Serious Trouble
Serious Trouble
Yo Momma So Dumb She Thought These Trials Were Happening Before The Election

Yo Momma So Dumb She Thought These Trials Were Happening Before The Election

Trump trials, new mid-season replacement character Rep. Cuellar, and the law of diss tracks.

Greetings, friends.

As we recorded live, in person, in my office, Josh thoughtfully attempted to wreck me right out of the gate by using the terms “missionary position” and “Donald Trump” in the same sentence of the cold open. He’s referring, of course, to Stormy Daniels’ frankly disturbing testimony about a sexual encounter with Trump, an encounter that sounded not particularly consensual. That led to angry demands for a mistrial from Trump’s lawyers — an unsuccessful one, though a predictable one. The rest of the proceedings were more substantive than salacious, with the prosecution steadily building a case through notes, Michael Cohen’s secretly recorded conversations with Trump, and witness observations. But can they convince the jury this was all in service of a different crime, as required for a felony?

Meanwhile, Judge Merchan found Trump in contempt over a whiny social media post about jurors but rejected the DA’s motion as to three other posts. Judge Merchan indicated that fines seem insufficient to move Trump and the next step may be incarceration.

In Florida and Georgia, the prosecutions of Trump are lagging. Judge Cannon just took the late-May trial date off calendar in the documents case — not that anyone thought it could possibly go forward then. Josh and I discussed that the delay, while upsetting to many, is really not surprising and more of what you’d expect in a case this complicated. Georgia, though, is an own-goal by the prosecution — the Court of Appeal has agreed to hear the defendants’ interlocutory appeal of the refusal to disqualify DA Fani Willis, which regrettably coincides with Nathan Wade claiming workplace romance is as American as apple pie. Dude. You know that 85% of the time that’s a bad thing, right? Anyway, once again, this has the effect of further slowing down something that wasn’t plausibly happening before the election anyway.

Josh introduced a mid-season replacement character in the form of Rep. Henry Cuellar, indicted alongside his wife for a variety of bribery-related misconduct. Josh and I discussed the fact that there is no safe way to take a bribe: gold bars or shell corporations, they’re coming for you. Also, I offer a prayer of thanks for the great American melting pot that allows Azerbaijani oil companies and Mexican banks equal access to our Congress.

Finally, in a reminder that we do pay attention to you, we answer a listener question left here in the Serious Trouble forums — does the Kendrick Lamar/Drake beef implicate defamation law issues? Josh and I discuss whether true or false matters in a game of The Dozens, how this connects to courts evaluating the literal truth or falsity of rap lyrics, and the place of hearty insult in First Amendment law.

Until next time,


Click here for a transcript of this episode, or use Substack’s transcript (click the headline to see it).

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