About the BuzzFeed Scoop: It’s Important, But It Oversells the Lying Part

BuzzFeed has an important story that fleshes out what was made clear in Michael Cohen’s allocution, sentencing memo, and the public record (including earlier BuzzFeed reports). Trump and his kids knew a lot about Cohen’s negotiations for a Trump Tower, and also knew and helped sustain his lies to Congress. BuzzFeed even suggests that all the lying came from Trump; on that issue, the story is problematic for reasons I lay out below.

The new details in the story include a price tag for the Trump Tower detail: Trump, “hoped could bring his company profits in excess of $300 million” (Mueller’s sentencing memorandum stated that the deal might be worth “hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian sources in licensing fees and other revenues”).  It quantifies how many times Trump and Cohen spoke about the deal: Trump, “had at least 10 face-to-face meetings with Cohen about the deal during the campaign.” It also confirms that Don Jr and Ivanka were the “family members” described in Cohen’s allocution who were apprised of the details.

Cohen gave Trump’s children “very detailed updates.”

[snip]

The two law enforcement sources disputed this characterization and said that [Don Jr] and Cohen had multiple, detailed conversations on this subject during the campaign.

It doesn’t include a number of details that would be more important for understanding how the Trump Tower deal relates to other parts of Trump’s conspiracy with Russians: who (if not Trump himself or Don Jr) was the senior campaign official who knew of Cohen’s negotiations, precisely what Don Jr knew of the negotiations on June 3 when he took a meeting described to be “part of  Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” and whether the timing of Cohen’s plans for a trip to St. Petersburg — which started on June 9 and ended on June 14 — related somehow to the June 9 Trump Tower meeting and the June 14 revelation that Russians had hacked the DNC. It’d also be useful to know whether Cohen had any 2016 dealings with Ike Kaveladze, who knew of Cohen from the 2013 business dealings between Trump and the Agalarovs, and who had a curious reaction to a video of him in the wake of the June 9 meeting story breaking. Those are the details that would advance the story of how the Trump Tower deal relates to Russia’s efforts to hack the election.

That said, I have qualms about the way the story deals with the perjury side of this. First, it makes an absurd claim that this is the first time we’ve heard that Trump told someone to lie.

Cohen’s testimony marks a significant new frontier: It is the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.

The NYT first reported that Trump floated pardons to Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort in March of last year and they also reported that Mueller had asked Trump about discussions with Flynn about his testimony by the same month. The entire story leading up to Flynn’s firing includes a series of lies, and like Cohen’s false claims about the Trump Tower story featured the kind of matching lies that require coordination (though Trump’s directions to Flynn probably did not include foreknowledge of his FBI interview, so legally the import is that he sustained Flynn’s lies). Manafort, under whatever expectation of a pardon, spent the two months leading up to the election perjuring himself about his ongoing work with Konstantin Kilimnik and communications with the White House, all while reporting back to Trump via his lawyer. Trump had Don McGahn craft a letter to Comey (who, after all, was part of the FBI when he received it) about his firing that hid that he did it because of the Russia investigation, after first writing a statement that acknowledged that clearly. And Trump himself dictated (probably in consultation with Vladimir Putin) a misleading statement about the June 9 Trump Tower meeting, only part of which got cleaned up before Don Jr repeated the misleading comments before Congress. Trump’s current defense attorney Jay Sekulow even went on teevee last August to apologize for repeating a lie Trump told about the June 9 meeting; while he told that lie publicly, the statement Don Jr told to Congress retained part of that lie. Not all of those amount to suborning perjury, but some of them do, and they’ve been public for a long time.

Buzzfeed also suggests that the lying all came from Trump:

the law enforcement sources familiar with his testimony to the special counsel said he had confirmed that Trump directed him to lie to Congress

Cohen’s own public sworn testimony on this issue is slightly different though. He said,

I made these misstatements to be consistent with Individual 1’s political messaging and out of loyalty to Individual 1,

The latter detail may be semantics. After all, Trump Organization necessarily withheld documents from Congress to sustain Cohen’s (and Don Jr’s) lies. So the directive to lie and the coordination obviously came from the top (though some of it was achieved by Cohen’s leaks to the press). And the sentencing memo’s statement that “Cohen described the circumstances of preparing and circulating his response to the congressional inquiries, while continuing to accept responsibility for the false statements contained within it,” make it clear he could have blamed others for the coordination of his lies. But Cohen is on the record suggesting he chose to lie, in contrast to his allocutions with the hush payments, where he said Trump directed him to undertake the criminal activity. The discrepancy on this issue — which could be cleared up with a few details — may otherwise subject Cohen to accusations of perjury in his allocation.

And heck, if Cohen downplayed Trump’s direction of his lies, then that is newsworthy in and of itself.

I’m more concerned that Buzzfeed claimed, on January 17, 2019, that this is the first evidence that Trump ordered someone to lie about Russia. Normally, I’d excuse this kind of exaggeration to get eyeballs as normal publicity for a story. But not coming, as it does, two days after Trump’s nominee to be Attorney General stated clearly in his confirmation hearing that suborning perjury would be clearly criminal, even if done by the President. Yes, William Barr already made that clear in his memo on the Mueller investigation. But few people besides me realized that fact until, in Tuesday’s hearing, he was asked to confirm that things we know Trump has done — such as float pardons — amount to a crime.

And the response to this story, coming two days after Barr made that statement, has been to suggest that the stuff included in it — as distinct from the long line of lies we already knew Trump suborned — would put Trump at legal jeopardy under Barr that he’s not already in.

Trump is already getting itchy upon discovering that Barr has a close relationship with Mueller.

President Donald Trump was startled Tuesday as he watched television coverage of his nominee for attorney general describing a warm relationship with the special counsel Robert Mueller in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to three people familiar with the matter.

During the first day of his confirmation hearing, William Barr described telling the President the first time he met him in June 2017 that he was friends with Mueller, referring to him on a first name basis.

“I told him how well I knew Bob Mueller and that the Barrs and Muellers were good friends and would be good friends when this was all over,” Barr said. “Bob is a straight-shooter and should be dealt with as such.”

While Barr said during his hearing that Trump “was interested” in hearing about the friendship, the details that emerged this week caught the President off guard, the three sources said. He bristled at Barr’s description of the close relationship, complaining to aides he didn’t realize how much their work overlapped or that they were so close.

I think Barr will be shitty on a range of issues (though he’s less of a bigot and homophobe than Jeff Sessions and the Big Dick Toilet Salesman). But there are many reasons to believe, from his testimony, that he won’t interfere with the Mueller investigation. The overhyped claims in this Buzzfeed story, however, are likely to make Trump newly aware of that fact, and could have negative and unnecessary consequences (and in that way, I worry the Buzzfeed story is like NYT’s two underreported stories about the aftermath of the Jim Comey firing, which both did significant damage that could have been avoided with more awareness of the rest of Russian story and more context).

The Buzzfeed story is important for the concrete details it adds to a story we already knew — and these reporters deserve a ton of kudos for consistently leading on this part of the story. But it has unnecessarily overhyped the uniqueness of Trump’s role in these lies, in a way that could have detrimental effect on the country’s ability to actually obtain some kind of justice for those lies.

Update: The language in Cohen’s own sentencing memorandum similarly sets up a contrast in the language used to discuss the hush payments, where his lawyers emphasize Trump’s direction.

With respect to the conduct charged in these Counts, Michael kept his client contemporaneously informed and acted on his client’s instructions. This is not an excuse, and Michael accepts that he acted wrongfully. Nevertheless, we respectfully request that the Court consider that as personal counsel to Client-1, Michael felt obligated to assist Client-1, on Client-1’s instruction, to attempt to prevent Woman-1 and Woman-2 from disseminating narratives that would adversely affect the Campaign and cause personal embarrassment to Client-1 and his family. [my emphasis]

Compare that with their discussion of his Trump Tower lies, which emphasizes his efforts to reinforce Trump’s messaging, but lacks any mention of Trump’s direction.

Michael’s false statements to Congress likewise sprung regrettably from Michael’s effort, as a loyal ally and then-champion of Client-1, to support and advance Client-1’s political messaging. At the time that he was requested to appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Michael was serving as personal attorney to the President, and followed daily the political messages that both Client-1 and his staff and supporters repeatedly and forcefully broadcast. Furthermore, in the weeks during which his then-counsel prepared his written response to the Congressional Committees, Michael remained in close and regular contact with White House-based staff and legal counsel to Client-1.

As such, he was (a) fully aware of Client-1’s repeated disavowals of commercial and political ties between himself and Russia, as well as the strongly voiced mantra of Client-1 that investigations of such ties were politically motivated and without evidentiary support, and (b) specifically knew, consistent with Client-1’s aim to dismiss and minimize the merit of the SCO investigation, that Client-1 and his public spokespersons were seeking to portray contact with Russian representatives in any form by Client-1, the Campaign or the Trump Organization as having effectively terminated before the Iowa caucuses of February 1, 2016.

Seeking to stay in line with this message, Michael told Congress that his communications and efforts to finalize a building project in Moscow on behalf of the Trump Organization, which he began pursuing in 2015, had come to an end in January 2016, when a general inquiry he made to the Kremlin went unanswered. [my emphasis]

Cohen’s lawyer uses clearly different language on these two issues, language that suggests in the latter case Trump’s “direction” might be what it was for Mike Flynn’s lies.

 

As I disclosed last July, 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. 

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141 replies
    • Silence Hand says:

      Interestingly, even Fox News notes that Trump’s response contains no denial.  Threats and bluster, of course.

      Why no straight-up denial?  Im of two minds on this, both informed by Josh Marshall’s read of Trump. The more generous is that Trump needs to cover his bases here because he has literally no idea what he did or did not do.  The other is that he fundamentally doesn’t see anything wrong with telling Cohen to lie, since for him and his mafia-wannabe ilk the only virtue is corruption.

    • Rayne says:

      Please rethink writing or saying things like this as it could easily be misinterpreted.

      This site does not condone threats of violence or incitement.

        • Gamboler says:

          When the Secret Service arrives, ask them if you’re under arrest and if you’re required to talk to them. When they say “no”, slam the door. I saw it on a YouTube video.

  1. Alan says:

    > The president is already threatening Cohen’s family on twitter. Wow.

    If you or I did that, the FBI would come arrest us.

    • Rugger9 says:

      One of the things about the Mob (as I understand it) is that they would never make a threat like this public.  It would seem more effective to me to make sure it’s quiet but directed properly so only the target is aware and will not be as able to get help since no one else knows and the leverage works.

      Cohen for his part did the same thing earlier with Daniels, et al in his fixer role (and what did he do for Hannity?).

      Repeating the threat in public makes it less credible, as well as making it obvious what the quid pro quo is.  Mickey Medallions might as well testify now since by the time the 7th rolls around some reporter will have already dug up what his F-I-L is hiding.

      • Silence Hand says:

        Yes.  It emphasizes the extent to which Trump uses a teevee conception of everything, and an off-kilter one at that.  Oddly, though, it ends up having a weird semi-effectiveness, and we don’t really know what to make of such bizarre public conduct (as in “Russia, if you’re listening…”).

        You’re right, though, that the consummation of Trumps public threat is no longer under his control.  Interesting.

    • General Sternwood says:

      Cohen has said this has made him reconsider providing testimony to Congress. Trump’s leak also led to Pelosi cancelling her travel to several foreign countries. No doubt a new Giuliani strategy to argue that the administration is not obstructing the Mueller investigation in particular, but rather is obstructing the US government in general.

      • rip says:

        Yes, the bought-and-paid-for administration obstructing the US government in general. That appears to have been the reason dump was put forward as a candidate and then strangely pushed into the Oval Office. Repugs had to have had a hand even tho most of the technical chicanery was carried out be people far smarter than any (R) could be.

  2. Hops says:

    If Cohen goes ahead with Congressional testimony on the 7th, does he have to respect any attorney-client privilege?

    Given news like this coming out, is Barr crazy to take the AG post? Is he not walking into the mother of all excrement storms?

    • emptywheel says:

      Cohen’s February 7 testimony was already going to be narrowly circumscribed (which is why it was sort of dumb to schedule it as the first hearing).

      And Barr may not have realized before yesterday he’s going to preside over Trump being implicated in crimes. But that was definitely true before yesterday. This story only changes whether Trump pulls Barr’s nomination realizing that he has already said this is a crime.

      • BobCon says:

        The fact that Cohen’s testimony next month has such clear fenced off areas suggests to me that there is info outside of the fences that Cummings wants made public.

        If they want to broaden the case against Trump, it’s not a bad idea to start getting that stuff out in public soon before events take over.

        One of the lessons of Watergate is that some of Nixon’s hinky stuff, like ITT, got buried in the drumbeat over what did the president know and when did he know it. If Cohen has more things of substance (and I realize that’s not a given) this may be the right time to hold hearings.

      • pseudonymous in nc says:

        There’s a pattern of Republicans getting briefed and appearing to have a holy-shit moment. This time Barr probably had his holy-shit moment before being briefed.

      • BroD says:

        Barr may not have realized before yesterday he’s going to preside over Trump being implicated in crimes

        How dumb is he?

  3. Trip says:

    We already know that it was a method of mitigating to begin with:
    “misstatement” is generally a mistake, an unintentional false utterance. In this case, it was used as a euphemism for “lie”. Cohen’s lawyers agreed to that language in pleading because it softened the edges around his own perjury, IMHO.

    I think he has dispensed with that angle and is just going for the jugular. Or SDNY has decided that. I’m not so sure Cohen is going rogue on what he is leaking presently.

  4. joseph says:

    I don’t know guys. Doesn’t look like much. Weird this came out the same week as the Papadopoulos testimony details. Almost like someone’s trying to prop up a dying narrative to distract from a catastrophic one.

    • bmaz says:

      I know them and, given Marcy’s caveats, it is still a very significant story, if for no other reason than it has lit up the public conscience.

  5. Rugger9 says:

    Hops: IANAL, but A-C privilege does not extend to commission of a crime. Also Cohen has put quite a few things into the public record between his allocutions and his prior announcements so while there may be something else there, I’m not as sure he can hide it as well as Dowd can, for example, or McGahn.

  6. joseph says:

    why is this coming out now? why didn’t cohen make these claims to save himself from jail time? maybe he did. any idea who the two “two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter” are? sounds like DOJ vs. FBI shots fired.

  7. Trip says:

    @joseph, It’s coming out now because Cohen is scheduled to testify on Feb 7th before the new Democratic majority. Trump is holding the gov’t hostage to create a diversion. Barr, in his testimony, was of the opinion that a president couldn’t be indicted, and if a person isn’t indicted, details about the investigation to them could not be released. People involved in the investigation who know that the GOP is still closing ranks to protect Trump ( and themselves) want the info out there for the public.

    A reporter isn’t going to give up FBI sources.

    • Hops says:

      So, the Mueller team is finally starting to leak. If they wanted this info “out there” imagine what more may come.

      Might also be sending a message to Barr and others that this will not be buried.

      • Trip says:

        No, I do not believe these are leaks from the Mueller team. They are not the only people talking to Cohen.

      • viget says:

        @Hops above

        Not out of SCO office (they use detailed FBI agents, right?).  Probably NYC FBI Field Office, would be my guess.  They’ve been known to have loose lips before.

  8. Jason Harrod says:

    The Buzzfeed report says: “It is the first known example of Trump *explicitly* telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.” Wheeler takes issue with this, but when else have we seen Trump *explicitly* tell someone to lie?

      • Jason Harrod says:

        I did, and will read it again.  What you lay out absolutely connotes a culture of dishonesty and obfuscation but when it comes to a clear cut case of explicitly asking someone to lie directly, I don’t see that previously in the timeline, but that could be because I am missing something obvious.  Thanks for your response and for your work.

  9. RLHall says:

    I read the Buzzfeed story, and am grateful for the analysis here.  Trump and his entourage lie reflexively, it seems to me.  It’s disgusting, but it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.  These daily “bombshells,” make me feel manipulated.  The sources for the stories have their agendas, as does the press.  I don’t think there is always bad intent, but everyone is working on a narrative. I appreciate Marcy’s and other posts here, which get at the story behind the article.

    I can’t imagine that Trump or anyone else had to instruct Cohen to lie – that was a given.  On the other hand, they needed to coordinate the story, and it’s easy to believe that came from the top.

    Two people trying to keep their story straight is hard enough.  In this case, there are way too many moving parts and bad actors for the truth to remain hidden.  I can only hope that Mueller and his team know what really happened, that it will be exposed, and real reforms will come.

  10. DaBrownOne says:

    What’s the over/under on Trump pulling the Barr nomination, especially given the report he was surprised at how close a relationship Barr described having with Mueller. If he allows it go forward, the argument that Mueller is conflicted because Comey and Mueller are friends falls flat, as it would be Trump himself who appointed someone that was much closer friends with Mueller than Comey. My guess that there is debate right now on whether to pull the Barr nomination in the WH Counsels office

    • emptywheel says:

      If he pulls it he strengthens Rosenstein, bc he can only nominate two people before the Big Dick Toilet Salesman loses his job.

      • Silence Hand says:

        As far as Trump’s calculus (such as it is) for pulling the Barr nomination, I take your point that it strengthens Rosenstein and puts Big Dick Toilet Salesman on thinning ice. However, given that Barr may now see a strong possibility of having to run or be a key component of some sort of proceeding against Trump, it seems at least likely that he’ll keep Rosenstein around anyhow. Indeed, he’s already made statements fitting with that.
        Thus, at least as far as Rosenstein is concerned, mightn’t it be something of a wash?

      • DaBrownOne says:

        Agreed, but they may have to risk it. Mueller being ‘conflicted’ is one of the prongs of his defence that he has been harping on since he first began screaming at the Russia investigation. It is clearly one of the arguments his lawyers have told him about, so the Barr nomination seriously undercuts that.

  11. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Yeah, the big “hmmm” for me is just how involved Uday was with the Moscow Project, and the project’s status in June when Rob Goldstone sent his email. The Agalarovs weren’t explicitly connected to this iteration of the Project, so it may be asymmetrical, but Goldstone wasn’t just being a hype man with “Russia and its government’s support.” There was a context. We don’t quite know what it was.

    • emptywheel says:

      The Agalarovs weren’t involved but it would have gone on their development. Also the timing of Cohen’s aborted trip confirms a tie.

      I’m certain there is a tie.

      • Glen says:

        Wasn’t the trip aborted because Wapo broke the story on the DNC hackings? I read it was cancelled the very same day.

    • BroD says:

      Am I right that, by “Uday”, you mean Donald Trump Jr.?

      If so, I’d like to request that we dispose of such cutsie nicknames: this shit is hard enough to follow–what with all the players with furrin names–without having to remember idiosyncratic aliases.

  12. Christopher says:

    Of course, Trump has been fast and loose with the “truth” his whole career. You are absolutely right that nothing about this is surprising. He has previously directed lies. But the specificity matters, I think – this is not directing someone to lie on TV, or in a press interview, but to lie to Congress under oath. That is someone that is simple to understand, easy to grasp, and doesn’t require having to squint through all the smoke and mirrors erected by this WH over the past two years. Think of it from a talking-to-a-jury perspective: a nice, simple, criminal act in a small tidy box.

    • emptywheel says:

      Right. And as I’ve laid out, we know of other instances where he wrote a lie told to Congress, where he ordered a lie to the FBI Director, where he sustained lies to the FBI, and where he sustained lies to Mueller. This is not new.

      • systemspm says:

        Lol Marcy is on a crusade here totally hurting the case against trump. We’re quiveling over irrelevant details. If this is just a repeat of a previous report but this one gets people’s attention, WHO CARES! Republicans are experts at diverting attention from news and if this gets people’s attention that’s what we need!

        This reminds me of Glenn greenwald in 2016 election drawing attention to pointless anti hillary ideas.

        Marcy is only discrediting the entire mueller investigation here and doing nothing else. This is very clear to me. She is fighting against mueller right now and strengthening rumpists

    • Jim says:

      I think you’re onto something here. EW’s point is valid as far as it goes. But drafting statements later used as the basis of a lie to Congress, ordering a lie to the FBI, and so forth, is not the same as directing a subordinate to lie under oath to Congress — not the same, that is, if you’re a member of Congress. That headline (“President Trump Directed His Attorney to Lie to Congress …”) is shocking to a degree that the other examples she addresses in this piece fall short of. It’s personal for a member of Congress, and it’s simple for anyone who had eighth grade civics to understand. Trump versus Comey is one thing. Don Jr. versus Mark Warner is one thing. But the President of the United States versus the Congress of the United States is something quite different.

      • Rayne says:

        Yes, that. The President lied to our elected representatives as an institution. He lied to US through our representatives. That cannot be glossed over, swept aside.

        (Side note: I think you’ve commented before but under a different username. Please stick to the same login information each time you comment so that community members get to know you. May I also suggest using a less common username, maybe even your name Jim_ with a favorite number or word added? Thanks.)

  13. BobCon says:

    In the neverending puzzle of Trump family dynamics, we’re seeing another case where it’s Don Jr. and Ivanka in the hot seat. They’re also the ones who have been pegged for lying to potential investors about the financial status of Trump properties.

    I’m curious how Eric has managed to stay out of this — to what extent he’s smart enough to keep his nose clean, and to what extent Dad doesn’t trust him to do this stuff.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      I don’t think Qusay is off the hook — he was the one who said in 2014 the Family Business had access to $100m of Russian money for the golf courses: “We have all the funding we need out of Russia… we go there all the time.” The Crown Princess and Uday handled all the foreign property projects, including the Panama City property and the dodgy Baku tower. Qusay was given the winery to keep him busy.

      • Fran of the North says:

        Keep him busy, and out of the way.

        My impression is that he ‘isn’t the sharpest knife in drawer’ as my New England friends say, and the family knows that too.  Maybe Qusay will end up in position to wind up the remnants of the family enterprise when dad, sis, and smarter brother are all spending some time in the federal pen.

  14. P J Evans says:

    @SteveB
    That’s definitely into RWNJ territory. (That’s the Falun Gong house paper. I used to see it as a freebie in the supermarket, and a few times I wanted to take a red pen to the front page, where they were lying about something.)

  15. Semanticleo says:

    Marcy does a great job winnowing a grain from the  strawbale but the guesswork is giving me a headache.

    Just imagine the Electorate rolling their eyes as they try to lengthen their attention span.

    A third of the country has already shut down the cortex to allow the lizard brain to dominate.

    • Rayne says:

      That’s what happens when education is underfunded for decades — the public isn’t trained to listen to detailed information and engage analytical thinking equal to the material.

      The lack of education and training doesn’t make us less obligated to work at this. This is a democratic republic, “if you can keep it,” as Ben Franklin said.

      • John K says:

        Thank you, Rayne, for this comment specifically and thanks to everyone for such an enlightening conversation. My first take on Trump’s election was that it shows how pitiful the critical thinking skills of the electorate of this country really are.  How could people not see what a grifter he was before he ever ran for office?

  16. Rusharuse says:

    From Barr’s “job application”.

    “Obviously, the President and any other official can commit obstruction in this classic sense of sabotaging a proceeding’s truth-finding function. Thus, for example, if a President knowingly destroys or alters evidence, suborns perjury, or induces a witness to change testimony, or commits any act deliberately impairing the integrity or availability of evidence, then he, like anyone else, commits the crime of obstruction. Indeed, the acts of obstruction alleged against Presidents Nixon and Clinton in their respective impeachments were all such “bad acts” involving the impairment of evidence. Enforcing these laws against the President in no way infringes on the President’s plenary power over law enforcement because exercising this discretion—such as his complete authority to start or stop a law enforcement proceeding—does not involve commission of any of these inherently wrongful, subversive acts.”

  17. Ed Smiley says:

    Beg to differ.

    I think that technically floating a pardon in a vague way might not technically be instruction to lie, at least explicitly. You are right that such stories carry the implicit implication.

    Heck, the large number of Trump people that have lied or misremembered encounters with Russians strongly suggests an order from the top.

    However, the story that the instruction was very SPECIFIC is a NEW development. Who was told, when they were told, when they lied, and exactly what was lied about, all is clearly spelled out. Maybe in addition, the story indicates corroborating evidence.

    So if true, the article is highly significant.

  18. Sarah mcD says:

    You’ve laid out good reasons as to why the buzzfeed story is another step about what has already been published. Do you think that everybody has jumped on board this particular story because Buzzfeed has stated that they have seen proof (emails, texts, etc), making a clearcut case here to the general public, about obstruction?

    • viget says:

      I think that’s exactly right.  If you read the Buzzfeed story they say the gov’t agents claim there is documentary evidence to back this up, including Trump org emails, memos, etc.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if some are from Individual-1 himself?

      Crazy thought, but how much do you think Trump has ever really told his lawyers about the whole plan?  Did he think that he could handle all the really illegal stuff (especially the campaign stuff) with his in house lawyers at the Trump Org (thinking he’d be protected by atty-client privilege?)

  19. orionATL says:

    i had assumed that agalarov pere was involved with the july 9 meeting and related events because he and his son had been friends with the trump boys, including pops, since the miss universe events in 2013. but with the flowering of late of the many details of the 2015-16 trump tower moscow deal, it now seems sensible, almost manditory, to assume putin picked agalarov senior to include in the july 9 meeting knowing trump would know agalarov to be a developer and builder of major commercial projects in the russian federation, including the university complex in vladovostock.

    bottom line for me – suddenly:

    the trump tower deal was an clearly implied bennie in the july 9, 2016 meeting.

    jesus! when is master mueller going to put this stuff in a speaking indictment, or two, or three.

    unbelievable chutzaph on the part of both parties.

  20. systemspm says:

    I just think MW’s critique here is totally unwarranted. If this is the story that gets people’s attention about rump then let it be! That’s all that matters here as indeed there is already enough criminal activity out in public that people ignore, if this is what gets people’s attention then LET IT BE. We’re far past caring about which details have come out first. We just need whatever pushes public opinion. All this MW report is doing is unnecessarily degrading this reporting to trumpists who desperately want it to be discredited. Would not surprise me to see Fox News citing this MW report to draw doubt on the buzzfeed story. Idiots will see this and discredit the whole investigation. All that matters (as long as there aren’t actual falsities in the reporting) is that people notice this! The last step here is getting people to accept criminality and if this is what does it then LET IT.

    At this point in life in America, little details like this aren’t important. We just need whatever factual stories that will sway people’s opinion and finally accept rumps guilt.

    Don’t go all Glenn Greenwald on me here

    • Rayne says:

      I’m letting this post through from moderation — probably hung up because of a new username — so that the community can see other objections showing up, legitimate and otherwise.

      Clearly this commenter is unfamiliar with the body of work this site has done. It’s also clear they didn’t read this particular post thoroughly OR read this post, How to Talk About Impeachment.

      It’s more important for this site to concentrate on facts which are too easily distorted by events and people, than to worry whether the work here meets drive-by purity tests.

  21. orionATL says:

    it is not “winnowing”; it is possession and use of  multiple chronologies.

    and boy would i love to know how these complex documents were interconnnected.

  22. Alan says:

    @ emptywheel

    >If he pulls it he strengthens Rosenstein, bc he can only nominate two people before the Big Dick Toilet Salesman loses his job.

    I wasn’t aware of that rule. How exactly does it work?

    a) Making second nomination automatically removes Whitaker?
    b) Withdrawal of second nomination automatically removes Whitaker?
    c) Failure of second nomination (which will never explicitly happen because it will just be postponed indefinitely) automatically removes Whitaker?
    d) Making third nomination automatically removes Whitaker?

  23. Rick says:

    From the point of view of “regular people” (like people that only follow news on Reddit), this is different because the article clearly says there are texts, emails, witnesses, and a cache of additional evidence. The other examples seemed too vague for these people to grasp. They were just not what they’d imagine as a TV show smoking gun.

    At least, that’s what a large amount of the nearly 100,000 Reddit comments on the article (so far) have emphasized.

  24. Semanticleo says:

    Rayne, I am unable to reply directly so let me say I am a product of the public school system and my curiosity and passion for knowledge is still extant. It’s a matter of determination and that’s difficult to teach so the blame for mental laziness rests with the individual.

  25. BobCon says:

    @pseudonymous in nc

    It occurred to me after I wrote the comment that of course Eric had his own portfolio of grift. Which now leads me to wonder why the frequent pairing of Ivanka with Don Jr.?

    I guess one strong possibility is that Senior doesn’t trust Junior alone with a plugged nickle. Another possibility is that her presence on Junior’s projects is just another set of the humiliations Senior has been dumping on Junior for all of his life.

    At any rate, it’s interesting to me that the family chose Eric’s wife to go on Fox today to denounce Cohen, instead of Don Jr.’s new match, Kimberly Gilfoyle, despite her long presence on Fox. I wonder what’s the reasoning there.

  26. Trip says:

    @BobCon, she (eric’s wife) was the one to offer Omarosa a bribe, um, an employment opportunity, if she could refrain from saying any unkind things about Trump, too.

    Also:

    Exclusive: Kimberly Guilfoyle Left Fox News After Investigation Into Misconduct Allegations, Sources Say
    Sources tell HuffPost that Guilfoyle, who is dating Donald Trump Jr., engaged in emotionally abusive behavior and showed colleagues personal photos of male genitalia.
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kimberly-guilfoyle-misconduct-allegations-fox-news_us_5b5a6064e4b0b15aba96f4de

  27. jump says:

    Could this be the stick to get Trump to step aside–as in ‘this is already enough to get you fired’.
    And as for carrot; go quietly and a lot of other inconvenient details will not be made public about you and your family (the article does implicate family members).
    Basically, go voluntarily or get pushed out and face a world of legal pain for yourself and your family. That would be a deal Trump would understand. Not ideal in regards to letting the public in on the truth but there would be a lot of face saving all around and might give the Dems some leverage over certain GOP members.

  28. SteveB says:

    @Rayne
    Re post you let thru moderation from @systemspm as a window on the problems you face.
    May I take the liberty of highlighting this snippet

    ” little details like this aren’t important. We just need whatever factual stories that will sway people’s opinion and …”

    It is precisely the commitment to rigour that distinguishes the journalism and analysis here, and anyone arguing that rigour should be subordinate to the cause of swaying opinion needs to re-evaluate their approach to politics and life.

    Thanks to EW crew and community for the work they put in.

  29. Trip says:

    Wow, so via Marcy’s tweet, CNN does a hit piece on one of the reporters, rather than checking the veracity of his work.  WTF? Do you guys rely on Trump that much for profit?

  30. obsessed says:

    Question: What can be known about this sourcing of the Buzzfeed article, stated as:

    two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter

    Are we still safe to assume that Mueller’s team is absolutely leak-proof? And if so, how might this leak to Buzzfeed (including letting them see actual evidence) have gone down? And why, and why now?

    • Rugger9 says:

      I heard Cormier on the radio today discussing the sources, and I would suspect from the access described that it is not the OSC since some of the primary material was not reviewed, but the sources had been “read into it”.  For me, I put nothing past the Palace, Kaiser Quisling and Ghouliani to leak something that’s inflammatory (I agree with EW that the importance is a bit overblown, especially if one is looking at triable evidence) to distract from what is probably another set of indictments from the OSC.

      The Palace minions are also looking out for themselves, so I would guess some trumpie in the FBI / DOJ (BDTS, perhaps?) got this “out there” as a distraction from something else.

      The Ds for their part will investigate.  I suspect they will have lots to find.  Hearing the political rats like Nunberg, Omarosa, etc., talk about lack of loyalty will mean KQ will not be able to stop them from talking to the press, the Ds or the OSC.  Not to impugn anything on the real domesticated rats (like Circe) who provide decent critter therapy.

      OT but typical, it seems Melania’s trip to Mar A Lago was on a government plane while everyone else was not being allowed to fly due to security concerns.  Has Melania “served her turn” and KQ getting another “first”?  Also, revealing classified information (notice KQ didn’t use any pixie dust to insta-declassify like Darth used to do) is actually a federal crime.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, still safe to assume it is not from Mueller’s shop. Remember the bigger Cohen case, at least so far, is in SDNY.

    • emptywheel says:

      THe story is scoped precisely the same way the sentencing memos were, which went thru SDNY, and didn’t hit the stuff that would be more important for the RU case, as I note.

      That suggests the sources had access to the backup to the sentencing memoranda.

  31. Jockobadger says:

    Nope. No way. No Nixonian off-ramp this time. This whole bloody mess needs to be aired for all to see – including all of the Russia/Saudi/etc. (China?) connections and all of the reprehensible behavior by the Senate/House Repubs (and D’s as req’d.) We need to get our Democratic Republic mojo back, but without all of the post-war neoliberal racist/anti-feminist baggage. For the first time in awhile I feel a bit of hope that we can get out from under this monumental fuck-up. Rayne is dead right about needing some feminine guidance as we move forward. Thanks EW et al.

  32. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    To those who argue that all the evidence of law breaking and conspiracy to defraud the country should be used to make a “deal” to let the Dumpster and his evil spawn off in return for his leaving, I have just two words: never again! We are in the end game of a coup that has been unrolling at least since the last criminal fascist president was pardoned with a kiss on the cheek. I argue that we are here because there were cover ups and/or pardons that encouraged us to “look forward” after Nov. 1963, after Nixon, after Iran contra and after 9/11. If we are to kill the beast that has corrupted the world’s politics and threatens the life of the planet we must see this entire thing through to impeachment, investigations, court trials and prison sentences for the next 10 years. There is nowhere else to go except back to the 14th century if we don’t finish this now.

  33. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    To those who argue that all the evidence of law breaking and conspiracy to defraud the country should be used to make a “deal” to let the Dumpster and his evil spawn off in return for his leaving, I have just two words: never again! We are in the end game of a coup that has been unrolling at least since the last criminal fascist president was pardoned with a kiss on the cheek. I argue that we are here because there were cover ups and/or pardons that encouraged us to “look forward” after Nov. 1963, after Nixon, after Iran contra and after 9/11. If we are to kill the beast that has corrupted the world’s politics and threatens the life of the planet we must see this entire thing through to impeachment, investigations, court trials and prison sentences for the next 10 years. There is nowhere else to go except back to the 14th century if we don’t finish this now. Remember that there is no compromising with Fascists and fascism. Namaste patriots.

  34. P J Evans says:

    It appears that the tactic that they’re using to defuse this one is attacking the reporters: Leopold hasn’t been 100% correct in the past, so this story can be ignored.

    • Trip says:

      You know, P J, I’m beginning to worry about this story. Not that I think Buzzfeed made it up. But I have to wonder if it was some kind of planted info. What bothers me is that Cohen did not confirm this story like he did yesterday with the WSJ story on polling. When he pleaded guilty, it alluded to the fact that he did it for Trump, as Marcy said, but it left out the “directed by”.

      Trump Inc. would like nothing better than to discredit buzzfeed, and the media, in general, who are reporting it like gangbusters. And then you have CNN doing the hit piece on one of the reporters.

      Before I thought maybe SDNY or the NYC FBI leaked the info to get ahead of Cohen’s testimony. Now, I’m not so sure.

      The last comment on Cohen’s twitter is yesterday’s story confirmation. I would hate for this shit to be a way to screw the pooch, you know?

  35. Fran of the North says:

    Replying to Obsessed @ 2:24

    The Fibbies have taken a lot of heat over the past 24 months. Some of it deserved (e.g. James Comey) some of it not.

    Look at the motivations of the two sources. Mueller’s team is professional and highly disciplined. Why would they be changing spots now? They’ve been playing straight and tight to the chest since day one.

    Meanwhile, the perps of ConFraud, and Individual-1 in particular have been doing everything in their power to eviscerate the FBI and DoJ. Odds are good that there are good men and women in both that are *very* upset at the tar with which they and their friends and colleagues are being tarred.

    My dad (the retired Intel officer) was a farm boy from South Dakota. He had an expression that is quite apt for this situation.

    Don’t get into a pissing contest with a horse.

  36. viget says:

    @Fran of the North

    Especially the Fibbies. Individual-1 seems to have gone after them with gusto (cf McCabe, Page and Strozk, James Baker, etc). Would make sense that the sourcing would be NYC Field Office, who after all, aren’t getting paid right now….

    • Fran of the North says:

      Absolut-ley. I might even have a wee bit of one of Russia’s finest to mark the occasion.

      We aren’t out of the taiga, but the trees seem to be thinning. Eh comrade?!?

  37. Savage Librarian says:

    A few months ago when Sen. Warner told us to buckle up, I didn’t expect to reach Mach 10 so fast.

    It’s turned my gray matter to marshmallow fluff. I know because there’s sticky residue behind my ear. At least I don’t have to travel far for a snack.

    Kudos to everyone in the EW universe. The check is almost in the mail. Is the P.o. box listed on the website correct? Should it be made out to EW?

    Decades ago in college, I was the only one in a class of 60 to pass our philosophy midterm. So, I’ve been thinking about sapiens for awhile.

    Maybe we’re stuck in a feedback loop. Evolution is a process. We forget we are all animals. Red brains, blue brains. I wonder what the purple brains look like.

  38. AitchD says:

    If Barr becomes AG, will he spearhead invoking the 25th Amendment? Is it why he wrote the June memo, which Trump obviously did not read or care about when or if he was apprised of it? Trump must know about his legal and political jeopardy, so for him to nominate that memo’s author ought to be regarded as the official action of an insane, incapacitated, or suicidal man. During Barr’s SJC testimony I liked how he kept saying “predicate”. Barr, the records of history show us, is a fixer and a cleaner, and more or less acknowledged as much with his “[Hey], I’m 68 [and don’t need the angina, I’ll make things right]”. We’ll see what happens (as Trump always says) when Dr. Vinny Boombats finds a benign huge brain tumor consisting of two all-beef patties, special sauce, and the rest.

  39. Jonathan says:

    @Jim, if the following link is correct, lying to the FBI is a felony, even if it is not perjury. So if Trump pushed Cohen to lie to the FBI, that would seem to be …. well, some kind of offense. I’m sure the lawyers on the site can tell us, exactly what kind of offense it is. And if Barr is to act according to the spirit of his testimony, would he then act as if that is an impeachable offense.

    https://www.quora.com/Why-is-lying-to-the-FBI-perjury-but-lying-to-the-police-is-not

  40. Jeff says:

    I’m skeptical of this story. If it’s true, why didn’t Cohen mention it in his sentencing memo. It would have been a huge mitigating factor that POTUS directed him to commit the crime he was being sentenced for. If Mueller for some reason wanted to keep that secret, he could have just filed under seal.

    • Rayne says:

      I’m skeptical of this story.

      Which one? Are you referring to BuzzFeed’s story?

      (Your duplicate attempt was tossed. Please make sure to use the same username and login information each time you comment so that community members get to know you./~Rayne)

  41. Rick says:

    So now BuzzFeed News is saying that Mueller’s spokesman has said the article was inaccurate.

    Does that mean it’s fake?

  42. P J Evans says:

    @Rick
    No, they’re saying that the parts about Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.

  43. J Barker says:

    SCO’s statement on the BuzzFeed article has left me confused and disappointed. We certainly can’t figure all this out from the armchair, without further clarification from BuzzFeed, Mueller, or both.

    In the meantime, it may be worth reflecting on the reactions we’ve seen from team Trump and Cohen:

    1. Hogan Gidley did not claim the story was false. Rudy eventually denied the story, but after an uncomfortably long wait. Sanders referred reporters to Rudy’s denial.

    2. As far as I know, Trump himself has not denied the story (is that right, or did I miss a tweet?)

    3. Cohen, via Lanny Davis, did not deny the story, citing the ongoing SC investigation. Yet we know Cohen is comfortable issuing straightup denials, as he did recently w.r.t. the Prague story.

    All of this makes me think it’s too early to completely write off the main claim of the BuzzFeed story.

  44. Rapier says:

    This post further cements again EW’s genius.  It was not, to my eyes,  a direct bulls-eye hit on what the SCO came out with this evening but ir’a  on the board.

    As a general rule it is always wise to take deep breaths when following crusading reporters. There is always a tendency to go one step too far. Trying to find the one loadstar that ties everything together. That’s how stories work. Real life, not so much.

  45. Rick says:

    As we all know, Trump nearly always says things with plausible deniability at the front of his mind. Also, he doesn’t write anything beyond tweets (and I’d be willing to bet he uses speech recognition software for most of those).

    Would Mueller’s statement make sense if Trump verbally told someone else to make sure Cohen lied (and that person sent emails and texts), but there was no direct statement from Trump to Cohen?

    The authors might say that the lying was 100% directed by Trump, but Mueller might argue that it actually wasn’t direct?

  46. loon says:

    First time poster. Thanks for everyone’s insight, your ability to see and report things from different angles, and your skill at focusing on the essence of each issue. You keep me sane.

    I understand the specific vagueness (?) of the statement from Peter Carr of the SCO today if the SCO is disputing the nuance of the BF story but not the fundamentals. Perhaps it’s to keep the House committee (and others) from getting too far out over their skis relative to the investigation – even though they are certainly coordinating. But the WaPo reporting tonight on the SCO’s statement on the BF reporting includes:

    “Inside the Justice Department, the statement was viewed as a huge step, and one that would have been taken only if    the special counsel’s office viewed the story as almost entirely incorrect. The special counsel’s office seemed to be disputing every aspect of the story that addressed comments or evidence given to its investigators.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2019/01/18/b9c40d34-1b85-11e9-8813-cb9dec761e73_story.html

    Try as I might when reading the SCO statement, I can’t see how it infers that “the special counsel’s office seemed to be disputing every aspect of the story …” and that makes me wonder about who the Post is relying on “Inside the Justice Department.” If the Post is essentially correct, it would seem that the SCO’s statement would have been more explicit and/or encompassing. Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.

  47. James says:

    I’m not terribly worried about the Buzzfeed overreach.

    Back in the early reporting on the Watergate issue, the reporters made a similar blunder. The GOP went on the attack, and the Washington Post stood behind them. WP retracted the erroneous section of the article while maintaining their confidence in both the reporters and the reporting.

    Buzzfeed has now done the same.

    By this time tomorrow there will be so many other outrages this will be forgotten.

    In the meantime, Jacob Wohl is letting his inner fascist fly on Twitter, demanding such things as the National Guard occupy Buzzfeed’s offices and noting President Lincoln suspended press freedoms. (To an extent that was so, but not in the way Wohl is describing it.)

  48. Chetnolian says:

    Two things occur to me from my vast distance. It gives me an excuse not to think about Brexit. First my immediate reaction to the Buzzfeed story was Wow Mueller’s team is leaking. So if the story was from SDNY and thus had some detail errors a good ploy to say”we’re not leaking” would be to identify that there were errors in the story without actually saying it was really wrong. Which is what they seem to have done.

    And the econd thing is that while I totally follow Marcy’s view that proof of Cohen lying at the instance of Trump is not new, what is different is the subject. Think ahead to possible impeachment part 2. Lies about sexual misbehaviour always get messed up in other things and can be laughed off if you wish to do that. Think of the last impeachment. This is about possible confusion between Trump’s political and business interests, which reads in shorthand as corruption. Much harder to vote against if there is good legal case.

    • bmaz says:

      I think Carr’s statement maddeningly vague. But I also take it as a brushback to the Manhattanite Feds that fed the story as well as to Buzzfeed.

      • William Bennett says:

        > But I also take it as a brushback to the Manhattanite Feds that fed the story as well as to Buzzfeed.

        Yes, you cut to the essence as always. IMO, the rebuke is the point, to Buzzfeed a little but to SDNY a lot, because the leaking itself is what drew Mueller’s response, not errors (significant or trivial) in the story. The message isn’t “Get it right,” the message is STFU is the message,. Or to unpack that a bit, “I run a tight ship here and you’re not helping, guys.” Wouldn’t mind some lawyerly expertise on the not-helping part, as seen from Mueller’s pov. I’d guess it’s twofold, at least: one is prematurely litigating things in public while he’s still trying to bring the full case to ripeness, which can have all kinds of unpredictable consequences. Another is simply that the seriousness of an investigation involving conspiracy by the president with a foreign adversary exceeds just about any other imaginable, the consequences potentially shattering for our trust in our own system of government, and out of his own lifelong service to that system Mueller sees clearly that You. Just. Don’t. Fuck. Around. With. Shit. Like. This. Under that degree of pressure any hint of taking it a micron less seriously than it deserves is intolerable.

        Unlike, say, the Starr “investigation,” which actually was a political Snark-hunt from the get-go and the constant leaking from Starr’s amateur-hour shitshow was about as blatant a signal you could wish that they themselves knew it.

  49. Laura says:

    “Compare that with their discussion of his Trump Tower lies, which emphasizes his efforts to reinforce Trump’s messaging, but lacks any mention of Trump’s direction.”

    It seems the Special Counsel concurs, Marcy. Nice analysis on your part.

  50. Jim_46 says:

    First, let’s all acknowledge EW’s achievement: namely, winning the daily struggle to maintain her sanity, as she says over and over that we already KNOW that Trump has repeatedly orchestrated (my word, not hers) official lies — of which a directive to Cohen regarding the Trump Tower Moscow project, if such direction was indeed made, would be merely another instance — only to have everyone else treat the BuzzFeed report as if it were sui generis.

    Second, it seems to me obvious that the proper way to interpret Mueller’s statement on the BuzzFeed story is to conclude that it’s accurate in part. And before you take me to task, yes, I understand that as a legal matter, the specific way or ways in which it is inaccurate may be consequential. But I don’t see the SCO’s (intentionally, no doubt) baffling statement touching what ought to be the political implications of the BuzzFeed claim, viz., that the evidence continues to mount that our president and his flunkies have been and still are engaging in a conspiratorial cover-up of actions that, taken together, will be more than sufficient to justify the initiating of impeachment proceedings.

    Third, the combination of the government shutdown and the reaction to the BuzzFeed story should indicate to everyone that we have entered a vastly different stage of our national nightmare. I suspect Mueller knows this. I hope he does, because if it once seemed to him that his lane was a narrow one that, with sufficient skill and discipline, he could easily drive straight down to the finish, that’s no longer true. Obviously.

    (Note to Rayne: user name changed per your request, and I don’t remember commenting before.)

  51. Chick Dante says:

    Chris Hays highlighted a portion of Cohen’s sentencing memo in USA v William Michael Cohen in regards to the df’s plea to lying to congress. The highlighted portion clearly stated it was done “as directed by Individual -1” which Cohen affirned in court meant Donald Trump. I cannot locate a legible copy to confirm. Can you find that and, if correct, would that change your view that the Trump Tower congressional testimony is “the wrong lie?” R. Maddow pointed out that Cohen had already pled guilty to a host of financial and tax crimes when Mueller hailed him back to court specifically to plead to the congressional testimony as lies. She points out that it would appear to have been a useless act, since Mueller was recommending no additional jail time, unless to set a predicate for later charges of suborning the deception.

    Comments?

  52. Trip says:

    @Alan, thanks for that. I think a number of people misstated that last night. By “misstate”, I mean an unintentional error (not the euphemism for “lie”). Perhaps they pulled out the wrong paperwork with those assertions.

  53. Alan says:

    There seems to be a lot of focus on whether Trump “directed” Cohen to lie to Congress. I’m not sure why.

    Even if Trump did not direct Cohen to lie to Congress, Trump still might be liable for Subornation of Perjury if he “procured” Cohen’s false testimony (see definitions below). Trump might also be liable for conspiracy if he and Cohen had some agreement related to Cohen’s false testimony.

    Furthermore, at minimum Trump did not correct Cohen’s lies. This made Trump complicit in the lies and vulnerable to blackmail from the Russians. While this might not be grounds for criminal charges, IMO it is grounds for impeachment.

    ————

    18 U.S. Code § 1622 – Subornation of perjury
    Whoever procures another to commit any perjury is guilty of subornation of perjury, and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

    Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th Ed (2009)
    procurement (proh-kyoor-mant), n. procure, vb. 1. The act of getting or obtaining something or of bringing something about.

    https://thelawdictionary.org/procure/
    In criminal law, and in analogous uses elsewhere, to “procure” is to Initiate a proceeding to cause a thing to be done; to instigate; to contrive, bring about, effect, or cause. See U. S. v. Wilson, 28 Fed. Cas. 710; Gore v. Lloyd, 12 Mees. & W. 4S0; Marcus v. Bernstein, 117 N. C. 31, 23 S. E. 38; Rosenbarger v. State, 154 Ind. 425, 56 N. E. 914; Long v. State, 23 Neb. 33, 36 N. W. 310.

    • Trip says:

      I think it’s more about setting a fire under the GOP’s ass. A president directing a cohort to lie to congress to protect his own lies and criminal liability is a big deal (but it has been out there). The point of the BF article that woke many is the asserted mountains of corroborating evidence, aside from Cohen’s testimony (who the GOP has outright dismissed to protect their power).

  54. P J Evans says:

    And over at Kos, there’s a pair of idjits who are convinced that because Leopold claimed that Rove was indicted, and no such indictment has become public, therefore everything else he writes must also be wrong. Only two, one backing the other with literally no evidence. And closed minds, so that facts can’t get in.

Comments are closed.