Background Briefing: August 28, 2018


Trump is Undermining the Rule of Law and Trust in Our Justice System

We begin with growing concerns about the damage Donald Trump is doing to the rule of law and trust in the justice system in this country as he undermine the Department of Justice and attacks the credibility and impartiality of the FBI almost on a daily basis. Richard Primus, a Professor of Law at the University of Michigan who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and has a new paper at the Michigan Law Review “The Republic in Long-Term perspective”, joins us to discuss Trump’s bad man attitude to the law. Now, as a result of the ceaseless trashing of the FBI by the President of the United States, FBI agents testifying in court are being seen by some jurors as agents of the “Deep State”. Furthermore Trump’s call to outlaw what he called “flippers”, confidential informants who “flip” and testify against other criminals, is seen by prosecutors as an invitation to wholesale criminality since “flipping” is an essential tool used across the board by federal, state and local law enforcement, without which mob bosses and drug King Pins would have impunity. With our president sounding more and more like a mob boss instead of the leader upholding the rule of law which underpins our democracy, we will assess how long the damage Trump is doing to the law will last. And as the social fabric of the country is shredded by his incivility, division and desecration, whether since Trump has shown the way, another bad leader could emerge as an effective would-be strongman, rather than a bumbling one we have now.


A Criticism of McCain, His Record and Legacy

Then with this whole week dedicated to praising the memory of John McCain leading up to Saturday’s ceremony at which Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama will eulogize the late senator while the current president will be conspicuously absent, we hear from a critic of McCain and his record and legacy. Bill Zimmerman, an author and long-time activist who was a strategic communications consultant to and is the author “Troublemaker: A Memoir from the Front Lines of the Sixties”, join us.


The Communications Director of the McCain 2000 Presidential Campaign

Then finally we hear from the national Director of Communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, Dan Schnur. He is now the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California and we discuss McCain’s recent efforts to bridge the depth of division and heal our polarized politics. With an example of the challenge ahead being how some supporters of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez blasted the rising star on the political left for her sympathetic tweet in support of Senator McCain.