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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I want to discuss some context to last night’s big revelation about President Trump ordering the firing of Robert Mueller back in June 2017. Let’s start by stipulating, this is a very big deal. But I want to put this in some chronological context because I think the facts we knew about this period of time look quite different with this new information.

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And we have more. Trump tried to fire Mueller in June. But he backed down when his White House Counsel threatened to quit. Sometimes it just seems like this won’t go four years. More to come shortly …

From an ex-DOJ prosecutor whose insights I often seek, responding to a question I asked about this Prime Nugget item from yesterday.

Your layman’s sense is right: “this tells me that Mueller’s interest may not suggest he thinks these other events are indictable crimes in themselves. He may think they are evidence of a pattern which could strengthen a criminal case about the two earlier incidents we knew about – the Flynn request and Comey’s ouster.”

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The Times’ Maggie Haberman pressed Sarah Sanders today on how the President is defining “collusion” these days.

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I remain skeptical that the Mueller probe will end with hard evidence that Donald Trump committed crimes on the ‘collusion’ part of the investigation. (The obstruction front is a very different matter.) ‘Skepticism’ may even overstate my knowledge. I simply have no idea. Possible? Absolutely. But it’s certainly not something I’m betting on.

That raises a basic question in my mind: the level and ferocity of the White House orchestrated attacks on Mueller and the FBI suggest Trump and his top associates expect catastrophically damaging findings and/or criminal charges.

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I’ve been watching rightwing media since the late 80s. I’ve been doing it professionally for two decades. Very little surprises me. But last night on a tip I checked out a series of segments on Fox claiming new evidence of a anti-Trump “secret society” at the FBI plotting to overthrow the Trump administration.

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Over the course of today there was a rush of nugget-sized revelations about the Trump/Russia investigation. Overnight there was news that FBI Director Christopher Wray had threatened to resign. Then we learned that Jeff Sessions had sat for an extended interview with Robert Mueller’s investigators. A bit later we learned that James Comey was interviewed last year. None of these revelations was that big in itself. But there were enough of them (including others not mentioned here) that we put together a round up of these little pops of information just to help keep track. By the end of the day though the different nuggets began to fit together, not as a scattershot of discrete revelations but several parts of a unified whole.

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