All the Presidents' Lawyers

KCRW

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.

Location:

United States

Networks:

KCRW

PRX

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

The end of the road, for now

11/24/2021
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 The...

Duration:00:32:40

Summer’s over

11/17/2021
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 her...

Duration:00:34:35

Another indictment from Durham

11/10/2021
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 where...

Duration:00:30:59

Low-hanging fruit

11/3/2021
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 executive...

Duration:00:31:00

Guilty. Appealing. Talking. Referred for contempt.

10/26/2021
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, and one...

Duration:00:33:39

Testing the boundaries of executive privilege

10/20/2021
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...

Duration:00:29:19

Is a plea bargain a good deal?

10/13/2021
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 accepted a...

Duration:00:29:02

What is a state actor?

10/6/2021
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 considered a state...

Duration:00:32:21

Trump Derangement Syndrome with David Lat

9/29/2021
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 Supreme...

Duration:00:33:14

An unusual indictment, an unusual memo

9/22/2021
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 the...

Duration:00:35:30

Fate of the Henchman

9/15/2021
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 Fruman facing...

Duration:00:31:12

Juniors

9/8/2021
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 they...

Duration:00:34:50

What happens when your lawyer is MIA

9/1/2021
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 committee is...

Duration:00:35:40

Mistrial!

8/25/2021
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 now??? In...

Duration:00:34:54

Jeffrey Rosen and Jeffrey Clark

8/18/2021
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 meeting mean...

Duration:00:31:40

Seven months and 600+ people charged

8/11/2021
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? Ryan...

Duration:00:34:43

Tax returns return

8/4/2021
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 judges...

Duration:00:28:53

DOJ threads the needle

7/28/2021
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...

Duration:00:34:43

A pro se pro?

7/21/2021
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 President...

Duration:00:35:49

An expensive defense

7/14/2021
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 happens...

Duration:00:31:12