Editors’ Blog

Great Local TV Work Here

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is grilled by the Nashville NBC affiliate about whether he met with Rudy Giuliani when they were both in Warsaw in February. Pompeo wilts, but refuses to answer:

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A Big Thank You

Before we get to the news this morning I want to thank everyone who made our TPM event in New York last night possible. First I want to thank our special guests Aditi Juneja, Waleed Shahid, Leah Greenberg and Lara Putnam. My only regret is that we didn’t videotape Aditi’s presentation and our panel on the Next Democratic Party so we could share it with members around the country who couldn’t attend in person. I felt more like an attendee than a moderator and host since I was so interested in what each had to say.

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We’re There Early!

TPM’s Josh Kovensky was on the story of the money that lead to today’s indictments a month ago. A month ago. See his write up here. This is the kind of dogged, looking-around-the-corner reporting your memberships make possible. Our membership drive is critical. If you’ve been thinking about joining, please make today the day. You membership makes all the difference. Just click here.

Late Update: Our team won’t cut it out with the great pieces. Be sure to see Tierney’s report from the court house, a first look at former Rep. Pete Sessions’s (R-TX) role in the scandal, how today’s news shifts the picture of the larger Ukraine extortion story, while we’re at it who are Rudy’s business partners, and what was the pot racket they had going on the side.

In The Courthouse

We’re expecting Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to make their first appearance in court early this afternoon.

Tierney Sneed is at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia — the same courthouse in which Paul Manafort’s trial took place. She’s not allowed a phone inside but will have updates as soon as possible.

Be Advised … Prime Badge
Some Backstory

One of the two associates of Rudy Giuliani who were arrested last night on campaign finance charges has been linked to a mysterious donation to a pro-Trump super PAC.

Josh Kovensky wrote about the $325,000 donation last month.

Read that story here.

New Podcast Episode

New episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast is ready for your listening pleasure.

on January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Fox

New Fox Poll: 51% of registered voters want President Trump to be impeached and removed from office.

Give Me Just One Moment

We get it. Even if you think it’s time to join TPM it’s still a bit of a pain to break from your routine and take a couple minutes to sign up. But please take a moment and make it today. It’s pretty quick. And we really need readers like you to get to our goal. Just click right here.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JULY 12 -  New Ambassador of the United States to the European Union Gordon Sondland is talking to media prior an EU Energy Council, on July 12, 2018, in the Berlaymont, the EU Commission headquarter. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
No Wonder They Need Him Quiet Prime Badge
“Gold Bars” Luskin Resurfaces

Minor footnote in the Gordon Sondland saga. His lawyer is none other than Robert Luskin! “Gold Bars” Luskin, as longtime TPM Readers will remember him. We first met him as Karl Rove’s lawyer back in the 2005 era. But really endeared himself to us because of the time he accepted payment in gold bars from his clients who were convicted of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars from Colombian drug kingpins, as one does. In his favor, Luskin has a sense of humor. When Legal Times asked him in 1999 why he was shuttering his boutique law firm he replied: “To paraphrase Hobbes: The life of a boutique is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Good one!

The Cover Up Continues

An hour ahead of testimony, the State Department orders Ambassador Sondland not to show up to testify and he complies. Subpoenas, fines, more articles of impeachment and jail are the only answers here.

Today’s Agenda: Sondland’s A No-Show Prime Badge
Strong Support

We can’t necessarily say support is growing over the last two weeks since it’s the first survey from this poll since the Ukraine story broke. But this poll from the Post shows a substantial majority of the public supporting House Democrats’ decision to open an impeachment inquiry against the President. 58% support the decision, 38% oppose.

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Jerry Settles

Jerry Falwell Jr has settled the lawsuit tied to the “pool boy”/Miami dive hostel story. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the terms of the settlement are not being disclosed. To remind everyone, the suit was brought by yet another guy, Gordon Bello, a high friend of Giancarlo Granda, the pool boy. He claimed that he’d been promised 25% of the hostel business.

One additional complexity: Bello originally sued under the name Jesus Fernandez, Jr., which was his name. Be and his father changed their names to Gordon and Jett Bello during the litigation allegedly because of threats against them tied to the lawsuit.

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Last Week, Warren May Have Won The Democratic Race

At the risk of appearing foolhardy several months hence, I want to say that in the last week, it has become very likely that Elizabeth Warren will win the Democratic nomination. A two-tier race, with Warren, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders in the top tier, has become a race largely of Warren against herself.
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Worth A Read

We’ve got a great op-ed from Allan Lichtman today — a history professor perhaps best known for predicting Trump’s election.

Lichtman takes a look at Mike Pence’s track record as vice president and argues that if President Trump is impeached, Pence should be ousted along with him.

It’s worth a read — check it out here.

Today’s Agenda: Pence, The Attack Dog Prime Badge
Right Now

We’d be in a great place if we could get to 800 net new members today. We’re currently at 729. Maybe you’ve been thinking about it. Make it today. Just take a moment, pull out your wallet and join. You’ll be glad you did. Just click right here.

The Rush to Testify is Bad News for the White House

This afternoon we learned that Gordon Sondland, Ambassador to the EU and GOP megadonor, will appear for a closed door deposition before House committees on Tuesday, October 8th. According to CBS News it will be the “same format” as Ukraine Envoy Kurt Volker’s testimony yesterday. (I take this to mean that he will appear without a government lawyer.) This seems to me to be a development of great importance.

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Trump Digs Into the Mega Conspiracy Theory

There was of course a lot of craziness, lies and invective in President Trump’s appearance on the White House lawn a few moments ago. But remember what I’ve been saying. The centerpiece of what Trump, Giuliani and Barr are after is trying to push the conspiracy theory that he and Russia were set up. That the real collusion was with Ukraine and other allied countries plotting to frame him during the 2016 election. And here he is, during this press availability, going on a rant about the United Kingdom, Australia and Italy plotting against him during the 2016 election.

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