Links to today’s show transcripts:
As Accusations Stack Up, A Look at the Onerous Process of Reporting Sexual Abuse on Capitol Hill
What happens to a member of Congress when someone dares to come forward to report wrongdoing? Senator Al Franken returned to Congress in the face of allegations from four women that he had groped or inappropriately touched them, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she spoke to and believed one of the women who has accused Michigan Congressman John Conyers of sexual harassment. Alexis Ronickher is an attorney who has represented multiple congressional staffers pursuing harassment claims through Congress’s Office of Compliance.
J20 Trial: 200+ Inauguration Protesters, Journalists & Observers Face Riot Charges From Mass Arrest
The first trial of the nearly 200 people arrested during President Trump’s inauguration is underway and involves six people, including one journalist, Alexei Wood, a freelance photojournalist and videographer based in San Antonio. The defendants were charged under the Federal Riot Statute and face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including inciting or urging to riot, conspiracy to riot and multiple counts of destruction of property. Jude Ortiz is a member of the organizing crew of Defend J20 and the Mass Defense Committee Chair for the National Lawyers Guild. Defendant Elizabeth Lagesse is also a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit which charges D.C. police mistreated detainees after their arrests at the inauguration.
Floating Guantánamos: How the Coast Guard Uses Indefinite Detention to Wage “War on Drugs” at Sea
A shocking new exposé reveals how the U.S. Coast Guard is detaining thousands of suspected drug smugglers they arrest in international waters and keeping them jailed at sea for up to several months before they are charged in a U.S. federal court. Many of the suspects are low-level smugglers from impoverished fishing towns in Latin America. During their imprisonment at sea they are shackled on deck, exposed to the elements and denied access to lawyers and their families. The increased detentions began when General John Kelly headed the Pentagon’s Southern Command from 2012 to 2016. Kelly is now President Trump’s White House chief of staff after briefly serving as Secretary of Homeland Security. Seth Freed Wessler is the journalist who broke the story in The New York Times Magazine in a piece headlined, “The Coast Guard’s ‘Floating Guantánamos.’” Wessler is also a Puffin Fellow at the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute.