Serious Trouble
Serious Trouble
9-0, but also 5-4

9-0, but also 5-4

The Supreme Court blocks states from taking Trump off the ballot and considers his immunity arguments; Trump awaits a SPAC windfall that could satisfy his judgments; Hunter Biden speaks

No transcript...

Dear listeners,

Did some news come out after we released our last episode?

This week, Ken and I talk about how the Supreme Court is asserting itself in matters related to Donald Trump. The justices held unanimously that states may not block Donald Trump from their election ballots on the grounds of 14th Amendment disqualification, though the justices did have a sharp disagreement about the court’s choice to foreclose other non-congressional federal paths to disqualifying Trump or other candidates who may have engaged in insurrection. Amy Coney Barrett sided with the court’s three liberals in saying the court didn't need to address this issue, though she also wishes they would have been a little more chill in objecting to what the other five justices did.

Meanwhile, the court will consider Trump’s claims about presidential immunity, and on an expedited basis — oral arguments will be next month, with a decision expected by late June. That sets up the awkward possibility that Trump’s criminal trial related to January 6 will begin in the fall and be ongoing on Election Day, if Judge Tanya Chutkan is serious about her stated intention not to let a defendant’s busy schedule get in the way of a trial.

Meanwhile, Trump’s deadlines to post his appeal bonds approach, with courts so far unimpressed with his requests for delays and discounts. If he fails to post sufficient bonds — they need to total hundreds of millions of dollars — then E. Jean Carroll and the state of New York can commence proceedings to collect what they’re owed. But Trump has a lifeline coming into view: the upcoming merger of Trump Media & Technology with a SPAC vehicle. Assuming it gets through a mire of litigation and closes, this deal would value Trump’s stake in the parent company of Truth Social at billions of dollars; and since the company would be public, Trump could access that value by selling his shares, assuming continued investor exuberance for his social media platform. (Trump Media is not where I would invest my money, personally, but in recent years, I’ve given up trying to reason with retail investors or assuming that meme stock prices will align with business fundamentals.)

Allen Weisselberg is getting a little more prison time — this time for lying about the lies about the size of Trump’s penthouse — and Ken and I discuss why we feel… well, we don’t exactly feel sorry for him, but we do find something a little odd about how it’s Allen who keeps getting sentenced to custody when he’s not exactly the primest mover behind Trump-entity misdeeds.

And Hunter Biden talked to a congressional committee, and when he did so he really talked — a continuation of his high-stakes strategy of going on political offense, even when he faces two upcoming criminal trials where his statements can be used against him.

We hope you enjoy this episode.


Click here for a transcript of this episode.

Serious Trouble
Serious Trouble
An irreverent podcast about the law from Josh Barro and Ken White.
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Josh Barro
Ken White