Background Briefing: June 24, 2020


Republicans Try to Shut Down Testimony From Critics of Barr

We begin with the testimony today before the House Judiciary Committee from Aaron Zelinsky a former DOJ prosecutor on the Roger Stone case who also was a part of Robert Mueller’s team and a career DOJ staffer with the Antitrust Division along with the former Deputy Attorney General under George W. Bush Donald Ayer, whose testimony was interrupted by Republican Congressman Gohmert who kept banging the table to derail Ayer’s stinging criticism of Barr. Harry Litman, a former U.S. Attorney and deputy assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department who is the Executive Producer and Host of the Talking Feds podcastand is a legal affairs columnist at The Los Angeles Times, joins us to discuss today’s hearing and the overruling of Judge Sullivan by the D.C. Appeals Court allowing Barr’s get-out-of-jail free pass of Michael Flynn to stand and the grim milestone of Trump’s 200th judge appointed to the federal bench today as well as an agreement by Barr to testify to Congress next month.


The U.S. Military’s Vulnerability to Infiltration by Neo-Nazi Groups

Then we look into how the U.S. military remains vulnerable to infiltration by white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups following the arrest and indictment of Ethan Phelan Melzer with the neo-Nazi group the Order of Nine Angles which mixes Nazi violence with Satanic beliefs. Cynthia Miller-Idriss, who runs the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab in the Center for University Excellence at American University joins us to discuss white nationalism in the ranks of our military as well as Trump’s nomination to the third highest post at the Pentagon, retired General Anthony Tata who traffics in the most bizarre “Deep State” conspiracies and who in 2018 said “I believe in my soul that Hillary Clinton and others would prefer to see a nuclear cloud over America than to see Donald Trump succeed”.


The Latest Threats From North Korea and Why China Props up the Regime

Then finally we assess the latest threats from North Korea and speak with Kent Harrington, a former senior CIA analyst who was National Intelligence Officer for East Asia and Chief of Station in Asia about his article at Project Syndicate, “Chairman Kim Goes Back on Script“. We examine China’s role in keeping the regime in the North afloat and how the Chinese leadership would prefer four more years of Trump because he will continue to dramatically weaken their strategic rival the United States.