Russiagate Open Thread: Michael Cohen Makes A Move

In his resignation letter to Ronna McDaniel, the RNC chair, Cohen cited the ongoing special counsel investigation as one reason for his departure. ABC News has reviewed the email…

Cohen also criticized the administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the southern border, the first time he’s distanced himself from the president.

“As the son of a Polish holocaust survivor, the images and sounds of this family separation policy is heart wrenching,” Cohen wrote. “While I strongly support measures that will secure our porous borders, children should never be used as bargaining chips.”

Cohen on Tuesday hired New York lawyer Guy Petrillo to represent him in a federal investigation headed up by the Southern District of New York.

I drafted the post below just last night. Nothing is ever certain in Trumpworld, but it sounds like the Hoarse Whisperer’s tweets at the end might be relevant; if Cohen’s decided that Donald is not really his friend, then the next logical step would be discovering a moral compass…

It’d be some kind of poetic justice if Trump’s notorious parsimony (to phrase it nicely) with the people who work for him turns out to be what brings him down. From CNN:

Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has signaled to friends that he is “willing to give” investigators information on the President if that’s what they are looking for, and is planning on hiring a new lawyer to handle a possible indictment from federal prosecutors.

“He knows a lot of things about the President and he’s not averse to talking in the right situation,” one of Cohen’s New York friends who is in touch with him told CNN. “If they want information on Trump, he’s willing to give it.”…

The shift in legal strategy and signals of potential cooperation with investigators come as Cohen feels increasingly isolated from the President, whom he has been famously loyal to for more than a decade. Last week, CNN reported Cohen has indicated a willingness to cooperate to alleviate pressure on himself and his family…

Several defense lawyers say that if Cohen is ultimately indicted, they don’t expect him to be charged with any wrongdoing until the government completes its review of the evidence seized in the raid. The court-appointed special master overseeing the review of material for attorney-client privileged information said it could be completed as soon as June 25…

From The Hill:

The Wall Street Journal reports that Cohen has “frequently” complained that the mounting costs of his legal fees are “bankrupting” him, according to one source, and that he is frustrated that the president, whom he feels owes Cohen for years service, hasn’t offered to cover the fees.

Trump told reporters last week that he hasn’t spoken to his former attorney in months, adding that Cohen no longer does any business with him.

“I always liked Michael Cohen,” he said Friday. “I haven’t spoken to Michael in a long time.”…



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: There Are Still Heroes


As the owner of a 16-year-old rescue dog who still bolts for freedom every chance he gets, I cannot tell you how happy this story made me. But maybe you can guess!

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Olivia Nuzzi is a hero — or at least a media ninja — in her own right:

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You too can be a hero…



Another Failed Trump Brand

Trump Casinos.
Trump Steaks.
Trump Airlines.
Trump Vodka.
Trump Mortgage.
Trump Magazine.
Trump Ice.
Trump University.

What do all of these Trump-branded things all have in common? They all went belly up. Kaput. Deceased. Bereft of life, they’ve joined the bleedin’ choir invisible.

If tens of millions of our fellow citizens weren’t such goddamned idiots, this record of scammy failures would have vaporized Trump’s “successful businessman” image, which seems to be the only thing Trump has expended a lot of effort to build. But, people are dumb and gullible, especially when reality collides with a carefully cultivated TV image, so here we are.

But 18 or so months into this dystopian hellscape, there’s just no excuse for a seasoned political analyst to express faith in another fraudulent Trump brand: the alleged moderating influence of Ivanka Trump. Yet Karen Tumulty does just that in a Post opinion column:

Melania Trump weighs in on her husband’s cruel policy. Where are you, Ivanka?

The first lady’s decision to step into the debate makes the silence of another Trump family member all the more telling. Where is Ivanka Trump, who is actually an official adviser to her father — and the one who claims that family issues are her portfolio?

All those photos of crying children don’t look so great on Instagram. Still, Ivanka, there is time to step up. You can do it. Be best.

Seriously? Give me a fucking break.

Now, as I said a couple of days ago, I think the Trump people have trod on their own dicks by going all-in on child-snatching. The practice is so morally repugnant that even reliable toadies like Franklin Graham publicly object to the policy, and Trump’s usual lie-and-deflect strategy doesn’t seem to be resonating outside the Fox News bubble.

Meanwhile, the images of crying parents and brown kids in cages have generated such enthusiasm in Trump’s white supremacist base that it will be difficult to walk the policy back without angering the most devoted cultists. It’s possible the abnormal brain trust in the White House is discussing a face-saving climb-down this very moment, possibly even one involving Ivanka.

But even if Sarah Huckabee-Sanders trots Ivanka Trump out at today’s news briefing to announce an end to the old man’s child kidnappings (spoiler: not gonna happen — Shitler is doubling down on Twitter right now), it would be yet another scam. Ivanka’s supposed influence on her monstrous father is just another Trump-branded fraud, and anyone who seriously looks to that empty-headed non-entity for moral leadership is a moron.



Russiagate Open Thread: “But — But — He’s A Wealthy White Man!”


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Almost There

What this week felt like:

In normal times, the fact that the president’s former campaign chairman may go to jail today for witness tampering would be a bigger deal. So would the fact that the president’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said this on TV last night:

I believe that Rod Rosenstien and Jeff Sessions have a chance to redeem themselves, and that chance comes about tomorrow. It doesn’t go beyond tomorrow. Tomorrow, Mueller should be suspended, and honest people should be brought in, impartial people [from the New York office — he actually specified that in another segment — ed.] to investigate these people like Strzok. Strzok should be in jail by the end of next week.

Looks like due process is only for spouse abusers. Is Giuliani just flapping his gums to intimidate GOP-appointed officials in an allegedly independent organization to do Trump’s bidding — as Trump himself has done for months now?

Or will Trump use a cherry-picked version of the IG report to justify more direct action to shut down the Mueller probe or compromise it by bringing in goons from his home turf?

I honestly have no idea. I’m just glad this interminable week is coming to an end.



Goniffs in the Night Open Thread: Happy B-Day, Ya Putz!

I {heart} New York… of course the AG charged the Trump Foundation on the old man’s birthday…


 


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Cohen Flips

Michael Cohen’s lawyers aren’t going to be representing him after this week, and it looks like he’s going to cooperate with Mueller.

Update: As was pointed out in the comments, the “flip” part is ABC’s speculation. Cohen is definitely looking for new lawyers, and he may flip.

Update 2: