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A judge ordered the redacted release of MANY PAGES of documents related to the FBI's warrants to raid Michael Cohen's shit and put wire tapps in his bottom and listen to his emails, and hooray, now we get to read them!

If you're looking for the news in all this, it's that the campaign finance porn payoff money conspiracy to influence the election is still very much a live investigation, which means if you happen to be named as Individual-1 in any matter related to that -- like, if somebody pleaded guilty to taking part in that criminal conspiracy at the direction of Individual-1, who is now the president of the United States -- then you might be well within your rights to be absolutely panicked right now.

That's right, REDACTED.

And how is your week going, Donald Trump? Oh yeah, that's right, you're losing all your shit.


Let's be clear about who else might be involved here, besides Individual-1. You have Donald Trump Jr., who is listed in court filings related to the matter as an executive who had some involvement, and whose name appears in the signature line of one of the reimbursement checks made out to Cohen for fronting the porn payoff money for Stormy Daniels. Then there's Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization CFO, through whom all money at that mom-and-pop crime family joint flows. Our point is that there are likely more indictments coming, up to and including the possibility that the Southern District of New York (SDNY) might go ahead and try to indict a sitting president.

There's a lot of information in these documents about Cohen's various grifts -- using the Essential Consultants LLC bank account he set up for the porn payoffs -- which just shows how much Cohen wanted to get rich off Trump's presidency, mostly by working as a foreign agent selling access to the Trump administration to foreigns, including some Russians who are are very close to Vladimir Putin.

Viktor Vekselberg ... Columbus Nova ... Renova ... WHO THAT IS AGAIN, WONKETTE? Let us remind you, by copy/pasting ourselves, writing just a month after the big Michael Cohen FBI raid of April 9, 2018:

And who is this Viktor Vekselberg chap? He is just this guy special counsel Robert Mueller pulled off a plane in New York City [...], in order to ask him specifically about payments like this [...]. Not long after that, the US Treasury Department stuck Vekselberg on the sanctions list, in retaliation for Russian election meddling, which conveniently means he's no longer allowed to travel to the US to answer any of Mueller's follow-up questions.

But Vekselberg is so much more than that! He's a member of Putin's inner circle, and as journalist Wendy Siegelman lays out in a very long Twitter thread, he's LITERALLY EVERYWHERE in the Trump-Russia story. He attended Trump's inauguration, he was at that 2015 Moscow RT dinner where Michael Flynn and Jill Stein ate dinner with Putin for "reasons," by which they mean NO REASON AT ALL.

He partied with Ivanka and then-alleged-Putin girlfriend Wendi Deng (who may or may not be Ivanka's Chinese intelligence handler, ALLEGEDLY) in Moscow just a few months after Moscow Miss Universe 2013, the one where Trump may or may not have ordered some Russian pee hookers on Uber Eats. (We are joking! Uber Eats does not deliver Russian hookers! YET.)

He co-owns a Russian aluminum company (also sanctioned!) [NOT ANYMORE! - ed.] that's majority owned by Oleg Deripaska AKA "Putin's favorite oligarch" AKA Daily Caller blogger (???) AKA Paul Manafort's old business partner, to whom Manafort offered special secret briefings on the Trump campaign, perhaps as a way to pay back money he may have stolen or laundered from Deripaska.

AND he's connected to those fuckers from Alfa Bank, the ones with the weird server that only communicated with that weird Trump Organization server. (Remember, Alex van der Zwaan, who actually reported to jail TODAY after lying to the FBI about his work for Manafort and the pro-Russia Ukrainian Party Of Regions, is the son-in-law of Alfa Bank bigwig German Khan.)

AND he and his American cousin Andrew Intrater made shitloads of donations to Trump's campaign and his inauguration, through Vekselberg's (Russian) Renova Group and Intrater's (American) Columbus Nova, which should really be read as the same thing. Indeed, [former Stormy Daniels lawyer Michael Avenatti described Columbus Nova] as the "US investment vehicle for Renova Group."

And that's just one of the foreign grifts Cohen was working, as laid out in the affidavit showing probable cause for the big FBI raid.

We also learn that Robert Mueller started investigating Cohen in 2017, approximately eight seconds after he was appointed special counsel, as they secured the first warrants for Cohen's phone and email shit in July and August of 2017, respectively. Here's a section that details that, and also shows when Mueller started showing the SDNY his goodies and transferring parts of the investigation over there in February 2018:

There's also a section that shows that, as of 2018, the FBI still couldn't get access to Cohen's Trump Organization email, which is weird:

Marcy Wheeler flags a section of the tranche that shows that Cohen was investigated almost from the beginning for so many things, including working as an unregistered foreign agent:

The Washington Post summarizes just how extensive a pattern of criming the authorities were looking at regarding Cohen:

The documents show that the special counsel's office was investigating Cohen for allegedly making false statements to a financial institution, and suspected bank and wire fraud — as well as possible money laundering and violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Cohen was not a registered lobbyist, nor had he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, authorities alleged.

Among other things, the special counsel sought records of any "funds of benefits received by or offered to Michael Dean Cohen by, or on behalf of, any foreign government." It also sought evidence that might reveal Cohen's efforts "to conduct activities on behalf of, for the benefit of, or at the direction of any foreign government."

And ... they found stuff! And Michael Cohen is going to prison for stuff!

In all, over a thousand pages were released -- all of them can be found here, including a lot of receipts! -- which just shows how right Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani were all those times they said this was a total politically motivated Nazi stormtrooper collusion witch hoax thing.

There is approximately a 100 percent chance they will say the same thing when the hammer comes down on some of the other people whose names are in these documents, behind all that black redacted ink.

Should be very exciting!

[The documents / More documents]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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Good morning, America! Attorney General Bill Barr is doing a presser at 9:30 AM EDT about the Mueller report, which nobody will be able to see until around noon or after, once Congress gets the redacted report on CDs. Seeing as that is bullshit, there's no reason to watch this thing, as journalists won't be able to ask him questions about a document they haven't seen. So ... go back to bed, everyone!

Ugh, fine, we guess we will do this, and that is because we care, even though we are quite certain HGTV is doing some kind of very important "Property Brothers" marathon that adds much more of value to the national discourse, and also covers it up with shiplap accent walls. Does Bill Barr do cover-ups with shiplap? No, because he doesn't have the good taste for that.

Reportedly, we are going to hear from Barr why certain things were redacted, including why he thinks certain facts are subject to executive privilege, which is funny because he is not the president and therefore cannot invoke executive privilege. But oh whatever! Details! Robert Mueller won't be there and none of his team will be there, which tells you something about how they feel about this whole process. If they felt like this was on the up-and-up, you'd imagine they might show up to present a united front. As that is not happening, assume the entire thing is a bullshit act meant to help Donald Trump set the narrative for what will otherwise be a very bad day for him.

The New York Times reported last night that the White House has already been briefed on significant portions of the report, because Bill Barr is a rightwing scam artist piece of shit who gives the Trump White House reacharounds. The briefings have reportedly been very helpful for the White House in coming up with how to rebut today's report, which is funny because we thought Trump said this report was a full exoneration, NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. (Actually nope on both counts, since Mueller didn't decide the obstruction question, and even according to Barr's mash notes, he took a very limited view of the conspiracy question, focusing on the Russian government's hack and dump WikiLeaks operation.)

Anyway, assuming Trump is right about full exoneration, we guess Rudy Giuliani's rebuttal will state that Trump is guilty, full stop. Because that's what "rebuttal" means, correct?

Committee chairs in the House including Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters have called upon Bill Barr to cancel today's briefing, as it is useless horseshit. Because Barr literally gives zero fucks about his reputation and apparently is OK with going down in history as a fecal stain on our institutions and the rule of law, the show will go on.

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Now What? Wonkagenda For Thurs., April 18, 2019

Bill Barr's book report, the NRA is doomed, and Johnny Cash will watch over the Capitol. Your morning news brief!

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Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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