Roy Cohn White House: The Mueller Report Special, Part I
At long last, the Mueller Report is here, and we are…underwhelmed. In the first episode of a two-part Mueller Report Special, we do an overview of the bizarre sequence of events that led to the Barr Report and the Mueller Report, which have been eclipsed by propaganda and atrocious media coverage. We examine the contents of the report itself, and ask questions like: why did Mueller fail to indict? Why did it take two years for Mueller to release a report on crimes that were documented in the public domain? Since when is obstructing justice openly no longer obstructing justice at all?
Jake Tapper: 00:00:00 The day of the Mueller report being released to the public and to Congress. I want to bring in John Dean. He was present in Nixon's White House counsel during Watergate. He played a pivotal role in bringing down the former president. Mr. Dean, thanks so much for joining us. Big Picture. What is your reaction to the Mueller report?
John Dean: 00:00:18 Well, Jake, what I did is I looked on my shelf for the Watergate Senate Watergate Committee report. I looked at the Iran Contra report. I also looked at the Ken Starr report, which is too big to bring to this set here. It's four volumes over 2000 words, and I've got to tell you, I read all those and in 400 words, Mr. this report, from the special counsel is more damning than all those reports about a president. This is really a devastating report.
Jake Tapper: 00:00:50 And yet it concludes if there's insufficient evidence to say that the president and his team conspired with Russia, which was the most important part of the investigation one might argue.
John Dean: 00:01:03 Exactly. And I think we've also lost some of the context of what's going on here. This was a campaign that Trump has all but admitted was not a serious presidential campaign. It was a branding undertaking and they wanted all the help they could get from wherever they could get. And it's clear they got a lot from the Russians, an unusual amount. Does it rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy? Apparently not. At least with the evidence that's available. Not everybody was willing to talk about everything that was available. A lot of messages were encrypted, they couldn't get to them. And as far as the obstruction goes, this is clear obstruction Jake, the obstruction statute is an endeavor statute as well as an actual overt action, if you endeavor to obstruct and there is much evidence here of endeavor, you violated the obstruction statute.
Sarah: 00:02:10 I'm Sarah Kendzior a journalist and scholar of authoritarian states and the author of the book, the view from flyover country.
Andrea: 00:02:17 I'm Andrea Chalupa, a writer focused on Ukraine and Russia and the writer and producer of the upcoming journalistic thriller, Mr. Jones.
Sarah: 00:02:26 And this is Gaslit Nation, a podcast covering corruption in the Trump administration and rising autocracy around the world. And this week we have our long awaited Mueller report special.
Andrea: 00:02:37 And we are so excited.
Sarah: 00:02:40 Yeah, very excited.
Andrea: 00:02:42 So we're going to open with it with a time capsule, of recent history just so we preserve the last couple of dramatic weeks, which are basically a decade in Trump years. So we can remember how this all went down and also for the benefit of future historians who will have a very difficult time with this period the last few years. Of course. Okay. So in the lead up to Barr's now, infamous letter exonerating or so called exonerating, the president of the United States, we had legal experts reassure us that we can trust William Barr, that he's a great choice for attorney general, that he respects the institution of the Department of Justice. He's no Matthew Whitaker, the brass knuckles Trump brought on as acting AG to protect him. Nancy Pelosi rules out impeachment saying that people wanted her to impeach George W. Bush and she didn't, and she doesn't want to impeach Trump either. He's just not worth it, she says. This gets smoothed out in Democratic Party talking points and the promise of let's wait for what the Mueller Report says.
Andrea: 00:03:48 We kept hearing the Mueller report was finally coming. Democrats and Republicans united in the House of Representatives and unanimously voted that the Mueller report should be released. The vote was a historic 420 to zero. The Republicans in the Senate shot this down, but still the unanimous vote in the house was a sign that there were Republicans who would be willing to put country above party. Things were looking good for our democracy. The system of checks and balances might hold here, Trump himself, said the report should be released. Let the people see the report. Then Barr releases his four page letter saying the President had not obstructed justice and there's no conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. We would later learn that Barr, in quoting fragments of Mueller's report took Mueller's own words out of context omitted words and truncated Mueller's own explanation of what coordination means and doesn't mean. So a lot of cherry picking there to serve a specific narrative.
Andrea: 00:04:44 The mainstream media jumps immediately into writing headlines saying that the Mueller report exonerates Trump all based off of Barr's four page letter, Ken Delaney at NBC News even tweets "folks, this is a total legal exoneration of the President. Congress will want to know more of course, but the top line, no conspiracy, no obstruction." The New York Times and Washington Post run headlines saying Mueller finds no Trump/Russia conspiracy. For about a week, Russiagate skeptics enjoy a massive victory dance. Turning into Janet Jackson herself, blasting by name, the investigative journalists like David Corn and Marcy Wheeler, who dedicated years to researching the coalition of corruption that got Trump elected. The Trump White House quickly releases a memo to TV networks calling out Trump critics by name who should no longer appear on their programs. The Trump White House and Fox News call for investigations into the investigators. Ivanka Trump quotes Lincoln on Twitter. Truth is generally the best indication against slander.
Andrea: 00:05:43 Trump quickly turns to wanting to take away our healthcare and make all of Obamacare illegal. Cable news pundits ask themselves, why can't Trump just enjoy his victory of being exonerated by the Mueller report? Why does he have to change the subject so quickly? Republicans in the house, which had voted unanimously to release the Mueller report suddenly start demanding Congressman Adam Schiff resign. They try to shout him down in Congress at a time when the mainstream media is in lock step with the Trump White House and saying that the Mueller report exonerates Trump and leading investigative journalists are being harassed with hit pieces dismissing their years of reporting. Adam Schiff pushes back in Congress and says, none of this is okay. Congress, including members like Schiff, who have full security clearance and can see the unredacted Mueller report are denied by AG Barr, Something is not right here. Why won't Barr let Congress see the unredacted report?
Andrea: 00:06:33 Polling shows that the American people are smarter than the Trump White House and mainstream media. The majority of Republicans, Democrats and independents polled say they want to see their Mueller report. The public is not satisfied. Even Trump's approval rating sees no bounce after the Barr letter. Barr assures Congress and the American people that they will soon see the report, but redactions must be made to protect grand jury material and other information. People start to wonder what kind of discretion Barr will use. Investigators on Mueller's team leaked to the New York Times and Washington Post that they prepared summaries that could be released immediately to the public and other details emerge painting a coverup by Attorney General Barr. The mainstream media which had joined Barr in exonerating Trump suddenly remembers that Barr got his job in the first place by writing a memo criticizing Mueller's investigation and he was also the Iran Contra cleanup guy.
Andrea: 00:07:22 It's reported that Barr has troubling ties to Russia, which obligate him like former Attorney General Sessions to recuse himself. Here's Christina Maza in Newsweek. "This much is known on Barr's public financial disclosure report he admits to working for a law firm that represented Russia's Alfa Bank and for a company whose cofounders allegedly have long standing business ties to Russia. What's more, he received dividends from Vector group, a holding company with deep financial ties to Russia. These facts didn't get much attention during Barr's confirmation hearing as Congress was hyperfocused on an unsolicited memo Barr wrote prior to his nomination which criticized the special counsel's investigation and whether he would release the unredacted Mueller report to Congress. Much of the information is public, but it's so far been unreported in relation to Barr. The president of Vector group, Howard Lorber brought Trump to Moscow in the 1990s to seek investment projects there. That trip is widely seen as a first of many attempts to establish a Trump tower in Moscow.
Andrea: 00:08:24 He added that Donald Trump Jr. allegedly called Lorber as he was setting up the Trump tower meeting with a Russian lawyer. Lorber has extensive ties to Russia and was allegedly assisting with Trump tower Moscow plans on top of Barr's other choices which reflect partisan bias. It is bad judgement to have any financial ties to a person, so directly in tangled with Trump, Don Jr. and the core of events and questions of the Russian investigation. Barr's former law firm, Kirkland and Ellis Llp, where he was counsel from March, 2017 until he was confirmed as attorney general in February, 2019 represented Russia's Alfa Bank. Barr earned more than a million at Kirkland. Barr also supervises at the Justice Department another Kirkland and Ellis alumnus with Alfa Bank ties. Early last year, Trump nominated Kirkland and Ellis partner Brian Benczkowski to the Justice Department's Criminal Division. In his role with the law firm, Benczkowski had represented Alfa Bank and supervised an investigation into suspicious online communications between the bank and servers belonging to the Trump organization.
Andrea: 00:09:31 Investigators found no evidence of the Trump organization had communicated with Alfa Bank. Still the bank is partially owned by the Russian oligarch German Khan whose son in law, the London based lawyer, Alexander Vanderzwan, was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for lying to investigators about a report his firm had written for Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort. A side note now on Alfa Bank from Natasha Betron at Politico “In December, 2016 a few weeks after Donald Trump's surprise election victory, Russian President Vladimir Putin convened what a Russian oligarch described as an all hands meeting with some of the country's top businessmen. A main topic of discussion: US sanctions against Russia. One of the oligarchs present was Peter Abin, cofounder of Alfa Bank, Russia's biggest commercial bank. Abin had recently met with Putin one on one to discuss the sanctions and what to do about them. Putin said he had been struggling to get messages to Trump's inner circle and urged Abin to take steps to protect his bank from additional US penalties according to the special counsel Robert Mueller's report which details the episode. Abin received that as an order, not a request according to Mueller and understood quote "that there would be consequences if he did not follow through."
Andrea: 00:10:51 Abin quickly understood that his mission was to contact the Trump transition team and began an effort to contact Trump's son in law, Jared Kushner, and then of course we know what happened during that transition period. Kushner discussed opening a back channel of communication with the Kremlin. Then the Newsweek piece goes on to say that Deutsche Bank, which was the only bank that would lend to Trump when all of their banks viewed him as too hot to handle. The bank has also been implicated in Russian money laundering scandals, two congressional committees are now looking at Trump's business ties at Deutsche Bank. It is unclear if Barr has defected from Vector group or pulled his assets, his own assets at a Deutsche Bank since he became attorney general. People before the Mueller report is released, we're still waiting on it. Barr is promising us it's coming, but people in the mainstream media back to our timeline of recent events, people in the mainstream media are catching on that what Barr's doing smells a lot like a coverup. While congress has still not seen the Mueller report, and of course neither has the public in this timeline, as reported by the Hill.
Andrea: 00:11:54 President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, he said that the White House lawyers saw special counsel Robert Mueller's report two days before it was released to the public and they prepared a rebuttal. Barr says the Mueller report is coming but at first he wants to hold a press conference. Legal experts point out this is not normal. At the press conference Barr tries to soften the blow of the upcoming Mueller report making excuses for the president by arguing that Trump was upset about the investigation. This is what Barr said of reporters in that press conference. There is substantial evidence to show that the president was frustrated and angered by sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency propelled by his political opponents and fueled by illegal leaks. Rod Rosenstein stood behind Barr with clear tension on his face, sometimes even forgetting to blink, looking very much like a hostage in a hostage situation.
Andrea: 00:12:45 Rosenstein also provides Time Magazine with a glowing essay praising Barr for their 2019 Time 100 list. The Mueller Report is then released all 448 pages with several sections heavily redacted and the clear takeaway, which we'll get into today according to part one page nine quote, "the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion." According to the Mueller report, someone we don't know because the name is redacted on November 9th, 2016 the day after the election wrote to Russia’s sovereign wealth fund that quote, "Putin has won" And after Trump wins, the Mueller report makes clear that Putin wanted a return on his investment. His chief concern was getting Trump to get rid of sanctions, and now we're caught up in the current moment. All Right, Sarah, you take it away from here.
Sarah: 00:13:41 Yeah, I'm glad that you did that refresher because what's been happening both since the memo dropped and afterwards it's like Use Your Collusion volumes one and two is you know there's this constant gaslighting of the American public, this rewriting of history in real time. You mentioned that what you were about to say it would be valuable for historians and I kept thinking as you were saying this, you know, how do you burn a podcast? Like what, what awaits the historical record as autocracy continues to consolidate and criminals continue to get away with crimes in plain sight and under government sanction. So yeah, I'm glad you laid that out. I want to pivot a little bit to the content of the report itself, which had been built up for years by countless institutionalist pseudo experts and click hungry trolls who assured us that it was going to blow us all away. And in my view, this was a very underwhelming report that did not tell us much that we did not already know. I'm basically looking at this thing and it looks like a compendium of Gaslit Nation episodes, books by people like Malcolm Nance and David Corn.
Sarah: 00:14:51 And a few Randy Rainbow videos thrown in, translated into legalese by a band of weak-willed institutionalists. And maybe that's what happens when the subject of your criminal probe commits crimes in broad daylight without repercussions. When he confesses to those crimes on national TV and on Twitter and when they leave all their incriminating documents around for reporters to find and report on in real time. So I was not impressed here with the detective work of Robert Mueller, who not only failed to interview key parties, which we'll get to, but omitted the broader context of the Trump campaign and the administration's crimes from this report almost entirely. I've said on previous episodes that someone needs to buy the Mueller team a Lexisnexis subscription or a library card. And I stand by that because these crimes and the decades long history of them were all documented already in the public domain.
Sarah: 00:15:46 This is a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as a government. And we have known that from day one, we were only waiting for someone with the guts to actually do something about it. And that person is clearly not Robert Mueller. And so what's frustrating to me is that this outcome was predictable. And when something is predictable, it's preventable. And so to illustrate this and to again refresh our sense of history, I'm going to read a Twitter thread that I wrote in late 2017 because it sums up the inherent problems of the probe. And it predicted the problems that we would run into. And you know, if I was able to figure this out and prepare nearly two years ago, I don't understand why Mueller couldn't. And don't worry, this is not like a Seth Abramson length thread got a mere 15 tweets ahead here. So what I wrote back in this is December, 2017 is “I'm less worried about Mueller being fired than about Mueller showing conclusive evidence of criminal acts.
Sarah: 00:16:45 And there being no repercussions for the incriminated. Trump confessed to obstruction of justice multiple times. Kushner and Sessions were caught lying on their clearance forms about foreign contacts. These are merely two examples of open serious offenses for which there's been no penalty. Many anticipate the firing of Mueller as a breaking point that will spur protests and sink Trump. Do not count on that. It's possible Mueller will be fired, but what is worse is if crimes openly committed by Trump and the administration obstruction of justice, perjury, lying on federal forms go unaddressed and elude indictment. There are many more crimes at play here ranging from financial crimes dating back decades to treason, but they're largely suspected. Other crimes are not in question that those who've committed at best severe breaches of protocol and more likely illegal actions not only remain in power but control the mechanisms of power should concern you greatly.
Sarah: 00:17:46 They are acting with impunity in every respect with no concern for public opinion or for the rule of law. They are behaving like a consolidated autocratic regime. This is why I was adamant a year and a half ago. That would be 2016 that this needed to be investigated thoroughly and people who committed open offenses held to account quickly before consolidation took hold. 2016 was your best bet. They may not fire Mueller because it's unnecessary. If someone like Kushner who is a huge ongoing risk to national security, can hold power unchallenged then true accountability is in question. It's important to document what they've done regardless and to keep expectations high, even if they're unlikely to be met. Do not let them change your values. Do not accept their assault on law, but justice people had a massive failure of imagination earlier. They are failing to envision an outcome worse than Mueller's dismissal, that his findings could be both extraordinarily damning, yet ultimately inconsequential in terms of who holds power, and that is what happened.
Sarah: 00:18:51 Those who hold elected office and still respect the constitution hold a particular burden. In this respect, they need to be much more forthright and communicating to the public what's happening. When you warn the public that Trump seeks to shut down the Mueller probe, the subtext is that this is a lawless regime who will abuse power so as not to be held accountable for blatant crimes. If Mueller's probe is not shut down but simply disregarded, this truth remains. This is a lawless regime who will abuse power so as not to be held accountable for blatant crimes.” And so yeah, that's from December, 2017 you would think there would be some kind of awareness and some kind of contingency plan, not just for Mueller's team, but from the Democrats, from the FBI and from anybody interested in holding criminality accountable. And you know, this is not to say, even though all of this is out there in the open, that I don't have questions, I actually have a lot of questions, among them: why aren't all these motherfuckers in jail? Another question I have after reading the Mueller Report and seeing the lack of indictments is when did committing a crime in public exonerate you from that crime? Does that mean I can slap William Barr upside the head in public and claim innocence since like Trump, I'm committing my crime right out in the open. And since I'm right now asking you, Andrea, about the legality of this prospect. Clearly I'm totally ignorant of basic norms and laws. Just like Donald Trump Jr. And as we see from Mueller’s treatment of Donald Trump Jr., being ignorant, it's now also a valid legal defense. In the world of Robert Mueller, criminal impunity is now criminal immunity. Ignorance is now innocence. And so it seems like I've got a lot of public bitch slapping to do. So what are your thoughts?
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Andrea: 00:22:01 It's clear as everybody's been pointing out that Mueller, my God, he took a con very, very conservative route here and if anybody's divided the country, it's just the conservative position that Mueller took here is what has led to this unnecessary debate. I don't even know if there's a debate anymore. This report is very damning. I mean it consolidates and confirms a lot of the brilliant investigative reporting we've seen coming out over the years and as our show said during the height of that Russiagate skeptics, victory dance, that of course we all know now is ridiculous. We pointed out that the investigative reporting was solid on all of this and that we can trust it and the facts remain the facts and the Mueller report, the full 450 pages of the Mueller report confirmed that the investigator reporting coming out of a lot of great outlets like Buzzfeed and all the legacy newspapers has been solid.
Andrea: 00:22:58 I think we can be relieved by that and that the tide is turning and that people are remembering including the mainstream media and their front page headlines that the facts remain the facts. But I think in terms of Mueller's position and being conservative and following what former attorney general Eric Holder pointed out was, I want to quote Holder here cause he sums it up perfectly, Mueller's position. Eric Holder tweeted, any competent public corruption prosecutor would bring obstruction charges against Trump and win. The only reason Mueller did not was because of the flawed DOJ restriction against indicting a sitting president. He said so. Congress now has a constitutional responsibility. Sure. But at the same time, if Mueller's, words could have been stronger. A lot of observers have pointed out that he was wishy washy in places. And as strong as this report is, it could be a heck of a lot stronger in Mueller's conclusion.
Andrea: 00:23:57 And I want to also just ask the question, why is it that we have so many women in this story who were willing to risk their careers and their freedom to fight for our country? So you have Sally Yates doing her job warning that Flynn was compromised by the Kremlin. She was fired. Of course, you've NSA whistleblower Reality Winner arrested for providing proof of Russian election infrastructure, of hacking. You have that treason in the treasury story out of Buzzfeed by Jason Leopold and Anthony Cohlmia that came out right before the December holiday on a whistleblower named Natalie Mayflower Edwards, who was arrested for blowing the whistle on treason in the treasury department. You've whistleblower Trisha Newbold, a longtime White House security advisor who faces retaliation for exposing that 25 security clearance denials were reversed by the Trump administration. So you have all these women who are sticking their necks out and suffering for it.
Andrea: 00:24:58 And here you have Robert Mueller, a marine who ran the FBI, who outlined the coalition of corruption that got Trump elected and his 2011 iron triangle speech, showing how it all works, what the Mafia looks like in the 21st century, how it's aided by fancy law firms, fancy accounting firms, political operatives making their blood money in developing democracies and hiding their money in the West. And he points to Semion Mogilevich, the head of the Russian mafia as the face of all this and that he's gonna remain on the FBI's 10 most wanted list until he is caught. So Robert Mueller knows the severity of the situation. He outlines it all in his 2011 iron triangles speech. And yet he cannot bring himself to do what so many brave whistleblowing women have done in regards to this administration. And that has taken a step further and say, I don't care what the DOJ policy is.
Andrea: 00:25:56 We have a Russian mafia asset as President of the United States, and that's a constitutional crisis. And I recommend indictments. So yeah, it is shocking that Mueller punted to Congress and now we have Congress punting to the American people. And saying that we have to wait until 2020 to vote Trump out. And we could even get into that of whether we should have any confidence based on any of this so far, and how much time we have between now and 2020 whether we will even have free and fair elections in 2020 especially given the Republicans' history of stealing presidential elections as we saw in Florida in 2000 and as we saw in Ohio in 2004 with reports of shady behavior by voting machines and, and purposely created long voting lines and so forth. And also of course the election of 2016 where Republicans wanted the help of this coalition of corruption that not only implicates Trump's family and the Trump organization and the Trump campaign, but also Republican leadership itself, given the reports of all the dark Russian money that went to Republican campaigns for Congress.
Andrea: 00:27:07 Given that Jared Kushner brought in militarized propaganda from Cambridge Analytica, which not only helped the Trump campaign, but also congressional races for Republicans. Also the RNC and Cambridge Analytica is under investigation for the U.S.. They worked with Russian intelligence according to one whistleblower. So if you're wondering why Republicans cannot be relied on for impeachment in the Senate, for instance. Or you are wondering why they're carrying all these bizarre banana republic aggressive tactics in the house and calling for Schiff to resign for instance, and protecting the president. It's because they're complicit in the crime. We have been invaded by this coalition of corruption. They're working in tandem with each other because their interests are all the same and it's a very dangerous period, not just for our country, but the entire world. And I want to say to anybody listening from abroad, watching helplessly, what can we do to save America?
Andrea: 00:27:58 The number one thing you can do to save America is tell yourself that yes, it can happen where you live, no matter how stable your democracy is. Part of the reason why we got into this is because a lot of people in America, didn't think it could happen here, but it's happened here. So in the 21st century, kleptocracy anywhere is kleptocracy everywhere. And this is spreading and you have a very well orchestrated and well funded campaign to make sure it spreads. Look at who the founder of that militarized propaganda from Cambridge Analytica was. It was American oligarch Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon, Bannon who's opening up an actual far right academy in Italy right now. You know, Bannon who's still traveling to western cities, getting a platform, a microphone in respected venues and in mainstream news outlets. They're well funded. They're working hard to spread Brexit to spread Trump to other countries.
Andrea: 00:28:56 So if you want to know how to help America wherever you are, whether it's Germany, France, or Canada, the number one thing you can do to help America is to help your own country and stay engaged and stay vigilant and don't for a second think that this can't happen where you live.
New Speaker: 00:29:12 Absolutely. I mean everything you just said and you know, to go back to one of the first things you said with Eric Holder's quote about how Mueller was perhaps desired to indict Trump but couldn't because of DOJ protocol. You know, I feel like what the Mueller probe demonstrates is the difference between protocol and principle between law and justice. And it does demonstrate a kind of cowardice. There are a lot of options he had, you know, in reference to what Holder was saying, you know, okay. So he wants to follow a protocol, not indict the president. That still leaves, you know, a large number of people who have committed crimes and were not even interviewed much less indicted, including Ivanka, Kushner, Bannon, as you just said, Jeff Sessions, who had to recuse himself for his role. Like what was the weakness there? And I think you alluded to it or hit on it when we were talking about what is Mueller's place in this, you know, what is his circle? What was his role beforehand? Mueller was the head of the FBI from 2001 to 2013 and as you said, in 2011 in January he did his famous iron triangles speech, which we refer to in the third episode of Gaslit Nation in which he warned of the very threat that came to pass with Trump, you know, this nexus of organized crime, corporate crime, and the infiltration into democratic governments of hostile criminal actors who are able to control them from the inside.
Sarah: 00:30:39 That all happened on his watch. It happened on the watch of his social circle, which of course includes William Barr. And it's remarkable to me. Kind of going back to what you said before, that all this information about Barr's own ties to Russia, to Alfa Bank, to, you know, all of these different organizations that were targets of the Mueller probe. If Mueller is both friends with Barr and he's, you know, investigating all of these different illicit dealings and organizations, how is he missing this connection? How is he missing how inappropriate it's going to be for Barr to come in? And if you know this, I mean we knew what would happen with Barr. We read his memo, we knew his history as the Iran Contra cleanup guy. You did not need to have insider information to know that Barr was selected by Trump to obstruct justice, to impede this probe to prevent Mueller's own work that he did do from getting out to the public.
Sarah: 00:31:36 So why is Mueller content to punt to Congress? Why as someone who once fought for our country in the military, who defended our country at one time why he is he willing to let our country become hijacked from the inside to risk, permanent compromise of our electoral system to allow, you know, the Russian mafia are basically a transnational mafia to overthrow the US government. You know, there are a lot of things he could do. He could stand up, he could speak out, he could fight. And is that easy? No. Is it fun? No. But people have done it and as you said, it is women who are doing it. And again, you know, we'll talk a little later in the show about Elizabeth Warren. You know, being the first presidential candidate to come out and stay firmly. Yes, but Trump needs to be impeached, which is something that by the way, did not ever depend on the Mueller probe or report because as we said in our multiple episodes, calling for impeachment, the crimes that the Trump administration and Trump committed fall outside the purview of, of Mueller's probe many times. Things like emoluments or abuse of the pardon. But anyway, you know, one, one more point I want to make before we talk a little bit about the other problems with the probe in this report is that the only thing that can stop the Trump administration is indictments. You know, you need actual hardline consequences. You know, there's no leverage in shame. There's basically very little leverage in exposure and the exposure does not come with legal consequences. They do not mind getting caught. They mind being punished and it is crucial that people grasp that difference. They like to be caught. They like to throw their crimes in your face. You know, you see this, especially with Roger Stone, you know, threatening a judge right after he was indicted with Manafort continuing to commit crimes after he's indicted, they enjoy this, they feel total confidence in this administration and why shouldn't they?
Sarah: 00:33:34 This is the same group of criminals who committed crimes unimpeded under the scope of government for 40 years going all the way back to Watergate, to Iran Contra, to the war in Iraq to the financial crisis. You see the same people again and again with no repercussions. And a lot of people thought that finally with Robert Mueller, you know, had so adeptly identified the threat in 2011 there were going to be consequences, but instead he is essentially an accomplice. You know, he is straddling that line. He did indict some people, mostly people kind of outside the scope of American life. You know, Russians working on Internet troll farms. He eventually cut his little deal with Manafort, which ended up reducing the time that Manafort could have potentially received. But the biggest threats are still walking around, you know, as you said with Bannon, he's starting a fascist academy in Italy.
Sarah: 00:34:28 You have Kushner who, let us remind you again where we were before this report dropped. We were all talking, you know, for the thousandth time about the giant ongoing security risk that is Jared Kushner. About the fact that he still had a security clearance when he shouldn't have. We had just had the Michael Cohen hearing where he revealed, or not really revealed where he re-emphasized that Trump is a mobster, that this is a transnational crime syndicate masquerading as government and that hearing woke up a lot of people and then suddenly it stops like the probe is wrapped up, Barr impedes it. Mueller basically sort of goes along with Barr, sort of bring some stuff out to the public, but honestly has not taken half the stand and all of the aforementioned whistleblowers and fired officials have. And it's a shame. It was a placeholder. I think it was the way to pacify the public.
Sarah: 00:35:19 I think that's why we saw so many Republicans, you know who, who claimed to be anti-Trump saying, you know, just wait. Just be patient. Mueller has got it. Do you remember that? Like the constant barrage of, oh, he's reeling in the big fish, he's dotting the i's and crossing the t's. I mean, it was a literal script. I was bombarded with bots that were just, you know, or, bot bringing people reading off this script of false hope and false reassurance and it's gross and I think people have woken up, but I believe it was Al Green. You know, he's the representative that first called for impeachment. He did that in early 2017. he was writing on Twitter that back in 2017 people are like, oh no, no, it's too early to impeach. Like, let's wait and see how things play out. Now that they waited for the Mueller report to finish, they're saying, oh, it's too late to impeach. We just have, you know, 18 months until the next election. So, you know, it's, I don't want to say it's a scam as in it's a total hoax. It was an actual investigation that produced indictments that produced a long report, but it was manipulative and it was certainly something that the Trump administration knew how to exploit for their own personal gain.
Andrea: 00:36:22 And I just want to say that we, Sarah and I are never ever, ever on the show gloating or being trying to be obnoxious or by saying, oh, we told you so. We are right. That's not it at all. Both of us were hit directly by this as I listed at the top of the show. They're now driven more than ever as they always have been to investigate the investigators. And that includes renewed attention, renewed harassment of my sister Alexandra Chalupa who was the DNC whistleblower who tried to alert anybody who would listen about Paul Manafort early in the 2016 election that Paul Manafort is here and that means the Kremlin is here. And she got death threats and all sorts of things for doing so. And so now they're coming after her. So this is very personal for us as well. And as we say on the show, our only agenda is to feel safe and to be safe again.
Andrea: 00:37:11 And in order to do that, we have to confront the challenges of the 21st century and the institutions and leaders who are falling short of understanding the challenges of the 21st century. And I have to tell you, you know, it's a crowded playing field with the Democrats, right? But Elizabeth Warren, in her decision to come out for impeachment, that is a foreign policy decision because this was a terrorist attack on our democracy by a hostile regime, which has a long history of carrying out asymmetrical warfare, terrorist attacks like this. Elizabeth Warren is not only fighting the kleptocracy here at home that gave rise to Trump, that gave rise to dark money, fascism and so forth. She is also taking a stance against kleptocracy in Russia that joined with American Kleptocracy to elect Donald Trump president. So Elizabeth Warren not caring about how this could play out for her or the 2020 election that we may or may not have as a fair election coming up.
Andrea: 00:38:19 And we'll get into that. What she's doing is showing us what her foreign policy would look like. And so she would stand up to the oligarchic system that's flourishing right now around the world, the growing income inequality gap that’s flourishing right now around the world and all the corruption and authoritarianism that that breeds. And so on the very dark days, I just think to myself, thank God Elizabeth Warren exists, whether you support or not for present, that's not the issue. But the fact that she exists and she's doing what she's doing is so heartening that somebody gets it and somebody is confronting head on being led by moral courage and not talking out both sides of their mouths is Elizabeth Warren. And, and I'm so, so heartened by that and clinging to that during this very difficult time for our country and the world. And so I think in looking at the 2020 candidates, you have to see like who's talking on the both sides of their mouth, who's being institutionalist saying, oh, don't worry, there's our institutions are strong, they will save us.
Andrea: 00:39:13 They're not. They're getting purged rapidly. We're seeing that. We're witnessing that. Mueller himself hedging, talking out both sides of the mouth, sometimes misreport and not giving us a clear enough answers and very critical sections. Like all those things are what are driving this instability that we're continuing to feel like this lack of accountability. And yes, you could say, well what about the fact that Mueller has 12 other criminal referrals? We don't know what this criminal referrals are, but he's decentralizing his investigation and he's farming out these other investigations, two we know of. It's Michael Cohen and the Obama White House counsel, Gregory Craig. Those are the two other investigations. And then there's 12 mystery ones that we don't know of. Well, I mean, any of those could get watered down or compromised even through like a moral compromise of sort of hedging and saying, well, we found this, but we didn't find this. So some, some of those may lead to indictments. Certainly there's, there's still a chance, but I think we have to now look at the bigger picture.
Rachel Maddow: 00:40:12 Other Democrats have been saying it's not worth the political cost is not worth the civic cost or, or it's arguably just too soon. What made you decide to take this step today?
E. Warren: 00:40:25 Well, I read the report. I was on an airplane yesterday and started reading it, read it way into the night last night, and I got to the end and realized this is about a point of principle. The report is absolutely clear that a foreign government attacked our electoral system to help Donald Trump. He welcomed that help and then when it was investigated by our own federal authorities, Donald Trump took multiple steps to try to obstruct this. This is one of those moments when I get it, that there are people who think politically, no, it's going to be too hard to do this. This isn't about politics. This isn't even specifically about Donald Trump himself. It is about what a President of the United States should be able to do and what the role of Congress is in saying, no, a president does not get to come in and stop an investigation about a foreign power that attacked this country or an investigation about his own wrongdoing. Equal justice under law. No one is above the law and that includes the President of the United States. It is the constitutional responsibility of Congress to follow through on that.
Andrea: 00:41:46 And this brings back to what I started by saying, Sarah and I never want to gloat, we never want to say we're right. When we sound frustrated, when we do say anything that sounds like that. What we're really saying is we need people to catch up to where we are right now. And the reality we're pointing out right now based on studying authoritarianism, past and present, we did not have any faith in Mueller saving us. We saw Trump and Russia for what they were in 2016 and so what we're now telling you, or we're now telling you is we cannot trust the process in 2020 and it's not only because of the Republican party's long track record of stealing presidential elections. It's also the fact that Trump has seen us coming and try to outmaneuver us every time. So if we're putting all our eggs in the 2020 basket, you better bet that he has a backup plan for that.
Andrea: 00:42:33 I mean, think about it like any credible pollster would would told you that the blue wave was coming. If you saw how amazing Jon Ossoff did in Georgia, Jon Ossoff a hipster feminist filmmaker, his race leading to a runoff in Newt Gingrich's deeply Red Georgia district, that's a sign of a blue wave coming. If you saw how well the election's did in Virginia and New Jersey and Washington state, that's a sign of a blue wave coming. So any credible pollster could say, okay, the midterms in 2018 we're going to see a democratic blue wave. Trump himself saw it in the months leading up to the midterms there were reports coming out that he was paranoid of the Democratic blue wave. He was paranoid of impeachment. Rightfully so, because the number supported it that the blue wave was coming and so what did he do?
Andrea: 00:43:20 He got Matthew Whitaker into the position of acting AG. Matthew Whitaker began that role like right after the midterms, blue wave arrived. Matthew Whitaker, who was so unsuitable to be attorney general, it's not even funny. The guy looks like a mafia bar bouncer, like he's the guy at the door that decides who comes in or not. That's who Matthew Whitaker is. And then of course they put in a more polished version of Matthew Whitaker, which is Attorney General William Barr, but it's the same cover up. It's the same bulldog for the president. So what we're saying is that he's been very, very good at outmaneuvering us and seeing the threats coming because he's based his entire career on that. He's based his career on escaping investigations and so forth and living above the law and making his money through basically having his properties being money laundering opportunities, especially for a lot of Russian money as we've seen. Even his kids, Don Junior and Eric have come out and said that they depend on Russian money substantially. And so all of this is to say why would he not have plans in place to ensure that he stays in power in 2020 following this long standing pattern that we're all observing.
Andrea: 00:44:38 That is our next big wild prediction that people can attack us for all they want. Like they attacked us for our other predictions and yes, we're saying this now even saying this for a while about 2020. We may get hit pieces for saying this sure. A year from now, white men in the media will say the exact same thing and get celebrated for it and invited on TV. So we're never ever gloating to you, we're begging you to please catch up to where we are now if you're not already. And trust that we're not predicting anything other than pointing out a pattern. And that past behavior is a very good indicator of future behavior. And we're talking about a perfect storm of past behavior, the history of Republicans stealing elections in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 and Michigan and Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, probably as the Mueller report also indicates with Manafort and Gates and sharing all the election data and their strategy of targeting those states as outlined in the Mueller report. So all of it. So the coalition of corruption beyond just targeting those beltway states was so sweeping that it helped put Trump in office. And so why would they not Republicans and the Trump machine? Why wouldn't they need the Kremlin's help again? Why would they not do it again in 2020? we're putting nothing in place to deter them from doing it. And there's no accountability. Why given all that would Democrats put it on 2020 to quote unquote impeach Trump when it's their constitutional duty to do it now?
Sarah: 00:46:08 Yeah, absolutely. And I don't understand why they can't grasp this and why they don't grasp the immediacy of this crisis, the seriousness of this crisis. And moreover the fact that it is people being hurt, you know, our sovereignty is at stake. Our lives are at stake. People have already died because of this coalition of corruption, this abuse of power. And when you talk about Trump's history of doing money laundering through properties, the White House is now under those properties where money laundering is occurring. You know, this is all happening now. That was one of the reasons I was so annoyed that the Mueller probe was dragging on and on because of course Trump and his crew were not deterred by the probe. Of course, what they did was commit more and more crimes and move us closer and closer to a consolidated autocracy. And so you know, what you end up with is a likelihood that greatly reduces any of those crimes being addressed.
Sarah: 00:47:02 And with 2020 it's not like Trump is some sort of mastermind like a lot of times when we make these claims that they are not in fact incompetent, that they do have a plan, that they will be difficult to defeat. It's not because we think that Trump is some sort of like geopolitical genius, but what he is is an experienced criminal. He is somebody who has 40 years of committing crimes, getting away with them, appointing the right people, especially the right lawyers to bail him out of these crimes, whether it's Roy Cohn or Michael Cohen or you know, nowadays William Barr and before that Jeff Sessions, they all operated in the same way. I think a lot of people in DC, what they do is the mistake polish for competence. You know, this is both why they had faith that William Barr somehow was going to come in and be an objective observer in this process and was going to protect American democracy because he's polished.
Sarah: 00:47:58 He's one of them. He's somebody they go to parties with. He's someone they've seen in government before. And with Trump, you know, it was the opposite. Like he was loud, he was brash. So they cast him as some kind of outsider. Even though he had ran for president two previous times, flirted with it like basically almost every year from 1988 on, had been immersed in political life and immersed in Russia for 30 years. They can't get past these appearances. And you know what we need to look to are people who are able to see through this. And Elizabeth Warren is definitely one of them. She understands that the crisis of 2020 is the same as the crisis we're experiencing now. And that our ability to process this incredible threat to our democracy and to our sovereignty and to our ability to have election integrity is linked to what we do right now.
Sarah: 00:48:52 And I think she understands that with impeachment, as we've discussed in many episodes, the house may well impeach. And of course the GOP dominated Senate will not convict. Even if they did, Trump would not leave. You know, he is not going to leave the White House because he's been shamed by Congress. He will likely not leave the White House if he loses the election. That is how severe this crisis is. Michael Cohen may be a gigantic scumbag, but he was absolutely correct when he said that Trump is not going to leave in part because Trump and Kushner and those two families have built a very successful money laundering and crime apparatus out of what used to be our government, but also because if they leave, they risk prosecution for those crimes. And so the best tactic they have is to basically rewrite the law so that they're no longer breaking it.
Sarah: 00:49:47 That is what William Barr did. He rewrote the law so that it was no longer an illegal offense and they're going to keep doing that. And so yes, we absolutely need to support Warren in what she's doing. You know, this is not the same thing as endorsing a candidate for 2020. It's endorsing a woman who realizes the crisis of now. And it has been incredibly frustrating to see the way that Warren has been covered by the media. Warren releases policy plans, extensive and I think very sensible day after day. But you see reporters and bloggers, you know, sort of saying like, what's she really about? What's your deal? You know, I saw list of candidates divided into types. One type was professor and they put, I think Pete Buttigieg in there and not Warren who like literally was one, you know, there's this underestimation of her intelligence. There's an underestimation of her appeal. But I think what people are recognizing in her is that this is someone who is putting principle first, who is putting the people first and she's putting that before polls and she's putting that before protocol. And that is absolutely what we need because we have no time to waste. We do not have the time for people to catch up with us. Warren is caught up. So I appreciate that.
Andrea: 00:51:07 And it's that wonderful feeling of yes, there's finally an adult back in the room. Right. That's what Elizabeth Warren gives you.
Sarah: 00:51:13 Oh, thank God. I feel like we're babysitting the country sometimes honestly when this is all ridiculous. I'm so tired. After the Mueller report came out, you know, cause I was reading it and you know, taking in the commentary. When Warren released her tweets, you know, that she wanted impeachment, I literally took a nap. Like I took a nap after that came out because of the relief that went through my body that it was not just you and me and a few other people calling for impeachment that someone with a lot more power than us and a lot more resources. It was someone who's actually in Congress, was doing their constitutional duty and calling for impeachment. Like this shouldn't be complicated. You know, there is a enormous number of reasons to impeach Trump. And if you're new to our show, we have an essay called On Impeachment posted on our Patreon page for the episode Impeach Normalization.
Sarah: 00:52:08 That whole episode is devoted to impeachment. We did a follow up episode called Impeach The Nazi In chief, also about the need for impeachment. We have interviewed multiple experts and plan to interview more about impeachment, so you know, this is not just about this week's events. This is not just about Mueller, this is about our country and the fact that we have a national security crisis, and a public safety crisis and a lot of weak willed officials who were refusing to stand up for citizens and protect them. So I'm glad that out of all our senators, we at least have one who is willing to stand up. Out of all our candidates, we have one who is willing to make an unequivocal move to impeach Trump instead of waffling or blowing it off.
Andrea: 00:52:51 Yes, as we always say on this show, in a time of Nazis, you need Nazi hunters and the institutionalists are not Nazi hunters. Elizabeth Warren keeps showing us again and again that she is a Nazi hunter and so that really has been helping me sleep better at night. I want to go on to talk about more of this report, sort of dig into Mueller's findings and the legal position, all of it. But I want to say first what really also is alarming is how people laugh off Manafort and Trump and this whole clown car of idiot criminals. It's like, yes, they're over the top. Yes they're often too on the nose with being such criminals. I hate those hot takes of saying like, oh, these are just a bunch of grifters bumbling around and trying to enrich themselves and make something happen. And what does it tell you? It's sort of like if you're calling them idiots, right? If you're dismissing everything that they've done and how they behave as a bunch of bumbling grifter idiots, the idiots are in power and they're dismantling the western alliance.
Andrea: 00:54:00 So what does that make us? And I've always been startled by this strange sort of, um, cultural divide between, for instance, if you look at the Kremlin and how ham handed and on the nose and clownish the Kremlin's tactics are, we know reportedly that the Kremlin had in place since the mid 2000s a plan, a strategy in place on how they would invade Crimea. They had that in place for several years. Manafort himself was creating anti-NATO protest in Crimea in 2006 trying to see division there. And so when Ukrainians rose up and overthrew Putin's puppet Yanukovych who then flees to Russia, Putin then quickly invades Crimea and you have Russian special forces taking over government buildings, military bases and so forth and people being kidnapped and killed. And these little green men as they were called, which are Russian special forces that did not have the Russian flag on their uniforms, but they were there under the orders of the Kremlin.
Andrea: 00:55:01 They took on this funny little goofy name of the little green men and people were sort of laughing like, oh, we know it's you, Russia. And they brought in a Kremlin clown car of election observers, European far right conspiracy theorists that make Louise Mensch look like an astrophysicist and they came in to be so called election observers of this hastily organized referendum that had only two options on the ballot, which were basically both the same and pointing out Crimea as yes, these corrupt criminals, whether it's Manafort or the knuckleheads in the Kremlin, they are over the top. They are clownish in their tactics. They're more cartoonish than they are Bond villain and it's almost like that's why they're getting away with this. Even today you have so called respectable news outlets and pundits calling it the Crimea referendum. It was not a referendum, it was a stealth invasion and just like Trump breaking the law, obstructing justice out in the open and therefore getting away with it cause it was so clownish and cartoonish in the way he did out in the open that there's no crime there. It's sort of funny that we have all these respectable people and these respectable institutions that are operating by a totally different set of norms, a totally different set of decency up against the weasels and who framed Roger Rabbit. It's like, it's like these guys are just going to be in our faces doing ridiculous things and we're just going to let them get away with it. They're going to walk up and take a Superbowl ring and just walk away with it just like Putin did. Yeah, they are that over the top. They do love crime that much and they love getting away with crime that much. Like don't dismiss them just because it's so on the nose and just so silly and their antics are ridiculous. Their antics are working.
New Speaker: 00:56:46 Yeah, that's completely true and honestly respectable people never know what the fuck is going on. I mean that's just been sort of my career through journalism, through academia. And you know, it's frustrating, like I guess maybe to show that I'm not one of those respectable people. But the thing that as you were talking, that kept coming to my mind is that scene like at the end of Spaceballs, you know, where like Lonestar's battling dark Dark Helmet and they're like, you know, swinging their Schwartzes at each other and then Lonestar ends up just handing over the thing and he's like, you know, my God, you fell for it again.
Sarah: 00:57:19 How stupid are you, you know, he's like, you know, good will always lose to evil because good is dumb. And like honestly, I'm sorry, like that's Robert Mueller like.
Andrea: 00:57:28 Yes.
New Speaker: 00:57:29 That's all these male journalists.
Andrea: 00:57:31 That's, that's, that's everybody.
New Speaker: 00:57:34 Everybody.
Andrea: 00:57:35 Which yeah that's the Obama foreign policy team in their final years. That's, you know, that's pundits in corporate media that took a very long time to catch up. You know, it’s everybody,
New Speaker: 00:57:47 It is just beyond frustrating that they continue to fall for it. But though I have to say what makes me suspicious is that, you know, you and I, we're not alone in warning people about this. Like you had other experts on authoritarianism. You had a few experts on organized crime that were not so institutionalists that they actually did warn that sometimes organized crime can win. And of course you had the ultimate dismissed woman, Hillary Clinton running around and warning everyone about this too. And while I kind of understood a little bit in 2016 or 2017 that people weren't catching on, that they still had this belief in American exceptionalism, that they were listening to people like Obama who were saying everything was going to be okay, checks and balances, constitution, blah, blah, blah. Like we are two and a half years into this. Like, if you haven't caught on now, when are you going to, and if you're sitting there being smug and smirking and being like, ha ha ha. You know, it's so funny that this little goon squad keeps getting away with literal murder. Something is wrong with your moral calculus. Something is wrong with your political strategy. You know when you're a Nancy Pelosi and you're making these flippant little remarks about him not being worth it, you're not just disregarding the pain and the anguish that citizens are going through.
Sarah: 00:59:07 You're not just disregarding the threat to this country. You are enabling it like you are helping it by being so dishonest in your representation of the enemy. The way you show people like how to win is you fight back, you fight hard, you acknowledge that they are a severe threat. They count on you to underestimate them. This is like the oldest Republican trick in the book. You know, this goes back to Reagan. It goes back to George W. Bush certainly is shown with Trump. They use scandal to hide crime. They use establishment kind of media venues that have tabloid style writers who seize on this kind of thing, who loved horse race politics, who love personality politics and who are willing to cover up the depth of the corruption and the rot because you know, in a broader sense they too are implicated. Everyone who came out and underestimated the threat of Trump in 2016 has blood on their hands.
Sarah: 01:00:07 Everyone who said he couldn't win has blood on their hands and you know that might be uncomfortable for you, but it's a lot more uncomfortable for the people who have been killed, for the children who are locked up at the border, for people who have lost their rights, for people who have lost their freedom, lost access to their families, it's a lot more uncomfortable for them. So get your shit together, figure it out and help save this country, help save your fellow citizens. And the only way you can do that is by being brutally honest about the threat at hand. Looking at it in its historical context, acknowledging that, yes, this is a kleptocracy. Yes, this is a consolidating autocracy. Yes, of course it can happen here in America and then dealing with it head on, you know, those are the people I respect. Everyone's like, oh, you're so hopeless, so full of despair.
Sarah: 01:00:56 It's like, no, I want to see people fight. When I see people fight back. I do have some hope. I do have at least the possibility in my mind that we may succeed because you know, as Andrea and I noted, we too are affected by this. This isn't fun for us. This isn't some little like ha ha, we're right. Or look at this interesting game being played out, this interesting political theater. This is our lives on the line. We know what happens to people like us when an authoritarian regime takes hold and you know, sorry to say the ending for people like me and Andrea is not very pretty. So of course we're going to fight hard to prevent that from happening, but we're also fighting for everyone else and we would just like everyone to get on board.
Andrea: 01:01:36 We're living in abnormal times right now and you need a new strategy and you need to evolve and you need to pivot and you need to confront the challenges face on, not come out with this outdated strategy that makes you look so tone deaf to the crisis that not only the U.S., but the world is up against right now. So to deal with these abnormal times that we find ourselves in, we here at Gaslit Nation take a strong stance of saying no to savior syndrome. The only thing that's gonna get us out of this is self reliance and holding our leaders accountable and the only power we have left that we can rely on as grassroots power. To illustrate our point, here's Cher, providing a useful metaphor for these times. Rely on no one by your own hard work and dedication. That's the only way out of this. Awaken your inner Cher.
Interviewer: 01:02:28 You said a man is not a necessity. A man's a luxury like dessert.
Cher: 01:02:34 Yeah. A man is absolutely not necessity.
Interviewer: 01:02:37 Oh did you mean that to sound mean and bitter?
Cher: 01:02:41 Oh, not at all. I adore dessert. I love men. I think men are the coolest, but you don't really need them to live. My Mom said to me, you know, sweetheart, one day you should settle down and marry a rich man. I said, mom, I am a rich man.
Andrea: 01:03:05 Welcome to the Gaslit Nation action guide available on our website, gaslitnationpod.com. Democracy is a lifestyle. Trump is a symptom of the corruption, institutional failure and indifference that we can no longer tolerate.
Sarah: 01:03:18 Okay, so number one, get a guide. Stride toward freedom, the Montgomery Story by Martin Luther King Junior is an essential guide to self management, managing others and building teams. This inspirational case study of resistance written by a young MLK after successfully leading the Montgomery bus boycott shows how smart organization took on the authoritarianism of the Jim crow south. Never forget the MLK was considered a radical in his day, even though there's nothing radical about demanding human rights and dignity. Today, the same remains true. It's not radical or socialist to demand that corporation stop polluting for profits and to call for an end to tax breaks like for sending jobs overseas that worsen the income inequality crisis. To help communicate these urgent issues, another essential guide is the all new Don't Think of An Elephant. Know your Values and Frame the Debate by George Lakoff.
Andrea: 01:04:11 Number two of the Gaslit Mation action guide. Focus on state races. States decide key quality of life issues and local candidates help drive votes up ballot for federal races. EveryDistrict and Future Now are two excellent groups working to build a progressive infrastructure and turn states blue from the bottom up. Get involved by donating what you can or join or start your own group with their help in your state. We provide in our action guide interviews with EveryDistrict and Future Now for more background.
Sarah: 01:04:41 Number three, join. Grassroots power is one of the strongest forms of power we have left in America, especially with Mitch Mcconnell and Trump packing the courts. Don't succumb to savior syndrome by expecting Alexandria Ocasio Cortez or whomever else you admire to do all the work. Representatives are human and need our help fulfill the far right's worst nightmare by creating generations of AOC by helping build a more progressive union. Join a local group from any of these great national organizations for important action alerts like demonstrations or getting out the vote Indivisible, Swing Left, Sister District, MoveOn, Flippable.
Andrea: 01:05:18 Number four, fight global warming. Sunrise Movement is a grassroots organization demanding a green new deal. There are a lot of other groups working to adopt urgently needed green initiatives. C40 cities connect cities around the world committed to taking climate action. 350.org helps activists rise to the challenge of the climate crisis and there are more trusted organizations that need our support linked to on our action guide.
Sarah: 01:05:40 Number five. Unionize. In the age of Trump, there should be no more fear of starting or joining a union. Just tell your boss that you saw how unions protected workers during the universally unpopular Trump shutdown. Fight for 15 and its local variants are working to ensure a fair wage and strengthen unions in the service sector. Don't know how to get started? Read organizing to win: new research on union strategies and No Shortcuts: organizing for power in the new gilded age, both of which are linked to the Gaslit Nation website.
Andrea: 01:06:11 Number six: run for something. There are a lot of great groups out there that demystify the process of becoming a candidate and running a campaign. Run for something is one of our favorites. There's even a book to help you get started. Run for something: a real talk guide to fixing the system yourself by Amanda Litman. If you believe in facts and science and are a compassionate human being, you need to run for something and recruit others to as well. Even if it's a long shot, you can still create urgent conversations and treat your campaign like a platform for discussions you care about helping bring together like minded people to work for change even long past the election. Just look at what a refreshing discovery long shot Mayor Pete has been and all the great work Andrew Gillum continues to do to register 1 million voters in Florida.
Sarah: 01:06:52 Number seven: protect the vote. EveryDistrict action fund just launched a quote "report card" identifying states with enough progressive support and local governments to push through important voting reforms like automatic registration and the abolishment of racist voter ID laws. Is your state on the list? You can click a link and find out. If so, EveryDistrict action fund empowers you to help your state reach the gold standard of voting. Concerned about vote hacking and Ivanka Trump branded voting machines? Yes, that is a thing. Secure Our Votes provides background information and other resources to take action. Other groups to check out are Spread the Vote, Let America Vote, and Project ID which helped people get the information they need to register, vote and get an ID. And again these are linked to on our site.
Andrea: 01:07:40 Number eight: launch ballot initiatives and laws. Why not launch a ballot initiative? Kate Faghe turned her Facebook post into the movement Voters Not Politicians to end gerrymandering in Michigan. It passed overwhelmingly. We have a link on our action guide for you to read more of her story or you could build a grassroots coalition to get a law passed in your state. In our episode "how to pass a law," I interview my mother about how she, while pregnant with me and a young mother already without any political experience, mobilized a grassroots army to pass the child car seat law in California. Yes, it can be done.
Sarah: 01:08:15 Number nine: End terrorism in America. Moms Demand works to elect candidates and lobby for sensible legislation to stop the gun violence epidemic driven by the blood money gun lobby, the NRA. Southern Poverty Law Center exposes white supremacy, a leading terrorist movement in America to help immigrant communities deliberately terrorized by Trump's cruel border policies. We have a list linked here of groups that you can support.
Andrea: 01:08:41 Number 10: make art. To say that art cannot make a difference stems from a tone deaf attitude of privilege. Ukraine's Euromaidan Revolution of 2013 to 2014 relied on art and artists of all kinds to sustain protesters living in Arctic cold temperatures and under the threat of government sanctioned violence. North Korean dissident Yeon Mi Park said the Orwell's Animal Farm helped her heal after escaping the cult like dictatorship. And in our episode The Blue Wave continues, Kansas rising, we shared Davis Hammett's account of how painting a Rainbow house created a ripple effect in Kansas leading to major electoral victories. We need the artists and storytellers of all kinds more than ever.
Sarah: 01:09:27 So this is not a comprehensive list of suggestions of how you can create a more progressive America and stop entrenched corruption. There are many paths you can take and we encourage you to think for yourself and to work together. There is no one solution whether you're in a blue state or a red state. These ideas apply to you. Do not take any of the freedoms you have left for granted. Never underestimate the power of hard work. Additionally, we have a reading list linked to you from there because it's essential to read widely to understand how we got here and the best ways to navigate the challenges of the 21st century. So again, all of this is available on our site, GaslitNationpod.com
Andrea: 01:10:11 Gaslit Nation is produced by Andrea Chalupa and Sarah Kendzior. If you like what we do, leave us a review on iTunes. It helps us reach more listeners. And check out our Patreon. It helps keep us going. Our editor for this was Karlyn Daigle, Original music for Gaslit Nation is produced by David Whitehead, Martin Visenberg, Nick Farr, Damian Arriaga and Karlyn Daigle. Our phenomenal logo was designed by the genius that is Hamish Smith at the New York based design firm order. Thank you so much Hamish. Gaslit Nation would like to thank our supporters at the producer level on Patreon, Allen Lew, Page Harrington, Adam Levine, Alexandria Lane Detweiler, David Porter, A.W. Nicholson, Lena De Guzman. Jared Lombardo, Jason Bainbridge, Jody Dewitt, John Ripley, Kate Cotton, Kelly Ranson, Kevin M Garnette, Lorraine W. Todd, Phyllis Schroeder, Stephanie Brant, MD. Cary Brady, Zachary Lemon, Anne Marshall, Atila Halsey, Brian Tejuden, Carolyn Friend, Catherine Anderson, Corrina, Kathy Cavenaugh, Lorina Guardia, Ethan Man, Jason Rita, Jennifer Slavic, Yans Alstrop Alinson, John Danverough. John Keane, Kanshiro Nakagawa. Kevin Christie, Kim Mellon, Christy Vital, Lawrence Graham, Luke Stranded, Margaret Mo, Matthew Copeland, Marine Murphy, Michelle Dash, Mike Beat Matheran. Mike Tropico, Ronda White, Rich Croft, Sonya Bogdanovic, Ted Gary Mitchell, Thomas Burns, Victoria Olsen, and Zach Rousdower. Thank you all so much for your help. We could not make this show without you.