An unusual indictment, an unusual memo

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Attorney John Eastman speaks next to U.S. President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, as Trump supporters gather ahead of the president’s speech to contest the certification by the U.S. Congress of the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election on the Ellipse in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. Picture taken January 6, 2021. Photo by Jim Bourg/Reuters.

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 interesting points of this indictment.

Then: John Eastman, a lawyer for the Trump campaign, produced an internal memo arguing that former Vice President Mike Pence had the legal and constitutional authority to set aside the results of the election and declare Donald Trump the lawful president of the United States. Uh, was that illegal? Was it ethical? Bad lawyering?

Plus: it’s sort-of news that Allen Weisselberg’s attorney said he “expects” more indictments, why Donald Trump is suing his niece Mary, and campaign finance indictments are rare but not as rare as two presidential pardons.



Sara Fay, Nisha Venkat