#ColinKaepernick and his legal team just turned up the heat in his ongoing collusion case! His attorneys #MarkGeragos and #BenMeislas reportedly plan to subpoena President #DonaldTrump, Vice President #MikePence and any other person who has knowledge of Trump’s agenda on protesting NFL players to testify in court for his collusion case.
It appears that Trump broke federal law by influencing NFL team owners not to sign Kaepernick after he called for kneeling players to be fired. Geragos believes that Trump’s this influence violates federal law. U.S. Code 227 which says that members of Congress or the executive branch cannot “wrongfully influence a private entity’s employment decision … solely on the basis of partisan political affiliation.”
In a sworn-in deposition, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that Trump told him, “Tell everybody [in the NFL], you can’t win this one. This one lifts me.” Owners also recently voted to approve a policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem.
Via Yahoo Sports, here are just a few isolated incidents that Kaepernick’s legal team believe could get them the subpoenas they’re after:
• In August 2016, as a Republican presidential candidate, Trump went on Seattle radio station KIRO and remarked of Kaepernick protesting during the national anthem: “I think it’s personally not a good thing, I think it’s a terrible thing. And, you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him.”
• In March 2017, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft joined Trump on a flight aboard Air Force One in which the two men engaged in conversation. The next day, at a speaking event in Kentucky, Trump bragged that NFL owners weren’t signing Kaepernick because they were afraid of him.
“Your San Francisco quarterback, I’m sure nobody ever heard of him,” the president said. “… There was an article today that was reported that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that? I just saw that. I just saw that.”
In a later deposition in the Kaepernick case, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross testified Kraft told NFL owners he had spoken to Trump about players kneeling during the anthem. It wasn’t clear if that conversation occurred on the Air Force One flight or a different date.
President Donald Trump has continued to criticize the NFL and its players over past protests. (AP)
• In September 2017, Trump spoke directly to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who later revealed during his deposition in the Kaepernick collusion case that the president told him, “Tell everybody [in the NFL], you can’t win this one. This one lifts me,” and that the player-kneeling issue was a “very winning, strong issue for me [politically].”
• Also in September 2017, Trump blasted NFL players during a speech in Alabama, taking direct aim at the jobs of kneeling players.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’ ” Trump said.
• In October 2017, Trump again spoke directly about Kaepernick, and again suggested NFL retribution against the quarterback for his kneeling during the anthem.
“I watched Colin Kaepernick [in 2016], and I thought it was terrible, and then it got bigger and bigger and started mushrooming, and frankly the NFL should have suspended him for one game, and he would have never done it again,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “They could have then suspended him for two games, and they could have suspended him if he did it a third time, for the season, and you would never have had a problem. But I will tell you, you cannot disrespect our country, our flag, our anthem. You cannot do that.”
• Also in October 2017, Trump admitted to orchestrating a walkout of an NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts, in which Pence attended the game briefly and then left when players knelt during the national anthem.
• In late October 2017, a handful of NFL owners met with a select group of players during the league’s New York meetings. In a confidential meeting that was secretly taped and then leaked to the New York Times, Kraft can be heard referring to kneeling as the elephant in the room.
“The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel is in the best interests of America,” Kraft said, according to the Times. “It’s divisive and it’s horrible.”
The Times also quoted other owners at the meeting talking specifically about Trump’s impact. They included Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeff Lurie, who reportedly said, “We’ve got to be careful not to be baited by Trump or whomever else,” and Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula, who reportedly worried that, “All Donald needs to do is to start to do this again. We need some kind of immediate plan because of what’s going on in society. All of us now, we need to put a Band-Aid on what’s going on in the country.”
• In March 2018, Ross told the New York Daily News that Trump had influenced him to reverse his support of players who chose to kneel during the anthem. It was the first time that an owner said publicly that Trump had influenced their stance on the issue.
“I think initially I totally supported the players in what they were doing, because it’s America – people should be able to really speak about their choices and show them [in] doing that,” Ross said. “But I think when you change the message, about, is it support of our country or the military, it’s a different message. When that message changed, and everybody was interpreting it as that was the reason, then I was against the kneeling. …[Trump’s] message became what kneeling was all about. From that standpoint, that’s the way the public is interpreting it. So I think that’s really incumbent upon us to adopt that, because that’s how I think the country is now interpreting the kneeling issue.”
• In May 2018, after the NFL passed a rule prohibiting kneeling during the national anthem – but allowing players to remain in the locker room during the ceremony if they wish – some owners admitted that Trump had impacted the league’s motivation for creating a rule. The day after the NFL passed the rule, Trump once again revisited his remarks about players’ job statuses or whether they should be in the country if they didn’t stand for the anthem.
“You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing – you shouldn’t be there,” Trump told “Fox & Friends.” “Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”
In response to Trump, Pence, and Trump Jr. all publicly claiming victory in the NFL decision – and even tweeting "winning" after the decision was made, Colin Kaepernick's attorney, @markgeragos just tweeted this case law.
What Trump & Pence have done is illegal.
It's a crime. pic.twitter.com/ODSX2ofybP
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) May 24, 2018
— Mark Geragos (@markgeragos) May 24, 2018
According to Yahoo’s sources, these are only a few incidents demonstrating how Trump had potentially influenced how NFL owners treated Kaepernick and other players who kneeled in protest.
We’ll keep you guys updated!
TSR STAFF: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on IG