Category: Briefings

Background Briefing: January 23, 2020

 

The Clear and Present Dangers of Acquitting Trump

We  begin with the impeachment hearings underway before the senate as the House Managers conclude their case before the White House lawyers begin their rebuttal on Saturday which is expected to be a repetition of Trump’s talking points of a perfect call, a hoax etc. But most importantly, no effort will be made or evidence presented to exonerate Trump, just more strident denials and character assassinations as Trump attacks the House Managers, calling Congressman Naylor a “sleazebag”. Garrett Epps, a contributing writer for The Atlantic and a Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law joins us to discuss the dangerous and detrimental consequences of an acquittal of President Trump by the Republican senators. In particular an acquittal on the second article of impeachment will mean that the separation of powers and the ability of the co-equal branch, the Congress, to be a check on presidential abuse will be gone and future presidents will be free from oversight and able to ignore congressional subpoenas at will. And as bad as that future portends, an exonerated and emboldened Donald Trump will be free to run amok on the world stage and be able to act without restraint as the despots and kleptocrats he so admires are able to do with impunity. If Trump and Jared’s pal MBS the Saudi Crown Prince can personally use malware to blackmail and bring down the richest man in the world, imagine what a rogue President of the United States can do to his political opponents and prying journalists with the legal, military and intelligence powers that he has at hand.

 

The Deceptive Impeachment Coverage by Fox News

Then we  speak with Aaron Rupar, a journalist and Associate Editor at Vox where he just wrote the article “Fox News devised a way to cover the impeachment trial without covering it at all”. With CNN, MSNBC and public radio covering the entire proceedings wall-to-wall, Fox appears to be covering it with the trial playing in the background without audio as the Fox News hosts heap scorn on the Democrats calling Adam Schiff a “lunatic”. Presumably Fox News will be able to stop giving the appearance of journalism while spewing propaganda when the President’s lawyers offer their defense of Trump and cover that wall-to-wall.

 

 The Person Who Inspired the New Movie “The Report”

Then finally, with the two CIA “psychologists” Mitchell and Jessen who were paid over 80 million in taxpayer dollars for their “enhanced interrogation” torture program testifying as reluctant witnesses at the trial of their torture victims underway at Guantanamo, we  speak with Daniel Jones, a former United State Senate investigator. As a staff member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, he led the largest investigative review in Senate history resulting in what has become known as the “Torture Report”, now the subject of a new movie “The Report”, which has Adam Driver playing Daniel Jones.