Axios leads their morning email thingie with a round-up of the last 48 hours:
- “Mueller … is seeking to question President Trump in the coming weeks about his decisions to oust national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey,” per the WashPost.
- Jeffrey Toobin says on CNN that the testimony “will be a defining moment of the Trump presidency … as dramatic a confrontation” as President Bill Clinton’s questioning in the Starr prosecution.
- In a conversation of interest to Mueller, “Shortly after President Trump fired his FBI director in May, he summoned to the Oval Office the bureau’s acting director for a get-to-know-you meeting,” per the WashPost. “Trump … asked Andrew McCabe: … Whom did he vote for in the 2016 election? McCabe said he didn’t vote.”
- “Trump … also vented his anger at McCabe over the several hundred thousand dollars in donations that his wife, a Democrat, received for her failed 2015 Virginia state Senate bid from a political action committee controlled by a close friend of Hillary Clinton.
- Why it matters: “McCabe … found the conversation with Trump ‘disturbing.'”
- “The encounter is also the latest example of Trump erupting at a senior official, whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for recusing himself from the Russia probe, or White House counsel Donald McGahn, for not doing more to quash the investigation early on.
- Axios’ Jonathan Swan scooped: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions — at the public urging of President Donald Trump — has been pressuring FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, but Wray threatened to resign if McCabe was removed.”
- “Sessions was questioned for several hours last week as part of the special counsel investigation,” per the N.Y. Times.
- “Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates … added a prominent white-collar attorney, Tom Green, to his defense team, signaling that Gates’ approach to his not-guilty plea could be changing behind the scenes,” per CNN.
- Simona Mangiante — fiancée of former Trump campaign worker George Papadopoulos — told the WashPost: “I believe history will remember him like John Dean.”
To my way of thinking the biggest of those items are Gates, Sessions, and Trump.
- Gates may have flipped; Green would be a guy you hire to negotiate a plea bargain, and if he does then Manafort will be next… then BOOM!
- Sessions’ interview comes late enough in the investigation that ol’ Jefferson Beauregard must know that he’s being cross-checked. He either is gonna confirm what Mueller already knows or he’s gotten early onset Alzheimers. He’s smart enough to know not to lie to the FBI, and I doubt that he’d fall on his sword to save The Russian Usurper. Still, it must have been fun to see the little racist squeal on the boss.
- Trump, of course, is like, very smart. A stable genius. His lawyers must be sweating trying to come up with a way to prevent his testimony, or at least to ensure that they are there with him. So, while Mueller could subpoena him, I think the Russian Usurper will have a voluntary chat with the FBI about why he fired Flynn and Comey. Bonus points if they get him to talk about why he was bitching about Sessions (and trying to get him to quit), or any of the other new people in the FBI leadership.