Russia Probe

Lotta Discoverin’

The government has recovered 731 pages of encrypted text messages from the devices seized from Michael Cohen – from WhatsApp and Signal. They’ve also reassembled 16 pages of documents from inside Cohen’s paper shredder. (Paper Shredder best practices fail.) They’re still working on one of the Blackberries they seized.

Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani, the President’s lawyer, apparently felt it was necessary to explicitly reassure Paul Manafort that a pardon could be in the cards for him after he was sent to jail today.

on May 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 16: Michael Cohen leaves Federal Court after his hearing on the FBI raid of his hotel room and office on April 16, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
on May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Manafort’s Immediate Fate About To Be Decided

Tierney Sneed reports in from the federal courthouse in D.C. where a judge is considering whether to revoke former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s bail, amid allegations he tampered with witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller’s pending criminal case against him.

The hearing is in recess while the judge apparently contemplates her ruling on whether to move Manafort from house arrest to jail.

More as soon as we have it from Tierney …

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Cohen, a personal attorney for President Trump, and his lawyer Stephen Ryan, off camera, address the media in Hart Building after the Senate Intelligence Committee meeting to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election was postponed on September 19, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
on May 30, 2018 in New York City.
Tomorrow Could Be a Bumpy Day

This evening on Sean Hannity’s program Rudy Giuliani demanded that Robert Mueller suspend his investigation and then said that Sessions and Rosenstein had one day to “redeem” themselves by ending Mueller’s probe and jailing FBI agent Peter Strzok. This is the President’s lead lawyer. Read More

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 28:  Former FBI director Robert Mueller attends the ceremonial swearing-in of FBI Director James Comey at the FBI Headquarters October 28, 2013 in Washington, DC. Comey was officially sworn in as director of FBI on September 4 to succeed Mueller who had served as director for 12 years.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
attends The Center For Reproductive Rights Hosts 25th Anniversary Celebration on October 24, 2017 in New York City.
The IG Report and the James Comey Myth

There will probably be many findings in the IG report slated to be released this afternoon. One already seems clear. It should be no surprise. James Comey broke dramatically with DOJ guidelines and precedent to take actions which damaged Hillary Clinton. He did so not out of political bias per se (I never thought that). He did so because he wanted to inoculate himself from aggressive Republican harassment over pro-Hillary bias. They worked the refs and they got terrible calls in their favor, which helped them win the election. As I’ve written a few times, this happened because James Comey himself is the greatest devotee of the James Comey Myth. (I discuss it more fully in that link.) Read More

Former FBI Director James Comey testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on his past relationship with President Donald Trump, and his role in the Russian interference investigation, in the Senate Hart building on Capitol Hill, on Thursday, June 8, 2017. (Photo by Cheriss May) (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto)
on May 30, 2018 in Washington, DC.
on February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland.
during the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election.
IG Report On FBI Actions In Clinton Email Case Set For Release
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's attorney, takes a phone call near the Loews Regency hotel on Park Ave on April 13, 2018 in New York City. Following FBI raids on his home, office and hotel room, the Department of Justice announced that they are placing him under criminal investigation. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
What’s The Story Here?

A simple, short quotation from a piece today in Vanity Fair about Michael Cohen.

“The breakup was also spurred by a disagreement over payment, and how much the Trump Organization was expected to foot on Cohen’s behalf, according to two sources with knowledge of the dispute.”

Then there’s this from the Times: “The dispute between Mr. Cohen and his lawyers involves the payment of his legal bills, part of which are being financed by the Trump family.”

It speaks for itself. The Trump Organization is Donald Trump. Full stop. Why is the President paying any of Michael Cohen’s legal bills? How much is he paying and has he paid? We knew that the Trump campaign paid money last year. But that was supposedly tied to answering questions before the Russia committees which is at least notionally tied to the campaign. But this is Trump personally. Why is President Trump paying Michael Cohen’s legal bills?