Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We just recorded a new episode of the podcast with Bob Mueller biographer Garrett Graff. It should drop sometime this evening. Graff has a new ebook out this week called Mueller’s War. We talked about all the stuff that’s happened since Mueller filed his report with the Justice Department last month. But the thing that I wondered about most is a Graff’s point that Barr had handled the roll out of the report so poorly.

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Important point to remember here, as Natasha Bertrand points out. Back in November 2017, Barr told The New York Times that he thought the “predicate for investigating the uranium deal, as well as the [Clinton] foundation, is far stronger than any basis for investigating so-called ‘collusion.'”

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If you’re in the greater DC area or able to get there, I wanted to let you know we’re holding an event in DC the evening of May 9th. We’ll have a special guest speaker and panel discussion after the speech. It’s all focused on congressional oversight – what is happening right now, how it works, how it gets reported on and more. If you’re an Inside member a ticket comes with your membership. But we also have a limited number of tickets available for purchase for Prime members. So if you’re interested in joining us drop us a line and we’ll put you on a list to be notified with more details. It’s an opportunity be part of a very important, thought-provoking discussion and share eats, drinks and conversation with our guests and members of the TPM editorial team. More soon.

This is clear if you’re reading closely. But I wanted to make sure it’s clear to everyone. The President himself doesn’t seem entirely clear on it. The House is not demanding the President’s tax returns from the President. So this isn’t a matter of speaking to “his lawyers,” as he puts it. And, contrary to the President, the Attorney General doesn’t really have anything to do with it.

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The Times had a story overnight about how President Trump pushed Mitch McConnell to fast track his nomination for the Chief Counsel of the IRS in the early months of this year, an obviously key position in any fight over securing the President’s taxes. What I was more interested in was the information a bit further down in the article that notes that Michael J. Desmond is actually a one time Trump tax lawyer and long time colleague of William Nelson and Sheri Dillon, Trump’s long time tax attorneys and the folks who put together his purported non-blind blind trust. Remember the press conference with the glued together stacks of papers?

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Overnight we had a number of new stories shedding new light on what should have been obvious from the moment Bill Barr released his letter. Let me start by just pointing out a few key articles. While we’re seeing new information come out about the Mueller report, we should also note the continued credulousness of a lot of the DC press corps in evaluating Barr’s motives and aims in this whole drama.

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New Nadler letter presses Barr on reports he mischaracterized Mueller findings and failed to release summaries intended for easy public release.

Notably, Nadler also wants to see communications between the Special Counsel’s Office and Barr’s DOJ to see if Barr is accurately portraying those interactions.

NBC has now added some additional information: “Mueller team members say [the report] includes detailed accounts of Trump campaign contacts with Russia. While Mueller found no coordination or criminal conspiracy, the official said, some team members say his findings paint a picture of a campaign whose members were manipulated by a sophisticated Russian intelligence operation. Some of that information may be classified, the official said, so it’s not clear whether it will be released in a few weeks when Barr makes public a redacted version of the Mueller report.”