Sunday, December 9, 2018

SCOOP: Over the past 24 hours, Trump has privately asked confidants what they think about the idea of installing Rep. Mark Meadows as John Kelly's replacement.

Nick Ayers, Trump’s once-likely replacement for chief of staff John Kelly, won’t take the job

Russians interacted with at least 14 Trump associates during the campaign and transition

The oil price is now controlled by these three men: 1. Bin Salman 2. Trump 3. Putin

Top Dem: Court filings show Trump was at the center of "several massive frauds" against the American people

Breaking: Republicans and Democrats around the country who respect the rule of law simultaneously clutch their chests

Early on, Trump-Russia obsessives were marginalized; they're prophets now - Los Angeles Times

"Right now, we have a sitting president of the United States who committed two felonies while running for President."

When Alexander Kogan collected Facebook data for Cambridge Analytica, it was accessed through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk platform

"For the President and those close to him, these are terrifying and damning documents. The prosecutors from the Southern District have now named Trump as the person who directed a crime for which another man will presumably go to prison."

Scoop: The criminal investigation into to stolen identities used to file anti-net neutrality comments with the FCC is far bigger than previously thought. The FBI is delivering subpoenas and at least three state attorneys general offices also investigating.

Kremlin tells Russian banks to prepare for disconnection from international payment systems

Q: If it's proven that Trump directed or coordinated with Cohen to commit these felonies … are those impeachable offenses? Jerry Nadler: "They would be impeachable offenses." Via CNN.

Kudos to @AndrewCMcCarthy, who has often defended Trump, for publishing this straight take that Trump is likely to be indicted

James Comey to Congressional Investigators: Four Americans Connected to Trump Probed in Summer 2016 for Russian Meddling

How companies are learning to deal with Trump attacking them on Twitter

Exclusive: Before Trump tapped Bill Barr to be his new AG, he reached out to him for another job: his defense lawyer.

Comey says he and Mueller are "not friends"

Nick Ayers, Mike Pence’s right hand, likely to be Trump’s next chief of staff.

Mueller flashes some cards in Russia probe, but hides his hand

And -- as I elaborate in a forthcoming article -- if he has committed any crimes, he will have to plea bargain while he is still president: his resignation in exchange for total leniency. If he stays until the end, he loses that great bargaining chip.

John Dean: “I think it will resurface in the Congress. I think what this totality of today’s filings show that the House is going to have little choice the way this is going other than to start impeachment proceedings.”

Former @FECI Chair, @AnnMRavel: "I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where illegal coordination seems more obvious. It is so blatant that it doesn’t even seem sloppy. Everyone involved probably just thinks there aren’t going to be any consequences."

COMEY: "There are not many things I would bet my life on. I would bet my life that Bob Mueller will do things the right way, the way we would all want, whether we're Republicans or Democrats, the way Americans should want."

Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman texted each other regularly, NYT reports. The exchanges continued even after Jamal Khashoggi's murder. Kushner, it is reported, has offered the crown prince advice about how to "weather the storm."

Barr must recuse from the Russia investigation or he cannot be confirmed.

The time for talking is almost over. Russian cyber operations need to be hit so hard they will never try this, or any other offensive operations ever again

George Papadopoulos talking about his meetings in Europe: "It wasn’t a secret that Trump wanted some connection with Russia at the geopolitical level at the time...I thought, 'The niece of Vladimir Putin wants to meet with me?' I was on cloud nine."

“The FBI will be fine. It will snap back, as will the rest of our institutions,” Comey said. “There will be short-term damage... but in the long run, no politician, no president can, in a lasting way, damage those institutions.”

COMEY: "Mid October, maybe a little bit later, Mr. Giuliani was making statements that appeared to be based on his knowledge of workings inside the FBI New York ... that gave me a general concern that we may have a leak problem ... and so I asked that it be investigated."

‘Siege warfare’: Republican anxiety spikes as Trump faces growing legal and political perils

Dear @realDonaldTrump: Why are we paying for Saudi Arabia's war?

Gym Jordan doesn’t recall all the wrestlers who were sexually abused during his tenure as a wrestling coach, so there’s that.

Q: If Mueller were fired, how would that affect further investigations? COMEY: "As an informed outsider ... you'd almost have to fire everyone in the FBI and the Justice Department to derail the relevant investigations, but I don't know exactly what the effect would be." P. 57

Bombshell: Comey: Giuliani was sharing FBI secrets leaked to him in the run-up to 2016 election "that gave me a general concern that we may have a leak problem."