Guest: John Nichols of 'The Nation'; Also: Jack Smith takes Jan. 6 case to SCOTUS; Trump chickens out in NY fraud trial; Rudy's defamation trial on damages begins...
By Brad Friedman on 12/11/2023, 6:21pm PT  

Today on 'The BradCast: Lots of accountability under way for Trump and henchmen. And, also...for progressive author and journalist John Nichols?! [Audio link to full show follows below this summary.]

FIRST UP: Donald Trump's best, if not only, chance of avoiding a verdict (and potential felony conviction) before next year's Presidential Election (after which, if he wins, he'll have the power to make most, if not all, of his legal troubles disappear) is to delay Special Counsel Jack Smith's federal Jan. 6-related trial against him from proceeding as scheduled on March 4th.

Trump has one legit chance to do that: his legal challenge regarding whether a President enjoys total immunity from criminal prosecution for crimes committed while in office. U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan has already ruled firmly against him. But he has the right to appeal the ruling all the way up the U.S. Supreme Court. The appeals --- first with a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit, then with the full D.C. Circuit court, and then, eventually, at the U.S. Supreme Court --- could absolutely prevent the trial from beginning or ending before Election Day next year.

So, on Monday, Smith attempted to leapfrog the D.C. appeals court entirely by asking SCOTUS to hear Trump's appeal on an expedited basis. Smith's filing [PDF] to the high court asks: "Whether a former President is absolutely immune from federal prosecution for crimes committed while in office or is constitutionally protected from federal prosecution when he has been impeached but not convicted before the criminal proceedings begin."

The federal prosecutor argues that "it is of imperative public importance that respondent’s claims of immunity be resolved by this Court and that respondent’s trial proceed as promptly as possible if his claim of immunity is rejected."

Citing similar, if very rare, action by SCOTUS in, for example, U.S. v. Nixon, Smith's filing makes the case that "The public importance of the issues, the imminence of the scheduled trial date, and the need for a prompt and final resolution of respondent’s immunity claims counsel in favor of this court’s expedited review at this time."

And now we wait for at least four Justices to agree to take the case up. Everything rides on that and their ultimate ruling --- and the timeliness of same.

MEANWHILE: As far as a substantive defense in the federal Jan. 6-related case in which Trump stands accused of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol as one of several attempts to steal the 2020 election from Joe Biden, recent filings by Trump, as Washington Post reported last week, "revealed that he has been pressing the Justice Department for information on far-right claims" that the Jan. 6 insurrection was secretly the work of "foreign actors" or "Antifa" or the U.S. Capitol Police somehow in cahoots with Nancy Pelosi, or..."John Nichols," described by WaPo as "a liberal journalist in Wisconsin".

John Nichols?! Our friend and frequent guest John Nichols?! Really?!...Apparently so!

We're joined today by longtime progressive journalist and author JOHN NICHOLS of The Nation, The Progressive and Madison Wisconsin's Capital Times to learn if he, in fact, was at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 (if not, where was he?); participated in inciting the riot there for some reason; and if he is now, or ever has been, a member of the Deep State?!

His answers today ('In Wisconsin at his daughter's orthodontist office'; 'No.'; And 'No.') may not surprise you!

So, how did all this happen? How did he come to be named in a Trump filing? Should we believe his many alibis (like filing an article at The Nation and speaking on the phone to many locked-down members of Congress that day)? Has he received any threats from MAGA in light of these Trump allegations? And what does any of this actually mean? Well...Nichols is here to explain it all to you.

FINALLY: Trump's $250 million New York State fraud case against him, his companies and his top executives (including his two eldest sons) was to reach a zenith today in Manhattan with the long-promised testimony of Donald Trump himself. On Sunday night, however, he announced on his social media cite he was chickening out and wouldn't be testifying after all. Surprised?

Also today, the civil defamation trial against Trump's disgraced alleged criminal co-conspirator Rudy Giuliani got under way in D.C. During the pre-trial proceedings, the federal judge in the case had already found Rudy guilty of defamation against Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss. He falsely accused them of rigging the election in Atlanta against Trump in the Fulton County counting room in 2020, charging that the two black women were secretly seen on video surveillance tapes passing USB thumb drives back and forth "like they were vials of heroin or cocaine."

They weren't. Freeman was, however, handing her daughter Moss a ginger mint and their lives have been turned upside by the baseless claims repeatedly made by Giuliani, Trump and his many supporters and the vile threats which followed them. The trial is now only needed to determine the amount of damages against the former New York City Mayor. The pair are seeking between $15.5 and $43 million. Giuliani's attorney admitted in his opening statements that Rudy lied about the two women, but he argued that the amount they are seeking "would be the end of Mr. Giuliani."

We can only hope so.


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