March 29 - Did Trump's Lawyer Obstruct Justice?; Manafort's Right-Hand Man Still Works for Russian Military Intelligence; Trump Fires the Head of the VA at the Urging of a Koch Brothers Front Group

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We will begin with revelations in The New York Times that Trump’s lawyer John Dowd who recently quit, engaged in obstruction of justice when he allegedly signaled to General Flynn and Paul Manafort’s lawyers that their clients would be pardoned by Trump if they did not cooperate with special counsel Mueller, joins us. Jed Shugerman, a professor of law at Fordham Law School and author of “The People’s Courts: Pursuing Judicial Independence in America”. He is currently working on anti-corruption Emoluments litigation against Trump and we will discuss a case against Trump International Hotel now in Federal Court in Maryland as well as the possibility that Mueller is now looking at Dowd. We also address the hazards of working for Trump which is apparently why Trump is scouring the bottom of the barrel in terms of legal talent, since it is likely that Dowd did things for Trump that could result in serious legal jeopardy or disbarment for Dowd. A situation which has prompted a lawyer who was considered by the White House for a job, George Conway, the husband of Kellyanne Conway, to troll Trump in a tweet commenting “This is flabbergasting”.

Fordham Law Professor Jed Shugerman

Part 2

Then we examine the latest court filing by Robert Mueller in which it is made clear that the FBI consider Paul Manafort’s right hand man in Ukraine Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for 10 years for the International Republican Institute in Moscow and before that was with the GRU, is still working with Russian Military Intelligence. Scott Horton, a professor at Columbia Law School and a contributing editor at Harper’s in legal affairs and national security, joins us to discuss how it was Kilimnik who offered Putin’s friend the oligarch/gangster Oleg Deripaska who loaned Manaford $30 million, private briefing by the Trump campaign.

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Part 3

Then finally we will speak with Phillip Longman, a senior fellow at the Washington Monthly and the Open Society Institute and author of “Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Healthccare Would Work Better for Everyone.”  He joins us to discuss Trump’s firing of the head of the VA who is to be replaced by the White House physician Ronny Jackson, and the extent to which this change which was championed by the Koch Brothers front Concerned Veterans for America, is all about privatizing the VA to benefit bottom-feeding Trump’s cronies and Republican Beltway Bandits.

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March 28 - Did Peter Thiel Play a Far More Important Role in Getting Trump Elected?; Trump's 2020 Census Form is Designed to Undercount Minorities; China Clears the Way for a Summit Between Trump and Kim Jong-un

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We begin with the latest revelation from the explosive testimony by a whistleblower before a U.K. parliamentary committee looking into Cambridge Analytica and Facebook in which Christopher Wylie mentioned that senior officials from Palentir, a company founded by Peter Thiel that does secret work for the NSA and other intelligence agencies, worked with Cambridge Analytica on both the Brexit and Trump campaigns. Frank Pasquale, a Professor of Law at the University of Maryland and author of “The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms that Control Money and Information”, joins us to discuss how much of a pivotal role Peter Thiel played in getting Trump elected, not in terms of the billionaire founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook donating money, but in terms of being a key strategist. At the very least Trump thought Thiel was important enough to be given a prominent role as a speaker at the Republican Convention and Thiel was the only member along with David Koch outside of the Trump family, to celebrate the returns on election night in Trump Tower.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Kathay Feng, the Executive Director of California Common Cause who played a leadership role in reforming California’s redistricting process along non-partisan lines. She was in the Supreme Court today as the justices heard arguments in a watershed gerrymandering case and joins us to discuss the new census form for 2020 which appears to be designed by the Trump Administration to make sure that the undocumented, the young and minorities are not counted. In spite of the constitution being clear on counting all persons in the United States, the Republicans seem determined in the face of demographic changes to use voter suppression and a census undercount to reduce the number of Democratic congressional districts and maintain their advantage through gerrymandering.

Part 3

Then finally we discuss the meeting between Kim Jong-un and China’s President Xi Jinping which appears to have cleared the way for a summit between North Korea’s leader and President Trump in May. Stephen Noerper, a professor at Columbia University who was a senior analyst at the State Department, joins us to discuss who is laying the groundwork for this upcoming summit given the hollowing out of expertise at the State Department and whether there will be enough staff work to restrain Trump from agreeing to something to make himself look good rather than act in the interest of the U.S. and its allies.

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March 27 - 27 Countries Join the UK in Expelling Russian Spies; Will Hollywood Cave to Demands By Chinese Censors?; Repeal the Second Amendment?

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With 27 countries and NATO now having expelled more than 140 Russian spies under diplomatic cover, we will begin with the growing support for the U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s response to a Russian nerve agent attack on British soil. Charles Kupchan, a professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service who spent the last 3 years of the Obama Administration as a Special Assistant to President Obama for National Security, joins us to discuss the unexpectedly strong response in support of the U.K.’s weak leader and whether finally standing up to Putin will curb the Russia president’s brazen flouting of international norms. We will assess why Trump, who has so far not said a bad word about Putin, agreed to expel 60 Russians and speculate about what possible motives Putin might have for using a weapon of mass destruction against a NATO country. And because so many Russian oligarchs have parked their ill-gotten gains in what is joking referred to as Londongrad, is Putin betting that the U.K. will not freeze these assets because of the hit on top of the chaos from Brexit would be too damaging to Britain’s banking sector?

Part 2

 
Then we examine moves by China’s self-declared leader for life Xi Jinping to impose Communist Party censorship on Hollywood movies and speak with Aynne Kokas, a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia who is currently a fellow at the Wilson Center working on a project “Border Control on the Digital Frontier: China, the United States and the Global Battle for Data Security”. The author of “Hollywood Made in China”, she joins us to discuss how in order to maintain its quota in China’s market which accounts for one fifth of the global box-office, Hollywood is already tailoring its movies to please Communist Party censors.
 
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Part 3

Then finally, we discuss the op-ed by former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens “Repeal the Second Amendment” and speak with Jonathan Lowy, the Director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. He joins us to argue that under current law, most of what the young activists called for at last Saturday’s March for Our Lives rallies across the country and around the world, would be constitutional. But with another Second Amendment extremist like Justice Gorsuch on the court, even more pro-gun rights pushed by the NRA could become the law of the land.

 

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March 26 - Trump's Legal Team Weakens While Mueller's Case Strengthens; What a War With Iran Will Look Like; After Stormy's Revelations, Will Melania Stand By Her Man?

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We begin with the difficulty President Trump is having getting competent lawyers to represent him as he finds himself, following the resignation of John Dowd and the un-hiring of Joseph diGenova, represented by only one personal lawyer Jay Sekulow, a religious right commentator who has crusaded for evangelical causes and so-called religious freedom. Lisa Kern Griffin, a professor of law at Duke University who clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and spent five years as a federal prosecutor in the Chicago United States Attorney’s Office, joins us to discuss how Trump’s legal team is getting weaker while it appears that the case Robert Mueller is building against the president is getting stronger, not to mention how Trump’s private lawyer Michael Cohen is being crushed by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer. We assess the status of the Mueller inquiry and whether the findings will ever see the light of day as well as what might result from a high-profile indictment of say Jared Kushner. Would that be sufficiently damaging to Trump to either provoke him to move against Mueller or be sufficient to cause the Republicans to distance themselves from Trump ahead of the November elections?

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Part 2

Then, with an uber-hawk who wants to bomb Iran about to become Trump’s NSC advisor, we will look into what a war against Iran would look like with a long-time scholar of Iran, William Beeman, Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota and President of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association. He served as a consultant to the State Department, the Defense Department, the U.N. and the Congress and is the author of “The Great Satan’ vs the ‘Mad Mullahs’: How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other” and joins us to discuss how Trump will tear up the treaty with Iran while Bolton will push for America to fight a war against Iran at the behest of Israel’s Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Bin Salman.  

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Part 3

Then finally, following last night’s 60 Minutes interview with Stormy Daniels and the recent apology to Melania Trump on CNN by a Playboy model who had an affair with Trump, we speak with Kate Andersen Brower, a CNN contributor and the author of “The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House” and “First Woman: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies”. We discuss her latest article at CNN “What Melania now has in common with Hillary” and whether the current first lady will continue the tradition of presidential spouses standing by their man.

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March 25 - An Assessment of the Warmonger About to Be the National Security Advisor; A Youth Leader From Yesterday's March for Our Lives in Washington DC; Three Dreamers Join Us in the Studio

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We begin with the frightening fact that America’s new National Security Advisor is a warmonger who will soon be the most influential person and the closest advisor to Donald Trump who will sit at the apex of all national security information and other input coming into the White House that will shape U.S. policy and Trump’s perceptions which are already as belligerent as they are ignorant. David Rothkopf, a visiting professor at Columbia University and the author of “Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects if American Power” joins us to discuss the likelihood of a war with Iran and even the possibility of a nuclear war with North Korea. We assess what the motives of Trump’s biggest donors might be since Netanyahu’s patron and casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson brokered the deal that brought Bolton into the White House from Fox News and how much Fox News and its owner Rupert Murdoch have essentially become the Dick Cheney of the Trump White House in what appears to be a co-presidency of Fox News and the right wing echo chamber and Donald Trump.

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Part 2

Then we speak with Fernando Mosqueda, a youth leader at Community Coalition, a nonprofit that works to transform the social and economic conditions in South Los Angeles. He is a classmate and colleague of 17 year old Edna Chavez who spoke so eloquently at yesterday’s March for Our Lives demonstration in Washington D.C. that close to a million attended. He joins us from Washington to talk about the inspiring event at which only high school students spoke, along with the survivors of the latest gun massacre that claimed 17 lives at the high school in Parkland, Florida.

Part 3

Then finally Melody, Itayu and Manny join us in the studio. They are “Dreamers” based in Los Angeles and members of the California Dream Network, the youth branch of the coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. We discuss Trump’s effort to blame the Democrats for the situation that has 800,000 “Dreamers” Caught in limbo between being able to stay in the only country they know or be deported back to a foreign country. They will make it clear that it is Donald Trump who is holding the “Dreamers” hostage to his demand to build a wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for.

 

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