This Firebrand Ex-Congressman Blames The 'Deep State' For His Fraud Indictment
The Gist: Steve Stockman’s last two-year term was also dogged by swirling allegations of campaign finance violations flagged by government watchdog groups and the Office of Congressional Ethics. Those allegations came into sharp focus on Tuesday with a 28-count federal grand jury indictment against Stockman and one of his former congressional aides, including charges of mail and wire fraud, lying to the Federal Election Commission, excessive campaign contributions and money laundering (one count charges Stockman with filing a false tax return).
Trump Says Flynn Should Ask For Immunity: 'This Is A Witch Hunt'
The Gist: Following a Thursday report that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is seeking immunity in exchange for talking to the intelligence committees in Congress, President Donald Trump sent an early-morning tweet arguing that Flynn should ask for immunity.
Ex-Trump Adviser: Allegations Against Me Are 'Just Literally Completely False'
The Gist: Carter Page, who advised President Donald Trump's campaign on foreign policy, said on Thursday that allegations he collaborated with Russia to influence the 2016 election are "just literally completely false in every way, shape and form."
From The Reporter's Notebook
An email sent out by the EPA, obtained by Politico, featured a quote attributed to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), which called the order “irresponsible” and “irrational," TPM's Kristin Salaky wrote. The only problem? Capito, a Republican from coal country, didn’t say that. That quote is actually from Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), according to Politico. When alerted to the error, an EPA spokesman told Poltico that the email was quickly replaced with another one, which can be read on its site now.
Agree or Disagree?
Josh Marshall: "White House factional politics are not in themselves necessarily of great interest. But having two aides with no national security experience overrule the National Security Advisor on a key NSC personnel decision is rather remarkable - even more so when the person in question apparently has the job only due to the influence of the former national security advisor who resigned in disgrace and now appears to be the target of multiple criminal and counter-intelligence probes. "
BUZZING: Today in the Hive
From a TPM Prime member: "It occurred to me that the players have an incentive to try to cut an Ollie North-type deal for use immunity. Although the deal North made to testify before Congress didn't technically prevent his prosecution, only the use of the testimony he gave before Congress in a subsequent prosecution, the courts found that even with the best and most careful efforts, it was not reasonably believable that the testimony would not effectively be used against him by prosecutors or that a jury could be seated that had truly been entirely insulated from the testimony. If Flynn is seeking immunity from prosecution, that's not a deal he's cutting with a Congressional committee, but would be a deal he's cutting with the FBI and with the blessing of a U.S. Attorney. If he's seeking only use immunity, he likely anticipates that his testimony would have the same functional effect as with North -- that even if it proves useless to prosecute anybody else, he would effectively prevent himself from being prosecuted. If it's the former, the U.S. Attorney signing off on the deal had best be very clear about what testimony will be offered, and how useful it will be to further investigations and the prosecution of others who may have broken the law."
Related: WSJ: Flynn Says He's Willing To Testify In Exchange For Immunity Deal
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What We're Reading
This Is Almost Certainly James Comey’s Twitter Account (Gizmodo)
The Virtues of Isolation (The Atlantic)