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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 18 Jan 19
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 18 Jan 19
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 18 Jan 19
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 18 Jan 19
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 18 Jan 19
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 18 Jan 19
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 18 Jan 19
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 18 Jan 19
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 18 Jan 19
Replying to @emptywheel
What I think happened, and this is not totally outtamyarse: 1) NYC based sources showed/explained evidence to BuzzFeed that CLEARLY showed Trump in the loop on Cohen's lies 2) SCO put the bar for Trump's involvement in Cohen's lies where they did for very good reason
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emptywheel 18 Jan 19
Replying to @emptywheel
Guess what one of those reasons might be?!?!?! Mueller can prosecute all the OTHER people who participated in Cohen's lies. He CAN'T prosecute Trump, even if the evidence shows--as BF claims--that he was involved in the lies.
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