Day: August 28, 2022

Background Briefing: August 28, 2022


Damning Evidence Against Trump Who Held Onto More Top Secrets Than the Trove Just Revealed in the Unsealed Affidavit

We begin with the unsealed but heavily-redacted affidavit for the search warrant that was executed by the FBI on August 8 in their seizure of a dozen boxes of classified material from Mar-a-Lago. The affidavit reveals that there were 184 classified documents, 25 of which were top secret in the 15 boxes retrieved by the National Archives back in January, so presumably the latest batch that Trump held onto were even more sensitive. Joining us is someone with a career in handling top secret documents, Gregory Treverton, a senior adviser with the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a professor of the practice of international relations at the University of Southern California. He has served in government for the first Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, handling Europe for the National Security Council, and was chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 2014 to 2017. His books include Dividing Divided States, Beyond the Great Divide: Relevance and Uncertainty in National Intelligence and Science for Policy.


Could the Mar-a-Lago Grifter Posing as Anna de Rothschild be What the KGB Called a “Red Sparrow?”

Then we look into the possibility that a Russian-speaking Ukrainian grifter posing as Anna de Rothschild who was able to regularly penetrate Mar-a-Lago could have been what the KGB called a “red sparrow”. Joining us is Will Jordan, a London-based reporter and senior video producer at the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. He has won the One World Media Award for Corruption Reporting for Stealing Paradise, an expose of gangsterism, bribery and money laundering in the Maldives and its international nexus. His work in Ukraine, The Oligarchs, exposed a shadow trade in the $1.5bn of frozen assets linked to former president Viktor Yanukovych. He is the co-author of an article at the OCCRP, “Inventing Anna: Ukrainian-Born Scammer Posed with Trump and Wandered Mar-a-Lago” and at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Inventing Anna: The Tale of a Fake Heiress, Mar-a-Lago and an FBI Investigation.”


The Scope of MAGA Voter Suppression and What Can Be Done About It

Then finally, with Biden decrying the Trump MAGA GOP as “a threat to our very democracy. They refuse to accept the will of the people…it’s not just Trump but the entire philosophy that underpins them…it’s like semi-fascism.” Joining us to assess the scope of MAGA voter-suppression and what can be done about it is Richard Hasen, a Professor of Law at UCLA where he is the Director of the Safeguarding Democracy Project. 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 is the author of a number of books including The Voting Wars, Plutocrats United, The Justice of Contradictions, and Election Meltdown. His latest book is Cheap Speech: How Disinformation Poisons Our Politics―and How to Cure It and we will discuss his latest article at Slate with Dahlia Lithwick, “The Truly Scary Part of the $1.6 Billion Conservative Donation.