Episode 13,

"You're fired"

Michael J. Gerhardt, H.W. Brands, Beverly Gage & recommended reading with Annette Gordon-Reed

President Trump fired the Director of the FBI. Neal asks his guests if the firing could amount to obstruction of justice. Plus, recommended reading from Historian Annette Gordon-Reed.

President Trump caused controversy when he dismissed the Acting Attorney General and dozens of US Attorneys, but set off a political tsunami when he fired the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Host Neal Conan asks Constitutional Law Professor Michael Gearhardt whether the firing could amount to obstruction of justice, delves into the history of the FBI and presidents with Yale’s Beverly Gage and speaks with historian HW Brands about  the most dramatic of all presidential firings: Harry Truman’s dismissal of war hero General Douglas MacArthur. Plus, recommended reading from historian Annette Gordon Reed.


Michael J. Gerhardt is the Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and  is the author of “The Federal Impeachment Process“The Federal Impeachment Process: A Constitutional and Historical Analysis.”






H.W. Brands holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin. He writes on American history and politics, and his books include  "The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War", "Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt ", and "T.R.: The Last Romantic".






Beverly Gage is a professor of history at Yale University where she is the incoming irector of Yale’s Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy.  She is the author of  “The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in Its First Age of Terror ”  and is currently writing a major new biography of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, titled G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the American Century, to be published in 2018.


Annette Gordon-Reed

is the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School and a Professor of History at Harvard University.  She is the author of  numerous books including The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2009.  She is also the author of Andrew Johnson, the nation’s 17th president, who took office after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and was acquitted by one vote in the Senate, after becoming the first president to be impeached by the House of Representatives. Among her many honors and awards, in 2010 Gordon-Reed was selected as a MacArthur Fellow. She Recommends: Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge  written by Erica Armstrong Dunbar.