here. And so, I think, no one’s really sure exactly how this might resolve. But, of course, the 14th Amendment, Section 3, says that after you’ve been an officer and taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and then engage in rebellion or insurrection, you are disqualified from holding federal office. And that lawsuit in Colorado is to challenge Donald Trump and say, “You can’t be on the ballot because you violate this language.” I think one of the questions is whether it is self-executing. That is, there has not been any finding by any public body that he did indeed engage in insurrection or rebellion. Do you need a court to find that first? That’s an open question. Is a president a federal officer? Or does it apply only to lower officers? I think that’s an open question. And so, we’ll figure that out. I guess the litigation will resolve some of those questions and will decide whether he should appear on the ballot or not. And it could get appealed to the Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court, who will ultimately have to decide how that gets decided. And I don’t think it’s an easy answer.

There’s another section in the 14th Amendment that says that Congress should enact whatever laws they believe are necessary to effectuate those provisions. So does that mean that Congress has to make some finding? Does there have to be a finding in court? Some of the secretaries of state are saying until they receive further word, they’re putting Donald Trump on the ballot if he is the nominee. And so, I think it’ll be interesting to see the way that shakes out. And just because he can be removed from the ballot, I think we also ought to ask ourselves whether it’s best that he should be removed from the ballot, or whether it would be better for the people to make their choice about who is the person they want to elect as president.

Gibbs Léger: The history buff in me is very fascinated by all this, but the person who’s worried about our democracy is terrified. I want to talk a little more broadly about January 6 and threats to our democracy. And I feel like I’ve been seeing more and more extremists questioning, even flouting, the principles of democracy in recent years. You have Alabama ignoring the Supreme Court’s decision on its racist gerrymandered electoral map. In Wisconsin, Republicans are threatening to try and impeach their newly elected Supreme Court Judge Janet Protasiewicz for seemingly no reason at all. Why are we seeing this uptick in anti-democratic sentiments and actions? And is there something that we can do about it?

McQuade: Yes, I don’t know. I mean, it’s certainly very concerning to see institutions—you know, sometimes you can see individuals who are flouting the law—but we see institutions flouting the law. I think that is very problematic. It reminds me of the days when, in the South, we had schools that refused to honor Brown v. Board of Education and the National Guard had to come down to allow kids to enter the schoolhouse. I mean, how do you make a state comply with orders about finding gerrymandering illegal? It is a violation of the rule of law, and it is against everything this country stands for.

Impeachment is a really challenging tool, because on the one hand, I think it’s very important that we be able to hold our elected leaders accountable and remove them from office when they engage in serious misconduct. On the other, it can be a weapon for politicians to use to try to remove someone who was duly elected. We’re hearing now about, Kevin McCarthy says he wants to, has initiated, an impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden, without any evidence. And so, I do worry that all of this infighting is not good for the country. We certainly want to remove people who are violating their duties, but at the same time, if we spend all our time arguing with each other, we are not doing the important work of governing that we need to advance our country. I mean, we’ve got important challenges to deal with: climate change and immigration and generative AI. I mean, these are the issues we should be working on, cyber intrusions. And instead, we’re spending all of our energy fighting each other. I think some of that comes from Russian interference and trying to sow discord and dissonance among us, but also politicians who have become more polarized, recognizing that the way to get elected and to raise money is through the primary system, which means appealing to the most extreme factions of the political base. And I think that’s just not good for governing. There’s no compromise. Political purity is not going to help us advance the ball.

Gibbs Léger: You can’t see me, but I am nodding my head. So, a little bit of breaking news as we’re taping this: Hunter Biden was just indicted on federal gun charges by special counsel David Weiss. This comes on the heels of a plea deal falling apart a few weeks ago between the Department of Justice and Hunter Biden’s lawyers. Can you talk a little bit about this? To me, it seems like Merrick Garland seems very committed to equal application of the law here.

McQuade: Yes, not a surprise, really, after that plea deal fell apart, especially when we saw David Weiss request special counsel status so that he could bring charges against Hunter Biden. So probably no surprise. But as you say, Merrick Garland has made it clear that David Weiss, who’s the special counsel now and the U.S. attorney in Delaware, is going to call the shots here. And Merrick Garland is not going to stand in the way. He is going to let him do what he believes is right. And frankly, if you’re a prosecutor and you were prepared to have someone plead guilty to something, you have to be able to prove your case. And if the person ends up not pleading, they’ve basically said, “Put your cards on the table. You want me to plead guilty, you say I’ve committed this crime, show me.” And so an indictment really is the logical next step.

The one thing that bothers me about this case a little bit is the nature of the charge itself. And so far, this is not about the tax crimes to which Hunter Biden was prepared to plead guilty. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with those. This was the gun charge. And the charge is possessing a gun while addicted to drugs. This is a charge that is really quite rarely charged. In my former office, we would charge this only when we thought someone was a danger to the community, and we did not have anything else to charge. For example, I can remember a man who, on social media, was communicating with someone who was an informant that he was going to shoot up a church. It wasn’t enough for attempt. It wasn’t enough for conspiracy. But the FBI surveilled him for a while and discovered that he was smoking marijuana almost all day, every day while carrying a gun. And so, we charged him with this possession of a firearm while addicted to drugs. I’m not sure you have to be addicted—using illegal drugs or alcohol. And so, that’s the kind of way it’s used. In the case of Hunter Biden, they only know about it because he wrote about it in his tell-all book. And he possessed the gun for, I think, two weeks before his girlfriend made him get rid of it because it was such a bad idea. And so it really strikes me as treating him differently from other people, perhaps solely because he’s the president’s son. In an effort to prove how fair we are, and that he’s not getting any special treatment, he’s actually getting treated worse than most defendants would be treated. I can’t imagine bringing that case against any other person that came across my desk. So, that’s the only part of this that rubs me the wrong way. But I think after he was prepared to plead guilty, and didn’t, this was the next step that David Weiss had to make, to show his cards that yeah, “I’ve got it.” Now, he could still plead guilty to it. But I think this is not unexpected.

Gibbs Léger: We like to end these interviews on a positive note when we can. So, I think the past year has shown us that our justice system is working to hold people responsible for trying to overturn the 2020 election. Do you see a path forward for true accountability? What does that even look like for a country that’s been grappling with the aftermath of this for more than two years?

McQuade: Yeah, justice moves slowly. And I know people who have not worked in the criminal justice system get very frustrated with how slowly it works. But it doesn’t surprise me it’s taken this long to see these cases get filed, which does present some challenges because we’re on the heels, looking at, just ahead, another election. But I do see a lot of hope. I do see a potential for accountability. We have federal charges against Donald Trump for that election interference. We have state charges in Georgia for the same thing, which is pardon proof. Of course, we also have the federal charges against illegally retaining classified documents. And so I see accountability on the horizon. And I am cautiously optimistic that we are going to see accountability for Donald Trump and others who abused power to cling to power. And I think it’s a really important historic lesson. And I’m hopeful that our country will get past this moment. And I don’t know that I can say we’ll be the better for it, but getting over this will be having dodged a really dangerous assault on our democracy.

Gibbs Léger: Well, I am going to take those words to heart and also try to look at this with some optimism and remind myself that the wheels of justice do turn. They may turn slowly, but they do turn. Barb McQuade, I want to thank you so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

McQuade: Thank you, Daniella.

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Gibbs Léger: As always, thanks for joining, and be sure to go back and check out previous episodes of the pod. So, Erin, did you watch any of the U.S. Open finals?

Phillips: You know, I didn’t, but I do love a little celebrity drama. And I did watch that unfold on formerly Twitter, now X.

Gibbs Léger: Yes. The interwebs were—I guess you can’t say atwitter anymore, well, I don’t know, you can—atwitter with the, shall we say, PDA happening with Timothée Chalamet and Kylie Jenner. It was quite the scandal and look, I love Timothée Chalamet, I think he’s very, very talented. But the—I don’t know if his fans have a name, like his fan base, but I’m going to call them the Chalamettes, we’re going to make that up—the Chalamettes are not happy about this at all. And I kind of get it, like, they’re an odd couple to me because he, just given who he is, his work and, I don’t know, his whole aesthetic, I always picture him with a fellow sort of indie, artsy type of person. Which is not Kylie Jenner.

Phillips: Indeed. No, it’s a bit of an odd pairing. I would consider myself a Chalamette, I guess. I’m not a super fan. But if he’s in a movie, I’m more likely to check it out. I think he does a really good job. And I agree, he definitely has this very cultivated persona that doesn’t seem like it fits the vibe of Kylie. But it is very interesting; I know you and Colin were just talking about how the U.S. Open is the place to see and be seen. So, well, they were seen.

Gibbs Léger: Yes, exactly. You know, the devil works hard, but Kris Jenner works harder. So she got that memo and she was like, “Alright, kids. It’s time for you to make an appearance.” But let’s talk about what happened on the court with Coco Gauff winning her first Grand Slam title. And becoming, I think she was the youngest person to win since Serena Williams did a long time ago. I don’t remember when, but it was a long time ago.

Phillips: That’s awesome.

Gibbs Léger: She’s so great. And I love that she’s really 19. Somebody asked her, “Oh, what are you going to do with the $3 million prize money? Are you going to pay off debt?” She was like, “I’m 19; I live with my parents.”

Phillips: “What’s that?”

Gibbs Léger: “I don’t have any debt. What are you talking about?”

Phillips: I think she mispronounced debt too. She didn’t even know. She was like, “What is that?”

Gibbs Léger: “What does that even mean?” Which, you know, at 19, awesome. You shouldn’t have any debt at 19. But I just think, she’s on TikTok, she’s just kind of irreverent, super talented. I’m so excited to see where her career goes.

Phillips: Yeah, as like, a cusp between Millennial and Gen Z, I do like to see Gen Z win sometimes. So, I’m really happy for her.

Gibbs Léger: I am very, very happy for her. The other thing that happened this week was the VMAs which, I know somebody said to me, “Why are they showing them?” No, they said, “Since when do the VMAs air during the week?” And I was like, “I don’t know, maybe since they stopped playing music videos on music television.” That’s a whole other question. So what did you think of what you saw?

Phillips: Well, I thought there was some really strong nostalgia going on at the VMAs. I feel like that’s been a trend in the music industry. As an OG pop-punk child in the 2000s, I’ve appreciated that in the music industry. And we got a lot more kind of 2000s, even late 90s nostalgia at the VMAs.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, so like ‘N Sync appearing on stage for the first time in forever.

Phillips: Getting back together!

Gibbs Léger: I know. That was lovely. For me, Puff Daddy—you know, P. Diddy, Diddy, Sean Puffy Combs, whatever you know him as—he was given some Vanguard Award or whatever. And he performed. And I have to say, he was good. He came out there and was full of energy and was clearly having a good time. And his son came out and performed with him. And I was like, “Wow.” It just reminded me of, whatever you think of his public persona and stuff, he has been behind some of the biggest hip-hop hits over the last several decades. So it was really awesome to watch. And I was kind of like, “Oh.” It made me miss a little bit of my youth.

Phillips: Yeah, and he’s coming out with a new album, I think I just saw.

Gibbs Léger: Yes, he is. He, of course, promoted it at the end of his performance, which, you know, he should.

Phillips: Yeah, why not?

Gibbs Léger: So, I’m very curious to see what that’s all about. What I loved was seeing the reaction from the Taylor Swifts and the other people in the audience just going nuts for his performance. I thought that was very cute.

Phillips: Yeah, we also got a little bit of Olivia Rodrigo at the VMAs. You know, a little old, a little new. I think she’s great. I think she’s the new face of pop. I’m an Olivia Rodrigo fan.

Gibbs Léger: I am too. I know her songs because I listen to Kidz Bop with my child. So, they play a lot of her songs. So when they were—I was watching a special on the “Today Show” about her, I was like, “Oh, that’s her? Oh, I like her then.”

Phillips: She’s very Kidz Bop-able. Yes.

Gibbs Léger: She very much is. I love it. I’m all about it, and I hope her new album does really well.

Phillips: Me too.

Gibbs Léger: So that’s going to be it for us this week. New news coming out of the government—FDA or whomever—there’s a new COVID vaccine out there. Not a booster. We should be looking at this like we look at flu shots. Every year we get our flu shot. And every year, we’re going to get our COVID shot, too. So check a pharmacy near you. Get both of your shots. Be protected this fall and winter. And take care of yourselves. And we’ll talk to you next week.

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“The Tent” is a podcast from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It’s hosted by me, Daniella Gibbs Léger, and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Erin Phillips is our lead producer. Kelly McCoy is our supervising producer. And Sam Signorelli is our digital producer. You can find us on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Daniella Gibbs Léger

Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategy


Colin Seeberger

Senior Adviser, Communications

Erin Phillips

Broadcast Media Manager

Kelly McCoy

Senior Director of Broadcast Communications

Sam Signorelli

Policy and Outreach Associate, Government Affairs



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