Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

Articles by

Lawyers for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort called him “one of the most recognizable people on the planet” in a court filing Thursday pushing back on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s claims that he is a flight risk.

Manafort, indicted on federal charges of tax evasion, money laundering, and failure to disclose foreign lobbying as part of Mueller’s Russia probe, is scheduled to appear court Thursday afternoon. Among the issues for the judge are the conditions of Manafort’s release from the home confinement he has been in since turning himself in on Monday.

Read More →

Among the Russia-linked Facebook and Instagram ads released Wednesday by the lawmakers probing Russia’s 2016 election meddling are a number of ads promoting rallies, marches and other physical events, suggesting that Russia sought to extend its influence beyond the confines of the internet.

Read More →

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee posted Wednesday a selection of the Facebook ads purchased by Russia-linked accounts as the committee’s hearing on how Russia exploited social media during the 2016 election got under way.

The committee Dems posted screenshots of the ads, as well as some of the the meta data associated with the ads, such as the amount of impressions the ads made and to which demographics the ads were targeted. Examples of Russia-purchased ads on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, were among the ads released.

Some of the ads released Wednesday did not mention presidential candidates by name, but rather weighed in on political issues, be it pushing anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant sentiments, or mimicking the Black Lives Matters or LGBT rights movements.

Other ads explicitly advocated for or against particular candidates. One Instagram ad from an account called “american.veterans” said “Killary Clinton will never understand what it feels like to lose the person you love for the sake of your country,” while others touted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). There were some anti-Donald Trump ads among the examples released Wednesday, including a Facebook post for a “Trump is NOT my President” event.


Additionally, House Intel Committee Dems released a list of Twitter handles associated with Russia-linked accounts.

Representatives from Twitter, Facebook and Google were on Capital Hill to testify on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Before appearing in front of the House Intel committee, the representatives from the social media companies testified in front of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee and in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee.


Read More →

To those who were anticipating the indictment against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort that became public Monday, the unexpected unsealing of a guilty plea from another Trump campaign aide a little more than an hour later was a major shock.

But Special Counsel Robert Mueller wasn’t just giving close observers of the case a bonus surprise on a day being touted on Twitter as #MuellerMonday. Mueller was sending a message — multiple messages in fact — former federal prosecutors tell TPM and the unsealed court filings themselves suggest.

Read More →

Before the earthquake of an indictment that became public Monday against ex-Trump aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, a quieter battle was going on behind the scenes between them and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office — one that was detailed in another court document that was unsealed Monday.

An unsealed opinion of the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia sheds light on the move by Mueller to have Manafort’s own attorney answer questions in front of his grand jury. His desire to speak with the lawyer, Melissa Laurenza, was previously reported. However, what was not known publicly until the opinion’s release was how hard Gates and Manafort fought her appearance, what exactly Mueller was seeking from her, and how his team won over the judge overseeing the proceeding.

Read More →

Even before Paul Manafort left his home in Alexandria, Virginia, early Monday morning to turn himself in to the FBI, reporters were waiting at the DC federal courthouse where he would appear later in the day.

By 1:30 p.m. ET, when Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates, were schedule for an initial appearance, a queue of reporters lined the entire hallway up to U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson’s courtroom, a short walk from where the grand jury that approved of their indictment has been meeting.

Read More →

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and another former Trump aide, Rick Gates, have been accused of setting up a lobbying scheme on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian leader that concealed the ties the effort had to his political party.

The allegations come in the bombshell federal indictment in Washington, D.C., made public Monday as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. The claims made Monday are not specifically related to the 2016 election; rather, they largely focus on Manafort’s and Gates’ activities before joining the Trump campaign. Among the allegations is that they did not properly disclose the lobbying work under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law that is almost never used to bring criminal cases.

Read More →

Dane Boente, one of the most powerful U.S. attorneys in the country who has also served as a top official in President Trump’s Justice Department, is stepping down, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

As U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Boente has overseen a number of key investigations and prosecutions, and the office has been involved in the federal Russian election meddling investigation. A number of national security agencies sit in the Eastern District, putting his office at the center of many terrorism cases. Boente is also the acting assistant attorney general of the National Security Division of the Justice Department.

After Sally Yates was fired from her role as acting Attorney General for refusing to defend Trump’s travel ban, Boente served in that role temporarily as well. He also served as acting deputy attorney general in the early days of the Trump administration.

According to the Post’s report, he will not leave that until the official Trump’s pick for  assistant attorney general of the National Security Division, John C. Demers, is confirmed.  Trump has not yet nominated someone to succeed Boente as U.S. Attorney the Eastern District of Virginia.

Trump has reportedly been interviewing personally potential U.S. attorney nominees for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, both of which are also conducting investigations into Trump associates. For the President to get personally involved in that interview process is very uncommon, and has attracted criticism from Democrats.


Read More →

Nearly a year after Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) was photographed with then-President-elect Donald Trump holding an apparent proposal to weaken a key voter law, court documents have been made public in which Kobach discusses the details of that proposal and what he discussed with Trump.

Kobach, according to excerpts of a depositions in an ACLU lawsuit unsealed Thursday, said the proposal referred to a “yet uncreated amendment” to the National Voting Registration Act (NVRA) and that it was a “conceptual statement.”

Read More →