Background Briefing: November 6, 2019


Next Week’s Impeachment Hearings Will Be Damning for Trump

We begin with the announcement by Adam Schiff the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee that next week public impeachment hearings will begin with many of the witnesses the Republicans complained were being interviewed in secret. But given the likelihood that next week’s testimony will be damning for the White House, it is doubtful Trump and the Republicans will like what they will be hearing. Allan Lichtman, a historian of American politics at American University who has studied both the right and the presidency and is the author of “The Case For Impeachment”, joins us to discuss how damaging the public testimony is expected to be. Not only was the recent testimony of E.U. Ambassador Sondland deeply incriminating for Trump since the donor who bought his ambassadorship was forced to revise his testimony or face perjury charges, but Sondland made it clear that the White House’s pathetic mantra “No quid pro quo” is a lie and you don’t need to know Latin to see bribery in plain sight.  We also consider who else might testify in addition to the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine who Trump threatened, since one of the two bagmen, Lev Parnas, who was arrested at Dulles airport on his way to check in with the boss, the Putin-friendly oligarch Dimitri Firtash, apparently is personally hurt that Donald Trump disowned him. He is now willing to talk and if Lev Parnas does testify, that could be devastating for Trump and the nail in the coffin for Rudy Giuliani.


How the Rise of Right Wing Talk Radio Paved the Way for Trump

Then we speak with Brian Rosenwald, the Co-editor-in-Chief of “Made by History”, a daily Washington Post history section who is a Scholar-in-Residence at the Partnership for Effective Public Administration and Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania. The author of the new book, just out, “Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States”, he joins us to discuss how Rush Limbaugh and the rise of conservative talk radio gave us a Republican Party incapable of governing and paved to way for Donald Trump.


Does the Victory for Democrats in Kentucky Signal Trouble Ahead for McConnell?

Then finally, with a Democrat defeating the Republican Governor in Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky, we get an update from the Bluegrass State from Joshua Douglas, a Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law who is the author of “Vote for US: How to Take Back our Elections and Change the Future of Voting”. He joins us to discuss the implications of this upset for Mitch McConnell who is facing a strong challenger in 2020 and whether last night’s unpopular loser GOP Governor Bevin, will get anywhere with his request to recanvass the election results.