Background Briefing: April 15, 2024

Biden Meets With Iraq’s P.M. Over Concerns That U.S. Troops in Iraq and Syria Are Vulnerable if Israel Retaliates Against Iran

We begin with today’s White House meeting between President Biden and Iraq’s Prime Minister Al-Sudani to discuss the future of U.S. troops in a country heavily influenced by Iran with the possibility of an Israeli escalation in response to Iran’s drone and missile attack putting U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Syria in danger from Iranian retaliation. Joining us is Adam Weinstein, Deputy Director of the Middle East program at the Quincy Institute and former combat veteran who served with the Marines in Afghanistan, and previously worked as senior law and policy analyst at the National Iranian American Council. He has a forthcoming brief from the Quincy Institute, “Troops in Peril: The Risks of Keeping U.S. Troops in Iraq and Syria.”


The First Day of Trump’s N.Y. Trial and the Possibility of a “Trumpster” on the Jury Causing a Mistrial Like What Happened in Bannon’s “We Build the Wall” Fraud Case

Then we assess the first day of Trump’s so-called hush money trial in New York and get an analysis of how strong the legal case is against the former president who paid off a porn star to avoid further electoral damage following the Access Hollywood tape that came out just before the 2016 election. Joining us is Jennifer Taub, a legal scholar and professor of law at Western New England School of Law whose writing focuses on corporate governance, banking and financial market regulation, white collar crime and corruption. She has testified as a banking law expert before Congress and her latest book is Big Dirty Money: Making White Collar Criminals Pay now out in paperback. She is the host of the new podcast “Booked Up with Jen Taub.”

The Record Numbers of Election Officials Quitting Under Threats From the “Stop the Steal” Lies

Then finally we examine the vulnerability of election workers who are quitting in record numbers as Trump continues to claim they helped steal the last election from him, with Speaker Johnson joining in the “big lie” on Friday at Mar-a-Lago to fix the non-existent problem of “election integrity.” Joining us is Joshua Ferrer, a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, who researches American politics, methods, racial and ethnic politics, and comparative politics. He is the co-author of a new report at UCLA and the Bipartisan Policy Center which we discuss, “Election Official Turnover Rates from 2000-2024.”