In This Episode
- As Donald Trump faces possible criminal charges in New York, the former president faces another, and potentially more serious, legal threat. An appeals court ruled Wednesday that one of his own attorneys must testify before the grand jury investigating his handling of classified documents.
- The Federal Reserve raised the benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point. It’s the ninth rate hike in a row the central bank has made over the past year to fight inflation, despite concerns it could lead to more instability in the banking system.
- And in headlines: Florida could expand its “Don’t Say Gay” law, Moderna’s CEO was grilled by a Senate committee over the company’s plan to quadruple the price of its Covid-19 vaccine, and the Supreme Court took up a trademark case involving dog toys and Jack Daniel’s.
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
Crooked Coffee is officially here. Our first blend, What A Morning, is available in medium and dark roasts. Wake up with your own bag at crooked.com/coffee
Follow us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/crookedmedia/
For a transcript of this episode, please visit crooked.com/whataday
Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Thursday, March 23rd. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Juanita Tolliver: And I’m Juanita Tolliver and this is What A Day where we’re hoping one day John Wick will let himself retire fully from the Assassin game. Is it time to let him hang it up Tre’vell?
Tre’vell Anderson: You know, listen, I don’t need a fourth movie. I was good at number three, [laughter] but, you know, we’re going to let Keanu collect his check.
Juanita Tolliver: Collect the check, Keanu. You deserve it.
Tre’vell Anderson: Period. [music break] On today’s show, Florida could expand its don’t say gay law. Plus, the Supreme Court is hearing exactly one case this term that won’t keep you up at night.
Juanita Tolliver: But first, while the memes and Photoshopped images of Trump being arrested by Beyoncé were hilarious, Trump is still not Akon Locked Up. And the Manhattan grand jury did not convene as originally planned yesterday. But on a much brighter note, DOJ special counsel Jack Smith got a big win in his effort to compel Trump’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, to testify in the investigation of Trump’s mishandling of classified documents. Yesterday, a federal appeals court rejected a request from Trump to keep his lawyer from testifying before the federal grand jury. This comes after U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled last Friday that the crime fraud exception could be applied and ordered Corcoran to testify anyway. So this is some progress with, you know, those other indictments that may be coming Trump’s way in the very near future.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen. Okay. There’s a collective effort. We’re about to hold him accountable. I love that there is, you know, so many different, you know, cases happening at once.
Juanita Tolliver: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: But answer this for me. What exactly does this mean for attorney client privilege in this situation?
Juanita Tolliver: So ABC News had a great breakdown of all of this. Essentially last week, Special Counsel Smith’s team presented enough evidence in court that Trump, quote, “knowingly and deliberately misled his own attorneys about his retention of classified materials after leaving office.” And based on that evidence and the potential crime committed, Judge Howell ruled that attorney client privilege had been pierced, as they say, in the legal community. And we all know how much Trump and his legal team loves to hide behind that shield of attorney client privilege. As a result, Judge Howell ordered Corcoran to comply with the grand jury subpoena and hand over notes, transcripts of conversations, invoices and anything related to what Judge Howell described as Trump’s alleged, quote, “criminal scheme”. Naturally, Trump appealed Judge Howell’s ruling, and the appeals process went down at the speed of sound, y’all, with filing deadlines at midnight on Tuesday and 6 a.m. on Wednesday. And the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals wasted no time issuing a ruling Wednesday afternoon that Evan Corcoran would need to comply with Judge Howell’s orders.
Tre’vell Anderson: Okay, I hate to ask, but I have to ask how is [laughter] Trump reacting to all of this?
Juanita Tolliver: I mean, we have a job to keep an eye out for whatever Trump posts on his knock off Twitter site, but we can guess it’ll be the same response that he’s used with the Manhattan grand jury. You know, the play book. Part one, attempt to discredit the investigation, and part two, send some fundraising emails. This man is grifting harder than ever before, raking in more than $1.5 million dollars since his fake arrest post last–
Tre’vell Anderson: Wow.
Juanita Tolliver: –saturday. Dig that. According to The New York Times, though, Trump is also fixated on putting on a show for his perp walk whenever it actually happens. He wants cameras, he wants cops. And more than anything, he wants protesters, you know, to give it the full January 6th ambiance with a little bit of seasoning. It’s like denial as a survival mechanism for this man at this point. And he’s defaulting to his WWE days of putting on a highly choreographed show.
Tre’vell Anderson: I really hate that you brought back that memory uh for me. [laughter] Um, that was a moment in time. Let’s put it that way.
Juanita Tolliver: A time.
Tre’vell Anderson: Okay. So what exactly comes next with the federal grand jury?
Juanita Tolliver: Well, Trump’s legal team is appealing this latest court ruling, but that process will continue without holding up Corcoran’s testimony before the federal grand jury. And the DOJ is on the ball as they’ve already scheduled Corcoran’s testimony for tomorrow. It’s giving stay ready so you don’t need to get ready.
Tre’vell Anderson: I know that’s right.
Juanita Tolliver: Of course, Judge Howell was clear that while Special Counsel Smith’s team presented compelling evidence, there’s still an even higher standard of evidence in order to seek charges and prove Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. So this is merely step ten of unknown. But Special Counsel Smith isn’t alone in this push for accountability for Trump. As we know, prosecutors in Georgia are close to filing charges, and we have a potential indictment coming out of Manhattan any day now.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen, we’ve said on the show already, shout out to Josie. We don’t really, you know, like, you know, prisons and jails and all of that, too much, however.
Juanita Tolliver: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: Dot, dot, dot we’ll leave– [laughing]
Juanita Tolliver: But some people. [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen, okay? We got to hold that man accountable somehow. All right. Thank you for that Juanita, on to a quick update from the Federal Reserve, which has yet again raised interest rates. On Wednesday, the Fed approved another quarter percentage point increase to the interest rate, bringing the benchmark value to a range between 4.75 and 5%. That is the highest level it’s been since September 2007.
Juanita Tolliver: Look, I know you’re going to break down what all that means in a minute, but first, we’ve covered on the show at length the recent issues in the banking sector, especially the failure of Silicon Valley Bank. Did any of that impact this decision by the Fed?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, it actually did. So here’s Fed Chair Jerome Powell explaining their decision making in a press conference yesterday.
[clip of Jerome Powell] In the past two weeks, serious difficulties at a small number of banks have emerged. History has shown that isolated banking problems, if left unaddressed, can undermine confidence in healthy banks and threaten the ability of the banking system as a whole to play its vital role in supporting the savings and credit needs of households and businesses. That is why, in response to these events, the Federal Reserve, working with the Treasury Department and the FDIC, took decisive actions to protect the U.S. economy and to strengthen public confidence in our banking system.
Tre’vell Anderson: He went on to say that our banking system, despite what the last couple of weeks might make us believe, is, quote, “sound and resilient with strong capital and liquidity”, um which, you know, if you’ve been reading the headlines I’ve been watching, you might uh think differently. Uh. So I guess the–
Juanita Tolliver: The Math ain’t mathing.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen. Okay. [laughter]
Juanita Tolliver: It’s not adding up.
Tre’vell Anderson: But, you know, that’s what he said. He said we’re in a good shape there. But I should note here, right, that part of the reason Silicon Valley Bank went under is because of these interest rate hikes. Right. Let me see if I can explain this in a way that makes sense. This current rate hike is the ninth straight one. But before the hikes, Silicon Valley Bank invested some of the billions it had into U.S. government bonds. The concept being that U.S. bonds are the safest investing option possible and that the longer the bond term, the more money the bank would have once the bond is paid out. The problem is, in addition to the funds in those bonds being locked up for, say, ten years, in some cases, as interest rates have been increasing, the market value of Silicon Valley Bank’s bonds went down because the price you get from bonds is directly tied to interest rates.
Juanita Tolliver: So what does all of this information, the interest rate hike, everything happening in the banking system right now? What does that mean or have to do with a regular gal like me?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes. Well, you know, the answer is quite simple, because, you know, you about to feel it in your pocketbook pretty soon if you’re not already.
Juanita Tolliver: Oh.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. We’ve spoken at length about the very real impact right of inflation on our daily lives. Gas is expensive. I’m still paying $30 a plate for oxtail. It’s it’s absurd.
Juanita Tolliver: Not 30. Ooh, friend.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen. It’s wild out here. Okay. And now you know, you got to sell a kidney for a carton of eggs. The regular white eggs. Not even the brown ones that are supposed to be, you know, organic and free range.
Juanita Tolliver: No free range? Okay.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know, it’s absurd out here. Now, while interest rate increases are meant to fight inflation like this, we also know that credit card debt is already at a record high and that more people are carrying said debt month to month. Much of that is because people are leaning on their credit cards more and more for everyday purchases. And because the interest rates have risen, that means higher annual percentage rates for people with credit card debt. So folks will end up having to pay more in interest in the long term and mind you right. This is something that we know is having an outsized impact on Black and Brown folks. About half of Black and Latino adults say their household debt has increased compared with about three in ten white adults. So with this in mind, the Fed is basically having to thread a needle to figure out the best and most appropriate response to both combat inflation while also keeping the banking system in motion. The hope is that this will be the last rate hike for a little minute, but that, of course, remains to be seen. We will have to keep our eyes peeled on what they got going on there. More on all of this very soon, of course, but that is the latest for now. We are going to go pay some bills. So we’ll be back right after this ad. [music break].
Tre’vell Anderson: Let’s wrap up with some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gave us all another reason to hate him yesterday after his administration announced a proposal to expand its already problematic don’t say gay law. If approved, it would bar public school teachers at every grade level from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity, even in high schools. The existing rule, which was signed a year ago, already bans such topics from kindergarten through third grade. The change doesn’t require any approval from the state’s legislature. Instead, it’s up to Florida’s Board of Education, which is, of course, led by DeSantis appointees. The board is scheduled to vote on it next month.
Juanita Tolliver: And picking up the anti-LGBTQ baton from DeSantis. Uganda’s parliament passed a bill Tuesday that further criminalizes same sex relationships and even makes it illegal to simply identify as LGBTQ. Technically speaking, homosexuality is already considered a crime in the East African nation, though human rights groups say it’s a colonial era holdover that was rarely enforced. This bill, however, would put people in prison for up to ten years.
Tre’vell Anderson: Wow.
Juanita Tolliver: For just openly saying they’re gay, trans or quote, “any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female.” Anyone convicted of so-called aggravated homosexuality, vaguely defined as gay sex with someone underage or HIV positive would receive the death penalty. Uganda’s president has indicated he will sign it into law, though many Western countries, including the United States, have condemned the measure. At least 30 other African nations have anti-gay or anti-trans laws on the books in some form. But the legislation in Uganda is considered one of the strictest so far. This is heartbreaking.
Tre’vell Anderson: It is. Looks like I need to take Uganda off of my travel list.
Juanita Tolliver: Ooh, child, it ain’t safe. It ain’t safe.
Tre’vell Anderson: At all. In a sign that we are now in the long awaited corporate price gouging phase of the pandemic, Moderna’s CEO said the company won’t back down from its plan to quadruple the price of its lifesaving COVID 19 vaccine. While COVID vaccines are still free, for now, to anyone who wants one, the U.S. government still needs to pay for its supply. Moderna has been charging the feds $26 a dose, and the price tag is expected to jump up to $130 a shot this fall. Absurd, wild. CEO Stephane Bancel told a Senate Health committee yesterday the price hike is necessary because the company expects demand for its vaccine to drop by as much as 90% later this year. But Senator Bernie Sanders, who chairs that panel, told CNN he’s not buying that story, considering that Moderna developed the vaccine with billions of dollars in emergency federal funding.
[clip of Senator Bernie Sanders] If the taxpayers of this country put money through the NIH into developing a drug and it’s certainly not just the COVID vaccine, many cancer drugs as well, should they then be forced to pay the highest prices in the world for a drug which they helped develop? But I think the answer is obviously no.
Tre’vell Anderson: And by the way, Moderna has raked in over $21 billion dollars in profits since it first released its COVID vaccine in late 2020.
Juanita Tolliver: The greed knows no bounds, and it’s like they learned nothing from the insulin push. Right?
Tre’vell Anderson: Right.
Juanita Tolliver: Like come on.
Tre’vell Anderson: Exactly.
Juanita Tolliver: According to the Centers for Disease Control, there’s a nasty fungus among us. Officials are sounding the alarm over a sharp rise in infections caused by a type of yeast known as Candida auris or C. Auris, because it can resist many antifungal medications and even dodge some cleaning products. Cases, C. Auris are spreading rapidly in hospitals and long term medical facilities around the country, though the CDC says it’s not a threat for most healthy people. It’s very dangerous for anyone who is very sick or has a compromised immune system. The fungus can kill between 30 to 60% of people who catch it. And it’s not cool for the CDC to be dismissive of this when people living with disabilities are clearly going to be impacted by this.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. Jake Paul, Lindsay Lohan, Soulja Boy and Lil Yachty finally have one thing in common. They’ve all been charged with illegally boosting cryptocurrencies. The FCC announced the charges yesterday, which included three other celebrities and crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun. Sun is accused of manipulating the value of two lesser known tokens. While the celebs themselves were dinged for not disclosing they were paid to endorse them. We extend our deepest sympathies to any consumers out there who found Jake Paul’s endorsement a compelling reason to invest in fake money. You might need to see somebody if that is you. Okay.
Juanita Tolliver: Child.
Tre’vell Anderson: Paul and Lohan both agreed to pay tens of thousands of real dollars to settle the charges without admitting any wrongdoing.
Juanita Tolliver: The Supreme Court has taken a break from raising our collective blood pressures to rule on something you could call a number two priority. Whiskey brand Jack Daniels is suing Arizona based VIP Products, which manufactures periodic dog toys that mimic known liquor, beer, and soda brands. The illicit product in question is a chew toy called Bad Spaniels, which mirrors the square shaped Jack Daniel’s bottle except on its label instead of old number seven Tennessee Sour mash whiskey. It reads the old number two on your Tennessee carpet. Yikes. [laughter] Furthermore, the toy claims to be, quote, “43% poo by volume and 100% smelly.” Jack Daniels is claiming protection under the Lanham Act, which in layman’s terms prohibits using a trademark in a way that might confuse consumers into thinking the brand has approved of its use. However, a lower court previously sided with VIP products. As a result, Jack Daniels is spending a lot of time and money in front of America’s highest court to argue that they don’t want their craft whiskey associated with dog poo. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be associated with dog poo or dog shit, but it’s really given McDowell’s from Coming to America. [laughter] I feel like.
Tre’vell Anderson: It is!
Juanita Tolliver: This is the same vibe.
Tre’vell Anderson: It is. But also, I mean, maybe the people over at Jack Daniels need a bit of a, you know, funny bone injected into them. [laughter] You know, I’m just saying this this is like it’s funny. It’s meant to be a parody. It’s meant to be lighthearted why, I don’t even have a dog. Okay. But this seems like something that would be–
Juanita Tolliver: Okay.
Tre’vell Anderson: –you know, fun for the little, you know, four legged friends.
Juanita Tolliver: Well, I got two fur babies. I ain’t bringing no Jack Daniels look-alike for them to play with or to pretend to shit on my carpet. Hard pass. Hard pass.
Tre’vell Anderson: Hard pass. I get that. And those are the headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review, order a Bad Spaniels on the rocks, and tell your friends to listen.
Juanita Tolliver: And if you’re into reading and not just anything that doesn’t have Jake Paul’s name associated with it like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Juanita Tolliver.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
[spoken together] And Keanu forever.
Juanita Tolliver: When I tell you I love this man. Oh my God. [laughing]
Tre’vell Anderson: You know, I have a very um interesting spot for him in my life because of The Matrix and my last name being Anderson. So–
Juanita Tolliver: Oh!
Tre’vell Anderson: –everyone was always like–
Juanita Tolliver: Oh!
Tre’vell Anderson: –Mr. Anderson.
Juanita Tolliver: Mr. Anderson!
Tre’vell Anderson: I fucking hate him.
Juanita Tolliver: I’m into it. My Keanu is Constantine Keanu. Like, I fall asleep to that man fighting the devil. Yeah. [laughter]
Tre’vell Anderson: I love that. [music break]
Juanita Tolliver: What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Jazzi Marine and Raven Yamamoto are our associate producers. Our head writer is Jocey Coffman and our executive producer is Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.