We’re back with another episode of Serious Trouble!
This week, we talk about the arguments before Judge Aileen Cannon about when she should schedule the federal criminal trial of Donald Trump. The Trump team has made arguments for a long delay, some of them very splashy and aggressive — most prominently, their insistence that he should not be tried until he is no longer a prominent political candidate.
But there are lots of other reasons a trial like this would take a long time to start — reasons that would apply even if it did not involve an extremely high-profile defendant at the center of the nation’s top political controversies — and it seems likely that Trump’s side will succeed, one way or another, at pushing back the trial’s start well into next year or beyond. For one thing, it’s going to take quite a while to hash out how to handle the many classified documents that will be evidence in the trial. And in some cases, the government may be motivated to immediately appeal Judge Cannon’s rulings — a mechanism that creates a check on the judge but also adds further delays to the start of the case.
We talk about Rudy Giuliani and Lin Wood — the former may lose his law license because of his 2020 election-related shenanigans, and the latter has given his license up so he can stop going to so many hearings. We talk about E. Jean Carroll, who is still trying to sue Donald Trump for statements he made while in office — and who no longer faces opposition from the Department of Justice in her effort to do so.
And we talk about Elon Musk, who is suing Wachtell Lipton, the law firm that represented Twitter in its successful effort to force Musk to close the acquisition deal he’d agreed to. Musk says Wachtell’s $90 million fee was unconscionably high and was agreed to by outgoing Twitter managers who knew Musk would be on the hook for the bill. But is $90 million really such an unreasonable fee for litigation that, by succeeding, created tens of billions of dollars of value for shareholders? Certainly, that sounds like a big success to us.
We hope you enjoy the episode.