Month: July 2022

Background Briefing: July 31, 2022


The DOJ Prepares to Force Top Trump Officials to Testify About the Insurrection and Trump’s Role in It

We begin with the Department of Justice preparing for a courtroom battle to force former top officials in the Trump administration to testify in what appears to be a growing criminal inquiry into the insurrection and Trump’s role in it. Joining us is Erica Newland, Counsel at Protect Democracy whose work focuses on presidential election reform, Department of Justice reform, and securing accountability for abuses of power. She most recently served as an Attorney Adviser at the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice and before joining DoJ, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and she also worked for the National Security Division at the DoJ and the Senate Judiciary Committee and as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for Democracy & Technology. We discuss her article at The New York Review of Books, “The Attorney General’s Choice.” 


Are We In A Recession Or Entering One?

Then we assess the extent to which we are in a recession or entering one and speak with Stephanie Kelton, a professor of economics and public policy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  Previously she served as chief economist of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and was an advisor to the Bernie Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. Her latest book is The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy and we discuss the political investment the GOP has in worsening inflation and a looming recession.


Brazil’s Bolsonaro Poised to the Violently Contest an Election He’s About to Lose

Then finally we look into the possibility that Brazil’s pro-military right wing President Bolsonaro will lose the upcoming election but like Trump will fight to stay in power which he has already hinted at with his call for his supporters to take to the streets. Joining us is Andre Pagliarini, a professor of history at Hampden-Sydney College who is currently preparing a book manuscript on twentieth-century Brazilian nationalism. We discuss his article at The New Republic, “Jair Bolsonaro’s Plan to Burn Brazil to the Ground.”