Day: September 20, 2022

Background Briefing: September 20, 2022


The Special Master Essentially Tells Trump’s Lawyers to Put Up or Shut Up

We begin with the hearing today before Judge Raymond Dearie, the special master appointed by Federal District Judge Aileen Cannon at which the DOJ lawyers and Trump’s lawyers made arguments over whether the classified documents retrieved at Mar-a-Lago are classified which Trump claims, without any proof, that they are not because he declassified them. This prompted Judge Dearie to essentially say to Trump’s lawyer to put up or shut up and if you “don’t advance any claim of declassification, I’m left with a prima facia case of classified documents.”  Joining us is Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, an international studies fellow at the New America Foundation, and a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A noted expert on national security, terrorism, and civil liberties, she is the author of The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo’s First 100 Days and Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State, and her latest book is Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump. We discuss her article at Tom Dispatch, “Donald Trump and the Presidential Privatization of Secrecy.”


Biden Makes a Pitch For the Disclose Act Which Americans Favor But Republicans Don’t

Then, following President Biden’s announcement today in support of the Disclose Act in which he urged the Senate to vote to get dark money out of politics, we speak with Craig Holman, the Government Affairs Legislative Representative for Public Citizen where he works on Capitol Hill on campaign finance and governmental ethics. Previously, he was Senior Policy Analyst at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law and we discuss how the overwhelming majority of Americans want to know who is funding political campaigns but the Republicans want to keep their donors secret.


The Violent Crackdown on Demonstrations Across Iran After the Death of a Young Woman in the Custody of the Morality Police

Then finally we look into the regime’s violent crackdown on demonstrations across Iran in response to the death of a young 22 year-old Kurdish woman in the custody of the morality police who arrested her because her hijab was not all-encompassing. Joining us is Nader Hashemi, who is Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He is the author of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future. and his latest book, Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East.