Serious Trouble
Serious Trouble
The Low, Low Price of $175 Million

The Low, Low Price of $175 Million

Trump's appeal bond is reduced to an amount he likely can post; some of Judge Aileen Cannon's clerks have quit; Rod Blagojevich gets Seuss'd in federal court.

Dear listeners,

A panel of New York appellate judges has reduced Donald Trump’s bond in the New York Attorney General’s civil case to $175 million. Based on past disclosures we’ve seen about Trump’s finances, he likely will be able to post a bond in this amount, and efforts by AG Letitia James to collect the judgment will be paused pending an appeal. Ken and I discuss possible reasons the court took this surprise action — as is typical for this kind of decision in New York, the judges didn’t really explain their reasoning — and the likely course of Trump’s appeal to come later this year.

Meanwhile, in New York Supreme Court (which is the trial court), Trump’s criminal trial over falsification of business records has been scheduled for April 15. Judge Juan Merchan wasn’t impressed by Trump’s arguments that late document production by the US Attorney constituted misconduct on the part of the District Attorney, and he also slapped Trump with a fairly narrow gag order patterned after the one Judge Tanya Chuktan imposed in one of Trump’s federal cases.

David Lat has an interesting story about Judge Aileen Cannon’s chambers. Over the last two years, Cannon has had two law clerks quit in the middle of their one-year terms, while a third withdrew from a clerkship she had previously been awarded. This is highly unusual — clerkships are prestigious, and quitting one early can be damaging to a young lawyer’s professional prospects. That is, it’s damaging unless the judge you’re clerking for is so widely disrespected that the white-shoe law firm that’s offered you a post-clerkship job says they don’t mind if you quit early, as Lat reports happened with one of the clerks. More broadly, Lat describes Cannon’s chambers as a chaotic and miserable workplace. Ken and I discuss the extent to which Cannon’s failure to leverage her clerks appropriately may be a contributing factor behind her sloppy work.

And finally, do you remember Rod Blagojevich, the former Illinois governor who got in some trouble for trying to sell a US Senate seat to the highest bidder? In 2021, he sued the state and its legislature in federal court, saying they violated his civil rights by banning him from seeking office in the state. He wanted the court to bar them from enforcing the ban, I guess so he could ask the voters to return him to public service. Last week, Judge Steven Seeger told Blago to pound sand — or, more specifically, he quoted Dr. Seuss, instructing him to “Just go. Go. GO! I don’t care how.” It’s maybe the most brutal dismissal Blago has received since Donald Trump told him “you’re fired” in week 4 of The Celebrity Apprentice 3.

We hope you enjoy the 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