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As Accused Co-Conpirators, Donald Trump and Lev Parnas Should Be Treated with Same Skepticism

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emptywheel
Donald Trump and Lev Parnas are both defending themselves against serious allegations of criminal wrong-doing. But just one of them has released evidence to substantiate their defense. And the press ought to take that into account when deciding who is more credible. 
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Championship Sunday Trash Talk

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bmaz
Last Sunday of football before the Super Bowl, so only two games today. But they should be great ones. Couple of other things in the news too.
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Kevin Downing Was "in the Loop" of Silencing Lev Parnas on October 8

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emptywheel
Lev Parnas appears to believe he was arrested when and how he was to keep him silent.
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Beware the Deep State Bearing Granola Bars: George Papadopoulos' 302s

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emptywheel
The George Papadopoulos 302s laid out yesterday definitely show why the government believed Papadopoulos was deliberately lying to them in interviews in January and February 2017 -- though he did keep saying he wanted to help them. The 302s also raise real questions about whether Papadopoulos reached out to Trump's lawyers during this process.
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The Procedural Weakness of Sidney Powell's Attempt to Blow Up Mike Flynn's Plea Deal

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emptywheel
Sidney Powell has been planning the high stakes bid to overturn Flynn's plea for six months. But she still doesn't seem to have come up with a good reason for it.
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It Was All [Fruman's] Contacts in Ukraine

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emptywheel
In the story Lev Parnas is currently selling to the press, he only got meetings with corrupt Ukrainians by invoking Trump's name. But he let slip last night that Igor Fruman's network has an important role, too.
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Parnas' Three-Way: John Dowd Has Already Confirmed a Key Part of Lev Parnas' Story

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emptywheel
John Dowd confirmed in October that some of the more inflammatory allegations Lev Parnas is making are true.
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Lev Parnas' Claims to Be Following the Opinion of His Clique on Yovanovitch Are Demonstrably False

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emptywheel
Parnas' claims to have followed the opinion of those around him rather than led pretty demonstrably conflict with the way he incited Trump to fire Marie Yovanovitch a year before Trump ultimately did so.
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GAO's Determination that Trump Broke the Law Raises the Stakes of Senate Exoneration

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emptywheel
GAO unsurprisingly came to the same conclusion that Mick Mulvaney confessed to back in October: by withholding the Ukraine security support without telling Congress, Trump broke the law. Sadly, that won't affect Republican actions in the Senate impeachment trial.
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Lev Parnas, Creator of Echo Chambers

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emptywheel
Until we understand why Lev Parnas is doing what he's doing -- why he inserted himself into the right wing echo chamber in the first place, and why he's so insistent on telling us what we want to hear now -- we would do well to exercise caution about the stories he's telling. 

Three Things: 'She's Going to Go Through Some Things'

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Rayne
House Intelligence Committee released some materials provided to them by Lev Parnas, revealing Trump's Ukraine scandal is even uglier than expected. Here's three things the public now needs.
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In a Filing Claiming He's Innocent, Mike Flynn's Lawyers Accuse Mike Flynn of Lying Under Oath

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emptywheel
In a filing claiming things that Flynn testified to under oath are not true, Mike Flynn's lawyers argue he's innocent of the charges that he lied which he twice pled guilty to under oath.
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The Parnas Files Raise the Import of DOJ's Failure to Connect-the-Dots on the Whistleblower Complaint

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emptywheel
Last night, HPSCI released some of Lev Parnas' files that were seized as part of the investigation into Rudy Giuliani and his grifters. The most important document, for the legal impeachment case against Donald Trump, is a letter Rudy sent…
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Useful But Not Sufficient: FBI's FISA Fix Filing

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emptywheel
The FISA Fix Filing that FBI submitted to the FISC Friday has some good improvements. But they're unlikely to fix the problems identified in the Carter Page application by themselves.

Is Bill Barr Picking a Fight with Apple to Distract from the Failure of Trump's Social Media Vetting?

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emptywheel
Bill Barr is blaming Apple for not doing enough in the wake of Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani attack on some sailors in Pensacola. He should instead be explaining how intrusive new vetting that Trump ordered failed to prevent the attack.
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College Football Championship Monday

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bmaz
Monday is the fun day this extended football week. I intentionally did not put this in the Division Weekend post. Oh, and as to that, as usual, my off the cuff picks were not, shall we say, exactly right. You get what you pay for. Niners won…

The Revelations about FISA Bureaucracy in FBI's FISA Fix Filing

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emptywheel
The filing DOJ and FBI submitted to FISC on Friday included some interesting details about how the FISA process works.
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NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend

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bmaz
The wildcards have been played, and resulted in a couple of surprises. The Vikes took out the heavily favored Saints in Nawlins, and the Titans took out the Pats in Foxborough. The latter less shocking given how well the Titans played closing…
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Steve Bannon's 302 of Laughter and Forgetting

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emptywheel
The interview Steve Bannon had with Mueller's team on February 14, 2018 was full of fairly aggressive forgetting and reinventing. The stories he told are all the more interesting given what he has since testified to under oath.
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