Day: March 19, 2024

Background Briefing: March 19, 2024


Who Will Come up With the Billion Dollars Trump Needs as he Faces the Prospect of His Assets Being Seized?

We begin with Trump’s appeal to the New York appeals court for extra time to find the billion dollars he will need to appeal his fraud conviction, which is not going well after 30 bond companies turned him down, and as of March 25 Trump faces the prospects of his assets being seized and Trump Tower bolted shut by New York’s AG. Joining us to discuss the possibility of someone like Putin coming up with the money, which might have been a reassuring message from Putin that Orban recently delivered to Mar-a-Lago, is Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harper’s in legal affairs and national security. He serves on the American branch of the International Law Association, and has represented a variety of journalists and whistleblowers.  


Trump’s Call For a Civil War Just as He Called for the January 6 Insurrection

Then, following his promise of a “bloodbath” if he does not win the election, we examine the growing possibility that Trump will call for a civil war, just as he called for the January 6 insurrection, and speak with Barbara Walter, a professor of political science and Rohr Chair in Pacific International Relations at the University of California San Diego. Her current research focuses on the behavior of rebel groups in civil wars, including inter-rebel group fighting, alliances and the strategic use of propaganda and extremism. She is the author of How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them and she was the recipient of the 2022 Peacemaker Award.

China Ends Freedom of Speech Now That Anyone in Hong Kong Communicating With Anyone Abroad Could Be Guilty of “External Interference”

Then finally we discuss the imposition of repressive laws on the previously free people of Hong Kong, as China’s Xi moves to restrict speech to the point any interaction with anyone broad could be seen as “external interference,” meaning entrepreneurs, lawyers, civil servants, academics, diplomats and journalists could be jailed ending Hong Kong as an international city welcoming multinational corporations. Joining us is Victoria Hui, a professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame where her research examines the dynamics of international politics and state-society relations in historical China and historical Europe. She is the author of War and State Formation in Ancient China and Early Modern Europe, and has worked in the democracy movement in Hong Kong, and is the co-founder of the Hong Kong Democratic Council, and now serves on the Academic Advisors Committee of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.