Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of

Articles by Josh


New Fox Poll: 51% of registered voters want President Trump to be impeached and removed from office.

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CNN is reporting that immediately after the President’s notorious July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, according to Shimon Prokupecz, “aides to Trump scrambled” to “alert lawyers of their concerns and to contain the damage. Unsettled aides also immediately began quizzing each other about whether they should alert senior officials.”

This is not terribly surprising. It’s basically in line with other reporting. But this tells us something important.

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Gordon Sondland’s attorney, Robert “Gold Bars” Luskin, says his client is “profoundly disappointed” that he is not being allowed to testify. This is bull. It is totally within his power to testify. He can resign his position at the State Department and opt to follow the law. (It’s not even totally clear to me he needs to resign. But that is certainly sufficient.) It appears that he is not only refusing to testify but refusing to turn over evidence in the form of text messages. He is simply choosing to make himself part of the cover up, presumably out of political loyalty to the President.

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Minor footnote in the Gordon Sondland saga. His lawyer is none other than Robert Luskin! “Gold Bars” Luskin, as longtime TPM Readers will remember him. We first met him as Karl Rove’s lawyer back in the 2005 era. But really endeared himself to us because of the time he accepted payment in gold bars from his clients who were convicted of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars from Colombian drug kingpins, as one does. In his favor, Luskin has a sense of humor. When Legal Times asked him in 1999 why he was shuttering his boutique law firm he replied: “To paraphrase Hobbes: The life of a boutique is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Good one!

We can’t necessarily say support is growing over the last two weeks since it’s the first survey from this poll since the Ukraine story broke. But this poll from the Post shows a substantial majority of the public supporting House Democrats’ decision to open an impeachment inquiry against the President. 58% support the decision, 38% oppose.

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Jerry Falwell Jr has settled the lawsuit tied to the “pool boy”/Miami dive hostel story. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the terms of the settlement are not being disclosed. To remind everyone, the suit was brought by yet another guy, Gordon Bello, a high friend of Giancarlo Granda, the pool boy. He claimed that he’d been promised 25% of the hostel business.

One additional complexity: Bello originally sued under the name Jesus Fernandez, Jr., which was his name. Be and his father changed their names to Gordon and Jett Bello during the litigation allegedly because of threats against them tied to the lawsuit.

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Since last night I’ve been trying to get my head around President Trump’s abrupt announcement that he has green-lighted a Turkish invasion of northern Syria. Like so many Trump decisions there are multiple and overlapping potential motivations and consequences. It seems to play into the hands of regional adversaries – Russia, Iran and erstwhile treaty ally Turkey. It appears rooted at least in part in President Trump’s hostility not so much to foreign military involvements but in any commitments (military or not) that are not narrowly transactional or of benefit to him.

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