The Government May Keep Paul Manafort’s iPods (in Part) Because of the June 9 Emails

As I laid out a few weeks ago, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

Judge Amy Berman Jackson has finally weighed in whether Paul Manafort gets the eight iPods the government seized from him back. Unsurprisingly, she has ruled that the July 2017 search of Manafort’s Alexandria condo was properly authorized. Better still, she has ordered the parties carry out a discussion that may lead us to learn whether the seven or eight iPods I’ve been obsessing about contain any interesting evidence; she has ordered the government to return any devices that don’t include evidence covered by the warrant by August 17.

ABJ’s order is interesting for two reasons. First, because redacted sections of the order must refer to the June 9 meeting that is described in the warrant but for which the sections of the supporting affidavit are entirely redacted.

One of those sections describes email the government had already obtained that it used to justify its request to obtain electronic devices.

The redacted language almost certainly describes the emails about the June 9 meeting.

We know the government had already obtained emails pertaining to the June 9 meeting because Don Jr had already leaked them for all the world to see by the time of the search. But we also know that Don Jr, at least, was hiding Manafort’s side of the communication (the campaign would have provided Manafort’s side to Mueller’s team when they provided it to Congress).

So while it’s all redacted, one of the things ABJ uses to justify the search and seizure of Manafort’s iPods are almost certainly emails relating to the June 9 meeting, including whatever details noted OpSec wizard Paul Manafort included but which Don Jr recognized retrospectively would be damning.

ABJ goes to the trouble of ruling proper the seizure of the iPods, which might include records pertaining to the crimes in question, specifically.

Deliciously, because Manafort has bitched so much about his iPods, ABJ ordered a status report describing whether any seized devices (but not imaged) fall outside the scope of the warrant.

So we’re going to learn by August 17 (if things don’t come to a head before then) whether Manafort has specific disputes about whether these iPods were used to commit any of the crimes he is suspected of, including conspiring with Russians to steal the election.

118 replies
  1. Willis Warren says:

    We may not last that long. The IC seems to be dumping everything it knows and republicans haven’t done shit about Helsinki. It’s starting to look like a lot of them knew about the Russian help and either accepted it or covered it up to win.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      The Blackmail comes from on high, and is wide.

      Believe that the DOJ dump was meant to disrupt the investigations, and therefore not a surprise that 3 top FBI cyber folk resigned. (in protest, sending a message)

  2. Charlie says:

    Been checking reactions to Helsinki across media (sleepless night) and find 12  (+ 3 not standing in 2020) GOPs with strong reaction against, 5 weak, 20 indifferent. However, only ideas proposed so far are stronger sanctions, remove tariffs from allies, subpoena translator…

    • bmaz says:

      The subpoena the translator thing is kind of interesting. Not sure it is a good precedent at all, but have to admit I’d love to hear her report of what really occurred between Trump and Putin. It is pretty amazing that this is what we are down to contemplating.

      • emptywheel says:

        As Matt Miller noted on Twitter, she or he could be subpoenaed by Mueller. State would be the entity that would have to invoke Executive Privilege.

        • bmaz says:

          It is a she. Marina Gross. It was an attachment to the POTUS. I think Matt is wrong to incline that it is solely a State Dept issue.

        • harpie says:

          Well, no surprise, the R’s on House Intel don’t want to hear from her:
 6:14 AM – 19 Jul 2018
          [quote tweet] BREAKING: @RepSwalwell and I just made a motion in House Intel Committee to subpoena the American interpreter during the summit — the only witness to Trump’s meeting with Putin. This is an extraordinary remedy, but Trump’s actions necessitate it.
          Republicans voted it down. [end quote]

        • Willis Warren says:

          Am I the only one who thinks about ten Reps are going down in this Russia thing?  Dear god, this isn’t even a question anymore, they’re obstructing justice.

        • Brumel says:

          In my understanding of US constitutional law, the protection of a US president’s private talks with foreign leaders is pretty much impenetrable (at least as long as no formal treaty is secretly concluded, which is obviously not the case). And since the President himself cannot be subpoenaed to reveal the talk’s contents, neither can the interpreter. This is the President’s privilege, not State’s. State cannot override it, no imaginable SCOTUS would allow that, and for good reason. It would amount to hostage-taking of interpreters to undermine the President’s constitutional powers.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Congresscritters know they are on thin ice legally and politically.  They are unlikely to have a translator-witness who is able to do anything but plead privilege as a reason for not answering any questions.

          The customary route for a disgruntled Congress is to make life hard for the president: refuse to consider nominees, challenge funding, commence oversight hearings, harass and embarrass the president into divulging the substance of his talks – at least to the extent it involves changes in US foreign policy and/or agreements to do or not do something.

          Two problems with the usual response to a recalcitrant president.  Neither the president nor his party are any longer capable of embarrassment.

          This GOP-led Congress is already pulling a Trump.  Yesterday’s outrage and dismay is today’s thank goodness he clarified that.  Bullshit, of course.  Trump clarified nothing, he only dug his hole deeper.

          Any challenge to this incompetent and dangerous president will likely have to await a change of control over one or both houses of Congress, and a concurrent reduction in the power of establishment Dems to pull an Obama and look only forward, not back.

        • Allison Holland says:

          How is it obviously not the case that there is no treaty ?  define treaty. I think there is a paperless treaty between Trump and Putin.  Trump is leaving the conflict in syria and giving it all back to Assahd the mass murderer and genecidal maniac.  he is laying waste to all our policies that demonstrated unease with the killings of civilians en masse by their own governments.  Trump, leader of the free world is not a leader of the free world. He has sold the u.s. military out to an axis of evil that has been seen before and that is growing stronger daily. i think there should be a moratorium on all new volunteers to our military until Trump has explained himself. True patriots cannot and must not volunteer until this circumspectly elected president has revealed everything. or leaves office in a cloud of guilt unknown before this. General Flynn is our Patrick Arnold  but trump is something completely new under OUR sun.

        • Rayne says:

          Agreed — an agreement between two heads of state is a treaty, and the U.S. Constitution Article II section 2 says,

          He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;

          Any agreement between Trump and another head of state must be confirmed by the Senate. Trump may try to shield the discussion(s) with Putin using executive privilege, but the final agreement itself must be put to a vote before the Senate.

        • Rugger9 says:

          That assumes no treaty was made, but the Russians are already claiming that Kaiser Quisling in his 2 1/2 hours’ meeting with Putin on Monday agreed to certain concessions.

          That is why someone needs to subpoena her, and I would suspect that Mueller just might because his office is looking at Russian interference specifically.  If this turns into a ex post facto example of obstruction he could prosecute it even if Devin doesn’t.

    • Frank Probst says:

      If Executive Privilege applies to anything, I think a translator at a private meeting with another head of state would be close to number one on the list.  That being said, I’d subpoena her anyway and make the White House claim privilege, just so it would be clearly documented in the Congressional Record that the only two Americans who know what happened in that meeting are Trump and the translator, and the translator can’t tell us what happened.

    • emptywheel says:

      Those are all explained by the presentations Veselnitskaya gave and by the sworn statements w/SJC. What’s not explained is his “illici” comment. And if there was a second part to the meeting.

      • Trip says:

        What was the significance of Browder’s spokesperson and the connection to Cheney? How was that explained? Juleanna Glover

        • Willis Warren says:

          Browder had hired her to lobby for the MagAct.

          Remember, Marcy’s theory is that the June 9th meeting is a limited hangout, which would mean that it’s essentially a McGuffin to obscure other meetings, etc…  Veselnatskya (or however you spell it) was primarily preoccupied with the MagAct.  But, there were people who stayed behind, and that may be what’s on the iPods….

      • Gamboler says:

        Maybe he knows Latin.

        illicī: present passive infinitive of illiciō

        illiciō (present infinitive illicere): entice, seduce

        • SteveB says:

          8Illici – I have a theory as to Manaforts note.

          Thinking of this notation as a phonetic abbreviation for something

          I think this is italianised phonetic representation of “illichi”
          Which was a contraction of something
          Of a contraction of a Ukrainian /Russian reference
          And this might be : illichivets

          Illichivets Mariupol is the former pro soviet pro Russian name of the now renamed Mariupol Football club, renamed as such in 2017 as part of Ukrainian effort at de-Russification.

          The Sater Cohen Ukranian Peace Plan was called the Mariupol Plan, and involved handing over a chunk of the Ukraine including Mariupol to Russia.

          They love their football references and metaphors.

  3. Bay State Librul says:


    Faulkner once wrote that the writer’s duty is “to help man endure by lifting up his heart.”

    Everytime I read your posts, I come away with hope. Maybe these dark days will end.

    Thanks for your tireless desire to get at the truth.

    • harpie says:

      While I am in awe of Marcy, and THANK her for her immense integrity and courage

      I, myself, am freaking out here.

      Is there a song called “Can’t stop watching this slow motion train wreck” ?

      • bmaz says:

        That was also what a lot of people felt during the Bush years. It is pretty easy to get swallowed up by the sturm and drang, but we will come out of it and time will march on. Hopefully, the discussion here helps with that.

        • harpie says:

          I remember. This does feel worse, but thanks, bmaz, and yes the discussion here does help. :-)

        • Trip says:

          It is worse. This time the government has been completely captured by hard right Libertarian Nazi-authoritarianism-kleptocracy. If people don’t vote now, they may never have that chance again. That is, if the rigging isn’t already in place.

        • Trip says:

          Part of the animus against the EU and NATO goes beyond the Putin affinity.  The Koch/Birch plan is to dilute and eventually kill off democracy. Weakening the status and influence of liberal democracies, while strengthening autocrats has been part of a long range goal. The elite can operate and maintain sick levels of wealth and power when there are no regs, no checks and balances, no equality,and no pesky voters putting their two cents in.

          Trump is just a puppet. He may owe his facade of wealth to dirty money laundered from the Russian mob, but the GOP is beholden to the Koch syndicate, which includes the Mercers, NRA , Kremlin and Nazi-yahu, and likely other players in the ME. None of them give a crap about killing the experiment of democracy. They are owned,  likely via Russia, but others through the other avenues.

          The scary thing is there may be sacrifices (like Trump or other GOP members) who go down with the ship, but look at the legislation already, the supreme court justices, and waiting in the wings is Pence; handpicked by the Kochs, also friend to religious Russian oligarchs and radical Zionists.

          Would Mueller, a lifelong conservative, ever dare to expose the other darker movers and shakers beyond the Kremlin? It’s probably beyond his ‘scope’, and by design.

        • ApacheTrout says:

          President Bush and his team lied to get us into the Iraq War and that caused the deaths of thousands of Americans.  President Bush and his team were responsible for the botched Afghanistan war, which is still being fought to this day.  President Bush and his team were the cause of the Great Depression, which brought terrible and lasting grief to the middle and lower classes.  I know that Trump is doing remarkably nasty things in an incredible short time, but the two terms of President Bush should never be forgotten.

        • Maybe ryan says:

          Hmm. I would argue that Bush did reasonably well in Afghanistan. Obama botched it by recognizing the fraudulent election.

        • Rugger9 says:

          You mean by letting OBL go at Tora Bora so he’d have a bogeyman to exploit?  Multiple extended tours (leading to PTSD) and permitting amputees to continue so Shrub could avoid calling for a draft?  Nice try at rewriting history,  Ryan.

          Everything Shrub touched turned to sh&t.

        • Tomm Undergod says:

          What I call the Midass Touch, when everything he touched turned. But now, the Orange Monster seems to have (inherited?) the same skill, so maybe it is something common to the unpopular trump party, so maybe it is a GOP thing in general.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          It’s worse because it’s happening here, not in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Trump is much more obvious and preternaturally incompetent, too.

          Mostly, it’s worse because he’s in the bag for a foreign dictator whose interests are vehemently opposed to the United States.  Trump and Putin, though, are a perfect match.  Putin wants and Trump is incapable of avoiding chaos, which can only benefit Putin.

          The good news is that we are close to an election that could change the control of the House or Senate and limit Trump’s ability to destroy.

          More optimistically, it might also introduce to Congress fresh, energetic progressives who might begin to reinvigorate it.  We need that as much as we need to be without Donald Trump.

        • koolmoe says:

          it might also introduce to Congress fresh, energetic progressives who might begin to reinvigorate it. 

          Agreed, except I also fear the extremism on the left and the SJW movement is going to offset an awful lot of otherwise-swayable GOPers. For example, I love to see an ‘upstart’ like Ocasio-Cortez beat out an incumbent, but her rhetoric is pretty radical. A republican, or really any voter, faced with a candidate sympathetic to DT or a more radical leftist like Ocasio-Cortez…well, I’m not as optimistic as I’d like to be about November.

        • Rayne says:

          Is she really a radical? Read this text and compare it to her platform. Is she really that radical considering the differences between 1980 and 2018?

          p.s. There’s all kinds of chatter about her being a Sanders organizer. Do consider the identity of the first elected official for whom she worked.

        • Koolmoe says:

          Thank you for that – it’s good to have these perspectives. I can appreciate the decades consideration but I’m not sure that makes various parts of the platform less radical-sounding to the majority.

          ‘Universal Jobs Guarantee’  and ‘Housing as a Human Right’ certainly sound radical. The explanations on the flier sounds tame. How are these explained to the public in terms of policy or proposed law that can also negate the obvious ‘my taxes!’ counterpoint?

          Guaranteeing a house and a job for everyone sure sounds great! But it also sounds extremely socialist…which is going to be an extremely tough sell in this capitalist country.

          Overall, just sayin…the Left needs to play this carefully and not simply rely on Trump Outrage to provide the swings they need.

        • cat herder says:

          Those ‘otherwise-swayable GOPers’ are at best Nazi-curious. So, obviously, to win them over, the Dems need to move even farther right and more authoritarian. Ignore how far they have already moved in that direction over the past 30-40 years, chasing after the former Republicans who are now card-carrying goosestepping actual Nazis. It would be irresponsible to put these shifts in any kind of context, we must view this ONLY through the Overton Window framing, where ‘the center’ is the midpoint between the Nazis and far-right Democrats. Dems need to show they are open to compromise with the Nazis, otherwise they could lose it all in the midterms!

          Moving farther right is always the correct answer, no matter what the question. Is that basically what you’re proposing?

        • Koolmoe says:

          No, and that sort of assumption is exactly the type of response that I think is going to get the Left in trouble. Why does being wary of ‘radical’ (and I’ll read what Rayne posted to understand why I may be mistaken in that labelling) have to mean moving right to the ‘midpoint between the Nazis and far-right Democrats’?

          For example, my father is a pretty liberal guy – lifelong Democrat and reliably anti-GOP (I still recall, vaguely, his rants against Reagan when I was a boy). When I mentioned I was supporting Sanders, his response was almost as vehement in how socialism is not the answer. After a short discussion, I wrote it off to his growing up during the McCarthy era.

          But I think that’s true for a lot of folks. It seems you’re equating even the most tame Republicans as ‘nazi-curious’. I think that’s a shame; I’ve certainly plenty of conservative/Republican colleagues who are dismayed with Trump and not at all the extremists you seem to be suggesting they are.

          That sort of rhetoric implying only the Left are correct and all of the Right are borderline fascists is a significant reason got DT was elected (or, given manipulation/hacking, accounts for why he got more than 10% of the vote :).

          Democrats can be Left without responding to GOP extremism by going even further Left.

        • greengiant says:

          That is some pretty deep alt-right psycho babble there. SJW? Anti Trump forces do not need a single GOP vote. They just need votes from the 100+ million people who didn’t vote in 2016. Any suggestion to the contrary is aligned with a Putin strategy.

        • Rayne says:

          Let’s take this off-topic discussion to a new post I’ve put up for this purpose. Just make your way back to the front page and you’ll find it. Extending it further here will make reading this thread unwieldy for folks on mobile devices.

          A belated welcome to emptywheel to you, now that you’ve got five comments under your belt.

        • James Twiner says:

          the difference between then and now is that the Judicial Coup was beginning then, and is not being completed.  A _majority_ of the Justices on the Supreme Court are about to have been appointed by Presidents (?) who lost the popular vote.  Not to mention all the appellate level appointments.  It will be difficult to impossible to retain the existing remnants of the 20th Century state in this environment, much less gain ground, regardless of the composition of Congress and the Presidency without drastic action to address this.

      • Mulder says:

        This won’t help but a great tune. Robert Earl Keen, “Train Trek”. “The undertaker is laughin’…there’s no place like home..”

        There are days that this all gets to me. I do have faith that we will survive this. But we will be coping with the ugly truth for a long time after.

        I just sent a neg comment to NPR. They had Browder on and asked about Putin’s presser remarks. Then didn’t follow up with a question about Manafort’s notes during the June 9 meeting. I have taken to calling them MPR. Mushy Public Radio.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Congress neutered them two decades ago in long fights about their funding.  Instead of fighting back and fundraising around a GOP Congress’s determination that American radio not be public and that its public not be informed, NPR hired an appeaser and went down the rabbit hole.  It went full he said-she said and developed a Wall Street Journal twang.

        • harpie says:

          Really great tune! Thanks for that.

          Robert Earl Keen Train Trek 

          The undertaker is laughing, the doctor’s cold as a stone
          The fiddle player is playing there’s no place like home
          We’ll be making the trestle just over the hill
          If we don’t make it now boys, we never will
          When the trains hit the trestle and the trestle gave way
          The two trains collided in midair they say
          When the dust finally settled, all they found was a hole
          And a short handle shovel full of number 9 coal

  4. Bob Conyers says:

    Have we seen any sign that Gates has tipped the feds off to Manafort regularly recording things? Would that be likely to be hidden for some reason?

    I can imagine various scenarios for why a tip might be avoided, but none of them are grounded in any knowledge of actual practices.

    • emptywheel says:

      THey got these iPods 6 months before Gates flipped. If anything it’s the reverse, they knew Manafort tapes things and needed a human source to corroborate other details.

      • Bob Conyers says:

        Thanks, that’s interesting. That’s a long time for Manafort to be sweating over what might still be stored in those.

    • JustMe says:

      Speaking of recording things…

      Trump at one time claimed to record all his meetings, including those in the White House. At that time, Reince Priebus was CoS. Subsequently, the WH held an infrastructure meeting that was attending by lowly Speaker of the WI Assembly, Robin Vos, who was Reince Priebus’s BFF and college roomie. I’ve heard rumor that Vos secreted out of the WH Trump recordings at the behest of Priebus to protect Trump.

      Remember, Vos was one of the Wisconsin GOP who were instructed by three judges (two of them Republican) to secure and protect $2.1 million of gerrymandering work product. The judges told them three times to release this information to Democrats in Wisconsin (the third time, the judge demanded Vos et. al. to immediately walk these documents over to the Democrats at the State Capitol). Whereupon Vos and WIGOP claimed that *unknown* GOP staffers accidentally had destroyed this $2.1 million worth of court-mandated *protected* and secured work.

      I wish Mueller would interview Vos and Priebus separately (and administer a lie-detector exam). These WIGOP stop at nothing to ensure voter suppression and protection of dark money sources.

      • Rayne says:

        This is off-topic and parked in an awkward spot. I’m allowing for the purpose of asking you to provide some documentation to support Vos’ relationship to the WH and WI gerrymandering.

        Please start a fresh comment at the bottom of the thread when you come back with documentation, thanks, and welcome to emptywheel.

  5. Avattoir says:

    Whatever else Berman’s ruling may bring, it seems bound to detract from any confidence that Manafort’s comment “illici” might refer to devotees of the leading verismo librettist:

    (‘Ma vita tra Copulatoria ratti – dopi di Cavalleria rusticana, con libretto d’illici’)

  6. coral says:

    @bmaz Thank you for reminder that we lived through Bush years. It is very hard to watch these events unfold and see GOP and much of the media fail to take seriously the severe crisis we face.

    And thank you to emptywheel for the painstaking details and enlightening analysis.

  7. tryggth says:

    Rereading the Helsinki transcript it occurred to me (and is probably obvious to everyone here) that Trumps frequent references to “the server” is not just the verbal tic of a moron with the linguistic-cognitive abilities of Groot/Hodor/Fox News… but it’s a reflection of the pitch made on June 9th in Trump Tower. The win-win of getting evidence from Hillary’s $400,000,000.00 “corruption” which would undermine Magnitsky Act’s “unfair” sanctions.

    Putin’s “interesting idea” is in some ways the same thing pitched at Trump Tower.

  8. Wm. Boyce says:

    I think, regarding the question of whether “it’s worse this time,” it’s good to remember the catastrophe of Dubya’s first few years, in which he started two wars that rage on to this day. From these wars flowed the destabilization of much of the Middle East, and of course, succeeding presidents have flailed in attempts to control them while starting or aiding in even more conflicts. Sy Hersh estimates that the U.S. is fighting in 76 countries currently, and that assassinations and all kinds of war crimes continue unabated. So yes, it’s bad, but it’s part of a continuum of decline of the flailing, dying empire.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Consider the Michael McFaul matter.  Imagine the street cred Vladimir Putin acquires with every government on the planet, China perhaps excepted, by being able to whipsaw the USG over a question that every other head of state would readily have an answer to.

    Even Geo. W. Bush would have said, “Hell, no, you can’t interview my former ambassador.  That was great borscht, Vlad.  Now, watch this drive.” Incidentally, that’s the same answer he would have given a congressional oversight committee.

    Dick Cheney would probably have been earthier, using his favorite epithet in response to the poisoned chalice offered by the Russian president, “Go fuck yourself.”

    • Trip says:

      Wasn’t this question the typical sarcastic retort of the Kremlin? Like “Yeah right, we’ll hand over our spy guys, how about you hand over McFaul and Browder about Clinton (the bug up our asses)? The fact that Trump is entertaining the thought, or pretending to entertain the thought just demonstrates what an idiotic and/or divisive leader he is. Either he didn’t understand tone (the great deal maker) or he is intentionally attempting to strike fear in those who aren’t sycophants, are on the side of opposition, and to rile up the moronic base who, when they hear anything Clinton, go into a blood frenzy like sharks exposed to chum.

      That no one in the GOP is expressing how absurd this proposition is…well, why waste my breath?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Sadly, I think it’s all of the above.  Trump is blindingly ignorant and among the world’s most easily manipulated and worst negotiators. He also acts as if he had guilty knowledge of terrible crimes, and seems proud of it. (Roy Cohn forever.)

        Trump acts as if he is functionally illiterate, unwilling to read beyond a single page of no more than 9 bulleted points of one line each.  The normal PDB would take Trump about a year to read, and that ignores how much of it he would understand.

        Trump is also deeply beholden to Vladimir Putin and seeks to agree with and please him at every turn. (He makes Neville Chamberlain look like Conan the Barbarian.) 

        Why is a secondary question, his actions matter more.  But informed speculation has focused on the vulnerability of his empire’s finances and the appearance it has to a garden variety money laundering machine.  Trump is demonstrably and consistently subservient to Putin, and that should worry everyone.

        • harpie says:

          Daniel Dale reports:

          The White House says Trump “disagrees with” Putin’s joint investigation proposal — though Sarah Sanders says the absurd offer was “made in sincerity by President Putin.” 


        • harpie says:

          [Dale continues]:

          Trump’s four-day process of rejecting this Putin troll: – Calls it “interesting”
          – Calls it “incredible”
          – Says it probably won’t happen because Mueller’s team is based
          – Sanders says White House is studying it
          – Sanders says it was a sincere offer but Trump disagrees with it

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I think the correct verb is “rejects” Putin’s proposal.

          Even now, neither the president nor his handlers can utter a simpler declarative sentence about Vladimir Putin without bathing it in olive oil.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The only reason Congress is even considering interviewing Donald Trump’s Russian interpreter is because it does not believe Trump would tell it or the public the truth of what he said and promised to Vladimir Putin.

    That does not seem to have sunk in.  Any more than it has sunk in that everyone and her mother prays that there is an adult in the room when Donald Trump is supposed to say or do something.  In any other organization, either would be cause for immediate termination.

    • harpie says:
      [quote tweet] SCOOP: Putin tells his diplomats he made ANOTHER offer to Trump — hold a referendum in Crimea on its future. Trump asked Putin NOT to disclose it so that he could consider it. [Bloomberg] [end quote]

  11. Ed Walker says:

    When people cite polls sho%wing huge percentages of Republicans approving Trump or his policies, you have to remember that people identifying as R has dropped to 27%. D’s are 29% and I’s are 43%. So take the Axios poll cited above. 74% of Rs support Trumpy so that’s about 21% of the population. 33% of Is approve, so that’s about 14% or a bit more, and 7% of Ds approve, so that’s about 2%. In other words, about 37% overall which is about 8 percentage points lower than Trumpy’s current approve/disapprove number of 45 according to 538. In other words, the scary number is his overall approval number, not support of any specific lie.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      It’s been true for a long time that tagging people in polls with party IDs is almost useless. Large percentages of supposedly independent voters call themselves that because they are to the right of the GOP or the left of the Democrats. Others are strong party line voters who simply like to see themselves as somehow free of party influence.

      Some pollers and media types acknowledge this; many ignore it, which is how you ended up wih the idiotic NY Times article by Jeremy Peters pretending that a founder of a conservative PAC was somehow not a lockstep Trump supporter.

  12. pseudonymous in nc says:

    The introduction of emails between Tad Devine and Manafort/Kilimnik as evidence in the EDVA trial (and thus presumably related to tax fraud rather than FARA stuff) makes me wonder if we’re going to start hearing things about the Bernie Sanders campaign, especially before its formal declaration.

    Devine was just one of many mercenary campaign consultants willing to work for shitty people round the world during downtime from US campaigns if the money was right — see also Tony Podesta — so it may just be equal-opportunity moneyraking stuff. But the list of submitted evidence was filed just after the use immunity hearing, and it suggests that there are going to be five witnesses testifying under use immunity agreements.

    I also think it tells us who the missing lender was in August 2016.

    • Rayne says:

      I see Devine may have invoiced Manafort-Gates for work. I wonder if that’s an attempt back then to use the corporate veil to protect parties to the transaction(s) from risk, or if Devine was just a contract hire for a particular assignment.

    • harpie says:


      MUELLER is interested in the work that @TadDevine, who was the chief strategist for @BernieSanders 2016 presidential campaign, did with MANAFORT on behalf of the RUSSIA-aligned Ukrainian Party of Regions, based on this list of exhibits to be presented at trial starting next week.


      / […] / Adding to this as I process it… Mueller’s evidence in a criminal trial includes communications between Tad Devine, Paul Manafort and a Russian connected to Putin up through JUNE OF 2014. In NOVEMBER OF 2014, Devine joined Bernie’s campaign. / The Russian Devine was communicating with is Konstantin Kilimnik. Kilimnik is already under indictment by Mueller. Bernie’s Chief Strategist was in touch with Manafort’s shady Putin-connected pal right before joining Bernie’s campaign… Uh-oh. 

      Hoarse Wisperer has another thread about this here

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      Scratch that last sentence: according to her LinkedIn, Anna Ivakhnik was at Steve Calk’s Federal Savings Bank in mid-2016, and we already knew that the hilariously-abbreviated FSB was one of Manafort’s dubious lenders.

      • Willis Warren says:

        I’m aware of the tactical element here, but with a translator in the room, I doubt they negotiated the sale of Alaska.  We should be more concerned with the back-channels that exist

  13. koolmoe says:

    More comments may have been added since I started reading, and perhaps it’s obvious, but who the heck needs 8 iPods? A media collection so vast you need one device per genre?
    Trying to be sneaky by using iPods as document archives is smart…until you exceed two iPods, then it seems a bit not-smart.

  14. Brumel says:

    Replying to those who think the interpreter can or should be subpoenaed:

    1) The Trump-Putin talk in Helsinki would seem on its face to qualify as a diplomatic negotiation. (Russian propagandistic claims of having closed an “agreement”, without any signature to show for, are irrelevant to this.)

    2) In long-established American jurisprudence, so-called “diplomatic secrets” have the same standing as so-called “military secrets”: they are subject to comprehensive and uncontroversial presidential privilege.

    3) Therefore, an interpreter refusing to disclose the content of Trump’s Helsinki talks, be it to Congress or to Mueller, is protected by same privilege.

    4) It follows that trying to subpoena the interpreter is not only useless but can only backfire.

    5) Only impeachment could change that.

    In conclusion, you Americans have a political not a legal battle on your hands. You confuse the two at your own peril.

    • Frank Probst says:

      See above comment.  Subpoena her, and make the White House invoke privilege.  Then play clips of just about every Republican saying some variant of, “If you’ve got nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.”  You don’t need to challenge the invocation of privilege in court.  You just need to force Trump to invoke it.  The only reason that subpoenaing a translator is so bizarre is because it’s REALLY bizarre for her to be the only other American in the room when the President is having a formal meeting with another head of state.

    • Rayne says:

      We’re in uncharted territory. What if the president is criminal, acting in bad faith? Are criminal acts accorded executive privilege?

      The Senate may still demand adequate material to advise and consent to any agreement with Russia; this was not an administrative agreement based on day-to-day conduct of business given the unanimous bipartisan sanctions placed on Russia, and therefore cannot be legal without the Senate’s consent.

      Impeachment and removal would definitely change this, I will grant you that.

  15. pseudonymous in nc says:

    In semi-related news during a busy week, Eric Dubelier continues to enjoy being paid to troll on behalf of Concord Management, citing Kavanaugh and Gorsuch on the need for the government to prove that foreign defendants are aware of all the laws they’re busily breaking:

    In the meantime, Dreeben came back with a lengthy response to the grant-of-authority questions:

    This is a “keep Dreeben busy” assignment for Dubelier.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I have no idea how strong the Concord argument is.  I just remember from seventh grade civics that “ignorance of the law is no excuse”.  It would seem like that would apply to corporate “people”.  Is Concord a “foreign defendant”?  I thought it was an American corporation that’s run by a lot of foreigners.  Not sure if that makes a difference.

      As for the latest grant-of-authority motion, they can probably write these responses in their sleep by now.

  16. Trip says:

    Some of the people who follow, or respond to Marcy on twitter are just as funny as she is, this Ryan dude:

    emptywheel‏ @emptywheel

    emptywheel Retweeted Chuck Ross

    Chuck Ross‏ @ChuckRossDC

    Paul Erickson, the GOP operative linked to Maria Butina, has gone underground. But here’s what he told me about Butina, the NRA, and collusion during a couple of interviews last year.

    Ryan‏ @rpm164 43

    Replying to @emptywheel

    Maybe he is just studying real hard for finals

  17. Trip says:

    So Michael Cohen is dropping tapes. Somewhere Tom Arnold is bouncing off of walls and ceilings and yammering incoherently.

    Rudy too, I’m sure.

  18. Thomas Paine says:

    Just saw Steve Kornacki’s usual excellent discussion of this week’s polls, WRT Helsinki. Bottom line is between 55 and 58% disapprove of Trump’s behavior. It is also likely that this percentage strongly disapprove and so will NEVER be persuaded to support Trump on anything here on out.

    The 80% or Republicans supporting Trump is pretty meaningless in the face of this overall disapproval number, because self-identified Repubs only represent 27% of the electorate per Pew. This is a drop of 6 points since the last election – pretty big loss. Of course as long as they hold both houses of Congress, they won’t cross him. But that may only hold for another 6 months.

    One other fun fact, Nixon’s approval / disapproval was better than Trump’s is now in 1973, but when Watergate evidence broke open, Nixon’s approval rating dropped nearly 50 points in a matter of three months. When Mr. Mueller makes his case, I suspect we will see the same thing. The Electorate is stubborn and skeptical, but not nearly as stupid as Trump.

    There will be an in-depth survey by NBC/WSJ on these topics published on Sunday. Stay tuned.

    • Rayne says:

      The problem will be disinformation operations when Special Counsel’s Office drops the big one(s). Trump’s base will be flooded in some way to prevent them from fully grasping the magnitude of the report and/or indictments. The non-Trump majority should already have a plan in place to push back/out/breakthrough the digital fog of info warfare.

  19. Trip says:

    In today’s (or yesterday’s) jumping the shark news, Avenatti offers to rep Cohen, the adversary of his client. In another week or so, I would actually not be surprised if he offers to take on Trump as a client.

  20. SpaceLifeForm says:

    @MichaelAvenatti tweet:

    Correct – George Washington did nothing wrong. The tapeS will confirm this. As for others… #Basta #FightClub

    Donald J. Trump


    Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!

    [He may be able to spell Watergate, but does not or will not understand that it was government people that did break into a lawyers office.

    The parallels are interesting.   DNC attacked.

    But different today.  Now it *appears* that the right-wing was not the actual attackers (it’s Russia, it’s always Russia!),  but that assumes facts not in evidence.  What I am saying is that just because there is plenty of evidence that Russia did interfere, does not preclude higher-level puppetmasters within the US.

    The right-wing has ‘cover’ because ‘stuff’ points to Russia.

    And, back then Congress had a spine and actually excuted the impeachment process]

  21. SpaceLifeForm says:

    “Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service (which was disbanded in 2016).”

    Guessing they were not as efficient as DEA :-)

  22. SpaceLifeForm says:

    Trump attorneys waive privilege on secret recording about ex-Playmate payment

    But Giuliani’s claims that the tape does Trump no damage was disputed by a source close to Cohen who said that Giuliani is “trying to say what is bad is good.” Later Lanny Davis, Cohen’s newest attorney, put out a statement claiming that “when the recording is heard, it will not hurt Michael Cohen. Any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape.”

    [But, this is just one recording. Giuliani may be thinking of a different recording. One that may implicate him. Or that the existence of was leaked to him]

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Another angle. The tapes (plural) all involve Keith Davidson.

      Both Giuliani and Davis may both be correct without realizing that they are referring to different recordings.

  23. Rayne says:

    Nuts, my request went missing during a reboot.

    Do you have anything better in the way of a link to these stories? I don’t trust the site in question, super iffy domain and content looks like Russian origin.

    I’ve edited the links to make them inactive – readers will have to remove the spaces in the links to open them, and do so at their own risk.

    Please be more cautious about both content and the sites hosting them. You can imagine the kinds of evil elves this site might draw if they found their way to readers here.

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