Tag: pardons

Background Briefing: January 19, 2021


Will Biden’s Ambitious Agenda be Sidetracked by Trump’s Impeachment Trial?

We begin with Biden’s arrival in Washington today on a chartered plane because a petty Trump would not afford him the courtesy of arriving on a government plane and discuss the transition and the extent to which Biden’s ambitious agenda will be sidetracked by Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. Karen Hult, a professor of political science at Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy who serves on the advisory board of the White House Transition Project, joins us to discuss today’s confirmation hearings in the Senate and the brazen obstruction of none other than Senator Hawley who apparently has not been chastened by the assault on the capitol he encouraged. We examine whether Trump has some kind of hold over Senator Graham who is engaged in a desperate effort to help Trump avoid conviction by the Senate and whether a centrist coalition of problem-solvers will be formed to move the country forward or will obstruction return as a ritual of sabotaging the other party’s effort to get anything done in order to win reelection based on labelling the incumbents as a “do-nothing congress.”


The Sleaze Surrounding Who Gets on Trump’s Pardon List

Then we speak with Harry Litman, a former United States Attorney and deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department who is the Executive Producer and host of the Talking Feds podcast and a legal affairs columnist at The Los Angeles Times where his latest article is “We have a legal recourse against President Trump. We should use it.” He joins us to discuss the sleazy nature of efforts surrounding who is on Trump’s last-minute pardon list with Giuliani apparently asking for $2 million to help get someone on the pardon list.  


The Performative Violence of the Insurrectionists Without a Political Program

Then finally we speak with Suzanne Schneider, Deputy Director and Core Faculty at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research about her article at The Washington Post, “The far right embraces violence because it has no real political program.” She joins us to discuss the performative violence of the Trump insurrectionists in a political spectacle built on delusion that is both menacing and ridiculous. And how in our hollowed-out fascism which is a reality TV version of the 1930’s, freedom to American “patriots” means freedom to carry weapons.