President Trump may be forced into another collusion case, this one in the legal battle between Colin Kaepernick and the NFL.
Kaepernick’s lawyers are expected to seek federal subpoenas from Trump and Vice President Pence in the former quarterback’s lawsuit alleging the league colluded to blackball him from playing after he refused to stand for the national anthem, according to Yahoo Sports.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and executive vice president Troy Vincent have already been deposed by Kaepernick’s legal team as have four NFL owners, three general managers and Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.
According to 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 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.
But there are a series of obstacles to overcome if Kaepernick’s lawyers choose to purse the subpoenas, according to Yahoo Sports:
Should the system arbitrator and a federal judge find there is a basis to force Trump or others to sit for depositions, it would raise an argument over whether the president can actually be compelled by the courts to sit for a deposition. Trump could choose to ignore the order or simply decline, leaving it up to the justice system to enforce the subpoena.
Whether that would ever happen is a significant matter of debate.
With questions about Trump sitting to talk with special counsel Robert Mueller in the Russia investigation still being unanswered, it does seem unlikely that the president would comply with a subpoena from a district court in a case involving the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.
“Even if Trump was attracted to lock horns more directly with Kaepernick, doing so in a deposition could potentially expose the president legally if it is found he somehow bore responsibility for NFL owners refusing to offer Kaepernick a job,” Yahoo noted.
Trump has been a vocal critic of players protesting during the national anthem and this week cancelled a visit by the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House. Last month, the NFL announced a new policy requiring players on the field to stand during the national anthem or else remain in the locker room.
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