The Parallel Tracks of Disclosure on Why Manafort Shared Campaign Polling Data with His Russian Co-Conspirator

No one knows what the first half of this sentence says:

[redacted] the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

But it almost certainly includes language acknowledging evidence that might support (but ultimately was not enough to indict on) a conspiracy charge.

I have twice before demonstrated that the Barr Memo — and so this full sentence — is nowhere near as conclusive with respect to exonerating Trump as a number of people have claimed (and Trump’s equivocations about releasing the report). This post showed how little Barr’s Memo actually incorporates from the Mueller Report. And this post shows that the memo ignores Stone’s coordination with WikiLeaks, presumably because he didn’t coordinate directly with the Russian government.

But (as I’ve said elsewhere), the public record on Paul Manafort’s conduct also makes it clear that the Mueller Report includes inconclusive information on whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russians. This came up extensively, in the discussion of Manafort’s sharing of polling data at his August 2, 2016 meeting with Konstantin Kilimnik, at the February 4 breach hearing.

At the beginning of that discussion, ABJ asked whether Manafort had lied to the grand jury about his motives for sharing polling data. [Throughout this, I’m bolding the redactions but including the content where it’s obvious.]

JUDGE AMY BERMAN JACKSON: I think we can go on to the question of the [redacted; sharing of polling data]. And I don’t have that many questions, mainly because I think it’s pretty straightforward what you’re saying.

So, I would want to ask you whether it’s part of your contention that he lied about the reason [redacted; he shared the data]. I know initially he didn’t even agree that that [redacted; he had shared private polling data], and he didn’t even really agree in the grand jury. He said it just was public information. But, I think there’s some suggestion, at least in the 302, as to what the point was of [redacted].

And so, I’m asking you whether that’s part of this, if he was lying about that?

Because Mueller’s team only needed ABJ to rule that Manafort lied, Andrew Weissmann explained they didn’t need her to reach the issue of motive. But they did discuss motive. Weissmann describes that it wasn’t just for whatever benefit sharing the polling data might provide the campaign, but it would also help Manafort line up his next gig and (probably) get out of debt to Deripaska.

MR. WEISSMANN: So, I don’t think the Court needs to reach that issue, and I don’t know that we’ve presented evidence on the — that issue.

THE COURT: You didn’t. So you just don’t want me to think about it, that’s okay.

MR. WEISSMANN: No. No. No. I’m going to answer your question.

THE COURT: All right.

MR. [WEISSMANN]: I’m just trying to, first, deal with what’s in the record. And I think that in the grand jury, Mr. Manafort said that from his perspective, [redacted], which he admitted at that point was with — he understood that it was going to be given by [redacted] to the [redacted; Ukrainian Oligarchs] and to Mr. [redacted; possibly Deripaska], both. That from his perspective, it was — there was no downside — I’m paraphrasing — it was sort of a win-win. That there was nothing — there was no negatives.

And I think the Government agrees with that, that that was — and, again, you’re just asking for our — if we are theorizing, based on what we presented to you, that we agree that that was a correct assessment.

But, again, for purposes of what’s before you on this issue, what his ultimate motive was on what he thought was going to be [redacted] I don’t think is before you as one of the lies that we’re saying that he told.

It’s more that what he specifically said was, he denied that he had told Mr. Gates [redacted; to bring the polling data to the meeting]. That he would not, in fact, have [redacted] and that he left it to [redacted].

Weissmann then goes on to allege that Manafort lied about sharing this polling data because if he didn’t, it would ruin his chance of getting a pardon.

And our view is, that is a lie. That that is really under — he knew what the Gates 302s were. It’s obviously an extremely sensitive issue. And the motive, I think, is plain from the [redacted], is we can see — we actually have — we can see what it is that he would be worried about, which is that the reaction to the idea that [long redaction] would have, I think, negative consequences in terms of the other motive that Mr. Manafort could have, which is to at least augment his chances for a pardon.

And the proof with respect to that is not just Mr. Gates. So that I will say there’s no contrary evidence to Mr. Gates, but you don’t have just Mr. Gates’s information. You have a series of emails where we know that Mr. Kilimnik, in fact, is reporting [redacted]

And probably the best piece of evidence is you have Mr. Manafort asking Mr. Gates to [redacted; print out polling data]. So, it’s — there’s — from three weeks ago, saying: [redacted].

In an effort to understand why this lie was important, ABJ returns to Manafort’s motive again, which leads Weissmann to point out that the question of why Manafort shared the polling data goes to the core of their inquiry.

THE COURT: I understand why it’s false. And I’m not sure I understand what you said at the beginning, that you — and I understand why you’ve posited that he might not want to be open about this, given the public scrutiny that foreign contacts were under at the time. But, I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying where you say you agree with him when he said it had no downside.

So, this is an important falsehood because it was false? Or is there some larger reason why this is important?

MR. WEISSMANN: So — so, first, in terms of the what it is that the special counsel is tasked with doing, as the Court knows from having that case litigated before you, is that there are different aspects to what we have to look at, and one is Russian efforts to interfere with the election, and the other is contacts, witting or unwitting, by Americans with Russia, and then whether there was — those contacts were more intentional or not. And for us, the issue of [redacted] is in the core of what it is that the special counsel is supposed to be investigating.

My answer, with respect to the Court’s question about what it is — what the defendant’s intent was in terms of what he thought [redacted] I was just trying to answer that question, even though that’s not one of the bases for saying there was a lie here. And so I was just trying to answer that question.

And what I meant by his statement that there’s no downside, is that can you imagine multiple reasons for redacted; sharing polling data]. And I think the only downside —

Weissmann ultimately explains that there was no downside to Manafort to sharing the polling data during the campaign, but there was a downside (angering Trump and therefore losing any hope of a pardon) to the information coming out now.

THE COURT: You meant no downside to him?


THE COURT: You weren’t suggesting that there was nothing — there’s no scenario under which this could be a bad thing?

MR. WEISSMANN: Oh, sorry. Yes. I meant there was no downside — Mr. Manafort had said there was no downside to Mr. Manafort doing it.

THE COURT: That was where I got confused.


THE COURT: All right.

MR. WEISSMANN: And meaning all of this is a benefit. The negative, as I said, was it coming out that he did this.

In her breach ruling, ABJ agreed that Manafort’s sharing of polling data was a key question in Mueller’s inquiry, as it was an intentional link to Russia. She establishes this by noting that Manafort knew the polling data would be shared with someone in Russia (probably Deripaska; though note, this is where ABJ gets the nationality of the two Ukranian oligarchs wrong, which Mueller subsequently corrected her on).

Also, the evidence indicates that it was understood that [redacted] would be [redacted] from Kilimnik [redacted] including [redacted], and [redacted]. Whether Kilimnik is tied to Russian intelligence or he’s not, I think the specific representation by the Office of Special Counsel was that he had been, quote, assessed by the FBI, quote, to have a relationship with Russian intelligence, close quote. Whether that’s true, I have not been provided with the evidence that I would need to decide, nor do I have to decide because it’s outside the scope of this hearing. And whether it’s true or not, one cannot quibble about the materiality of this meeting.

In other words, I disagree with the defendant’s statement in docket 503, filed in connection with the dispute over the redactions, that, quote, the Office of Special Counsel’s explanation as to why Mr. Manafort’s alleged false statements are important and material turns on the claim that he is understood by the FBI to have a relationship with Russian intelligence.

I don’t think that’s a fair characterization of what was said. The intelligence reference was just one factor in a series of factors the prosecutor listed. And the language of the appointment order, “any links,” is sufficiently broad to get over the relatively low hurdle of materiality in this instance, and to make the [redacted] Kilimnik and [redacted] material to the FBI’s inquiry, no matter what his particular relationship was on that date.

Elsewhere, in discussing Manafort’s efforts to downplay Kilimnik’s role in his own witness tampering, ABJ refers to Kilimnik as Manafort’s “Russian conspirator.”

Earlier in the hearing ABJ notes that Manafort’s excuse for why he forgot details of the August 2 meeting only reinforce the likelihood that he shared the polling data to benefit the campaign.

You can’t say you didn’t remember that because your focus at the time was on the campaign. That relates to the campaign. And he wasn’t too busy to arrange and attend the meeting and to send Gates [redacted] that very day. It’s problematic no matter how you look at it.

If he was, as he told me, so single-mindedly focused on the campaign, then the meeting he took time to attend and had [redacted] had a purpose [redacted; to benefit the campaign]. Or, if it was just part of his effort to [redacted; line up the next job], well, in that case he’s not being straight with me about how single-minded he was. It’s not good either way.

She further notes that Manafort took this meeting with his Russian partner in Ukrainian influence peddling even though he was already under press scrutiny for those Ukrainian ties.

[T]he participants made it a point of leaving separate because of the media attention focused at that very time on Manafort’ relationships with Ukraine.

Her ruling also explains at length why sharing polling data would be useful to Kilimnik, citing from Rick Gates’ 302s at length.

In other words, these two filings — to say nothing of the backup provided in the January 15 submission, which includes all but one of Gates’ 302s describing the sharing of the polling data — lay out in some detail the evidence that Manafort clandestinely met with Konstantin Kilimnik on August 2, 2016, in part to share polling data he knew would be passed on to at least one other Russian, probably Deripaska.

And here’s why that’s interesting.

Back in early March, the WaPo moved to liberate all the documents about Manafort’s breach determination. On March 19, Mueller attorneys Adam Jed and Michael Dreeben asked for an extension to April 1, citing the “press of other work.”

The government respectfully requests an extension of time—through and including April 1, 2019—to respond to the motion. The counsel responsible for preparing the response face the press of other work and require additional time to consult within the government.

Three days later, Mueller announced he was done, and submitted his report to Barr. Then, on March 25, all of Mueller’s attorneys withdrew from Manafort’s case, which they haven’t done in other cases (the main pending cases are Mike Flynn, Concord Management, and Roger Stone). Then, on March 27, Mueller and Jonathan Kravis, the AUSA taking over a bunch of Mueller’s cases, asked for another extension, specifically citing the hand-off to Kravis and two others in the DC US Attorney’s Office.

The government respectfully requests a further two-week extension of time—to and including April 15, 2019—to respond to the motion. The Special Counsel’s Office has been primarily handling this matter. On March 22, the Special Counsel announced the end of his investigation and submitted a report to the Attorney General. This matter is being fully transitioned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Because of this transition, additional time will be required to prepare a response.

On March 29, Barr wrote the Judiciary Leadership and told them he’d release his redacted version of the Mueller report — which he’ll be redacting with the Mueller’s team — by mid-April, so around April 15.

So there are currently two parallel efforts considering whether to liberate the details of Manafort’s sharing of polling data with Kilimnik and through him Russia:

  • The Barr-led effort to declassify a report that Mueller says does not exonerate Trump for obstruction, including the floating of a pardon to Manafort that (in Weissmann’s opinion) led Manafort to lie that and why he shared Trump campaign polling data to be passed on to Russians, which will be done around April 15
  • The DC USAO-led effort to unseal the materials on Manafort’s lies, for which there is a status report due on April 15

Kevin Downing — the Manafort lawyer whose primary focus has been on preserving Manafort’s bid for a pardon — already expressed some concern about how the breach documents would be unsealed, to which ABJ sort of punted (while suggesting that she’d entertain precise the press request now before her.

MR. DOWNING: Your Honor, just one other general question: How are we going to handle the process of unredacted down the road? I mean, there’s been a lot of redactions in this case, and the law enforcement basis for it or ongoing grand jury investigations. What is going to be the process to — is the Office of Special Counsel going to notify the Court that the reason stated for a particular redaction no longer exists, or still survives? Is it going to be some sort of process that we can put in place?

THE COURT: Well, in one case, I know with all the search warrants, it was an evolving process. There were things that were withheld from you and then you got them but they were still withheld from the press and then the press got them. But usually things have to be triggered by a motion or request by someone. There may be reasons related to the defense for everything to stay the way it is.

I, right now, without knowing with any particularity what it is that you’re concerned about, or if — and not having the press having filed anything today, asking for anything, I don’t know how to answer that question. But I think that is something that comes up in many cases, cases that were sealed get unsealed later. And if there’s something that you think should be a part of the public record that was sealed and there’s no longer any utility for it, obviously you could first find out if it’s a joint motion and, if not, then you file a motion.

But for now, the prosecutors in DC will be in charge of deciding how much of the information — information that Barr might be trying to suppress, not least because it’s the clearest known evidence how a floated pardon prevented Mueller from fully discovering whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia — will come out in more detail via other means.

Update: And now, over a month after Mueller’s correction, three weeks after sentencing, and a week after the entire Mueller team moved on, Manafort submitted his motion for reconsideration from Marc. They’re still fighting about redactions.

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. 

78 replies
  1. cfost says:

    ABJ: “[O]ne cannot quibble about the materiality of this meeting.”
    I wonder how many other teams like Manafort/Kilimnik there are in other countries in Europe. Who, for example, pairs with Farange, Assange, LePen, etc?
    Given the larger universe and history of Russian influence and disinformation programs, Barr’s (the GOP’s) attempts at suppression are futile. I think they know that; but they are stalling for time like in 2000. They need time for the “ no collusion” theme to become ossified in people’s minds.

    • Rayne says:

      That’s a particularly good question RTFN because of the impending EU parliamentary elections. Who are the EU-RU tag team member(s) who will be working on polling data and a subsequent disinformation operation rollout?

    • harpie says:

      Carole Cadwalladr is asking similar questions:
      1] 11:44 AM – 3 Apr 2019
      [quote] Important story from @jimwaterson. Journalists and MPs have been chasing this for months. With no answers. Who is paying for the hard Brexit ads. Extraordinary & yet unsurprising that Lynton Crosby is involved. But still no answers as to who is paying??? [end quote]
      2] 12:25 PM – 3 Apr 2019
      [quote] So here’s a question. Where’s Steve Bannon’s money?? He offered data, polling, analytics, funds to any far right Euro group that joined his movement. And he’s still close to Farage. Banks is still an ally. Boris Johnson went for his special meet. As did Gove. And Rees-Mogg… [end quote]

  2. GusGus says:

    A very good post, thank you.

    A bit of a digression from this post, but about:

    “And this post shows that the memo ignores Stone’s coordination with WikiLeaks, presumably because he didn’t coordinate directly with the Russian government.’

    I wonder what happened with Stone’s interactions with Guccifer 2.0. Those interactions appeared in the GRU indictment, and if I recall correctly, the SCO also showed that they found e-mails from Stone in GRU accounts seized during the investigation. But no charges arose from those interactions. I am curious to see how they are discussed in Mueller’s report.

  3. MattyG says:

    The big picture is unclear – by arguing for the delays is Mueller/DC trying to safeguard some of the most sensitive aspects of the investigation from mishandling by the AG, or is it possible Mueller/DC are actively shielding this information to assist the AG to this end?

      • MattyG says:

        I do too – but the objective of the delays is still a mystery. An ongoing investigation makes sense, but strange that Mueller and his team would disband days after handing it off. Strange..

  4. OldTulsaDude says:

    Excellent post.

    It makes me think of two possibilities: 1) Manafort was the key to unlocking any ConFraudUS chages against the campaign and his lack of cooperation effectively ended the investigation, or 2) a separate counterintelligence investigation – not run by the SCO – is ongoing.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      bmaz, what is the likelihood of a separate CI investigation, not run by SCO, as OldTulsaDude posits ?

    • viget says:

      #2 is my thinking as well. It need not even be separate. It may just be the CI investigation that Andy McCabe himself opened in May 2017. That CI investigation would have nothing to do with conspiracy by Russia to elect Donald Trump, it would be conspiracy by Trump and the administration to commit various National Security crimes, under which the quid pro quo might fit.

      • MattyG says:

        The possibility that the most important investigation into team DT has not actually been the SCO effort but on the CI side – the secret subtext of the whole Mueller operation from the beginning in a way. Barr’s evasive and narrowly worded “with the Russian Government” would signify the line of separation between the spheres.

    • viget99 says:

      USAO DC office would be my guess. Note that Jessie Liu, the USA for DC was recently nominanted for DOJ #3 in command, and then her name was suddenly withdrawn last week. Was she hiding this investigation from Trump?

      Also, I would think that the NSD at DOJ would be handling this case too, but not sure.

      Interestingly enough, what of Zainab Ahmad? The media reports that “her detail has ended” but doesn’t say she’s left DOJ. Prior to being detailed to Mueller she was the Cyber and National security section deputy chief in the Criminal division of EDNY. One would assume that she’s back at EDNY? If so, is she spearheading a probe there? Note that this would be supported by the NYFO of the FBI, so it’s possible the same NYC Feebs could be handling cases in both districts….

  5. Hops says:

    Well, what is the Russian Government? It’s not really the Duma or whatever, it’s Putin and his cronies. HPSCI got a lecture on that earlier in the week.

    • rip says:

      Good point. It’s whatever the trumpist supporters want to call it vs. who is actually running the USSRussia.

      Just like some other countries that spin off black ops with funding to do dirty work and have mainly deniability.

  6. Strawberry Fields says:

    The media keeps claiming that Barr will redact 4 categories:

    (1) grand jury material; (2) material that potentially compromises intelligence source and methods; (3) material that could affect “ongoing matters,” including ones the Special Counsel has referred to other parts of the Justice Department; and (4) “information that would unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties.”

    But the reality is he actually claimed 5: Any information he decides is executive privilege.

    Wish they would make a point of this.

    • Bill Smith says:

      Executive Privilege.

      Didn’t Barr’s letter on 3/29/19 say: “There are no plans to submit the report to the White House for a privilege review.”

      Can Barr executive privilege on behalf of the President by himself?

      • harpie says:

        Kyle Griffin links to a Bloomberg piece about that, today:
        10:05 AM – 3 Apr 2019
        [quote] Bill Barr has put himself in an almost unprecedented situation for an attorney general as he plans to rely on his own judgment in deciding whether some details in the Mueller report should be withheld under executive privilege, Bloomberg reports. [end quote]
        I don’t know how much of what Barr says/ seems to say to believe. I guess I’m just getting old and very cynical.
        Oh yeah, and PS: Barr’s son-in-law works in the WH Counsel’s Office.

      • Rugger9 says:

        He’ll try, like all of those Palace minions in hearings claiming that they didn’t want to remove the option of Kaiser Quisling being able to try for privilege later. Sounds like a Ghouliani / Sekulow construction concocted to function like privilege without actually claiming it and getting nailed by the courts.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The better legal analysis is that once Bob Mueller received info, any claim to privilege concerning it became moot.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Not that contrary legal analysis would persuade Bill Barr to cooperate with the House against his judgment that it would not help his team. Barr made his bones defending the Bush Sr. presidency against congressional oversight during the Iran-Contra scandal.

            A screaming Donald Trump – who wants transparency here as much as he wants it concerning his business finances – would not help persuade Barr to cooperate with the House.

            • harpie says:

              Their mouthing of the word “transparency” is trasparently BS.
              Speaking of those business finances, though, this was just reported at Politico:
     12:15 PM – 3 Apr 2019
              [quote] Elijah Cummings says that Mazars USA, the accounting firm Trump once used, says that they will comply with the Oversight Committee’s request for 10 years of Trump’s financial records if a subpoena is issued. Cummings says he plans to issue the subpoena. [Politico] [end quote]

        • timbo says:

          Today, Nadler asserted that once the White House voluntarily submitted documents or other evidence to >private< counsel for any of the people covered by today's Judiciary subpoena power approval that executive privilege has already been waved and that the Judiciary Committee would therefore seek this evidence from these other persons.

          I encourage everyone who is interested in how the Congress is currently attempting to see all the information into the Russian investigation by Mueller to watch select sections of the following video:

  7. viget says:

    @Bmaz, @Emptywheel or whomever wants to join in —

    How worried are we about this motion to reconsider that Paulie’s attorneys submitted yesterday? Now I am sure they are redacting more than they need to in the filing so as to make their case look stronger, but they seem to be hinting that something Gates told the SCO made their understanding of the case change quite a bit (even if it had no bearing as to the materiality of Manafort’s lies regarding interactions with Kilimnik). Did the Russkies get to Gates?

    Also, I would note that how much or how little of the Manafort statements remain sealed will be a litmus test as to how far this coverup is going to go. If Barr heavily redacts this info, there will definitely be hue and cry from the press as to why it needs to be redacted, especially if ABJ agrees that it can be unsealed.

  8. Kick the darkness says:

    Enlightening post. I guess we’ll see how many burners need to be turned on under this thing before the lid blows off. And of course there’s still the issue of Manafort’s iPods. Even just knowing what sort of playlist one puts together to ramp up before a meeting to get whole with a Russian oligarch would be interesting. A search on “Manafort’s ipods” does not turn up much that is new. One thing however-and I’m by no means an information security person-is that Apple has apparently issued some helpful guidelines for all the little Manaforts coming up regarding lawful access of iCloud backup data.

    “There are several lessons regular users of iCloud learn from what happened to Manafort. First, don’t commit federal crimes. Second, if you’re going to commit federal crimes, don’t take a job as high-profile as campaign chief of a candidate for president of the United States. But if you feel compelled to do both, don’t back up evidence of your crimes on your personal iCloud account.” From

  9. Savage Librarian says:

    Looks like Tax Day will have some additional tension this year. Hopefully, we’ll learn more then.

    But until then, I’m still wondering about Deripaska. If Manafort passed data to Kilimnik, who passed it to Deripaska, who passed it to Prikhodko, where does that leave us? Would that be a CI case, conspiracy, or what? And how might this relate to the lifting of sanctions against Deripaska?

    Relevant links:
    Connections between all of the men above:

    Navalny’s 25 min. report in Russian, with English subtitles:

    Adam Waldman tried to broker deals thru Sen. Mark Warner for Assange & Deripaska.

    Deripaska connection to Zamel (Psy-Group)

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        The Campanilie at UC Berkeley now has a falcon cam on the nest of the Peregrine Falcon pair nesting in the tower. I watch that when the animals in Washington get too much for me.

  10. milton wiltmellow says:

    The entire “end soon” ploy felt a little too contrived as it occurred parallel to Barr’s installation.

    Too much of a coincidence. Nothing in Barr’s nomination and installation was haphazard. It appears his sole task was to manage Mueller landing.

    Not proving Assange a Russian agent (which seems sort of obvious) protects the TC from one conspiracy charge but it doesn’t change the facts of JA’s loyalties. RS surely knows of JA’s loyalties but looking into RS’s intent is like looking into a kaleidoscope. Mueller could have rushed RS’s arrest (seeing Barr coming) while counting on the months between RS arrest and trial to fully develop the evidence of links between RU and JA.

    • viget says:

      I like this line of thinking. Everything about the Stone indictment seemed a bit rushed to me. I think Mueller knew that he needed to bag him prior to Barr, or he might not get the chance. Why else would he risk Whitaker throwing a monkey wrench into the whole thing?

      • Rick Ryan says:

        Everything SCO-related in 2019 felt… off, somehow. There’s still a little part of me that suspects Barr ordered the probe wrapped up, although I think if that were the case someone would have said (or at least leaked) something by now. But at the very least, it’s clear Barr was/is an opposing force against the investigation and its dissemination – too little too late, we can only hope.

        I can’t believe I’m only just realizing that all those “Mueller and Barr are BFFs!!” stories were strategically setting the groundwork for Barr’s pre-determined exoneration to stick. Fortunately, so far it hasn’t seemed to work very well…

    • harpie says:

      Politico is reporting that too:
      [quote] Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) told reporters that Mazars USA, a tax and accounting firm, has asked the committee for a so-called “friendly” subpoena so that it can formalize the process of complying with the panel’s request.
      “They have told us that they will provide the information pretty much when they have a subpoena,” Cummings said. “And we’ll get them a subpoena.” [end quote]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I’ll be happier when Chairman Cummings’s staff has them and begins the arduous process of analyzing them.

    • Rayne says:

      RawStory simply regurgitates other outlets’ reporting, rarely doing original reporting anymore. At least they point to the underlying material — in this case, Politico.

      • punaise says:

        meh, uninspired, sorry…by Commander Comey and his Lost Planet G-men:

        Smoke smoke smoke and mirrors yet
        Proof proof proof
        And if you spoke yourself to (the) ref

        Tell St Bobbie at the courtroom date
        That you hate to make him wait
        But you just gotta have another redact yet

        • RMD says:

          CC&LPA, well done, human!

          “Son, you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’ if you don’t stop drivin’ that Hot Rod Lincoln!
          …telephone poles looked like a picket fence….”

    • harpie says:

      Never miiiind…don’t waste your time.
      [quote] […] Republicans, who have embraced Mr. Barr’s letter clearing Mr. Trump, have accused the Democrats of trying to prolong the cloud over his presidency and urged them to move on. […] [end quote]

    • elk_l says:

      Great work by EW re stance on Barr summary of Mueller Report. Virtually the first leak from the Mueller team is happening now because Mueller investigative associates do not think the Barr summary reflects the real damage the Mueller Report does to Trump.

      • BobCon says:

        What I find interesting is the anonymous sources trying to minimize the story match up so neatly with Schmidt’s usual beat.

        The story reads like an editor essentially forced Schmidt into the narrative in order to carry water for the “cloud lifted” point of view that the NY Times ran with earlier, clearly jumping the gun. Almost certainly weird stuff is going on behind the scenes at the editorial level at the Times.

        • Eureka says:

          Most definitely, and it’s a firm pattern by now.

          This one, ‘cloud lifted,’ the 2/19 piece* (both M&M packed into that one); likely also the source of the issues with Maggie crammed into Vogel’s polling data stor(ies). “Etcetera,” we might say.

          *Adding: I don’t have a quick-summary phrase for the 2/19 one, though I mark it as a turning point. Besides NYT hopping into the “Game: Mueller, Over” genre, the then-headline was like an ethics-display-dump, belied by text splotted with incongruous palace-pleasers and advance PR.

          Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him
          President Trump’s efforts have exposed him to accusations of obstruction of justice as Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, finishes his work.

          “In other words, the president’s brazen public behavior might be his best defense.”

          Sound familiar?

    • harpie says:

      Two from Matthew Miller:
      4:34 PM – 3 Apr 2019
      [quote] Wow. Mueller’s team went nearly two years without a single leak. They must be quite frustrated with what Barr is doing for this to make it out now. [end quote]
      4:39 PM – 3 Apr 2019
      [quote] Just noting: a number of Mueller’s team members are leaving or have left the Justice Department.
      There’s nothing DOJ can do to stop them from talking to Congress. [end quote]

  11. dwfreeman says:

    It ought to be abundantly clear by now that Barr’s idea of transparency is whatever length of time that code word buys him in delaying and overselling any part of the Mueller Report.

    What’s more, let’s be clear about something else: this is a Republican thing from soup to nuts. I mean from Comey to Barr, from Sessions to Barr, from Manafort to Bannon, this is what it fucking is, a Republican sideshow.

    I mean for Christ sake, if you lived through the Warren Report, Watergate, Iran-Contra, 9/11 and any other Republican fucking scandal and are prepared to give the goddamn benefit of the doubt, you deserve whatever fate lies in store.

    Here’s the math: 37 indictments, 7 guilty pleas, 102 known contacts between Russians and Trump’s team. There were two campaigns to elect Trump, and one was planned by the Russians before Trump announced his candidacy and brought in Cambridge Analytica to consult its troll farm messaging effort just like Trump did in the endgame of his campaign in replacing Manafort with Bannon.

    This isn’t fucking rocket science. And it doesn’t take a legal degree to figure out historical connections and relationships and what happened in 2016. I mean if Trump is anything, he is a product of his lifelong relationships and connections. And you can connect the dots to his life based on his on his personal timeline.

    Barr is what he is, a Republican fixer masquerading as attorney general on the contention that he alone can fix Trump’s political problem with illegitimacy. He is Trump’s Roy Cohn. And that truth will set you free in discovering everything you need to know about how Trump operates and congeals his business associates and protectors at large.

    • orionATL says:

      right on.

      50 yrs of lying about the intent of policy.

      50 years of cheating on elections.

      50 years of trading individual citizens’ rights and preogatives for the support of religious and racial fanatics.

      50 years of using governing responsibility as a pay-to-play opportunity.

      50 years of using foreign nations to influence American elections.

      the modern Republican party.

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