Background Briefing: September 24, 2019


Pelosi Calls for a Formal Impeachment Inquiry

We begin with the announcement today by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of a formal impeachment inquiry in advance of the expected release tomorrow by President Trump of a transcript of his July 25th controversial conversation with Ukraine’s newly-elected president. One of the nation’s leading experts on Congress and the presidency, James Thurber, the Distinguished Professor of Government and Founder and Former Director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University joins us to discuss the dramatic events on Capitol Hill on this historic day.  We will assess whether the presidential phone call with a foreign leader at the center of this latest scandal could be as underwhelming and uncontroversial as Trump claims the conversation was and whether we will soon hear from the whistleblower who initiated this standoff between the House and White House whose lawyer has said his client wants to talk to the Intelligence Committees.  Following Joe Biden’s statement today that Trump’s abuse of power and stonewalling gives the House no choice but to move to impeachment, we will look into whether impeachment is something Trump wants, as he has hinted, or something he fears because of his need to get reelected to have immunity from prosecution.


Trump Will Escalate His Attacks on the “Deep State”

Then with Trump already trashing the whistleblower as he continues his war against America’s Intelligence Community, we will examine whether Trump will escalate his attacks on what he calls the “deep state” throughout the coming presidential campaign as a way to deflect the growing evidence of the president’s apparent submission to a hostile foreign power, Russia.  A former National Intelligence Officer and CIA Station Chief, Kent Harrington, joins us to discuss his article at Project Syndicate, “When America’s President Can’t be Trusted” and the expectation that Trump will further intimidate the Intelligence Community in the hope they will downplay Russia’s continuing meddling in our elections.


Russia’s First Foreign Minister on Putin and Trump’s Relationship

Then finally we speak with Russia’s first Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, who served from 1991 to 1996 before successfully running for a seat in Russia’s parliament.  He joins us to discuss his new book, just out, “The Firebird: The Elusive Fate of Russian Democracy” and how both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump spurn democracy and democratic ideals as Trump did today before the U.N. where he called for patriots to abandon globalism when the two are not mutually exclusive since patriotic globalist are need to preserve and protect democracy which is under attack from despots and kleptocrats around the globe.