Welcome to “The Brief.” Many thanks to the readers of my website and followers of my podcast. I am pleased to announce that my new book, “The Trial of the Century,” is now available for pre-order online. Publishers Weekly calls it a “colorful and dramatic account of one of the most consequential free speech debates in American history.”
The famous Scopes Monkey Trial, as the press dubbed it, helped form the legal bedrock on which our civil liberties depend today. At stake was the right to teach evolution in public schools even though it might conflict with the story of man’s creation in the Bible. It was a fierce battle over science, faith, academic freedom, and the power of ideas.
Journalists the world over converged on a small Tennessee town to witness a young schoolteacher stand trial, fighting for the indispensable proposition that no one should be told how to think. In the pre-television age, it was the first trial to be broadcast live on radio to a riveted nationwide audience.
Two of our country’s best-known orators faced off in a titanic clash as celebrated defense attorney Clarence Darrow called to the witness stand three-time presidential candidate and fundamentalist leader William Jennings Bryan, a member of the prosecution team. It was a daring and consequential move.
The New York Times described Darrow’s withering cross-examination as “the most amazing court scene in Anglo-Saxon history. The stunning outcome foreshadowed the fraught culture wars that would shape America throughout the century and beyond.
It was truly “The Trial of the Century.” I invite you to pre-order the book, and I hope you’ll read it when it arrives.
In the meantime, let’s turn to today’s edition of “The Brief.” For those of you who have read my many columns about the Biden family corruption, it is encouraging that congress is now finally investigating the volumes of evidence that appear to implicate president Joe Biden in his son’s lucrative influence peddling schemes —selling access and promises of potential influence to China, Russia, Ukraine and other foreign countries in exchange for millions of dollars. Despite a laptop with reams of incriminating evidence, no charges have been filed in a federal investigation that has now stretched into its fifth year.
It invites the inevitable question, is Joe Biden’s Department of Justice protecting the president? It sure looks like it. The FBI has had the laptop in its possession since December of 2019. Whistleblowers at the bureau have reportedly told members of congress that top officials at the agency buried the smoking gun evidence found on the device. And we know from the “Twitter Files” that the FBI pressured, if not directed, the social media giant to censor and suppress the laptop story.