Serious Trouble

Josh Barro and Ken White

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

www.serioustrouble.show

We Can Have a Little of the Warrant Application, As a Treat
Aug 30 2022
We Can Have a Little of the Warrant Application, As a Treat
This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit www.serioustrouble.showDear listeners,It’s another week of serious trouble!This week, Ken and I talk about the unsealed application for the Mar-a-Lago warrant, such as it is — most of the juicy bits are blacked out, but we did learn some things about what the government is investigating and who does not seem to be a target.The government says its “privilege review team” — an alternative, loser terminology for the taint team — is already done reviewing the documents from Trump’s boxes. As such, Trump’s demand for a special master to oversee that review may be moot, but we’ll know more after Judge Aileen Cannon holds a hearing about it on Thursday.Plus, for paying subscribers: the speed with which Judge Cannon has acted on Trump’s requests has alarmed and annoyed some Trump critics. But if Trump’s objective with his motions is (as it is so often) to delay the proceedings, then her speedy responses — and her choice not to enjoin the government’s investigative activities — aren’t serving his interests so far.And we talk about Ben Shapiro, who says he was defamed. Shapiro is on better grounds than many who cry defamation — provably false statements of fact were made about his alleged receipt of PPP loans, possibly with reckless disregard for the truth — but he stumbles at the key last step: showing he suffered quantifiable harm due to the statements.Finally, at the very end of the paid version of the show, we have an outtake for fans of taint team talk.You know you want to hear it.Enjoy the show!Josh
Serious Trouble, Episode 1: The Show, The January 6 Committee Hearings, And The Depp/Heard Trial
Jun 16 2022
Serious Trouble, Episode 1: The Show, The January 6 Committee Hearings, And The Depp/Heard Trial
To get this episode into your premium RSS feed, please click the button below from your phone:Dear readers,Serious Trouble is not a Trump show — it’s a show about law. But the top legal story this week is about Trump, so that’s how we’re starting: with a discussion of the theory of Trump’s criminality advanced by the January 6 investigating committee.What would it entail to prove in court that Donald Trump criminally sought to interfere with an official proceeding, and should the Justice Department try? What sort of criminal defense would Trump mount if it got to trial? Would Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani end up on the witness stand?We also talked about how some of the witnesses in deposition videos presented by the committee seemed to be almost enjoying themselves, especially former Attorney General Bill Barr. Can a deposition be fun? Ken has some thoughts on why it can be a good strategy for lawyers to try to keep things feeling fun and light even when the matters at hand are deadly serious.And we talked about our ambivalence at having missed the defamation lawsuit between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard — arguably the most prominent defamation case in decades and also a huge, embarrassing mess. We’ve talked a lot over the years about how hard it is to prove defamation, especially against a public figure — so how did they both prevail on at least some of their claims? And what does the verdict mean for future defamation litigants?We hope you enjoy the episode. If you have questions or responses, please share them in the comments section below, or you can email us at RICOhotline@serioustrouble.show.And here are some links to documents and statutes we discussed on today’s show — you might find these useful as you listen. We’ll prepare a list like this for you to accompany every episode we release.Here’s a transcript of the episode.Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(c)(2) is the statute prohibiting obstruction of an official federal proceeding — did Trump violate it?Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 contains both the plain-vanilla federal law prohibiting conspiracy to violate federal statutes and the prohibition on defrauding the federal government — did Trump violate that?What does “defraud the United States” mean? Well, we know what the Department of Justice thinks that it means — take a look at the relevant section of the United States Attorney’s Manual, which includes the case Ken quotes in the episode.What law governed the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial, and what issues were actually before the jury? Read the jury instructions and find out:Here’s the SNL cold open about the Depp/Heard trial being “for fun”:We’ll be back with another episode for you next week. Very seriously,Ken White, Josh Barro & Sara Fay This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.serioustrouble.show/subscribe