Background Briefing: April 2, 2023
What Changed the Manhattan DA’s Mind to Charge Trump on 34 Counts?
We begin with the indictment of Donald Trump who is expected to be arraigned in Manhattan on Tuesday facing 34 counts, some of which result from the hush money payments made to silence a porn star just before the 2016 election, a crime for which Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen went to jail. Joining us to assess why the cautious Manhattan DA changed his mind and decided to prosecute Trump, presumably because he has new evidence and possibly new crimes to pursue, is Harry Litman, a former United States attorney and deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department. A professor of constitutional law and national security law at the University of California San Diego and the University of California Los Angeles and a Senior Fellow at the Annenberg Center at USC, he is the Executive Producer & host of the Talking Feds podcast and the senior legal affairs columnist at the Los Angeles Times where his latest article is “Trump’s indictment is a historic first. Here’s why more are likely to follow.”
Trump Will Delay and Defame Into the Summer of 2024, Rallying the GOP to His Side While Locking Out His Primary Challengers
Then we will look into the likelihood that Trump will employ his tried and true tactic of delay and defame, dragging out the trials into the summer of 2024 while riling up his base to create political division and chaos, posing as a martyr persecuted in a witch hunt by radical left Democrats while rallying the GOP to his side and locking out the other presidential primary challengers. We will discuss the sad state of affairs as one of America’s two major political parties is now making a stand against the rule of law and throwing its lot in with a career criminal, serial liar and grotesque fraud. Joining us is Allan Lichtman, a political historian who teaches at American University and has studied both the American right and the presidency. The author of The Case For Impeachment and The Keys to the White House: A Surefire Way to Predicting the Next President, his prediction system has correctly predicted the outcomes of all US presidential elections since 1984 including the 2016 election when against all odds, he predicted a Trump victory. His most recent books are The Embattled Vote in America, Repeal the Second Amendment: The Case for a Safer America, and Thirteen Cracks: Repairing American Democracy After Trump.
How to Reverse the Global Decline in Democracies and the Rule of Law
Then finally we follow up on Biden’s recent Summit for Democracy and address the global decline of democracies and the rule of law with 72% of the world’s population now living under autocracies, up from 46% in 2012. Joining us to explore the underused leg of the tripod of Defense, Diplomacy and Development and discuss the need to marshal America’s soft power is Daniel Runde, Senior Vice President and Chair in Global Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who has been at the center of Washington debates on soft power and development for two decades. Previously, he held senior leadership roles at the World Bank Group and served in the Bush Administration at the U.S. Agency for International Development. He is the author of the new book, The American Imperative: Reclaiming Global Leadership through Soft Power.