What the Heck is a “High Crime and Misdemeanor”?

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Jan 21 2020 115 mins   1
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, founded by the late Robert Parry, and the author of the book "How I Lost, By Hillary Clinton."

President Trump’s impeachment trial begins today in the Senate, presided over by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. It is only the third time in American history that a president will face trial in the Senate. Meanwhile, Democrats and Republicans have yet to agree on basic protocols. Will there be witnesses? Will additional documents be admitted into evidence? And a new CNN poll says that by a 51-45 margin, Americans want Donald Trump to be removed from office, and by a 69-21 margin, they want witnesses, including former National Security Advisor John Bolton, to testify. But does this simply reflect the fact that opinion on impeachment is unmoved since the process began, and unlikely to move as a result of the trial?

The New York Times editorial board over the weekend endorsed both Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic nomination for president. The Times issued the endorsements simultaneously online and on television. But the more interesting thing was the vociferousness with which it criticized Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders, comparing him to Trump and saying his election would be “trading one over-promising, divisive for another.” The Times also called his support for things like an increase in the minimum wage and universal healthcare “radical.” And the Times essentially ignored Joe Biden, the current national frontrunner. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton took a few potshots at Sanders in a new Hulu documentary, saying that Sanders’ career was “all just baloney.” Ted Rall, an award winning journalist and editorial cartoonist, whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show.

Brazilian prosecutors have charged Intercept cofounder Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes and “participating in a criminal organization” after he published articles based on leaked text messages that embarrassed prosecutors, the current Justice Minister, and an anti-corruption task force. Greenwald says that he received the texts a year ago from a whistleblower. Brian and John speak with Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using 'Humanitarian' Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests.”

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the longest transportation strike in French history has fizzled, giving President Emmanuel Macron a major victory. But the situation is not that crystal clear. The transport strike may be fizzling. But the leader of the main transport workers union has become the public face of the anti-Macron movement. And another left-wing union today turned off all electricity to Paris’s southern suburbs in solidarity with transport workers. Steve Hedley, the senior assistant general secretary of the UK’s Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers Union, joins the show.

The United States, Russia, Turkey, and a dozen other countries met in Berlin over the weekend to negotiate a cease-fire and an arms embargo involving both sides in the Libyan civil war. Attendees agreed to an arms embargo and encouraged both sides to stop fighting and move to the negotiating table. But neither Libyan faction officially attended the talks and Turkey has vowed to press ahead with its military intervention into the country, which appears to include troops from fundamentalist militias in Syria. Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran, joins Brian and John.

The State Department and a friendly reporter at the New York Times purports to show that, as protests roiled South America in the past few months, each uprising had something in common--they were supported by tweets that the Department says, he had “high certainty” of being linked to Russia. So, according to this report, Moscow "linked" social media accounts have "interfered" in Latin America by commenting on actual US/CIA imperialist led coups or by commenting on mass protests against social injustice. Brian and John speak with Ben Norton, a journalist with the Grayzone and co-host of the Moderate Rebels podcast.

On the biggest economic news of the week, including the Davos conference, Sputnik News analyst Walter Smolarek joins the show.

Tuesday’s regular segment is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine, which you can find at patreon.com/BreakChainsMag; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.