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Latest Featured Reports | Thursday, April 18, 2024
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...
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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...

Guest: Univ. of KY election law prof Joshua A. Douglas; Also: Listeners respond after yesterday's call-in show on Russia's war on Ukraine...
By Brad Friedman on 2/28/2023 6:48pm PT  

It's always darling when Republicans pretend to oppose "activist judges" who "legislate from the bench." As discussed on today's BradCast, the new Republican majority on North Carolina's Supreme Court is now showing how it's done! [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

We have been warning for some months about the Moore v. Harper case recently heard at the U.S. Supreme Court. The corrupt, stolen and packed far-right Court majority's opinion could finally establish the legitimacy a once-fringe, still-ridiculous Constitutional concept called the Independent State Legislature theory. According to the theory suddenly being pushed hard by Republicans, State Legislatures --- and only State Legislatures (not Governors, Secretaries of State, State Courts, State Constitutions nor even ballot initiatives adopted by voters) --- may create election rules and laws in each state. If a SCOTUS majority agrees with this radical, previously-obscure reading of the Constitution, decades, even centuries, of American election law could be tossed out the window. The theory even holds, according to critics, that state legislatures would simply be able to choose whichever slate of Presidential electors they like, no matter who the state's voters may have chosen.

Moore v. Harper is actually a partisan gerrymandering case out of North Carolina, where its State Supreme Court last year found the new Congressional and legislative maps drawn by the NC Republican legislature to be in violation of the state's Constitution which, they determined, prohibits partisan gerrymandering. In last November's elections, however, two Republicans won their elections for the state's high court, flipping it from a 4 to 3 Dem-leaning majority to a 5 to 2 Republican court.

After the new, rightwing majority was seated last month, they decided to rehear the Moore v. Harper case despite, as the two dissenting Democratic Justices decried, the fact that doing so would be a "radical break with 205 years of history" and that "Nothing has changed since we rendered our opinion in this case" last year.

"The only thing that has changed is the political composition of the Court," wrote Justice Anita Earls. "Now, approximately one month since this shift, the Court has taken an extraordinary action: It is allowing rehearing without justification." Earls called the decision "an affront to the jurisprudence of this State and to the citizens it has sworn an oath to serve ‘impartially,’ ‘without favoritism to anyone or to the State.’"

In addition, the new rightwing state Justices in NC also decided to rehear the challenge to the GOP legislature's Photo ID voting restrictions which the 4 to 3 Democratic majority, just two months ago, struck down, after finding it to have been adopted with a discriminatory purpose to make it harder for minorities to vote, a violation of the state Constitution.

"This is essentially a brazen power grab by the new majority," our guest today, JOSHUA A. DOUGLAS, author and election law professor at the University of Kentucky explains. "To put this power grab in context," he recently wrote at Washington Monthly, "in the past 30 years, the North Carolina Supreme Court had agreed to rehear only two cases out of the 214 requests it had received. ... The court has now doubled the number of rehearing grants in just one reckless day."

"It's unusual for any court to act this quickly and this brazenly," Douglas tells me. "This really is unprecedented for the North Carolina court, but, as far as I'm aware of, courts in general." He goes on to describe the court's behavior as "dangerous", "blatantly partisan", and "politics all the way down."

"This is why it's dangerous to have elected judges with a party label," he argues. "Everyone knows what's going on here. Everyone knows that the court was 4-3 in favor of Democrats, its 5-2 in favor of Republicans now, because Republicans won two of those seats."

"This idea of precedent, that the law builds upon, is being thrown out when we just think of judges as politicians in robes, explicitly. Even if people had thought this was going on before, I think judges themselves felt a little bit cabined by this idea that they're not just politicians in robes and political activists. But that idea is now thrown out the window."

So, what does this now mean for the version of Moore v. Harper currently at the Supreme Court, where it has already been heard? Will it be mooted out by a new decision in NC or will an opinion be issued on the Independent State Legislature theory anyway? If not, Republicans will almost certainly find another case to place the wacko ISL theory before the court. But a new case, Douglas warns, would likely result in a SCOTUS opinion issued smack dab in the middle of the 2024 election cycle, potentially unleashing complete chaos in the bargain.

NEXT UP TODAY, we heard from a lot of listeners following yesterday's call-in program in which I opened up the phone lines primarily to those who disagreed with my position that the U.S. should continue to support sovereign Ukraine's self-defense against Russia, its imperialist aggressor neighbor whose brutal, unlawful invasion began just over one year ago. Democracy v. autocracy is at stake, as I argued yesterday, despite Vladimir Putin's repeated threats to unleash nuclear weapons. We had a number of callers --- sadly, presumably from the Left --- who have been wildly misinformed and disinformed by a number of media outlets that have, for years, been pushing Kremlin propaganda (sometimes knowingly, sometimes not.)

That said, after yesterday's show, I received a ton of comments --- probably 8, 9, or 10 to 1 --- in favor of my position against the bulk of our callers. To be fair, I had invited and prioritized those who disagreed with my position, in hopes of an enlightening discussion/debate on the issues. But, so as to not give the entirely wrong impression of our overall listeners, I thought it helpful to share some of the comments in response to yesterday's show --- the majority of which were supportive of my position on Ukraine --- on air today.

FINALLY, we're joined by Desi Doyen for our latest Green News Report, as "bizarro" weather continues across much of the nation now that we've broken the climate; and as Republicans amusingly begin to discover --- in light of the toxic chemical train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio which Fox "News" has instructed them to be furious about --- that hey, regulations actually protect the public against this sort of thing! Who knew?...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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By Desi Doyen on 2/28/2023 9:35am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Weather whiplash across the U.S. as winter gets warmer and weirder; Rising concerns about the long-term impact of the Ohio chemical train derailment; Lack of snow in Europe deepens historic drought; PLUS: Fox News discovers that regulations protect the public... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Scientists want near moratorium on geoengineering to cool climate — for now; Extreme heat is a health crisis, experts say; US 2022 power plant emissions fell on switch from coal to gas; All fish tested from Michigan rivers contain 'forever chemicals'; How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2022; Despite 1996 law, EPA still hasn't tested pesticides for hormone impacts; Plastic consumption on course to nearly double by 2050 ... PLUS: As fatal fungus takes its toll, can we save frog species on the brink? ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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It's not just folks on the Right who are being disinformed about the battle of democracy v. autocracy in Ukraine...
By Brad Friedman on 2/27/2023 6:11pm PT  

Sadly, it's not only folks on the Right who are all too easily played by disinformation, particularly after years of Russian propaganda that has been all too credulously repeated by some media outlets on the far-Left. That may become clear on today's lively, largely caller-based BradCast. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

Last week marked the one-year anniversary of Russia's horrific, imperialistic invasion of its sovereign neighbor, Ukraine. Some on the Right have begun to call for an end to U.S. financial and military support for Ukraine's self-defense, despite the ominous, all-too-familiar echoes of a new battle for democracy v. autocracy in Europe. At the same time, many in what used to be known as the anti-war movement on the Left have similarly fallen for Kremlin propaganda, thanks to a years-long effort by Moscow to sow disinformation through state-funded media programming and other methods.

One of the most effective arguments fostered by Putin and friends is that if the U.S. and Europe continue to support Ukraine amid Russia's invasion, it could devolve into a nuclear World War III. We discussed that matter specifically last week on The BradCast, with longtime nuclear weapons policy analyst, Stephen Schwartz, former Executive Editor and Publisher of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (proprietors of the notorious "Doomsday Clock" and opponents of nuclear weapons.) Schwartz noted --- as we share in a brief clip today from last week's program --- that, even amid the dangers of the Cold War, there was never a time when the U.S. turned a blind eye to an adversary, simply because they were armed with nukes.

As he told me last week...

STEPHEN SCHWARTZ: We have this bizarre and completely novel situation now in the nuclear age where you have one state fighting an illegal war --- and a very destructive war --- against another state, and then threatening other states implicitly and explicitly with its nuclear arsenal, if they intervene beyond a certain level.

So, the way I see it --- and I'm no big fan of war, at all --- is that if we listen to Putin and say, 'Okay, you're right. We can't risk nuclear war, so we're gonna stand back and let you carve up Ukraine however you want. And, hey, if you want to take Belarus and Moldova, who are we to stop you?' I think that would be a terrible terrible precedent for the rest of the world. Not only with regard to what Russia might do in the future, but other countries that have nuclear weapons or might want them and have leaders that have authoritarian ambitions for power and territorial gain who might say, 'Hey there's something to this nuclear threat-making! We should do that.'
...
Even during the Cold War, when we and the Soviet Union back then had many thousands more nuclear weapons than they do now --- certainly there were problems like the Cuban Missile Crisis, the closest we ever came to nuclear war, and other incidents --- but we did not sit back and say, 'Okay, you've got nuclear weapons, we are not going to get involved with you in any way, shape or form.' We didn't say, "Okay, we can't do anything because you might annihilate us.'

We need to show that nuclear weapons are fundamentally useless, not just for prosecuting war, but also for blackmail. Because otherwise the future world that we're gonna live in, brought to you by nuclear coercion, is gonna be far worse than anything we dealt with during the Cold War.

Schwartz' argument is a compelling one, of course, from someone who has watched the U.S. and Russia closely for decades now. But it is one that, apparently, fails to convince many of our listeners who have been steeped, for too many years, in anti-American (versus anti-war) Russian propaganda.

That becomes clear once again as we open the phones up to callers here at KPFK in our live Southern California listening area, particularly to those who may disagree with my belief that we need to continue supporting the battle for democracy in Europe, before the rise of Russian autocracy moves even farther beyond it's own borders. (Just last week, as discussed today as well, documents purportedly from the Kremlin were leaked, detailing Moscow's plan to take full control over neighboring Belarus within this decade.)

My opposition to war has not changed for decades. I stand in stark opposition to wars of aggression by imperialistic countries against sovereign nations. I opposed the U.S. war on Iraq for that reason, and I oppose Russia's war on Ukraine for the same reason.

But, in opening up the phone lines today, specifically, to folks who disagree with me...well, you'll decide who has this argument right, me or them. It leads to a number of very lively conversations/debates. As usual, I welcome your thoughts in response to today's show in the comments below or via email...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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By PDiddie on 2/26/2023 6:26am PT  

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...He also lied about it while running for U.S. Senate; Also: Other Trump liars and losers keep lying and losing; Biden support rising; More...
By Brad Friedman on 2/23/2023 6:50pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: It's truly remarkable that the former President's Republican supporters keep lying on his behalf, despite losing elections and more in the bargain. They continue to pay an extraordinary price, even as they continue to lie and lose in the process. They'll figure this out eventually, right? [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

Among the stories covered on today's program (after a thought or two on this weekend's coast-to-coast climate chaos, including an incredibly rare blizzard warning here in Los Angeles!)...

  • New polling finds Joe Biden's approval ratings have been quietly, but steadily rising over the past several months. Donald Trump's are hitting new lows among his own party faithful.
  • Arizona's former Republican Attorney General, Mark Brnovich, knew there was no evidence of fraud in the 2020 Presidential election, but he kept that finding a secret while lying about it during his unsuccessful run for the 2022 GOP U.S. Senate nomination. According to documents released by Kris Mayes, Arizona's new Democratic A.G., even after the failed Cyber Ninjas "audit" of the 2020 Presidential election confirmed Biden's victory over Trump in the state, Brnovich directed "all hands" in the A.G.'s office to investigate claims of election fraud. Some 10,000 taxpayer-funded hours were spent with no evidence of a stolen election to show for it. But, while the state probe was all but completed by March of 2022, Brnovich pulled a "Bill Barr" by releasing a memo falsely claiming the office had found "serious vulnerabilities", even after his own investigators specifically refuted the assertions in the memo. He ignored them.

    The actual findings of the expensive state investigation, though completed, were never released before he was replaced by Mayes in January. Despite his hard work at lying for Trump, he lost the U.S. Senate primary anyway to Blake Masters, who lied even harder for the disgraced former President. Masters then went on to lose the general election to Democrat Mark Kelly.

    As the Washington Post's exclusive notes, Brnovich and Masters were hardly the only ones who lied about 2020 fraud in AZ before then going on to lose their elections last year. GOP Sec. of State candidate Mark Finchem lost to Democrat Adrian Fontes. Finchem, previously a state Rep, repeatedly claimed a "source" had told him that 30,000 votes were stuffed into ballot boxes before admitting privately to Brnovich's investigators "he did not have any evidence of fraud and that he did not wish to take up our time." It's one thing to lie to GOP voters. They have come to expect that by now. But its unlawful to lie to state law enforcement officials, as Finchem and other officials who also clammed up before actual investigators, clearly knew.

  • AZ's GOP candidate for Governor, Kari Lake, also lied about 2020 fraud before going on to lose her 2022 race to Democrat Katie Hobbs. And Lake is still lying and losing in her challenge to last year's election. First, she lost in court in December when a state judge dismissed her demand for a new election finding "no basis justified settings aside the election results." She lost again last week at the appeals court which determined "Lake's only purported evidence...was, quite simply, sheer speculation." After her second loss, loser Lake tweeted out, along with a fundraising link: "BREAKING: I told you we would take this case all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court, and that’s exactly what we are going to do. Buckle up, America!" (Please hold your laughter until the end.)
  • Despite all of the lies and losses, the Republican National Committee is now planning to increase their lies based on false 2020 election fraud claims in advance of 2024. Why not? It's worked so well until now! In the meantime, it was reported on Wednesday that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were subpoenaed to testify before the federal grand jury investigating the January 6 insurrection and related matters. And today, a federal court judge said Trump himself can now be deposed in lawsuits filed by former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page who charge he unlawfully targeted them for retribution during the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  • And then there is long time liar and loser Steve Bannon, one of Trump's several criminal 2016 campaign managers, who later went on to be fired as a White House political advisor. Bannon was recently sentenced to four months in prison for Contempt of Congress after refusing to testify in response to a subpoena from the House January 6 Committee. Still out of prison pending appeal, Bannon's legal problems have only gotten much worse since his conviction. New York state has indicted him for money laundering, scheming to defraud, and conspiracy. And today we learned that last week his own lawyers sued him for failure to pay nearly half a million dollars in legal fees! (Okay, now you can go ahead and laugh.)
  • Then there's longtime GOP political operative Jesse Benton, who has worked for Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Trump and many others over the years. He was pardoned by Trump after being found guilty of bribing an official for an endorsement of Ron Paul during the 2012 GOP Iowa Caucus. Last week, Benton was sentenced to 18 months in prison for an entirely separate felony related to accepting $100,000 from a Russian national who wanted a photo with Trump during the 2016 election.
  • Finally today, we move on to our latest Green News Report with Desi Doyen, as Republicans continue to pretend to be concerned about the toxic chemical train derailment in Ohio several weeks ago. It's all quite pathetically amusing to watch, as Trump turned the poisoned rural town of East Palestine into a 2024 campaign stop this week and Fox "News" boneheads like Brian Kilmeade actually begin to demand regulations of the rail industry! Not unlike the regulations that the Obama Administration had put in place years ago, before the Trump Administration subsequently rolled them all back.

Liars and losers gonna keep lying and losing...

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By Desi Doyen on 2/23/2023 10:25am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: EPA takes control of toxic Ohio train derailment disaster, three weeks later; Rightwing media tries to weaponize Ohio disaster into culture war fodder; PLUS: Surprise! The oil and gas industry has failed to cut climate-warming methane emissions as promised... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Homes in flood zones are overvalued by billions, study finds; Massive coal train derails in Nebraska; Marine commission: Whale deaths not linked to wind prep work; Feds slash Gulf's first wind farm areas to make room for drilling, shipping, fishing; Bird flu kills sea lions and thousands of pelican's in Peru's protected areas; 'Climate-friendly' biofuel is not actually a biofuel, and comes with an astronomical cancer risk; Climate change is making winter weather warmer and "weirder"; Attacks surge on U.S. power grid ... PLUS: The Right has it in for 'woke' investors. The only problem? They don't exist... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Guest: Nuclear weapons policy analyst Stephen Schwartz; Also: Dems outperform in NH, VA, KY special elections, set table to retake Supreme Court majority in WI...
By Brad Friedman on 2/22/2023 6:54pm PT  

Today on The BradCast: It was a good day for democracy in the U.S. yesterday, in our continuing battle against the rise of autocracy here at home. The news overseas on that same score, however, thanks to Russia's criminal, autocratic leader, remains significantly dicier. [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

FIRST UP TODAY: It was the first big Special Election night of 2023 in the U.S. on Tuesday. As we saw in advance of last year's 2022 midterms --- when Republicans ignored the evidence before their eyes to hoax themselves into believing a "red wave" was coming (which never did) --- Democrats are once again outperforming expectations in Special Elections around the nation.

We've got results, some of them quite stunning, out of marquee races yesterday in New Hampshire for state House, Virginia for the U.S. House, and in Kentucky for State Senate. In each, Democrats radically outperformed both expectations and history, often by 10 or more points.

But, the most critical race of the night may have been the primary election in Wisconsin, where a vacant swing-seat on the state Supreme Court may finally flip the majority to progressives in the upcoming April 4 general election after years of control by rightwingers. Tuesday's open primary featured two progressives and two so-called conservatives, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general. Progressive Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz easily bested the competition with some 46% of the vote. The two rightwingers, former Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly and Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow, came in a tight second and third place, with 24% and 22% each, respectively, followed by progressive Dane County Judge Everett Mitchell with 7%.

That means Protasiewicz and Kelly, state Democrats' preferred competition, will square off on April 4. Kelly is a radical, rightwing extremist, election denier, marriage equality opponent, and paid RNC consultant who helped organize Donald Trump's fake 2020 electors scheme in the state. He also lost a previous Supreme Court race in the closely divided swing-state by a whopping 10 points in 2020. In a state where Dems now hold almost every statewide executive position, Republicans are forced to cling to majorities in the state legislature thanks to wildly gerrymandered districts. A progressive majority on the bench, therefore, is expected to be critical over the next few years regarding abortion rights, gun safety, gerrymandering and much more, including voting rights in advance of the 2024 Presidential election.

If voters turnout and vote in April as they did last night, Protasiewicz would defeat Kelly by about 7 points. Of course, its Wisconsin, so I'd be careful about counting chickens before counting ballots just over one month from now.

NEXT UP: Russian President Vladimir Putin's nuclear saber rattling continued on Tuesday during his state of the nation speech. The autocrat announced a unilateral suspension of participation in New START, the last remaining arms control treaty between the U.S. and Russia.

There is a great deal to unpack in all of this, including what Obama-era New START was supposed to do; how the U.S., under Donald Trump, also pulled out unilaterally from a different pact (the Reagan/Gorbachev-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces or INF Treaty); what "suspension" of New START actually means; and how the announcement appears to be yet another desperate attempt by Putin to coerce his way into somehow winning a war of aggression that he appears to be losing in Ukraine, as Russia's unlawful invasion sees its one-year anniversary this week.

To help with all of that today, we're joined by longtime nuclear weapons policy analyst STEPHEN SCHWARTZ who formerly served as Executive Director and Publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. They are the groups who control the notorious "Doomsday Clock". Schwartz, who tweets as @AtomicAnalyst, is also the author of Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940.

"There is no provision in the [New START] treaty for 'suspending' the treaty. You're either in it or not," explains Schwartz. "The suspension is, I guess, a wily way for Putin to get what he wants. Which is, I think, frankly, just an extension of what he's been doing over the last year. This is a nuclear threat by another name."

"It's an effort to frighten the public in the United States, NATO, and Ukraine, into letting let him basically blackmail those countries into letting him do whatever he wants with Ukraine. So he's got this bludgeon --- and it's really the only tool that he has right now --- and he's waving it around until his demands are satisfied."

It doesn't appear to be working. President Joe Biden spoke in Poland yesterday, following a surprise appearance with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Monday. "We’re seeing again today what the people of Poland and the people all across Europe saw for decades: Appetites of the autocrat cannot be appeased," declared Biden to cheers in Warsaw. "They must be opposed."

While taking Putin seriously, Schwartz also sees a larger principle at stake. "The way I see it, and I'm no big fan of war at all, is if we just listen to Putin and say 'You're right, we can't risk nuclear war so we're going to stand back and let you carve up Ukraine however you want. And, hey, if you want to take Belarus and Moldova, who are we to stop you?,' I think that would be a terrible precedent for the rest of the world. Not only with regard to what Russia might do in the future, but other countries that have nuclear weapons or might want them."

"The Biden Administration and NATO have been very careful. If you look at every time Putin has done one of these things, the United States doesn't dismiss it and doesn't panic. They walk down the middle and I think that is the right approach here. We need to show that nuclear weapons are fundamentally useless, not just for prosecuting a war, but also for blackmail."

"We need to isolate Putin in this regard," argues Schwartz. "Otherwise, the future world that we're going to live in, brought to you by nuclear coercion, is going to be far worse than anything we dealt with during the Cold War."

Among the many related matters Schwartz speaks to today: Russia's violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, in which Ukraine was guaranteed security and sovereignty after the fall of the Soviet Union in exchange for turning over all nuclear weapons to Russia; The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' recent move of the Doomsday Clock to "90 Seconds to Midnight," the closest it has ever been to proverbial "Midnight". Is the world really closer to "Doomsday" now than it was at the height of the Cold War? We discuss all of that and much more on today's very informative program...

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Guest: Angelo Carusone of Media Matters; Also: GA Special Grand Jury forewoman hints at coming indictments; O'Keefe out at Project Veritas after 'bullying', 'financial malfeasance'...
By Brad Friedman on 2/21/2023 6:37pm PT  

"Industrial-scale defamation is not free speech," our guest on today's BradCast insists, as very real accountability for many liars and scoundrels and fake news con-artists on the Right gets closer with each passing day. [Audio link to full show follows this summary.]

FIRST: The forewoman of the Special Grand Jury in Georgia which recently completed its work in Fulton County, suggests multiple people have been recommended to District Attorney Fani Willis for indictment. "It is not a short list," teases Emily Kohrs about who her panel suggested to Willis should be charged in the investigation of the attempt to steal the 2020 Presidential election in the Peach State by Donald Trump and his top supporters. While Kohrs did not offer specific names, she did say, "you're not going to be shocked. It's not rocket science," before offering other somewhat cryptic --- if tantalizing --- hints.

NEXT: More accountability for right-wing liars. In this case, James O'Keefe, the Republican activist and scam-artist who initially made his name in 2010 by releasing deceptively edited videos which falsely suggested he dressed up as a 70s-era Blaxploitation pimp to walk into ACORN offices for advice on sex trafficking and how to avoid taxes. In fact, he never dressed as a pimp in those office, and never received any such advice. (See our full Special Coverage here.) Years --- and millions of dollars of dark-money later --- O'Keefe is now reportedly out at Project Veritas, his own ironically-named fake news and entrapment organization. Its Board of Directors detailed "financial malfeasance" by O'Keefe, and claims that he bullied staffers. Yes, the scammer who bilked Rightwingers out of millions, using hidden video "stings" to pretend to be a journalist uncovering "waste, fraud and corruption" on the Left, is seemingly undone by his own waste, fraud and corruption. Go figure.

THEN: We're joined by ANGELO CARUSONE, President and CEO of media watchdog Media Matters for America, to discuss Dominion Voting's $1.6 billion defamation suit against Fox "News", after the network's executives, hosts and guests repeatedly offered massive lies to their audience about election fraud following the 2020 Presidential election.

Of course, like us, Carusone has been watching Fox lie on air for years now. So, is there something different this time around? Carusone explains why he believes the revelations from hundreds of insider texts, emails and depositions in Dominion's redacted 192-page brief [PDF], released last week in its motion for summary judgement against Fox, is seemingly very different from the lies that Fox has been caught telling in the past.

We discuss how "for so long the commercial media enabled Fox," allowing it to be regarded as an actual news organization, when it is not. Non-Rightwing corporate media outfits "actually enabled Fox News in a way, by treating them as anything other than the partisan political operation that we all know they are." Carusone argues that what is revealed in the Dominion brief "is so incontrovertible that even the enablers can't engage in the type of enabling --- or even just silence --- that they previously had for too long."

We discuss the "hypocrisy" of Fox' First Amendment defense and their claims that Dominion has "cherry-picked quotes stripped of key context," given that cherry-picking out of context quotes is actually the Fox 'News' business model!

We discuss what the hell happened to formerly respectable --- before joining Fox --- financial news reporters like Maria Bartiromo and Lou Dobbs, who seemed to lead the coverage of phony 2020 fraud claims at the network by featuring Trump's loony attorneys like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani as guests, despite the fact that they had offered less than zero evidence in support of outrageous claims that Dominion's voting systems flipped millions of votes to steal the election for Joe Biden from Trump.

And, perhaps most crucially, we discuss what may happen if Fox loses this one, and how a judgement of $1.6 billion may be the least of the company's problems. "It's not just going to end at the $1.6 billion," says Carusone, "because what ends up happening is that shareholders themselves then begin to sue for breach of fiduciary duty. Because it's very apparent that the Murdochs made misrepresentations about the nature of this litigation for quite some time." While losing the case means losing a lot of money, Carusone argues, "it will set them up for additional litigation that will compound the problem. They won't be able to sustain that from a financial perspective. It puts control of the company in jeopardy."

Additionally, he explains, it will weaken their position with cable companies, from whom Fox currently receive the bulk of its revenue, particularly as advertisers have fled their toxic air to the point where MyPillow guy, Mike Lindell, is now their single largest client. "It's sort of like a Jenga puzzle," Carusone tells me. "Pulling one block is not going to topple it down, but it's certainly going to make it a lot more vulnerable to toppling. And this one is a pretty key part of that piece --- just the tiniest little breeze will probably knock the rest of it over."

FINALLY: We're joined by Desi Doyen for our 14th ANNIVERSARY Green News Report! Yes, we are now officially in our 15th year of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting the global climate crisis dots over your public airwaves! All thanks, by the way, only to the support of listeners like you!...

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GNR's 14th ANNIVERSARY EPISODE!
By Desi Doyen on 2/21/2023 9:56am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Rising seas set to displace nearly a billion people in coming decades, U.N. warns; Ice coverage on the Great Lakes hits record low; PLUS: Biden EPA restores limits on toxic mercury pollution rolled back by Trump... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Madagascar, Mozambique brace for 'dangerous' Cyclone Freddy; 'No Excuse': IEA tells fossil fuel industry as methane emissions rise; Another whale found dead in NY with signs of vessel strike; Groups call on Sec. Buttigieg to restore Obama-era train brake rule; FERC approves power plant rules to fight extreme weather; Weather Whiplash: How climate change killed thousands of migratory birds ... PLUS: How Russia’s war shattered global energy routes... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Also: Computer tabulators declared losing candidates to be winners in at least two states in the November, 2022 mid-terms...
By Brad Friedman on 2/20/2023 6:22pm PT  

Yes, it's possible that two seemingly conflicting things can be true at once. On today's BradCast we report on two different cases where that is true, regarding Russia's war on Ukraine and Dominion Voting Systems' defamation case against Fox "News". [Audio link to full show is posted below this summary.]

First up today, on Presidents' Day, Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Ukraine to meet with its President Volodymyr Zelenskyy just days before the first anniversary of Russia's horrific invasion of its sovereign neighbor. It was also just days after Vice President Kamala Harris declared at the Munich Security Conference over the weekend that the U.S. believes Russia has committed "crimes against humanity" in their unlawful invasion.

In his remarks, President Biden described "a brutal and unjust war," as air raid sirens were heard during his visit to the Ukrainian capital. "One year later, Kyiv stands," said Biden after meeting with Zelenskyy at Mariinsky Palace. "And Ukraine stands. Democracy stands. The Americans stand with you, and the world stands with you." As we discuss, yes, it's possible to understand various diplomatic missteps taken by the U.S. and NATO in Eastern Europe following the fall of the Soviet Union, while still being able to hold the correct party accountable --- in this case, Russia --- for unjustifiable and continuing atrocities.

As yet another war in defense of democracy rages in Europe against a tyrannical autocracy, a decades-long champion of democracy in the U.S. and across the world is now in his final hours. On Saturday, the Carter Center in Atlanta announced that "After a series of short hospital stays," 98-year old former President Jimmy Carter has "decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care instead of additional medical intervention."

We share some thoughts today on the legacy of our 39th President, including some of his comments last year on the first anniversary of the Donald Trump-incited Republican attempt to overthrow the U.S. Government on January 6, 2021. "One year on, promoters of the lie that the election was stolen have taken over one political party and stoked distrust in our electoral systems," Carter wrote at New York Times. "These forces exert power and influence through relentless disinformation, which continues to turn Americans against Americans."

The "relentless disinformation" of Fox "News" has been on full display for the past several days, following last week's redacted unsealing of Dominion Voting Systems' 192-page motion [PDF] seeking summary judgment in its $1.6 billion defamation suit against the right-wing fake news outlet. As the striking filing reveals in detail, Fox hosts and executives alike knew they were broadcasting fake, evidence-free claims of election fraud by Trump and his supporters following the 2020 election. They didn't much care. Instead, they feared losing viewers and chose to put company profits above both truth and the health of American democracy.

Dominion may prevail in this case. We hope they do. Even as we have been no friend to the company or any of the other oft-failed, private computer voting and tabulation firms over the past 20 years. In fact, some of the news misreported by Fox and Trump's supporters like Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani was taken directly from some of our accurate, exclusive reporting from years ago. But, again, two seemingly conflicting things can be true at once. Fox lied about election fraud and should be held accountable for that, and Dominion and other voting system vendors have repeatedly failed in American elections.

By way of fresh evidence to support that charge, we close with details on voting system failures in both New Jersey and California in November of 2022. In both cases, the systems ended up naming candidates who actually lost to be the winners and vice versa. In Monmouth County, NJ, the ES&S voting tabulators allowed duplicate votes to be uploaded to it twice. It wasn't discovered until last month. In Alameda County, CA, the tabulators were programmed incorrectly to do the impossible math of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) elections in the Bay area. It was discovered in late December last year by a pro-RCV organization who happened to run the math on their own computers and discovered the error.

In both cases, the errors were discovered after losing candidates were certified as winners. How many places did that happen but wasn't ever discovered, because human beings rarely bother to count ballots to make sure the computers did so accurately. This is what comes of outsourcing public elections to private companies and running elections on computer systems that are virtually impossible to oversee by the American public.

Many more details --- and callers --- on all of the above on today's program!...

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Explaining the bumpy and uncertain legal path toward protecting --- or ending --- a critical reproductive freedom in all 50 states
UPDATED 4/8/23: Conflicting preliminary injunctions issued by federal courts in WA & TX; 4/11/23 FDA seeks emergency appellate stay of TX case ruling...
By Ernest A. Canning on 2/20/2023 9:35am PT  

The nationwide right to terminate a pregnancy with medication is now at stake in three pending federal lawsuits. One, in Texas, has been filed by abortion opponents. Another has been filed in West Virginia by a manufacturer of one of the drugs used to terminate a pregnancy, after state lawmakers have attempted to ban its use in the state. The third is a complaint from a physician in North Carolina where her ability to prescribe the drug may now be in peril.

The outcome of these three cases may ultimately succeed in protecting nationwide access to abortion rights even in states where Republican lawmakers have attempted to ban all such freedoms.

That said, while unlikely, it's also possible that one of these three cases could result in the elimination of the right to medical abortion in all 50 states...

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By PDiddie on 2/19/2023 6:48am PT  

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Guest: Attorney, legal columnist Keith Barber; Also: Why do Rightwingers suddenly give a damn about OH's toxic chemical train derailment?...
By Brad Friedman on 2/16/2023 6:21pm PT  

We didn't learn much. But we learned a little. And the evidence, as discussed on today's BradCast, suggests there is much more to come. [Audio link to full report follows this summary.]

On Monday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ordered the partial release of the final report by the Special Purpose Grand Jury convened by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis last year. She is probing whether or not Donald Trump and his allies unlawfully pressured Georgia officials to change the 2020 Presidential election results to declare him the winner, despite his having lost to Joe Biden by about 12,000 votes.

Today, about five pages from that report were released, including its introduction, conclusion, and one section finding that "A majority of the grand jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it."

After hearing "evidence from or involving 75 witnesses during the course" of their investigation, the 26-member panel (including three alternates) went on to recommend "the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling." They also determined "by a unanimous vote that no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election."

The portions of their report released on Thursday did not include any specific names, however, out of concern by both Willis and McBurney, of "fairness" to any potential future defendants. During the hearing on whether to release the report partially, in full, or at all, back on January 24, Willis asked McBurney to temporarily withhold the report "in the interest of justice and the rights of, not the state, but others," as she explained that charging "decisions are imminent."

Based on court documents, witness statements and other information, the Special Grand Jury, which completed its work in December, was believed to be examining phone calls made by Trump and others to Georgia officials, such as the notorious one from January 2, 2021, in which Trump was famously heard threatened the state's Secretary of State and instructed him to "find" enough votes to flip the election from Biden to himself; the state's 16 fake Republican electors who falsely declared themselves "duly elected and qualified"; false allegations of fraud presented to state lawmakers by Rudy Giuliani and others; Attempts to pressure election workers into falsely confessing to fraud; and the unlawful, secret duplication of voting system software by GOP operatives in rural Coffee County, among other things.

We're joined today for insight and analysis by KEITH BARBER, attorney and legal commentator formerly known as "KeithDB" at Daily Kos, who now writes at Medium. He explains that it was actually remarks from Judge McBurney on Monday, when ordering the partial release of the Special Grand Jury report, that leads him to believe the panel's full report recommends indictment of our disgraced former President.

"The biggest hint that it likely includes Trump is in the judge's decision ordering the release. In that decision," Barber explains, "the judge expressed special concern for the due process rights of potential defendants who did nothave an opportunity to testify before the grand jury. And, as we know, a whole lot of people testified, including Rudy Giuliani, Lindsey Graham, and many more. The one who did not have an opportunity to testify, who was never asked to, is Donald Trump."

In fact, as Washington Post observes, "At least 18 people have been notified that they are targets of the election interference investigation, according to court documents and statements from their attorneys." Giuliani has said he is one of them. The 16 fake electors were reportedly told the same. Who might the 18th be? Well, while Trump's legal team in Georgia stated that their client was never invited to testify, they refused to comment when asked if he'd been given notice by Willis that he's a target.

Another curious point we also discuss is that, despite Judge McBurney describing the full report as including "a roster of who should (or should not) be indicted, and for what, in relation to the conduct (and aftermath) of the 2020 general election in Georgia," the report's conclusion is on a page that is numbered as "9". Barber observes that a separate Special Grand Jury Report from 2012 [PDF], out of the state's DeKalb County, recommended charges for just one person. But that report was 83 pages in length. What does that mean? We discuss.

One potential explanation for the apparently short report from Fulton County, as I note, is that those that the Grand Jury recommendations for indictment may be listed in an Appendix to their report, which may come on pages numbered after the report's "conclusion" section.

We read those tea leaves and many others today, including why Willis' "imminent" charging decisions may be taking a while to become indictments. We also discuss the delightfully fascinating data point that Georgia's state Constitution bars the Governor (currently, Republican Brian Kemp) from issuing pardons. Only a state commission appointed by the Governor may do so, but only after the perpetrator in question has completed their sentence. Given that Willis may be working toward invoking the state's expansive racketeering statutes in this case --- which can add many years to state sentences when defendants are found to have participated in a conspiracy --- that could result in very long, unpardonable prison sentences for Trump, Giuliani, the fake electors (which included both GA's current Lt. Governor and the state's Republican Party chair) among others.

Also today, Desi Doyen joins us for our latest Green News Report on back-to-back disasters in New Zealand; more bad news for Antarctica's melting glaciers; and the bizarre flip of a switch that seems to have happened on Fox 'News' and (naturally) among Republicans regarding the horrific toxic chemical train derailment and explosion that happened about two weeks ago in East Palestine, Ohio.

Suddenly, they care about the health of nearby residents? The lack of regulations for the rail industry? (Which Trump rolled back after new rail safety rules were enacted by Obama, by the way.) They suddenly give a damn about the EPA not acting aggressively enough? Really? Well, not really, as we discuss before finishing off today with a few wise words on all of this from Trae Crowder, the Tennessee-born political comedian known as "the liberal redneck"...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/16/2023 9:47am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Back-to-back extreme weather disasters trigger national state of emergency in New Zealand; New studies find global warming is melting Antarctica's ice; PLUS: Growing concerns about safety for residents in aftermath of Ohio chemical train derailment...Even on Fox 'News'?!... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): World Bank president, dogged by climate questions, steps down early; truck carrying hazardous nitric acid overturned on an Arizona highway, prompting evacuations of the area; Twice as much land in developing nations will be swamped by rising seas than previously projected, new research shows; Major US railroad merger could bring more tar sands to south-east Texas; Greens and tribes say proposed venting and flaring rule falls short; Tesla opens its EV charging network to the masses ... PLUS: Mono Lake tribe asserts water rights, urges halt of water diversions to Los Angeles... and much, MUCH more! ...

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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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