Day: April 17, 2024

Background Briefing: April 17, 2024

The Prologue to the Trump Criminal Trial Underway in Which AG Barr Went Out of His Way to Protect “Individual 1”

We begin with the criminal trial of Donald Trump underway in New York and examine the prologue to the trial going back to the case brought by the Republican SDNY US Attorney at the time Geoffrey Berman which resulted in Michael Cohen going to jail while “Individual 1” got off even though the hush money payment to the porn star was for Trump’s benefit and made at his direction. Joining us to discuss how AG Barr tried to shut down Berman’s further investigation into the matter ending with Berman being fired is Rebecca Roiphe, a Professor of Law at New York Law School who studies ethics and history. She was previously assistant district attorney in Manhattan and her work examines the country’s tradition of prosecutorial independence, particularly with regard to the President’s power to control the Department of Justice.


Is Mike Johnson Serious About Aiding Ukraine or Following Trump and Putin’s Orders?

Then we look into whether Speaker Mike Johnson is serious about getting aid to Ukraine given how much Israel is a Republican priority and how little time there is to vote on the separate Ukraine bill before the next recess. Joining us is Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Stockholm Free World Forum, a professor at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University and a former member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. He worked as a Swedish Diplomat in Moscow and served as an economic advisor to the governments of Russia and Ukraine. His books include Ukraine: What Went Wrong and How to Fix It and Russia’s Crony Capitalism: The Path From Market Economy to Kleptocracy. We discuss his article at The Kyiv Post, “Ukraine Should Not be Left to the Mercy of Devious US Politicians.”


Biden’s Tax Plan in Contrast to Trump’s Giveaway to Billionaires

Then finally we assess Biden’s tax plan announced on tax day which highlights the social values of America’s middle class in contrast to the billionaires Trump helps out with his tax cuts who pay lower rates than average folks. Joining us is Chuck Marr, the Director of Federal Tax Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  From 1999 through 2004 he was Economic Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Senior Advisor for Budget Policy at the National Economic Council during the second term of President Clinton. We discuss his new report at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, “For Tax Day, 7 Charts on the 2017 Trump Tax Law and Why Congress Should Set a New Course.”