Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

This is a nugget of reporting from Maggie Haberman of the Times about the departure Kirstjen Nielsen from the Department of Homeland Security.

Whether this is true or not I do not know.

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A Secret Service agent testified that while he was interrogating Yujing Zhang at Mar-a-Lago another agent took one of her thumb drives and put it in his laptop. It immediately began installing malware.

It sounds like there may be a broader round of firings at DHS, in addition to Secretary Nielsen’s ouster. And the Secret Service is part of DHS, albeit quite independent within it. But not that the head of the Secret Service getting fired comes just after the revelations about security at Mar-a-Lago. Makes me wonder whether it is over laxity or because the incident itself and the Secret Service’s aggressiveness somehow embarrassed the President.

Late Update: NBC’s Pete Williams says an administration official says the firing was “not based on any single precipitating even” and that the decision was made 10-14 days ago, i.e., before the Mar-a-Lago security breach.

I am … very skeptical of that account.

In this unfolding story I would like to point out that – moving along from “total exoneration” – President Trump this weekend called the people who ran the Special Counsel’s Office “dishonest and treasonous.” Total exoneration ain’t all its cracked up to be, it seems.

Here’s some interesting background on the weekend shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security – which for Trump is basically the department of border enforcement. Secretary Nielsen got the boot, according to the Post’s reporting, because she provided too much resistance to President Trump’s demands to break laws to show “toughness” on the border.

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As we await Bill Barr’s ‘redactions’ of the Mueller Report, I wanted to pass on to you this note from a TPM Reader and member of the appellate bar. It may seem deep in the weeds at first. But it’s a window into Barr’s conduct so far that I was not at all aware of, or rather I knew the bare facts but hadn’t at all understood the implications. They bear directly on Barr’s subservience to the White House and current approach to executive power …

The focus on Barr and what he has done/is doing regarding the report has been fantastic.

But there is another, overlooked data point that makes clear that we should be very suspicious about how Barr approaches his responsibilities as AG – including his redactions to the Mueller report and his supervision of the ongoing Trump investigations in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere.

The Administration’s decision a few weeks ago to change its position and argue that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional didn’t get the attention it deserves. It is a shocking breach of the Justice Department’s duty to make reasonable arguments in support of the constitutionality of federal laws. There many such reasonable arguments in support of the ACA – as numerous conservative scholars have explained in blog posts and briefs since the DoJ announcement; it is the position that the Administration is now endorsing that is entirely unreasonable.

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Any student of Jewish history and anti-Semitism will tell you that philo-semitism is often just a slight distance from anti-Semitism. President Trump is a good example of this. This weekend he spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition, a Jewish Republican activist group. He was a big hit, not surprisingly. But he repeatedly talked about Jews as though they were a monolith not giving him enough credit for helping Israel or indeed actually Israeli citizens.

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“He stated that he was a patriot, that he loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government.” – Criminal complaint against Patrick W. Carlineo, Jr., charged with making death threats against Rep. Ilhan Omar.

I got this email from TPM Reader TH, basically asking why we’re cutting Bob Mueller such slack if we’re criticizing Bill Barr for covering up for the President. Specifically, if he was charged with answering whether or not Trump obstructed justice why did he punt? Why did he shirk that responsibility? Let me share TH‘s take and then I’ll respond.

I appreciate the really great work y’all are doing on the Mueller investigation. Totally agree with everything you’ve said about Barr’s specious response. But I don’t quite understand why you and others aren’t harder on Mueller, too. We’ve credited him with far more moral rectitude than he has actually shown. (He looks the part, being a tall male and all, and in American life that goes a long way.) He was explicitly tasked with deciding the question of obstruction. As Lawrence Tribe and many others have pointed out, it’s inexplicable that he deferred the question to “the politicals,” especially in light of Barr’s well-known opposition to any obstruction charge. Imagine a judge in a routine criminal or civil matter saying, “fuck if I know!”

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