Remember, back in January, Trump told friends and aides that Manafort could incriminate him (the implication was that only Manafort could). I believe Mueller needed Manafort to describe what happened in a June 7, 2016 meeting between the men, in advance of the June 9 meeting. I have long suspected there was another meeting at which Manafort may be the only other Trump aide attendee. – Marcy Wheeler [Empty Wheel]
DONALD J. TRUMP’S 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort has made the Trump family nervous.
Donald Trump, Jr. hasn’t had a worse day.
All days are rocky for the accidental White House occupant because a reckoning is unfolding.
From Emily Jane Fox
In recent weeks, it has also become common knowledge among close friends of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, that Cohen is talking to the Mueller team, according to people familiar with the situation. (Cohen did not respond to request for comment, nor did his attorney, Guy Petrillo. A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.)
…According to people close to him, Cohen closely watched the White House’s reaction to his allocution in court last month. He listened as Trump railed against anyone who makes a plea deal, telling Fox News that cooperating with the government “almost ought to be outlawed.” And he has bristled at the feeling that he has taken the fall for a man who has refused to take any responsibility or face any consequence himself. In conversations with Mueller’s team, he is making good on what he told ABC earlier this summer: that his loyalty to Trump is no longer his lodestar.
There is, however, nobody more acutely aware of the web between Trump and Russia than Manafort. From Franklin Foer
Manafort finally reached out to Deripaska, just after he joined Donald Trump’s campaign. In emails obtained by The Atlantic that Paul Manafort traded with an aide, Manafort proposed giving Deripaska special access to the campaign, with the apparent hope of making his debts disappear. We don’t know what became of Manafort’s outreach to Deripaska. Perhaps it yielded nothing. Deripaska claims that he never received messages from Manafort in 2016. But it’s also worth watching hidden video footage of Deripaska sitting on his yacht with a top Putin official, procured by the Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny. The video captured a meeting held in August 2016, two weeks before Manafort resigned as campaign chair. According to Navalny, the video lends credibility to the theory that Deripaska might have been a crucial intermediary between Manafort and the Kremlin.
This conspiracy was wrapped inside a political campaign tied up in an international plot to impact the 2016 election and that was for starters.
Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare, along with colleagues of his, has filed a petition to have Leon Jaworski’s “Road Map” from the Watergate era unsealed. It may be the only hope American citizens have of finding out the details, as long as Mr. Trump is president.
The three of us filed a petition on Thursday to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that seeks to rectify this problem. Represented by attorneys at Protect Democracy, we asked the court to unseal the Road Map. We did so because the document is of significant historical interest and significant contemporary interest. As we will explain in this post, which is drawn from declarations that we and others filed in the matter, the Road Map is one of the few significant pieces of Watergate history that remains unavailable to the public. The document is also keenly relevant to current discussions of how Mueller should proceed. It is possible that it is even relevant to discussions taking place within the Mueller investigation itself.
However this espionage thriller ends, we the people deserve to know.