1. MANAFORT AGREED TO PLEA DEAL WITH MUELLER. Politely bear in mind, no matter what we actually SEE of this, given the evidence Mueller has, there's NO WAY Mueller entered a plea deal without meaningful cooperation. The cooperation part? Can easily be sealed.
2. This means Manafort could easily do the same as Cohen. Just plead guilty to n. counts, and we don't see any "cooperation" agreement. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The two can easily be separated, with the cooperation agreement sealed for obvious reasons here.
3. I absolutely don't think the news about the "joint defense agreement" is current and I also think it is being put out for a specific reason. It's clear that there's been coordinated effort to make everyone think Manafort won't "flip" . That's the easiest way to protect him.
@highbrow_nobrow 2. In a court filing, prosecutors assert that alleged spy Maria Butina was present at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s announcement of his presidential run. Walker is referred to as ‘Political Candidate 1’ in court filings.
2. Two people familiar with the matter "cautioned that the negotiations may not result in a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller". Naturally, bc there won't be a deal unless Manafort sings like the birdiest birdie that has ever sung.
3. "But the discussions indicate a possible shift in strategy for Manafort" No kidding. When the prospect of the rest of his life in prison materialized, Manafort finally saw that oopsie, he was cornered and if he ever wanted to enjoy life again? Best to talk to Mueller, stat.
2. The details of the story are BEYOND disgusting but pay attention to this detail that former Playmate Shera Bechard cites in her LAWSUIT against Broidy: "Bechard recalled Broidy telling her that he admired Trump’s "uncanny ability to sexually abuse women and get away with it.""
3. "Among Bechard’s allegations are that Broidy refused to wear condoms and didn’t disclose to her that he had genital herpes until years after their sexual relationship, according to a court filing. "
Not even going to comment.
2. These details pertain to a breakfast that happened on July 30, 2016. Ohr described the breakfast to CONGRESS this week in a private interview. And that's how the GOP Trump lackeys went to tell Trump, he found out and decided he can't have a witness at DoJ.
3. So if Trump so much as THINKS of touching Bruce Ohr, that is direct obstruction of justice, and his tweets already constitute witness tampering. AND everyone in Congress who was present at the interview KNOWS that. Just so you know who to hold accountable.
1. What Cohen's actually explosive knowledge of facts covers, that can make the entire house of cards crash: the hacking and the Trump Tower meeting, both of which TRUMP KNEW about and in the hacking case, an event Trump even encouraged.
2. In the case of the hacking, there's a $50,000 mysterious payment Cohen made to an undisclosed tech company to help the Trump campaign, that awfully sounds like the arrangements the Steele dossier says Cohen made to pay off Russian hackers "without it being traced".
3. Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis specifically said on @maddow that Cohen has knowledge about the hacking that is of interest for Mueller. And the detail of the tech company payment emerged from the indictment. If the connection is accurate (and it seems like it is), this is huge.
Um... so there's news here. 1) McGahn was interviewed by Mueller and "cooperated extensively" with Mueller's team. And 2) there's no way saying that Trump tried to ensure control of the Mueller probe is in NO WAY favorable to Trump. That's obstruction.
2. McGahn shared "detailed accounts" about episodes pertaining to the obstruction of justice investigation, "including some that investigators would not have learnt otherwise". Read: McGahn delivered Trump to Mueller on obstruction on a silver platter. Bloop!
3. This adds up to the previous report that dozens of WH aides, some of which working for McGahn, were interviewed by Mueller AND delivered key evidence for Mueller's obstruction case. The danger for Trump is NOT Mueller, it comes from HIS OWN AIDES who WON'T go to jail for him.
1. This needs to be threaded bc the connections Broidy has directly to the Russia investigation are multiple and widespread. AND this specific new investigation is about? CHINA. You know, the other can of worms that hasn't been quite opened yet.
2. "The Justice Department is investigating whether longtime Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy sought to sell his influence with the Trump administration by offering to deliver U.S. government actions for foreign officials in exchange for tens of millions of dollars."
3. "As part of the investigation, prosecutors are scrutinizing a plan that Broidy allegedly developed to try to persuade the Trump govt to extradite a Chinese dissident back to his home country, a move sought by Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to two of the people."
1. Summary of the bridge collapse situation in Genoa: the people who are now governing (grillini) are directly responsible for the disaster as when plans to STOP using the bridge and build a different route were approved, they caused the project to derail. With physical protests.
2. Faced with this of course they don't take any responsibility and they try to blame others, bc they work the SAME exact way as Trump. Ignorant populism admits ZERO mistake and only looks to deflect and blame. Except facts are facts.
3. The Independent wrote an accurate article on the matter. So you can see it from independent source (and certainly not one that has anything to do with an Italian party).
1. Let me start this by saying: I do not like and I have never liked Omarosa. Opportunist, unreliable and all that goes with it. ALL that said, I am absolutely NOT going to discount RECORDINGS she has, bc sorry, that's hard evidence.
2. Omarosa (and this is just the first of many tapes, so buckle up) managed to go into the Situation Room with a phone, and to surreptitiously record a conversation she was having with John Kelly about her FIRING, no less.
3. Questions here abound. 1) why on earth did they go to the Situation Room to fire a low level staffer like her? 2) why on earth was she let in the Situation Room in the first place 3) why on earth did no one CHECK that no devices were brought in. 4) etc etc
1. Sooo last night @maddow had a bombshell on one of the most notorious traitors of the Trump saga: @DevinNunes. He was recorded at a private fundraiser claiming GOPers MUST protect Trump at all costs bc if Sessions doesn't unrecuse and Mueller does't stop, they're all he has.
@maddow@DevinNunes 2. This is admitting to obstruction of justice and doing anything Nunes can to obstruct justice & 2) dereliction of duty AT BEST as a Congressman bc Congress MUST NOT protect Trump but on the contrary BE A CHECK on ANY President and pursue FACTS wherever they may lead.
2. The reporter for this story has been allowed to READ the memo in its entirety as well as other underlying WH records quoted in the memo, such as other notes and memos written by McGahn and other senior administration officials.
3. The reporter also interviewed a dozen former and current WH officials, attorneys who have interacted with Mueller's team and witnesses questioned by Mueller.
1. MAJOR point here and this is the core of the story. Cohen has CLEARLY flipped, and the Trump gang has found out, so the HIT JOB is out to call him a liar bc that is ALL they can do. Except... Cohen kept lying ON TRUMP'S BEHALF as @RepSwalwell aptly noted.
@RepSwalwell 2. As Rep Swalwell noted, court rooms are full of people who lied repeatedly and then decide to come clean, and they are believed and they send people to jail bc their story is corroborated. Giuliani and Trump KNOW that, so the hit job is on.
@RepSwalwell 3. Cohen said WEEKS AGO that a hit job was coming from the Trump clan, and he knew then bc HE KNEW he was going to flip and inevitably they were going to find out. Stephanopoulos asked him re: Trump knowing about the meeting and he said on advice of counsel, no comment.
1. VERY significant developments here. Prosecutors are saying that the Butina information is "aiding ongoing investigations" and thus must be kept secret in order not to tip off anyone targeted in said investigations.
2. Prosecutors are preparing to turnover to Butina's defense two batches of about 1.5 MILLION documents each. 😳 BUT THAT CAN'T HAPPEN UNTIL Butina's lawyer agrees to keep the information confidential.
3. Butina's lawyer Robert Driscoll has already made media appearances obviously trying to discredit the investigation. US Attorney Thomas Saunders is all: "we don't know whether he wants info to prepare for trial or whether he wants it so he can use it on CABLE NEWS". Bloop!
2. These people are all from financial institutions, so my guess is that they helped Manafort conceal and launder money, hence why they requested immunity to testify.
3. Also and by the way, @FoxNews LIED with a FAKE propaganda scoop, as usual. There is NO trace whatsoever of Tony Podesta, that Fox News lied about re: his being one of the witnesses granted immunity. He was NEVER part of the group of course. And Fox lied. /END
1. The FBI seized the recording during the raid on Cohen's office. Naturally, this payment violated campaign finance laws, as it wasn't declared as an in-kind contribution and it was clearly aimed at keeping secret all of Trump's indiscretions.
2. Of course, keeping evidence like this a secret meant indirectly discrediting all the other women who were speaking up about Trump's harassment. A serial adulterer who confesses on tape to sexual assault wouldn't have been able to deny a thing.
3. On top of the umpteenth direct piece of evidence on Trump being nothing but A LIAR, the point here is also another: the moral turpitude doesn't just apply to women, it's a way of life. Betrayal and cheating are constants in Trump's behavior. In fact, he just did it in Helsinki
@Isikoff 2. PLS note: Torshin is Butina's boss, he is the Russian operative mentioned in the charges against Butina. That's why this is so relevant. Butina operated upon Torshin's orders.
3. It's clear from charges and indictment that Butina is a spy, and she operated like a textbook spy, including the"sleep with your asset and establish a serious relationship if necessary" part. Ask Jack Bristow about that (If you've never watched Alias, you're missing out).
Per @ScottMStedman, Dana Rohrabacher met with Butina and Torshin in Moscow in 2015. Now we need to figure out who person 1 was. US political operative who met with Butina in Moscow in 2013... when miss Universe ALSO happened in Moscow.
@ScottMStedman 2. So, in 2013 Rohrabacher DID travel to Moscow, as @ScottMStedman noted. Details: In May, to investigate Boston bombing. He led a 6-people delegation that included Michele Bachmann (DEAR LORD!), Steve King, Paul Cook, and Dems Steve Cohen & William Keating.
@ScottMStedman 3. Bc Butina's indictment is specifically about the NRA and the GOP, we can discard the Dems. So.. Is it Rohrabacher or is it King or Cook who met with Butina in 2013 for the first time? I'd say Rohrabacher or King. And bc I want BOTH to be involved, let's vote for King, LOL
2. A full transcript of Jr's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Cmte was released in May: it showed that Agalarov called Jr, Jr then received a call from "a blocked number" (we know that was Trump himself, unless one wants to not understand) and then he called Agalarov back.
3. Despite this, Jr. kept insisting that "I do not recall speaking to Emin. It is possible that we left each other voice mail messages. I simply do not remember". Which is amazing and an incredibly ridiculous excuse. But let's go on.
1. Point being made by vanity Fair reporter that I TOTALLY agree with re: Cohen statements to Stephanopoulos. He was asked whether he was ordered to make Stormy payment and whether Trump knew about Trump tower meeting. In both cases he refused to answer at the advice of counsel.
2. (this was on @maddow just now) This was a PRINT interview, no camera, for which things to print were CHOSEN and agreed upon. So WHY did exactly those two questions make it to print? With a "can't answer?" Bc they signal what Cohen knows that could DESTROY Trump.
@maddow 3. I will go one step further and add that if what Cohen knew was "oh Trump didn't do anything, Trump didn't order me to do anything, Trump didn't know about Trump tower meeting", there would be ZERO reason to even mention this, AND counsel wouldn't even worry about any answer.
1. PLEASE stop with this misinformation about the "double jeopardy" problem and have a dose of facts. So to begin with, EVEN IF the double Jeopardy case that SCOTUS is supposed to rule on goes in "oh state can't charge same crimes" direction, DIFFERENT STATE CHARGES WILL BE FILED
2. This is how it's worked UP UNTIL NOW so it makes ZERO freaking difference. Stop acting like the decision will prevent state from charging Cohen: THAT IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT THE CASE. Things will continue to be the way they are now, quite simply
3. The reason why NY State wants the double jeopardy rule removed is that it makes it EASIER to charge Cohen, not bc with the rule they can't charge Cohen. With the rule quite simply, NY State and Mueller/SDNY must coordinate on who brings which charges.
1. Manafort's personal assistant granted an FBI agent access to a storage locker in Virginia, allowing the govt to secure evidence that Trump's former campaign manager is TRYING TO SUPPRESS. TESTIMONY TODAY in a federal court hearing revealed this.
2. Testimony comes from FBI special agent Jeff Pfeiffer. This was at a hearing to consider whether evidence from the locker and a separate search of Manafort's home could be used in the July trial.
3. In today's hearing, Pfeiffer testified that Manafort assistant Alex Trusko told him he had moved records from Manafort's residence into the storage unit. In a DELIBERATE attempt to suppress evidence.
2. To be precise, ABC News says Mueller is eyeing "Russians granted unusual access to Trump inauguration parties." And, hear it, they got the GUEST LIST. They asked Obama's inauguration party organizer if that was common and person was STUNNED to see the names in there.
3. Guess who one of these prominent, SANCTIONED, DIRECTLY tied to the Kremlin Russians was sitting next to, at the "Candlelight Dinner" in Washington's Union Station? MICHAEL COHEN. Game, set, match, Mueller and SDNY.