Background Briefing: January 19, 2020


Barr is Trumps Strategist and the Power Behind the Throne

We begin with the window into the inner workings of the Trump Administration provided by Lev Parnas who not only implicated Attorney General William Barr as playing a hands-on role in the Ukraine scandal which has led to Trump’s impeachment, but described Barr as the main strategist and power behind the throne who has rescued Trump’s presidency and kept in on the rails. Bill Yeomans, a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and a Senior Fellow at The Alliance for Justice who served for 26 years in the Department of Justice in senior positions including acting Assistant Attorney General, joins us to discuss how Barr has saved Trump’s presidency, first by neutralizing the Mueller Report then by becoming the president’s most influential advisor behind the scene who is able to guide Trump without threatening his frail ego and provoking his extreme narcissism. We will look into Barr’s Opus Dei brand of Catholic conservatism and his belief expressed in his speech at Notre Dame and speech before the Federalist Society that religion is the only basis for America’s greatness as he heaped scorn on “high-tech popular culture”, identifying “militant secularism” as the greatest danger the country faces. But what is even more alarming is that the man in charge of our laws, is actively supporting Trump and Putin’s conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election while jetting around Britain, Italy and Australia searching for evidence of a “deep state” cabal inside the government out to get Trump.


Barr Uses the Laws that he Should Uphold and Enforce as Weapons Against Trumps Critics

Then we examine further the key role Barr plays in using the laws that he is charged with upholding and enforcing as a weapon against Trump’s critics as he unleashes his fellow conservative Catholic John Durham to investigate the investigators and bring charges against the FBI, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan and James Comey. Caroline Fredrickson, the president emerita of the American Constitution Society who served as a special assistant to the president for legislative affairs and is the author of a new book, just out, The AOC Way: The Secrets of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Success, joins us to discuss her article at The Washington Post “It’s up to John Roberts to make sure senators stay true to their oath”.


Inside the Leaks from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security

Then finally we speak with James Risen, the Senior National Security Correspondent at The Intercept who won a Pulitzer Prize for his stories about warrantless wiretaps and is the author of Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. He joins us to discuss his article at The Intercept, “Donald Trump Murdered Qassim Suleimani” and the trove of documents leaked to The Intercept revealing Suleimani’s heavy-handed role in Iraq and friction between his Quds Force and Iran’s Intelligence service the MOIS, The Ministry of Intelligence and Security.