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Inside the Manafort Trial

Our team of Tierney Sneed and Caitlin MacNeal was in the courtroom through Paul Manafort’s Virginia trial and there right through the the announcement of his unexpected cooperation agreement in court in DC on Friday. Yesterday I talked to Tierney and Caitlin about the Virginia trial, the different players involved and the new cooperation agreement. You can hear the conversation here.

That's Interesting

Through the Russia probe and various counter-probes, we’ve seen many cases where delays of various sorts have been interpreted as trying to cover for one side or the other. Such claims have been taken very seriously and even became central to the DOJ Inspector General’s report that made such a splash a few months ago. Now it turns out, according to ABC, that the the Steele Dossier sat in the FBI’s New York field office for weeks with no action. After arriving in New York in July, it didn’t make it to DC until September. It was supposedly sent to the “wrong person” and “took a long period of time for the New York field office to see it and realize what it was.”

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New Development

Lawyers for Professor Christine Blasey Ford have now sent a letter to Senator Grassley in which they say that “an FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing her allegation.” In other words, a period of fact-finding should precede any public hearing. Here’s the letter.

Senate GOP to Prof Ford: Take It Or Leave It

I want to flag your attention to something that may have been lost in this afternoon’s rush of events and statements. Yesterday Chairman Grassley, head of the committee that oversees the confirmation process, announced that a quickie hearing would be held Monday with only two witnesses: Professor Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. He also seemed to imply that both would be there, even though he’d only spoken to Kavanaugh and had yet to make contact with Ford.

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No Statutes of Limitations

Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged accomplice, does not want to testify in whatever hearing is slated to take place on Monday. Republicans clearly don’t want him to testify either, for a number of obvious reasons. But a friend, who is a member of the bar in Maryland, tells me that for assault, rape, attempted rape and a wide variety of other crimes there is no statute of limitations in Maryland. This surprised me greatly. But this person has practiced law in the state for 25 years and I think I’ve confirmed this with a bit of research on my own. This would appear to confirm this.

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Rough Horse Play

Interesting and perhaps disturbing moment a short time ago as Carrie Severino, spokesperson of the Judicial Crisis Network, was interviewed on CNN. The JCN is the central campaign arm for Republican judicial nominations. The Federalist Society grooms and chooses the nominees. The JCN runs the campaigns, runs political ads in Senators’ states, as necessary. Here Severino argues that it’s not clear that what Ford describes wasn’t simply “rough horse play” as opposed to attempted rape.

Video after the jump ..

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Dire Development

President Trump orders the politically motivated declassification of investigative materials and the release of texts from targeted top investigators in the Russia probe.