Editor’s Blog

President’s Initial Reaction

Here is a transcript and video of Trump’s brief comments on today’s news. Note that there’s no discussion of Cohen, only Manafort – transcript per pool report.

Transcript after the jump …

Read More

Bad News for Trump

Developing: Cohen appears to directly implicate a “candidate” in the campaign finance violations he is currently pleading guilty to.

Convicted on Eight Counts

Manafort convicted on 8 counts. Hung jury on 10 counts. But the eight include 5 tax fraud and 2 bank fraud.

Verdicts Reached

The Manafort jury has apparently reached verdicts on 8 of the 18 charges. Unclear yet whether that means a hung jury on those 10 charges, whether they will continue to deliberate, whether anything will be announced today.

Update – 4:33 PM: It seems like we may be moving toward a hung jury on as many as 10 of the Manafort counts. And we may be about to hear the results this afternoon.


Sens Burr and Warner just appeared jointly to announce they’ve “recently re-engaged with [Michael] Cohen” after recent reports about Trump Tower meeting. More shortly.

Thanks, Folks

Thanks for the great response to my note yesterday on our upcoming annual Prime sign up drive. We’ll kick off later this week. Before then we’ll also be rolling out some key changes to the front page of the site, which our whole team is very excited about. If you haven’t subscribed to Prime yet and you’re a regular reader, please consider doing so in this upcoming drive. It’s very important. And we have the opportunity not only to sustain the work our team here at TPM does but to make it more vital and robust than it’s ever been. Stay tuned and thank you.

Two Big Stories Moving

Just to catch you up, we’re looking at two major stories possibly moving this afternoon. The Manafort jury appears to have reached a verdict on all but one of the eighteen charges. Separately, we’re now hearing reports that Michael Cohen may reach a plea deal with federal prosecutors in New York (SDNY) as early as this afternoon.

More soon.

Jury Note Update

We’re getting more information on that note from the jury David noted below. The jury asked the judge what they should do if they “cannot come to a consensus for a single” count and if they can’t what does that mean for the “final verdict.” This strongly suggests (though who knows?) that they have reached consensus on most or all of the remaining 17 charges. They’re hung up on a single charge. In other words, they’ve made a lot of progress. We’d now expect the judge to ask them to take more time and try to reach consensus on that final charge.

There’s some ambiguity that some have noted that perhaps the jury meant they can’t come to agreement on even one count. In other words, they’re totally hung. That seems like a strained reading of the note. But it’s just a couple sentences and the version of the text we have are what reporters heard in open court, not reading the actual note. Seems like the former, but who knows.

Update: Some more news out of the courtroom appears to confirm that this is about lack of consensus on a single charge.

New Note From Manafort Jury

Some possible movement in the Manafort jury deliberations.

There was a knock on the door from the jury room into the courtroom, Tierney Sneed reports.

Subsequently we learned there is a new note from the jury, according to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.

Righteous Act; Malign Purpose
FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2003 file photo photo, Jakiw Palij stands out in front of a building in the Queens borough of New York. Palij is among at least 10 suspected Nazi war criminals ordered deported by the United States who never left the country, according to an Associated Press review of Justice Department data.  (Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times via AP, File) - NO SALES - INTERNET OUT

Overnight the White House sent out a press release with a story that is at once familiar and novel. Early this morning, ICE deported 95 year old Jakiw Palij, a former Nazi SS guard at a labor camp in German-occupied Poland, to Germany. Palij’s story is a familiar one. He immigrated to the United States in 1949. He became a US citizen in 1957. In 2001, he admitted to Department of Justice officials that he had lied about his wartime activities when he came to the United States. In 2003, he was stripped of his US citizenship. He was ordered deported in 2004 and a appeal of his deportation order was denied in 2005. Read More

Very Important

If you’re a regular reader of this site, please read this post.

We’re about to kick off our annual Prime sign up drive. We’ve got a lot of critical news coming up over the next 2 to 3 months – Russia, the midterms and more. So we are going to do our best to keep this one short. But this is an absolutely critical one for us as an organization. This is a key part of the bigger shift in our business and publishing model I described earlier this month. We’ve gotten most of the way to where we need to get with our Prime numbers – we’re getting close to 28,000 subscribers. But we’re not there yet.

So here’s the pitch I need to make. I frequently talk to readers who tell me they’ve been meaning to sign up for Prime but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. If that’s you, please take the time to sign up in this drive. Just take the plunge. Now is the time. It’s easy. It’s cheap. It’s hugely important to our future as an organization. Simple as that.

Trump Asks for Support for ICE Against ‘Extreme Elements’
on August 17, 2018 in Washington, DC.

President Trump just released a letter he has sent to state and local leaders across the country (Governors, Lt. Governors, State Attorneys General, Mayors, State Legislators, Sheriffs) asking them to use “letters, public statements, op-eds, resolutions and events” to defend ICE and CBP against a “nationwide campaign of smears, insults, and attacks by politicians shamelessly catering to the extreme elements in our society that desire lawlessness and anarchy.”

Letter after the jump … Read More

Bret Kavanaugh Is A First Rate Hypocrite and Political Judge
UNITED STATES - JULY 19: Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, makes his way to a meeting with Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., in Hart Building on July 19, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Washington Post just published the full text of a memo Bret Kavanaugh wrote in August 1998 about questioning then-President Clinton as the country hurtled toward impeachment. Most attention will focus on the list of sexually explicit questions he suggested asking the president when he was interviewed by the Independent Counsel’s Office. You can see those here. To me though, those are not the most telling. It’s what comes before the sex questions. Read More

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 24:  Fred Sands and Elliot Broidy attend Dedication And Celebration Dinner For The Fred Sands Institute Of Real Estate At Graziadio School, Pepperdine University at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on June 24, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Pepperdine University)
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‘Angry Democrat Thugs’

From one perspective we should ignore it. But from a deeper perspective it’s important to notch each step the President makes in the direction of cheap neighborhood gangsters and would be tyrants. His latest attack on the Mueller Special Counsel’s office refers to them as “angry Democrat thugs.” It goes to the point I made last week. We know Trump is guilty, as civic and public matter if not a narrowly legal one. We’re just having a hard time coming to grips with the fact.

Uri Avnery, Dead at 94

Some of us are blessed to live several lives in a single lifetime. Longevity is usually a prerequisite. But it goes far beyond that. Uri Avnery, Irgun fighter, tabloid publisher, peace activist, was one of those people. He’s died at the age of 94. Here’s his obituary in Ha’aretz. If you’re not familiar with him, it’s a life worth learning about.

Point of Origination

If you find yourself wondering where the “truth isn’t truth” meme started …

An Absolute Must Read

Interested in voting rights? The ugly and comic history of right wing fables about “voter fraud”. Here’s Rick Perlstein and Livia Gershon on how the GOP has been weaponizing “voter fraud” myths for decades to target minority voting. It’s Part 2 of of 2018 series on Democracy and Voting Rights.

No Manafort Verdict This Week

Manafort jury asks to go home early today. Deliberations will continue the rest of this afternoon and resume Monday. Here’s the latest.

Latest From Manafort Trial

A new note from the jury in the Manafort trial. We’re waiting to hear more …

Reports of the new note came shortly after a hearing on news orgs’ request to unseal records in the case, including the names of jurors. Alice Ollstein reports.

We Know Trump Is Guilty. We’re Having a Hard Time Admitting It

The greatest conceit in public life today is the notion that we don’t already know President Trump is guilty. Guilty of what? Conspiring, by whatever level of directness, with a foreign power to win the Presidency and then continuing to cater to that foreign power either as payback for the assistance or out of fear of being exposed. In other words, collusion, a national betrayal that may break some statute laws but which far transcends them and isn’t in the past but is rather on-going. Read More

Trump Military Parade Canceled?

The Pentagon announcement: “We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event [the parade] but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019.”

On its face that’s a postponement. But exploring opportunities next year sounds vague to the point of possibly not even happening at all.

An Anxious Wait

One of Paul Manafort’s lawyers is anxiously pacing around a hotel lobby. The other is charging his phone. Reporters are sitting around the same hotel or circulating in and out of the courthouse. After a three-week-long period of daily action during Paul Manafort’s financial crimes trial, now the lawyers, reporters and spectators are stuck in Alexandria, Virginia, with nothing to do but wait as the jury deliberates. It could take hours, or it could take days. Read Caitlin MacNeal’s reporter’s notebook (Prime access) with the latest →