A Jury So Special and Grand
Possible indictments in Georgia; Mike Pence seeks a testimonial protection normally reserved for members of Congress; Rust prepares to resume production
We’re back with more serious trouble!
On this week’s show, we take a look at the (partial) report of a Georgia special grand jury that had been investigating efforts to interfere in that state’s reporting of its 2020 presidential election results. The report says the grand jurors think they heard some perjury. And its unreleased portions may contain recommendations about criminal charges — recommendations that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could bring to a regular grand jury for indictment.
We talk about Mike Pence’s effort to avoid a subpoena from Special Counsel Jack Smith. Pence says he’s can’t be forced to testify about January 6 because of the “speech or debate” clause of the US Constitution, which protects senators and representatives from being questioned about their official duties. Except… he wasn’t a senator or a representative, he was the Vice President. The VP has an odd place in our constitutional structure — mostly executive, but also the presiding officer of one house of our legislature — and we talk about the possibility that Pence could assert testimonial protections assigned to either branch.
We talk about federal prosecutors’ efforts to pierce attorney-client privilege and force one of former president Trump’s attorneys to testify about his interactions with his client — which gives us an opportunity to talk once again about the crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege.
We talk about Alec Baldwin. As we discussed a couple of weeks ago, he has a good argument that the firearms enhancement prosecutors want to use to extend his sentence can’t be applied to him. His expensive, talented and aggressive lawyers are on that question — after a Variety reporter asked them about the issue, after hearing about it on our podcast — and they’re also looking to disqualify the currently-assigned special prosecutor on his case. Meanwhile, Baldwin is preparing to restart production on Rust… so Ken talks about why it might not be the best idea to literally act out the events that led up to your criminal charges while you face trial.
And we have some SBF antics to update you on — this time, they have to do with the Super Bowl.
We hope you enjoy the episode,
Episode links and references
Click here for a transcript of this episode.
Here are the now-public portions of the Georgia grand jury report.
Variety stories by reporter (and Serious Trouble listener) Gene Maddaus:
Alec Baldwin Charged Under Gun Law That Didn’t Exist at Time of ‘Rust’ Shooting
Alec Baldwin Accuses D.A. of ‘Basic Legal Error,’ Asks Judge To Throw Out Five-Year Enhancement
‘Rust’ Production Names Cinematographer to Succeed Halyna Hutchins, Announces Documentary About Film Completion
Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers tell Judge Lewis Kaplan the reason he was using an encrypted internet connection was so he could use his international NFL Game Pass account to watch the playoffs from his parents’ home in California. Don’t they have cable?