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Latest Featured Reports | Friday, April 19, 2024
Bad Climate News for Home, Car Owners; Good Labor News for Workers in the South: 'BradCast' 4/18/24
Also: Jury seated in NY; NV okays abortion initiative; OH Repubs block Biden from ballot...
'Green News Report' 4/18/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deluge in Dubai; Climate impacts to cost trillions per year; New lightbulb efficiency standards; PLUS: Biden Admin cracks down on toxic silica dust to protect workers' lungs...
Previous GNRs: 4/16/24 - 4/11/24 - Archives...
SCOTUS Suddenly Worried About Overcriminalization ... for J6 Insurrectionists: 'BradCast' 4/17/24
Guest: LawDork's Chris Geidner; Also: GOP impeachment ends; Turnout doubles in AL...
'Trump Media' Plummeting, MAGA Buyers Losing Life Savings: 'BradCast' 4/16/24
Also: Trump's ridiculous 'immunity'; 7 jurors seated in NY criminal trial; Repubs deliver impeachment to Senate; Smartmatic, OAN settle 2020 defamation suit...
'Green News Report' 4/16/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Record ocean heat bleaching corals worldwide; EV charging roads in Indiana; Biden raising drilling, mining royalties for first time in a century; PLUS: A marine mystery in Florida...
Previous GNRs: 4/11/24 - 4/9/24 - Archives...
Trump's First Criminal Trial, for Cheating in 2016, Begins in NY: 'BradCast' 4/15/24
Special coverage of an historic day with Heather Digby Parton of Salon, attorney Keith Barber of Daily Kos...
Sunday 'Party Like It's 1864' Toons
THIS WEEK: Bad politics, good toonery and at least one wake-up call, in our latest collection of the week's best toons!...
Biden Closes 'Gun Show Loophole'; Repubs Turn Desperate: 'BradCast' 4/11/24
RNC Chair says Ukraine our enemy; GA Lt. Guv faces probe; Fox hides AZ abortion ruling, Hannity blames Dems; WI Justice to retire...
'Green News Report' 4/11/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
10th hottest month ever in a row; Swiss climate inaction violates human rights; PLUS: EPA crack down on airborne chemical plant pollution, 'forever chemicals' in drinking water...
Previous GNRs: 4/9/24 - 4/4/24 - Archives...
'Pink Slime': Fake 'Local News' Sites Proliferating in Advance of Election: 'BradCast' 4/10/24
Guest: Alex Mahadevan; Also: Trump CFO back to jail; GOP chaos, panic after AZ's 1864 abortion ban restored...
Dirty Tricks and the Dirtiest Candidate Of All Time: 'BradCast' 4/9/24
A CA three-way!; Polls shift toward Biden; RW scam artists pay the price; Trump rejected again in NY criminal case, facing trouble for phony $175M bond in NY civil case...
'Green News Report' 4/9/24
Big hurricane season coming; Colorado River used mostly for cattle; Good news for CA snowpack, for now; PLUS: Disney's Tomorrowland says goodbye to Yesterdayville...
'Titanic Law' Reform Just Tip of Iceberg in Quest for Key Bridge Accountability: 'BradCast' 4/8/24
Guest: Helen Santoro; Also: Media echo Trump abortion lies; Biden's new debt relief for 30M...
Sunday 'Dark Days Indeed' Toons
FEATURING: The Eclipse! Disinformation! 'Victimless' Crimes! And much more in our latest collection of the week's darkest toons...
Trump's Very Bad Day in Court(s), Other Good (& Less Good) News: 'BradCast' 4/4
No Labels out; Soft sentence for vote fraudster; WI reconsiders drop-boxes; NE nixes Elctrl College change; Biden v. Israel; Sanders, Biden tout drug price success...
'Green News Report' 4/4/24
Hunger crisis amid drought in Africa; Biden invests billions to decarbonize manufacturing; Melting ice is bending time; America's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm...
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


New RNC Chair suggests Ukraine a U.S. enemy; GA Lt. Guv facing fake elector probe; OH, AL may keep Biden off ballot; Fox 'News' hides AZ abortion ruling, then Hannity blames Dems; Liberal WI Justice to retire...
By Brad Friedman on 4/11/2024 6:49pm PT  

Desperate times, desperate measures and all that that entails on today's BradCast. Plus, we've got several pieces of long-overdue and wildly under-reported very good news as well. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

  • Yes, Donald Trump's newly hand-picked RNC Chair Michael Whatley really did argue this week that America's enemies include Ukraine and charged that the President's "feckless leadership" encourages them to "meddle with our elections here." He also mentioned China and Iran as U.S. adversaries, but failed to say a word about Russia.
  • Gun safety advocates --- which is to say, the vast majority of Americans --- have been hoping for years to see the so-called "gun show loophole" to avoid background checks closed. Today, after a lengthy rule-making process by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) following passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in 2022, President Biden and the Dept. of Justice announced they are finally doing it. "This is going to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and felons," said Biden in a statement today. His Attorney General, Merrick Garland, who signed off on the rule on Thursday, told reporters: "Under this regulation, it will not matter if guns are sold on the Internet, at a gun show or in a brick and mortar store. If you sell guns [you] must conduct background checks."
  • Last week it was Ohio's Republican Secretary of State, and now Alabama's is warning Democrats that he may not allow Joe Biden on the state's ballot this November because the Democratic National Convention falls several days after state ballot deadlines. Both Secretaries of State had previously opposed Trump's removal from the ballot in Colorado due to the state Supreme Court's finding that he violated the U.S. Constitution's "Insurrectionist Disqualification Clause". And both OH and AL allowed Donald Trump on their state's ballots in 2020 despite the Republican National Convention being convened after each state's statutory deadlines that year. Are Republicans really that desperate?
  • In 2022, Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis was disqualified from criminally investigating Georgia's Lt. Governor Burt Jones, who aided Trump's attempt to steal the Peach State's 2020 election as a "fake elector". Willis was blocked because she had hosted a fund-raiser for a political rival of Jones. Now, two years later, a former Republican D.A. in the state, Pete Skandalakis, who was tasked with naming an alternate prosecutor to probe Jones --- and sued for taking so long to do it --- has finally named a replacement. Himself.
  • The rightwing propagandists at Fox "News" are definitely getting desperate following the all-Republican Arizona Supreme Court's ruling this week that reinstates an 1864 territorial law mandating a near-total ban on abortion in the state. On Tuesday, the day the ruling was handed down, not one of the rightwing propaganda outlet's evening prime-time stars even discussed it on their shows. That day, the topic was discussed for just 12 minutes across three different Fox programs earlier in the day, as compared to more than two-hours each of coverage on both CNN and MSNBC that same day and night. The next day, on Wednesday, Sean Hannity decided the 160-year old law should now be overturned and blamed the AZ Court's wildly unpopular decision --- and the predicament it offers to both women in the state and Republican candidates around the country --- on Arizona's Democratic Governor and Attorney General (who opposed the ruling.)
  • After the most expensive state Supreme Court race in U.S. history last year, resulting in liberals retaking a majority on Wisconsin's high court for the first time in 15 years, the longest serving member of its now-liberal majority, 73-year old Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, announced she will not run for another 10-year term next year as previously planned. Thursday's decision by the popular, longtime jurist offers a chance for rightwingers to retake control of the Court in the state's 2025 Spring election. They will have to defend seats on the Court in both 2026 and 2027 thereafter. So, if they don't win next year, they won't get another chance at winning back a majority until 2028. The stakes could hardly be higher.
  • Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report with more wildly under-reported good news on the Biden EPA's new rules to end deadly airborne pollution from chemical plants pollution and cancer-causing PFAS "forever chemicals" in our drinking water. It's about damn time. She's got still more good --- and not so good --- news in today's report as well...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guest-host Nicole Sandler with the late comedian's daughter Kelly Carlin; Also: DOJ cites 'cascading failures' in Uvalde, TX school shooting...
By Desi Doyen on 1/18/2024 5:46pm PT  

Nicole Sandler is back on today's BradCast with a special interview, and otherwise taking up guest hosting duties while Brad remains out with his COVID rebound. (He's doing better and hopes to be back soon!) [Audio link to full show follows below this summary.]

Among our stories today...

  • The U.S. Dept. of Justice released a damning, 575-page report [PDF] detailing 'cascading failures' of law enforcement in responding to the 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen children and 2 teachers were killed before law enforcement officers in Texas eventually shot the perpetrator. The report catalogues multiple points of failure by law enforcement officials, including a lack of leadership, training, coordination, communication, and poor decision-making that created confusion at the scene and delayed a confrontation with the gunman until a full 77 minutes after the first 911 call. The report also highlights the misinformation and poor handling of communications with victims' families in its aftermath. In a press conference regarding the DOJ's report on Thursday morning, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland charged: "The victims and survivors of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School deserved better...It is now widely understood by law enforcement agencies that in active shooter incidents, time is not on the side of law enforcement. Every second counts. And the priority of law enforcement must be to immediately enter the room and stop the shooter."
  • It was another potentially expensive day in court for the disgraced former President, in the second civil trial brought against him by writer E. Jean Carroll. Today, however, as his mother-in-law was buried, Donald Trump was absent. That followed admonishments by the federal judge on Wednesday for disrupting court proceedings. An earlier jury already established that Trump sexually assaulted Carroll in the 1990's and then defamed her following his Presidency, awarding her $5 million dollars. This new jury will determine how much more he has to pay for his defamatory comments about her while serving as President.
  • Next, Nicole speaks with author KELLY CARLIN (pictured above), the only child of the late, legendary comedian George Carlin, about a disturbing new, unauthorized, AI-generated, hour-long YouTube 'comedy special' which used Artificial Intelligence to generate a fake version of her father. The video uses his likeness and signature style to say and do things her dad never said and never did. Reviews of the hour-long "special" have been brutal. But Kelly, who has also condemned the bastardized version of her father's work, details how AI is not only hoovering up and stealing the works of artists, writers and performers without permission, but also poses dangers to average citizens, whose likenesses can similarly be misused and abused with little hope for recourse under current laws. As Carlin warns in her conversation with Nicole: "This is bigger than a famous comedian, or a dead actor, or a live actor. This is about humanity having their autonomy and agency protected legally in this country."
  • Finally, we close with our latest Green News Report, as the rightwing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court signals its readiness to gut federal agency authority to craft environmental regulations; a new breed of climate denialism is flooding social media; and how, while the rest of the globe is having its warmest January on record, frigid Arctic air in the U.S. is stranding drivers of both gas-powered and electric vehicles alike...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guests: Heather Digby Parton of Salon and Keith Barber of Daily Kos...
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2023 5:41pm PT  

Not only was it another historic Arraignment Day on today's BradCast, but it was also an opportunity to wish a very happy 77th birthday to our disgraced former President, who was celebrated with the circus-like atmosphere of a smattering of supporters, protesters and observers outside of the federal courthouse in Miami today. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Donald J. Trump's attorney pleaded "Not Guilty" on his client's behalf Tuesday, during his historic arraignment in the Southern District of Florida on 37 federal felonies related to his theft of hundreds of highly classified documents and repeated attempts at obstructing the government from taking them back. Those attempts included, according to the indictment [PDF] filed last week by Special Counsel Jack Smith, efforts to have his attorney Evan Corcoran commit a list of crimes on his behalf.

Former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut, detailing the seriousness of these charges yesterday, explained how highly the documents in question were classified and the "bone-chilling" concerns about specific foreign nationals who visited Mar-a-Lago under false identities as Trump stored dozens of boxes of stolen documents haphazardly in a ballroom, a bathroom, a storage room and other unsecured locations at his resort property. "There's never been anything remotely like it," Aftergut contended, adding that Trump's legal peril is "extreme" and "that prosecutors' obligation, should there be convictions, would be to ask for the maximum term of imprisonment available." That would amount to decades in prison for the Birthday Boy.

We're joined today for special coverage analysis by HEATHER DIGBY PARTON, award-winning columnist at Salon and Hullabaloo, and KEITH BARBER, a former Republican attorney who now writes for Daily Kos and Medium.

Among the many points discussed in our very lively conversation today...

  • Whether Democrats previously critical of Attorney General Merrick Garland may now have changed their tune.
  • The breathtaking nature of this "slam dunk" indictment and these charges.
  • Whether Trump's problems finding lawyers to represent him will help or hurt in this case.
  • What a lawyer would normally do when a client asks them to violate the law, as Trump allegedly did with his attorney --- and, now, likely star witness --- Corcoran.
  • What should we make of the horrible Trump-appointed Judge Aileen Cannon currently presiding over this case?
  • Are we any closer to knowing why Trump refused to return the documents, despite repeated polite requests from the National Archives for over a year and a subpoena from the Dept. of Justice?
  • What legal strategy should an attorney recommend at this point for Trump --- for example, to seek a plea deal to avoid jail time --- and would Trump even consider such deal?

We also spend some time debunking (yet again) the absurd claims still being made by duped Republicans that Trump is somehow the persecuted victim of unequal justice and that "Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton did the exact same thing, but were never charged for it!" Over the weekend, dopey, dishonest Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) even ridiculously claimed on Fox "News" that Trump "decided not to pursue any kind of prosecution of Hillary Clinton" and that "Joe Biden could have made the exact same decision, but he didn't. He allowed a SWAT raid on the very secure residence of President Trump."

Every point made by the lying Senator is simply false. Biden had nothing to do with the FBI search warrant approved by a federal judge after finding probable cause that Trump was committing several serous crimes, including those he's now been charged with under the Espionage Act, at his South Florida resort.

As to the handful of classified documents found at an old office of Biden's and at his Delaware home, Barber explains: "Of course they say, 'They should be treated the same!' So I say, fine, let's treat them the same. Donald Trump was not charged for anything related to any of the documents that he voluntarily returned. So, if you're going to treat them similarly, then Biden [who immediately returned all documents inappropriately found in his possession] should not be charged for any documents that he voluntarily returned. It's simple. And that is what's going to happen."

For her part, Parton dismantles Johnson's stupidly false claims about Trump having "declined" to prosecute Clinton. "There were five investigations into the Clinton email server," she explains, after writing about this very point on Monday. "There was the original FBI investigation. There was a DOJ Inspector General's investigation. There were two State Department investigations. And Bill Barr himself...named a US Attorney in Utah to also look into all that stuff. They all concluded the same thing: Hillary Clinton didn't break any laws with this."

"The facts of the case don't match at all on the Clinton thing," says Parton. "All of this is nonsense, it's what-aboutism. It is, of course, what they would do. And there are a million cases of poor schmucks that worked in the government that did much less than anything that Trump did, much lesser kinds of offenses, that actually went to jail."

All of that and much more in today's special coverage!

Finally, we close with Desi Doyen and our latest Green News Report, because even as Trump now faces a total of 71 criminal felony charges in both New York and at the federal level (with more to come soon), our worsening climate crisis is undeterred and making life much much worse (and deadly) for everyone on the planet...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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37 federal felony counts for Trump; Calls for violence by top GOP officials, supporters; And callers ring in on all of it today, including many who are still duped by the world's greatest-ever criminal conman...
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2023 5:52pm PT  

Thanks, kudos and apologies to our friend Tom Sullivan of Hullabaloo for the headline of today's BradCast (even if he smartly picked it up from someone else). [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

We've had a weekend of experts and pundits on the TV opining on Donald J. Trump's Friday federal indictment [PDF] on 37 criminal felony counts related to Special Counsel Jack Smith's investigation of Trump's theft of documents from the White House and multiple attempts to conceal his crimes. So it was very good to hear from a lot of listeners on the matter on today's program!

That, as experts warn that comments from Republican elected officials and wannabe elected officials could result in acts of lone wolf violence, if not an organized January 6th-style attack. Just some of those folks would include GOP Trump supporters like Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), who described the attempt at accountability for Trump's criminal violations of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice a "war phase" requiring an "eye for an eye". And wannabe elected officials, like Arizona's losing Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake warning "Merrick Garland and Jack Smith and Joe Biden" that she and 75 million Americans who support Trump "are card-carrying members of the N.R.A." at the Georgia state GOP convention over the weekend.

Even Trump's own, wildly corrupt Attorney General Bill Barr scraped up the decency to tell Fox "News" on Sunday that the evidence in the indictment by 23 random citizens in South Florida last week demonstrates Trump is likely "toast" for having stolen highly classified state secrets belonging to the American people, not to the former President. One would think the photos in the charging documents alone, of dozens of document boxes fill with sensitive materials, stored haphazardly at Mar-a-Lago in a public ballroom, a bathroom, a storage space, his office and bedroom, would turn even the most braindead 2016 MAGA "Lock Her Up!" supporter against their cult leader.

But, alas, there remain plenty of disinformed folks out there who still actually believe Trump's preposterous claims belied by his own well-documented actions recorded on tape and by his own attorneys who documented his attempts to use them to commit crimes such as hiding the documents on his behalf and lying to federal officials about them.

And, yes, some of those still-duped folks (who admit they didn't bother to read the indictment) called us on today's show to try and make the case for Trump. A lively call-in segment ensued. Hope you'll enjoy it!

The disgraced former President will be arraigned on Tuesday in Miami at 3p ET, after which he will officially be facing a gob-smacking total of 71 criminal felony counts at both the federal level and in New York state. But there are still more felony charges to come before America's Summer of Accountability concludes...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guest: Dr. Allison Gill of 'Mueller, She Wrote'; Also: Two rightwing mass murders in TX over the weekend; Callers ring in...
By Brad Friedman on 5/8/2023 6:14pm PT  

It was another deadly weekend in the violent state of Texas, thanks, in no small part to the Republican Party of Mass Murder. But on today's BradCast our focus is mostly on accountability for the rightwing Seditious Conspirators who attempted to overthrow the U.S. Government on behalf of lies told by then-President, Donald Trump. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Last Thursday, leaders of the far-right, racist, Trump-supporting Proud Boys gang were found guilty of seditious conspiracy and many other felonies for their part in attempting to carry out Trump's sore-loser insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. The verdict mirrored those from previous trials of both Proud Boys gangsters and far-right Oath Keepers militiamen.

On Friday, the Dept. of Justice "threw the book" at the seditious Oath Keepers in a 183-page [PDF] sentencing recommendation filed with the court for organization leader Stewart Rhodes and the others found guilty along with him earlier this year. DoJ recommended a 25-year sentence for Rhodes and slightly fewer years for eight others.

We're joined today by DR. ALLISON GILL, known to many as "A.G." and host of the Mueller, She Wrote podcast and Twitter handle, which covers the daily travails on the road to accountability for our disgraced former President.

Gill, who plowed through the full Sentencing Memo from DoJ over the weekend, breaks down its key elements, including similar sentencing recommendations to those brought for "treason"; additional penalties sought for an "upward departure" due to "terrorism"; and prosecutors asking the judge for consecutive sentences for each of the convictions, rather than concurrent sentences allowing the convicted to serve multiple years-long sentences at the same time.

"All three of things that I was looking for them to do, to 'throw the book' at these seditious conspirators, all of them were done," Gill told me. "So, I am not sure they could have gone any harder than they did."

Most importantly, we discuss why all of this news about the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers convictions is likely very bad news for Trump, who may soon find himself indicted by Special Counsel Jack Smith on charges that the DoJ has now road tested to excellent results in these other sedition and conspiracy trials.

Also, we get Gill's thoughts on the New York Time's curious (understated bombshell?) reference to records recently sought by Smith in his probe of the sensitive documents stolen by Trump from the White House upon leaving office. In the middle of a Times story last week on the "confidential cooperation of a person who has worked for [Trump] at Mar-a-Lago" and the report of large gaps in the security surveillance footage turned over to prosecutors, there was reference to the Trump Organization's dealing with the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf venture, which is holding tournaments at Trump's golf resorts. For some unexplained reason, the Times reports, there have been "previously unreported subpoenas to the Trump Organization" regarding business with Saudi Arabia. Now what does that have to do with the stolen documents case? Curiously, the Times doesn't elaborate, but we discuss the possibilities.

Then, after some news on the apparent white supremacist who shot and killed 8 and critically injured three others at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas on Saturday and on the man who killed another 8 and injured about a dozen others with his SUV outside of an immigrant shelter in Brownsville, Texas on Sunday, we open the phone to callers mostly regarding the DoJ efforts to finally bring the criminal Trump to heal. Though some duped listeners, you may be bemused to learn, just can't understand why we need to prosecute Trump instead of....Joe Biden?!

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Pandora, TuneIn, Google, Amazon or our native RSS feed!

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Guest: NatSec and accountability journalist Marcy Wheeler...
By Brad Friedman on 5/3/2023 6:19pm PT  

On today's BradCast we catch up on where each of the major, still-unindicted criminal investigations of Donald Trump currently stand with the one person who may pay closer attention to the details of the cases than even the prosecutors working on them! [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Over the weekend, longtime national security journalist MARCY WHEELER of Emptywheel wrote three articles, summarizing the latest status in each of the three ongoing criminal probes of the already-criminally-indicted-in-New-York former President, and what the final issues are that prosecutors must nail down before indictments can be brought.

Those cases include Special Counsel Jack Smith's federal investigations of Trump's January 6 related conspiracies and the documents he stole from the White House, as well as Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis' broad probe into Trump's failed attempt to strong-arm state officials into stealing the 2020 election from Joe Biden.

Among the many points discussed with Wheeler, who joins us today from Paris...

On Jan 6 and related matters:

  • Why determining the legal definition of "corrupt purpose" in the D.C. federal court circuit, in regards to Trump's attempt to obstruct the Electoral College vote certification, is so important to Smith's case.
  • Why pending cases against Jan. 6 insurrectionists remain key to that definition.
  • Why the fake electors schemes in several states and Trump's fraudulent fundraising on his lies about election fraud is also critical to Smith's case.
  • Evidence that Trump's own attorneys knew in advance that their fake electors scheme was unlawful.
  • Why nailing down testimony from cooperating witnesses is so important and whether former VP Mike Pence --- who testified before Smith's federal grand jury last week about Trump's attempt to have him assassinated --- can be made into a sympathetic witness on the stand.
  • Will we see a broad set of indictments against Trump regarding Jan. 6 or just one or two focused, easily provable charges?
  • Is Smith investigating the multi-state conspiracy to breach voting system software in states like Georgia, Michigan, Colorado and elsewhere as part of his probe?

On the Stolen Documents:

  • What's the hold-up in bringing charges on what has always seemed like the simplest of the many ongoing cases?
  • Why it's helpful that Smith is overseeing both this case and the Jan 6 probe, given that several witnesses are key to each of the cases.
  • What the specific criminal charges may ultimately be, and the important related decision on whether they will be brought in Florida or in D.C.

On the GA Conspiracy:

  • What's the hold-up for D.A. Willis in bringing charges in the Georgia-related crimes?
  • Why Trump is likely to try and move any GA charges to the federal level (and into Smith's lap).
  • How and why a number of co-conspirators may have suddenly decided to cooperate with Willis after all in recent days.
  • How there may be an additional 24(!) previously-unknown witnesses to Trump's infamous Jan 2, 2021 phone call to the GA Sec. of State attempting to strong-arm him to "find" 11,000 votes to steal the state's election from Biden.

That's just a sample, of course. Wheeler joins us for the full hour. Dig in...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guest: Former Dep. Asst. AG, Chief Counsel for U.S. Senate, Dep. Chief of Article III Judges Div. for U.S. court system, Lisa Graves of True North Research; Also: Biden officially announces 2024 run...
By Brad Friedman on 4/25/2023 6:56pm PT  

If there is anyone more uniquely qualified than to discuss to discuss several issues of note on today's BradCast, I don't know who it could possibly be.

But FIRST UP, President Biden released a video today titled "Freedom", officially declaring his intention to run for a second term in 2024. The announcement comes four years to the day after releasing his video declaring his successful 2020 run. He faces long-shot Democratic primary challenges, so far, from vaccine opponent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and self-help author/spiritual guru Marianne Williamson, who also ran in 2020 but dropped out before primary voting began.

We share Biden's video today and discuss the challenges he will be facing, which mostly include his age and health, according to many Democratic and other voters who say they'd prefer someone younger. Recent polling, however, shows that most of those voters will likely support Biden if he becomes the party's nominee.

The RNC and their most likely (for now) 2024 GOP nominee, Donald Trump, responded somewhat predictably with apocalyptic statements and AI video renderings of a dystopian nation wracked by disaster under a second Biden term, ironically describing Biden, ironically enough. as "out-of-touch". The disgraced former President, as recent polling reveals, will likely be the easiest nominee for Biden to defeat.

NEXT UP, since it's a day that ends in "y", we have yet another revelation of corruption by Clarence Thomas, almost certainly the most corrupt Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history. Bloomberg News and CNN report today that, despite previous claims to the contrary by both men, Thomas did, in fact, sit on a case at the high court in which Harlan Crow --- billionaire GOP megadonor and longtime giver of lavish worldwide travel and luxury vacations that went unlawfully undisclosed for decades by Thomas --- had business before SCOTUS in the 2000's. Thomas failed to recuse himself from the case involving the company of his "personal friend".

We're joined today to discuss the seemingly endless decades of both unethical and unlawful corruption by Thomas (and his corrupt, far-right activist wife Ginni), by LISA GRAVES. She previously served as Deputy Asst. Attorney General at the U.S. Justice Department, Chief Counsel for nominations in the US Senate, and as a Deputy Chief of the Article III Judges Division for the U.S. court system. Graves is now a muckraking political researcher and founder of Truth North Research. She has been exposing massive corruption of our electoral system by folks like Thomas, Crow, the Koch Brothers, wealthy rightwing federal court operative Leonard Leo and many others for years.

That means we've got a lot to discuss with Graves today, including Thomas' long history of corruption and failure to disclose stuff like his wife's annual salary for about twenty years from the rightwing Heritage Foundation back in 2011, and the undisclosed sponsorship of Leo and the group Citizens United that helped him win his controversial nomination to SCOTUS back in 1991. (That was well before Thomas failed to recuse himself from the infamous 2010 Citizens United case.)

"This new revelation is really important because it does show that there were cases, at least one case [at the Supreme Court] that directly affected Harlan Crow's company," Graves explains today. "But I think that's just the tip of the iceberg. Because the reality is that you have a number of instances that have been documented by the press where Clarence Thomas has failed to disclose to the American people his financial ties to Harlan Crow, who also has ties to Leonard Leo, who has been the architect of moving the Court to the far right. Including the fact that Leo cut his teeth trying to get Clarence Thomas confirmed in the first place. So these are deep and long relationships."

It's not only Thomas on the High Court who has recently been revealed as playing fast and loose with ethics rules and laws. Today, Politico reports that Justice Neil Gorsuch sold a nearly 3,000-square foot log home and a 40-acre tract of land in Colorado for nearly $2 million to the top executive of one of the nation's largest law firms just days after being nominated by Trump to SCOTUS in 2017. While Gorsuch disclosed the property sale, he failed to identify the purchaser on his disclosure forms, leaving that box blank. Since then, the firm has been involved in at least 22 cases before the Court.

And it's not only corrupt Republican appointees to the High Court. CNN recently unearthed interviews by a Christian talk radio outlet with far-right U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, the corrupt judge who banned the popular abortion pill, mifepristone, earlier this month. During the interviews he describes his opinion that being gay is "a lifestyle" and criticizes both "no-fault divorce" and "permissive policies on contraception." He failed to disclose those interviews during his 2017 confirmation process.

Perhaps more disturbingly, Washington Post recently reported what would appear to be out and out fraud by the controversial judge. He not only failed to disclose a law review article he authored, in which he criticized President Obama's protections of transgender people and those seeking abortions, but, after being nominated by Trump, he instructed the journal to remove his name as author and substitute the names of two junior colleagues at his activist law firm who appear to have had nothing to do with the article.

Graves charges Kacsmaryk should be held to account by the DoJ for possible prosecution under Section 1001 of Title 18 of the US Code, which deals with giving materially false statements to Congress. "You have someone who affirmatively, deceptively, actively, willfully hid from the Senate that he wrote this article. He did so purposely. He did so knowing he was about to be nominated for this position. He affirmatively deceived Congress," she tells me.

"Kacsmaryk deceived Congress in his quest to become a judge, and then he had no restraint on his efforts to impose those various same types of personal anti-abortion views in a case where he has now injected himself in overturning nearly a quarter century of law in defiance of long-standing Supreme Court precedence."

Given the massive corruption of both the federal bench and Republicans in Congress, what, if anything can be done about any of it? We discuss what can and should be done by Congress, by the U.S. Judicial Conference which oversees operations of the federal courts, and by the U.S. Department of Justice, all of whom Graves has worked with in various capacities over the years...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guest: Election expert Susan Greenhalgh of Free Speech for People, with cameos by election integrity champions Jeanne Dufort and Marilyn Marks of Coalition for Good Governance...
By Brad Friedman on 4/24/2023 6:47pm PT  

On today's BradCast: Maybe now Jack Smith will start investigating the multi-state criminal plot by MAGA conspiracists to breach voting system software? Now that we know the unlawful scheme actually began in Donald Trump's Oval Office, as overseen by Trump himself, back in December of 2020? [Audio link to full show follows below.]

We have been reporting on the unlawful, criminal breaches of sensitive voting and tabulation system software by MAGA rightwingers following the 2020 election for nearly two years at this point. Most notably, we've focused most closely on the incident that occurred in the rural, right-leaning Coffee County, Georgia, where local GOP Board of Election members, County Commissioners and Republican Party officials allowed outsiders organized and funded by Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, to come in to the elections office to make illicit copies of the County's sensitive, proprietary election management software made by Dominion Voting Systems. The software in rural Coffee County also happens to be the exact same software that is used across the entire battleground state, thanks to the insistence of Republican Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger.

We first learned about the Coffee County breach last year, thanks to Marilyn Marks, founder of Coalition for Good Governance, which has a long-running federal lawsuit against the state, seeking to the ban the use of Raffensperger's 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting systems made by Dominion. She received a bizarre phone call --- which we previously aired on this program --- from an Atlanta-area businessman named Scott Hall, essentially confessing to the unlawful breach in Coffee County on January 7, 2021. He thought Marks was a fellow MAGA traveler. She wasn't. She is a non-partisan election integrity advocate. A real one.

Since that breach, which included the participation of folks like Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas (the clowns who ran that phony audit of the 2020 Presidential election in Phoenix, Arizona in 2021), was revealed, thanks to Marks' ongoing civil lawsuit, Sec. Raffensperger seems to have been working very hard to cover the entire thing up and, according to our guest today, DoJ Special Counsel Jack Smith does not appear to be investigating.

Hopefully, that may have changed as of Friday, when two major media outlets ran scoops based on a new letter [PDF] sent by our guest today, SUSAN GREENHALGH of Free Speech for People, to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, Special Counsel Jack Smith and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

First, CNN reported Friday morning that text messages obtained via Marks' lawsuit revealed two of the software breaching Trump operatives discussed whether to somehow use information gleaned from their unlawful actions to try and prevent the certification of Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff's January 5th, 2021 U.S. Senate runoff victory over Republican David Purdue, or whether they should "hold it for a bigger moment."

Then, later on Friday, the New York Times ran a report detailing Greenhalgh's discovery that the plot to breach voting system software in several states --- which we already knew had been organized and funded by Powell --- was actually hatched during the infamous "crazy" meeting in the Oval Office on December 18, 2020. That, based on testimony to the House January 6 Committee that Greenhalgh documented from several Trump aides who were in the room where it happened that night. Attendees at the meeting included Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Flynn, former Overstock.com CEO (and plot funder) Patrick Byrne, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and others. It went on for hours and was presided over by Donald Trump himself.

So, maybe Smith or Garland or Wray will be interested in investigating the multi-state conspiracy plot now?!

Greenhalgh explains that cybersecurity experts are concerned that the stolen software "can be used in disinformation campaigns, which we are already seeing happen. It could be used to fabricate evidence." She notes that "in 2020 when all those [Trump] lawsuits failed, it was because there wasn't any real or credible evidence. But software is mutable. You can play around with it. Could this be used to try and fabricate some false evidence to say, 'Look, this is what we found on some voting machines and look they stole the election?'"

"Most ominously," she warns, the software could be used to "to develop and tailor malware that could be deployed to actually start stealing votes, in the very way that we had people arguing was done in the 2020 election --- but now it's coming from the very same people that actually made those outrageous and baseless claims. Now [they] have the ammunition and basically the keys to the vault that could enable them to do much more nefarious things like actually hack an election."

So, why hasn't this been investigated by the Feds before now, as a response sent by the FBI to Greenhalgh in January [PDF] indicates, claiming the Bureau can only investigate after "a formal request for assistance" by "local authorities"? Why does GA Sec. of State Raffensperger, wrongly viewed as a hero for not stealing the 2020 election for Trump, seem to be working so very hard to cover up what happened in Coffee County? Why have corporate media been so reticent to dig into the story? Why have Greenhalgh and Marks had to do the bulk of the heavy lifting to even get us to this point? Why haven't members of Congress jumped in to demand a proper probe at the federal level? And will a proper federal probe finally happen now that the matter has found its way smack dab into Smith's purview by landing, via the New York Times, in Trump's Oval Office? (All thanks, of course, to the indefatigable work of Susan, Marilyn and their nonprofit organizations!)

"There's a lot more to this story to report," Greenhalgh insists. "As you know, it's still just the tip of the iceberg and there's a lot more information underneath that can still be reported. Greenhalgh's February follow-up letter to the FBI's response [PDF], for example, notes that, contrary to the assertion from R. Joseph Rothrock, Chief of the FBI's Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section, the Georgia State Elections Board says that it has, in fact, "requested assistance from the FBI." That, according to a public statement from its Chair in September of 2022

Tune in for answers to all of the above questions and many others on today's BradCast, which also includes some cameo call-ins from both Marks (who suggests listeners contact their U.S. Senators to ask them to demand a DoJ probe) and GA election integrity advocate Jeanne Dufort!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guest: National security and accountability journalist Marcy Wheeler...
By Brad Friedman on 2/15/2023 6:00pm PT  

As we've advised many times on The BradCast, accountability takes a while. Particularly when you're talking about criminal accountability for a President of the United States for the first time ever. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

We're joined today, for the first time in several months, by perhaps the one person who may know nearly as much (and, in some cases, even more) about the many criminal cases against Donald Trump than the many prosecutors currently considering indictments against him for those crimes.

Longtime, independent national security and accountability journalist MARCY WHEELER of Emptywheel.net joins us for the full hour today. There is now just too much going on all at once in the various federal investigations being overseen by Special Counsel Jack Smith (not to mention the several criminal and civil probes underway in Georgia and New York), to fit into a single segment.

We dive into details with Wheeler on both the probe of Trump's hundreds of stolen, classified documents recovered by the FBI last year at Mar-a-Lago, and the ongoing investigation of the broad conspiracy surrounding the Trump-incited January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol (and his many other attempts to steal the 2020 election.)

Among the many points and questions discussed with Wheeler on today's show...

ON SPECIAL COUNSEL JACK SMITH:

  • Where is he? Literally. And why are there no known new photos or videos of him Special Counseling?
  • And what, if anything, does his incredibly low profile tell us about the work that he is doing?

ON THE TRUMP STOLEN DOCUMENTS PROBE:

  • What does this week's news that Smith is hoping to pierce the attorney-client privilege by invoking the crime-fraud exception to force federal grand jury testimony from Trump attorneys like Evan Corcoran actually mean? And, is it true, as the New York Times reported on Tuesday, that Smith's motion to do so is "an aggressive new dimension to the inquiry"?
  • What exactly is the crime being investigated that Smith contends took place between Corcoran and Trump that would nullify the attorney-client privilege?
  • What do we need to know about this past weekend's startling news that Team Trump has now turned over still more classified documents and that some of them were reportedly scanned onto a laptop computer (and thumb drive) said to belong to a Trump aide at his main fundraising PAC?
  • Why weren't those documents found at Mar-a-Lago during the FBI's very thorough search last August?
  • Should we be concerned that more classified documents are out in the wild after being digitized and shared with others?
  • Where are the dozens of documents that were previously in the now-empty classified document folders recovered by the FBI last August? And, is Trump's claim that he kept empty classified document folders as trophy keepsakes even plausible?
  • Does the discovery and quick return of a handful of classified and other Presidential records found by aides at the offices and residences of Joe Biden and Mike Pence make any difference in a potential decision to charge Trump for having stolen thousands of documents and then lying about them to federal officials?

ON THE JANUARY 6 CONSPIRACY PROBE:

  • Mike Pence has now been subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury investigating the January 6 attack. He says he will challenge the subpoena based on the Constitution's "speech or debate" clause that, he claims, prevents him --- as President of the Senate on January 6 --- from having to answer questions by the Executive Branch. That, after Pence previously refused to testify to the House J6 Committee on the basis of separation of powers and Executive privilege.
  • Many are describing Pence's defense "novel", but Wheeler (and I) recall when the previous Republican Vice President, Dick Cheney, hoping to also have it both ways, attempted to play the exact same hand to avoid testifying to both the Legislative and Executive branches during the George W. Bush era.
  • In any event, will Pence's ploy work? And, if so, will it prevent Smith from being able to bring indictments?
  • How do the recent guilty verdicts for Seditious Conspiracy, in the trials of a number of rightwing Oath Keepers militia members (and the ongoing trial of racist Proud Boys members), affect potential indictments of the former President?
  • Is it likely that the DoJ will simply take the "Al Capone tax evasion" route by charging Trump with a simpler crime, such as wire fraud, based on his fundraising scheme that raked in some $250 million after the 2020 election for an "official election defense fund" that didn't actually exist?
  • And, by the way, can a former President --- with a 24/7 Secret Service detail and all of that --- actually be sent to prison in the event he ever actually is indicted, convicted and sentenced?

As you can tell, just a few things to discuss with Wheeler today. And, as usual, she offers a ton of important, smart and keenly-informed insight!...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Hand-count of 2020 Presidential race in PA county appears to confirm original tally; Also: Garland taps Special Counsel in Biden docs case; Trump continues to obstruct justice in his stolen documents case...
By Brad Friedman on 1/12/2023 6:12pm PT  

Today's BradCast --- from questions about classified Presidential documents to this week's hand-count of 2020 ballots in a swing-state county --- is ultimately about transparency and sunshine as the best disinfectants when it comes to politics and the necessity of public oversight for the health of American democracy. Even when it may seem annoying to some at first blush.

Much of the corporate media has been doing a fairly lousy job of allowing disingenuous rightwing opportunists to turn the recent reported discoveries of some classified documents said to have been found in old boxes at a Joe Biden office and one of residents into the very same thing that Donald Trump is facing potential felony charges for. In his case, any charges will most likely come in response to blatant disregard for the rule of law and the continuing-to-this-day obstruction of justice in his case of thousands of pages of stolen classified documents.

There is little comparison between the two matters, but the comparisons are being made anyway. Sometimes helpfully, sometimes lazily and destructively. In any event, Robert Hur, a former U.S. Attorney appointed by Donald Trump was designated on Thursday by Biden's Attorney General Merrick Garland to serve as Special Counsel in the matter of the Biden documents. That is a good thing, as it will ultimately serve to either expose crimes (unlikely, based on the currently known evidence, but always a good thing if there are any actual crimes) or end with a report from the Special Counsel finding no violations of the law by the President. A normal, non-Special Counsel probe by DoJ would end in either indictments or no comment, allowing false claims to be made forever.

I suspect many Dems will be annoyed by the appointment of a Special Counsel in the Biden case. But it is ultimately be better than the alternative. Transparency, sunshine and independent oversight are always good things.

In a similar vein, the second major story we focus on today involves a hand-count of hand-marked paper ballots from the 2020 Presidential election taking place this week in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. It's a county where Trump won by more than 40 points in both 2016 and 2020, but where many Republicans have been conned into believing there was some sort of fraud that decreased Trump's win from 44.2 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016 to "only" 41.4 points over Biden in 2020.

There is zero evidence of fraud or programming error or mistally of any kind, but local Republicans --- hoaxed by opportunistic national liars --- have collected thousands of signatures to demand a public hand count. The County's of Board of Supervisors ultimately agreed late last year to allow one.

Some of the few covering the count at all in the national media this week have been snarky, snide or dismissive (MSNBC's Alex Wagner, for example, and the very computer voting and tabulation friendly media outlet VoteBeat). But, as it turns out, the count appears to be going smoothly, is reportedly confirming the original results, and was largely completed in just three days rather than the three weeks VoteBeat had suggested it might take, as they offered readers false and misleading claims about hand-counting. (They believe computers are more reliable for that sort of thing, even though the only way to know if computers have tallied paper ballots accurately is to...hand count them.)

But whether there is legitimate cause to be concerned about the results of a Presidential election two years ago in a far-right leaning swing-state county, and while even a hand-count is unlikely to persuade the most brain-poisoned of Republicans, public oversight of vote counting is ultimately a very good thing for democracy. In fact, in all of my years on this beat, I am convinced it is the only thing that can keep it viable and continuing here in the U.S. As you may have noticed, for good reasons and bad, confidence in democracy and election results have taken quite a beating in this country in recent years. That is good for nobody other than the charlatans and autocrats. Public oversight of election results, on the other hand, particularly if they confirm the original counts, can only help to shore up confidence by the electorate. Democracy needs that to thrive and survive

Once again, sunshine, transparency and oversight to the rescue...whether some may be annoyed by it or not.

Finally, we finish out today with Desi Doyen and our latest Green News Report, including some disturbing new climate data from NOAA and the latest dumb pretend freak-out by Fox "News"...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Special Coverage of panel's final public hearing; Also: Callers ring in...
By Brad Friedman on 12/19/2022 5:58pm PT  

Well, Merry Christmas from The U.S. House and The BradCast, Mr. Trump! [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

In their finale hearing on Monday, the bipartisan House Select Committee investigating the former President's incitement of insurrection on January 6, 2021 and his multiple failed attempts to steal the 2020 Presidential election, voted unanimously to send criminal referrals for the former President on four different, very serious crimes to the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

Those criminal referrals include:

  • Obstruction of an official Proceeding. For corruptly attempt to block the peaceful transfer of power at the joint session of Congress on January 6, 2021.
  • Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. For his efforts to block Joe Biden's victory by lying about fraud, despite being told by all his top White House legal advisors and his own DoJ there was no evidence to support his false claims.
  • Conspiracy to Make a False Statement to Congress. For participating in the scheme to send phony certificates in support of fake Electors on January 6th.
  • Insurrection. For inciting, assisting, or giving aid or comfort to those attempting to overthrow the United States government.

If eventually indicted and found guilty of that final "very grave charge," as Committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) described it today, Trump would become ineligible to hold any future federal office.

In our Special Coverage of today's hearing, we step through extended clips highlighting the Committee's case, as presented and summarized on Monday, including additional information from new witnesses interviewed by the panel since their last public hearing in mid-September.

The meeting ended with the presentation of the Committee's final report (Introductory Summary: PDF, HTML) and their unanimous, 9 to 0 vote to send the unprecedented criminal referrals to the DoJ for the former President of the United States, one of his corrupt attorneys (John Eastman) and others.

Whether these referrals result in actual criminal indictments is, of course, a separate matter. But, as discussed today, they will at least force the DoJ to review the evidence of these serious crimes as collected by the Committee from hundreds of witnesses over the past two years.

We close today with a few callers ringing in on what (if anything) happens next, and if these referrals may finally result in real accountability for the unspeakably corrupt Donald John Trump...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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Guest: NatSec journalist Marcy Wheeler; Also: Out of work loser, Dr. Oz; Hilarious sentence for GOP vote suppression scammers; Breaking: 11th Circuit nixes Special Master in Trump stolen documents case...
By Brad Friedman on 12/1/2022 5:49pm PT  

We've been telling you since Thanksgiving on The BradCast that Accountability Season is finally beginning to get underway as Election Season almost wraps up. Today's show is pretty much nothin' but accountability. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summer.]

Earlier this week, in the first of several conspiracy trials scheduled for far-right, white nationalist militia groups, the Dept. of Justice notched guilty verdicts for Seditious Conspiracy charges in relation to the Trump-incited January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Oath Keepers founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes III (a one-time guest on this program!) and its Florida chapter head, Kelley Meggs, were both found guilty by a jury on Tuesday. They and three co-defendants were also convicted of Obstructing an Official Government Proceeding and other charges related to the effort to block the peaceful transfer of Presidential power in a failed attempt to help Trump steal the 2020 Presidential election.

Each of the five defendants found guilty on several charges each this week are facing maximum sentences of anywhere from 40 to 86 years in prison for their crimes. So, what does this mean going forward for the other upcoming sedition trials and for those yet to be charged for the same felony crimes, such as Roger Stone, Alex Jones and...yup...Trump himself?

We're joined today by national security journalist MARCY WHEELER of Emptywheel to discuss all of that and much more! Among the related topics discussed...

  • Why the convictions this week were important, and how the several trials of Oath Keepers and Proud Boys are being approached by DoJ as "interlocking conspiracies". In turn, they may result in similar indictments eventually against Trump insiders like Stone and Jones for seditious conspiracy and/or conspiracy to obstruct the government's peaceful transfer of power.
  • Whether Trump will eventually face same charges and how much it matters whether he is indicted for Sedition versus Obstruction, both of which carry the same 20-year max sentences attached to them.
  • Whether Merrick Garland's recent appointment of Jack Smith as Special Counsel overseeing both the federal January 6 probe and their criminal investigation of the classified and other documents stolen by Trump and obtained by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago is a good or bad idea. On that, she points out that Smith's mandate may eventually require a decision on whether to bring charges against Republican member of Congress like Reps. Scott Perry (PA) and Jim Jordan (OH). As she reported at Emptywheel recently, with a razor thin majority for the GOP in the House next year, such decisions could end up flipping control of the House from Republican to Democratic. Therefore, it may prove critical to have someone overseeing these investigations who is not a political appointee of President Biden.
  • In the event that Trump is charged for any of these crimes, will it even be possible to find a jury that doesn't include a MAGA Republican willing to block any and all charges against the former President? On that, she notes, she is less concerned about such jurists than about Trump's skills as "a mob boss".

"Let me put it this way," Wheeler tells me on that point, "I'm far more worried about obstruction than I am about a jury. He's a mob boss. I think virtually all people really, really underestimate the degree to which he obstructed [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller in 2020 after Bill Barr came in. Barr got away with so much that people just can't conceive how effectively he killed the Mueller investigation and any other investigation that tied to him. So, he's not President, but he's still a mob boss." And that, she says, worries her more "than that a jury won't do their sworn duty."

And, in more Accountability Season news on today's program...

  • Trump-backed U.S. Senate loser and former celebrity TV Doctor Mehmet Oz is apparently not welcome back on TV and can't find a job. Sad!
  • Two longtime GOP operatives/yutzes, Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl, who sent out tends of thousands of robocalls to black voters in five states before the 2020 election, trying to hoax them about phony dangers of voting by mail (and turning over their information to "The Man" in the process), were sentenced in Ohio this week. Their sentence, somewhat hilariously, includes 500 hours of voter registration work in low-income D.C. neighborhoods.
  • And BREAKING just as were finishing up today: In a stinging loss for Trump, a three-judge panel (including two judges he appointed) on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, nixed the Special Master named by Judge Aileen Cannon (also a Trump appointee) to review the stolen government documents retrieved by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago. The court ruled Cannon had no jurisdiction to make any such appointment which served only to help the Mob Boss slow down the DoJ's investigation of Trump's theft of records, and apparent violations of the Espionage Act, the Presidential Records Act, and obstructions of justice...

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Pillow Guy is running!; Special Counsel wasting no time; Trumpers failed in AK too; Lake still pretending in AZ; Callers have a few thoughts...
By Brad Friedman on 11/28/2022 6:29pm PT  

We're back for today's BradCast after some much-needed down time last week over the holiday when we tried to look the other way for a few minutes. We've got a lot of catching up to do.

Among the stories we try to catch up with today...

  • The independent Special Counsel appears to be wasting no time. Even on a holiday. Prosecutor Jack Smith, recently tapped by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee two Trump-related criminal probes by the Dept. of Justice --- on the January 6th insurrection and the classified documents stolen by the former President upon leaving office --- jumped into the documents case on Thanksgiving Day. While we were eating turkey, Smith was filing a one paragraph argument with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals calling out Trump's attorneys for lying during a hearing earlier in the week. That hearing didn't go well for Team Trump, despite being heard by two Trump-appointed federal judges and one appointed by George W. Bush. Smith did not make things any better for them. We explain.
  • Two Trump-backed candidates in Alaska were each declared losers in the U.S. House [PDF] and U.S. Senate [PDF] races last week after weeks of counting in the state's Ranked Choice Voting midterm elections. Democrat Mary Peltola will fill the seat in the U.S. House previously held by the late Rep. Don Young, a Republican who occupied the state's only House seat for nearly 50 years. She defeated the failed former President's choice, the state's failed former Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, as well as two other candidates. And, moderate Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who voted to remove Trump from office during his second impeachment trial last year, was declared to have defeated Trump-endorsed GOP challenger Kelly Tshibaka. Dems will hold a narrow majority in the Senate next year no matter how the U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and Trump-endorsed Herschel Walker (R) works out next Tuesday. But, if yet another candidate supported by the disgraced former President crashes and burns next week too, the extra seat in the upper chamber could make a huge difference for Democrats.
  • Meanwhile, in Arizona, former TV news anchor and Trumpette, Kari Lake, is still pretending that she must have won the Governor's election. All of the available evidence suggests Democratic Sec. of State Katie Hobbs was the winner, albeit by less than one percent. The narrow margin, however, is just a bit higher than the trigger for a statewide recount. So, Lake is now suing the Republicans who run Maricopa County (Phoenix), on the basis that the County's print-on-demand ballot system prevented voters from voting. It didn't. Though some GOP voters reportedly chose not to cast their ballots after being told the precinct-based scanners couldn't read the hand-marked paper ballots printed at a number of the County's voting centers. Those ballots were placed into a locked box and scanned back at County HQ. On Monday, the County certified their results, and the usual parade of deplorables issued threats to the officials for doing so. The state is scheduled to certify results next week, which will be followed by a recount in the incredibly tight Attorney General contest. It is currently led by Democratic candidate Kris Mayes over Trump-endorsed Abe Hamadeh who trails by just 510 votes out of more than 2.5 million cast in the state's November midterms.
  • Meanwhile, the world's largest volcano, Mauna Loa, is erupting again in Hawaii...for the first time in nearly 40 years.
  • Finally, we open the phone lines today for a bit of a "reverse BradCast," where callers ring in with stuff they want me and/or the world to know about. Among the topics raised by callers: Israel, Julian Assange, accountability for Don Jr. and Eric, democracy beyond elections, and more...

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Guests: Former DoJ prosecutor Randall D. Eliason of GWU, constitutional law expert John Bonifaz of Free Speech for People; Also: Does the Constitution disqualify insurrectionist Trump from running again?
By Brad Friedman on 11/21/2022 6:39pm PT  

It's our last BradCast until after the Thanksgiving holiday. And for that we are both thankful...and exhausted. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Merrick Garland's newly appointed independent Special Counsel, Jack Smith, is reportedly already at work, now overseeing two Department of Justice criminal probes related to Donald Trump's incitement of the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection and his theft of classified documents and other Presidential Records from the White House upon leaving office.

Following Garland's announcement on Friday, there are differing opinions from those in the legitimate legal community hoping to see accountability for the former President. Some believe the appointment of Smith was the right thing to do in order to avoid even the appearance of political conflicts of interest. Others believe that it's too late now to appoint a Special Counsel and that Garland should have simply cut to the chase by bringing indictments himself where appropriate.

Garland's appointment of a Special Counsel came on the heels of Trump's announcement earlier last week that he had filed to run again for President in 2024 and the presumption that Joe Biden was planning to do the same. The Attorney General explained that he felt that the "extraordinary circumstances" triggered the DoJ regulations mandating an independent, non-political appointee be named to oversee both cases and to make the determination as to whether indictments should be brought.

We're joined today by two longtime guests of the program, with very different opinions on the matter. Hours prior to Garland's appointment of Smith, former federal prosecutor RANDALL D. ELIASON, now a law professor at George Washington University, published an article headlined "Mr. Attorney General, It's Time to Appoint a Special Counsel," explaining why he believes that DoJ "regulations and the public interest demand it."

His piece was written following Trump's announcement of his 2024 candidacy and in response to an article earlier in the month by Laurence Tribe and Dennis Aftergut's arguing: "Mr. Attorney General, It’s Too Late to Appoint A Special Counsel."

Following the A.G.'s announcement on Friday, Constitutional law expert JOHN BONIFAZ, Co-Founder and President of the government watchdog group Free Speech for People, expressed disappointment and frustration with Garland's decision, tweeting: "Garland has had more than 1.5 years to name a special counsel to investigate Trump. It is not credible that he was unaware during that time that Trump and Biden might run again."

Both Eliason and Bonifaz join us today to hash out their varying positions, with Bonifaz leaning heavily on the argument that Garland lacks "credibility" in his appointment after failing to bring a "vigorous effort" to hold Trump accountability over the past year and a half, "for the crimes that were clearly laid out" by the time Garland took office. He cites the 10 instances of Obstruction of Justice detailed by the previous Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, and the fraud detailed by the DoJ's successful prosecution and conviction of Trump attorney Michael Cohen, in which the Department identified Trump as "Individual 1" directing a criminal conspiracy to secretly pay off porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about a sexual affair.

"If he's not being held accountable for those crimes," Bonifaz argues, "why should we believe that he now will be held accountable for these crimes?"

Eliason, on the other hand, sees those matters as separate and distinct from the immediate need to appoint a Special Counsel for the DoJ's two, currently ongoing probes. He explains why he believes the appointment is both necessary and will not substantially slow down any prosecution of the former President if indictments are found warranted by Smith. He is also critical of Bonifaz' argument that indictments should already have been brought by the DoJ.

"When you're talking about prosecuting a former President," explains the former chief of the DoJ's Public Corruption and Government Fraud section in D.C., "they've got to have this buttoned up every way possible. So it is going to take some time. I know there is a lot of frustration or impatience with that, but that's the nature of these cases. If they don't take the time and do it right, then they're going to bring some half-baked charges and Trump gets acquitted."

After that debate, Bonifaz sticks around for a bit longer to explain his group's new campaign to call on Secretaries of State and chief election officials in all 50 states to bar Trump from the 2024 ballot, arguing that his incitement of the January 6 insurrection makes him ineligible under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, the so-called Insurrection Disqualification Clause. FSFP has joined with Mia Familia Vota to launch a campaign at TrumpIsDisqualified.org to gather signatures for a petition to state election officials, charging "because of his role in inciting, encouraging, and supporting the January 6th insurrection, Trump is constitutionally ineligible for any future run for office."

Also today, several news headlines from over the weekend, including an all too brief conversation with Desi Doyen --- before we disappear for the next week --- about the landmark agreement struck during overtime at the U.N.'s climate conference over the weekend. The nations of the world finally agreed to create a long-sought, so-called "loss and damage" fund that will require wealthy nations who benefited from the use of cheap and dirty fossil fuel energy to help still-developing nations who are not responsible for our climate crisis yet are facing the brunt of the worsening emergency. The 200 nations at the conference did not, however, agree to call out the reason for the emergency --- the burning of fossil fuels --- due to opposition from Russia, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, nations with fossil fuel dependent economies...

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Guest: Dr. Allison Gill of 'Mueller, She Wrote'; Also: Pelosi leaves Dem leadership; GOP secures House majority; Bass wins L.A. Mayor...
By Brad Friedman on 11/17/2022 6:10pm PT  

There are just too many crimes. Next time we'll need to plan a longer BradCast. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

We're not yet beyond the 2022 elections. Votes are still being tallied and races still being called. Only last night, media outlets finally were able to project the GOP would win back a majority in the U.S. House next year, if barely, and that progressive Rep. Karen Bass would be the winner of the Los Angeles Mayoral race over billion real estate developer Rick Caruso. Of course, the fallout from the election will continue for a while. Today, two-time Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi --- love her or hate her, one of the most effective Speaker's in history --- announced that, while she plans to remain in Congress, she will not seek a leadership role next session. The first women to hold that job said during floor remarks today, that she is passing the torch to a new generation.

Most notably, however --- at least when it comes to accountability for the most corrupt man likely to ever hold public office in this nation, much less as President of the United States --- actual 2022 midterm voting continues as well, in the December 6th U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia.

That means the Dept. of Justice guidelines barring overt action in politically-related cases during the 60-day window prior to elections is likely still in effect. But even after the GA runoff on December 6th, as our friend Marcy Wheeler of Emptywheel recently explained, "Merrick Garland hasn't done the specific thing you want because DoJ has been busy doing things they have to do first." In other words, before federal indictments can be brought against Donald Trump, as many (yours truly included) are eager to see, there remains a lot of legal work that must be done in order to ensure that any such indictments result in actual convictions.

Our guest today is DR. ALLISON GILL of the notorious "Mueller, She Wrote" Twitter account and podcast, which tracks the many (seemingly endless) criminal and civil cases and investigations under way against the disgraced former President about as closely as anyone in the country. She agrees that patience remains a virtue in these cases. Depending on the case, as she explains today, we are looking at a matter of weeks to a matter of months before indictments can be brought against Trump. Though she does believe they are coming and that his announcement this week that he is running again in 2024 provides no protection against prosecution in any of these cases.

As we begin to move beyond the midterms, today seemed a good day to touch base with Gill to help us try and reset where things are regarding to the many ongoing criminal and civil probes, indictments and lawsuits still bearing down on Trump. To be honest, we've lost track of some of them in recent weeks as we'd moved largely full time to 2022 election coverage.

Those pending cases include (but are not limited to):

  • The New York state criminal tax fraud trial currently underway against the Trump Organization and its CFO Allen Weisselberg, as brought by Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg;
  • Bragg's New York state criminal investigation into bank, tax and insurance fraud by Trump himself, as seemingly abandoned earlier this year, but which could be revived following the trial against his company;
  • The $250 million New York state civil lawsuit for bank, tax and insurance fraud against Trump, his company, and his three oldest kids, Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka, filed by NY A.G. Letitia James, which Gill sees as extraordinarily damaging to Trump;
  • The Georgia Special Grand Jury probe, as brought by Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis, of the Trump-led criminal conspiracy to convince state officials to steal the 2020 Presidential election on his behalf;
  • The Dept. of Justice's federal probe of thousands of pages of classified documents stolen from the White House by Trump upon leaving office, in apparent violation of the Espionage Act, Presidential Records Act and obstruction of justice;
  • The DoJ's federal probe of the Trump-incited January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and his other many failed attempts to steal the 2020 Presidential election, including via a fake electors plot.

Add to those, Trump's failure to show up for his deposition this week in response to a lawful subpoena.from the the bipartisan U.S. House Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection. (Trump's former advisor Steve Bannon was recently sentenced to two months in prison for Contempt of Congress for failing to answer similar subpoenas from the Committee.)

"Don't forget," Gill adds today, "his Save America PAC is under federal criminal investigation. His Truth Social [companies] are under FINRA, FEC, and federal criminal investigation. He is facing a lot --- a lot --- of legal problems. We've got the E. Jean Carroll case, the Mary Trump case, the Hillary sanctions, the Michigan sanctions. He's in a lot of trouble from a lot of things. We're going to just have to see who drops the hammer first."

"If we just look at the Watergate timeline," she posits, regarding the sprawling January 6 investigation, "we won't see indictments until April 2023. And this is far more complex [than Watergate]. So it's going to be interesting to see how the timing plays out. Or whether maybe Garland says, 'Hey, Fani Willis, you take the fraudulent electors stuff, I'll take the documents stuff.'" That, she explains, would have the advantage of potentially convicting Trump under state law for which he can't be pardoned by a future President (or even by a Georgia Governor, since they are not granted state pardon power.)

Gill does believe --- in fact, she is "very, very certain" --- that Trump will be indicted in at least one of the federal cases we discuss today. Tune in to find out which one!

Finally today, Desi Doyen's got our latest Green News Report, as the COP27 U.N. climate conference in Egypt nears crunch time this weekend; Trump offers well-worn climate lies at his 2024 announcement; and some good energy related news to close out today's program...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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