Trump Freaks Out Over Raid On His Lawyer’s Office

President Trump isn't reacting well to the raid on his attorney's office.

Not surprisingly, the President has not reacted well to yesterday’s news about the raid on the office and home of longtime Trump lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen, and it’s raised renewed questions about whether he might be considering moving against Justice Department officials he believes are biased against him:

WASHINGTON — President Trump angrily unloaded on his top law enforcement officials on Monday night, complaining that the F.B.I. “broke into” the office of Michael D. Cohen, his personal lawyer, and assailing two early-morning raids as a “disgraceful situation” and an “attack on our country in a true sense.”

The president repeatedly said that the raids were part of a “witch hunt” against him that has been conducted since he took office, and he mused about the possibility that he might soon fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel in the Russia inquiry.

“We’ll see what may happen,” Mr. Trump said as he began a meeting with senior military officials to discuss responses to a chemical attack in Syria. “Many people have said, ‘You should fire him.'”

The president railed against Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, for recusing himself in the Russia investigation, and he blasted the F.B.I. for failing to investigate Hillary Clinton, “where there are crimes.” He also lashed out at Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who is overseeing the Russia investigation.

Mr. Trump delivered the emotional tirade hours after federal officials raided Mr. Cohen’s office and hotel room, seizing business records, emails and documents, including information related to a payment that Mr. Cohen made to a pornographic film actress.

The raids were in part the result of a referral to federal officials by Mr. Mueller. Mr. Trump called Mr. Mueller’s team “the most biased group of people” and said that it contained mostly Democrats and some Republicans who worked for President Barack Obama.

“That is really now in a whole new level of unfairness,” Mr. Trump said of the raids involving Mr. Cohen. Officials said the White House learned about the raids from Mr. Cohen’s lawyer after they were carried out but before they became public knowledge.

Mr. Trump has long complained that the Russia inquiry was a politically motivated attempt to undermine the legitimacy of his election victory. And he has been highly critical of Mr. Sessions and the F.B.I. for failing to adequately investigate Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server.

But the aggressive move by federal officials against Mr. Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer, appeared to strike a particularly sensitive nerve. Mr. Cohen, who works for Mr. Trump’s private company, has long been considered one of the president’s closest business confidants.

Mr. Trump reacted to the raids without any prompting from reporters, who had been brought into the Cabinet Room where the president was meeting with Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense; John R. Bolton, the new national security adviser; and other military officials to discuss the situation in Syria. As the cameras began rolling, Mr. Trump immediately condemned the actions against Mr. Cohen.

“So, I just heard that they broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys, a good man, and it’s a disgraceful situation,” he said. “It’s a total witch hunt. I’ve been saying it for a long time. I’ve wanted to keep it down.”

It was unclear what Mr. Trump meant by saying he “wanted to keep it down.” He went on to criticize Mr. Mueller’s team for examining the president’s associates.

“They only keep looking at us. So they find no collusion, and then they go from there and they say, ‘Well, let’s keep going,’ and they raid an office of a personal attorney early in the morning, and I think it’s a disgrace,” Mr. Trump said.

The president also defended his decision to fire James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, saying that “I turned out to do the right thing because you look at all of the things that he’s done and the lies and you look at what’s gone on at the F.B.I.”

He criticized Mr. Rosenstein for having “signed a FISA warrant,” apparently a reference to the role Mr. Rosenstein played in authorizing the wiretap of a Trump associate in the Russia inquiry. Republicans have been highly critical of the warrant, saying the F.B.I. persuaded judges to authorize it on false pretenses.

Here’s the video of Trump’s statement late yesterday:

Trump also turned to the subject of a handful of early-morning tweets:

Trump’s tirade is, of course, entirely without merit and the idea that what’s going on here is any kind of partisan smear campaign is utter nonsense. As more than one person has pointed out in the time since news of the raid(s) broke, all of the major officials involved in applying for the warrant and carrying out the raid are Republicans and all but one of them was appointed to their current position by President Trump. Robert Mueller, for example, was appointed U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts by Ronald Reagan, served as an Assistant Attorney General under George H.W Bush, briefly served as Deputy Attorney General under George W. Bush, and was later nominated by George W. Bush to be F.B.I. Director, a position he held until 2013. Rod Rosenstein, who likely is the one who decided to refer the information that Mueller had uncovered to the Federal prosecutors in New York City, had been the U.S. Attorney for Maryland for all George W. Bush’s second term and continued to serve in that position for all of Barack Obama’s Presidency before being named Deputy Attorney General by Donald Trump. Finally, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, whose office carried out the raid yesterday, was appointed by President Trump and, according to numerous reports, is a lifelong Republican who donated the maximum. Overseeing it all, of course, is a Federal Judge, who would have had to sign off on any search warrant and who most likely carefully scrutinized the application given the fact that prosecutors were seeking to take the unusual, albeit not unprecedently step of seizing documents belonging to an attorney that could potentially be covered by the attorney-client privilege. Given all of this, Trump’s accusation that this is a “witch hunt” is obvious nonsense.

As for Trump’s offhand tweet about the attorney-client privilege, while this is obviously a concern any time law enforcement seeks to gain access to documents, communications, or records in the hands of an attorney that privilege is not absolute and there are exceptions to that rule. The one that is most notable in this case, of course, is the “crime-fraud” exception to the privilege. Generally speaking, the crime-fraud exception applies in situations where the client was in the process of committing or intending to commit a crime or fraudulent act and the communication was made with the intent to either further that crime or to cover it up. The exception would also apply in a situation where it could be shown that the attorney had stopped being an advocate or adviser and instead become a participant with their client in what amounts to a conspiracy to either commit a crime or to cover up a crime. Potential examples of the types of activity that would lead to the application of this exception to the privilege could include, but aren’t necessarily limited to, situations where a client attempts to get their attorney to knowingly suborn perjury, to destroy or conceal evidence, to engage in witness tampering, or to conceal income or assets. There are also other potential acts that could fall within the exception, although it’s worth noting that in all these cases the presumption will always be in favor of the application of the privilege and a prosecutor would need to be able to make a strong showing to get around it.

In Cohen’s case, it seems apparent that the motivation for the probe is two-pronged. First, of course, there is his involvement in the negotiation of the October 2016 agreement with adult film star Stormy Daniels that resulted in her receiving $130,000 to remain silent about her relationship with then-candidate Trump. As I’ve said before, the circumstances surrounding this transaction raise numerous questions that could implicate both Cohen and his client in potential charges of violating Federal election law, bank fraud, mail fraud, and other crimes. Additionally, Daniels alleged during her 60 Minutes interview that she was approached years prior to that agreement by a person who made physical threats against her if she revealed the details of her affair with Trump. On that front, the attorney representing Daniels has said he will soon be releasing a composite sketch of the person who confronted Daniels in that Las Vegas parking lot in the hopes of identifying him.

In addition to this, The New York Times reports that Robert Mueller is investigating Cohen in connection with payments by a Ukrainian man in exchange for a potential appearance by Trump:

WASHINGTON — The special counsel is investigating a payment made to President Trump’s foundation by a Ukrainian steel magnate for a talk during the campaign, according to three people briefed on the matter, as part of a broader examination of streams of foreign money to Mr. Trump and his associates in the years leading up to the election.

Investigators subpoenaed the Trump Organization this year for an array of records about business with foreign nationals. In response, the company handed over documents about a $150,000 donation that the Ukrainian billionaire, Victor Pinchuk, made in September 2015 to the Donald J. Trump Foundation in exchange for a 20-minute appearance by Mr. Trump that month through a video link to a conference in Kiev.

Michael D. Cohen, the president’s personal lawyer whose office and hotel room were raided on Monday in an apparently unrelated case, solicited the donation. The contribution from Mr. Pinchuk, who has sought closer ties for Ukraine to the West, was the largest the foundation received in 2015 from anyone besides Mr. Trump himself.

The subpoena is among signs in recent months that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is interested in interactions that Mr. Trump or his associates had with countries beyond Russia, though it is not clear what other payments he is scrutinizing.

Mr. Mueller also ordered the Trump Organization to turn over documents, emails and other communications about several Russians, including some whose names have not been publicly tied to Mr. Trump, according to the three people, who would not be named discussing the ongoing investigation. The identities of the Russians were unclear.

The payment from Mr. Pinchuk “is curious because it comes during a campaign and is from a foreigner and looks like an effort to buy influence,” said Marcus S. Owens, a former head of the Internal Revenue Service division that oversees tax-exempt organizations. He called the donation “an unusual amount of money for such a short speech.”

Mr. Cohen did not respond to a request for comment. Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for the president, did not return several messages seeking comment, nor did a lawyer for the Trump Organization. When The New York Times revealedthe existence of the subpoena in March, Mr. Trump’s associates played it down as a routine court order to ensure the Trump Organization had handed over all the documents Mr. Mueller had demanded.

(…)

Mr. Mueller has also examined a deal Mr. Cohen was putting together with Mr. Trump to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Mr. Trump said last summer that Mr. Mueller should not look at his or his family’s finances beyond issues related directly to Russia.

But the special counsel’s investigators have questioned witnesses about whether money from the Persian Gulf had been used to finance Mr. Trump’s political efforts and asked for information on Mr. Pinchuk.

The inquiry into the Trump Organization’s payments from foreign nationals underscores how diffuse Mr. Trump’s sources of income have been over many years. And the destination of Mr. Pinchuk’s donation — the Trump Foundation instead of the president’s personal coffers — raised fresh questions about how the president handled the entity he set up to deal with charitable giving.

Mr. Trump’s foundation attracted scrutiny during the 2016 campaign over revelations about his lack of financial support for it and his use of it to pay legal settlements rather than fulfill pledges he made to give to charity. In 2007, Mr. Trump used $20,000 from the foundation to buy a six-foot-tall portrait of himself.

Two weeks after he was elected president, the foundation acknowledged in a tax form that it might have broken federal rules designed to prohibit self-dealing, when charities use their money to benefit principals in their organization.

In the same filing, the foundation disclosed the donation from Mr. Pinchuk for Mr. Trump’s video appearance.

The Times noted some of the content of Trump’s address to the conference:

The Kiev talk received little attention, with the scant coverage focused on the awkward nature of Mr. Trump’s delivery. He repeatedly stopped speaking, apparently believing he had to pause to give translators time to relay what he was saying.

“You need not wait for any translation,” Mr. Schoen finally told him.

Mr. Trump continued to pause and said he was having trouble hearing. “The sound system is terrible because there is a huge delay and feedback,” he said.

Mr. Trump used the appearance to criticize President Barack Obama amid deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia over its incursions into Ukraine, which had begun a year earlier. “Our president is not strong and he is not doing what he should be doing for the Ukraine,” Mr. Trump said, using the article before Ukraine, which is seen as insulting by some Ukrainians.

“Putin does not respect our president whatsoever,” he said of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

Clearly, the net is fairly large when it comes to Cohen and his relationship with Trump. Depending on what the raid uncovers, it could become larger.

Update: The New York Times is reporting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein personally approved yesterday’s raid:

WASHINGTON — Rod J. Rosenstein, the veteran Republican prosecutor handpicked by President Trump to serve as deputy attorney general, personally signed off on Monday’s F.B.I. decision to raid the office of Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney and longtime confidant, three government officials said.

The early-morning searches enraged Mr. Trump, associates said, setting off an angry public tirade Monday evening that continued in private at the White House as the president fumed about whether he should fire Mr. Rosenstein. The episode has deeply unsettled White House aides, Justice Department officials and lawmakers from both parties, who believe the president may use it as a pretext to purge the team leading the investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 election.

(…)

While Mr. Rosenstein must sign off on all moves that Mr. Mueller makes, that is not necessarily the case for searches — like this one — that are carried out by other federal law enforcement offices. Justice Department regulations require prosecutors to consult with senior criminal prosecutors in Washington — but not necessarily the deputy attorney general — before conducting a search of a lawyer’s files.

The involvement of Mr. Rosenstein and top prosecutors in New York in the raid of Mr. Cohen’s office makes it harder for Mr. Trump to argue that his legal problems are the result of a witch hunt led by Mr. Mueller. In addition to Mr. Rosenstein, all of the top law enforcement officials involved in the raid are Republicans: Mr. Mueller, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. Director, and Geoffrey Berman, the interim United States attorney in New York.

In other words, this was far from a witch hunt.

 

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, Russia Investigation, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Trump’s tirade is, of course, entirely without merit and the idea that what’s going on here is any kind of partisan smear campaign is utter nonsense. As more than one person has pointed out in the time since news of the raid(s) broke, all of the major officials involved in applying for the warrant and carrying out the raid are Republicans and all but one of them was appointed to their current position by President Trump.

    Finally!
    Trump hires the best people!




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  2. KM says:

    The language is so telling: “broke into” and “attack”. They clearly had a warrant which means it went through the legal system. Even if you were to call BS on the legitimacy of the warrant, it’s still not a break-in in any sense of the word. Over at Brietbart, they’ve seized on that and are running with the paranoia that now law offices all over the nation aren’t safe from the Deep State. He’s succeeding in driving his flock deeper into conspiracy territory and a lifelong distrust of basic government and police functions.

    The worst part about all this is that room was full of generals and other “adult” people who just sat there and let Trump smear the entire concept of a warranted police search. To save his own ass, Trump would slander not just the FBI but functional legal concepts necessary to the concept of the police….. and they’re all too chickensh^t to speak up. Future generations are going to look upon this Administration with the same disdain as Vichy France if they are lucky.




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  3. michael reynolds says:

    Trump is a coward. I spent 22 years with the law after me, not a threat of investigation, but actual felony warrants. I never panicked. I never freaked out. I went on with my life, got married, worked, eventually became a NYT bestselling author, had kids. . . But not this giant wuss, this worm in the shape of a man.

    Trump, Cohen, Manafort, the whole crew of twats-in-suits, God do I love watching these puffed-up, phony tough guys confront something more worrying than an overdue interest payment. The only thing more nauseating than Trump’s cravenness is the fools who actually think he’s some kind of Alpha male. Alpha my ass, he’s just a con man who desperately wishes he could fold up his 3-card monte table and run.

    I offered my advice as a retired criminal fugitive many months ago:

    1) Pardon
    2) Resign
    3) Flee

    Pardon everyone, including himself, leave office and get the hell out of the country. It’s still good advice. The only question now is whether he has the sense to get out now, or whether he plans a Hitler-in-the-Bunker scenario.




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  4. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    The so-called Leader of the Free World is nothing but a whiner;

    “No fair!!!”

    These scumbags, who have bullied and stiffed everyone around them for decades, are finally getting their comeuppance.
    The vorfruede is exquisite.




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  5. teve tory says:

    The warrant and search are related to the $130k stormy hush money.

    Trump claimed just last week he knew nothing about the hush money.

    So how can it be a violation of A/C privilege? If trump is telling the truth, the FBI won’t find anything tying trump to the payout.




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  6. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @teve tory:
    I really don’t think the FBI raided the personal attorney of the POTUS over just Stormy Daniels. IANAL but IMO there has to be much more to it than just that.

    But T-Bone Walker was dead-on…Call It Stormy Monday




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  7. grumpy realist says:

    A tour-de-force takedown from one of The Daily Beast’s writers.




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  8. michael reynolds says:

    @grumpy realist:
    Rick Wilson is deadly.




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  9. teve tory says:

    @grumpy realist: dang. that whole thing is quotable.

    Trump must know this may be one of the most dangerous moments in his entire life, not just his presidency. The likelihood is that Mueller and the FBI are now in possession of the Black Books of Trump, NDAs from enough of Trump’s various affairs that you can staff a 12-pole strip club with plenty of girls left for the Champagne rooms. It’s only speculation at this point, but it’s quite likely that Cohen was the keeper of many of Trump’s lending documents, contracts, business arrangements, and the Kryptonite of Trump’s fragile self-worth: the long-sought tax returns.

    It’s an open secret and has been for quite a while, but Trump isn’t worth $10 billion. As one of my hedge-fund friends (an actual billionaire) said of Trump in 2015, “He’s a clown living on credit.” For Trump to have the public learn that he may not be as wealthy as he has continued to claim as the central element of his branding would hurt him more than if Mueller then proved he took sacks of cash and a foot massage from Vladimir Putin. Collusion with the Russians is nothing compared to having his baroque finances revealed. Trump would rather be known as a traitor than as someone who isn’t one of the Masters of the Universe.




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  10. Eric Florack says:

    So let’s understand what really happened here.

    Despite a small mountain of evidence of criminal activity in the Hillary Clinton campaign, the FBI did not raid her offices.

    But on the mere chance that they might find something, they read Donald Trump’s lawyer.

    Nothing to see here citizen. Move Along




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  11. Eric Florack says:

    And by the way, can somebody tell me what this has to do with Russian collusion?




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  12. Gustopher says:

    @teve tory: Trump uses Cohen for a lot of things. Trump is right to be worried.

    Had Mueller’s team been seizing the President’s lawyer’s papers, there would be a very real risk that they would come across something relevant to their investigation, but covered by attorney-client privilege. That would actually be a deeply troubling development.

    This is likely part of the rationale for handing it off to another office — create a barrier between the two investigations, so protected information is not shared improperly.

    Now it becomes an issue of whether Mueller and the US Attorney are properly separated. If we had a functioning branch of congress, I would actually want one of the oversight committees to be bringing Mueller and the relevant US Attorney in for an open hearing about how they are ensuring this is separated.




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  13. gVOR08 says:

    Trump later tweeted,

    It’s a total witch hunt. I’m melting. Melting.




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  14. grumpy realist says:

    @Eric Florack: You don’t understand how legal investigations work, do you?




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  15. Gustopher says:

    @teve tory:

    The likelihood is that Mueller and the FBI are now in possession of the Black Books of Trump, NDAs from enough of Trump’s various affairs that you can staff a 12-pole strip club with plenty of girls left for the Champagne rooms. It’s only speculation at this point, but it’s quite likely that Cohen was the keeper of many of Trump’s lending documents, contracts, business arrangements, and the Kryptonite of Trump’s fragile self-worth: the long-sought tax returns.

    Actually, the likelihood is that Meuller is not in possession of this. Except the tax returns, which he has likely had for some time.




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  16. Eric Florack says:

    @grumpy realist: well let’s just say I know how they’re supposed to work.

    This ain’t it




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  17. KM says:

    @Eric Florack :
    You were that kid who always complained Johnny didn’t get grounded for cussing out his sister while you got sent to juvie for setting fire to the building, huh?

    Didn’t anyone ever tell you another’s sins don’t pardon yours? I don’t care if you’re sitting a room full of bank robbers, you don’t get to use that as a pass when the police come to arrest you. Besides, don’t you think if Trump could have, he’d have already tossed her under the bus? Weird how he only seems to care when he needs her as a deflection but otherwise is totally uninterested in actually doing anything about it…… “buuuttt buutttt Hillary!” is the new “SQUIRREL!” and you fall for it every. damn. time.




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  18. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    It has been explained to him multiple times. He’s here to attempt to spread distraction. SQUIRREL! is his raison d’etre. Just ignore him. Even reading his merde is giving him more attention than he merits.




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  19. teve tory says:

    There’s always a tweet.

    Michael Cohen

    Verified account

    @MichaelCohen212
    Follow Follow @MichaelCohen212
    More
    @HillaryClinton when you go to prison for defrauding America and perjury, your room and board will be free!

    7:03 PM – 19 Dec 2015




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  20. Mikey says:

    @Eric Florack: The Deputy AG authorized yesterday’s raid. That doesn’t happen “on the mere chance.”

    But keep on lying about Clinton if it helps you feel better.




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  21. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    There is more to it than that. Mueller’s team piercing privilege is problematic on multiple levels. A disconnected investigation piercing privilege solves those problems in a very expeditious manner and arguably opens up access after the fact with regard to the jurisdictional relevance of the material elsewhere. You can guess what elsewhere means …

    And it preserves double jeopardy with regard to NY State.

    You’re dealing with the team that gutted the Gambinos. That they’ve mastered Prosecutory Strategy 901 shouldn’t surprise anybody.




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  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mikey:

    Rosenstein authorized referring the matter to Berman. Berman authorized seeking the warrant. A federal judge authorized the raid by approving the warrant.




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  23. Paul L. says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, whose office carried out the raid yesterday, was appointed by President Trump and, according to numerous reports, is a lifelong Republican who donated the maximum… Berman authorized seeking the warrant. A federal judge authorized the raid by approving the warrant.

    But… Muh Narrative.

    SCOOP: ABC News has learned Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is recused from the Michael Cohen investigation. He had no role in raid of Cohen’s office.

    Did AUSA Niketh Velamoor (who got the Reason Magazine Gag order) get the warrant with United States Magistrate Judge “SDNY Rubber Stamp” Frank Maas (who signed the Reason Magazine Gag order) ?




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  24. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92: NYT is reporting Rosenstein personally signed off on it.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/10/us/politics/trump-russia-mueller-rosenstein.html?smid=tw-share

    Rod J. Rosenstein, the veteran Republican prosecutor handpicked by President Trump to serve as deputy attorney general, personally signed off on Monday’s F.B.I. decision to raid the office of Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney and longtime confidant, three government officials said.

    Also, ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports Berman is recused.

    https://twitter.com/jonkarl/status/983734168134864898

    SCOOP: ABC News has learned Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is recused from the Michael Cohen investigation. He had no role in raid of Cohen’s office. Another recusal that will make @realDonaldTrump unhappy.




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  25. Mikey says:

    Gah, can you please fix the mod queue so replying to someone with two links doesn’t dump a comment into it? It’s frustrating.




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  26. Mikey says:

    @HarvardLaw92: NYT is reporting Rosenstein personally signed off on it.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/10/us/politics/trump-russia-mueller-rosenstein.html?smid=tw-share

    Rod J. Rosenstein, the veteran Republican prosecutor handpicked by President Trump to serve as deputy attorney general, personally signed off on Monday’s F.B.I. decision to raid the office of Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney and longtime confidant, three government officials said.




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  27. Eric Florack says:

    So I guess we’re now on the level of Facebook? p




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  28. Eric Florack says:

    @KM: so I suppose the concept of equal justice under the law just got by you entirely?




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  29. Mister Bluster says:

    Cohen, though, should be understood as an almost perfect metaphor for the Trump era, the Trump White House, and everything else orbiting this president like the hot chunks of waste spinning around the central oscillator at a sewage-treatment plant

    Pigs in slop.




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  30. teve tory says:

    A Very Sober And Serious Lawsplainer Of Michael Cohen’s WORLD OF SHIT

    WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED YESTERDAY? There was a knock-knock at all three of Michael Cohen’s doors at once, he did that stupid SAYS WHO? thing, and then a bunch of lawyers stormed in and said SAYS THE FBI! They took Cohen’s phone, computer, and a huge pile of papers and were out before the media — in the same building — knew what was up.

    Or as Donald Trump put it, “I just heard that they broke in to the office of one of my personal attorneys.” Because in our current bizarro hellscape, federal agents executing a valid warrant signed by a judge are exactly the same as a gang of crowbar-wielding thugs wearing balaclavas.




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  31. michael reynolds says:

    @Eric Florack:
    You’re flailing, Eric. Like a landed trout. You need fresh ammunition. Best go check Breitbart or wait for Limbaugh to tell you what to think.




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  32. Mister Bluster says:

    equal justice under the law…

    Your boyfriend REPUBLICAN President Pork Chop Pud is a
    self-confessed sexual molestor of women.
    I’d say it’s way past time for some equal justice under the law for our Pig-in-Chief.




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  33. gVOR08 says:

    Heard an almost passing comment on TV last night that the US Atty for the Southern District of NY is on a 120 day interim appointment which expires in a few weeks, and that a deadline has passed for Trump to replace him, which will throw selection of a US Atty to the Federal Judges in the District. Is any of this right? Does this mean Trump can’t fire the prosecutor in this matter?
    And one wonders what Breet Bharara, had in his files when Trump fired him.




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  34. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Mikey:

    Interesting that Berman felt the need to request recusal. In the end not entirely material though. The fundamental concept in play here is that whatever evidence they presented in support of the warrant application convinced a federal judge that the concepts in play are serious enough to warrant potentially piercing privilege. That is a huge leap for a federal judge to accept.

    And it argues against this NDA issue being the primary focus of the investigation. Whatever they went after is bigger than shtupping a porn star.




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  35. teve tory says:

    It’s behind a paywall, so I’m not sure, but I think Josh Marshall is suggesting that he doesn’t buy the idea the raid was about Stormy, thinks instead the Feds were seizing evidence of money laundering.

    If so I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump takes an Official Visit somewhere and refuses to come back.




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  36. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @gVOR08:

    Yes. Covered by 28 US 546. If Berman’s appointment expires due to the 120 day limitation, his interim replacement would be selected by the District Court for the Southern District of NY, and would serve until a permanent replacement was selected & confirmed.




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  37. michael reynolds says:

    @Paul L.: @Eric Florack:
    By the way, here’s a nice lollipop for you two to suck on: the Feds and the NY State AG both now have the evidence. Do you understand what that means? It doesn’t disappear even if Mueller does. It’s too late for Trump to fire Mueller and have it work. We have reached the Nixon Tapes moment, the tipping point, when it is too late. You’re not getting it (what a shock) but it is too damn late.

    Let me tell you how this all looks five years down the road. Trump will absolutely own the worst president spot. That is baked in. That is unstoppable. If he cured cancer he’d still own last place. He will also dethrone Warren G. Harding as our most corrupt president ever.

    We will be deluged with tell-all books from ex-Trumpies spilling their guts and telling horror stories of their time in the White House. Just about everything the media has reported will be shown to be true.

    The entire Trump phenomenon will be seen as a cautionary tale in the danger of a careless and uninformed electorate. You, Eric, and you Paul, and all you ‘base’ Trumpaloons, will be a national embarrassment. We’ll all be trying to pretend people like you didn’t really exist. We’ll need that pretense to regain some shred of national pride.

    And a few dozen angry old white guys with too many guns and not enough Metamucil will decide to water the tree of liberty by murdering some people. They’ll give themselves some melodramatic name and assemble in Waco. I hear there’s a somewhat fire-damaged compound available, cheap.

    Pardon, Resign, Flee. That’s the closest thing to a good move for Trump now.




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  38. JKB says:

    Trump’s comments were good preemption. Now, when the inevitable leaks come out of DOJ and Mueller’s teams, Trump has set the stage for how they are seen, i.e., corruption. Not to mention, the premise for firing Mueller and the SDNY USA for management incompetence.




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  39. grumpy realist says:

    @Eric Florack: Trump is simply pissed because the Teflon that has shielded him from all consequences of crap behavior through life so far isn’t working any more. He’s had an army of legal goons threatening people whenever Trump decides to not pay someone, or doesn’t come through with something he promised, or he wants more tax breaks, etc. etc. and so forth. And he’s dumb enough to think that any talk he has with his “lawyer” has to be automatically privileged.

    When Trump was playing his little games in real estate with the little people who couldn’t fight back no one really cared.

    The problem is now he’s playing with the Big Boys. They’ve got more firepower and more smarts, and more importantly, more friends in the legal profession. Anyone intelligent knows that Trump is only worried about himself, won’t take advice, won’t pay–and worst of all–will stab his lawyer in the back in a New York minute. So no one with any chops is signing up for that.

    You see, that’s the one big HONKIN’ mistake Cadet Bonespurs made. Those of us in law aren’t doing it simply because we get paid to do so. We do it as a profession. We do it as a calling. And we’re certainly not going to allow ourselves and our reputations to be used by a two-bit real estate loudmouth barker with no morals and an overly-shiny hairpiece.




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  40. Franklin says:

    Good old Eric shows up! I guess the fledgling with the orange tuft needs some protection. The poor thing is still stumbling around, occasionally tweeting, but the flickers of shadows get slower each time the vultures lower their altitude.




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  41. Franklin says:

    @JKB: Newsflash: no one takes his tweets seriously any more (with the possible exception of you). It’s merely entertainment at this point. The idea that he has any control over the situation reminds me of deck chairs for some reason.




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  42. Eric Florack says:

    @michael reynolds: Michael somebody of even your limited ability should be able to figure out that this isn’t going to end well if Hillary Clinton gets away with mishandling of classified documents while in office, and Trump gets hauled down for paying off a pornstar years before he was in office




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  43. Mister Bluster says:

    Trump has set the stage for how they are seen, i.e., corruption. Not to mention, the premise for firing Mueller and the SDNY USA for management incompetence.

    MANAGEMENT INCOMPETENCE!
    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

    (One note: This would be an even longer list if it included people like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates and Preet Bharara — all holdovers from a past administration who have left or been fired by Trump.)
    Michael Flynn
    Katie Walsh
    K.T. McFarland
    Michael Dubke
    Sean Spicer
    Michael Short
    Tera Dahl
    Mark Corallo
    Reince Priebus
    Anthony Scaramucci
    Derek Harvey
    George Sifakis
    Ezra Cohen-Watnick
    Carl Icahn
    Steve Bannon
    Sebastian Gorka
    Rich Higgins
    William Bradford
    Keith Schiller
    Tom Price
    Jamie Johnson
    John Feeley
    Rick Dearborn
    Jeremy Katz
    Carl Higbie
    Dina Powell
    Omarosa Manigault Newman
    Taylor Weyeneth
    Rob Porter
    David Sorensen
    Brenda Fitzgerald
    Rachel Brand
    Hope Hicks
    Josh Raffel
    Gary Cohn




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  44. Kathy says:

    Despite what Trump, his apologists, his supporters, Fox News, etc. might loudly and vociferously assert, if the president, or in this case Trump, breaks the law, it is illegal.




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  45. Garrett Watson says:

    @michael reynolds:
    I can not like this comment enough




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  46. grumpy realist says:

    @Eric Florack: Oh, and what will happen, pray tell?

    You idiots flogged those stupid emails to death. Clinton has been “investigated” from here to Alpha Centuri and still nothing has been found. Do you think that any of your yelps are going to be met with ANYTHING but “shaddup, bucko, you’re boring!”? The. People. Have. Moved. On. Remember Aesop and The Boy Who Cried Wolf? Congratulations, suckers–you’ve made it impossible for anyone to believe ANYTHING you clowns dig up, here or in the future. A spectacular own goal!




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  47. grumpy realist says:

    @Eric Florack: P.S. It may come as a surprise to you, but simply having a lawyer in the room with a bunch of other people does not make your discussions “privileged”.

    You may want to inform the Trump family of this, since it seems you’re besties with them.




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  48. Mikey says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Trump gets hauled down for paying off a pornstar years before he was in office

    He paid her off less than a month before the election. How can you be offering such lofty opinions on this when you don’t even know the simplest parts of the timeline?




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  49. Lounsbury says:

    @Eric Florack: That is you know how they are supposed to work in corrupt third rate banana republics.




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  50. michael reynolds says:

    @Eric Florack:
    But that’s only true in your reality, Eric. It’s not true in real reality.

    Like I said: you’re not getting this. The reason you don’t get it is because you fill your brain with lies. When the lies hit reality, they evaporate, and what’s left is this: you elected a criminal moron. Or a moronic criminal, if you prefer. He’s almost as stupid as you are, but also, a criminal. He’s Sonny Corleone thinking he can play president and no one will notice he’s in the mob.

    Here, I found you a helpful illustration.




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  51. Paul L. says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Clinton has been “investigated” from here to Alpha Centuri and still nothing has been found.

    Helps when the exoneration is written before the investigation starts and everyone questioned is given immunity.

    @michael reynolds
    Still waiting for the TRUE Trump Dossier to be verified and released that will get Trump Impeached and Convicted.




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  52. michael reynolds says:

    @Paul L.:

    Still waiting. . .

    Nah. No amount of evidence will convince you, stop pretending. If Trump gave Putin head in the lobby of Trump Tower with video from three different angles it wouldn’t affect you one iota. You’re in a cult. Twenty years from now you’ll still think Trump was God. You’ve driven into an intellectual dead-end and you lack the capacity to find your way out.




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  53. JohnSF says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Well regarding Russia, maybe my real name’s Mr Tinfoil McHat, but here’s a little something that made me sit up and go “Hmm?”.
    It seems, unless I’ve got this very mixed up, Mr. Cohen’s office was co/located with the law firm Squire Patton Boggs, with whom he had some sort of arrangement.

    That name rang a bell with this ignorant Brit because that firms name had appeared in threats of legal action in the UK re. Cambridge Analytica and possible Brexit campaign rule breaches.

    I’m sure you’re aware that Cambridge Analytica also may have have a role in the Trump campaign.
    And no doubt it is entirely coincidental that other Squire Patton Boggs clients include two little firms named Rosneft and Gazprom.

    But these coincidences seem to keep cropping up.




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  54. Joe says:

    @grumpy realist:

    We have a saying around the courthouse, “just make sure that, if anyone has to go to jail here, it’s your client.”




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  55. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Despite a small mountain of evidence of criminal activity in the Hillary Clinton campaign, the FBI did not raid her offices.

    Please provide a link from a credible source explaining this mountain of evidence. I’m no Clinton fan but you extreme right-wing zealots have been accusing the Clinton’s of all kinds of shit for decades and have, so far, produced bubkis but your emotionally based blather. At some point even an idiot like you should be able to figure out what that means.

    But on the mere chance that they might find something, they read (sic) Donald Trump’s Dennison’s lawyer.

    Do you really think these guys…all Republicans…got a legal search warrant for the POTUS’s personal attorney based on a mere chance? Seriously? Are you that stupid?

    Let’s review the Mueller record so far, shall we? 5 guilty pleas, one guy sentenced. 14 indictments. The investigation of the POTUS is ongoing and has him seriously rattled based on his performance yesterday. Two Trump campaign officials have admitted to being in contact with Russian Intelligence.
    Three, if you count Assange as an arm of Russian Intelligence, which you should.

    You cultists scream for Clinton’s head based on nothing you can prove. If she did half the stuff we already know Dennison has done you would be calling for her entire family and all her friend’s to be put before a firing squad.
    But you’re more than willing to give Dennison a pass. You must really like his comb-over.




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  56. grumpy realist says:

    Charles Pierce also has a good take on the situation.




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  57. PJ says:

    Please stop harassing the young’uns, they still know so little.
    Maybe some day they will grow up and have their eyes opened.
    Or they will live in the dark, damp basements until they die.




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  58. Bill says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Let me tell you how this all looks five years down the road.

    That’s assuming Trump doesn’t get all us nuked because of his some foreign policy blunder of his.




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  59. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Eric Florack: Well, then those Republicans must really suck as lawyers because they have spent years and millions of dollars trying to Lock Her Up! and just can not manage to get the job done. BTW, the FBI did investigate Hillary. Apparently you forgot.




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  60. Terrye Cravens says:

    @Paul L.: If the FBI had not released that letter a week before the election Hillary Clinton might not have lost…even with all the help Trump was getting from Putin. Obviously, the FBI is not protecting her. They certainly did not help her.




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  61. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Here’s a great paragraph from the NYTimes story that was first out regarding the raid:

    The searches open a new front for the Justice Department in its scrutiny of Mr. Trump and his associates: His longtime lawyer is being investigated in Manhattan; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is facing scrutiny by prosecutors in Brooklyn; his campaign chairman is under indictment; his former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying; and a pair of former campaign aides are cooperating with Mr. Mueller. Mr. Mueller, meanwhile, wants to interview Mr. Trump about possible obstruction of justice.

    Imagine what JKB and Florack would think if this was written about Clinton?




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  62. grumpy realist says:

    Reading between the lines, I wonder if Cohen is having to deal with an investment into NYC taxi medallions that went sour….

    They seem to be inspecting tax issues as well.

    So don’t automatically think that this is all associated with Trump, Trump supporters! Cohen may have some particularly fragrant little messes by his little lonesome….




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  63. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Pardon, Resign, Flee. That’s the closest thing to a good move for Trump now.

    If it were really at that point, he should flee first. Summit trip to Russia, then pardon and then resign.




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  64. teve tory says:

    from grumpy’s link:

    The FBI doesn’t raid the offices of high-end lawyers unless they are absolutely sure about what they’re looking for, and absolutely sure they’re inbounds, too. Attorney-client privilege is a serious business, and that’s a good thing. It’s pretty plain that this is a serious turn in Robert Mueller’s investigation.




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  65. teve tory says:

    charles pierce picks up on something I noted yesterday:

    Republicans Must Be Thinking About a President Mike Pence Right Now




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  66. grumpy realist says:

    Cohen isn’t quite as crazy as Mangolini.

    Is that or is that not the flattering-of-the-feds by someone who realizes he is in deep doo-doo and will probably be trying to cut a deal?

    Pass the popcorn.




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  67. teve tory says:

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/sarah-huckabee-sanders-ridiculous-to-ask-if-trump-considers-resigning

    you know things are going well when your spokesperson is telling people you’re not going to resign.




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  68. Eric Florack says:

    @Mikey: and who the hell cares? Certainly not the Democrats who shielded Bill Clinton from such activities and still do to this day.

    Let’s consider the others who weren’t even investigated…

    Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, John podesta, Donna brazile, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Robbie mooch, David Brock, Susan Rice, Huma abedin, Anthony Weiner, Harvey Weinstein, and a host of others.
    Then again, I suppose I wouldntxpect Robert Bowers team of Hillary donors…. You do know that every one of his team was working to get Hillary Clinton elected, don’t you?…. I wouldn’t expect any investigation on that group of people.

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: a great deal more was written about flip. But none of it was ever investigated by the Insiders in the government. Not a bit of it.

    And now let’s ask you a question. What would you say If Hillary Clinton was investigated by a group whose only qualification seems to be that they were donors to a Republican presidential candidate?

    So much for Equal justice under the law




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  69. Kathy says:

    @teve tory:

    you know things are going well when your spokesperson is telling people you’re not going to resign.

    Oh, it gets better. Remember all those people in the Trump White House and cabinet who were not going to resign or be fired? What percentage of them resigned or were fired?




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  70. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Certainly not the Democrats who shielded Bill Clinton from such activities and still do to this day.

    You may not have received the news but, Bill Clinton was impeached.




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  71. teve tory says:

    Anthony Weiner wasn’t investigated? That’s news to me! Oh wait, it’s not news, you’re just really dumb.




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  72. grumpy realist says:

    Good comment from over at Raw Story, on Trump’s possible firing of Mueller:

    Besides, if anybody thinks Mueller hasn’t gamed out 1,000 different scenarios involving sleazy termination efforts and planned for each and every one of them, you’re not paying attention. Mueller is playing chess, 45 is in the corner trying to put tiddly wink pieces up his nose.




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  73. steve says:

    “Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, John podesta, Donna brazile, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Robbie mooch, David Brock, Susan Rice, Huma abedin, Anthony Weiner, Harvey Weinstein, and a host of others.”

    Hmmm, if only the GOP was in control of the Attorney General’s office and had a real conservative in the position. I am sure he (has to be a he) would look at all of these and start prosecuting day one he was in office.

    Steve




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  74. JKB says:

    @Franklin: Newsflash: no one takes his tweets seriously any more

    Do you know what this blog post is about?




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  75. JKB says:

    @teve tory: you know things are going well when your spokesperson is telling people you’re not going to resign.

    Actually, you know it isn’t going when when “journalists” ask such stupid questions. What in Trump’s history or personality makes anyone think he would resign. Trump fights. That is what this post is about. Trump didn’t cower at the dog and pony show in NYC, he lit up what they did with a spotlight and characterized what they were doing in favorable terms. If they come for Trump, they’ll need to come heavy.




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  76. michael reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    No, because if he flees the Congress will actually impeach him in a heartbeat. He can’t resign first, of course, so he has to pardon first.

    He either quits or we are in full-on 1968-73 – riots, national strikes, the whole mess. That was the last time we had this reaction to a culture shift that conservatives found unsettling. From the 1000 miles up perspective I suspect that’s how this will look. History will see it as a cultural counterrevolution with some attached economic baggage. Old people, evangelicals, the less educated, unrepentant racists, gun nuts, rustics, the rich with wealth concentrated in last-gen businesses . . . that’s not the demo of the future, that’s the demo of reaction. That’s the 20% who are still enthusiastic about Trump.

    For the next tranche, the 20% not-so-sure-sure Trumpies add ten IQ points and move ’em to the suburbs. 20% in the cult, 20% hanging in the wind, 6% who voted for him and have suddenly decided to exit, stage left.

    On the other side we have the young, the urban, the POC, the upper tier of suburbanites, the LGBTQ, the educated, the billionaires in newer businesses. That’s the demo of the future. We’ve pushed too much, too fast, like an army that sees the enemy’s line crumbling and charges heedless into an ambush. Now we’re getting the counterattack. What encourages me is that, like their Confederate forbears, they don’t have the numbers or the money or the credibility our side does. What should discourage them is that with much better numbers, they lost in the 60’s-70’s. I think this thing crested months ago and we’re seeing the wave crash onto the rocks.




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  77. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:
    He fights? Jesus. He’s the KING OF BANKRUPTCY you cretin. He’s bailed on a long list of businesses. He’s repeatedly settled or abandoned lawsuits, or just flat out lost them. He can’t even fire people to their face. He’s a fcking coward, a weakling. A loser.

    He’s not a fighter, he’s a bully. Perhaps your upbringing conflated the two, but they are different things. One is a strength, the other is a personality defect.




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  78. Franklin says:

    @JKB: Do you know what the word ‘seriously’ means?




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  79. michael reynolds says:

    Breaking News: Maddow has Dana Boente’s personal, contemporaneous notes made after Comey called him to tell him about his meeting with Trump. The notes support Comey’s testimony in detail.

    Is that the sweet smell of obstruction?




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  80. Scott F. says:

    @teve tory:

    The problem with “Why not Pence?” is the Republicans know The Choirboy is not nearly as comfortable with the psycho rhetoric the base loves as Trump is. The GOP is deathly afraid of their party’s core constituency.




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  81. michael reynolds says:

    @Scott F.:
    The substitute teacher can never control the class. The base is a cult of personality. Cults are seldom transferrable. Pence is just a stiff, a prude, devoid of charisma.




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  82. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    And by the way, can somebody tell me what this has to do with Russian collusion?

    Exactly what did Monica Lewinsky have to do with the investigation into Bill Clinton’s Whitewater land deals?




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  83. Kylopod says:

    Here is what Elizabeth Drew wrote on Oct. 20, 1973, the day Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox:

    There is a great deal of confusion this morning. It is not at all clear where we are. Will the President fire Cox? What, then, will Richardson do? Richardson keeps ending up in the middle of it. Beneath the suspense is the disturbing sense that people are not proceeding according to the processes. The President is circumventing the courts, and the senators are a party to his action. If the President succeeds in ridding himself of the Special Prosecutor, how can he, or any President, be held accountable? This is a time for the “definers”–those who by speaking out shape the debate on public questions. Who the definers are can change from issue to issue. Sometimes there are no definers. The reaction of other members of Congress will be very important… No one knows what the President will do. Since Cox’s press conference, reporters have speculated–and speculation has developed into assumption–that the President would not, as they put it, “let this go” for twenty-four hours. If he did, the theory runs, there would be too much time for support for Cox to develop. So if the President is to rid himself of his Special Prosecutor he should do it soon, and fast.

    In a certain sense, the Saturday Night Massacre of the Trump presidency has already happened. It happened last year when Trump fired Comey. That’s what led Mueller to take over the investigation in the first place. Comey, bless his soul, is basically a nitwit. Mueller, on the other hand, is the real deal. He was one of the people who took down John Gotti. As Grumpy Realist’s quote noted, he’s operating several steps ahead of the Trump people. It’s possible that in the future we’ll look back at the Comey firing as the beginning of the end for Trump, much like Nixon’s dismissal of Cox.




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  84. teve tory says:

    WaPo:

    “Making this more problematic, Trump isn’t someone who played close to the line a time or two, or once did a shady deal. He may well be the single most corrupt major business figure in the United States of America. He ran scams like Trump University to con struggling people out of their money. He lent his name to pyramid schemes. He bankrupted casinos and still somehow made millions while others were left holding the bag. He refused to pay vendors. He exploited foreign workers. He used illegal labor. He discriminated against African American renters. He violated Federal Trade Commission rules on stock purchases. He did business with the mob and with Eastern European kleptocrats. His properties became the go-to vehicle for Russian oligarchs and mobsters to launder their money.”




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  85. teve tory says:

    @teve tory:

    The problem with “Why not Pence?” is the Republicans know The Choirboy is not nearly as comfortable with the psycho rhetoric the base loves as Trump is. The GOP is deathly afraid of their party’s core constituency.

    I’m pretty sure Pence can dog whistle with the rest of ’em, and if not, he can just go 24/7 BORTINS! Maybe push a law to require newspapers to publish the names/addresses of every woman who gets one.




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  86. teve tory says:

    anyway, the base’ll do whatever Fox news tells them to do. They’re ignorant suckers motivated by fear.




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  87. Kylopod says:

    @teve tory:

    anyway, the base’ll do whatever Fox news tells them to do.

    If that was true, we never would have gotten Trump in the first place.




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  88. teve tory says:

    Fox gave trump Lots of free airtime. There were some dissenters at the network, but their whole anti-intellectual schtick and hunger for ratings and headlines helped trump quite a bit. Hannity and Lou Dobbs act like they’re on trump’s payroll. Trump is the perfect Fox News candidate. Some dissent by Shep Smith isn’t going to change that.




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  89. Kylopod says:

    If you go back to 2015 when Trump first emerged as a candidate, Fox was definitely not trying to promote him. During the first debate they were outright hostile toward him. They only got behind him after they realized he was unstoppable as the GOP nominee. I am fairly convinced he would not have been their first choice.




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  90. lounsbury says:

    @Kylopod: ” Comey, bless his soul, is basically a nitwit.”
    No, you may not like him, but he’s not a nitwit.




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  91. teve tory says:

    @Kylopod: You’re right, but they didn’t have a replacement to sell. If there had been a strong opponent Fox could have gotten behind for 6 mos they could have driven trump off. But there was nobody to coalesce behind. Rubio? Huckabee? Santorum? Cruz? I bet Cruz’s mom finds him creepy. Rubio looked to GOP primary voters like a 13-yro Mexican sneaking into El Paso before sunrise. I’ve been following politics since 1988 and I’ve never seen anything more pathetic than “Jeb can fix it!”




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  92. Kylopod says:

    @teve tory:

    But there was nobody to coalesce behind. Rubio? Huckabee? Santorum? Cruz? I bet Cruz’s mom finds him creepy. Rubio looked to GOP primary voters like a 13-yro Mexican sneaking into El Paso before sunrise. I’ve been following politics since 1988 and I’ve never seen anything more pathetic than “Jeb can fix it!”

    But you said earlier that the base does whatever Fox tells them to do, and if Fox really had that power, surely they’d have been able to prop up whoever they wanted. In fact they never coalesce around a presidential candidate early on in a cycle. They wait and see how the chips fall.

    Of course they gave Trump a lot of air time (as did the rest of the media, in fact), but it’s doubtful most of them believed he would win the nomination. Most likely they saw him as a novelty candidate, someone good for ratings and for stirring up the base but who would ultimately implode on his own like all novelty candidates eventually do (and like Trump himself did in 2011).

    Fox certainly has a lot of influence over GOP voters, but they walk a fine line. They always run the risk of alienating their audience and losing relevance. (Something like that happened to Limbaugh in the mid-1990s after he attacked Pat Buchanan as a fake conservative due to his heresies on free trade. This provoked a backlash from Limbaugh’s audience, among whom Buchanan was quite popular. Limbaugh apparently learned his lesson, which is probably why he enthusiastically got behind Trump two decades later despite Trump’s adopting a very Buchananite platform.) That’s why the metaphor of the Frankenstein Monster is so apt. They created the conditions that led to the rise of Trump, but they didn’t ask for Trump.




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  93. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Eric Florack: Long time no see. Now I understand why. Age is not being kind to your intellectual capacities, but, if it helps, I feel your pain.




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  94. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Bill: Well, that certainly is a problem, indeed. But, and please correct me if I’m wrong on this, weren’t you one of the jolly boyos who was cheering on the prospect that Hillary was going to be wearing an orange jumpsuit as soon as Trump got elected?




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