Glenn Greenwald
Politics • Writing • Culture
New Trump Indictment Presents Now-Familiar Dangers. Plus: Zelensky Battles Draft Dodgers & a Failed Counteroffensive
Video Transcript
August 17, 2023
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Good evening. It's Tuesday, August 15. Welcome to a new episode of System Update, our live nightly show that airs every Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern, exclusively here on Rumble, the free speech alternative to YouTube.

Tonight: It's getting very hard to count how many times Donald Trump has been indicted. We are now up to four, two federal cases and two state cases. Yesterday, a district attorney in Georgia, Fani Willis, who represents the deeply blue Fulton County home to Atlanta, convinced a grand jury to return an indictment of 13 felony counts against Trump, with many more against 18 of his closest political allies, including his attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The latest charges are based on very similar grounds as the prior indictment brought, this one by special counsel Jack Smith, namely, charges that the former president committed multiple crimes for, in essence, claiming the 2020 election was the byproduct of fraud and then seeking to invalidate the outcome of that election through what the last indictment and this one alleges are unlawful means for doing so. The primary difference between yesterday's Georgia indictment and the federal one brought last week by special counsel Jack Smith is that the law in Georgia is – as a result of having been shaped by a so-called tough-on-crime mentality for many years, decades, in fact – the law in Georgia is far more sweeping, rigid and threatening than federal law is. Indeed, Georgia has a very permissive entire racketeering statute, meaning the equivalent of RICO, the statute used by federal prosecutors to charge mafia bosses, with being part of a broad criminal conspiracy since they often are not susceptible to being convicted of any standalone crime. So, they created this racketeering theory to drag mafia bosses or other high-level mafiosos into broad crimes committed by low-level people that the district attorney would charge with crimes and then hope to convince or coerce them into becoming state witnesses against these higher-ranking people. The district attorney succeeded in characterizing the efforts of Trump and his allies as a criminal conspiracy to overthrow the 2020 election and then treated it as eligible to be criminalized under the racketeering laws of Georgia, which makes everyone who did anything as part of the conspiracy, to further the conspiracy, a full and equal member of the criminal ring equally responsible for every crime, even if committed by others, as long as they were committed in furtherance of the criminal conspiracy. The real motive for charging so many people the way she did is to pressure the lower-level conspirators into turning the state's evidence and then accusing the higher-ups of criminality as a way of saving themselves, then trying to use that coerced testimony to convict the bigger fish. 

Needless to say, to a liberal prosecutor, representing a county full of Democrats, there is no bigger fish than convicting Donald Trump. Already the media worship of this district attorney has predictably begun. She's not quite at the level of toughness and attraction as Jack Smith is, but she's rapidly making her way there. And while this indictment suffers from many of the same flaws and dangers of the prior one brought by Smith, the rigidity and heaviness of Georgia criminal law pose real challenges to Trump's legal team, including the possibility of far harsher pretrial measures, almost certain to include his first mug shot, the possibility of pretrial restrictions or even jail pending trial, the immunity of the state prosecution to any presidential pardon – because it's a state crime –and the very pro-prosecutor provisions written into the law that will govern the pretrial proceedings and the trial itself. 

As we have noted before, criminally accusing populist and popular political leaders and then rendering them ineligible to run is an increasingly common West weapon in the democratic world and that is at least part of what is motivating this spate of prosecutions. We'll examine this latest indictment and its various implications and put it in the overall context of liberals and other establishment defenders around the country desperately seeking to find a way to return Joe Biden's primary election competition into a felon. 

Then: at the start of the latest stage in the war in Ukraine, in February 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged supporters of his cause and the cause of Ukrainians throughout the West to stop cheering for the war and make themselves feel strong and powerful and Churchillian by doing so on social media and instead go to Ukraine and pick up arms to help them fight against the Russian army, based on the argument, among many, that Ukraine has far fewer people to fight against the much more populous country of Russia. Unsurprisingly, very few of our pack of Western world cheerleaders in the media or political and punditry classes heeded Zelensky's pleas. Very few of them actually went to Ukraine to help them fight and expel the Russians. And as a result, Ukraine, which already faces a massive disadvantage in population size as compared to Russia, has really been struggling from the start, especially now that the most trained and most aggressive fighters, a lot of them, have been removed from the battlefield, killed or wounded, they're really struggling with an inability to match the sheer number of Russian men who are either willing or required to fight in this war. Lately, as a result, however, President Zelenskyy has become increasingly more repressive, both in terms of banning all dissent from being expressed. He has imposed martial law, making it clear that there will be no elections until this war is over, which means he will remain in power for the foreseeable future into the indefinite future and he has really had to crack down on the attempt by Ukrainian men, increasingly, either to bribe their way out of the country or to just risk their lives fleeing the country because they don't want to be used as cannon fodder in what they obviously regard as an increasingly futile war. We will look at the latest events in Ukraine, including on the part of President Zelenskyy, that are increasingly anti-democratic in nature, that signifies the futility of this war effort, as well as the U.S. role, and remind you of some of the worst offenses of media propaganda that have been designed to sell this war to the West, something that plainly is eroding as a majority of Americans have decided they no longer favor any further aid.

As we do every Tuesday and Thursday night, as soon as we're done with our one-hour live show here at Rumble, we'll move to Locals for an interactive aftershow to take your questions and comment on your feedback. That show is for subscribers to our Locals community only and members of that community also have access to our show transcripts delivered to your inbox the day after the show airs. We make a real effort to make those transcripts very well formatted, and very professionalized, including all the relevant links to make it a really well-rounded product that is easy to read. It's really like a standalone article for those of you who prefer more to read than consume news through video. 

To obtain access to our aftershow and to our Locals community that includes these transcripts and more, simply set up as a member of our Locals community. The red Join button is right below the video player here on the Rumble page. Doing that also helps support the independent journalism that we do here. 

As a reminder as well, we are encouraging our viewers to download the Rumble app [apple link], which is very high quality. It works, I think, a lot better than the browser, and that enables you to follow our show and any other regularly scheduled shows here on Rumble [google link]. That in turn allows you to be notified the minute we begin. You will just simply be notified the minute we're on the air and we start broadcasting and that will enable you to simply click on the button and come here to watch. That helps our program and helps Rumble as a platform and you can encourage other people to do that as well. 

Finally, as a last reminder, System Update is available in podcast form as well. You can follow us on Spotify, Apple and all other major podcasting platforms. Each episode is available 12 hours after they first are broadcast live here on Rumble. And if you rate and review the show, it helps spread the visibility of the program.

For now, welcome to a new episode of System Update, starting right now. 

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Listen to this Article: Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok's Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted

For years, U.S. officials and their media allies accused Russia, China and Iran of tyranny for demanding censorship as a condition for Big Tech access. Now, the U.S. is doing the same to TikTok. Listen below.

Listen to this Article: Reflecting New U.S. Control of TikTok's Censorship, Our Report Criticizing Zelensky Was Deleted

What is going on here:
Iowa has the first-in-the-nation caucus, where Iowans will gather to pick who they want to see as their party's Presidential candidate. But things are a bit different this year. Learn more about what will happen on caucus night - Monday, January 15, 2024 (at 7 pm).

Only Republicans will pick and announce their Presidential choice that night. Iowa Democrats will still hold a caucus to conduct party business (like setting the party's issue priorities), but they will pick their preferred Presidential candidate using a mail-in preference card that can be requested now through February 19, 2024. Mail-in ballots will begin hitting your mailboxes on January 12, 2024.

I think Dave Rubin tried to associate himself with Eric Weinstein’s analysis, as a way of providing a response to being called out for his hypocrisy… his use of the word “we” and “people like us” is pretty funny and pathetic… as well as staged/pre planned

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WEEKLY WEIGH-IN: We Want to Hear From YOU!
Weekly Weigh-In

Thank you so much for your continued support through another week of SYSTEM UPDATE with Glenn Greenwald! Any thoughts you’d like to share?

This post will be pinned to our profile for the next week, so comment below anytime with your questions, insights, future topic ideas/guest recommendations, etc. Let’s get a conversation going!

Glenn may even address some particularly interesting exchanges on our next supporters-only After Show.



Sleepy Sylvester works hard on some thoughtful responses with co-host Glenn on our Locals after show.

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We are pleased to send you a summary of the key stories we covered last week. These are written versions of the reporting and analysis we did on last week's episodes of SYSTEM UPDATE.

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Weekly Recap

Good Morning SYSTEM UPDATE Community,

Welcome to the SYSTEM UPDATE recap, your weekend digest featuring everything we’ve covered throughout the previous week. 



Prefer to listen to your daily news analysis? Reminder that FULL episodes of SYSTEM UPDATE are available anywhere you listen to podcasts🎙️



Elon Meets Netanyahu in Israel—Why? Vivek Ramaswamy on Free Speech Debates, Ukraine, & More. Plus: CNN & Senate Dems Demand More Censorship Over Israel

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (6:48)

Censorship Demands Continue (13:37)

Elon Visits Israel (32:09)

Interview with Vivek Ramaswamy (1:11:06)

Ending (1:34:58)



Americans Fired Since Oct. 7—What They Really Said. Is TikTok Censoring for China or the US? 

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (9:38)

Canceling Israel’s Critics (14:58)

Who Does TikTok Really Serve? (55:29)

Ending (1:29:18)


Supporters-Only After Show for Tuesday, November 28

We moved to Locals for our supporters-only, interactive after show, where Glenn shared his thoughts on some burning audience questions:



Almost none of the Arab countries will back up the Palestinian cause with any impactful political actions. And if a certain Arab country does decide to, they get destroyed literally or metaphorically. How can the Palestinians have any chance of statehood if these geopolitical conditions and order remains?  



Irish viewer here. Do you have any thoughts on the ongoing Irish hate speech legislation? Have you ever considered having MEP Clare Daly on the show? 


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Leading Palestine Expert Rashid Khalidi on Israel-Gaza, College Campuses, & More. Plus: Elon Musk’s Defiant Message to Disney

Full transcript available for paid supporters here.




Intro (4:18)

Elon’s Defiant Message to Disney (9:35)

Interview with Rashid Khalidi (24:53)

Ending (1:15:21)



The Murderous Life & Legacy of Henry Kissinger: Perfect Symbol of the Rotted US Security State

Full transcript will be available for paid supporters here.




Intro (10:40)

Henry Kissinger: A Murderous Legacy (16:30)

Ending (1:38:24)


Supporters-Only After Show for Thursday, November 30

We moved to Locals for our supporters-only, interactive after show, where Glenn shared his thoughts on some burning audience questions:  



Your shows on free speech have been very informative. You distinguished between state action and private company decisions in the context of firings for example. I’ve been wondering how to think about free speech at universities and in particular whether the rules are different for private vs. public/state universities. And even for private universities whether it matters if they receive government funding. Thanks.



Glenn, can we get a deep look at some of these 3rd party corporations involved in "Trust and Safety" i.e. censorship? Seems like platforms are outsourcing more and more censorship to 3rd parties and it is a massively booming business model.


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Taibbi/Shellenberger Clash with Censorship Regime in Congress (Again). DEBATE: Glenn & Israel Supporter, Max Abrahms Discuss War in Gaza

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Intro (7:34)

Facing the Censorship Regime (12:04)

Interview with Max Abrahms (37:21)

Ending (1:48:26)


*Today’s show was brought to you by the Wellness Company. Go to and grab your prescription kits now–code GLENN saves you 10% at checkout!  


Thank you so much for your continued support—have a great week!

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