Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

In key testimony, Lisa Britt admits that she took absentee ballots and voted them Republican on races the actually voters had left blank. Video here.

We’re still working nailing down precisely what was said. But there were some pretty dramatic developments this morning in the probe into the absentee ballot tampering scandal in North Carolina.

One of the key people accused, Lisa Britt, appears to have turned completely on McCrae Dowless, the ringleader. She basically told investigators how he instructed her and others to assist his cover-up. “As long as we all stick together we’ll all be fine, because they don’t have anything on us,” she said Dowless told her and her coworkers after the initial probe. Last week he told her to take the 5th and even gave her a letter telling her how to testify falsely. She brought in a copy of that letter. So his goose appears to be quite cooked. More coming on this. So stay tuned.

You may have seen Andrew McCabe’s 60 Minutes interview last night. We’ll be bringing you various nuggets from that interview and the rest of the press tour he’s doing today. But there are a number of points that come up his accounts that aren’t news in themselves but shed important light on the nature of how the federal government, perhaps all governments, work. After more than 20 years in this business and particularly after everything that occurred in the aftermath of 9/11 and Iraq War, I became very interested in how President’s – or rather than Presidency – bends the government to its will.

Let’s take the false claims that Saddam Hussein had vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, a key premise for the Iraq War. To rehearse the basic facts, it was commonly believed in the US intelligence world – wrongly – that Iraq had at least some chemical weapons programs. That wasn’t a big leap. They’d had them before. And even used them. But that wasn’t enough. The administration took the elastic term ‘WMD’, pushed every hint of possible biological or nuclear programs, lied, cajoled, exaggerated until we got the phony hysteria that helped grease the skids for war. We know this story.

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As Bill Barr settles into his new job as Attorney General, let’s not forget that he already got caught doing just the kind of thing people are now worried about his doing on behalf of President Trump. Back when he was AG the first time, in late 1992, he put his hand on the scale to try to gin up a phony scandal against then-candidate Bill Clinton. I discussed it here in this – yikes! – 17 year old article in Salon.

I’m struck by the velocity and activity around and from Kamala Harris’s campaign. This is not a pro- or con- analysis. I genuinely have no favorite in any of this. Part of this is just the frequency of media attention, reports from campaign trips. That of course can simply be circular, media attention. But if you notice, over recent days Harris has received the endorsements of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Dolores Huerta and California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). The new governor of the biggest state in the union speaks for itself. The other two endorsements are in their own way more significant. In fact, considerably more.

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You have news here that the Prime Minister of Poland has canceled a visit to Israel over comments by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Poland and the Nazi Holocaust. The full story manages to be more comical, tragic and absurd.

Netanyahu has been trying to build ties to a group of rightist-nationalist governments in Eastern Europe, some of which have at last dabbled in anti-Semitism or what we might call soft Holocaust denialism. Netanyahu has sought to use these ties in the upcoming Israeli election as evidence of how his decade-in-power government is beating back Israel’s diplomatic isolation.

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Earlier this week we learned that a judge in Washington DC had found that Paul Manafort had lied to prosecutors from the Special Counsel’s Office, thus voiding his plea agreement and incurring other consequences under federal sentencing guidelines. Tonight the court released a redacted transcript of that hearing running 68 pages. I wanted to give you a brief run-down on what’s there.

Let me run through some key points in order.

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