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David Kurtz

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.

Articles by David

President taunts Russia with the threat of “nice and new and smart! missiles” heading toward Syria, the Mueller probe is firing on all cylinders and the President appears determined to stop it, and, oh, Paul Ryan is not running for re-election.

The President’s democracy-shaking comments late today — flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and National Security Adviser John Bolton, and in the presence of the nation’s military leaders — is deservedly overshadowing the underlying FBI raids on his attorney, Michael Cohen. But Tierney Sneed scrambled to get the immediate reaction of leading legal experts on the Justice Department’s big move against Cohen and what it means. Here’s her report.

The New York Times is reporting this evening that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating a $150,000 donation — in 2015, during the campaign — to Donald Trump’s foundation from Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk which was solicited by none other than Michael Cohen. In return, Trump made a 20-minute appearance via video link to a Kiev conference, the Times reports:

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President Trump’s lead personal attorney in the Russia probe has quit the case, according to reports. John Dowd’s decision comes shortly after Trump added former U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova to his legal team.

You’ve seen the news of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe’s firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, late on a Friday evening East Coast time. Sessions’ full statement is at the bottom of Tierney Sneed’s report. Let’s stipulate that dishonesty, under oath, by an FBI official is a grave matter. That’s what Sessions’ cites in firing McCabe, and he lays it on the findings of the Justice Department’s inspector general and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility. We haven’t seen their reports yet, so it is difficult to make an independent assessment. But this whole thing stinks.

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