Background Briefing: August 10, 2022


Trump Pleads the 5th as He Doubles Down on Lawlessness to Scam Donations

We begin with the law trying to catch up with Donald Trump while he appeals to his followers for donations to support his lawlessness with promises to purge the FBI if he is reelected to the presidency in 2024. Following Monday’s seizure of documents by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago, today Trump pleaded the 5th refusing to answer all questions in a deposition before the New York AG in a civil case against the Trump Organization. Joining us is Caroline Fredrickson, a distinguished professor from practice at Georgetown University, a senior fellow at the Brennan Center and the president emerita of the American Constitution Society. She is the author of The Democracy Fix: How to Win the Fight for Fair Rules, Fair Courts, and Fair Elections, and The AOC Way: The Secrets of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Success and, during the Clinton administration, she served as special assistant to the president for legislative affairs. We discuss her op-ed at The New York Times, “The Lawless G.O.P. Response to the Raid at Mar-a-Lago.”


Other Cases Involving the Theft or Mishandling of Classified Material

Then we look into other cases involving the theft or mishandling of classified material and speak with Chris Whipple, a multiple Peabody and Emmy Award–winning producer at CBS’s 60 Minutes and ABC’s Primetime. He is the author of the New York Times best-seller, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, and his latest book is The Spymasters: How the CIA Directors Shaped History and the Future. His forthcoming book is The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden’s White House and we discuss Biden’s current winning streak.


Iran’s Plot to Kill John Bolton and Another Unnamed Senior Official

Then finally, with the DOJ charging a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Corp in a plot to kill John Bolton along with another unnamed senior official, we speak with Abbas Milani, Director of Iranian Studies and Professor at the Center on Democracy, Development and Rule of Law at the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University. He taught at Tehran University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science, where he was also a member of the Board of Directors of the university’s Center for International Relations. His books include Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Modernity in Iran, The Persian Sphinx and The Shah.