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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

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There are two key additional revelations that are quite important but, understandably, are having a hard time getting attention in the wake of the memo release. We have now learned that there was not only a whistleblower report but a criminal referral to the Justice Department, one that the DOJ declined to pursue. Critically, according the Times, both the Inspector General and the Director of National Intelligence made the criminal referral to the Department of Justice.

It’s the acting DNI himself, retired Vice Admiral Joseph Maguire, who is key.

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I’m not really sure what to say about this “transcript.” First, it’s not actually a transcript. It says explicitly that it is a rough approximation of what was said, based on note-taking by Situation Room Duty Officers. But what’s contained in this memorandum is considerably worse and frankly more insane than what we’d been led to believe. All the references to talking to Rudy Giuliani and going after Biden and his son are there. But there is a bunch more. Aside from a lot of color which is largely President Zelensky’s desperate efforts to ingratiate himself with Trump, there are four cardinal points.

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I’ve wanted to focus on the substance of President Trump’s extortion scheme with Ukraine. But the attempt inevitably impacts the Democratic primary campaign. There’s a lot of chatter to the effect that President Trump has already succeeded in making the story about Biden and baseless claims of alleged wrongdoing rather than Trump’s criminal behavior. That’s not quite how I see it, though there are many news organizations doing a lot to make that possible. I think you can read the drift of public opinion from the rapid movement of Democratic representatives in the direction of impeachment.

This is more an opportunity for Biden than a challenge. But only if he has the muscle and agility to rise to it.

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We just recorded today’s episode of The Josh Marshall Podcast with David and Kate, joined by TPM Reporter Josh Kovensky. I highly recommend your listening when it comes out this afternoon. Josh has a unique handle not only on this story but the different personages involved, many of whom he’s interviewed because of his work as a reporter in Ukraine before he came to TPM. He’ll have a piece coming out later this afternoon which gives a possible answer to the State Department involvement in this caper — which, believe it or not, seems semi-exonerating for the State Department at least. Stay tuned.

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