Collusion

Updates

  1. Originally published, December 8, 11:21 am.
  2. December 9, 12:59 am:
    • I probably should have noted earlier that Robert Mueller also seems to have nailed Donald Trump on the question of payoffs to young women he (allegedly) had affairs with.[1] It’s just not really news to me as I had already accepted this as almost certainly true. But the Washington Post has yet another—but probably the best yet—summary of Trump’s very bad Friday.[2] (James Comey)
  3. December 9, 11:19 am:
    • John Dean, of Watergate infamy, thinks Congress will have no choice but to begin impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.[3] Which, of course, is what even some conservatives would like. But, um, the Senate is controlled by the Republican Party, which is not at all like the Republican Party of the 1970s. Today’s “Grand Old Party” is all in with authoritarian populism, the larger part of Trump’s base. Which kinda makes all this pointless. But the article offers additional background so it’s probably worth reading anyway.

James Comey

The filing [sentencing memorandum] comes close to suggesting collusion without actually making that case. [Robert] Mueller notes that [Michael] Cohen’s effort to engage Russia with [Donald] Trump’s knowledge and consent “occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.” Mueller provided another hint by praising Cohen for providing the special counsel’s office “with useful information concerning certain Russia-related matters core to its investigation.” There is arguably only one matter core to the Mueller investigation, as defined by Mueller’s appointment as special counsel: “to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election . . . [and] any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” If Cohen’s information is core to the Mueller investigation, it is reasonable to conclude that Mueller does, indeed, believe he can prove that there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.[4]

Or, I would say, that there was not. The case that Adam Davidson lays out supports that Robert Mueller likely knows, or thinks he knows, whether or not there was in fact collusion. But it does not actually point to a conclusion in either direction.

Aaron Blake, “5 big takeaways from the new Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort filings,” Washington Post, December 7, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/07/takeaways-michael-cohen-sentencing-filings/

Adam Davidson, “The Michael Cohen Sentencing Memos Are Damning for Trump,” New Yorker, December 7, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/swamp-chronicles/the-michael-cohen-sentencing-memos-are-damning-for-trump

Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky, “Mueller flashes some cards in Russia probe, but hides his hand,” Washington Post, December 8, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/mueller-flashes-some-cards-in-russia-probe-but-hides-his-hand/2018/12/08/03938a34-fb01-11e8-8c9a-860ce2a8148f_story.html

Philip Ewing, “What You Need To Know About The New Manafort And Cohen Court Documents,” NPR, December 8, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/12/08/674842607/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-manafort-and-cohen-court-documents


Donald Trump

Michael Brice-Saddler, “Congress will have to ‘start impeachment’ process after Cohen filings, former Nixon counsel says,” Washington Post, December 8, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/08/congress-will-have-start-impeachment-process-after-cohen-filings-former-nixon-counsel-says/


Julian Assange

Gonzalo Solano and Joshua Goodman, “Ecuador: Enough UK guarantees for Assange to leave embassy,” Associated Press, December 6, 2018, https://www.apnews.com/0b95cddbe0614d47b71c07c827710210


  1. [1]Aaron Blake, “5 big takeaways from the new Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort filings,” Washington Post, December 7, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/07/takeaways-michael-cohen-sentencing-filings/; Philip Ewing, “What You Need To Know About The New Manafort And Cohen Court Documents,” NPR, December 8, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/12/08/674842607/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-manafort-and-cohen-court-documents
  2. [2]Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky, “Mueller flashes some cards in Russia probe, but hides his hand,” Washington Post, December 8, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/mueller-flashes-some-cards-in-russia-probe-but-hides-his-hand/2018/12/08/03938a34-fb01-11e8-8c9a-860ce2a8148f_story.html
  3. [3]Michael Brice-Saddler, “Congress will have to ‘start impeachment’ process after Cohen filings, former Nixon counsel says,” Washington Post, December 8, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/12/08/congress-will-have-start-impeachment-process-after-cohen-filings-former-nixon-counsel-says/
  4. [4]Adam Davidson, “The Michael Cohen Sentencing Memos Are Damning for Trump,” New Yorker, December 7, 2018, https://www.newyorker.com/news/swamp-chronicles/the-michael-cohen-sentencing-memos-are-damning-for-trump

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