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Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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Democrat Tony Evers is pulling ahead of Scott Walker in the race to become Wisconsin’s next governor, according to a Marquette University Law School poll released Tuesday.

Evers earned 49 percent of support among likely voters, compared to 44 percent for Walker. This is the first time since Evers won the nomination this August that he has led Walker in the Marquette poll, regarded as the premium in-state survey. Last month, the two nominees were tied at 46 percent.

The results are the latest in a string of bad news for the two-term Republican incumbent, who has repeatedly acknowledged that this election is the “toughest” of his career. Both Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report rank the race as a “toss-up.”

Walker previously won his seat in GOP wave years, and his crackdown on voting rights and sweeping cuts to the state education budget have bruised his reputation among Wisconsin voters.

Support for Evers, the state schools superintendent, appears to be bolstered by independent voters. Per Marquette, GOP support for Walker and Democratic support for Evers are both over 90 percent. Among independents, the breakdown is 52 percent for Evers and just 32 percent for Walker.

Results also looked good for Democrats in the U.S. Senate race, with incumbent Tammy Baldwin expanding her lead from two points to 11 in her race against GOP challenger Leah Vukmir. Baldwin earned 53 percent of likely voters compared to 42 percent for Vukmir.

The Marquette survey was conducted among 800 registered Wisconsin voters from Sept. 12-16. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points

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Hours after Christine Blasey Ford went on the record accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted sexual assault, Kavanaugh’s far-right supporters were hard at work trying to explain away the allegations.

One particularly flimsy conspiracy theory circulating in recent days is that Ford is acting out of revenge because Kavanaugh’s mother, a Maryland state judge, foreclosed on Ford’s childhood home.

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In an unprecedented move, President Trump has ordered the Justice Department and FBI to publicly release a handful of former top government officials’ unredacted texts about the Russia investigation.

The affected officials include former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former senior FBI official Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, and former Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr, according to a Monday statement from the White House.

Trump has attacked all of these individuals publicly, smearing them as part of a “deep state” effort to undermine his investigation by launching the “witch hunt” investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The president is not supposed to directly involve himself in ongoing federal investigations.

Trump has also directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Justice Department to immediately declassify a number of documents related to the Russia probe, the White House announced.

The relevant documents are the FBI’s application to obtain a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, all FBI interviews prepared about the Page surveillance applications, and all interviews the FBI conducted with Ohr about the Russia investigation.

The White House claimed Trump is making these requests “for reasons of transparency.”

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Following Friday’s announcement of Paul Manafort’s cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors, his attorney, Kevin Downing, made remarks outside D.C.’s federal courthouse.

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In a bombshell development, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is cooperating with the special counsel as part of the plea deal in his federal criminal trial.

The deal, announced in a D.C. courtroom Friday by federal prosecutor Andrew Weissman, included a “17 page cooperation agreement,” according to Washington Post reporter Spencer Hsu.

Journalists in the courtroom also reported that the “remaining charges” against Manafort would be dropped either at sentencing or at the end of his cooperation.

It’s unclear if Weissman was referring to the charges Manafort was facing in D.C. or the 10 counts that a Virginia jury hung on in his separate criminal trial there.

This news represents a huge blow to President Trump. Just a few weeks ago, Trump tweeted that he respected Manafort’s refusal to “break” and cooperate with federal prosecutors, calling him a “brave man.”

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