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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

The news that alleged Russian agent Maria Butina was trying to partner with the wife of the former President of the NRA and CPAC on a ridiculous and massive oil deal with fuel from Russia is entirely, wholly expected, entirely to form. The original Times story actually contains this line, which is revealing on a number of levels: “During her time in the United States, she surrounded herself not only with high-profile American conservatives but also with dubious characters who seemed bent on making a fast buck — and it was not always easy to tell one from the other.

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Yesterday we were 220 sign-ups away for our goal of 1000 new sign-ups for the first week of our annual Prime sign-up drive. Now we’re at 132. We can totally get there. I just noticed as I was starting to write this post that The Village Voice is shutting down for good. That caught my attention in a big way. There’ve been so many stories like this over the last couple years — publications that either went under or are living on as zombies, names bolted on to some new shabbier thing, shaming what they once were. It is probably always tempting to use fear as a motivator. But I won’t do that and indeed cannot do that. Because that’s not going to happen to TPM. I raise the example of the Voice because the reason I can be so confident is precisely because we here at TPM — us and our readership — have already come so far in building a business model that highly, highly insulates us from the forces in the advertising, tech and platform industries which are destroying so many publications. This is why you see me writing all these posts, joking, finger-wagging, descriptive, antic, thoughtful. Because I believe so much in what we’re doing. We are not simply surviving. We are building and we have confidence in the future because we started early building a different kind of model which is better for journalism, better for business and better for everyone who either as a staffer or as a reader has a relationship with this site. But we need to get the whole way there. So if you haven’t subscribed yet take this moment to do it. Click right here.

As noted below, we have a new Mueller investigation court document out this evening: the Papadopoulos’s defense memorandum on his sentencing. Let me quickly run through the key details. The most notable claim is that President Trump personally signed off on Papadopoulos’s offer to develop a relationship with and set up a meeting with Vladimir Putin during the campaign.

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The defense sentencing memorandum by lawyers for George Papadopoulos is out. You can read it here. I’ll have thoughts on it a bit later.

This isn’t necessarily a popular position among critics of the President. But it could scarcely be more important to have a proper opinion on this question. There is a huge pent-up desire and collective push among Democrats to impeach President Trump. That’s a mistake. By any rights, the President should have been removed from office months ago, not only for discrete offenses but on the grounds of simple temperament and misrule, things the context of the constitutional debates make clear can be grounds for removal from office. It makes perfect sense that Democrats want to impeach President Trump. But having that be the big agenda if the Democrats take back the House will be a big mistake.

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This is a very key story from the AP. Bruce Ohr, a DOJ expert on Russian organized crime who has been relentlessly vilified and attacked by President Trump, had a July 30th, 2016 breakfast with Christopher Steele, then just started his sleuthing on candidate Trump’s relationship with Russia. This week Ohr discussed that meeting with lawmakers in a private interview. From the AP: “Among the things Ohr said he learned from Steele during the breakfast was that an unnamed former Russian intelligence official had said that Russian intelligence believed “they had Trump over a barrel,” according to people familiar with the meeting.”

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In little over two months, we’ll face one of the most consequential elections of our lifetimes. That phrase is so often an empty cliche. Now it’s true. With all other possible checks on the President’s actions failing, a check at the ballot box is the only option remaining. Assuming the Democrats wrest control of the House of Representatives, the first order of business needs to be subpoena and take possession of the President’s tax returns.

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Earlier today I explained that we’re trying to get to 1000 new Prime members by the end of the first week of our sign-up drive. As of earlier this afternoon, we were 20 sign-ups shy of 800. Well we blew through that number. We’re now at 836 so far in this drive. That’s just 174 short of 1000. We have three days. We can totally do this. Glory awaits a lucky 174 TPM Readers who choose this moment to come on board. Seriously, this is super important. Join us. Click here.

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