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This Week: Cohen Meets Mueller, Trump Goes After ‘Deep State’ Foes

September 21, 2018 1:03 p.m.

It’s all happening. Former Trump fixer Michael Cohen has reportedly been spending hours in interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller, where they’ve talked about the President’s ties to Russia and any possible offers he’s made of a pardon.

Cohen and his lawyer, Lanny Davis, sent out identical tweets about these talks on Thursday, applauding Cohen for voluntarily providing “critical information” to Mueller without a cooperation agreement in place.

Another cooperating witness, former national security advisor Michael Flynn, has provided all the useful information he has to the special counsel team. A D.C. judge has set a December 18 date for his sentencing in federal court.

Trump’s legal team is still trying to get a sense of the scope of the investigations into the President, and what dirt those once close to him could have divulged, according to the New York Times.

Republicans, led by Trump, are in a rush to declassify and release troves of material related to the congressional and federal Russia probes.

Trump made the unprecedented announcement that he wants to declassify text messages about the investigation sent by some of his top former (perceived) foes in the U.S. government: James Comey, Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.

For good measure, Trump also wants the DOJ to release the underlying materials the FBI used to request a secret surveillance warrant for former campaign advisor Carter Page. His interest, the White House said, is “transparency.”

But Trump retreated on Friday, citing outreach from multiple U.S. allies and DOJ officials who said that releasing the materials would compromise intelligence-gathering methods and sources. In a pair of tweets, he said he would have the DOJ Inspector General review the documents before unleashing them on the world. He noted he could “always declassify if it proves necessary,” however, because “speed is very important to me — and everyone!”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes announced that he will release dozens of deposition transcripts related to his committee’s investigation prior to the midterm elections. Democrats appear to be on board with this move.

Meanwhile, Trump is still fuming about his own personnel choices, saying, nonsensically, that he should have fired Comey during the 2016 race, when Barack Obama was still president.

Trump also complained that he doesn’t “have an attorney general” because Jeff Sessions, who he blames for the launch of the special counsel probe, has done such a poor job in the role.

He has reason to be worried. As Politico reported, Democrats are keen to subpoena a long list of Trump allies, including Donald Trump Jr., if they retake the House this fall.

In international news, Russian officials reportedly held private meetings with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last year to discuss a potential plan to help him escape the Ecuadorian embassy in London. President Vladimir Putin has also reportedly continued to stoke Trump’s anger at the “deep state” in their private conversations.

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