The Big Dirty

And there it is, the other quid pro quo. Notorious Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash would help Rudy and DiGenova and Toensing cook up dirt on Joe Biden. In return, they’d work with Trump to get US corruption charges against Firtash tossed. Firtash has been fighting extradition to the US on federal corruption charges since 2014.

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The Emoluments Dog That Is Still To Bark
Prime Membership Required

When the Trump/Ukraine scandal broke, now almost a month ago, I said that the biggest revelation wasn’t that Trump would do these things or try to do these things but that he could do them and all of his top advisors would go along with it and even participate in whatever cover-ups were necessary to conceal. Don’t call me naive. One of the biggest takeaways from the Mueller Report was while Trump committed all sorts of obstructive acts, he was actually shut down at a number of points by top advisors. Either they yessed him and then ignored his demands. Or they refused and he relented. Or in some cases they threatened to resign. Usually Trump backed down. Trump usually didn’t have the guts to make the big moves himself. It was usually trying to get someone else to do it — usually some version of shutting down the investigation or firing Bob Mueller. Frequently, they refused.

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Today’s Agenda: Perry Is Jumping Ship
Prime Membership Required

Happy Friday, October 18. With an ear to the ground, Energy Secretary Rick Perry has officially announced his impending resignation “later this year” with a cinematic send-off. Here’s more on that and the other stories we’re watching.

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How Did Trump Let This Happen?
Prime Membership Required

Aside from the national humiliation and breach of trust with allies, we have a remarkable development with President Trump’s sudden and still entirely unexplained decision to green-light a Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria. President Trump had already entered the greatest crisis of his presidency to date. And yet, a few tut-tuts and misgivings notwithstanding, Republicans remained reflexive in their support. President Trump chose this moment to drive a massive wedge between himself and the overwhelming majority of his own party. At a critical moment he chose to open a second front … against himself.

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Very Important to Unpack This

Among many other things, in his just concluded remarks, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney slightly shifted the White House explanation. He said one reason for the hold up of weapons aid to Ukraine was about the “corruption related to the DNC server.” This needs to be unpacked.

It is just a shard of information. But it is a reference to the Seth Rich/DNC Server conspiracy theory which holds the following …

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Pelosi Explains What Happened

While it’s pretty obvious that President Trump is the one who flipped out in yesterday’s meeting in White House, it’s still true that every narrator will have their own point of view and own slant to their description. But Democrats in the meeting who have spoken to the press suggest that it was pressing Trump on “all roads lead to Putin” that pushed Trump over the edge. Here’s Pelosi’s explanation of what lead to the ‘meltdown’.

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How Elijah Cummings Helped Blow Up The Census Citizenship Question
Prime Membership Required

The late House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) made investigating the President Trump’s census citizenship question a priority as he retook the gavel this year — and, in that probe, uncovered a key piece of evidence that helped the question’s legal challengers blow open the case.

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New Podcast Episode

New episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is out. We discuss the latest Trump/Ukraine investigation developments and try to make sense of the Dems’ marathon twelve-person on one stage debate. Listen here or it should be on your device if you signed up.

Today’s Agenda: RIP Rep. Elijah Cummings
Prime Membership Required

It’s Thursday, October 17. Legendary congressman and House Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has died, succumbing to longstanding health issues at age 68. Here’s more on that and the other stories we’re watching.

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Elijah Cummings, 1951-2019

The 68-year-old Maryland Democrat who chaired the House Committee on Oversight and Reform died Thursday.

His wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, the chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, released the following statement:

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| Cafe

It's time to rethink how we view the U.S. political spectrum.

| Features

A decades-long campaign by a handful of well-heeled foundations has succeeded in laundering ideas through academia into law.

| News

Updated Oct. 16, 2019.

The past few weeks have been a firestorm of new details concerning the intelligence community whistleblower and the subject of his complaint: An attempt by President Donald Trump to pressure the government of Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, son of Trump’s leading Democratic rival Joe Biden.

To truly understand the story, we need to go back a few years. Here’s how we got to where we are today.

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Ep. 88: The Impeachment Inquiry Ramps Up
Ep. 88: The Impeachment Inquiry Ramps Up
TPM investigative reporter Josh Kovensky joins Josh, Kate, and David to talk about the drip, drip, drip of revelations out of witness testimonies in House D...
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