Day: September 24, 2018

Background Briefing: September 24, 2018


Congressman Lieu’s Call for the House Judiciary Committee to Investigate Kavanaugh

We begin with Congressman Ted Lieu who serves on the House Judiciary Committee and today called upon the House Judiciary Committee to open an investigation into the allegations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and a second accuser Deborah Ramirez, whose story of graphic and naked sexual harassment allegedly by Brett Kavanaugh at a drunken party of undergraduates at Yale, was just published by The New Yorker. In addition a third accuser has come forward who is represented by Michael Avenatti and she has made similar accusations which Congressman Lieu feels are sufficiently serious that together they raise the question of whether Judge Kavanaugh should keep his current job on the Federal Appeals Court, let alone the Supreme Court, and whether there are grounds for his impeachment. We also look into how much the White House is leaking reports that the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees the Mueller investigation is about to resign, and is it a distraction from the chaos and uncertainty now facing the nomination of President Trump’s second pick for the Supreme Court. He is expected to testify on Thursday amid growing calls by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee for an FBI investigation into the accusations from an increasing number of women coming forward who are questioning Kavanaugh’s honesty and fitness to serve on the highest courts in the land.


A Veteran of the DOJ on the Chaos Trump is Causing at the Top of the Department

Then with more chaos gripping the leadership of the Department of Justice, with an increasingly tenuous Attorney General Trump claims he does not have, and a Deputy Attorney General Trump is threatening to fire while pressuring him to resign, we will speak with a veteran of the Department of Justice who served for 26 years, assuming a series of management positions, including Acting Assistant Attorney General of the United States. Bill Yeomansa Senior Fellow for Justice at the Alliance for Justice who is now a lecturer at Columbia Law School, joins us to discuss the repercussions of the recent New York Times story which alleged Rod Rosenstein considered wearing a wire to record Trump and that he questioned whether the 25th Amendment should be invoked to remove Trump from office. We assess whether Trump is trying to force Rod Rosenstein to resign at their upcoming showdown meeting on Thursday so that he can replace him under the Vacancy Act and thereby neuter the Mueller investigation, as opposed to firing him which would mean Trump would need Senate confirmation for a replacement for Rosenstein.


The Republicans Are Stacking the Decks Against Dr. Ford’s Testimony

Then finally we speak with Lena Zwarensteyn, the fair courts campaign director at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights who previously served as the director of strategic engagement at the American Constitution Society where she oversaw judicial nominations. She joins us to discuss the apparent determination by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to “plow through” with Thursday’s hearing in spite of growing calls for an FBI investigation into the increasing number of accusers coming forward raising the likelihood that Kavanaugh is guilty of perjury. With Dr. Ford having been denied her request to speak after Kavanaugh and be questioned by the Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee and have Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge testify, we assess the extent to which the Republicans are stacking the decks against her.