Background Briefing: December 19, 2022


The House January 6 Committee Sends 4 Indictments of Trump to the DOJ

We begin with the final meeting of the House January 6 Committee today at which four criminal referrals to the DOJ to indict Donald Trump were voted on along with their final report which will be released to the public on Wednesday. Joining us to assess the value of the public House Jan. 6 Committee hearings that laid out the clear culpability of Trump as the leader of an insurrection against American democracy and the Constitution he had sworn to protect and defend is Corey Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University, where he teaches constitutional law and politics, as well as visiting professor of law at Fordham Law School. He is the author of The Oath and the Office: A Guide to the Constitution for Future Presidents and his latest book is Decisions and Dissents of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Selection.


An Assessment of the Just-Concluded UN COP15 Biodiversity Conference

Then we look into what was achieved at the UN’s COP15 conference that just ended in Montreal aimed at preserving 30% of what is left of the planet’s biodiversity by 2030. Joining us is Zak Smith, Senior Attorney and Director of the Global Biodiversity Conservation program at the Natural Resources Defense Council where he leads their global strategy to tackle the two primary drivers of nature’s decline: ecosystem destruction and direct exploitation of species. He focuses on engaging with international agreements that are coordinating a global response to the biodiversity crisis and was in Montreal for the UN COP15 biodiversity conference.


Putin Met Today With Lukashenko to Put the Squeeze on Belarus to Join a Russian Offensive From Ukraine’s North

Then finally, with Putin meeting today with the Belarus dictator to put the squeeze on Lukashenko to join in a Russian winter offensive from Belarus to open a new front in the north in Putin’s war against Ukraine, we speak with Dr. Tatsiana Kulakevich. She is a researcher on Eastern Europe at the University of South Florida’s School of Interdisciplinary Global Studies and a research fellow and affiliated faculty at the University’s Institute on Russia who was born and raised in Belarus. Her research focuses on international political economy, migration, and protest politics, and she has a recent article in The Washington Post, “Four reasons Belarus isn’t likely to send troops to Ukraine: Fighting Russia’s war would not help Lukashenko stay in power.”