Day: May 1, 2019

Background Briefing: May 1, 2019


Barr Continues to Blunt the Impact of the Mueller Report

We begin with the testimony today from William Barr before the Senate Judiciary Committee in which the Attorney General continued his efforts to blunt the impact of the Mueller report in concert with the Republican senators who kept trying to shift the focus from Trump’s ties to Russia and his obstruction of justice to Hillary Clinton’s emails. Austin Evers, the Founder and Executive Director of American Oversight, a non-profit ethics watchdog and the top Freedom of Information Act litigator investigating the Trump administration, joins us to discuss how Barr and the Republicans have muddied the waters and now are trying to thwart efforts to subpoena Mueller’s witnesses to prevent televised public testimony damaging to Trump. Denying that he had a problem with Mueller, Barr tried to deflect questions about the letter of complaint from Mueller that Barr’s summary mischaracterized his report and that Mueller wanted his summaries of the report released to the public, Barr nevertheless did not release the summaries to correct the perception of no collusion which Barr spun to the public who to this day remain confused about what is in the report. Furthermore the Chair of the Committee Senator Graham, admitted he hasn’t read the whole Mueller report even though he is calling for us to move on saying, “Enough already, it’s over”.


How to Clear the Air Polluted By Republican Obfuscation

Then we get further analysis of Barr’s testimony from Caroline Fredrickson, President of the American Constitution Society and former special assistant to the president for legislative affairs in the Clinton administration and author of the new book, just out, “The Democracy Fix: How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections”. She joins us to discuss how to clear the air polluted by Republican obfuscation and clarify Mueller’s findings for the public, as well as how rescue democracy and revive the rule of law from what Senator Hirono referred to as “the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office”.


Venezuela on the Cusp of Civil War or Regime Change

Then finally we go to Caracas, Venezuela for an update on the May Day demonstrations following opposition leader Juan Guaido’s call yesterday for the military to turn against the Maduro government which so far has not happened. Virginia Lopez, a Caracas-based journalist who covered Venezuela for The Guardian and Al Jazeera English, joins us to describe a desperate Venezuelan people caught between a corrupt and incompetent government and empty bluster and reckless threats from the Trump administration.