Background Briefing: February 22, 2021


SCOTUS Finally Releases Trump’s Taxes to the Manhattan DA

We begin with the Supreme Court finally releasing Trump’s tax returns to the Manhattan DA after a four month delay which means although the contents will not be revealed to the public due to grand jury secrecy, it is widely understood that the documents could implicate Trump in payoffs to porn stars, lowballing income for tax purposes while inflating assets for bank loans and whether Russian oligarchs close to Putin guaranteed Deutsche Banks loans to a serial bankrupter. Edward McCaffery, Chair in Law and a Professor of Law, Economics and Political Science at the University of Southern California and author of Fair Not Flat: How to Make the Tax System Better and Simpler and founder of The People’s Tax Page joins us to discuss how after an extraordinary effort on Trump’s part to keep his tax returns from the public, it was the Supreme Court that he stacked with friendly judges that finally ruled against him without comment and with no recorded dissent.


If the Democrats Don’t Go Bold the GOP Will Control the Senate and Courts Into the Future

Then we speak with Michael Klarman, Professor at Harvard Law School who clerked for the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and is the author of Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History. He joins us to discuss his article at The Atlantic “The Democrats’ Last Chance to Save Democracy. Expand the Court now” and how the Democrats have to go bold to end the filibuster, add four more justices to the Supreme Court and make Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico states otherwise an increasingly authoritarian GOP will gerrymander the House and control the Senate and the Courts into the future. 


Iran Takes an American Hostage as Blinken Endorses the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State to State Relations

Then finally with the Iranians taking an American hostage as a bargaining chip in forthcoming negotiations over its nuclear program, we speak with Mansour Farhang, a professor emeritus of international relations at Bennington College who resigned his post as revolutionary Iran’s first ambassador to the United Nations when Khomeini’s regime refused to release its U.S. hostages. We discuss Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s endorsement along with 55 nations of the Declaration Against the Use of Arbitrary Detention in State to State Relations.