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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I want to thank everyone who’s joined us as members over the last ten days. We have gained net 637 new members in our drive so far. That puts us a big leg of the way toward the goal for this drive. The confidence in the work that we do that your sign ups communicate is also a great boost to our organizational morale. There’s still plenty of time to join us during this drive. Just click here. But for now just, thank you.

Good TPM Readers, I was in the midst of writing out a post explaining how there was a lot of circumstantial evidence that that packet of pro-Trump conspiracy theories the State Department Inspector General brought up to the Hill was actually Rudy Giuliani’s work product: the packet of information he’d assembled in his trips abroad. Rudy likely piped it into the State Department. It got circulated through the Department by State appointees (this part we know). The IG had had it since May. But when he heard the events of the last week, especially Pompeo going on the warpath, the IG decided he wanted to get it out of his hands and into the hands of Congress as soon as possible.

Well, I’m robbed of my genius reconstruction of the evidence! Because now Rudy has admitted that, yeah, it’s his stuff.

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We are seeing what started as a whistleblower complaint about pressure on Ukraine expand into something much larger. President Trump was trying to coerce Ukraine to intervene in the 2020 election or lose critically needed military aide in its slow motion battle with Russia. Now we see that Attorney General Bill Barr has been making the rounds of the world pressuring allied governments to embrace conspiracy theories about bad actors in the US government plotting against President Trump. They are also pursuing theories that Russia was framed for the 2016 interference campaign. A basic question gets lost in the onrush of revelations: why?

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It got sort of lost in the day’s rush of news. Or at least I haven’t seen as much discussion of it as I think it merits. There are at least two versions of the story. One in the Post and another from ABC News.

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Yes, I know these notes aren’t what you’re here to read. We get it. But we truly need a second wind in our membership drive. If you can take just a moment to join us now that would be so helpful. Easy. Quick. Cheap. Worth it. Just click right here.

Earlier I mentioned this new Monmouth poll on impeachment. This poll generally seems more favorable to the President than the other two we’ve seen this week, though it still seems daunting for him. But Aaron Blake at the Post points to something else important. Down in the details of the piece, despite people generally finding Trump’s actions unacceptable, it turns out a plurality believes the President’s core claim: that Joe Biden applied pressure on Ukraine to end an investigation into his son, a accusation that is completely belied by all the facts we know and actually knowingly false.

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For podcast listeners, we’ll be back with a new episode tomorrow.

Monmouth has just released a poll that sounds the public on impeachment. It is similar to the others we’ve seen over recent days, though a bit more favorable to the President. On supporting an impeachment inquiry, 49% say it’s a good idea while 43% say it’s a bad idea. On removal from office, 44% say yes, 52% say no. Notably, Monmouth doesn’t appear to have given the “too soon to tell” option that shifted the numbers somewhat for CBS/YouGov and Quinnipiac.

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Returning to an earlier post and point. We will not understand any of this until we properly understand the difference between ‘investigate’ and ‘fabricate’. Again, even if you basically understand what’s happening here, the misuse of the words will warp your thinking.

A few developments just now on the Australia front emerging out of the Australian press. Here is a letter the Australian Ambassador to the US wrote to Bill Barr in May 2019 offering full assistance in Barr’s effort to investigate the origins of the Russia probe. It is cc’d to Mick Mulvaney at the White House.

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