Serious Trouble
Serious Trouble
YSLRICO
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YSLRICO

Hunter Biden is convicted of gun crimes; Trump's election-theft lawyers face charges again, this time in Wisconsin; another one of Fani Willis's RICO trials goes off the rails.
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Dear listeners,

Hunter Biden has been convicted on three federal felony gun charges. In this case, Hunter has the same misfortune as Donald Trump in the Manhattan DA’s case: were he less famous, he’d likely never have ended up in court over these charges. (As even some Republicans have been pointing out, tens of millions of Americans are drug users who own guns, meaning they’re breaking the same law as Hunter, and they’re essentially never prosecuted for it.) Yet as Ken and I discuss, the government’s case against Hunter was a slam dunk on the facts. He clearly committed the acts he was accused of; he even admitted to key aspects of them in his memoir. Hunter’s best defense is on the law — that, as some appeals courts have already found, the federal law barring addicts from owning guns violates the Second Amendment. But that’s going to need to be a matter for appeal.

In that Manhattan case, Trump sat for his interview with the probation office, and CNN reports that Trump’s firearm ownership became a matter of concern in that discussion. (Trump would never retain anything he was no longer supposed to possess, right?) And in the Florida documents case, Judge Aileen Cannon ruled almost entirely against Trump in his efforts to dismiss certain aspects of the documents charges, though she did strike one story from the indictment — Trump’s infamous display of a war plan map at Bedminster, New Jersey, an act for which he hasn’t been charged in Florida.

Three Trump associates, including Mike Roman and Ken Chesebro, now face felony charges in Wisconsin for forgery — the fifth state where Trump’s henchmen have been criminally charged for their efforts to steal the election. This points to a problem for Trump allies’ threats to wage revenge “lawfare” on Trump’s enemies — when people around Trump make illegal use of the illegal process, it’s often gotten them in a lot of trouble, even if that trouble hasn’t redounded upward to Trump himself. It’s a factor that’s going to make it more difficult to rope even loyalists into those schemes.

In Georgia, Fani Willis’s RICO case against Trump and company remains on hold indefinitely while an appeals court considers whether Willis should have been required to recuse herself. It’s not like this case was going to trial anytime soon, but now it is surely going to be years. Shouldn’t have slept with the special counsel! And another one of Willis’s RICO cases — the one against rapper Young Thug and alleged members of (what prosecutors allege was) his street gang, Young Slime Life — has gone completely off the rails, with Judge Ural Glanville holding an ex-parte meeting with prosecutors and a key witness, getting very angry when defense attorney Brian Steel found out about the meeting, and then ordering Steel to jail for contempt of court. Steel is supposed to serve ten weekends in jail; Judge Glanville granted his request to be jailed alongside Young Thug so they can keep preparing for trial. Steel has also appealed the contempt order; this case, too, is likely to be getting appellate review before it’s even over.

We hope you enjoy the episode,

Josh

Click here for a transcript of this episode.

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