Ken White is an attorney at Brown White & Osborn LLP in Los Angeles. A former federal prosecutor, his practice includes both criminal defense and First Amendment litigation. He writes and speaks frequently on criminal justice and free speech issues. He hosts “Make No Law,” a podcast about First Amendment history, and he co-hosts “All the President’s Lawyers," a podcast about the Trump Administration's legal issues.
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 standard for pretrial detention for those arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. How’s that working out? Due to a filing error, we know prosecutors might be close to a plea deal with at least one person. Was that accidental filing a major blunder?
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 “con job”? Her argument did not hold up in court. Trump’s statement was protected opinion and not a provable statement of fact, and Daniels was ordered to pay his legal fees. Defamation lawsuits are difficult to win by design: balancing free speech and the need for remedies for damaged reputations is a challenge. But as the years went on, stakes in defamation suits got a lot higher than they were with the “con job” tweet. Dominion Voting Systems has filed many lawsuits against parties, including Fox News, seeking billions of dollars in damages. They say these media companies and individuals aired wild claims about the voting machine company and these allegations seriously damaged its business interests. But even its defamation suits aren’t a slam dunk. Special guest RonNell Andersen Jones, an expert in First Amendment, media and defamation law talks with Josh Barro (Ken White is taking this week off the show) about the history of defamation law in the United States, current challenges and scholarship, if defamation suits are just the cost of doing business for media organizations, and more.
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 motion in response to Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation case against her. It’s not a good look. Plus: how the Biden administration is changing tack on a number of cases before the Supreme Court, Roger Stone, and more.
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 Attorney Cyrus Vance in The New Yorker and the investigation timeline might match up with his remaining time in office, and more.
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Creator Details

Episode Count
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3 days, 20 hours
Podchaser Creator ID logo 039021