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emptywheel
Fuckit, here goes. Folks, as I noted in my post form this morning, the BuzzFeed story conflicted with what SCO had Cohen allocute to under oath. That raised questions for me last night.
Buzzfeed has a story that provides concrete details to what we already knew of Michael Cohen's negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow. But its hyping of Trump's lies may be counterproductive.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
Keep in mind that the BF story is scoped just like Cohen's plea filings were scoped, which went thru SDNY, and SDNY is famously leaky, suggesting sources are at SDNY and not SCO.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
Now consider that SCO doesn't need Cohen to prove a campaign finance case against Trump, bc they've got people like Weisselberg who didn't themselves commit perjury. That meant they could aggressively characterize Trump's instructions to Cohen.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
Meuller, however, DOES need Cohen. The entire reason he made him plea to that lie, the entire reason he's not gotten a 5K, the entire reason Cohen has shut the fuck up is that Mueller needs to be able to put Cohen on the stand.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
That may well explain why EVEN COHEN'S LAWYER describes Trump's role in Cohen's two lies very differently (the update to my post). SDNY has an incentive to be dramatic w/Cohen's testimony, Mueller must be measured.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
If I'm right that BF's sources are in the vicinity of SDNY, then Mueller is likely even more pissed at them than BF (tho they prolly hate BF bc they've gotten parts of the story no one else has).
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
Mueller has spent 1.5 years ensuring they never get accused of leaking. If BF's sources were SDNY, then SDNY just endangered that effort. And THAT is prolly why SCO made a statement, not (primarily) bc of what BF said.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
Oops. This tweet should say, "SDNY doesn't need Cohen..." Damn do I need an edit button.
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Daniel Harder Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
But this means the Mueller Team is discrediting a true story that could get Trump impeached, just so Mueller can save face and not have the appearance of any leaks coming from his office??? That's shady as hell.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @NewsOfMideast
No. It means Mueller is trying to do everything they can to sustain a very serious prosecution against some really shitty people.
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Miranda Binewski Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
You just got namechecked on MSNBC.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @superlorna69
How so?
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Be Bestest Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
I'd like to add this to your theory -- the texts between Sater and Cohen that Buzzfeed published last night and then yanked down (as far as I can tell). This, to me, is like Mueller trying to put the genie back into the bottle.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @CoffeeBeBestest
They previously published those in December tho.
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Brian 🏳️‍🌈 Jan 18
Replying to @Mimirocah1 @emptywheel
They’re confusing SDNY with the NY FBI field office
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @Mimirocah1
Not confusing. The sources neessarily had access to stuff that went through SDNY.
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Mike C! Jan 18
Replying to @epicciuto @emptywheel
I agree. Am I correct in saying that if BuzzFeed doesn't do their best to "fix" this they might be finished? At least the news division
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
Adding: my argument here is that SDNY & SCO have incentives to provide different nuance to their stories based on prosecutorial needs. Those incentives are consistent with it being true that Trump was in the loop on Cohen's lies, but Mueller having big reasons not to allege that.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @emptywheel
Mueller is the one who will have to prove what Cohen allocuted to in a trial, SDNY is not. And THAT's likely why Peter Carr issued his statement. To make sure the bar for proof remains precisely where Mueller put it in Cohen's guilty plea.
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emptywheel Jan 18
Replying to @HiIamMikeC @epicciuto
No. Bc ultimately Mueller will prove that Trump knew about this.
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