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Paulie Runs One Last Disinformation Op - Against Trump

Look here for the latest updates from our team at the courthouse and in DC and NY are publishing in real time about this morning’s events at the federal courthouse in DC. But let me note a side point, which is quite interesting. Paul Manafort’s team has been putting out disinformation about this deal for a couple weeks now. I don’t put this out as a criticism or not. It just is what it is. And frankly, in a purely pragmatic light, it made a lot of sense to do that. This had to be secret until the last possible moment, especially from the President. He needed the element of surprise. And he got it.

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There is a cooperation agreement.

Update: So just some detail here. We don’t know precisely what the scope of the cooperation is. We don’t know who he’s cooperating against. What we have here is that Andrew Weismann, in the court a short time ago, referred to the deal as a “cooperation agreement.” The hung jury charges from Virginia will be dropped, pending his cooperation.

Later Update: I got this wrong. I’m glad I did. But note that last night I wrote that if Manafort was going to cooperate it made sense that he would keep that fact under wraps until the very last moment. It appears that that is just what happened.


I’m still skeptical that this is a Manafort cooperation agreement. But there does seem like there’s more possibility of it than I sensed last night. If I’m reading these outlines correctly, this deal will leave the 69 year old Manafort with a combined sentence of 15 to 20 years in prison. That might as well be 100 years. We’ll know very soon. We’ll bring you the news as soon as we have it.

About Last Night

We had a slew of primaries in New York State last night. If you’re looking at a left-right, establishment versus progressives dichotomy it was sort of a mixed picture. Actual Democrats crushed something called the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a group of Democrats who until quite recently were keeping the state Senate in de facto Republican hands. That, along with other more deep-seated factors, have had the effect of taking a very blue state and giving it a fairly purple politics, something that affects not just New York but the country as a whole. (Big states like California being deeply Democratic and Texas being deeply Republican have an impact on the rest of the country.) At the same time, the state’s very establishment Democratic governor easily won renomination. The candidates he supported won the Lt. Governorship and Attorney General nominations too. So some are saying, well, it’s a mixed picture. But I would argue this is at least in part a misleading prism through which to these results and results around the country. It obscures a much clearer picture and set of trends.

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Done Deal

Late Update: It’s all but confirmed. The special counsel’s office just released a “Superseding Criminal Information” in the DC case. That is in all likelihood the abbreviated set of charges Manafort will agree to plead guilty to.  More soon …

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Tide Turning Against GOP

In the last dozen years we’ve seen at least two and arguably three wave elections, with two tied to a midterm election: 2006, 2008 and 2010. They have certain common characteristics, along with others from earlier decades. One is that key patterns generally take shape or come fully into view at the end of the summer. Whether this is because our media and political cycles our designed to kickstart after the Labor Day holiday, whether it’s the shift from summer or just a certain proximity to election day that creates a critical mass of focused attention in the voting electorate, I’m not sure. But we are currently seeing a pattern that looks a lot like these earlier cycles, with a congealing trend coming out of late August into the first days of September.

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The Fix Is In

We’ve discussed at various points all the ways that President Trump has signaled to Paul Manafort that a pardon is on offer is he just keeps his mouth shut. It’s even worse than we thought.

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Big In Montana

Ha ha ha … Cam Joseph’s piece on Montana Senate Matt Rosendale moonwalking away from his claims of being a “rancher” showed up in a Tester ad overnight. Watch the ad after the jump. 

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Pray Away the Gay Today

Steve Negron, the newly-minted GOP nominee to face Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) recently defended so-called ‘gay conversion therapy’. “When you look at these young children that are trying to make a decision, and I remember when I was 15-16 I was confused, I had a lot of options in my life,” he said in a Facebook Live interview with local station WMUR last month.

"This Should Keep The Black Vote Down Considerably."

This a fascinating, must-read backstory that is one of the many, really countless reasons hearing from TPM Readers has been such a treat and something I’ve profited from so much for almost 20 years. TPM Reader Joe Rieser, one-time General Counsel of the DNC, has a fascinating follow-up and addenda to the second installment in our 2018 Series on Voting Rights and Democracy

I had been away on vacation when TPM’s August 16, 2018 article on voter fraud mythology was published and did not come across it until just recently. I was heavily involved with one of the episodes described in that article, namely the Republican efforts in Louisiana in 1986. In my world, we call it the Louisiana case. There is one significant piece of evidence that the authors of the article failed to mention with respect to that episode. I think it is worth bringing to your attention because of how strongly an admission by a Republican operative in an undeleted email underscored the Republicans’ racial focus in suppressing the vote.

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