Background Briefing: July 21, 2019


To Impeach, or Not to Impeach?

We begin with the Hamlet-like hand-wringing over to impeach or not to impeach Trump which is dividing the Democratic Party and putting increased pressure on House Majority Leader Pelosi as a crowded field of candidates vie for the Democratic presidential nomination while the party struggles to find a narrative finding themselves on the defensive from Trump’s exploitation of this fissure as the president tries to brand the activist pro-impeachment wing of the party the tail that wags the dog of the Democratic Party. Sean Wilentz, Professor of American History at Princeton University whose latest book is “The Politicians and the Egalitarians” joins us to discuss his article at The New Yorker, “Nancy Pelosi, Impeachment, and Places in History”. We discuss whether Trump’s inevitable acquittal by a Republican Senate would only strengthen Trump’s reelection chances or whether suppressing an impeachment inquiry will more likely help insure Trump’s reelection. Since much of the resistance to impeaching Trump comes from a misreading of the historical record based on the Clinton impeachment, we look into how much the Nixon impeachment offers a more relevant historical analogy. Meanwhile with the help of the Supreme Court opening the floodgates for Republicans to gerrymander, an attempt to rig the census, the likely help from Russia on a much greater scale than their 2016 election meddling, and the racist onslaught to make four minority congresswomen the face of the Democratic Party, Trump is already at war while the Democrats are on the brink of a war with themselves.


The Strategy Behind Iran’s Seizure of the British Tanker

Then we investigate the strategy behind the Iranian leadership’s seizing a British tanker with the already volatile Persian Gulf a powderkeg waiting for a spark as the Trump Administration engages in economic warfare against the Ayatollahs who are reverting back to their tactics at the beginning of the Islamic revolution when U.S. diplomats were taken hostage. A founder of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Dr. Mohsen Sazegara, who held several high-ranking positions during the early years on the Iranian Revolution, joins us to discuss the dire situation Iran’s client state Syria is in as it is about to run out of energy and grind to a halt because the British are detaining a tanker full of Iranian oil off Gibraltar.


The Deafening Silence from Trump and Assange Supporters Following Revelations of Assange’s Ties to Russian Intelligence

Then finally we examine further the ground-breaking CNN report on Julian Assange’s activities inside the Ecuadoran Embassy in London with visits from a prominent hacker and Russian officials at highly coincidental times just before data dumps of material damaging to Hillary Clinton hacked by Russian Military Intelligence were released by Wikileaks, cheered on by candidate Donald Trump. James Risen, the Senior National Security Correspondent at the Intercept and a former Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist for The New York Times joins us to discuss the deafening silence from Trump and Assange’s supporters following these revelations of the extent of Assange’s obvious ties to Russia Intelligence.