Background Briefing: April 9, 2024

Did Trump’s Lawyers Mislead the NY Appeals Court to Get a Lower Bond?

We begin with information emerging that the $175 million bond put up by Don Hankey Jr, the bottom-feeding billionaire who so far has lined Trump’s pockets with $400 million, may have been the result of Trump’s lawyers misleading the New York Appeals Court. Joining us to discuss the ethical duty to present correct information to the court is Laurie Levenson, who holds the David W. Burcham Chair in Ethical Advocacy at the Loyola University School of Law. Prior to joining Loyola Law School, she served for eight years as an Assistant US Attorney in Los Angeles. She has written widely on criminal law, focusing both on criminal procedure and on the relationship between the law and the media.


As Trump Encourages Secession and Threatens Civil War, He Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving to China and Russia

Then with Putin’s plant in Congress who outgoing conservative Republican congressman Ken Buck refers to as “Moscow Marjorie” threatening Speaker Johnson to withhold aid from Ukraine, we examine how adversaries like China and Russia have found a gift in Trump who divides and weakens America encouraging secession while threatening civil war. Joining us is Miles Taylor, a national security expert who served as chief of staff for Kirstjen Nielsen, the former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under the Trump administration, where he published an “Anonymous” essay in The New York Times, blowing the whistle on presidential misconduct. He later published the #1 national bestseller A Warning, revealed himself to be the author, and launched a campaign of ex-officials to oppose Donald Trump’s reelection. He’s worked as an advisor in the George W. Bush administration, on Capitol Hill, as a CNN contributor, and is the cofounder of multiple democracy-reform groups. His latest book is Blowback: A Warning to Save Democracy from Trump’s Revenge, out today in a new version.


How Billionaires Who Don’t Pay Taxes Use Their Surplus Money to Buy Politicians to Lower Their Taxes Even Further

Then finally we look into how billionaires who don’t pay taxes use their surplus money to buy think tanks and politicians who cut their taxes even further and speak with Michael Graetz, professor emeritus at Columbia Law School and Yale Law School. He is a leading authority on tax politics and policy and served as Special Counsel and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy in the U.S. Department of the Treasury and is the author and coauthor of many books, including Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Fight over Taxing Inherited Wealth and The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right. His latest book is The Power to Destroy: How the Antitax Movement Hijacked America.