Being a Friday, tonight will undoubtedly see some heinous news from the Fourth Reich that they hope will be buried over a long, get-away weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for some 20-sided-dice f*ckery.
In the meanwhile, it’s all death and taxes, or in our first story TRUMP TAXES!!1!
Special counsel Bob Mueller has teamed up with the IRS. According to sources familiar with his investigation into alleged Russian election interference, his probe has enlisted the help of agents from the IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit.
…And it goes without saying that the IRS has access to Trump’s tax returns—documents that the president has long resisted releasing to the public.
Electoral Vote tells us:
Last June, Donald Trump Jr., then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met with several Russians, including lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who has ties with Vladimir Putin. The Americans expected that they would get some dirt on Hillary Clinton. Much later, Veselnitskaya said that Manafort wasn’t paying attention but was playing with his smartphone. Now it turns out that he was very much paying attention, and was using the phone to take notes. NBC News is reporting that Manafort turned the notes over to special counsel Robert Mueller as well as to House and Senate committees. According to two sources, the word “donations” appears in the notes, close to a reference to the RNC. Since the entire contents of the notes have not leaked, it is hard to tell in what context “donations” was used. One context it had better not have been used is donations from foreign citizens to a U.S. political campaign, since that is a felony.
According to multiple reports, Mueller is keenly interested in what was said during the meeting. He probably has guessed that Manafort will be the easiest of the three to flip and spill the beans, so he is pursuing this lead aggressively. This is also why he is sharing information with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Mueller knows very well that the president does not have the power to pardon people for state offenses, so if Manafort is indicted and convicted in New York, he will be at risk of imprisonment and cannot count on a pardon.
At this point it is hard to understand what kind of donations might have been discussed. Putin’s operatives surely know that a wire transfer from a bank controlled by a Putin ally to the RNC’s bank account would not be a smart idea. So something else must have been discussed, but what it might have been remains a mystery for the moment. (V)
And then there's this....
Axios says that this is the most intriguing story of the day, but I'm reframing it: Comrade Preznint Stupid is afraid of his Chief of Staff?
"The president continues to call business friends and outside advisers, including former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, from his personal phone when [Chief of Staff John] Kelly is not around."
crossposted from Mock Paper Scissors