Rudy Claims Credit for Peter Carr’s Correction of BuzzFeed, Which Had the Goal of Tamping Down Impeachment Talk

In this post, I suggested that Rod Rosenstein’s call to Mueller’s office to see if they were going to release a statement pushing back against Buzzfeed’s story on Michael Cohen’s testimony might be a violation of SCO regulations protecting against “day-to-day supervision” by DOJ.

In his appearance on Jake Tapper’s show today, Rudy Giuliani (starting at 14:25) appears to take credit for SCO’s statement. After agreeing with Tapper that the NYT had corrected their claim that Paul Manafort had shared polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik with the intent that it in turn get shared with two Ukrainian oligarchs he worked for, he noted that the NYT had not issued the correction on their own. He then said that the Special Counsel’s office had not, either.

Rudy: Originally the NYTimes ran with the story [about Paul Manafort sharing polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik] — again, fake news — that he shared it with a Russian, not true. [note: actually it is true, because Kilimnik himself is a Russian citizen]

Tapper: They corrected that. They corrected that.

Rudy: They did correct that. They didn’t correct that — my friend, they didn’t correct that, they didn’t correct that just completely on their own by the way. The same thing with Special Counsel. That didn’t happen spontaneously.

At the very least, this undermines WaPo’s claim that Mueller already had a correction of Buzzfeed in the works before Rosenstein’s office called.

In the advanced stages of those talks, the deputy attorney general’s office called to inquire if the special counsel planned any kind of response, and was informed a statement was being prepared, the people said.

Worse still, it seems to suggest he or someone from the White House was involved.

The WaPo story suggested that the statement was issued because Democrats were discussing impeachment.

[W]ith Democrats raising the specter of investigation and impeachment, Mueller’s team started discussing a step they had never before taken: publicly disputing reporting on evidence in their ongoing investigation.

I’ve since heard the same.

It is not appropriate one way or another to issue a statement that otherwise would not have gotten made solely to tamp down discussion about impeachment — as opposed to reestablish what Special Counsel claims it can prove with regards to Cohen’s lies. If Trump suborned perjury about his own doings with Russia — and Congress already had abundant evidence that he had done so before Buzzfeed’s story — then that is grounds to discuss impeachment. That is a proper function of Congress. It is not the function of the Deputy Attorney General’s office to suppress perfectly legitimate discussions of impeachment.

But if the White House or Trump’s personal lawyer demanded that DOJ interfere in the day-to-day supervision of Mueller’s office with the specific goal of silencing talk about impeachment, as Rudy seems to suggest, that is a far more egregious intervention. That would mean Rosenstein’s office (either with or without the intervention of Big Dick Toilet Salesman Matt Whitaker) did what they did because Trump demanded it, which led them to take action that is arguably outside their permissible role with Mueller, all for the political purpose of squelching legitimate congressional discussion about impeachment.

The Special Counsel’s office declined to comment for this post.

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. 

156 replies
  1. Semanticleo says:

    It’s understandable that loose talk re: impeachment ahead of the legal pronouncements could be counter-productive but I wonder why they don’t respond to his tempestuous tweets with similar acrimony .

    Mueller is a Republican you know.

  2. P J Evans says:

    Mueller seems to be much better at keeping his personal views out of his job than Comey was.

    • Avattoir says:

      Well, confuseder and confuseder, anyway.

      I got no beef with anything in this post; but I do question whether we’re even on Planet Earth let alone terra firma when it comes to trying to make rationality out of ANYTHING Rudy Giuliani says in his geriatric tennis matches with talking heads on cable news shows.

      Whether as narrator or source, Rudy strikes me as someone for whom the term ‘unreliable narrator’ is inadequate. Spouting off as irresponsibly as Rudy doesn’t even work  for Kurosawa movies or Beckett plays.

      • Peterr says:

        This, this, a thousand times this.

        Rudy taking credit for Carr’s statement strikes me as Rudy trying to pump up his own importance, for things he had nothing whatsoever to do with.

        I recall in the 60s and early 70s a pattern of behavior like Rudy’s here. Whenever some building burned for unexplained reasons, some nutty group (whose name I cannot recall) would claim credit for it and LE folks would just laugh. “These guys couldn’t burn down a building if you gave them the gasoline and a lighter.” But making the claim made them *seem* important, and that was what they wanted.

      • Charles says:

        Yes. And this is relevant to our conversation in the previous thread. Anything is possible, but some theories are simpler than others. I agree with Peterr (below) that Giuliani has said so many things that plainly aren’t true that we should assume he’s acting like the rodeo clown, trying to keep all eyes away from the damage being done.

        But kudos to Marcy for asking for comment from the OSC.  And to Leopold for his FOIA.

        • LeeNLP says:

          My 2 cents:  I have often wished that ordinary people could just step back and take a quasi-random sample of Trump’s (or Rudy’s or whoever’s) fact-checked statements, realize that by any objective measure these people are chronic liars, then disregard their further statements since the probability of anything they say being true is so low.  It’s a low bar, but not as low as human expectations, apparently.  The human brain apparently didn’t evolve to be rational.

      • BroD says:

        Totally agree.  I’ve described Rudy as a rodeo clown but, in truth, his job is to sow seeds of confusion.

  3. BobCon says:

    I’m still very noncommittal about any of the reporting around this. This is the second time in the past few months we’ve had a story involving Rod Rosenstein with a ton of questions swirling around it. The first one — Rod Rosenstein’s supposed 25th Amendment lobbying effort — turned out to have a few nuggets of truth embedded in a lot of BS.

    I suspect there are also truthful nuggets here, but they’re being delivered in very unpleasant packages by people with agendas. Reporters and editors really ought to fight the temptation to deliver these as truthful narratives, and instead discuss options and probabilities.

    I also think they need to repeat the mantra over and over that the sources need them more than they need the sources. There would be major benefits if they exposed lying sources and, at a minimum, talk more openly about the agendas and motivations of sources in general. The media is in a buyer’s market, and they should be striking much more public bargains for information.

  4. Chest Westerson says:

    When I watched that live I took the use of the words Special Counsel to refer to to the Buzzfeed story that was corrected by the Special Counsel. He drew the parallel of the NYT correcting a story to now Buzzfeed correcting a story. Granted Buzzfeed didn’t accept the OSCs “correction” of their story, but that could be RG being lazy with his analogy.

    It could very well be that someone from the WH directed OSC to release the statement, but I’m not convinced Rudy went on TV today to announce that.

  5. Jim_46 says:

    EW: “The WaPo story suggested that the statement was issued because Democrats were discussing impeachment … I’ve since heard the same.”

    And so we’ve come pretty far pretty fast from Marcy’s earlier statement, with which I fully agreed at the time based on what seemed reasonable and logical to conclude, “I honestly don’t think they [i.e., Mueller and his team] care what Congress does, so long as it doesn’t hurt their efforts to put people in prison” (January 19, 2019 at 1:30 pm).

    This is beginning to feel like a watershed moment, and I’d love it if someone could talk me off the ledge, as I am currently being haunted by the memory of Comey making a certain startling announcement 11 days before the election.

  6. J Barker says:

    Yes! Glad you caught this moment too, Marcy.

    Something went on behind the scenes with Whitaker/DAG & Trump/Giuliani when Carr issued his statement on Friday.

    I hope someone can reach out to Giuliani for clarification of or comment on this strange remark.

    • TheLongGrift says:

      reach out to Giuliani for clarification?? LOL…you’d have better luck reaching out to an iguana for medical advice

  7. Chitown Kev says:

    Never commented here before (the level of knowledge by Ms. Wheeler and others is a bit intimidating) but I sure appreciate the commentary here and in the comment section.

  8. bmaz says:

    The concept that any entity, on any surface of the geometric equation, gave Rudy credibility worth responding to, is astounding.

    • Marinela says:

      Agreed that  is overstating his contribution.

      But, the parallel with the 2016 events is hard to  miss.

      Comey discusses there is existing on-going investigation into Hillary e-mails, which is not supposed to be made public, to prevent a public person being convicted in the public opinion, before the FBI investigation is concluded.

      That point in 2016 is similar to the SCO statement now in 2019.

      Then later in 2016 Comey, discussed FBI re-opened and closed again the Hillary investigation and he made the results of not charging Hillary public again, few weeks before the election, this had to be done because the original sin.

      Is the unprecedented SCO rebutal of the BuzzFeed story going to cause the snowball effect it did in 2016?

      Unless  it was done to protect the SCO investigation.

  9. gmoke says:

    Why am I thinking that Rosenstein or Carr or Mueller or someone else will soon be doing an announcement like Comey’s about re-opening the investigation into Hillary’s emails?

    • Bobby Gladd says:

      Recall Ted Cruz during the Senate confirmation hearing getting William Barr to (sort of) agree that he would see to it that renewed investigations of the Obama administration would be pursued (e.g., IRS and “conservative religious” organizations).

  10. OldTulsaDude says:

    Slightly OT, but I keep going back to the original statement from the SCO concerning the BF story because it reads so oddly – the language of the SCO rebuttal is quite specific: it is the “description of” and “characterization of” that are supposedly inaccurate.

    Normal grammar would state: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” and “BuzzFeed’s characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

    Perhaps it is error that Individual-1 said, “Make it happen.”  Maybe he said, “Do it.” That would fulfill the error in “specific statements”, would it not?  Could the error in characterizing documents and testimony  be as little as listing e-mails obtained when they had not been or some similar mislisting?

    Of perhaps I am indulging in wishful thinking in hopes we do not lose our republic.

    • Erica says:

      Im thinking its the use of the word ‘LIE’. Trump didn’t use tge word lie. Something that may be equivalent but not the actual word lie!

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    It is not the function of the Deputy Attorney General’s office to suppress perfectly legitimate discussions of impeachment.

    Indeed, particularly when that discussion is taking place in an independent, co-equal branch of government that is responsible for debating and investigating the reasons for and conducting impeachment.

    • Peterr says:

      If you’re right, I’d say that trying to take down Mueller via leaks strikes me as a very dangerous thing for Rudy and Mukasey to attempt, as it could result in them becoming roommates in some government-owned housing.

  12. Willis Warren says:

    Yep, Peterr, that’s what SHOULD happen, but as long as they control the AG, we’re not likely to see that. My guess is that their plan is to slow everything down so trump can finish his stupid term and they can bury this in bureaucracy

    • Greg Hunter says:

      Yes this.  I am sorry but Mueller is FBI and I cannot comprehend where they take out those responsible for Trump’s election as they all seem related.  Sure Comey is not “as bad” as the NY FBI, but he was still responding to his “Higher Power” in getting a Republican elected in a time when many judicial nominations were on the bubble.  Comey assuredly had the voice of god in his head saying Trump would be just fine.

      The lack of post 911 prosecution of white collar crimes, combined with Obama’s caving to Wall Street just encouraged the illicit behavior of the Wall Street boys and those that serve them to include the NY FBI.  IMHO.

      • P J Evans says:

        “Mueller is FBI” – got a citation for that claim? Because he’s not acting for the FBI in this investigation.

    • Peterr says:

      If this was a second term, running out the clock might be a strategy, but it’s not.

      If someone suggests to Trump that he not run in 2020, that person will be ostracized and mocked as a loser. Trump could not abide being known as someone too scared to run again, and so his ego will demand a run for a second term — and he’s working to stomp out any opposition before it gets any traction. From Politico:

      President Donald Trump is tightening his iron grip on the Republican Party, launching an elaborate effort to stamp out any vestiges of GOP opposition that might embarrass him at the 2020 Republican convention.

      The president’s reelection campaign is intent on avoiding the kind of circus that unfolded on the convention floor in 2016, when Never Trump Republicans loudly protested his nomination before a national TV audience. The effort comes as party elites like Utah Sen. Mitt Romney are openly questioning Trump’s fitness for the job, and it’s meant to ensure that delegates at next year’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., are presidential loyalists — not anti-Trump activists looking to create a stir.

      From NPR:

      Some members of the Republican National Committee and grassroots Republicans are backing an effort to block potential primary challengers to President Trump, even though party insiders are insisting it is too late to change the rules for the 2020 campaign. . .


      This effort comes as some Republicans question whether to even hold a presidential primary. South Carolina Republicans have left open the question of whether they would hold a presidential primary in 2020. The state bills its contest as the “critical First in the South” primary, but some party officials are wary of exposing Trump to a challenger. . .

      Trump will not go gently into that good night in 2021, and anyone who believes they can talk him into it is not acquainted with Donald’s ego.

    • BobCon says:

      I agree with the slow everything down part, although I think the more likely hope is to get favorable court rulings.

      I also think it’s a risky strategy for two reasons. One is that it seems based on the assumption that whatever evidence is out there, it’s too damaging to risk yanking off the band aid and getting it over with. The other is that they’re getting close to the point where time is not their friend. If Trump is a weak lame duck, backstabbing has many fewer risks and more rewards.

      I also can’t discount the possibility that they’re only acting this way because they have a dithering, clueless leader and they can’t come up with any real plan.

  13. Arj says:

    Re OldTulsaDude 2:55 pm (reply not working again – rats!)

    Normal grammar would be: ‘BuzzFeed’s description (…) is not accurate’ and ‘BuzzFeed’s characterisation (…) is not accurate.’ The original is: ‘BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate.’ There should be a comma before the final ‘are not accurate’, but the oddness is not accidental: the SCO is trying to reveal as little as possible here.

    • AitchD says:

      The Carr version is fine as its grammar shows that “Buzzfeed’s description … and characterization … are not accurate”. The final proposed comma would be optional. I don’t know how the original was delivered, orally or verbally. Personally, I’ll wait until Joe Isuzu checks in.

      • Arj says:

        The final comma is required because of the comma after ‘office’.  Yes, the plural is correct in Carr.  The most interesting thing about the SCO statement is its opacity…

  14. Tom says:

    @ OldTulsaDude at 2:55 pm. Mueller’s response to the BuzzFeed story didn’t strike me as being all that damaging. If Cormier and Leopold had been really off base in their reporting, Mueller would likely have remained silent as he has up until now, (except that the WaPo has reported that the Mueller team decided to throw cold water on the BF story). In any case, as you point out, Mueller described certain aspects of the BF story as “inaccurate”, which is a far cry from stating the report was false, baseless, or not supported by the evidence. My sense is that Cormier and Leopold are really close to the facts of the matter, but don’t yet have certain information that would make their reporting ironclad. Mueller may have felt he couldn’t allow their not-quite-accurate story to stand without commenting on it, due to the need–as Marcy has stated–to protect the credibility of Michael Cohen and not have actions or testimony attributed to him that are at variance with the available evidence. If the goal was to tamp down impeachment talk, I doubt the effect will be very long-lasting.

  15. Laura says:

    Why anyone pays attention to Rudy is just beyond me.

    But hey, the arrangement seems to be working for everyone involved. CNN’s producers eagerly book Rudy because they know he’ll say something egregious. Tapper or Cuomo or Cooper or whoever can then look suitably aghast as Rudy shoots his mouth off, while the booth frantically throws together a new chyron. Meanwhile, Rudy is using CNN to signal to Trump that he’s a loyal soldier who takes action to control the DOJ, FBI, SCO and the rest of the Deep State on The Don’s behalf. And Trump tunes into into CNN for ‘Executive Time,’ to enjoy being the center of media attention as Rudy battles CNN on his behalf.

    What a supremely profitable clusterfuck. Marshall McLuhan must be rolling in his Canadian grave.

    • Tom says:

      Every time Rudy tries to defend the President, he ends up snipping away at Trump’s ever diminishing fig leaf of purported innocence. This morning, for example, he claimed that Trump was entirely correct to insist repeatedly that he had no business dealings with Russia during the 2016 campaign because (a) the Moscow Trump Tower was actually Michael Cohen’s project, and (b) it was only a business “proposal” not an actual “deal”. This sounds like an attempt to make a distinction without a difference. When Jake Tapper tried to pin Rudy down on the details of the Trump Tower negotiations, Rudy dismissed these as “minutiae”. Rudy also set the bar for obstruction of justice and witness tampering pretty high. According to Rudy, unless anyone can prove that Trump personally threatened to break Michael Cohen’s legs if he didn’t lie to Congress, the President is Scott Free. Rudy is waging a fighting withdrawal, but it’s a withdrawal nonetheless.

      • phazed says:

        It’s always worse when you go back and look at the quote…

        “So I tweeted out that I have no dealings with Russia. I have no deals that could happen in Russia, because we’ve stayed away. And I have no loans with Russia.

        As a real estate developer, I have very, very little debt. I have assets that are—and now people have found out how big the company is, I have very little debt—I have very low debt. But I have no loans with Russia at all.

        And I thought that was important to put out. I certified that. So I have no deals, I have no loans and I have no dealings. We could make deals in Russia very easily if we wanted to, I just don’t want to because I think that would be a conflict. So I have no loans, no dealings, and no current pending deals.”

        • Rayne says:

          I, we — interesting how he parsed the pronouns.

          “…I have very little debt–I have very low debt. But I have no loans with Russia at all.”

          But what about “we” having more debt and loans with Russia? Ditto with regard to deals.

          Still niggling at the back of my mind is the oddity which WaPo’s David Fahrentold is stewing over: a $50M “loan” to Chicago Acquisition LLC, an entity and transaction(s) for which there is extremely little documentation.

    • BroD says:

      “Why anyone pays attention to Rudy is just beyond me.”

      IKR!  I guess it gets Cuomo eyeballs clicks and buzz but they should just stop giving Rudy visibility.

  16. OldTulsaDude says:

    Thanks to all who responded to my post. Not being versed in law myself, I would think that a lawyer of the class in the SCO would have a specific reason to use the phrases “description of” and “characterization of”. Removing those qualifying phrases, the disclaimer is a stronger rebuke of BF’s reporting.

  17. Mo says:

    I checked CNN, no mention of the Washington Post claim that either Rosenstein or Whitaker was involved in getting SCO to dispute Buzzfeed’s report. I think Buzzfeed was wrong and they should admit that. Only 2 anonymous sources. This is the same Buzzfeed that spread news about the Steel dossier’s claims such as pee tape that has not been verified.

  18. Rusharuse says:

    Rudy seems to talk shit. Is he really a lawyer? Is there some kind of standard for lawyers or can they just sprout any ol bullshit, misrepresent the law and make huge bucks. Doesn’t seem right. A profession filled with hucksters with no standards and no oversight, a love of money and no shortage of shifty “customers”!

    • Peterr says:

      Once upon a time, Rudy was the USA Attorney for the Southern District of NY. Regardless of your party, you don’t get that job without having some serious legal chops.

      Since then, somewhere along the line, he kissed a frog and became one.

  19. posaune says:

    Rusharuse @ 9:20. I suppose there are some of those types in every profession.

    But I have to respond here: I’ve had two attorneys in my adult life whose skill, perseverance and commitment made a huge difference to our lives. The first was an employment specialty firm in NYC (Judith Vladeck et. al.) — superbly outstanding, competent attorneys, professional and ethical. The second was an adoption/child-welfare attorney specialist in DC, highly skilled who persevered with us for 8 years to win custody of our son with a true ethical commitment to our son’s well being (H Schweitzer). I will ever be grateful to these professionals who helped make my life what it is today.

    • P J Evans says:

      My niece-by-marriage worked for a couple of years as a lawyer in disability rights, right after she passed the bar exam. (Now she does legal interpreting and teaches sign. The market for Deaf lawyers is very very small.)

  20. Anon says:

    While I find this pretty damning, as usual I do have one question.  Doesn’t that read of the first statement depend upon the premise that Giuliani is speaking the truth as he understands it as opposed to just muddying the waters further?  Given the number of times that Hizzonah has changed the story I can’t help but feel that the only strategy he is pursuing, to the extent that it can be called that, is to mess with the public story as much as he can and this clamp down on the public legitimacy of the process and any possible outcomes (impeachment or trial).

    In that respect making up a claim that someone forced them to disclose enhances the narrative that Muller is off on his own and needs reining in, and also that the press is all against his boss.

  21. Helen says:

    Did anyone else notice that Giuliani conflated Mueller’s name with Comey, twice, on CNN and Meet the Press, today? He said when “Trump fired Mueller” instead of when Trump fired Comey. (when he was speaking of whether Trump had the right to fire Comey, but said Mueller. I wonder if the two men are conflated in Giuliani’s mind.

    • Rayne says:

      Any chance you have a link to a YouTube or other uploaded copy of that slip? It’d be nice to see if it looks deliberate or like he’s slipping. Thanks.

  22. greengiant says:

    Anyone taking these stories at face value is a useful fool. The media click bait is all about “oh we have two sources” we can print whatever they say. The media are fall guys for political operatives.

    We have two stories, based on “sources”.. Well deepcapture can tell about how their source burned them after they were bad mouthing Felix Sater and the Russian mob. We have Leopold who literally whitewashed Sater in his article. No mention of Sater’s fathers connection to the Russian mob as I recall. Sater’s criminal activities were restricted to actual court cases.

    Second story remember Barrett’s role in Weinergate, carrying water for the GOP ratfuckers and asking for FBI comment on the hype and getting McCabe to go crazy and get eventually fired.

    This is all more than just one Bernstein and Woodward detail error. This is propaganda.

  23. I Felt Mark says:

    I think EW’s hunch that this is SDNY or FBI NY’s office is accurate. Reading between the lines, I’m inclined to believe it’s the latter.

    In the Buzzfeed story on Trump Tower Moscow from May, Leopold and Cormier reference their sources as such (emphasis mine):

    Even before the appointment of Mueller as special counsel in May 2017, FBI agents investigating Russia’s interference in the election learned that Cohen was in frequent contact with foreign individuals about Trump Moscow — and that some of these individuals had knowledge of or played a role in 2016 election meddling, according to two FBI agents. 


    Even though Cohen vowed to go with an “alternate,” it is unknown whom he meant. Two FBI agents told BuzzFeed News that Cohen spoke to multiple Russians about Trump Moscow. They did not name the individuals, and Sater, who suspected Cohen was working his own sources, said he never learned their identities.

    Given the criminal charges Mueller filed in court against Cohen, that story ended up being dead-on accurate. Some of the evidence (like the text messages between Cohen/Sater) is verbatim.

    Flash forward to late November when Leopold and Cormier revealed Putin was going to be offered the Trump Tower Moscow penthouse suite:

    Two US law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer at the time, discussed the idea with a representative of Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s press secretary.

    In their latest article about Trump directing Cohen to lie to Congress, they open with:

    President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.

    At 4:15 on Buzzfeed’s AM2DM show on Friday, Cormier says the sources are, “two high level law enforcement officials who are directly involved in the investigation of the Trump Tower Moscow plan.”

    Given their confidence and track record of accuracy on TT Moscow to date, it seems reasonable to infer they are relying the same two sources for each article. And if they are doing so, there’s a reason Buzzfeed isn’t backing down an inch.

  24. Hops says:

    I agree with poster Arj, above, that Carr’s statement needs a comma. In fact, as a sentence, it needs much more work than that.

    At least one post (Tom’s) misquoted the Carr statement as using the word “inaccurate” but actually the exact phrase is “not accurate” and that is what I see as deliberately ambiguous. It’s almost inviting us to read it as “not [entirely] accurate.”

    Whatever Carr’s limitations in regard to sentence structure, I assume he has an ample vocabulary and could have used “inaccurate” or “incorrect” or “not factual” or just plain false.

    I see “not accurate” as a hedge against potential future accusations of being misleading, but at the same time throwing cold water on talk of  imminent impeachment, and hastily put together ahead of the weekend when people catch up on the news.

  25. jaango says:

    Consider my comment herein, as my rant on the depravity of a Democracy Consensus, and defined as being the latest iteration of where the voters and the Electoral College dragged El Trumpudo into our  living room.  And if “decency personified” is to re-established in our nation’s political arena, it becomes the ‘duty and responsibility’ of the voters via the Electoral College to drag him out of our living rooms.

    As  for my fellow citizens, I have been designated by Victor Hanson and Laura Ingraham and the likeminded as my having a “minority privilege” and therefore in the future, I prefer my media attention to be focused on my ‘privilege’ for a National Debt Surtax and where tomorrow’s ‘majority’ having to contend with federal government’s financial bankruptcy that will surely be facing the ‘racial and ethnics’ as the New Majority.

    And further, don’t get me started on Mandatory Voting.  And needless to say but I will, this should be a snarky rant, and where I am getting to far away from the audacity that is inherent in Mama Sanita’s Common Sense.

  26. Trip says:

    Peterr says:
    January 20, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    Once upon a time, Rudy was the USA Attorney for the Southern District of NY. Regardless of your party, you don’t get that job without having some serious legal chops.
    Since then, somewhere along the line, he kissed a frog and became one.

    That is questionable. Giuliani is a chameleon, who changed color based on which way the political wind blew. He changed party hats, not based on strong held values, but on how he could benefit personally from the power structure.

    He was always a showboater, opportunist and self-promoter. He even manufactured his family history. His father was muscle for mob loansharks, and spent time at Sing Sing for robbing a milkman. Rudy had to change his story after the smoking gun site found documents.

    Rudy, as legend has it, was also one of the biggest leakers at SDNY (hence the reputation) while in charge of those cases. He was buoyed by the other existing talent there in terms of legal reputation.

    In a lot of ways, he isn’t really that different from Trump. The narcissism and selfishness is strong with both.

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      “The narcissism and selfishness is strong with both.”

      As well as the mob kompromat. I’m gettin’ really close to the idea that New York (and NYC) are terminally corrupt…sigh.

  27. Trip says:

    Adding to my last comment (Trip says:January 21, 2019 at 8:27 am) While still in that capacity, Rudy ostensibly killed an investigation into Trump by the FBI, after Trump promised a large campaign contribution for Rudy’s run for mayor.

  28. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mr. Trump ranted on twtr about Ms. Pelosi, his usual thing, and ended with what he thought was a jibe. He told her to clean up the streets in San Francisco.

    Either Mr. Trump was misremembering a Michael Douglas television drama from his youth or he thought the streets in a city he never visits were a mess and that any woman from California could be told to do the cleaning.

    Like a stopped clock that is right twice a day, Mr. Trump is correct that Ms. Pelosi and Senator Feinstein live in Northern California, and both represent California in Congress. But Sen. Feinstein was the former mayor of San Francisco – decades ago – which might have made a demeaning if logical connection for his bad joke.

    Trump must think that picking up Scrabble pieces at random automatically generates high-scoring words. For him, one woman, one epithet, one Californian is as good as another. All the same to him, unless you’re a dues paying member of one of his mysteriously financed golf clubs.

    • Trip says:

      It doesn’t matter, because the cult is made up of talking parrots. The other supporters don’t mind the game, even though they are aware of it.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Now the Don is acting like a don and telling Nancy Pelosi to be careful not to refuse his offer. I guess that means once she refuses an offer, he’ll never make another one.

      That was Tom Hagen’s line over dinner to the movie mogul who was shtupping his adolescent star and wanted to run the Sinatra-like character who was the don’s godson out of show business because he stole another of the mogul’s bedmate wannabe stars.

      I appreciate the Don’s taste in films, assuming he remembers where his one-liner came from.  But playing pretend mob boss is not the same as really failing at being president.

    • P J Evans says:

      He’s never seen the streets in SF except when going from limo to indoors and back. (They do need cleaning – but the problem isn’t undocumented immigrants: it’s addicts and the [usually mentally ill] homeless, who have no other place for anything. He could see the same stuff in DC or NYC, if he got his face out of the glass screen.

  29. Trip says:

    Internet Anonymity Will Soon Disappear, Russian Culture Minister Warns

    Internet users throughout the world will soon need IDs to go online as anonymity will gradually fade into oblivion, Russia’s culture minister predicted on Monday.
    Russia has for years called for international regulations cementing state control over the internet, arguing that national governments are otherwise left vulnerable to cyberattacks from foreign powers. Russian lawmakers submitted a draft bill last month tightening state control over the internet in response to what they termed an “aggressive” U.S. national cybersecurity strategy

    Time to get rid of the internet. We need some geniuses to come up with a new system.

    • Rayne says:

      We don’t need to get rid of the internet. Jesus H. Christ. What we need is a national culture which values personal privacy and rejects authoritarian pervasive surveillance — including demands by other authoritarian states for mandatory surveillance.

        • Rayne says:

          I wouldn’t. I’d manage but it wouldn’t be modern life. It’d be backsliding toward the 1960s — and maybe that’s what these authoritarians want, for some of us to be fucking miserable a la 1960s.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Transcendence, Johnny Depp, has one take on that non-Internet world, but it’s only a background issue in a story about how the world got there.  Flawed, but I liked the image where the only use of a keyboard in once high-tech Berkeley was to prop open a door.

          Average people would be losers in a world without the Internet, and be even more at the mercy of the haves.

          The US has extreme versions of business and government, which let the former create what elsewhere are public policies.  The EU – and most of the industrialized world – has a privacy regime, for example, that while flawed has teeth, a regime that the US has fought hard to keep out.

          We will have some measure of privacy when American government stops treating personal data as terra nullius and fit only for exploitation by business.  Until then, government plays the role of Ferdinand and Isabella, business the role of stout Cortes, and the American people the role of Aztecs waiting for his benevolent rule.

  30. Trip says:

    Somehow I missed this (didn’t watch any Rudy video, but read about it)

     Emma Loop‏Verified account @LoopEmma

    Giuliani also said that it’s possible Cohen decided to tell Congress the Trump Moscow talks ended in January 2016, before the Iowa caucuses, in consultation with the president’s lawyers: “That’s what a joint defense agreement’s all about.”

    So the lawyers told Cohen to lie, because it’s not suborning perjury when you have a JDA and there’s a degree of separation from Trump via the lawyers. Got it, now!

    I missed the part about how he thinks the JDA cancels out the conspiracy to lie.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Shifting the conspiracy to lie to federal officials, a felony, or suborning perjury, another felony, to Trump’s other lawyers instead of Trump?  I guess the wheels of the bus are fine for everyone but Rudy and his non-paying client.

      The framing that the JDA creates the distance is false.  There is some distance owing to the legal representation, but the lawyer speaks for the client until the client ends the representation.

      The JDA just expands the number of lawyers and the information they need to keep confidential, as if all that other information had come from their own client.  Rudy, as usual, is throwing turds into the punch bowl.

      • Trip says:

        I appreciate your expounding on the subject. I’m hoping, however, that you knew my comment was dripping with sarcasm. :)

      • BobCon says:

        And of course, the problem with trying to frame lawyers is that they keep notes, they know the stakes, and they know the case in depth. If they need to defend themselves, they’ll hit back with a ton of bricks and point fingers where Trump doesn’t want them pointed.

        • bmaz says:

          Well, and the second an actual (or even putative) client brings a challenge, all atty/client protection benefits are off.

          • BobCon says:

            Considering how Trump blew a gasket when he found out about all of the hours McGahn spent talking off the radar, I’m surprised that pointing the finger at lawyers is something they’re still thinking about. If Cohen flipped, it’s amazing they think other lawyers won’t.

            Although to a large extent I think there is a simple explanation for a lot of the head scratching decisions by Giuliani. He says and does stupid things because he only has stupid options at this point.

  31. Trip says:

    This is an EXCELLENT article in Buzzfeed. Sadly, the people who need to read it won’t.

    The Unbelievable Story Of The Plot Against George Soros
    How two Jewish American political consultants helped create the world’s largest anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
    Birnbaum — a political consultant who has worked in the US, Israel, Hungary, and across the Balkans — had agreed to talk for the first time about his role in the creation of the Soros bogeyman, which ended up unleashing a global wave of anti-Semitic attacks on the billionaire investor. But he also wanted to defend his work, and that of his former mentor and friend, Arthur Finkelstein.

    Despite everything that followed, Birnbaum is proud of the campaign against Soros: “Soros was a perfect enemy. It was so obvious. It was the simplest of all products, you just had to pack it and market it.”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      “But he also wanted to defend his Frankenstein,” monster of a lie.

      We all know that billionaires are supposed to fund neoliberal media empires, think tanks, economics and law faculties, and congresscritters in order to rule the world for the benefit of surveillance capital. 

      Mr. Soros is the anomaly in the matrix that has to be programmed out.

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      Thanks Trip. I’ve not been a follower of Buzzfeed and still don’t completely trust ’em but they DO put themselves out there and trample the right ground, so to speak. My hesitation is that in their willingness to take fire for stories that need to get out they run the risk of killing the truth of the larger story if they get it wrong. I guess what I mean is that if they crash and burn they will take the rest of us with them along with the truth. Namaste

      • Trip says:

        This one is based on an interview. But yes, they do run the risk of crashing and burning. However the MSM, in their both sides-isms, stay in the middle, report sensational drama but not real issues or news, is the real threat to democracy.

        Desperate times call for…well you know. We need people out there willing to stand at the edge of a cliff.

        • NorskieFlamethrower says:

          I completely agree Trip and I hope BF can take the heat but they don’t have deep pockets and if they get dragged into the legal system as it is right now…distraction which takes the whole thing down.

          • bmaz says:

            How is BF taking fire any different than the NYT or WaPo doing so? And why do you think their legal staff and pockets are not up to the task? I can tell you, they are.

            • BobCon says:

              They did fine in the Steele Dossier lawsuit, for example. Their exposure is probably much greater on the entertainment gossip side.

              • bmaz says:

                They can hold their own, and have very smart internal legal staff, in addition to smart outside counsel. They will be fine.

    • BobCon says:

      The fact that Netanyahu made the connection of the vultures to Orban is telling. It’s the same wavelength as the way right wing Jews in the US are defending Trump’s appeals to Nazis. I hope Netanyahu finally runs out of road and gets the indictment that has been hanging over his head.

  32. Trip says:

    Rayne says:
    January 21, 2019 at 10:38 am

    We don’t need to get rid of the internet. Jesus H. Christ. What we need is a national culture which values personal privacy and rejects authoritarian pervasive surveillance — including demands by other authoritarian states for mandatory surveillance.

    The tone of my comments are being completely misread this AM, so I will take credit/fault for that. It was snark.

    It’s not simply authoritarian figures who want this control. It’s the massive corporate sale of all things personal. It’s going to be difficult to put the toothpaste back in the tube without a groundswell of opinion and even then the corporate masters are the benefactors of politicians.

    It wouldn’t be horrible if some genius actually did come up with a new way (until that inevitably becomes corrupted). What’s so wrong with that thought, aside from current impracticality? I mean, history shows inventions are created to solve problems. Some create more problems, but that shouldn’t kill imagination.

      • NorskieFlamethrower says:

        Take a breath, do some zen and get your blood pressure down Rayne ‘cuz we needja at your post. Thanks

        • Rayne says:

          LOL maybe something with hibiscus flowers in it because they’re supposed to be good for blood pressure.

          @rerutlet left a recipe for a cocktail in MonaEltahawy’s thread, included hibiscus tisane:

          1 part hibiscus tisane in simple syrup
          1 part tequila (silver)
          1 part limoncello
          dash Orange bitters

          Mix over ice, serve cold.

          Called it a Red Headed Porn Star. I may have to fix one for a lunch hour tonic, probably all the zen I need for now. LOL

      • P J Evans says:

        I am glad that some employees af Giant Tech aren’t into Evil.

        (I have my browser set to Don’t Track. I refuse to give location when it’s asked. If I want them to know where I am, I’ll tell them. My cell is generally at home and in need of charging – it’s a flip-type, not a smart phone, and it doesn’t do anything useful to me besides being a phone. I Am A Dinosaur.)

        • Rayne says:

          Probably worth going through Privacy Haus and doing an audit on privacy anyhow. If you’re in range of any so-called smart devices you’re still being spied upon.

          Sure hope Rudy G. hasn’t been smarter than smart devices — we could use the entertainment in the days ahead.

  33. Trip says:

    Natasha Bertrand‏Verified account @NatashaBertrand

    Big: A fake LinkedIn profile linking poisoned double agent Sergei Skripal to Christopher Steele—which prompted conspiracy theories about MI6’s role in the Novichok attack—was allegedly created by the GRU more than a year before Skripal was poisoned.


    Well-placed sources now believe that the plot to kill Col Skripal may have included a ‘black ops’ attempt to sow doubt on the veracity of the explosive dossier that claims Donald Trump received Kremlin backing

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That Bertrand piece is sourced to the Daily Telegraph, affectionately known as the Torygraph for its reliable coverage of the Tory Party, especially when in power. Ms. Bertrand would know that from her graduate work in London at LSE.

      Moon Over Alabama has a contrarian view that is more skeptical of official British government claims.  It noted yesterday that the first person who happened upon the stricken Skripals on that park bench was an unknown military nurse – on a family outing to Salisbury. 

      A little sleuthing revealed that that nurse happened to be a Colonel and the Chief Nursing Officer for the British Army.  Of all the gin joints….

      • Trip says:

        I couldn’t get past the paywall, but if the poisoning was a UK intelligence operation, why link him with Orbis in the faked linkedIn account?  Attempting to make it look like the GRU set-up that account? If so, that’s an enormous amount of fuckery. Unless you think he is linked to M16?

        • Rayne says:

          I really wish you’d have saved this topic for an open thread or a thread related to the dossier.

          Now we have a fresh infestation which had been waiting for an opening to flood this thread.


          Now I’m going to have to get a fly swatter and a bug zapper.

  34. Brumel says:

    But “Peter Carr speaks” explained (convincingly to me) why and how the Carr statement protects Mueller’s strategic aim *regardless of its genesis*. That would make the DAG interference alleged in this post completely pointless.

    Second, there is no evidence that DAG called SCO without first having received a confidential report from Mueller, which would be the appropriate sequence under the Regulations and wouid have escaped the radar of “people familiar with (some aspects but not others of) the matter”.

    Finally, if there had indeed been this alleged interference, then the Carr statement would be a smoking gun proving Mueller’s amenability. There is no way Mueller would go down that road.

  35. P J Evans says:

    Rayne says:
    January 21, 2019 at 11:09 am

    I’d miss all my on-line friends and acquaintances. Plus it’s my main line of communication with family – I don’t have to phone at certain times of day, because e-mail will wait until they have time.
    Hell, I use the internet to communicate with *my tax-prep person*. I can upload the docs for them to use, and don’t have to deliver them physically (though I usually do because the investment stuff is Many Pages Of Paper).

  36. Trip says:

    Rayne, I hope you don’t consider me a “troll”. I don’t think I’ve done anything to deserve such a moniker. Maybe a run of the mill asshole, sometimes, sure. :)

    • Rayne says:

      No, I’ve had some direct F2F exposure along with a few interactions online over the last 72 hours and I’ve had to set the kid gloves aside for the Kevlar vest and a flamethrower.

    • Ping Edmonds says:

      hibiscus is a diuretic and so helps lower BP by assisting in the removal of excess water retention.

  37. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mike Pence is quite a thief.  He compared “what Donald Trump is trying to do” with the accomplishments and purposes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    I cannot say to Mike Pence, in the manner of the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, “I knew Martin Luther King, and neither you nor Donald Trump are Martin Luther King.  To claim any similarity with him would only have Dr. King make an impossible choice between laughing and crying.”

    I can’t say that because I did not know Dr. King.  But I’m pretty sure about the laughing and crying part.

    • Jenny says:

      FYI  Pence quote, “I think it’s time for the media and our leaders to get real and start telling the truth about the impact of adultery on our national life.”

      • P J Evans says:

        When that’s said to reporters, they should ask how the speaker knows about adultery: firsthand or only from what other people (and name them) have told them?

      • AitchD says:

        Is this blog the right place to point out that in some states’ divorce laws, extramarital blowjobs do not qualify as adultery?

        • Rayne says:

          A blog is a kind of website in which content is posted chronologically. A post is a content entry within blog.

          This is NOT the right thread for expansion on extramarital activities (unless it directly relates to Rudy G’s claim and Peter Carr’s statement). This one is.

  38. Sharon says:

    So has the speculation that the DOJ or WH directed the Carr statement been reported on any other news outlets? I can’t find any.

  39. orionATL says:

    the grief being piled on buzzfeed strikes me as inappropriate, and punitive – the usual from people who are wounded by a media report, or from news media editors and critics who prefer to apply the ceasar’s wife standard to a news report.

    i’m very pleased buzzfeed published the cohen/trump lie story. it does not nother me that it may be partially or completely wrong in this small matter. i think citizens needs to be able to read and consider such specific information. that our president is in fact a compusive liar of monstrous productivity gives the original strory some undeserved but understandable credibility. if the story was a bit wrong in one respect so what!! the error has already been corrected and not 4 days have passed. buzz feed did not need to get every detail just so. there were others to check its work.😊

    i am equally supportive of buzzfeed’s publication of the steel dossier, an extremely informative story in toto even with subsequent questions. where else and from whom else would we have first found out publicly about candidate trump and the russians – from mitch mcconnel? from the new york times (and its laggardly publishing, cf rayne)? from timid james comey?

    in my view, news reports should be undertaken as, edited as, understood as, and supported as, hypotheses, estimates of the underlying truth, not as perfectly formed factual proofs of some individual or group’s actions, belief’s. they should be presumed to be incomplete and potentially misleading, as indeed they often are. should the reporting of the charlottesville debacle have been suppressed until alll we now know could comfortably be asserted?

    in the short run there is usuallly someone around who can catch error, as ew did with buzz feed’s story, and in the long run lots of spokespersons, lawyers, p.r. tailors, and reporters and editors. as for those ordinary readers with less certain knowledge of error, e.g., bobcom above and myself, there is scepticism and wait-and-see.

    i am concerned that what lies behind the excessive concern about the buzz feed story’s single error (if it is that and if really consequential) is undue defefence to power, in this case the power of the ametican president. i think that is almost certainly the present case with the doj. in general, i suspect that deference accounts for the hesitation that lies behind cautious, delayed, INACCURATE reporting (as with nytimes’ delay in reporting russian interference in the 2016 federal election or bush’s stellar wind domestic spying program in 2004. newspapers should be less concerned with their reputation for minimal error on a story and more concerned with painting as accurate a picture as possible at the time of publication. time is a very important consideration in this context – 6 weeks or 6 months later can make a big difference in usefulness of a news report,e.g., news of hurricane deaths in puerto rico, an enormous human disaster.

    one news story is never the whole story. one error is no sin in my view. i’ll take a buzz feed story like the current contentious one any day to a national enquirer or a fox news report.

  40. David K. Peers says:

    Since we’ve flipped over to the Skripal debacle – someone even mentioned the Torygraph’s recent deep state attempt to official narrative doubters off the trail – here’s my theory on what happened in Salisbury. I assume you’ve all seen the published leaks from Anonymous Europe’s hack of the Institute for Statecraft and its very ominous Integrity Initiative.

    Figured it out.

    It was the Skripals who did it. The Novichok was at their home which is why there is such an extensive ongoing clean up, to the point of dismantling and replacing structural parts of the house.

    The Skripals spread the Novichok around – a quasi-terror attack? – and ended up contaminating themselves.

    So why?

    Enter Pablo Miller, Skripal’s British Intelligence handler and late of the government D Notice. Why the D Notice? Because of his affiliation with the Institute for Statecraft and their ongoing anti-Russia campaign through the Integrity Initiative, financed, in part by the FCO, NATO and the Atlantic Council.

    If you read have read anything about the Integrity Initiative, their plans are to sew discord throughout Western countries, specifically the UK and the US to foment anti-Russian sentiment.

    I’m betting the Skripals either had a stockpile of low grade Novichok in their house – remember, the government liaison for Porton Down is also listed as a member of the Institute for Statecraft – or they received it the day before the poisonings from two anti-Putin, Russian “dissidents” that visited Salisbury on two consecutive days. These are the guys that breezed through customs with fake passports and bottles of Novichok “perfume”. (this might also explain why they were in a cheap hotel, partying with hookers and smoking weed. A bit unusual for official GRU operatives).

    I’m going to bet this was a semi-rogue British operation directed by the Institute for Starcraft. This Institute is under the auspices of the Foreign Office – wasn’t Boris Johnson the Foreign Secretary at the time? Boris was very quick to pronounce Russian malfeasance.

    Also going to bet the operation got out of hand which required the British Military to come in and clean the whole mess up.

    Skripal was a double agent – rumoured not to be retired and quite possibly still active.

    Pablo Miller was MI6 – rumoured not to be retired and quite possibly still active.

    There is quite obviously a cover up over this event, little makes sense, the media barely report on it and when they do, timelines and story details keep evolving. That Luke Harding of the Guardian has done exhaustive reporting should make one suspicious. Harding is rumoured to be fed stories by the Intelligence Community.

    We’ll see, although we probably won’t.

    Then there’s still the disappeared red bag conundrum. Dawn Sturgess’ Nina Ricci perfume?

    And the why did DS Nick Bailey break into the Skripal’s home at midnight of the day they were poisoned?

  41. orionATL says:

    marinela 1/20@6:05p

    “unless it was done to protect the osc investigation.”

    protecting the osc investigation makes the most sense and i suspect that is exactly why rosenstein would get involved. he is no stranger to court politics and he has had to engage in some unusual maneuvers in the last year and a half.

  42. Trip says:

    Marcy retweeted:
    Shimon Prokupecz
    ‏Verified account @ShimonPro
    Rudy Giuliani tells CNN that Trump’s legal team reached out to the special counsel Robert Mueller’s office regarding the BuzzFeed article Friday morning. Giuliani would not offer further detail about what they said to Mueller’s office.

  43. Jim_46 says:

    Seriously? WTF? The White House puts pressure on the SCO to comment on the BuzzFeed story, we’re now led to believe, a statement that on its own appeared likely to go a long way toward tamping down impeachment talk for the foreseeable future, and then Rudy G tells CNN today that the SCO issued that statement at the behest of Trump’s lawyers? Which revelation will have the effect of undoing whatever benefit Trump would have gained from Peter Carr’s statement on Friday night?

    Does anyone have any idea what’s (really) going on?

    BuzzFeed’s sources are telling its reporters to stay the course. BuzzFeed’s story is almost certainly mostly accurate. Pelosi and the Dem leadership better be putting together articles of impeachment, because at 30 days into a government shutdown engineered by Putin mole Donald Trump, we can’t take much more of this.

  44. ed furman says:

    “….did what they did because Trump demanded it, which led them to take action that is arguably outside their permissible role with Mueller, all for the political purpose of squelching legitimate congressional discussion about impeachment.”

    Isn’t Mueller himself aware of just exactly where the lines are in terms of how he can be “managed” We have to accept that either the DOJs actions were in bounds or Mueller caved when given orders that were out of bounds.

    That all seems a bit much to believe. Now Mueller takes Trump’s tirades into account? Rosey has gone from maybe wearing a wire to being a Donald/Rudy Yes man? Perhaps SC just happens to know this account is bogus and would ultimately be very counterproductive.

  45. Trip says:

    Go to Marcy’s twitter, this is bananas. BANANAS!

    Geoff Bennett‏Verified account @GeoffRBennett
    A source familiar with the matter tells @HallieJackson that on Friday morning, after the disputed BuzzFeed article dropped, the president’s legal team “raised concerns” in a letter to Mueller’s office. This was prior to the special counsel issuing its rare rebuke Friday evening.

    Pamela Brown‏Verified account @PamelaBrownCNN
    Sources tell @LauraAJarrett it was Special Counsel’s idea alone to issue rare statement rejecting central claim in the BuzzFeed article: that Mueller has corroborating evidence (including Cohen testimony) indicating Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress re: Trump Tower Moscow

    emptywheel‏ @emptywheel 1h1 hour ago
    WaPo said DAG called to inquire if a statement was being released. CNN said DAG was only given a heads up. Those are different things. Note, too, that Carr’s no comment to CNN only applied to Rudy.

  46. daisyb says:

    Okay, catching up now . . . Team Drumph will play the Executive Privilege card and this will end up with SCOTUS?

    • bmaz says:

      Hi Daisyb, do you have some aversion to using his name, or just think “Drumph” is ultra cute? Serious question, what do you have for a serious reply? And welcome to Emptywheel.

      • daisyb says:

        I have no aversion to using his real name but was esp enamored of the John Oliver piece on Trump’s origin -if I remember correctly, the family name prior to immigration was Drumph.

        Thanks for the welcome.  I will mainly continue to be a lurker because I learn alot by keeping my mouth shut.  I am appreciative of you and your educated  and often poetic posts (and followers).

  47. SE says:

    Is it possible that Carr’s comments could be interpreted that:  Michael Cohen did not tell the Office of Special Prosecutor that trump told him to lie to Congress.  What the SCO learned from Cohen is that he, Cohen, did speak with and assure trump that his remarks and answers to Congressional investigators were in SYNC with trump’s lies regarding the trump Tower Moscow project. trump knows he is lying about the Moscow project and he KNOWS that Cohen is supporting his lying narrative with lies before Congress.  trump did not ask Cohen to lie, but trump did verify with Cohen that he, Cohen, did lie to cover trump’s lies.  trump did not tell Cohen to lie to Congress but trump was AWARE of and APPROVING of (wink, wink, nod, nod) Cohen’s lies to Congress.

    Could it have gone something like this:

    trump: so Michael, your answers before Congress were in sync with my narrative, right?.  Cohen: yes sir mr. president.  There is no daylight between what you have said and what I testified to before Congress.  trump:  Good, good.  as long as our stories and facts are the same, we will be ok.  Cohen: oh yes sir mr. president, our stories match perfectly.  trump: Good, good, because that is actually how it happened, right Michael?  Cohen: of course mr. president, it IS the way you say it is.  It always IS. I take my lead about the narrative from you sir.  If you say the sky is orange, then I will testify that I saw an orange sky too. You don’t have to tell me to lie sir.  I know to lie for your and I know that you know that I have lied for you.  trump: So I have not asked you to lie to Congress, right Michael. Cohen: Oh no sir, and be at peace and know that I know that you know that I said what you wanted me to say before Congress. So now you know, you know?  trump: Yes, ah what’s that?  Let me get this straight. I know that you lied, you know that I approve of you lying to Congress and the beauty of it all is that, I did not ask you to lie.  Cohen: He, he, he, you are a genius sir.  trump: What’s that?  Cohen: Ah, sorry sir, I mean you are a stable genius. trump: I KNOW.

    Bottom line: trump KNEW.

  48. Dylan says:


    As a last loose end, Mueller wanted to plug the “Buzzfeed” leak. So he let out a fib about Michael Cohen, which in turn got leaked to Buzzfeed.

    Hearing this fib in the news, Trump camp tripped over itself to get a message to Mueller that it wasnt true. In turn, obstructing justice just a little more. (And maybe even roping in Whitaker).

    So maybe Mueller just bagged a leaker AND added to Trump/Guiliani’s charges….

  49. Tom says:

    This point may be too obvious to be worth making, but I wonder if one of the purposes of the Carr memo was to send a message to Congress that they shouldn’t rely on Mueller’s team to produce the evidentiary silver bullet that will bring down the House of Trumpenstein and will have to do their own investigative heavy lifting to help bring the President to justice.

    • Trip says:

      Doubt it, since it served the exact opposite. The impeachment idea was gaining traction before the OSC statement. They were covering their own deal, not telegraphing separate messaging to congress.

Comments are closed.