Background Briefing: January 2, 2022


Will Merrick Garland’s Caution Allow the Insurrectionists to Get Away With Treason?

We begin with concerns that the Attorney General Merrick Garland might not be in sync with the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection and that criminal referrals from the Committee’s investigation that could include Donald Trump might be stalled at the DOJ. Joining us is Harry Litman, a former United States Attorney and deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department now a professor of political science at the University of California San Diego. He is the Executive Producer & host of the Talking Feds podcast and legal affairs columnist at the Los Angeles Times where his latest article is “Do Trump’s Jan. 6 sins of omission and commission make him criminally liable?” We discuss whether Trump is liable for both inciting then failing to stop the insurrection under the “Take Care” clause of the Constitution and given that aiding and abetting criminal behavior and obstructing or impeding any official processings are federal crimes, shouldn’t those who planned the coup attempt be held to account along with those who stormed the Capitol?


Will Maxwell Give Up the Rich and Powerful Who Availed Themselves of Epstein’s Sex Trafficking?

Then, with a U.S. district judge about to make a ruling on Tuesday to decide whether one of Epstein’s victims’ claim of damages against Prince Andrew should go to trial, we speak with Deborah Tuerkheimer, a Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law and former assistant district attorney in Manhattan. Her latest book is Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers, and we discuss her article at The New York Times, “Ghislaine Maxwell Is Guilty. What Happens Next Is Critical.


The New Year in Which the Heavily Armed Hard Right Will Dig In

Then finally we speak with Michael Edison Hayden, a Senior Investigative Reporter at the Southern Poverty Law Center. A three time grantee of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, his work has been featured in The New York Times, Slate, Foreign Policy, ABC News, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He joins us to discuss his article at the Southern Poverty Law Center, “One Year After Jan. 6, the Hard Right Digs In” and we look into the lethal combination of a country with about 400 million guns in the hands of civilians and 22 million Trump supporters who believe violence will be necessary to restore their “fuhrer” to his rightful place in the White House.