Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Here’s one structural/political point to keep in mind about President Trump’s proposed “four pillars” immigration deal. We know from hard experience that almost no piece of immigration legislation on the 2006/2013 model can make its way through the House. Even though a clear majority would likely vote for some version of 2013-era “comprehensive immigration reform”, the right-wing faction in the GOP caucus simply won’t allow such a bill to get a vote. But it’s a very different matter for the House GOP right to pass its own preferred legislation. And that’s what Trump’s “four pillars” proposal amounts to, even with Dreamer protections thrown in – which they’re allegedly up in arms over. Point being, we’re talking about a minority of the House. A bunch of different reasons make it much easier to block something than to pass something.

I want to discuss some context to last night’s big revelation about President Trump ordering the firing of Robert Mueller back in June 2017. Let’s start by stipulating, this is a very big deal. But I want to put this in some chronological context because I think the facts we knew about this period of time look quite different with this new information.

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And we have more. Trump tried to fire Mueller in June. But he backed down when his White House Counsel threatened to quit. Sometimes it just seems like this won’t go four years. More to come shortly …

From an ex-DOJ prosecutor whose insights I often seek, responding to a question I asked about this Prime Nugget item from yesterday.

Your layman’s sense is right: “this tells me that Mueller’s interest may not suggest he thinks these other events are indictable crimes in themselves. He may think they are evidence of a pattern which could strengthen a criminal case about the two earlier incidents we knew about – the Flynn request and Comey’s ouster.”

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The Times’ Maggie Haberman pressed Sarah Sanders today on how the President is defining “collusion” these days.

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I remain skeptical that the Mueller probe will end with hard evidence that Donald Trump committed crimes on the ‘collusion’ part of the investigation. (The obstruction front is a very different matter.) ‘Skepticism’ may even overstate my knowledge. I simply have no idea. Possible? Absolutely. But it’s certainly not something I’m betting on.

That raises a basic question in my mind: the level and ferocity of the White House orchestrated attacks on Mueller and the FBI suggest Trump and his top associates expect catastrophically damaging findings and/or criminal charges.

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I’ve been watching rightwing media since the late 80s. I’ve been doing it professionally for two decades. Very little surprises me. But last night on a tip I checked out a series of segments on Fox claiming new evidence of a anti-Trump “secret society” at the FBI plotting to overthrow the Trump administration.

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