Background Briefing: August 11, 2019


Will Epstein’s Victims See Justice?

We begin with the suspicious death of Jeffery Epstein in federal custody just hours after a court unsealed 2,000 pages of evidence about his sex-trafficking of underage girls who were lent out to rich and powerful men all of whom are assumed to be breathing a sigh of relief while others who have been named like Alan Dershowitz and Governor Bill Richardson are strenuously denying that they took advantage of sex with minors, a fringe benefit of a male friendship with Epstein. Nina Burleigh, National Politics Correspondent at News Week and a columnist for Rolling Stone and author of “Golden Handcuffs: The Secret History of Trump’s Women”, joins us to discuss whether the young girls, now women, who were exploited by Epstein and his friends having experienced justice delayed, with have justice denied. And given the Mafia-like nature of silencing a key witness in a place where apparently it is relatively easy to kill someone, an American prison, we will look into the official story that Epstein committed suicide, Trump is tweeting out the conspiracy theory that Bill Clinton ordered the hit, and since Trump ritually projects his own guilt onto the Clinton’s, we will look into Trump’s long and deep relationship with organized crime in New York starting with his father’s ties to the mob which is not unusual for anyone in the construction business in Manhattan. Then through his lawyer Roy Cohn who represented the mob, Trump not only cultivated relationships with the Genovese and the Gambino crime families, he developed an affection if not an affinity for mobsters just as he has for despots.


The Author of “Hateland: A Long, Hard Look at America’s Extremist Heart”

Then we  speak with Daryl Johnson, a former lead analyst for domestic terrorism at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and author of the new book, just out, “Hateland: A Long Hard Look at America’s Extremist Heart”. Under pressure from Republicans, DHS killed Daryl’s research on Right-Wing Extremism, broke up his team and cut funding for investigations into domestic white nationalist terrorism, shifting resources and attention to focus on jihadists. And to this day, our counterterrorism efforts are still playing catch-up with the real nature of domestic terrorism in America we saw in El Paso.


Will There Be a Backlash with Latinos Voting in Record Numbers in 2020?

Then finally we  examine whether there will be a backlash from Latino voters who, following the massacre of Latinos in El Paso, are afraid and feel Trump has put a target on their backs. Lydia Camarillo, the President of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, joins us to discuss the possibility there will be a record turnout of Latino voters at the polls in 2020 motivated by the personal nature of Trump’s insults to their very being and their legitimacy as citizens of the United States.