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Politics: 2024Talks - April 17, 2024

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Politics and views in the United States.

Audio file

Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.


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Welcome to "2024 Talks," where we're following our democracy in historic times.

I should be right now in Pennsylvania, in Florida, in many other states, North Carolina, Georgia, campaigning.

This is all coming from the Biden White House.

Former President Donald Trump was back in court Tuesday as the first seven jury members were seated in his hush money trial.

The former president drew a rebuke from the judge for muttering at one prospective juror during the painstaking selection process.

Trump continues to allege that Judge Juan Merchan is totally conflicted and should leave the case.

Attorney General Merrick Garland defended President Joe Biden's mental fitness when asked by a Republican congressman about special counsel Robert Herr's report on Biden's handling of classified documents.

I have complete confidence in the president and I reject your characterization.

Some Democrats have criticized Garland for not pushing back against Herr's statement that Biden could present himself as a well-meaning but forgetful old man if charged in the case.

Hard right Kentucky congressman Thomas Macy says he would vote for Georgia colleague Marjorie Taylor Greene's resolution to AL speaker Mike Johnson.

Johnson says he'll bring up three separate bills to aid Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, and a fourth on Republican foreign policy demands.

Macy says that's not good enough.

Because the motion is going to get called, okay?

Does anybody doubt that?

The motion will get called, and then he's gonna lose more votes than Kevin McCarty.

Johnson might look across the aisle to survive until the end of this Congress in January.

California representative Pete Aguilar says Democrats can't control the theatrics of Greene and the Republican caucus, but dislike the chaos, and he says minority leader Hakeem Jeffries should be the next speaker.

We want Hakeem Jeffries to be speaker.

Whether that happens in this calendar year or in January, that's the focus.

Mathematically, it's possible.

House Republicans have sent two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate, highlighting what they call the Biden administration's mishandling of immigration.

Utah Republican Senator Mike Lee says Senate Democrats should not just toss the charges.

They can't just ignore the fact that we have the power to try all impeachments.

The Supreme Court's conservative majority appeared skeptical of how a federal obstruction law was used against January 6th insurrectionists, including former President Trump.

A former policeman indicted in the riot challenged the law that forbids destruction of government documents and interfering with official proceedings.

Justice Neil Gorsuch asked what situations could be charged.

Would a heckler in today's audience qualify or at the State of the Union address?

Would pulling a fire alarm before a vote qualify for 20 years in federal prison?

Finally, four Republican state parties are asking the high court to take up a fringe Arizona lawsuit seeking to ban voting machines.

A federal court threw out the suit by election deniers claiming the machines can be manipulated.

I'm Alex Gonzalez for Pacifica Network and Public News Service.

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