Day: January 16, 2020

Background Briefing: January 16, 2020


Barr Covers Up for Trump While the SDNY Exposes His Crimes

We begin with the damning public interviews Giuliani’s partner-in-crime and bagman for the mobbed-up oligarch Firtash, Lev Parnas, has given on MSNBC and CNN after having turned over incriminating documents to the House Intelligence Committee that have made their way into the impeachment case before the senate. With Parnas’s explosive accusations that Trump knew “exactly” what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine and that Pence, Pompeo and William Barr were “in the loop”, continuing to resonate, Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harper’s in legal affairs and national security joins us. We will discuss how Parnas is exposing our divided justice system with Trump’s consigliere Attorney General Barr covering up for Trump while the Southern District of New York pursues cases which are chipping away at the wall of lies emanating from the White House as Trump’s criminality and likely treason are being dragged into the light. We will assess whether Parnas, in exposing himself to retribution from his mob boss Firtash, is going public as way to get protection and refute the predictable charges coming from the White House that Parnas is lying to stay out of prison when the opposite is true, that he is still on trial and cannot afford to be caught in a lie otherwise like with Michael Cohen, the SDNY will throw the book at him.


Will Parnas’ Evidence Be Adjudicated?

Then we examine how this new evidence by Giuliani’s co-conspirator might be introduced and adjudicated in the senate impeachment trial given the resistance by Trump and McConnell to allow any witnesses, or short of that, have unrelated witnesses like Hunter Biden sabotage the case before the senate in the hope of taking the press, the public and the senators down a rabbit hole of distraction and false equivalence. Joining us is Joshua Geltzer, the Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown who served on the National Security Council as Senior Director of Counterterrorism and at the DOJ as Counsel to the Assistant AG for National Security.


Trump Now Faces the Democratic Values He Has Desecrated

Then finally we are joined in the studio by Bernard-Henri Lévy, a philosopher, journalist, activist and filmmaker whose books include American Vertigo and Who Killed Daniel Pearl? He joins us to discuss his recent documentaries Bosna!, The Oath of Tobruk, and his latest, Peshmerga and The Battle of Mosul. We discuss what he learned while filming the Kurds throughout their battles against ISIS, and how much the aspirations of the Peshmerga are a distillation of the values America stands for, which Trump has abandonment but now faces in a senate trial where he is up against the power of the U.S. Constitution and America’s democratic values embodied in it.

Bernard-Henri Lévy Retrospective On January 17 and 18 at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre