Ryan Mayer

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is in the middle of a legal battle with the NFL after filing a lawsuit against the league alleging collusion by the owners to keep him off any team’s roster. Several owners and commissioner Goodell have already been deposed in the case and now Kaepernick’s legal team reportedly has its sights set on President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, Kaepernick’s lawyers are expected to seek federal subpoenas in order to compel the president, vice president and “other officials familiar with the president’s agenda on protesting NFL players” to testify. The report states that the aim of the subpoenas is to determine the extent of the administration’s involvement with the NFL in regards to Kaepernick’s continued status as a free agent.

“This after recent disclosures that multiple owners had direct talks with Trump about players kneeling during the national anthem. The content of those conversations between Trump and owners – as well as any forms of pressure directed at the league by the administration – are expected to shape the requests to force the testimony of Trump, Pence and other affiliated officials, sources said.”

Now, there are significant hurdles for Kaepernick’s legal team to overcome in order to have President Trump and others actually testify in the case. Yahoo! lays out all of the various steps, but a quick synopsis shows that the following things would need to happen:

  • The lawyers would have to present a detailed argument for why Trump’s testimony would be relevant to a system arbitrator first.
  • If the arbitrator rules the testimony justifiable, the lawyers then need to seek the subpoenas in a federal district court under the Federal Arbitration Act
  • If a judge finds that there is a basis to force the President to sit for a deposition, the question then becomes whether the President can actually be compelled to sit for questioning.

That last point is significant as the President’s legal team has already had a back-and-forth with special counsel Robert Mueller stating that he can’t be compelled to testify. The report from Yahoo! further illuminates how Kaepernick’s lawyers could build the case for a subpoena. How this saga will actually unravel is up for debate, but the possibilities that Yahoo lays out are worth the full read.

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