tv Democracy Now LINKTV August 24, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
08/24/18 08/24/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democrcracy now! >> the sentence rendered today is the longest received either been a friend unauthorized disclosure of national defense information to the media. amy: nsa whistleblower reality winner has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for leaking a top-secret document to the intercept about russian interference in the 2016 election. we will speak to pulitzer prize
winning journalist james risen of the intercept, journalist kevivin gosztola, anand realit's mother billie winner-davis. >> i want everybody to know who reality winner is and what is happening to reality winner. it is very, very important that she be remembered and that people not forget what she is going through, the battle that is being, that she silenced, that she is being hidden away, she is locked away. amy: then we go to connecticut where a bangladeshi woman facing deportation has been granted a last minute stay following public outcry. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in yemen, houthi rebels and local journalists say u.s.-backed saudi-led coalition airstrikes targeted a camp for
civilians displaced by war thursday, killing 31 people, including 22 children. the reported bombings struck a camp about 12 mimiles outside te red sea poport city of hodeidah, which cameme under assauault bye saudi-led d coalition ovover the summmmer. state medidia for the united ara emirates disisputed news o of te attack, claiaiming a mislele fid by houthi rebels killed one child and injured dozens more. the latest deaths came exactly two weeks after a bomb produced by the u.s. weapons maker lockheed martin and sold by the united states to saudi arabia killed 51 people, 40 of them schoolchildren. this week the senate rejected in a minute by kinetic democrarat chris murphy that would have restrictcted u.s. financncial ad and other support for the saudi have a lead bombing campaign. executives at the national enquirer kept a safe holding documents detailing hush money payments and other damaging stories the tabloid killed as part of a cozy relationship with
donald trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election. that's according to the associated press, with reports the executives emptied the safe after donald trump's election victory. it's not known whether the documents were preserved. the revelation came as it emerged that david pecker -- chairman and ceo of the enquirer's parent company, american media inc. -- was granted immunity by federal prosecutors as they build a case against trump's personal lawyer and fixer, michael cohen. david pecker has been a close friend of donald trump for decades. his cooperation with federal prosecutors raises the prospect of new revelations about trump's past behavior. michael cohen admitted in court tuesday that president trump directed him to illegally pay out money to two women to keep them from speaking during the 2016 campaign about their alleged affairs with donald trump. the payments involved "the
national enquirer," which acquired exclusive rights to the stories and refused to publish them in a process known as "catch-and-kill." meanwhile, the "new york times" reports manhattan's district attorney's office may bring criminal charges against the trump organization and two senior company officials over hush money payments. any convictions on new york state charges would not be subject to a presidential pardon. this all comes as new york's attorney general has opened a new criminal inquiry into whether michael cohen violated state tax laws. president trump has renewed his attacks on attorney general jeff sessions, blasting the attorney general buys first thing in a tweet storm this morning after telling fox news thursday that he never would have hired sessions if trump had known he would recuse himself from oversight of the robert mueller investigation. pres. trump: sessions recused himself, which you should not have done. or if you should've of told me.
even my enemies say jeff sessions should have told you he was going to recuse himself, and then you would not have bit him in. he took the job and then he said, i'm going to recuse myself . a set, what kind of a man is this? amy: after those remarks aired on fox news, a pair of senior republican senators signaled they're open to having president trump fire attorney general sessions. south carolina republican senator lindsey graham, who also serves on the judiciary committee, told reporters it was very likely president trump would nominate a new attorney genel l afteththe miermm elections. >> i think there wil come a time, soon rather anan lat, whe it wilbe t timto have a new cece andresh voice at the depamement ojuststic clearly, attorney genera ssions does not veve the confidence of f the president ad the president has the right to have an attorney general he feels comfortable with. amy: senate judiciary committee chair charles grassley went a step further thursday, telling bloomberg news he'd be able to make time for hearings for a new attorney general this fall.
attorney general sessions fired back thursday, writing in a statement -- "while i am attorney general, the actions of the department of justice will not be improperly influenced by political considerations." in california, republican congressmember duncan hunter and his wife margaret hunter pleaded not guilty thursday to federal charges they misused a quarter million dollars of campaign funds for personal expenses, including expensive vacations and their children's school tuition. speaking on fox news, congressmember hunter appeared to blame his wife for the expenditures. >> she was also the campaign manager. so whatever she did, that will be looked at, too, i am sure. but i did not do it. i did not spend any money illegally. amy: hunter was the second member of congress to endorse candidate donald trump in 2016. his indictment on campaign finance violations came just weeks after the first congressmember to endorse trump, chris collins of new york,
suspended his campaign for election after he wawas indicted on charges of insider trading. striking around the country as part of a nationwide protest demanding improved living conditions for greater access to resources, and the and of what prisoners are calling modern day slavery. in tacoma, washington, immigrant rights advocates say 60 immigrants detained at the northwest detention center continued their hunger strike thursday as part of the nationwide prison strike -- california prisoner heriberto garcia is also hunger striking at new folsom state prison. he recorded video of himself refusing food in his cell that was then posted on twitter. meanwhile in halifax, nova scotia, protesting prisoners issued a statement in solidarity with the u.s. prison strike. the statement said the prisoners were "warehoused as inmates, not treated as human beings." organizers also report actions in north carolina, south carolina, georgia, and florida as the national prison strike moves into its fourth day.
this comes as 10 prisoners have died behind bars in m mississipi this mononth. acactivists and family members e demanding answers for the deadly spike in prisoner deaths. the iww's inincarcerated workers organizing committee tweeted about the deaths -- "why #prisonstrike? because at this point it's about survival." nsa whistleblower reality winner was sentenced thursday to five years and three months in prison, the longest sentence ever imposed in federal court for leaking government information to the media. 26-year-old reality winner is the first person to be sentenced under the espionage act since president trump took office. reality winner was arrested by fbi agents at her home in augusta, georgia, on two days june 3, 2017, before the intercept published an expose revealing russian military intelligence conducted a cyberattack on at least one u.s. voting software company just days before the u.s. presidential election november 2016. after headlines, we'll speak
with reality winner's mother, billie winner-davis, along with james risen, the intercept's senior national security correspondent, as well as kevin gosztola. is a category 3 storm. more than two feet of rain has fallen in some parts of the big island as the storm tracks slowly towardd smaller, more populist islands to the north. south african officials have rejected a tweet by president trump alleging the wide scale killing of white farmers by south africa's black majority. amid mounting scandals related to the russia probe tuesday night, president trump tweeted -- "i have asked secretary of state @secpompeo to closely study the south africa land and farm seizures and expropriations and the large scale killing of farmers." former kkk grand wizard david duke and the far-right anti-immigigrant website v vdarm
re-tweeted the president along with messages about "white genocide." the south african government tweeted in response -- "south africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past." trump made his original tweet tuesday night right after a fox news report on south a africa. in australia, conservative prime minister malcolm turnbnbl has been ousted after a bruising leadership fight within the ruling liberal party. treasurer scott morrison will replace turnbull as the country's newest prime minister. morrisison is a social conservative who, like malcolm turnbull, is known for his support for australia's harsh anti-immigrant policies. he's also a prominent opponent of efforts to curb catastrophic climate change. in 2017, morrison brought a lump of coal to the floor of the australian parliament, mocking opposition lawmakers
with the words -- "don't be afraid, don't be scared, it won't hurt you. it's coal." scott morrison becomes prime minister as human-induced global warming has brought soaring temperatures and wildfires to australia, along with the continent's worst drought in livingng memory. back in the united states, climate justice groups are blasting the fossil fuel industry over an effort to secure billions of taxpayer dollars to protetect coastal infrastrucre from climate change. the planould creata massive spine of sea walls to protect dozens of coastal refineries from in croce fees and ever more powerful storms. texas alone has requested $12 billion for the project in response, jamie henn of 350.org tweeted -- "let me get this straight," declared jamie henn, communication director for 350 action: "big oil is asking tax papayers to pay for prprotecting their refineries from sea level rise that they caused by keeping us addicted to oil? yeahno."
education secretary betsy devos is considering a plan that would grant federal funds to states to purchase firearms for teachers and school employees. "the new york times" reports the plan would use federal student support and academic enrichment grants to pay for guns as well as training educators in their use. the plan would reverse longstanding federal policy prohibiting federal funds for arming educators. and pope francis heads to the republic of ireland this weekend, where a half million catholic faithful are expected to line the streets of dublin to catch a glimpse of the first visit by a pontiff to ireland in four decades. francis is scheduled to meet victims of clerical sexual and physical abuse. the pope's visit comemes less tn two weeks after a grand jury in pennsylvania reported more than 300 catholic priests sexually abused 1000 children, and possibly thousands more, over seven decades, and that church
leadership covered up the abuse. this is irish journalist and broadcaster pat coyle. >> that wound is deep in the psyche of the irish people, and it brings up that pain. people want the survivors to be of the meet the pope. they want the pope to be able to say something really meaningful, not just "sorry." i think people have heard "sorry" an awful a lot. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nsa whistleblower reality winner has been sentenced to five years and three months in prison, the longest sentence ever imposed in federal court for leaking government information to the media. 26-year-old reality winner is the first person to be sentenced under the espionage act since president trump took office. her sentencing thursday came after she pleaded guilty in june to transmitting a top secret document to a news organization. she had faced up to 10 years in prison.
this is bobby christine, u.s. attorney for the southern district of georgia, speaking after winner's sentencing. >> this entrance rendered today is a longest received for defendant for an unauthorized disclosure of national defense information to the media. it appropriately satisfy the need for both punishment and deterrence in light of the nature and seriousness of the offense. winner's purposeful dilution put our nation's security at risk. whenlaimed to hatee america asked, you don't really hate america, right? she responded, i mean, yeah, i do. it is literally the worst thing to happen on the planet. she was the quintessential example of an insider threat. amy: reality winner was arrested by fbi agents at her home in augusta, georgia, on june 3rd -- june 3, 2017, 2 days before the intercept published an
expose revealing russian military intelligence conducted a cyberattack on at least one u.s. voting software company just days before the u.s. presidential election. the expose was based on a classified nsa report from may 5, 2017, that shows that the agency is convinced the russian general staff main intelligence directorate, or gru, was responsible for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. earlier this morning, president trump tweeted about the case saying -- "ex-nsa contractor to spend 63 months in jail over 'classified' information. gee, this is 'small potatoes' compared to what hillary clinton did! so unfair jeff, double standard." he was referringng to attorney general jeff sessions whoho he s been attacking ovever the last 4 hours. for more, we're joined by three guests who were in the courtroom thursday during reality winner's sentencing. joining us via democracy now! video stream is billie
winner-davis, mother of reality leigh winner. she is joining us from augustine, where reality winner was sentenced. kevin gosztola is managing editor of shadowproof press. he has been covering reality winner's case and has covered several whistleblower trials, including that of chelsea manning. he was in the courtroom on wednesday. and in washington, d.c., james risen is the intercept's senior national security correspondent, a best-selling author and a former "new york times" reporter. also serves as director of first look media's press freedom defense fund. we welcome you all to democracy now! let's begin with billie winner-davis. you were in the courtroomom with yoyour daughter. can you explaiain -- can you u e your reaction to her plea deal and sentencing? >> i think yesterday, my national reaction to the whole proceeding and the judge's sentencing was, i was relieved
that the judge did approve of the plea agreement that the parties had reached, with the three years supervised release. today i am a little bit bitter. i am a little bit angry. i should say i am a lot bitter today. just processing it, knowing she is going to be serving the longest prison sentence for this post of hearing mr. christine's comments about her, hearing again that she has to be the deterrent for anyone else in america who would think of warning us, of blowing the whistle on something important like this -- it is really hard. it is hard as her mother to have to experience this and it no that -- and to know that she is going to be the one that is going to set the example. under that first leaker
trump administration. she is the first one they intended to nail to the door as a message to others. amy: and can you share reality's statement yesterday before the judge? >> reality had a pretty lengthy statement that she had worked on . she basically -- she let the judge know a little bit about who she was. she did share with the court that she was grateful for the professionalism that everyone had shown to her, the respectful environment. she let the court know a little bit about who she was, why she went in to serve her country. she basically went through her childhood, her relationship with her father, how 9/11 had affected her as a child, how she followed her step brother's footsteps to go into the air force to be a linguist.
she wanted to serve her country. she really has a desire to protect and defend and serve her country. i think she was trying to, you know, let the court know that although in some statements in texting with her sister she did indicate that she hates america, that that is not really who she was. so she was really letting the court know a little bit about herself. she also apologized to the court. she apologized to the government for the breach of trust. she apologized to the court in a government for the expense that she has cost them. she apologized to her family. she indicated that she knew what she had done was wrong. she indicated that she was willing to accept responsibility and willing to move forward and accept the consequences of her actions. amy: how long has she been in jail? >> she has been in jail for
about 15 months. amy: will time served be part of that more than f five years in jail?? >> yes, itit is my understanding that time served will count toward her sentence. day for d day. amy: when she came into the courtroom, you heard her shackles? >> yes. that was really difficult. that is the first time that we have heard that. i think because typically she is been in the courtroom downstairs and there is carpeting, you kind of hear her shuffle but yesterday, it was very quiet when they brought her in. when she went up to the podium, you could actually hear her leg shackles hit the floor and make sound.anking it is really striking that every time reality has appeared in court, she has to wear the orange inmate jumpsuit. she is shackled.
she is very much presented as a criminal in that court. theydehumanize her a and portray her as a criminal. amy: your daughter reality will be incarcerated at the federal medical center carswell in fort worth, texas. why a medical center? >> that is only the recommendation at this time. that is the recommendation her defense team is making for her. he recommendation that a psychiatrist is making for her. and the judge approved of that recommendation yesterday post up whether or not she is placed there, we won't know. that will be up to the bureau of prisons to decide. but we do feel like that facility will meet her needs. my daughter does suffer from severe depression. entire situation with her being incarcerated, her inability to really control her environment has been very
difficult on her. and we are hoping that she is placed there so they can meet her needs and she can get the treatment that she needs. amy: did you speak to her? were you a able to communicacate with herer yesterday? >> afterward, she called me when she was back at the jail. the defense team did ask the marshalls if we could be allowed a brief visit with her yesterday at the courthouse. we were denied. they make this request whenever they can. again, the marshalls will not permit us to be in the same room with her. amy: we're going to go to break and come back to this discussion. we're speaking to billie winner-davis with the mother of reality winner, who was just sentenced to more than five releasing intelligence , leaking a top-secret document to the intercept. when we come back, in addition to billie winner-davis, we will .e joined by jim risen
he is now at the intercept. he is a pulitzer pririze-winning journalist. he himself has been prosecutedd under the obamama administratio. we will talk about that as well. and kevin gosztola, longtime reporter, in the courtroom yesterday. he will be speaking to us from atlanta. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are talking about the latest on nsa whistleblower reality winner, who has just been sentenced to more than five months in prison. the longest sentence ever imposed in federal court for leaking government information to the media. reality winner's 26, the first person to be sentenced under the espionage act since president trump took office. her sentencing came thursday after she pleaded guilty in june
to transmitting a top-secret document to a news organization. she had faced up to 10 years in prison. reality's yes mother billie winner-davis. we will also be speaking to jim risen. the first right now, we're going to kevinin gosztola, who was in the courtroom yesterday. kevin, this is the longest ever sentence of this type. please, explain. >> and it should be emphasized that the justice department was quite gleeful about this accomplishment. people should recognize that reality winner is going to jail for a single count under the espionage act. there have been other week cases. in most of those cases, the justice department has been able to charge those individuals with several offenses, multiple counts under the espionage act. in the case of jeffrey sterling,
a cia whistleblower, he was sevenced for a believe counts of violating the espionage act t and ended up wih in prison.42 months so just divide that up and you can tell that is way less than five years for single violation of the espionage act. john kerry oxo, cia whistleblower, he had a plea agreement for 30 months at a time in federal prison and while that was for intelligence identities protection act violation, he was prosecuted under the espionage act and eventually was able to bargain less severe sentence. it does seem like this is extraordinary when you view reality w winner's case. i want to turn to a state from betsy reed, editor in chief of the intercept, who wrote -- "the vulnerability of the american electoral system is a national topic of immense gravity, but it took winner's act of bravery to bring key
details of an attempt to compromise the democratic process in 2016 to public attention. those same details were included in the july indictment of alleged russian military intelligence operatives issued by special counsel robert mueller. instead of being recognized as a conscience-driven whistle-blower whose disclosure helped protect u.s. elections, winner was prosecuted with vicious resolve." again, editor and chief of the intercept. we are to go right now to jim risen who is a reporter now with the intercept. the intercept's senior national security correspondent, best selling author, and former "neww york timeses" reporter. also first look media's press fund, he isnse director of that. jim, you were also in the courtroom yesterday. can you respond to the sentence that reality winner received? >> i think it was outrageous.
i think what has been done by the trump administration to reality is just terrible and it is one of the worst miscarriages of justice i have seen in a long time. what reality winner did was a public service. the disclosure of the document the intercept published, it provided a really important wake-up call to the merrick and people that the -- that russian intelligence was fracking into the election systems of states. in the senate judiciary committee in a report earlier this year wrote that the home's security department had failed to adequately warn state election officials about the russian hacking threat and said in the senate report -- it said,
it was only because of press disclosures that state officials began to be alerted to the russian threat, cyber threat. which shows even congress recognizes that what reality winner did was of public service. and so i think one of the things that we at the press freedom fund want to try to push for is to try to get the government to stop using this draconian espionage act against whistleblowers in the way that they have been. it is in our character come world war one-era law that the government uses because it is so vague that you can charge almost anybody for anything. and it is not being used against spies anymore. it is only being used against
people who talk to american reporters to reveal important matters. amy: in a recent sentencing memorandum, prosecutors argued reality winner deserved the unprecedented sentence because "the defendant's unauthorized disclosure caused exceptionally grave harm to our national security." jim risen, your response. >> that is just not true. if you look at the indictment of the 12 russian intelligence operatives, virtually the entire information in there is the same -- itation made public was based on some of the same information that was in the nsa document. in the robert mueller indictment reveals that the russian intelligence operatives that were targeted in this indictment were already aware as a 2016 that the u.s. was investigating them and that they were alerted to that, not by the leak to the
intercept, but by other actions taken by the u.s. government, and that the russian official who was in charge of the hacking of election systems in that russian unit had taken steps i n 2016 t to protect themselves frm ththe americ intelligencee -- which shows a year before this document was published by the intercept, other actions had already been taken by the u.s. government to alert the russians that they were being monitored by the united states. that gives the lie to the idea that somehow anything we publish at the intercept had anything to do with alerting the russians about the american intelligence surveillance of them and shows that there was no damage caused by this leak.
amy: earlier this morning, jim, -- ident trump tweeted "ex-nsa contractor to spend 63 months in jail over 'classified' ininformation. gee, this is 'small potatoes' compared to what hillary clinton did! so unfair jeff, double standard." what do you make of this tweet? you could argue this is a political attack on her because she was talking about russian interference of the 2016 election, something president trump does not like t discussed. >> first of all, president trump is a cycle in should not be president. he is crazy. each week in the middle of the night about stuff he knows nothing about every day. you have to discount this because of that. but he is correct there is a double standard. it is just not a double standard with hillary clinton. the double standard is that low-level people in the intelligence community are the
not who are prosecuted by high-level people. if you look at the real double standard -- the real double standard here is the way the justice department that with someone like david pretorius, the cia director who leaked lots of information to his former mistress, and then was never sent to jail and was given probation. and the way this draconian sentence against reality winner, which is an absurd double standard. that is the real double standard. thing trump does not want to admit is that he has politicized the justice department to such a degree that the two of the first three prosecutions of whistleblowers under his administration are about leaks of information about the trump in russia case -- trump and russia case. both in this case, which involved the investigation of russian election meddling, and in the case of jim wolf, the
senate intelligence security officer who has been charged with allegedly leaking information about carter page in the russia investigation. so two out of three investigations are about matters that directly relate to donald .rump and his campaign so i don't think it is a coincidence that the justice department has been highly popoliticized already on these kind of cases. tweetingou have trump this comment about reality winner, talking about a double standard, and then you have the fact that trump could pardon her. in fact, once he tweeted this, this was the response of social saying,alkiking about -- ok, pardon her. how likely is this? >> i think that would be great. that would show a level of mercy
that we have not seen from donald trump, but i think that would be great if he does that. she should not be in jail in the first place. what she did was a public service. anything that can be done to help her i am all for. amy: kevin gosztola, , you wrota long piecece earlier this week aboutt how t the government trid to break reality's spirit. can you explain? >> when she was arrested, the fbi agents backed her into a corner in a back room of her home. they coerced a confession from her. they did not read her the miranda rights. in that point, she was immediately put under this model where you treat a person, not like they are a leaker, not like some of who spoke to the press, but like they are a terrorist. she was denied bond immediately. the prosecutors relying. they fabricated claims based on
alleged conversations between reality winner and her family members. they took texts out of context. it is important to note that phrase about hating america came from a joke. if we believe in freedom of speech or we believe in reason, they were deliberately misinterpreting or lying about her views toward america. they made her as if she was summit who was a taliban sympathizer who wanted to go abroad and help people in the middle east who elect to do this country harm. her air force service entered it into something that was a negative aspect of her. they used it to justify keeping her in prison and denying her bail come even though she committed a nonviolent offense. there are people who have committed violent crimes who do not go to jail before they are convicted. from that point on she was killed -- kept in a county jail and if she suffered an assault by the state inmate. she is a federal inmate
associated take this and lie down in a fetal position. she could not fight back because she did not want any additional charges to be added to her case. onward, whenever she wanted to go to the courthouse to work on her case, as her mother has discussed, she was stripped searched -- strip-searched. not necessarily because she was suspicious of having contraband, but that was the way they wanted to show they had control over reality winner. you put someone in a situation where you wear them down when it comes to working on their own defense. you make it impossible for them to get subpoenas to put together a valid defense. they make it impossible for someone to put on a public interest defense, to argue why they released the leak, to put on any kind of whistleblower defense. eventually, yoyou get the person to appoint to were they accept a plea to look as it is much better than going to prison for 10 years. you will take five years with the possibility of getting out
of jail soon. amy: to listen to that description, your comments. also, talk about how this relates to your being head of media'st look media press freedom defense fund. >> we have been proud to lead her defense fund. it is one of the first cases we have funded since i took over the fund last fall. -- and i think it is a real good case of press freedom because what she did or what she have done -- as i said earlier, it is a public service. it really was one of the few moments in the last year and a half where the american people got a clear warning that their
election systems were being hacked are the russians. it was no longer just a hack of the democratic committee's emails. this was a direct hack of the american election system. the russians were attempting to change voting patterns by getting into voting machines. and the united states government had failed to adequately warn anyone that that was going on until this document was released. the idea that that is somehoww a bad thing is ridiculous. it shows you how absurd this entire prosecution has become. so we have been very proud to help pay her legal defense. amy: hasas this case changed the way the intercept receives documents? and explain what she pled to. she nailed a document -- she has
says this is the case, is that right, to the intercept? >> i'm sorry, cannot her you. amy: explain what reality winner has played too. she said she mailed a document to the intercept, that she had access to as in an essay contractor with this corporation think it is called service international corporation in augusta. interceptged how the receives and then reveals documents, having placed that document and online, the intercept did? >> i can't really discuss how we but i things internally, think it is safe to say this has been an important -- this was important for us because it really, as i said, was an important and great story. i think the idea that the
intercept, we received actually quite a bit of anonymous information and we continue to documents andof other information from a number of sources anonymously, and from people who are named, so we're going to continue to always try to deal with that in the best way possible. as you mentioned earlier, i just came from "the new york times last year and i can tell you the intercept handles material that is sensitive, that comes from sources, as well as any other news organization in the united states, and has a very high standard for the way in which ony handle internal security
such sensitive matters and will continue to do so. amy: jim, you yourself were subpoenaed not under the trump administration, but under the obama administration can you just explain your own case? because even as you were reporting and winning a pulitzer prize uncovering the obama administration, they were going after you, and how that resolved? >> i was first subpoenaed by the bush and administration and then the obama administration continued it and got new subpoenas. i was subpoenaed for a grand jury to testify about sources for my book "state of war" that came out in 2006. by theubpoenaed in 2008 bush administration to testify before grand jury.
in the obama administration renewed that subpoena and the judge quashed it. actually quashed two grand jury subpoenas. they subpoenaed me to testify at after -- in the same case, and that subpoena was quashed by the judge. at the moment -- but the obama initiation of fields that to the appeals court. they wrote aal, brief saying there was no such thing as a reporter's privilege, which meant they believed there was no legal right for reporter not to be forced to testify about their sources. agreed court of appeals with the obama administration on that and then i took the case to thesupreme court because in -- in the supreme court refused to take the case.
a 2015, i had to appear in pretrial hearing to determine whether or not was going to testify or not. and i said i would not. the obama administration at the last minute backed off and decided not to send me to jail. at thathe case ended point. amy: and finally, jim, you just wrote a piece this week called "is donald trump above the law?" explain. and talk about your call for a trump project. >> yeah, i wrote in his latest piece that there is this long-standing tradition based partly on legal opinions issued by the justice department over the last few decades in which it
is believed the justice department cannot indict and prosecute a sitting presidedent, and that the only available option is impeachment in congress. but it is clear now that the republicans in congress are not going to ever go along with an impeachment, no matter what robert mueller and the special counsel find. even if the democrats retake the house and even if they retook the senate, it is highly unlikely they would have the votes in the senate for conviction on an impeachment. and so the only real avenue, i believe, to deal with the criminality of donald trump is to indict him and prosecute him in a federal court. and i think the prosecutors, both in new york who have dealt and the cohen matter
mueller's special counsel office, should both consider indicting him for what are very obviously criminal matters. amy: and you think the most obvious part of the criminal matters are, what? what do you think it's criminal? >> this week what we got is donald trump's former lawyer, personal lawyer, revealing, admitting in court that the felony he just pled guilty to was conspiracy that was coordinated and directed by donald trump. he said that in court. that makes -- i mean, how does a federal prosecutor, when you just prosecuted the man's personal lawyer and that personal lawyer has admitted that trump directed him to do the thing that you just prosecuted him for, how do you than ignore that as a prosecutor? amy: it could -- whether a
sitting president to go to the supreme cocourt. it is a sesears question of what it would mean if brett kavanaugh were sitting on a supreme court. >> yes, obviously, yes. i don't think should go forward with his nomination until all of these things are clarified. amy: and how likely do think that is, that they would not move forward? >> that is a good question. i think the democrats may have the votes to slow things down on his nomination. i don't think they will ever be able to stop it unless they retake the senate. there is a lot of procedural moments i think there would be able to use to slow it down. amy: the trump project, jim? >> i wrote another pease about a week ago about -- you know, when the merrick and editorial pages were all writing about the need for press freedom in america. i said we should really go further than just having a
series of editorials. we need to have investigative reporters come together and in a joint project to investigate trump, much the way that investigative reporters came together back in the 1970's in arizona after an investigative reporter was murdered in a car bombing by the mob. about 38 investigative reporters came from all over the country to jointly investigate what he had been investigating, and then wrote a series of stories about it. i think that is what we need with donald trump is to have investigative reporters from every major news organization getting together and writing jointly a comprehensive investigation of trump that could be published jointly throughout the country as a sign freedom andg press
investigative reporting still is, despite trump. amy: we're going to end it there but i do want to go back to our first guest, b billie winner-das , and ask that question that people are now asking online after president trump's tweet. would you be requesting, would reality winner want to request a pardon president trump -- a pardon of president trump? i'm second i can hear you, billie. >> absolutely, yes. can you hear me? yes, we would want to do whatever we can to undo this. her sentence is not fair. the way she is been treated is not fair. it president trump would pardon her, i would be very g grateful. and so was she. amy: i want to thank you for joining us from where billie lives, -- sorry, where reality lived before she was arrested.
billie winner-davis speaking to us from augusta, georgia. kevin gosztola, we will link to your pieces. james risen of the intercept, pulitzer prize-winning journalist. we willing to all of your pieces related to this case. this is democracy now! reality winner sentenced to 63 months in prison. this is democracy now! when we come back, a bangladeshi woman about to be deported is stopped, the deporortation i is stopped because of public outcry. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: "resist" by reverend sekou. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we end today's show in connecticut, where a bangladeshi woman facicing deportation has been granted a last minute stay following public outcry against her removal. salma sikandar's deportation was halted less than 24 hours before she was supposed to board a one-way flight to bangladesh, leaving behind her husband and 17-year-old son, who is a u.s. citizen. sikandar has lived in the united states for 20 years. but in june she was told by
ice, immigration and customs enforcement, that she had to leave the country by august. that's when the hartford community stepped in, staging protests and a hunger strike outside hartford courthouse, demanding salma be allowed to stay in the united states. this is salma's husband anwar mahmud speaking to nbc connecticut shortly after the stayay of deportation was announced. >> i thought she was living in we would have no chance to fight back. but now she is still here so we can fight. we need to fight. we're going to win this fight. and hartford, connecticut, where you go for more, we go to hartford, connecticut, where we are joined by salma sikandar and her son samir later today, they will be heading to quinnipiac university, where samir will start his freshman year monday. let's begin with you, salma. how did this begin, how did this happen that your deportation was stopped?
>> the community helped me. a lot of community organizers helped me. communitya lot of the helped her out and there are multiple protests over the hartford, new haven area, that helped my mother out, become known to ice, let ice know that there are supporters and their wrongfully deporting her. can you talk about the hunger strike led by your father? >> it was originally an idea i was not that ok with because i didn't want people suffering for my mom and neither did my mom. what happened was my dad had a bunch of crazy ideas because he was losing his mind, to be honest, because of the deportation. he was going to lose the love of his life, lose my mother. he thought having a hunger
strike in front of ice's building where if they looked out they would see us, for the next 43 hours, until the deportation date/time. the hunger strike was led in front of ice. there were about nine individuals who joined us, and then over 100 come even the hartford mayor himself and governor malloy showed support. then a congresswoman showed support and understood our problem. amy: geo group facility, that is a large prison company that there was a mass protest against all over the country weeks ago, with a facilitated your mother's -- your mother, salma sikandar, wearing an ankle bracelet, a monitor, since june. they took that monitor off yesterday. explain what happened this week. how this change, why ice said
they were deporting her after she left her for 20 years and then the developments of this week. monday,happened was on we had our press conference and she started bawling her eyes out. she had read about this mother being wrongfully deported. she has no crime. so rosa started crying and she asked ice personally called him and asked them to grant my mother a stay or consider having a stay. what happen on tuesday was the beginning of the hunger strike in front of ice. my dad and nine other people, that hundreds of supporters came out to hartford to visit the geo office down the street. they started to protest there. at 2:00 or 3:00, they staged in front of ice and started pulling
startedrabbing signs, the hunger strike, basically. 20 hours later, we got a notice from the board of immigration that my mother's state ordered got denied. we were about to lose hope. knew, lawyers, advised as to maybe talk about sanctuary. what happened was as we were about to talk about sanctuary in about two finalize the moments, we got a call from the congresswoman's office saying ice -- something is going on that ice isce thing considering my mom's case. the chief of ice is looking into our case. so i let everybody that ice is considering my mom's know, and they were all the static. we did not know how long that was going to be. about an hourly or, we got a call from our lawyer and said that ice has granted the stay officially for a year, which can
be renewed. after that, my mom had tears of joy. she started crying. my dad started crying like a baby. i have never seen him cry like that. i guess ice look at us, and i thank ice for looking at my mother and notot supporting my mother who deserves to be in this country with me. was your lifelong to them to take samir to college. first generation to be here. it was not clear you would be at his side, but now you will be taking him to quinnipiac today. how does that feel? >> this is my lifelong dream. my son is going to quinnipiac university. it is a very good university. i am feeling very good. he starts monday to college.
i am very happy. it is pretty stressful to start college and also exciting. you are further stressed by the idea you are losing her mother. now she will be at your side, taking you to school today. how do you feel? >> i feel relieved. i got knocked into the political world without even knowing about it or even trying. i have met with various politicians, various supporters. i want to thank everybody. there's also a petition, i want to thank the 43,000 people that signed the petition to keep my mom home. i feel like the hard work paid off. i know this is not the end -- this is just the beginning of what is going to happen in the future, but i am just relieved that on the first day of school, we think of the tradition going of my mom dropping me off in front of everybody and embarrassing me. amy: salma sikandar and samir mahmud, congratulations.
[drum beating] [c[children playing] sami yaffa: drugs, cacartels, arbitrary violence.e. five decades of civil war, kididnappings, and people disappearing. when you get over the country's frightening reputation, you will find an uncommonly rich and unique musical culture bubbling under the surface. welcome to colombia. i'm sami y