If you are new to the program, please go listen to Episode 11 before playing this one. This is Part 2 of the saga of Steven Donziger.
For those of you who already listened to Episode 11/Part 1 and need a quick refresher: Donziger is the human rights attorney who sued Texaco/Chevron Oil on behalf of the indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon and ultimately won a judgment of roughly $8.6 BILLION in 2011. That judgment has still never been paid, and in response Chevron Oil sued Donziger for civil RICO in federal court in New York and won. Donziger was ordered, as a result of his civil judgment, to submit his electronic devices to Chevron to locate his assets for seizure, and Donziger refused citing constitutional issues. Judge Kaplan, who presided over the trial and issued the judgment and order, ultimately charged Donziger with 6 counts of criminal contempt for his steadfast refusals to comply. Donziger was placed on house arrest while awaiting his contempt trial.
So here we are! The five day contempt trial has taken place in front of Judge Loretta Preska and the verdict is in. Listen as Paul breaks down the prosecution of Donziger based on Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 42, a very infrequently asserted anti-corruption measure likely never contemplated to be wielded in this capacity.
Paul also looks at Judge Preska's precise role in this litigation, the arguments Donziger made as to why he had not turned things over, and the posture of the private prosecutor who left a big law firm who had previously represented Chevron as recently as 2018.
Part 2 continues the wild ride of the life of Steven Donziger, if you enjoy the show please check out all the episodes in the catalogue and subscribe. Thanks for listening!