January 1 - Putin's Enemy Number One; The Infamous Trump Tower Meeting; A Roadmap of the Mueller Investigation

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Full Program


Part 1

Today we look back at the story that dominated the news this year and will continue to do so next year, the secret ties under investigation between Putin and team Trump and his family. We  begin with a broadcast of Background Briefing from March 26th of 2017 and go to London to speak with Bill Browder, an American businessman who was the largest investor in Russia until he fell afoul of Putin and was refused entry into Russia. His lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was murdered by Russian government officials in league with organized crime and we  discuss the assassination in Kiev of a member of Russia’s Duma who was close to the Putin inner circle and was about to testify against Yanukovych, the ousted kleptocratic former Ukrainian president who had Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort on his payroll.  We will also examine the attempted murder of the lawyer representing Magnitsky’s widow who was about to testify about thelaundering of stolen money through Cyprus banks.

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Part 2

Then we go to July 11 of 2017 with the release of an incriminating email chain between Donald Trump Junior and a British tabloid journalist representing a Russian pop singer whose father is a billionaire developer close to Putin. The emails are about setting up a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer based on the promise that this lawyer worked for the Russian government and had top secret information from the Russian Crown prosecutor that was damaging to Hillary Clinton and “is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump”. Asha Rangappa, Associate Dean at Yale Law School who is a former FBI Special Agent specializing in counterintelligence investigations in New York City, joins us to discuss the extent to which the participants in this meeting acted with corrupt intent to violate campaign finance laws and if they were innocent, why did they not call the FBI immediately to report an effort on the part of Russian Intelligence to compromise them?


Part 3

Then finally we go to a broadcast of Background Briefing on November 26 of this year following the recent news that Michael Flynn is presumably cooperating with Robert Mueller. We began with a roadmap of the Mueller investigation and explored the “follow the money” strand, the political operatives strand, and the digital Kushner/Bannon/Mercer strand that will likely coalesce into a conclusion by the special counsel to recommend the impeachment of President Trump if Trump does not fire Mueller first to try to shut down the inquiry. Steven Harper, a professor at Northwestern University who blogs at “The Belly of the Beast” and has an article with Bill Moyers at Billmoyers.com “The Trump-Russia Story is Coming Together. Here’s How to Make Sense of It”, joined us.  Having produced timelines and a map with over 700 entries of the entangles ties between Putin and Trump and the murky world of Russian oligarchs, state officials, hackers, spies and Republican operatives, Steven Harper will discuss how everything that Trump, his cabinet, his campaign and his complicit GOP Congress has said about connections and collusion between Trump and Russia is a lie.

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