Tempers flare in Arthur Engoron's courtroom; Tanya Chutkan's Trump gag order is oddly vague, and currently stayed; more Georgia RICO defendants are pleading out
I see that speculating about whether SBF would testify had the predictable effect.
Ken: More than anyone else you have made me aware of the needless, pervasive, and potentially justice-adverse impact of vagueness in our laws.
Thank God, another episode. I would pay double to get a second episode a week based around you guys discussing first amendment issues and corruption in government.
Edit to add: I know Ken's current career is another area of law, but I regularly reference Popehat posts which show how coherently he conveys complex issues in a way non-attorneys can digest. Meanwhile, Josh is really great at knowing -which- sorts of issues non-attorneys find compelling/confusing.
I’m curious—is there any criminal case noted for having the greatest number of involved attorneys getting indicted or convicted? The Georgia case already has three attorneys pleading guilty, with the prospect of as many as eight attorneys getting convicted. Maybe Watergate?
Too bad Ken and Josh just missed Engoron's latest sanction order, which apparently included an order demanding Trump take the stand to explain his comments - only to have the judge not believe him.
I know it's a civil trial but I assume Trump could have refused to explain himself if he wanted to, especially since it was essentially a contempt of court inquiry.
It's been suggested that Engoron's $10,000 fine was more harmful than helpful, since Trump can easily fundraise more than $10,000 off of the latest example of his rights debatably being infringed. How can it be a meaningful deterrent if fining him will actually result in Trump making even more money than if he had let it go?
Is this an example of Trump being treated more lightly than your average litigant, or perhaps is it an example of the tools of the judicial system being ill-suited to address Trump's unique brand of shenanigans in an effective but also constitutional way?
Two questions with respect to the two federal cases brought against Donald Trump: (1) what terms would be included in a potential plea deal recommendation that (former) AUSA Ken would make to Special Counsel Jack Smith in one or both of those cases; and (2) what would criminal defense attorney Ken take into consideration in terms of recommending his client, Donald Trump, take a plea deal?
Tidbit: caught Cohen's podcast discussion online last night. One thing he did repeatedly despite invitations was to decline to discuss ANY witness or participant in the trial until the court restriction was removed... a (possibly strategic and deliberate) indirect reminder that that order applied to all participants in the trial (attys, etc.) - not ONLY whatsie. I do think the previous attack on the court clerk's rep that resulted in a restriction may have paved the way for other sanctions from other judges.
It seems to me that Willis's strategy is to use the Coffee County caper as leverage to force pleas/cooperation. They have oodles of evidence about Coffee County which forces Powell to plead. Powell can give inside info on the phony electors plot, so that forces Chesebro and Ellis to flip. It seems she is working up the food chain fairly methodically.
Isn't the distinction between pleading to misdemeanors VS felonies really important? It didn't seem to get a lot of play that Powell was misdemeanor and Chesebro and Ellis each had to plead to a felony. I know this first offender thing means it gets wiped away in time, but still, I thought there were some fairly big implications to that?
How do prosecutors and judges view plea bargainers who kinda give their pleas the stinkeye?
So whilst SBF is having a terrible time as predicted, I am curious about the exact kind of trouble it will enworsen for him. Obviously this pattern yesterday and today of "Did you... " "I don't remember" "Here is Exhibit X where you do the thing you temporarily can't remember" is great news for AUSA given how well they have prepared cross, so he's doomed in terms of problems we *knew* he had.
But - if you turn up in court and conveniently can't remember anything, at what point does it become obvious that you are lying and you *can* remember; and is that *ever* prosecutable somehow; and has it ever happened?
Not a Georgia practioner so maybe check with your expert. Broke Jenna and The Cheese Bro pleaded to felonies. During each plea colloquy, the prosecutor asked about first offender status. As I see (why you need to ask a Georgia practioner), first offender status means that after successful completion of probation, no judgment of conviction is signed by the judge. Equals no conviction.
Ken said Mr. Trump could not use campaign funds to pay the fines. He is using campaign funds to pay the lawyers.
There is reporting the check for the fines came from the lawyers, not Mr. Trump. If the lawyers pay the fine, then bill Mr. Trump, and he uses campaign funds to pay that legal bill. is that still illegal?
More importantly, if it is illegal, will anyone notice?
During the episode, you said Michael Cohen is a lawyer. Is he? He was disbarred. Is he still a lawyer?
Here is some excellent, balanced coverage over the Gaza war protests on campuses & DeSantis’s attempt to outlaw the Students for Justice in Palestine as a terrorist organization. Might be worth discussing. https://www.chronicle.com/article/desantis-wants-to-ban-a-palestinian-student-groups-campus-chapters-is-that-legal
Molly White’s coverage of the SBF trial has been first-rate. https://open.substack.com/pub/mollywhite/p/the-ftx-trial-day-thirteen-sam-bankman?r=aewhd&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post