I have no idea what this week is going to bring. As noted on today's BradCast, nobody, save for (maybe) the Manhattan District Attorney does. And I suspect even he is largely flying blind about what happens once (and if) Trump is ultimately indicted in New York State. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]
Before we get to discussion about that --- and callers on the same topic --- today is the 20th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. As we said at the time, and have been saying for the 20 years since, we were lied into war under false premises by the George W. Bush/Dick Cheney regime. In the bargain, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed and about 5,000 Americans. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found. More disturbingly, no one was ever held accountable for that pointless war and the lies that were told to get us there.
Back in 2003, 66% of Americans supported the invasion, in no small part because opposition voices in the U.S. were largely shut out of the mainstream media conversation. Now, 61% of Americans, according to new polling, think that war was a mistake.
And, because there was never any accountability for the war criminals, guys like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are considered to be front-runners to become the next Republican nominee for President of the United States. That, despite the fact that, as Washington Post detailed over the weekend, DeSantis played a key role in torturing detainees with forced-feeding at Guantanamo Bay while he served as a 27-year old Navy lawyer there.
Meanwhile, now playing the part of imperialistic invader and war criminal is Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, who the International Criminal Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for, accusing him of abductions of thousands of Ukrainian children since his unlawful invasion just over one year ago.
If you're wondering just how terrible Putin actually is, please do yourself a favor soon and watch last week's Academy Award winning Best Documentary, Navalny (currently available via HBO Max and Amazon Prime). As discussed today, it is jaw-dropping. For a whole bunch of reasons. And, don't worry, it's also uplifting and hilarious at times...even as we see, live and as it happens, the attempted assassination of Russia's incredibly likable opposition leader, Alexei Novalny, and the remarkable moment when he actually tricks one of his own would be assassins into confessing to his attempted murder. All caught live on camera!
Then, we get to the story that I have a feeling we'll be covering for some time on this program: the first criminal indictment of a U.S. President in our nation's history. It may finally happen this week in New York (emphasis on "may"), thanks to Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg. He is believed likely to bring charges against Donald Trump related to the hush-money payments the disgraced former President made to porn star Stormy Daniels to cover up a sexual affair. That payoff, carried out at his direction by his then-attorney Michael Cohen, helped Trump win the 2016 Presidential election. Cohen went to jail for it. Trump never did. At least not yet.
Trump is almost certainly not going to be "BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY", as he claimed in a panicked, weekend, ALL-CAPS statement on his social media site. Tuesday is seen as the earliest time he could possibly be indicted by a Grand Jury in New York. But, even if so, he will not be "ARRESTED" by New York law enforcement officials in Florida, where he now lives.
If Trump finally is indicted on criminal state charges, whether it's this week or next, will he actually go back to New York to turn himself in? Seems unlikely. But, if not, then what? Would NY ask Ron DeSantis' Florida law enforcement to arrest and extradite Fugitive Trump from Mar-a-Lago? Also seems unlikely, even with DeSantis believed almost certain to run for the GOP's 2024 Presidential nomination against Trump. Will Trump's supporters actually "PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!" as the cowardly ex-President is begging them?
And why are House Republicans, led by House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan --- who pretends to support law and order --- now actually weaponizing the federal government to try and undermine Bragg's case?
In fact, nobody knows what is coming next. There is no playbook for what is about to happen --- whether it happens this week, or next, or even in a different state, like Georgia. But it does seem to be a good day to open our phones to listeners on the topic, to talk about it all and get their best guess about what where things go from here.
Tune in for all of that and much more on today's program!...
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)