They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

Michael Cohen met Wednesday with officials from state and federal law enforcement agencies investigating President Trump’s real estate business and defunct charity, CNN reported.

The conversation took place at the Manhattan office of Cohen’s attorney Guy Petrillo, according to the report.

Sources familiar with the meeting told CNN that federal prosecutors from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and officials from the New York Attorney General’s office were among those in attendance.

Cohen entered into a plea agreement in Manhattan federal court in August. He pleaded guilty to five counts of personal financial wrongdoing and one of campaign finance violations related to hush money payments he helped broker to women who alleged sexual liaisons with Trump. Ahead of his mid-December sentencing, he has offered his enthusiastic cooperation to law enforcement bodies probing Trump-related entities.

The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office has continued to investigate whether others at the Trump Organization engaged in campaign finance violations by paying off women. Separately, the New York attorney general’s office has brought a civil lawsuit against the Trump Foundation for serving as a “personal piggy bank” for Trump rather than a legitimate charity.

Cohen has also spent hours meeting with prosecutors working for special counsel Robert Mueller.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team told a federal judge in Virginia Wednesday that it is amenable to dismissing the 10 deadlocked counts against Paul Manafort before sentencing if the judge continues to insist on it.

But Mueller’s team said that it still preferred to wait until the former Trump campaign chairman finished cooperating with the federal government to address those loose ends.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis, who rode the prosecution team hard throughout Manafort’s summer trial, had recently expressed concern about the sequencing of sentencing and the dismissal of the deadlocked counts. Manafort was convicted on eight other bank and tax fraud counts at trial.

Shortly before his D.C. trial was set to start, Manafort entered into a plea deal with Mueller. In exchange for providing useful information to the special counsel, Manafort was required to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the U.S. and another of witness tampering. Both cases were related to foreign lobbying work he did in Ukraine.

Ellis last week ordered both parties to attend an Oct. 19 hearing to address the deadlocked counts and sentencing schedule in his case. Waiting to handle them until Manafort’s cooperation was complete would be “highly unusual,” the notoriously by-the-books judge said.

In their Wednesday filing, Mueller’s team said they were fine with getting a sentencing date on the books. They also said that they saw no need to deal with the deadlocked counts now and would prefer to handle them “either at the time of sentencing or when the defendant’s successful cooperation is complete.”

“The government prefers to have the disposition of those counts deferred to the time of sentencing or the successful completion of the defendant’s cooperation, as agreed to in the parties’ plea agreement, previously provided to the Court,” the prosecution filing read.

“Should the Court seek resolution of those counts now, the government does not oppose the dismissal of those counts without prejudice,” it continued. “Counsel for Manafort has informed the government that Manafort does not oppose the government’s positions.”

The offer to dismiss them “without prejudice” now, which Manafort’s attorneys agreed to, would allow the government to retry those counts later.

Read the full filing below.

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An appeals court Monday appointed Christopher Caldwell — a Los Angeles-based lawyer at the private firm Boies, Schiller and Flexner — to serve as a special prosecutor in the ongoing legal fight over whether a contempt of court finding against former Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio should be wiped away due to his pardon by President Trump.

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Whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will be deposed in the lawsuits challenging his move to add a citizenship question to the census is now in the Supreme Court’s hands. But from the internal documents released with the litigation, and the excerpts of his deputies’ depositions that have also made their way in to court filings, it’s become clear that the stated reason for adding it — for Voting Rights Act enforcement — was an after-the-fact justification pursued by his top aides.

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The Florida state Supreme Court said Monday that Gov. Rick Scott (R) will not be allowed to appoint three new justices to the court on the morning he steps down as governor, after voting rights groups sued him over his plans to replace the three judges whose terms will come to an end at midnight before Scott’s successor is sworn in.

“The governor who is elected in the November 2018 general election has the sole authority to fill the vacancies that will be created by the mandatory retirement of Justices Barbara J. Pariente, R. Fred Lewis, and Peggy A. Quince,” the state Supreme Court said, “provided the justices do not leave prior to the expiration of their terms at midnight between January 7 and January 8, 2019, and provided that the governor takes office immediately upon the beginning of his term.”

The retiring justices, who are stepping down due to mandatory age limits, are all left-leaning, according to Slate. In attempting a power grab that would have let him lock in a right-leaning majority for years regardless the winner of the 2018 governor’s race, Scott was trying to exploit a loophole in that their terms expired at midnight, January 8, but his successor wouldn’t be sworn in until that day, usually at around noon.

“I will appoint three more justices on the morning I finish my term,” Scott said last year.

Those plans attracted a lawsuit from the Florida League of Women Voters and Common Cause, which said that Scott’s attempts to “make appointments to shape the judiciary on his way out of office would run directly contrary to the core principle of this State that political power is inherent in the people.”

Scott is currently running for the U.S. Senate. The race to replace him — between Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Republican U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis — is close, according to polls.

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