Background Briefing: January 5, 2022


Even Fox’s Sean Hannity Could Not Get Through To Trump That He Lost the Election

We begin with the release by the House Select Committee investigating January 6 of more texts from Fox’s Sean Hannity to then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows along with a request that Hannity appear before the committee. The texts expose the glaring gap between Hannity’s private concerns that Trump is blowing it by insisting he won the election and Hannity’s public echoing of Trump’s “stop the steal” lies on Fox every night. Even Hannity apparently could not get through to this sick man whose pathetic ego could not handle his electoral defeat so instead Trump’s pathological narcissism demanded an alternative reality. Since Trump would not listen to Hannity’s advice that he retire to Mar a Lago and lick his wounds, he turned to his lunatic fringe of camp followers like the My Pillow guy, Sidney Powell and Rudy Guiliani etc. Joining us to discuss the committee’s request to Hannity to answer questions about his discussions with Trump on January 10 is Aaron Rupar, who until recently was the associate editor for politics and policy at Vox and is now an independent journalist covering US politics and media. He is the author of Public Notice, a newsletter which you can subscribe to at where his latest article there is “What we learned from the Hannity texts released by the Jan. 6 committee.”


The Campaign to Bar Jan. 6 Insurrectionists From Future Public Office

Then we examine the 14point3 campaign that aims to bar all January 6 Insurrectionists—including Trump—from future public office and speak with the leader of the campaign at John Bonifaz, the co-Founder and President of Free Speech For People who previously served as the Executive Director and General Counsel of the National Voting Rights Institute, and as the Legal Director of Voter Action. A distinguished attorney, he has been at the forefront of key voting rights battles across the country for more than two and he joins us to discuss Merrick Garland’s press conference today and how the DOJ’s reluctance to call the coup attempt an insurrection and charge its leaders and planners with sedition, does not stop state officials from using the 14th Amendment to bar insurrections from from future public office. 


Democracy As We Know It Could Come To An End In 2024

Then finally, with Senator McConnell announcing today that “it is worth discussing” reforming the antiquated Electoral Count Act, we speak with Richard Hasen, the Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. He is a nationally-recognized expert in election law and campaign finance regulation, and is co-author of a leading casebook on election law and the author of a number of books including The Voting Wars, Plutocrats United, The Justice of Contradictions, and Election Meltdown. His forthcoming book is Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics―and How to Cure It and we discuss his concern that “we face a serious risk that American democracy as we know it will come to an end in 2024…but urgent action is not happening.”