Background Briefing: October 8, 2019
It Was Trump and Giuliani Who Were Chasing Dirty Deals in Ukraine
We begin with a flagrant example of the Trump Administration’s tactic of the pot calling the kettle black following the revelation by the AP that contrary to the made up charge of Joe Biden making dirty deals with Ukraine, it turns out Rudy Giuliani and Trump and his donor cronies have been trying for some time to get in on the action with their own corrupt dealings with Ukrainian gas companies, dispatching Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to lean on Naftogaz, the state monopoly to force them to put Trump and Perry’s friends on the board, one of whom who had served the ousted kleptocratic Russian puppet Yanukovych.James Henry, an economist, lawyer and investigative journalist and co-founder with David Cay Johnston of DCReport.org and author of “Blood Bankers”, joins us with Will Jordon, a London-based reporter specializing in corruption and illicit financial activity whose work in Ukraine, “The Oligarchs”, exposed a shadow trade in $1.5 billion of frozen assets linked to former president Viktor Yanukovych. We will discuss the world of shadow banking and shell companies hiding the ill-gotten gains of kleptocrats, drug barons and corporate and millionaire-billionaire tax-dodgers and the unfair burden placed on the rest of us who pay our taxes to fund the infrastructure and services these crooks enjoy. We will also look into how the powerful tools the U.S. Treasury uses to sanction regimes could be turned against this global financial underworld to force transparency and accountability, not to mention, to repatriate trillions of unpaid tax dollars.
Our Tough Guy Trump Got Rolled Again by Erdogan
Then, with the Turkish military poised to invade Syria to ethnically cleanse the U.S.’s Kurdish allies who fought and died to defeat ISIS, we speak with an expert on Turkey, Henri Barkey, who served as a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff working on the Middle East and Intelligence. He joins us to discuss the overwhelming vote in Turkey’s parliament to authorize a war in spite of Trump’s outrageous bluster threatening to obliterate Turkey’s economy after our tough guy Trump was rolled by Erdogan in Sunday’s phone call between the two despots.
Impeaching Trump Will Help Restore the Constitution’s Balance of Power
Then finally, with Trump stonewalling the House impeachment inquiries by refusing to allow his Ambassador to the E.U. to testify, possibly an impeachable act in itself, we speak with Frank Bowman, a Professor of Law at the University of Missouri School of Law and a former federal and state prosecutor. His latest book, just out, is “High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment for the Age of Trump” and we will discuss how impeaching Trump while urgent and necessary, will also restore a much needed balance between the legislative and executive branches after decades of Congress ceding too much power to the White House.