SDNY’s prosecutors noted something in yesterday’s Cohen filing that will probably become increasingly problematic for Individual-1: because Trump and his fixer had a run-in with the FEC in 2013 — from which they were saved by their future campaign lawyer Don McGahn — they can’t claim to be ignorant about campaign finance law.
Author Archive for: emptywheel
Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.
Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse in Grand Rapids, MI.
Entries by emptywheel
Back in May, it was pretty clear that Mueller was working towards showing that Trump had entered a quid pro quo with Russia. But Friday’s filings make it clear that the quid pro quo — all revolving around a Trump Tower deal — was much tighter than had previously been known.
While it’s unclear whether Mueller was also stalling, the details offered in Mueller’s plea beach motion seem to suggest that Paul Manafort used his plea just to stall for time.
While a lot of what Cohen has cooperated on pertains to outreaches from Moscow, a good bit about it seems to relate to Trump’s ongoing obstruction.
Trump is furious that the press reported that he’s increasingly unprepared to write the rebuttal attack that half his Russian investigation strategy depends on. He should be more furious that his advisors haven’t pointed out that Mueller has already released 127 pages of his report.
It’s fairly clear that Michael Cohen and Felix Sater jointed crafted a limited hangout story, which they sustained at least until a year ago, to avoid telling the full truth about the Trump Tower deal. But it’s not at all clear that they haven’t simply retreated to a new limited hangout.
The addendum describing Mike Flynn’s cooperation makes it clear that Flynn did lie to Mike Pence before the Vice President elect repeated those lies on Face the Nation. The redacted lines after that reference are probably a real problem for the President.
Given recent developments in the Mueller docket, we can account for what most of his prosecutors are doing. The one exception is Zainab Ahmad, whose only visible involvement so far has been in Mike Flynn’s cooperation. Is she applying her extradition and Arabic expertise to head up an investigation into Trump’s Middle Eastern graft?
Under an alternative theory of the structure of Mike Flynn’s cooperation addendum, he may have cooperated on matters pertaining to Mueller’s expanded investigation.
The Flynn sentencing memo, with a largely redacted addendum describing his cooperation, is out. Effectively, Mueller recommends no prison time because of Flynn’s substantial cooperation, his early cooperation, his record of service to the country. The section on cooperation describes Flynn’s assistance in three investigations. The Mueller investigation is actually the second thing listed, which […]