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All the Presidents' Lawyers

135 episodes - English - Latest episode: 10 months ago - ★★★★★ - 1.4K ratings

All presidents have legal issues. Some have more than others. A weekly conversation about the law, executive power, and all the presidents' lawyers, good and bad.

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The end of the road, for now

November 25, 2021 00:02 - 32 minutes - 29.5 MB

It’s been more than three years since Josh Barro and Ken White started All The President’s Lawyers (the first name of this show) to explore the legal problems of then-President Donald Trump, and wow, did he have legal problems. He still has legal problems, but he’s no longer president, and it’s time to wind down this very fun show. On this final episode, Josh and Ken update us on where the main characters are now: Trump himself, Michael Cohen, and more. Thanks for listening to All...

Summer’s over

November 17, 2021 23:46 - 34 minutes - 31.2 MB

Just 22 days after Steve Bannon was referred to the Department of Justice for contempt of Congress, we have an indictment. Is that a long time? No, very much not. Ken says that’s the speed you’d expect for someone who’s robbed a break or something “showy that involves guns.” What happens next? What does the government have to prove here? And what message does this send to the other people defying subpoenas? Then: Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” has dropped h...

Another indictment from Durham

November 10, 2021 22:57 - 29 minutes - 27.4 MB

There’s been another indictment in special prosecutor John Durham’s investigation of the investigation into links between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. It’s another indictment for false statements to federal officials, this time of Igor Danchenko, a Russian national and Russia analyst who was one of Christopher Steele’s sources in assembling the infamous dossier. The thrust of the allegations in the indictment are that Danchenko lied to FBI investigators about whe...

A second indictment from the investigation into the Trump-Russia investigation origins

November 10, 2021 21:30 - 30 minutes - 13.3 MB

Josh Barro and Ken White discuss the second indictment from John Durham’s investigation into the investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia.

Low-hanging fruit

November 03, 2021 20:16 - 30 minutes - 27.9 MB

We now know which documents former President Trump is seeking to block from the January 6 select committee: the White House daily diary, which would show his movements and meetings; phone records and records of his senior staff, and a few other documents, including a draft of a speech for the “Save America” rally, a handwritten note, and more. Trump is asserting executive privilege, which is a kind of made-up doctrine but everyone still agrees that former presidents still have some ...

Why is the January 6 committee putting some of their investigation requests on hold?

November 03, 2021 19:00 - 32 minutes - 12.9 MB

Josh Barro and Ken White talk more about the executive privilege issues and unknowns as the January 6 committee continues its investigation into former President Trump and his administration.

Guilty. Appealing. Talking. Referred for contempt.

October 27, 2021 01:57 - 33 minutes - 30.8 MB

This week, Josh Barro and Ken White catch up on a few familiar characters and tie up some loose threads. Lev Parnas, former associate of Rudy Giuliani: convicted of six counts of charges related to funneling and concealing political contributions. There was speculation about whether Parnas himself would take the stand — Ken talks about when that’s a good idea and when that’s very much not a good idea. Michael Avenatti: still a free man for now, but indicted on four sets of trials,...

Testing the boundaries of executive privilege

October 20, 2021 23:58 - 29 minutes - 26.9 MB

Former President Trump has sued the National Archives and the chairman of the January 6 investigating committee, Congressman Bennie Thompson, to try to prevent the disclosure of White House papers, records and communications up to and during the riot. He’s asserting executive privilege. What does that mean again? Where does the idea of executive privilege come from, and how are the interests weighed in a situation like this? And then...does a former president have a strong executive...

Is a plea bargain a good deal?

October 13, 2021 19:00 - 28 minutes - 26.1 MB

This is a special episode of All the Presidents’ Lawyers with Carissa Byrne Hessick, professor of law at the University of North Carolina. As we’ve discussed previously on the show, some federal judges have been wondering (sometimes aloud, in their courtrooms) whether the Capitol Riot defendants are getting off too easy. More than six hundred people have been charged so far — a few with felonies and most with misdemeanor charges. Of those charged, about one hundred people have accep...

What is a state actor?

October 06, 2021 23:47 - 32 minutes - 29.4 MB

Former President Donald Trump has sued Twitter trying to get back on the platform. His suit says Twitter violated his First Amendment rights and that they broke a new Florida law that purports to prohibit social media companies from being banned in a manner inconsistent with the companies’ internal policies. The thing is, the First Amendment applies to the government restricting free speech and Trump’s theory is that Twitter is a state actor. When would a private entity be considere...

Trump Derangement Syndrome with David Lat

September 29, 2021 22:35 - 33 minutes - 30.4 MB

What is ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’? It’s a condition that afflicts conservatives and liberals alike – and lawyers in particular. This week, Ken White and special guest David Lat discuss the attorneys that, uh, have gone astray defending Donald Trump. Ken White and special guest David Lat discuss Jeffrey Clark, who tried to oust fellow Jeffrey (Rosen) as acting attorney general and get Georgia to change its election results. John Eastman, a respected attorney and former clerk to S...

An unusual indictment, an unusual memo

September 23, 2021 01:29 - 35 minutes - 32.5 MB

John Durham, the former US attorney who was appointed special counsel to investigate the origins of the investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign and its alleged connections to Russia, has turned an indictment. A grand jury has indicted Michael Sussmann, an attorney at election law firm Perkins Coie, for making false statements to federal officials. Good lawyers and listeners of this podcast know that’s 1001 violation. But what’s unusual about this one? Ken and Josh talk through th...

Fate of the Henchman

September 15, 2021 22:24 - 30 minutes - 28.2 MB

There’s been a lack of thumb-headed henchmen news on the show for a bit… so this week, Ken and Josh check in on one. Igor Fruman, a sometime associate of Rudy Giuliani, has pleaded guilty to one count of soliciting foreign campaign contributions. In his indictment, it was alleged that Fruman, along with Lev Parnas and others, illegally funnelled millions of dollars from Russia to U.S. political candidates in an attempt to obtain licenses to operate marijuana businesses. What’s Fruma...

Giuliani associate changes course, pleads guilty to campaign finance charge

September 15, 2021 20:30 - 30 minutes - 13.1 MB

Josh Barro and Ken White talk about the fate of Rudy Giuliani associate, and why you should closely read the script before recording a Cameo.

Juniors

September 09, 2021 00:22 - 34 minutes - 31.5 MB

Trump Organization employee Matthew Calamari Jr. testified last week before the New York grand jury that’s looking into the financial practices of the Trump Organization. It’s the same grand jury that indicted then-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg a few months ago. What should we make of the details that have been reported about this subpoena? And there’s also one big problem: both Matthew Calamari Jr. and his father, Matthew Calamari Sr., work at the Trump Organization, and...

What happens when your lawyer is MIA

September 01, 2021 23:56 - 35 minutes - 32.3 MB

What happens when you’re facing federal charges connected to the Jan. 6 insurrection and your lawyer….goes missing? And their associate, who has been showing up in court, is not a licensed attorney and is facing felony indictments? Yikes. That’s the case for clients of John Pierce, one of the more ideological advocates. What happens when an attorney is incapacitated and unable to represent his or her clients? And what could happen to those clients? Then: the January 6 select commit...

Mistrial!

August 25, 2021 22:53 - 33 minutes - 31.1 MB

It’s a big week for Michael Avenatti. A mistrial! Judge Selna ruled that the government had withheld financial evidence they should’ve made available to Avenatti as he defended himself in the case where he was being tried for embezzling funds from his clients. He’s going to be tried again in October. Is it a major factor that each side has seen the other’s hand? Does this make the case much more expensive, and is that to Avenatti’s advantage? And is Michael Avenatti a good lawyer no...

Jeffrey Rosen and Jeffrey Clark

August 18, 2021 22:34 - 30 minutes - 28.2 MB

Former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testified about what happened between him, Donald Trump, and former acting head of DOJ Civil Division Jeffrey Clark in a closed session with the DOJ Inspector General and the Senate Judiciary Committee. TL:DR and also it was a closed session, so here’s what we know; Clark tried to pressure former president Trump to remove Rosen and install Clark as acting AG while Trump was trying to get the 2020 election results thrown out. Does this mee...

Seven months and 600+ people charged

August 11, 2021 22:43 - 34 minutes - 31.4 MB

This week, we’re bringing on special guest Ryan J. Reilly, senior justice reporter at HuffPost, while Ken enjoys a deserved vacation. We’ve followed and referenced Ryan’s reporting on prosecutions related to the Capitol riot for the past seven months and it’s time to check in. First: what does it look like for hundreds of cases to move through one federal court district in D.C.? How is the system handling the volume? And is there any method to which cases have been charged so far? R...

Tax returns return

August 05, 2021 00:13 - 28 minutes - 26.1 MB

The Biden administration said this week that the House Ways and Means Committee can have access to former President Trump’s tax returns. The committee says it wants the returns as part of an ongoing investigation into how the IRS audits presidents – and that Trump’s returns serve a valid legislative purpose. Trump said he’d personally sue to prevent the returns from being turned over (and he did so after we recorded this episode). Are we in for another long battle? Also: federal ju...

DOJ threads the needle

July 28, 2021 22:23 - 34 minutes - 31.4 MB

Michael Avenatti is one week into representing himself in federal court in Southern California, where he is accused of stealing funds from his client. Is he doing a good job lawyering for himself? And is a juror in the trial secretly posing as Josh Barro for this week’s podcast? You won’t know until you listen! P.S. As mentioned in the show, we’ve been enjoying and relying on Meghann Cuniff’s excellent and detailed reporting on the Avenatti trial. Follow her here. Then: the DOJ has...

A pro se pro?

July 21, 2021 22:36 - 35 minutes - 32.4 MB

This week, Michael Avenatti told a federal district judge in California that he would like to represent himself in his second of three criminal trials, in which he is charged with stealing millions from his clients’ settlements. There are a lot of reasons why hiring a lawyer is a very good idea and a very smart idea. Is it possible, though, that Michael Avenatti could be making a good decision, even though his experience in criminal law is, uh, as a defendant? Also: like former Pre...

An expensive defense

July 14, 2021 22:11 - 31 minutes - 28.6 MB

Allen Weisselberg is no longer in executive positions with the Trump Organization and its subsidiaries. Does this signal anything about the relationship between the former CFO and the company? Weisselberg’s defense is going to be very, very expensive. How expensive? Ken says there’s a good chance a full defense in a case like this could even be $1.7 million — the amount in off-the-books compensation Weisselberg is alleged to have received. So who’s paying those legal bills, and what...

BONUS: Josh and Ken talk about the criminal indictments against Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization

July 02, 2021 02:40 - 22 minutes - 20.4 MB

Surprise episode! Josh Barro and Ken White talk about the unsealed indictments of the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. They’re alleged to have engaged in a fifteen-year tax fraud scheme that protected Weisselberg and other Trump Organization employees from paying tax. In Weisselberg’s case, that’s over $1.7 million in compensation. But what’s really at stake here? And is this actually just a way for prosecutors to get to the man for whom the Tru...

BONUS: Josh and Ken talk about the criminal indictments against Allen Weisselberg and the Trump Organization

July 01, 2021 20:30 - 22 minutes - 20.4 MB

Josh Barro & Ken White discuss the indictments unsealed today for the Trump Organization and its CFO.

The ATPL XL Ask Us Anything Show

July 01, 2021 01:49 - 57 minutes - 52.8 MB

As of Wednesday morning, there have been no charges yet against the Trump Organization or any of its senior officials. The Wall Street Journal reported that charges for tax related crimes are expected Thursday for the organization and its CFO, Allan Weisselberg. Ahead of those charges, there have been reports that the New York District Attorney gave Trump Organization lawyers a deadline of this Monday to talk prosecutors out of charging the organization. What’s the purpose of that m...

"What the Fuks?"

June 24, 2021 00:06 - 32 minutes - 29.8 MB

The first Capitol riot defendant received her sentence today, more than six months after the insurrection. Ken White and Josh Barro analyze the sentencing memos from the woman’s lawyer and the government. Both agreed that a lenient sentence with no jail time was appropriate for her one misdemeanor count (to which she pleaded guilty) and the government seemed to set a standard for the hundreds of sentences that are expected. What is the criteria and will it determine how other people...

“Pure insanity”

June 16, 2021 22:33 - 31 minutes - 29 MB

It’s been an interesting week for Donald Trump’s Department of Justice, despite the fact that Donald Trump isn’t president anymore. This week, we saw communications from Trump administration officials pressuring people in the Department of Justice to investigate increasingly erratic claims about the November election. In one exchange, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to look into a matter dubbed “Italygate.” Rosen forwarded the...

A Trump legal problem becomes a Biden administration problem

June 10, 2021 00:43 - 26 minutes - 24.4 MB

Before the election, the Department of Justice under President Trump was at work defending him in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation suit, arguing that when Trump denied Carroll’s accusation that he had raped her, he did so in his official capacity as president, and therefore he couldn’t be sued. It’s customary for the Department of Justice to represent the president in situations like this, though a federal judge rejected it. The Trump DOJ appealed, but after he lost the election, there ...

Michael Flynn and Myanmar

June 02, 2021 22:49 - 33 minutes - 30.6 MB

Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn made some news this week at a rally when he seemed to say a coup like the one in Myanmar earlier this year should happen in the United States. Flynn denied saying this, even though he was caught on tape. Flynn’s old boss, former president Trump, is supposedly telling people he expects to be reinstated as president by August. While Ken says it’s not a crime to believe or wish you’ll be reinstated, it can tip over into seditious conspirac...

Blast from the past

May 26, 2021 23:58 - 34 minutes - 31.9 MB

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has empaneled a special grand jury that is expected to decide whether to indict former President Donald Trump, his business, or his business associates. It could be a few months before we know anything, or if there will be anything, about indictments. Is this an indication that Vance expected to indict anyone at all? Ken White and Josh Barro discuss the coverage of the grand jury announcement and the part of the memo sent to then-Attorney General...

This podcast is no longer purely civil in nature

May 20, 2021 00:40 - 33 minutes - 30.8 MB

We know that allies of Rudy Giuliani have been pushing for former President Trump to pay his legal fees or to pay him so he can pay his legal fees. But there’s another urgent ask that The Daily Beast reports Trump has demurring on: “a strong verbal or written statement saying Giuliani’s work during the Trump-Ukraine saga was done on behalf of then-President Trump—and therefore not part of an illegal foreign lobbying effort.” Josh and Ken agree this would be inadvisable for Trump if...

Hushing the hush payments

May 12, 2021 22:53 - 33 minutes - 31.1 MB

Do you remember Essential Consultants, LLC? Michael Cohen’s company established to make hush payments to Stephanie Clifford (a.k.a. Stormy Daniels) and Karen MacDougal to stop them from publicly disclosing their affairs with Donald Trump before the 2016 election. Michael Cohen ultimately pleaded guilty to making an excessive campaign contribution, but nobody else faced legal consequences for the concealed payment. And now the FEC has dropped its investigation into the matter, citing...

The Rudy raid

May 06, 2021 00:23 - 38 minutes - 35.1 MB

On a typical Wednesday, just hours after Josh Barro and Ken White recorded an episode to capture the news of the week, federal investigators executed a search warrant at Rudy Giuliani’s home and office, confiscating electronic devices, because of course they did. News reports indicate the investigation is about whether Giuliani illegally lobbied the Trump administration on behalf of foreign interests. This is bad, right? It’s a big deal to execute a search warrant on a lawyer. What ...

Destroying phone now

April 29, 2021 00:01 - 35 minutes - 32.8 MB

In the weeks after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Department of Justice came up with a plan to cast a wide net in its investigation. This would have involved investigating organizers and others who contributed to the event, according to the New York Times, but the FBI wouldn’t go for it. Why? It would be wrong to arrest people for joining groups or attending rallies or funding trips to attend rallies, but is it against the First Amendment to investigate people? Long-Suffe...

The Chauvin verdict

April 22, 2021 01:47 - 33 minutes - 31.1 MB

We got a remarkably rapid guilty verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chuavin this Tuesday, convicted of counts including second degree unintentional murder. Josh Barro and Ken White talk about the verdict plus comments from President Biden and Congresswoman Maxine Waters and if they’ll jeopardize the verdict. Plus: the first plea deal of the insurrection, Roger Stone’s tax troubles and more.

A matter of public concern

April 15, 2021 03:52 - 33 minutes - 31.1 MB

Josh Barro and Ken White discuss the different way Rudy Giuliani is responding to Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against him. Why might he have taken a different approach from Sidney Powell? Plus: former Rep. Katie Hill sued the Daily Mail under California’s revenge porn statute, and this week a judge threw out the suit and the decision was on an anti-SLAPP motion, so Hill may have to pay for the paper’s legal defense. The Daily Mail had published compromising photos of...

Gaetzgate

April 07, 2021 22:45 - 37 minutes - 34.1 MB

Josh Barro and Ken White discuss reports of a federal investigation into Congressman Matt Gaetz. What are the legal issues here? Was it smart for Gaetz to give a prime time interview about it on television? And why was this news apparently leaked? Plus: the Trump campaign set some donors up for recurring donations in a way that was dense and confusing. Is that fraud, and could some donors have a good case to sue the campaign? Recently, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals set a standar...

Relationship to the truth

March 31, 2021 23:38 - 36 minutes - 33.7 MB

For the past three years, All The Presidents’ Lawyers has focused a lot on defamation cases, and there’s an obvious reason for that: former President Trump has been (and still is) the target of defamation cases and he has also invoked or actually used defamation suits as strategy for years. Remember when Stormy Daniels sued former President Trump, saying he defamed her by calling her accusation that she threatened in a Las Vegas parking lot not to talk about her affair with him a “...

Loose lips

March 25, 2021 01:49 - 31 minutes - 28.5 MB

Michael Sherwin, who was the acting U.S. attorney in Washington overseeing the prosecution of Capitol rioters, gave a revealing interview to 60 Minutes this week. Its ripple effects in courtrooms and at the Department of Justice were almost immediate. Josh Barro and Ken White talk about that interview and what Sherwin said about the possibility of sedition charges for the rioters and other criminal charges for former President Trump. Plus: Sidney Powell’s lawyers file an interesting...

Is approximately half good enough?

March 18, 2021 01:25 - 33 minutes - 31.1 MB

Government officials believe about 800 rioters entered the building on January 6. About 300 people have been charged and the government expects to charge at least 100 more, according to a recent filing. Is that...good enough? Is that enough for deterrence? Ken White and Josh Barro talk about that, the timeline of evidence collection and charges, and the effort to bring a conspiracy case against the Oathkeepers. Plus: Ken and Josh discuss Jane Mayer’s profile of Manhattan District At...

Cease and desist

March 11, 2021 01:09 - 28 minutes - 26.5 MB

Josh Barro and Ken White talk about former President Trump’s efforts to keep Republican groups from using his image to fundraise. Were his cease-and-desist letters performative, or does he actually have a legal argument that his name and image can’t be invoked by party organizations? Plus: Congressman Swalwell sues the president and his associates, a judge in New York threw out a lawsuit from Trump against the New York Times, Fulton County brings in a state RICO expert, a former SDN...

Could another campaign help Trump with some of his legal problems?

March 04, 2021 00:41 - 35 minutes - 32.2 MB

Former President Trump spoke at CPAC this past weekend, and it got some people talking (apparently, some of Trump’s advisers included): if he were to run for office again, would it help him with some of his legal issues? Would it make prosecutors more reluctant to sue him? Plus: Fulton County DA will appear in front of a grand jury this week, Michael Cohen’s selling prison jumpsuits as podcast merch, why a Trump appointee is suing the Biden administration, a fancy way of charging so...

SCOTUS and the subpoena

February 25, 2021 18:43 - 31 minutes - 28.4 MB

The Supreme Court finally declined to block the Manhattan District Attorney’s subpoena for financial records related to Donald Trump and the Trump Organization from his accountants at Mazars LLP. This subpoena is commonly described in the press as giving the DA access to former President Trump’s tax returns, but that shorthand is a little bit misleading. Josh Barro and Ken White what it means, what it means that another prosecutor has been working on the investigation, and what they...

The end of impeachment, but not the end of legal exposure

February 17, 2021 21:42 - 35 minutes - 32.1 MB

Former President Trump was acquitted over the weekend in his second impeachment trial. A record seven members of his own party voted to convict him but that wasn’t enough to bar Trump from seeking future office. How strong was the defense his lawyers presented? The end of the impeachment trial doesn’t signal the end of legal exposure for Trump either. The newly elected district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, talked to the New York Times about investigating Trump’s efforts to in...

First impressions of the second impeachment

February 11, 2021 01:16 - 37 minutes - 34.6 MB

Josh Barro and Ken White talk about President Trump’s lawyers’ first day of impeachment arguments, and more on the legal cases of those arrested during the riot. President Biden seeking the resignation of all Trump-appointed US Attorneys (except one), and his Department of Justice drops its suit against a former aide to Melania Trump. Plus: Palm Beach seems pretty okay with Trump living at Mar-a-Lago now, why Smartmatic’s defamation suit is looking pretty good, and more.

When you’re surprised anyone is surprised

February 04, 2021 01:14 - 38 minutes - 35.4 MB

Last week, Josh Barro and Ken White talked about the very normal legal team defending President Trump in his impeachment trial. Well, one week later, the entire team is gone and a new set of lawyers has come in. So, who are they? Are they good lawyers? Ken and Josh analyze the arguments in the briefs from the House impeachment managers and the response from Trump’s lawyers. Then: the New York Times reported on how much money President Trump spent on legal efforts to contest the ele...

Is it actually a problem to charge everyone who illegally entered the Capitol?

January 28, 2021 00:26 - 44 minutes - 41.1 MB

One week since he took office, President Biden’s got a legal problem. Josh Barro and Ken White talk about the Texas judge who ordered a temporary stop to Biden’s executive order for a 100-day moratorium on deportations. It’s pretty similar to legal issues the Trump administration had with executive orders. Ken and Josh talk about Jeffrey Clark, the top official at the Department of Justice who allegedly tried to hatch a plan to get President Trump to fire the acting attorney genera...

Last call for pardons

January 20, 2021 23:39 - 44 minutes - 40.8 MB

As President Trump was about to walk out of the White House for the last time, he made some final pardons. Ken White and Josh Barro talk about who got one in the final days of the Trump presidency, who didn’t (the Capitol rioters, Donald Trump Jr. and the other Trump children, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump himself), and whether that was bad legal advice. Would it have been wise for President Trump to give the self-pardon a shot? How many people, pardoned or not, are at risk for prosec...

Insurrection and impeachment

January 14, 2021 02:11 - 1 hour - 61.9 MB

One week after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, interrupting the congressional proceeding that affirmed Joe Biden’s defeat of President Trump, officials from the FBI and the Department of Justice have made some arrests and have promised more are on the way. What are the charges we know about right now, and what do they mean? Are there other possible charges? And is President Trump in legal trouble for his words and conduct in support of the insurrection? Josh Barro and Ken ...

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