Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I’m going to try to write up a piece this evening putting all the news of today in some perspective based on my and our team’s reporting over the last year into Cohen’s business background. But here’s an important morsel for understanding what’s happened today and where Cohen may be heading in the coming days.

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This photo from today captures a lot.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's attorney, takes a phone call near the Loews Regency hotel on Park Ave on April 13, 2018 in New York City. Following FBI raids on his home, office and hotel room, the Department of Justice announced that they are placing him under criminal investigation. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 13: Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, takes a call near the Loews Regency hotel on Park Ave on April 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

I mentioned below that the report from The Wall Street Journal about the hush agreement negotiated by Michael Cohen for Elliott Broidy, a top Trump fundraiser, is a key, new connection between the hush money payoffs and the Russia probe proper. Broidy is tied to the murky shenanigans of George Nader, with money payoffs from the Gulf states and the Russia/Seychelles back channel. But there are some key details about this agreement itself.

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The Wall Street Journal just published a stunning scoop. In 2017 Michael Cohen negotiated a $1.6 million hush deal for a major GOP fundraiser named Elliott Broidy, deputy finance chairman of the RNC. If that name rings a bell, it should. Broidy is at the center of the part of the Russia probe involving the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and international fixer and convicted pedophile George Nader.

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TPM’s Allegra Kirkland was in the federal courthouse this morning when lawyers for Michael Cohen and (unexpectedly) President Trump argued to suppress or at least get a first look at material seized in the raids on Monday. Here’s Allegra’s report.

As we prepare for an avalanche of hagiography and character assassination about James Comey, I want to flag this piece I wrote last May about the ‘Comey Myth’, how it came to be and Comey’s central role in creating and cultivating it. As I argue it is in many, most ways accurate. But Comey himself is perhaps the greatest devotee and believer in the Comey myth and that’s one of the reasons why he made severally critical bad judgments in 2016.

News came out overnight that there’s a hearing this morning on the Michael Cohen searches/raids at 10:30 AM before Judge Kimba Wood at the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan. TPM’s Allegra Kirkland is at the courthouse and will be in courtroom this morning. All that is known at this point is that the hearing relates to the Cohen raids. We don’t know more than that, though it seems logical to assume it’s an effort on the part of Cohen’s attorneys to throw out the fruits of those searches. We’ll bring you more when more details are available.

The excerpts from James Comey’s memoir are fascinating. But they are maybe the third or fourth biggest news item on the Trump-Russia front this afternoon. This isn’t to say they’re not significant. We understand the world around us, even the most serious matters, through characters and stories. His account provides color and compelling detail. But none of the details I’ve heard so far tell us things we didn’t already know or know as a general matter. There are several other highly significant developments which deserve your attention.

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We’ve now had numerous instances in which President Trump has taken some dramatically inappropriate or illegal steps but we only learn about it much, much later. Look what happened today. I strongly suspect we now have another example.

Earlier today, the White House press aide Lindsay Walters announced that today: “Rod Rosenstein met with the president at the White House regarding routine department business.”

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