Background Briefing: November 14, 2019


Democrats Lay the Groundwork for Impeachment

We begin with an assessment of yesterday’s first public impeachment hearing from Frank Bowman, a Professor of Law at the University of Missouri School of Law and a former federal prosecutor whose latest book, just out, is “High Crimes and Misdemeanors: A History of Impeachment in the Age of Trump”. He joins us to discuss the sad reality in post-truth America that it is unlikely yesterday’s compelling and credible evidence from the non-partisan witnesses will move the needle in our divided country. And although the contrast between the sober and professional Chairman Adam Schiff and his Republican counterparts who were hysterical and unhinged as they displayed their fealty to Trump while shamelessly pandering to Fox News viewers was stark, the manic ranting from Jim Jordan and the wildly aggressive accusations by Congressman Ratcliffe and the delusions conspiracies of Devin Nunes, did ensure that the unyielding support from Trump’s base was not eroded.  But now that Nancy Pelosi is talking about impeachment based on bribery which is spelled out in the constitution, we will look into whether there will be additional articles added to the abuse of presidential power and examine whether the Democrats were successful in laying the foundation of their impeachment case as more explosive evidence is expected to come from a witness who overheard an incriminating phone call between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump.

Stephen Miller’s Racism Revealed in Emails with Breitbart Editor

Then we speak with Michael E. Hayden, a Senior Investigative Reporter at the Southern Poverty Law Center who is the author of a new report at SPLC’s Hatewatch blog, “Stephen Miller’s Affinity for White Nationalism Revealed in Leaked Emails”.  He joins us to discuss the horrifying emails the now White House senior advisor shared with a reporter at Breitbart when Miller worked as an aide to Senator Jeff Sessions in which he recommended disgustingly racist books and white supremacist websites in trying to influence Breitbart’s coverage of immigration and other issues.


Erdoğan Gets Lindsey Graham to Ditch the Kurds and Block the House Armenian Genocide Bill

Then finally, with yesterday’s visit to the White House by Turkey’s president turning surreal when Erdogan pulled out his iPad and insisted on showing Trump and the five Republican senators an anti-Kurdish propaganda video, we analyze why a critic of Erdogan, Lindsey Graham, did a sudden turnaround to promise the autocrat he would block the House bill condemning Turkey for the Armenian genocide. Lisel Hintz, a Professor of International Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advance International Studies and author of “Identity Politics Inside Out: National Identity Contestation and Foreign Policy in Turkey” joins us.