Friday, July 20, 2018

Got paranoia?

From a 1948 Republic movie serial, via Wikipedia.
So I'm watching MSNBC, and no, I'm not apologizing, it's something that happens, and Ali Velshi is asking the FBI counterintelligence veteran Frank Figliuzzi for a little color commentary—where is that tape, of the conversation on the subject of Playmate payoffs between Michael Cohen and Donald Trump, physically located? And he says, oh, all those tapes are part of the Southern District US attorney investigation, they're in the New York FBI field office, and a penny drops, like this:
  • The Michael Cohen tapes are in the New York FBI field office;
  • Rudolf Giuliani, who has replaced Cohen as the president's "lawyer" (meaning that's his title but he's not doing any legal work to justify it, he's mostly going on TV spouting gibberish at certain key moments), is on TV all day talking up this particular tape of the Karen MacDougal conversation as offering "powerful exculpatory evidence" for his imperial highness, which I won't bother to try refuting because "I really don't care do u?";
  • the lead story on TV would otherwise certainly be how DNI Dan Coats broke up into appalled laughter when informed in real time that Trump had invited President Putin to the White House for more of the summitry that went so well for him on Monday.
When I first started hearing the story of the MacDougal tape around midday, my immediate response was to fire off a reproach to a wingnut darkly talking about leaks from the Mueller inquiry:
I wanted to delete that, because it seemed obviously wrong: how could Trump's lawyer or Trump's "lawyer" as the case may be have access to the audio taken by the FBI from Cohen's office and apartment and hotel room?

But it now looks as if there's a very simple answer to that question, and one that involves the same guys as the ones who trapped James Comey into revealing the "investigation" of the Huma Abedin laptop for Halloween 2016, still collaborating with Rudy. Those boys are up to their old tricks again! Working the refs, and making the conversation about something other than Putin while waiting for that conversation to subside. You read it here first.

Oh, and I could have been right the first time, because per #Maddow this tape is one of the 3 out of a million documents in the Cohen collection that actually was considered protected as a matter of attorney-client privilege, and the president's lawyers received it directly from Cohen's.

Cross-posted at The Rectification of Names.

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