April 9, 2018

The FBI’s Raid on Trump’s Lawyer Michael Cohen
Trump Promises Those Behind the Gas Attack in Syria Will Have “a Big Price to Pay”
The Criminalizing of Peaceful Protests Against Oil and Gas Pipelines
Program Notes

We begin with the raid today on Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen’s Manhattan office and his room at the Loews Regency hotel where FBI agents seized privileged communications between Cohen and his clients and confiscated electronic equipment, emails, tax documents and business records. A former FBI Special Agent Michael German, who is now a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program at New York University, joins us to discuss the raid that was in part acting on a referral from Special Counsel Mueller, making it the second time only after the FBI raid on Paul Manafort that FBI agents were used to seize material instead of the usual practice of issuing subpoenas. We will assess how much this raid has to do with the Russia investigation because Trump’s lawyer was mentioned prominently in the Steele dossier, or the case involving the second mortgage Michael Cohen took out on his home to pay $130,000 to a porn star a week before the election for no apparent reason since his client Donald Trump insists it had nothing to do with him.

Then we look into whether the bombs and missiles will fall on John Bolton’s first day on the job in the White House or the next day, since Trump has promised that within 48 hours those behind the latest chemical attack in Syria will have “a big price to pay.” Thanassis Cambanis, who writes “The Internationalist” column for The Boston Globe and is a contributor to Foreign Policy, joins us from Beirut to discuss the competing pressures on Trump from his new hawkish advisor and Trump’s need to appear tough and not weak like he accuses Obama of being, at the same time wanting to get the U.S. out of Syria and not wanting to offend Putin.

Then finally we speak with Jeff Biggers, an award-winning journalist, historian and playwright who joins us from Iowa where the state legislature just passed a law criminalizing peaceful protest against oil and gas pipelines, punishable by up to 25 years in jail. He joins us to discuss his article at The Huffington Post “Iowa’s Anti-Protest Bill Would Make the Boston Tea-Partiers Felons” and how the Koch Brothers-backed bills through their front group ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, are already in the legislatures of 20 states and have become the law in Oklahoma.

Michael German | Thanassis Cambanis | Jeff Biggers