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There are a host of revelations and confirmations in the Comey memos released yesterday evening. I want to zero in on one point: The President repeatedly and demonstrably lied about his November 2013 trip to Moscow. This is the visit in which the ‘pee tape’ was purportedly recorded. There’s no evidence in the memos that that tape exists or that the President spent the night with prostitutes. But again, he clearly and repeatedly lies about the trip itself, specifically how long he was there. This seems highly significant to me.
Let’s look at the details.
Good morning; happy Friday. Here’s what our writers and editors are watching today.
In covering any election, it’s easy to get hung up on winners and losers. After all,
that’s kind of the point.
But if we’re interested in what this year’s special elections tell us about November, the winner doesn’t matter much. A very red district swinging 20 points toward Dems compared to the last election, even while Republicans narrowly hold on, is a much worse sign for the GOP than a more competitive district swinging five points and leading to a Dem pickup.
All this explains why, even though Dems are likely to lose a special election for a congressional seat in a deep red Arizona district next week, they’re feeling pretty good about it. Cam Joseph has the details.
TPM Reader KM gives us some color on the El Caribe social club …
Being from Brooklyn, I wanted to drill down on exactly where it is and give it some color.
It’s actually in Mill Basin. It may not matter to a national audience, but that’s actually a few neighborhoods away from Russian immigrant communities of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. It’s off the Marine Park / Flatlands neighborhoods.
So Rudy Giuliani is joining President Trump’s legal team, a guy who’s never really been a defense litigator and hasn’t been a prosecutor in thirty years. He says he’s joining to “negotiate an end” to the Mueller probe. This sounds like another example of selling the President on comical nonsense like Ty Cobb’s assurances that the Mueller probe would wrap up in late 2017. But here’s another thing to keep in mind. Does Rudy have his own legal trouble coming down the pike?
Check out this Reuters piece about the DOJ Inspector General’s probe …
We’ve learned so much new information about Michael Cohen just in the last 36 hours – about the Russia mob, how he got the job with Trump – that we decided we needed to do an update on Tuesday’s episode, which had all the Michael Cohen information as of Tuesday. Here’s the new episode and here’s Tuesday’s. If you’ve already subscribed to the podcast on iTunes or Google Play, it’s already on your device.
There are a handful of articles out in the last 48 hours suggesting Michael Cohen is going to make a deal with federal prosecutors and become a cooperating witness against his boss, Donald Trump. Trump’s own former lawyer and Cohen’s predecessor, Jay Goldberg, warned Trump in a phone call that he thought Cohen was likely to turn on him and might even wear a wire to get evidence against him.
TPM’s Alice Ollstein just spent a couple days in Ohio getting a read on the political situation and upcoming redistricting. The points about redistricting are key. Prime Editor John Light just sat down (virtually) with Dave Daley to discuss the critical points about what’s going to be necessary in 2018 and 2020. Read it here (Prime access).
Yesterday we reported that the law firm representing Michael Cohen in both the Russia investigation and the federal probe into Cohen’s own finances has received payments from the Trump campaign. That could complicate any efforts by prosecutors to get Cohen to cooperate against the president.
And today comes additional evidence that the possibility of Cohen flipping is at the forefront of Trump’s mind. A lawyer who has worked for Trump in the past tells the Wall Street Journal that when the president called him for advice last week, he cautioned that Trump shouldn’t count on Cohen staying strong if he’s charged with serious crimes.
“Michael will never stand up” for you, the lawyer, Jay Goldberg, says he told Trump.
And let’s take a step back: All this talk about Cohen potentially flipping on Trump assumes up front that the president has done things that could put him in severe legal jeopardy. At this point, no one seems to be making much effort to deny that.