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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Over the last week I’ve seen a handful of those ‘predictions for 2019’ articles by people who write about journalism and the journalism business. So I thought I’d add my own take, with a special emphasis on our own plans for 2019 and how the two things relate to each other.

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TPM Reader PB has this idea about what is behind Rudy Giuliani’s big revelation yesterday about the Trump Tower Moscow deal that apparently remained live through the 2016 election.

The last time Giuliani admitted a fact that was not publicly known, it was to get ahead of the Stormy Daniels story before it was disclosed in a likely indictment of Cohen. It seems safe to assume that he is revealing the fact that Trump was negotiating the Trump Tower Moscow deal/bribe in the closing days of the election for the same reason.

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If you listened closely today Rudy Giuliani suggested that negotiations over building a Trump Tower in Moscow may have continued up until election day 2016. I heard him say this in real time but I confess I wasn’t quite cynical enough to grasp the implications. At least not immediately. Let’s start by watching the video, which you can see here.

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We set a super ambitious goal this year that is critical to our organization’s future. We wanted to get to 30,000 Prime subscribers by the close of 2018. And we are really, really close. We’re currently at 29,351. So we are 649 subscribers short of that number with about half of December to go. I know from a lot of conversations – one as recently as yesterday – that there are still a lot of devoted readers who just haven’t gotten around to joining us. So if that’s you, this one is for you. It’s super easy to join and it’s just $4.99 a month, barely more than a fancy cup of coffee at the local cafe. Take a moment and take the plunge. Building what we’re building is super important. So like literally stop for a just a moment, break the slipstream of your daily routine … grab your wallet, get out the card and sign up.

Yesterday’s news is a good reminder of a fundamental point drawing together all unfolding scandals: The Trump campaign, like its parent organization the Trump Organization, was fabulously corrupt. That limitless, flagrant and ravenous corruption made it ripe for compromise, subversion and control by foreign actors.

For going on two years I’ve been explaining that Michael Cohen was less a lawyer for Trump than a conduit for money from Russian and Ukrainian emigres and from those regions of the world. Yes, he was a fixer too. But there are lots of fixers. The channel of money came from the Brighton Beach emigre world Cohen grew up in and through the family he married into and the contacts that brought. A key player is Cohen’s father-in-law Fima Shusterman, a man who federal law enforcement apparently believed Trump had been in business with long before Michael Cohen came into the picture. All of this is known as far as it goes and we’ve discussed it.

But I want to flag something coming up in Trump’s tweets.

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It made a big, big stir yesterday when the Manhattan US Attorney’s announced yesterday that the parent company of The National Enquirer, AMI, had entered a non-prosecution agreement with prosecutors. AMI agreed that the Daniels and McDougal payments were meant to protect Trump’s campaign. I’m less impressed than others that this dramatically raises the legal stakes for Trump: AMI and Cohen vs Trump rather than Cohen vs Trump. This will never be a conventional trial, whether it’s in a courtroom or in the court of public opinion. More interesting to me is what else AMI revealed.

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