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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I agree with David that this lawsuit must irk Trump. But I had a somewhat different reaction. Just under $2 million dollars seems almost quaint for the Trump Era. It has like a vaguely Austin Powers feel to it. Trumpers seem to sue for at least $100 million, just on principle, just following Trump’s lead.

Cohen seems like a man out of time. Maybe he has really turned a corner.

[When I first wrote this post I thought the law literally barred Trump from issuing these pardons. It doesn’t actually do that. It requires the DOJ to give Congress evidence against the pardoned individual and at least implicitly on how a particular pardon would affect or insulate the President and associates from legal jeopardy. That’s significantly different and not as clear cut. But I still think the law is likely unconstitutional because it forces the executive to take actions which at least complicate and in practice put obstacles in the way of this power. Post follows as I wrote it in the first instance.]

Adam Schiff wants to pass a law that would prevent the President from issuing pardons that protect him, his family or associates from legal jeopardy.

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I’ve seen a lot of journalists complaining that the DNC is somehow showing fear, or unwillingness to take tough questions or even some hostility to press freedom by rejecting a 2020 primary debate with Fox News. This is silly. Some non-journalists seem to be confused about the difference between access and debate sponsorship. But journalists know this difference. So they’re being silly.

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Here is a remarkable and yet entirely unremarkable story. The Commerce Department announced this morning that the country’s trade deficit last year was the biggest in US history. It’s $891 billion for merchandise, $621 billion when the service sector is added in, and $419 billion with China alone. Each is a record. The Post reports that the overall number tops the previous record of $838 billion in 2006, but it doesn’t seem like those numbers are adjusted for inflation or judged relative to the overall size of the economy. So possibly there should be an asterisk after biggest ever. (This Reuters article says biggest since 2008 when adjusted for inflation.) Still however you slice it, for all President Trump’s yakking and fairly disruptive trade wars, the problem has actually gotten worse.

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Today the Trump Organization’s insurance broker, Aon, received a wide-ranging subpoena from New York State insurance regulators. This appears to be at least in part in response to Michael Cohen’s testimony last week on Capitol Hill. He told members of the House Oversight Committee a number of things that pointed to an on-going practice of insurance fraud at the Trump Org, specifically by inflating or undervaluing assets.

But TPM Reader GC notes that this isn’t the first time Aon’s work for Trump has drawn scrutiny. And there’s already reporting from 2016 suggesting the strong possibilty of major insurance fraud at Mar-a-Lago.

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You’re going to want to give this a look. You probably saw that Chairman Jerry Nadler released a mountain of document requests this morning to 81 different people, corporations and institutions tied to President Trump.

But what are they about? What are they looking for? And specifically what can we glean about what they’re investigating from these requests? Our team went through them all and broke them down into a series of investigatory buckets. Stuff about Comey and his firing; stuff about efforts to push out Jeff Sessions; pardons; Russia collusion; Russian financing of Trump and the Trump Org and a few other categories. It really gives you a sense of where this is going and who is tied to which investigation. Start here.

I like to keep you up to date when I read a book I think is worth your time. I’m now reading Marc Morris’s The Norman Conquest, which is very good. I recommend it. At the simplest level it’s just a good read on a subject of immense historical importance and one with sufficient drama to allow a good writer to keep the reader engaged. But what I really like about it is how Morris approaches a comparatively ancient period with the uncertainty of our knowledge not simply addressed or hinted at but made part of the story itself.

History is always open to interpretation. What is happening today right in front of our eyes is open to a vast degree of interpretation. But for most of the past what we know is inherently suspect and limited. Think of our knowledge of the distant past like a rope bridge stretching across a great chasm. The bridge probably gets you to the other side. But almost every step is a potential weak link that can bring the whole thing down. We have this documentary source or chronicle, this history that was written three or four generations later, a few coins that have very limited information but are firmly tied to a specific date, letters that were written by people who may or may not have known what they were talking about. From these shards of information historians weave together what happened by weighing relative reliability, the character of the sources, how close they are in time to the events in question, how reliably they have been passed down to the present day – all to create a reliable chronology of events.

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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has an army of critics who want to silence anyone in mainstream American politics (which includes anyone elected to Congress) who is critical of Israel. Many of those critics are driven by or leverage hostility to Muslims, as evidenced just yesterday with this bigoted poster at a West Virginia GOP event tying her to 9/11. But it is also true that she routinely uses words or phrases charged with deep anti-Semitic histories.

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I just noticed this. Stone’s book that got Judge Jackson so upset – see below – isn’t about to be released. A big chunk of it has already been released. Some examples here.

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