Tag: zelensky

Background Briefing: November 13, 2019


Today’s Fact Witnesses and the Republican’s Alternative Reality

We begin with the first day of public impeachment hearings with testimony from the acting ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and George Kent, deputy assistant secretary of state, who were fact witnesses with first-hand knowledge of the abuse of presidential power at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. Nevertheless, the Republicans tried to construct an alternative reality of Ukrainians plotting against Trump and a country so hopelessly mired in corruption that placing conditions on military aid was necessary even though the main beneficiary of a weakened Ukraine is Russia, the bully next door waging a war against this country’s fledgling efforts towards democracy and the rule of law. Will Jordan, a London-based reporter specializing in corruption and illicit financial activity whose work in Ukraine, “The Oligarchs”, exposed a shadow trade in the $1.5 billion of frozen assets linked to the former president Viktor Yanukovych, joins us. We discuss the fatuous claim by Republicans citing Ukrainian critics of Trump mentioned in a Politico article when Ukrainians have every right to question Trump’s support for a country trying to free itself from corruption and the grip of oligarchs while under attack from Russia. After all Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort was the right hand man of Putin’s corrupt puppet Yanukovych and Trump himself has stated on a number of occasions that Russia has a legitimate claim to Crimea, pro-Putin propaganda that patriotic Ukrainians find insulting.


 The “Journalist” Who Makes Up the Stories the White House Spins

Then we examine the genesis of the alternative reality the Republicans and the minority chair if the Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes have created and circulated inside the right-wing media bubble based on articles by Fox News contributor John Solomon who is a conduit for conspiracy theories which the impeachment witnesses have singled out as propaganda. Adele Stan, the editor of Right Wing Watch and a columnist for The American Prospect, joins us to discuss the influence of one journalist who makes up stories which become the basis of White House spin offered up today in an attempt to distract and divert the fact witnesses down Republican rabbit-holes.


Did the Democrats Choose the Best Case of Trump’s Abuse of Power?

Then finally we speak with Bill Yeomans, a Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and a former acting Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department about whether the impeachment case built on the abuse of presidential power revealed in the phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s president is going to grab the American people in the way that selling out the Kurds for slaughter in exchange for a hotel deal with today’s guest at the White House Erdogan would.