Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh


NSC contractor arrested at the White House on outstanding attempted murder warrant.

Today as I was writing up various bizarre new permutations of the George Papadopoulos/Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos story, I didn’t know there was even more bizarreness emerging from a separate interview Simona Mangiante gave The Daily Caller. The Caller interview, which was conducted Sunday, largely tracks with what Mangiante told Tucker Carlson last night on Fox News. The new detail is her claim that George Papadopoulos old pled guilty to the charge of lying to federal investigators because the Mueller team had threatened to charge him with acting as an agent of Israel without registration as such – the same crime Paul Manafort got hit on with Ukraine.

What on earth is going on here?

Let’s take these points one at a time.

Read More →

Dershowitz: “The President wasn’t wrong when he said I want loyalty from my Attorney General. It’s the constitution that’s wrong for allowing that kind of a division to occur.”

Note that in the tweet I had the transcription of the first sentence slightly off. The text in the post is correct. Same gist, slightly different wording.

In my post from yesterday, I put together the timeline and circumstantial evidence which, I believe, strongly suggests President Trump discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin the phony cover story he would prepare the next day for his son, Donald Trump, Jr. There’s another element of the story which also provides key context and points to President Trump’s state of mind and sources of information at the time.

Read More →

I’ve been poking around this morning and the George Papadopoulos/Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos situation is way, way weirder than I’d come close to realizing. As I noted this morning, for whatever reason the couple has now glommed on to Trump’s “spygate” conspiracy theory. As I noted, not only is this troubling. It doesn’t even add up in any obvious way in self-interested terms. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to a relative minor felony, lying to federal agents. With cooperation he should get a light sentence. Shifting gears and playing for an anti-Deep State pardon seems very hard to figure. But something else happened when I was listening to that interview last night.

Put simply, when I listening to Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos last night she didn’t sound like she’s Italian.

Read More →

So much news emerged overnight that I’m not sure how much attention will get focused on this odd development in the George Papadopoulos case. Let me address it briefly. We knew little about George Papadopoulos until last October when his plea deal with the Special Counsel’s office revealed that he was a key point of contact with Russian operatives during the 2016 campaign. Later we learned that his inebriated discussion with an Australian diplomat was the trigger that launched the Russia probe in July of 2016. He made a deal, has been cooperating and recently the Special Counsel’s office filed court papers signaling he’s likely completed his cooperation and is ready for sentencing. All of this is what you’d expect for a cooperating witness. But last night, Papadopoulos’s wife was on Fox asking President Trump for a pardon and seemingly claiming that George had been set up.

Read More →

One of the many revelations from that “leaked” letter from the White House to the Mueller team is that the White House is now stating as a fact what it had long denied or at least seriously downplayed: that the President personally “dictated” the text of the original, false statement from his son describing the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting. The Times later reported this. But it’s long been disputed just how much role he had in writing the statement. Now that the President’s direct and apparently sole authorship is confirmed, it brings us back to a critical question that hasn’t been discussed in some time: Did Trump talk with Vladimir Putin one on one to get his cover story straight about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting?

Read More →

Hard not to notice that within the last 48 hours the President appears to be making a final break with Paul Manafort, now claiming the FBI should have warned him that Manafort was dirty and maybe in league with Russia or pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. (He’s hinted at similar logics before but never been quite this explicit about it.) He is also aggressively claiming an absolute right to pardon himself. Not only are these not the actions of an innocent man. They aren’t the actions of anyone who isn’t seeing their legal jeopardy rapidly increasing. It will be fascinating – in the future – to understand what developments were occurring in the background that made sense of these actions.