Background Briefing: July 8, 2018


Alternative Investigations If Trump Shuts Down Mueller

We begin with the efforts underway by House Tea Party Republicans to scuttle the Mueller investigation by pressuring the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein into handing over Mueller’s secret evidence or face impeachment which would provide Trump with the excuse to fire Rosenstein. David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who is the co-founder of the investigative news service DC Reportwhose latest book is “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America”, joins us. We discuss his latest article at The New York Times “How to Initiate a Criminal Inquiry into Trump” and assess whether the call by former Republican Majority Leader of the Senate Bill Frist for the Congress to protect Mueller’s investigation will be heeded and what other avenues of investigation could be pursued in the event that Trump, in league with the Tea Party attack dogs of the House’s so-called “Freedom Caucus”, are able to fire Rosenstein and hobble Mueller.

Tell New York to open a criminal investigation of Trump.

Several officials have the legal authority to refer Donald Trump, his three oldest children and others for criminal tax investigation.

First is New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who can direct the New York State Police or  New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to refer the matter to Attorney General Barbara Underwood for investigation of tax crimes. Underwood could then examine the tax returns and, if appropriate, seek indictments.

Call his office at 518-474-8390.


Trump is Quietly Purging the Military of Immigrants Promised Citizenship

Then we examine another aspect of Trump’s vindictive, cruel and racist attitude towards Latino immigrants and that is his stealth program underway to quietly discharge immigrant recruits who joined the U.S. Army with a promised path to citizenship. Lawrence Korba senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics in the Reagan Administration, joins us to discuss how Trump is using his power as Commander-in-Chief to further his own personal nativist and xenophobic agenda to undermine the structural and moral integrity of the armed forces who have led the way in promoting civil rights since President Truman’s executive order in 1948 ending discrimination in the military.


By Pretending Russia is Not a Threat, Trump Will Make the Case We Don’t Need NATO

Then finally with Trump departing soon for the U.K, the NATO summit, then his meeting in Helsinki with Russia’s President Putin, we look into the possibility that Trump will find a way to undermine NATO at its core by threatening to withdraw American troops and funding as he castigates NATO members for freeloading. An expert on NATO and European Affairs, Charles Kupchan, who spent the last three years of the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to President Obama for National Security, joins us to discuss the contrast between Trump’s praise for Putin and Moscow’s delight at how well a meeting they hosted with Republican senators on July 4th.went, compared to disquiet among our closest allies that America’s president is pretending Russia is not a threat so he can make the case that we don’t need NATO.