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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Last night Rudy Giuliani dramatically shifted his defense of the President, claiming that he’d never denied there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. That’s obviously false. He claimed it a million times. The point though is what he’s now claiming, or rather unwilling to claim. Giuliani now only claims that the President himself did not collude with Russia. Indeed, he makes a further, related claim that the only potential crime would be if President Trump was personally involved in the hacking of DNC servers and email accounts or paid those who did.

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President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has repeatedly moved the goalposts in his defense of his client in recent months. But he took a dramatic step forward Wednesday night when he claimed — falsely — that he’d never said there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. He now insists only that President Trump personally did not collude with Russia. Other members of the campaigns like Paul Manafort may have.

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We’re just days away from introducing the new ad free version of Prime (Prime AF). If you had already expressed interest in upgrading to Prime AF when it’s released I sent you an email last week with details about the new service, how to upgrade, why and a special discount for signing up early. If you haven’t, the details are below the fold. If you’re a current subscriber and care about the future of this site I’d ask you to take a moment to read through the post below. And thank you for doing so.

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Nancy Pelosi is clearly playing hardball by essentially disinviting President Trump from giving a State of the Union address at the end of January. It’s a good move in terms of political leverage and to make a point. But it’s good for a reason that goes beyond political posturing or negotiation. It’s the same reason it was a good thing that Democratic senators are refusing to move bills on non-budgetary issues until the shutdown ends.

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Here’s the intro to Tierney Sneed’s preview of what oversight is probably going to look like in 2019.

Here’s one thing that struck me as I covered revelation after revelation about the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the Census: Under the surface of a controversial Trump administration move was an even messier and more ham-handed process than I would have guessed.

It made me wonder which of the other Trump scandals that have unfolded over the last two years are going to end up looking even more damning if and when real congressional oversight of his administration occurs.

Read the rest here (sub req).

Republicans are desperate – and not even doing much or well to hide it – to have Democrats start negotiating with them about a wall. We’ve moved on from demanding the chunk of money. Now it’s wanting to negotiate, begging frankly. For all the atmospherics and strategies, the only important point to make is that the President is holding the government hostage to force his way. That has to stop. The shutdown bacillus that Newt Gingrich injected into our political system in 1995 must be eradicated. It was dormant for almost two decades until Republicans (neo-Gingrichites) returned to power in the House in 2011. It’s wrong. It’s destructive. And it’s the same principle we apply to all terrorists. You can’t negotiate with terrorists or hostage takers, because it encourages the behavior.

Over the weekend, a friend sent me a link to an old Salon article that describes then Attorney General Bill Barr scrambling in the final weeks before the 1992 presidential election to push a probe into an obscure land deal in Arkansas that included then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton not as targets but as a potential witnesses. I’d vaguely remembered this chapter of the Whitewater drama and the eventual report that Robert Ray (successor to Ken Starr) released in 2002. So I looked it up this morning and was surprised to see that – Holy Crap – I wrote it! You forget a lot in 17 years! In any case, I’m curious why this isn’t getting more attention in Barr’s confirmation hearing. It’s directly relevant to the issues we’re dealing with today: an Attorney General putting his hands on the scale to protect the boss who gave him the job.

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