1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): organized crime and intelligence – Google News: Hells Angels member, drug dealer’s daughter marry in Montreal – CANOE

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CANOE

Hells Angels member, drug dealer’s daughter marry in Montreal
CANOE
… increasing “feeling of invincibility,” former RCMP intelligence analyst says. A wedding between a full-patch member of the Hells Angels and the daughter of a notorious drug trafficker drew members of organized crime to downtown Montreal on Saturday.

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organized crime and intelligence – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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Next customers: Flynn and Jr. – Google News: Prep Football All-Conference teams – Leader-Telegram

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Prep Football All-Conference teams
Leader-Telegram
DB: Rian Flynn, sr., Elk Mound; Hadin DeSmith, sr., Glenwood City; Aaron Borgerding, jr., Spring Valley. DL: Marcus Kinblom, sr., Elk Mound; Ryan Zurbuchen, sr., Elk Mound; Bryce Fayerweather, sr., Glenwood City; Raith Bauer, jr., Mondovi. DE: Brady …

Next customers: Flynn and Jr. – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: What is going on in this G20 photo of Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Mohammad Bin Salman?

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By now you’ve no doubt heard about the infamous high five between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman at this week’s G20 summit. It was widely interpreted as Donald Trump’s two primary puppet masters celebrating their domination of the United States. Now a different G20 moment is coming into focus, and it involves Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and the Crown Prince.



Here’s a cable news screen capture nabbed by political writer Andy Olstoy, which he then posted to Twitter:





Left to right that’s U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Donald Trump, the back of the Crown Prince’s head, and Ivanka Trump. There are so many questions, we’re not sure to start. First of all, why is Mnuchin so happy to be chit chatting with a murderer? Second, what the hell is Ivanka even doing there? Why is the soon to be indicted daughter of the illegitimate “president” representing the United States in such an official capacity at such a crucial world event?


Third, where were Donald Trump’s handlers when this moment was playing out? You’d think there’d be some adult assigned to prevent this kind of embarrassing scene from playing out, considering there was a murderer at this event. Clearly, no one in this photo was doing any handling. This debacle just keeps getting worse.

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The post What is going on in this G20 photo of Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Mohammad Bin Salman? appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): US elections and russia – Google News: Mattis: Putin tried to ‘muck around’ in US midterm elections – WMC

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WMC

Mattis: Putin tried to ‘muck around’ in US midterm elections
WMC
WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Saturday took aim at Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of trying to “muck around” in the U.S. midterm elections, of duplicity in arms control and of acting irresponsibly in last weekend’s …

US elections and russia – Google News

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: “Get me out of here” – Donald Trump gives up

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Earlier today we brought you the alarming story of how Donald Trump was making a joint G20 appearance with the President of Argentina when he wandered off the stage in the middle of it, prompting his counterpart to react in confused fashion, and leaving a handler to chase after him. Now it turns out the entire scene was even more distressing – and revealing – than it initially appeared.



Immediately after Donald Trump left the stage, he was picked up on a mic saying – fairly clearly – “Get me out of here.” Trump has previously wandered away from signing ceremonies, joint press conferences, and even his own motorcade in months past, seemingly in mentally vacant fashion, even as his people have chased after him.





But this time around, it appears Trump simply gave up and walked away from a high profile diplomatic event he couldn’t handle dealing with. So now what?


It’s not a stretch to interpret this as Donald Trump cracking under the pressure of an endgame Trump-Russia scandal, or realizing he won’t survive it, or simply giving up. Take your pick. Either way, Trump is toast and he knows it. He’s gone from previously mailing it in, to now not even mailing it in.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): trump as putin’s puppet – Google News: Little confidence that Trump supporters will change – Las Cruces Sun-News

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Las Cruces Sun-News

Little confidence that Trump supporters will change
Las Cruces Sun-News
Just months before his election, Trump was seeking a massive hotel deal in Russia, lying to U.S. voters about that, and publicly praising Vladimir Putin – and repeatedly denying the deal. “I have nothing to do with Russia — no deals, no loans, nothing
Nuke the False Premise that Trump Colluded with Russia to Steal the ElectionRushLimbaugh.com

all 6,670 news articles »

trump as putin’s puppet – Google News

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): former FBI agents power influence – Google News: LA Neighborhood Council Coalition Calls on Councilman Huizar to Resign – NBC Southern California

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NBC Southern California

LA Neighborhood Council Coalition Calls on Councilman Huizar to Resign
NBC Southern California
Although neighborhood councils are merely advisory boards with no official power, the vote is a sign Huizar’s political support at the grassroots level could be eroding following the searches, which occurred on Nov. 7 when at least a dozen FBI agents
LANCC Calls For City Councilman Jose Huizar To ResignMyNewsLA.com

all 2 news articles »

former FBI agents power influence – Google News

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): US elections and russia – Google News: Defense Sec’y Says Russia Attempted to Interfere in US Midterm Elections – Action News Now

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CNN

Defense Sec’y Says Russia Attempted to Interfere in US Midterm Elections
Action News Now
(CNN) — Defense Secretary James Mattis said Saturday that Russia attempted to interfere in the US midterm elections last month. He says Putin tried again to “muck around” in U.S. elections this last month, and that he has been seeing a continued
Mattis: Putin ‘tried again to muck around in our electionsCNN
Mattis condemns Russia for treaty violations and election interferenceThe Guardian
Mattis Confirms Russia Interfered in US Midterm ElectionsForeign Policy
Reuters –TIME
all 96 news articles »

US elections and russia – Google News

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Oops: Roger Stone tried “amending” his Trump-Russia testimony

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This week we learned two crucial things that will determine the fate of a number of players in the Trump-Russia scandal. First, we saw Robert Mueller have Micheal Cohen plead guilty to lying to Congress, as part of his plea deal. Second, we got confirmation from the Democrats who are about to control the House Intel Committee, and the bipartisan coalition controlling the Senate Intel Committee, that they’ll fully cooperate with Mueller when it comes to prosecuting other Trump-Russia perjurers. This brings us to Roger Stone.



Back when Devin Nunes was offering to bring Trump-Russia players before the House Intel Committee last year so they could proclaim their innocence and he could “clear” them, Roger Stone was one of the people who took him up on it. Four weeks ago, we learned from The Atlantic that Stone has since tried amending his testimony three different times, as new evidence surfaced proving that his testimony was – ahem – incorrect.


This wasn’t necessarily a big deal at the time. It was just before the election, and we didn’t yet know which party would control the House. It was also before the Senate Intel Committee explicitly stated that it was working with Robert Mueller to prosecute Trump-Russia perjurers. But now it’s a very different story.





The mere fact that Roger Stone has repeatedly amended his testimony is proof that his original testimony was wildly incorrect. We’ve spoken with legal experts who say that, if it can be proven you committed perjury to begin with, amending your testimony doesn’t really help your case. So it’s going to come down to whether Mueller can prove that when Stone made numerous false statements to Congress, he did it with malicious intent.


Based on the endless details that keep leaking from grand jury witnesses, Robert Mueller appears to be looking to indict Roger Stone on a very long list of charges that are far more serious than perjury. But as we’ve seen, Mueller likes to use straightforward charges like perjury, along with rock solid proof of said perjury, to make clear to Trump-Russia players that they’re going to prison if they don’t cut a plea deal. Look for Mueller to try to do the same to Stone soon.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Vladimir Putin just used Michael Cohen’s emails against Donald Trump

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Yesterday the Putin regime threw Donald Trump under the bus by pointing out that Trump canceled their G20 meeting due to his worsening scandals, and not because of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. Putin could easily have given Trump cover, but he instead made a point of sticking it to him. Palmer Report interpreted this as a sign that Russia is discarding its broken puppet. Today, Putin made it a bit more obvious.



This week Robert Mueller and Michael Cohen teamed up to begin publicly exposing Donald Trump’s role in the Trump-Russia election rigging scandal. This included the emails that Cohen sent to the Kremlin during the election, in the hope of furthering the Trump Tower Moscow project. Now Russia is suddenly using these emails against Donald Trump in rather remarkable fashion.





Putin’s spokesman is now posting Michael Cohen’s emails as supposed evidence that it was only Donald Trump’s side who wanted to do the Trump Tower Moscow project, and that the Kremlin wasn’t interested. In so doing, Putin is flat out saying that the Trump-Russia conspiracy was all Trump’s idea, and that Russia didn’t want to go along for the ride. This, of course, is not true at all. But it’s a really big deal that Putin is now trying to pin Trump-Russia on Trump.


Is Vladimir Putin actively trying to finish off Donald Trump because he now sees him as a liability, or is Putin merely trying to protect himself by cutting Trump loose to sink or swim? We’ll see how far Putin takes this. Either way, this is not some coordinated act where Putin and Trump pretend to be mad at each other as a distraction. It can’t be; Russia is taking it too far. Putin is firing broadsides into Trump at a time when he’s already sinking.

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The post Vladimir Putin just used Michael Cohen’s emails against Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Putin and American political process – Google News: 19 nations reaffirm climate policy strategy; US holds out – WMUR Manchester

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WMUR Manchester

19 nations reaffirm climate policy strategy; US holds out
WMUR Manchester
According to the official, the unusual language on climate was necessary for Washington to sign on, and Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Russia had appeared sympathetic to the U.S. position but ultimately stayed with the other countries. The final language of

and more »

Putin and American political process – Google News

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): 2016 elections and mental health – Google News: Churchill: Is too much cable news making us sick? – Albany Times Union

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Albany Times Union

Churchill: Is too much cable news making us sick?
Albany Times Union
… the rest of the world be damned. Trump likes it that way. So do the networks. Ratings and revenue have been up significantly since Trump’s election, which is good for the networks but bad for our mental health or ability to think rationally. We

and more »

2016 elections and mental health – Google News

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Next customers: Flynn and Jr. – Google News: Capital-Journal’s All-State football 2018: All-Class teams – McPherson Sentinel

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McPherson Sentinel

Capital-Journal’s All-State football 2018: All-Class teams
McPherson Sentinel
End — Mason Baalmann, sr., Carroll; Billy Bartlett, sr., BV Southwest; Brady Bockover, sr., Carroll; Preven Christon, jr., Maize; Connor Delong, jr., Olathe West; Conner Flynn, sr., DeSoto; Drayton Foster, jr., Seaman; Ty Garrett, jr., Salina South

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Next customers: Flynn and Jr. – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: Michael Cohen’s new sentencing memo may have just taken down some of Trump’s White House advisers

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“President” Donald J. Trump is in Argentina, sitting alone, tapping his fingers, and frowning. He has good reason. After a lousy, entirely bad week for him, we now have word that late on Friday, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer and keeper of secrets beyond imagination, filed his Sentencing Memorandum with the Southern District of New York.



Defense lawyers draft sentencing memos, and so the words are carefully crafted, with the intent that the information provided will result in the client receiving the minimum possible prison sentence. In the memo, which refers to Trump as “Client 1,” Cohen through his lawyers writes about the false statements:

Michael’s false statements to Congress likewise sprung regrettably from Michael’s effort, as a loyal ally and then champion of Client-1, to support and advance Client-1’s political messaging. At the time that he was requested to appear before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Michael was serving as personal attorney to the President, and followed daily the political messages that both Client-1 and his staff and supporters repeatedly and forcefully broadcast.

Furthermore, in the weeks during which his then-counsel prepared his written response to the Congressional Committees, Michael remained in close and regular contact with White House based-staff and legal counsel to Client-1.





What the last paragraph does not directly state, but alludes to, is that both White House staff and legal counsel to Trump were fully aware of what Cohen was preparing to submit to Congress. It also suggests that they may have been involved assisting Cohen in drafting such responses. The carefully crafted response raises many interesting questions about how involved the White House and Trump’s attorneys were in the process but does not make the connection that Cohen was directed to lie or directed what to say.


If other evidence in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s possession were to connect any dots showing that Trump and/or his White House advisers influenced Cohen’s false testimony, many people will be facing some difficult legal issues. The week of the weak president continues to get worse, and it is no wonder that while others are smiling at the G20, Trump seems distracted.

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The post Michael Cohen’s new sentencing memo may have just taken down some of Trump’s White House advisers appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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Next customers: Flynn and Jr. – Google News: Navy hero remembered as ship is dedicated – The Boston Globe

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Navy hero remembered as ship is dedicated
The Boston Globe
Service members and civilians in dress uniforms and heavy topcoats assembled at the Flynn Cruiseport terminal for the commissioning of a destroyer named for retired Navy captain Thomas J. Hudner Jr., a Fall River native and Korean War hero who died

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Next customers: Flynn and Jr. – Google News


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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Palmer Report: The real reason no one’s talking about the raids against Donald Trump’s money laundering bank and his tax lawyer

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Almost immediately after Special Counsel Robert Mueller had Michael Cohen go into court and expose Donald Trump’s plot with Russian election riggers to build Trump Tower Moscow during the election, authorities raided the headquarters of Deutsche Bank – Trump’s favorite money laundering bank – and the offices of Trump’s former longtime tax attorney. But these raids have gotten little mainstream media attention. Palmer Report readers keep asking me why.



There are two reasons. The first is that we truly don’t know what’s going on with these raids. We don’t even know for certain that they are connected to Mueller’s investigation into Trump. Considering the timing and circumstances, they probably are. But no subsequent details have surfaced – and they won’t, until whatever was seized from those offices gets processed and is ready to be used as evidence in whatever legal moves are going to follow. So in fairness to the media, there’s not a lot to say about these raid for now. But that’s only half the story.


In early 2017, major British media outlets reported that U.S. and UK authorities were fining Deutsche Bank for having laundered billions of dollars from Russia to clients in places like New York City. Couple this with the endless major loans that Deutsche Bank had been floating to New York City resident Donald Trump, even though he never seemed to bother paying any of it back, and it wasn’t difficult to figure out that this bust had very probably uncovered the money pipeline from Putin to Trump. But major American media outlets completely ignored this story at the time.





You’d have to ask them why. It was fairly obvious twenty-two months ago how Putin had been keeping Donald Trump afloat financially. Maybe the American mainstream media just didn’t want to finish off a ratings goldmine like Trump too quickly. There is also a consistent pattern of major American news outlets either ignoring, or throwing shade on, any aspect of the Trump-Russia scandal that’s been uncovered by the British press.


But for now, the real reason you’re not hearing more about these two raids is there just isn’t much to say, because no one knows much yet. The real test will be when details from these raids come to light. If it becomes clear that they are in fact part of Robert Mueller’s endgame against Donald Trump, will the American mainstream media acknowledge it accordingly? We’ll see.

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The post The real reason no one’s talking about the raids against Donald Trump’s money laundering bank and his tax lawyer appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): US elections and russia – Google News: Mattis: Putin ‘tried again to muck around in our elections’ – CNN

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CNN

Mattis: Putin ‘tried again to muck around in our elections
CNN
Mattis said the relationship between the United States and Russia has “no doubt” worsened amid Russia’s continued efforts to intervene in the US electoral process. Mattis said he didn’t know if the threat from Russia had increased, but he said Russian …
What Trump’s troubles at home have to do with Putin’s aggression at seaCBC.ca
Trump breezes past Putin at start of G-20 summit, exchanges ‘pleasantries’ with Saudi princeWashington Post
Sarah Sanders blames Mueller for ‘undermining’ US foreign policy with Russia ‘Witch Hunt Hoax’ but says Trump …Daily Mail
Brownsville Herald –The Hill –USA TODAY
all 4,532 news articles »

US elections and russia – Google News

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): trump russian ties – Google News: Here’s a glimpse at Trump’s decades-long history of business ties to Russia – Business Insider

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Business Insider

Here’s a glimpse at Trump’s decades-long history of business ties to Russia
Business Insider
Trump’s business ties to Russia jumped back into the spotlight this week, after his former longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, admitted that he lied to Congress about the extent of the Trump Organization’s push to open a Trump Tower in Moscow during the
TrumpRussia: Five big things Mueller is looking atBBC News
Trump World’s Russian Entanglement Captured by One Day in JuneBloomberg
Michael Cohen’s guilty plea proves the House GOP’s Russia investigation was a shamVox
NBCNews.com –CNBC
all 5,129 news articles »

trump russian ties – Google News

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1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: There’s a Lot Going On in Michael Cohen’s Sentencing Memo

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The sentencing memo of Michael Cohen is a fascinating read on a number of levels: in the quality of its advocacy, in its account of Cohen’s cooperation with authorities, and in its account of the conduct of President Trump.

As a general proposition, good lawyering has not been a distinguishing feature of L’Affaire Russe. From having sensitive attorney meetings in public restaurants in the presence of New York Times reporters, to repeated wild inaccuracies in attorney public statements, to embarassing legal theories advanced by prominent academics, to attorneys continuing joint defense agreements after their clients reach cooperation arrangements, the lawyering in the Trump-Russia affairs has not shrouded the defense bar in glory. This stands in some contrast to prior presidential scandals. The defense lawyering surrounding the Bill Clinton scandals was superb. And much of the lawyering around Watergate was very fine as well. In neither of those scandals would an attorney have dreamt of creating a weekly show about the antics of the lawyering of the scandal, as Ken White has done this time around with a podcast with journalist Josh Barro that is appropriately entitled, “All the President’s Lawyers.”

So as a preliminary matter, let us say that it is a good thing—and not at all a foregone conclusion—to see Michael Cohen as ably represented as he evidently is in the memo that his attorneys, Guy Petrillo and Amy Lester, filed on his behalf this week.

At the time Cohen retained Petrillo, Preet Bharara and other veterans of the U.S. attorney’s office in the southern district of New York spoke favorably of him:

The document filed this week amply validates the vote of confidence Bharara gave Petrillo. The system works best when all parties to a matter are represented professionally. And Cohen’s attorneys here have made a compelling argument on behalf of their client, one that is based on a combination of legal arguments under the sentencing guidelines and prior sentencings in similar cases and on factual arguments about Cohen’s cooperation, good works and remorse. We don’t purport to know what the appropriate sentence is for Cohen; our point, rather, is that this is exactly the way the system is supposed to work. Prosecutors for the Southern District of New York and Robert Mueller’s office will now make their recommendations, and the court will have the benefit of the best arguments as well on behalf of leniency for Cohen. This stands in sharp contrast with some of the other cases and in particularly sharp contrast with the manner in which the president’s own lawyers have repeatedly behaved.

There is actually a connection between the quality of the lawyering behind the brief and the argument within the brief that the court should go easy on Cohen. Because if the quality of the brief is a reminder of what good defense advocacy looks like, the brief’s contents are all about what defendant cooperation is supposed to look like. Mueller has dealt with some bad apples in the cooperation department. George Papadopoulos agreed to cooperate, remember, then—according to Mueller—did not provide substantial assistance to the investigation, then waxed remorseful to the court, and then turned around and spent months trying to discredit the investigation and play the victim of a conspiracy. Even worse, Paul Manafort, we learned recently, actually breached his plea agreement by lying to Mueller’s office and committing new crimes, the prosecutors contend.

By contrast, Cohen, the brief takes pains to argue, is all in on cooperation. The brief begins with a lengthy recitation of Cohen’s cooperation, emphasizing the following key points:

  • “Beginning before the entry of his plea on August 21, 2018, and continuing thereafter through late November, Michael participated in seven voluntary interview meetings with the Special Counsel’s Office of the Department of Justice (‘SCO’). He intends to continue to make himself available to the SCO as and when needed for additional questioning. He also agreed to plead guilty to an additional count, namely, making false statements to Congress, based in part on information that he voluntarily provided to the SCO in meetings governed by a limited-use immunity proffer agreement.”
  • Cohen, his lawyers argue, has also voluntarily cooperated with the New York Attorney General’s office, in connection with its “state court action in which the NYAG has sued the Donald J. Trump Foundation and certain individual defendants, including Donald J. Trump” and another matter; he has also cooperated, his lawyers say, with New York tax authorities.
  • What’s more, he is cooperating under difficult circumstances. The president is attacking the investigation, Cohen’s lawyer’s argue, and he is attacking Cohen too. “In the context of this raw, full-bore attack by the most powerful person in the United States, Michael, formerly a confidante and adviser to Mr. Trump, resolved to cooperate, and voluntarily
    took the first steps toward doing so even before he was charged in this District,” the memo argues. In an obvious effort to contrast their client with Manafort, Cohen’s lawyers write that Cohen “took these steps, moreover, despite regular public reports referring to the President’s consideration of pardons and pre-pardons in the SCO’s investigation.”

Interestingly, the memo also answers the question of why Cohen’s initial plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York did not include a formal cooperation provision with that office or with the special counsel—a matter that we flagged with our Lawfare colleagues as something of a mystery at the time Cohen first pleaded guilty.

Cohen’s lawyers state in the sentencing memo that their client “respectfully declined to pursue conventional cooperation” to avoid the delay in his sentencing that would result from such an agreement, in order to get a faster start on the process of rebuilding his life post-sentencing. Such delays should be familiar to observers of L’Affaire Russe who have watched Michael Flynn’s sentencing date be pushed back five times as Flynn cooperates with Mueller. By contrast, Cohen is going to sentencing very quickly after his plea.

Cohen’s legal team emphasizes that “[t]his personal decision does not signal any intention on Michael’s part to withhold information or his availability to respond to additional inquiry. To the contrary, he expects to cooperate further.” In other words, the special counsel’s office—and the many other prosecutors to whom Cohen is providing information—need not worry that Cohen will cease cooperating with once he receives his sentence, his lawyers stress. He was cooperating before his plea. And he’ll keep cooperating afterwards.

On the substance, the memo suggests that Cohen has had a lot to say to prosecutors, especially about the conduct of the president of the United States. The memo goes out of its way to emphasize just how much of Cohen’s criminal conduct is traceable either to direct instructions from Donald Trump or to overzealous assistance of him. “Michael regrets,” his lawyers write,” that his vigor in promoting Client-1’s interests in the heat of political battle led him to abandon good judgment and cross legal lines.” (If anyone had any doubt as to the identity of “Client-1,” a footnote detailing “Michael’s loyal service to his famous former client” quotes a friend of Cohen’s describing Cohen’s “loyalty to Mr. Trump.”)

As the memo describes it, Cohen acted directly on Trump’s instructions in coordinating agreements and payoffs to “Woman-1” and “Woman-2” (identified  when Cohen pleaded guilty in August as Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels by the New York Times, among others) to prevent both women from going public with information on their sexual relationships with Trump. This is further confirmation of what Cohen said in court while pleading guilty in August: that he had made these arrangements “in coordination with and at the direction of a candidate for federal office.” While the August criminal information itself did not allege coordination with Trump personally, the memo states that Cohen “participated in planning discussions with Client-1 and the Chairman and CEO of Corporation-1” regarding the arrangement with Karen McDougal, in which Cohen helped convince McDougal to sell her story to a tabloid that then refused to publish it. The memo also states that Cohen “made a payment to the lawyer for Woman-2 in coordination with and at the direction of Client-1, and others within the Company.” And it says explicitly that Cohen’s reimbursements for the Stormy Daniels payment, which were arranged so they would appear to be payments for invoiced legal fees, were coordinated “with the approval of Client-1.”

In what is perhaps good news for the president, the memo’s language regarding Trump changes when it begins to describe Cohen’s false statements to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow Project. Rather than characterizing Cohen as acting on Trump’s direction, Cohen’s lawyers write that their client lied in order “to support and advance Client-1’s political messaging”—messaging that they describe Cohen as picking up from public statements by the president and his supporters, rather than any private discussions, though they do write that “Michael remained in close and regular contact with White House-based staff and legal counsel to Client-1.”

Presumably, if Cohen’s lawyers had any information that Cohen lied to Congress at Trump’s specific direction or with his or his family’s active encouragement, they would have shared it here—as they did in the Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal cases. So it seems notable that they declined to do so.

We are going to learn a great deal in the coming few weeks as additional sentencing memos get filed. Cohen’s sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12, and prosecutors will file their sentencing memo before that; it will be interesting to see how they characterize Cohen’s cooperation and to what extent they also urge leniency and on what points—if any—they dispute the picture of Cohen’s cooperation that Cohen’s lawyers have painted.

More significantly, Mueller owes the court a brief on Dec. 7 on his office’s contention that Manafort lied and committed additional crimes. In that document, Mueller can be expected to spell out how exactly Manafort frustrated the investigation and on what points he lied; we may also learn something in the context of that briefing about the relationship Manafort appears to have maintained, through counsel, with the White House after his plea and cooperation agreement.

What’s more, Flynn is finally going to sentencing on Dec. 18, so briefing on his cooperation will also be forthcoming in relatively short order as well. The nature of Flynn’s cooperation has been almost entirely opaque since his plea. So we will learn a great deal from the briefing in his case, as Mueller describes whether and how he has helped investigators.

Even if Mueller does not bring any additional cases in December, in other words, the sentencing memoranda alone should provide a rich source of insight into where the investigation now stands.

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

1. Trump from Michael_Novakhov (198 sites)


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