Background Briefing: May 20, 2019
Another Scandal Involving Trump and Deutsche Bank
We begin with the firing of a money-laundering specialist at Deutsche Bank who blew the whistle on suspicious activities connected to Donald Trump’s and Jared Kushner’s accounts involving recent transactions. In response to revelations from Tammy McFadden in The New York Times, Trump has been issuing a tirade of tweets today blaming it all on “the failing New York Times” and “fake news”. James Henry, an economist, lawyer and investigative journalist specializing in global banking and tax havens who is the co-founder with David Cay Johnston of the new investigative news service DCReport.org and the author of “Blood Bankers”, joins us to discuss these latest revelations following a recent examination of Trump’s taxes and business records which indicates he is possibly Wall Street’s biggest loser and probably the worst businessman in recent memory. Since Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank goes back decades during a period when Trump’s multiple bankruptcies had Wall Street’s banks refusing to do business with him, we will assess why Trump’s supporters still believe his campaign rhetoric that he is such a successful businessman he will make America great again. But according to the New York Times expose, Goldman Sachs at one point used Trump as an example for new employees of precisely the kind of prospective client they should avoid.
Will the Exposé of Austria’s Far-Right Vice Chancellor Impact the Right in the EU Elections?
Then we go to Austria to speak with Christian Schueller who covers Austrian politics for Austria’s public radio network ORF about the firing of the Vice Chancellor and leader of the far-right Freedom Party Heinz-Christian Strache by the Chancellor who had joined in a coalition with him saying that he would “civilize” the party founded by ex-Nazis. We will discuss the impact of the video in which Strache offers to sell out Austria to the Russians on Austrian voters ahead on the European elections and more widely across Europe where there is a fear far-right parties will get a boost in this week’s voting for the EU parliament.
The DOJ’s Latest Lifeline to Trump to Stop McGahn from Testifying
Then finally we assess the validity of arguments in the letter the Justice Department sent to the White House Counsel in which the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel asserts that the House Judiciary Committee does not have the power to make former White House Counsel Don McGahn testify on Tuesday. Bruce Green, the Louis Stein Chair at Fordham Law School who is the past chair of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section, joins us to assess why Trump does not want public testimony on TV from the Mueller Report’s most-cited witness.