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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Our reporter Tierney Sneed spent the day reporting on the latest information on the Trump Foundation. We now have clear evidence of self-dealing in the payouts made by the Foundation and as of yesterday pretty clear evidence that Trump has used the Foundation to avoid paying taxes on income. The combination could spell real legal trouble for Trump, possible even criminal penalties. In short, you're not allowed to use a family foundation as a piggy bank or slush fund for tax avoidance and personal or business purposes. We've proceeded cautiously in what we know and what we don't. We've also tried to be cognizant of the fact that this is an area of criminal law where intent is critical - which is to say, ignorance of the law is a defense. That said, one top former IRS official involved in oversight of tax exempt organizations told TPM, "Once you see a pattern of that kind of egregious nature, you start to think if whether there’s an appropriate criminal referral there." Here's the story.

If you're a tax law expert, either a practitioner, a professor or involved in enforcement, we are continued to probe this story. So we would like to hear from you with your opinion, thoughts, advice on issues most in need of probing.

It's only barely getting national news attention because of the heat of the presidential battle. But the Bridgegate trial is going on. And it now seems very clear - what was probably obviously all along - that Christie knew all about the traffic james in Fort Lee were engineered as payback. He knew and he was in on it. All from testimony in federal court.

Remember, Christie was 'exonerated' of any involvement by a tax payer funded 'investigation' by Christie's own attorney in matter.

Trump didn't have a terrible night last night. For anyone who's watched him closely for a year and a half he was simply himself. Cocky, angry, lashing out as an opponent increasingly dominated and embarrassed him. This wasn't a bad showing. It was him. But it's a good moment for all of those who constantly complain about Hillary being a terrible candidate, making this or that mistake, screwing this or that up, her performance last night was pitch perfect.

Yes, he did badly. But she brought it at least as much as he blew it.

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As I wrote earlier, I didn't think Donald Trump would lose his cool this quickly or that Hillary Clinton would be able to bait him that effortlessly. But it turned into such a mess that there were almost countless little comments from Trump, each one of which was in its own way quite ridiculous or damning or both. Many will likely come up again after people get a good night's sleep and start picking out these almost countless nuggets.

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One of the more bizarre Peak Trump Moments (PTM) tonight was this stream of consciousness answer when Trump seemed to argue that even though he never publicly said anything negative about the Iraq War until almost three years later when it was deeply unpopular, he had private conversations on the subject with the highly credible Sean Hannity. And all you have to do is call Hannity who will totally back him up.

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It doesn't get more peak Trump than this, when Trump said how he was going to have some kind of ugly outburst against Hillary and her family but just couldn't since it would be wrong. He wants credit for not doing it.

Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials, some of it said in entertainment, somebody who's been very vicious to me, Rosie o'donnell, I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree she deserves it, and nobody feels sorry for her. I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, I can't do it. I just can't do it. It's inappropriate. It's not nice, but she spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me, many of which are absolutely untrue.

Let me start by saying that my central prediction about this debate was wrong. I thought Trump's big obstacle was getting pressed on a specific policy question, not having any idea what he was talking about and riffing his way into nonsense or easily controvertible lies. That close to didn't happen at all.

The debate ended up proceeding quite differently. In the first few exchanges Trump was on point pushing a message of economic nationalism, opposition to international trade agreements and job loss. Clinton, notably, barely engaged on this front, preferring to steer her responses to questions about tax equity, middle class families, trickle down economics, etc. But those initial jousts, that focus only lasted for ten or maybe 15 minutes.

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Initial debate reaction coming shortly.

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