Mueller, Trump and the truth: Reporters are awaiting the special counsel's next moves

A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. ...

Posted: Dec 4, 2018 10:41 AM
Updated: Dec 4, 2018 10:41 AM

A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Mueller, Trump and the truth

Continents and regions

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Investigations

Paul Manafort

Political Figures - US

Politics

Robert Mueller

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

US federal government

White House

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Journalism and news media

Media industry

"By the end of this week, we will know much more about the strength of Robert Mueller's hand and the threat his investigation poses to President Donald Trump and his administration."

That's according to CNN legal analyst Elie Honig, who explains it all in this new CNN.com piece.

It's now widely believed that Mueller is using court proceedings to disclose crucial info -- perhaps even writing his report in real-time. And this week, the special counsel is due "to make three crucial court filings -- sentencing memos for Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort." Honig says "each document will tell us something important about what the future holds for these defendants and, more importantly, about what Mueller knows and where he might be headed."

Flynn has been "something of a mystery man," Honig notes. Maybe that's about to change... Mueller's sentencing memo for Flynn is due on Tuesday...

About Manafort...

Per CNN's Katelyn Polantz, the special counsel's office indicated on Monday "that at least some part of the Manafort [sentencing] memo will be public." So we'll learn about what Manafort allegedly lied about. "Friday is the deadline for Mueller's team to file a brief on the details," Polantz says, but theoretically it could come sooner...

"Previously on The Russia Plot..."

The Russian interference in the 2016 election happened on several fronts. And Trumpworld's contacts with Russians happened on many fronts. This scandal is incredibly complex -- and I think journalists need to spend more time explaining what is known, what is unknown and what may never be known.

Otherwise, it feels like we're turning on a show in the middle of episode 11... not knowing if this season is 13 episodes or 22... but definitely knowing that we've missed some key plot points.

>> Related: BuzzFeed's Katherine Miller says the Russia probe is "the best TV show Donald Trump will ever create." Here's her argument...

Notes and quotes

-- Michael Isikoff's brand new story for Yahoo uses the word "endgame:" He says "Mueller's prosecutors have told defense lawyers in recent weeks that they are 'tying up loose ends' in their investigation..."

-- Numerous lawyers, including George Conway, said Trump's tweet about Roger Stone could be a form of witness tampering and obstruction. Jeffrey Toobin on "AC360:" "This is potentially an abuse of power that could lead to impeachment..."

-- Related: Honig told CNN's Ana Cabrera: "If you look at the president's tweets from this morning, if I was a prosecutor and we had a wiretap up on someone's phone and they said those exact things that the president tweeted, I would say, 'Wow, we just got him on obstruction.' So, he's really right on the edge..."

-- Trump biographer Tim O'Brien said Trump sometimes speaks/tweets "to his former compadres like a mob boss..."

-- Sara Murray on "CNN Right Now" with Brianna Keilar: "Part of the reason we are seeing this anxiety from the president on Twitter is that all of these bread crumbs are bringing this investigation closer and closer to President Trump, not just the people around him..."

Garrett Graff's insights

Mueller biographer Garrett Graff on Sunday's "Reliable Sources:" Trumpworld's lies "sort of fold in on themselves in this story, lies on top of lies... So you don't even know which set of lies to believe... I think the biggest challenge in this story is trying to connect all of these different dots, because we are really staring at the Mueller investigation through little soda straws or individual puzzle pieces, not really sure how everything connects." Watch the segment here...

The bottom line

This is what Chris Cuomo asked on his CNN show Monday night: "Why do so many people around this president feel the need to lie about Russia? And why does he feel the need to be so sympathetic to Vladimir Putin's cause? Are they connected?"

Cuomo ended his monologue by saying: "This week, we will get much closer to an answer" to the question about lying...

Read more of Monday's "Reliable Sources" newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

FOR THE RECORD

-- "Oath, the owner of AOL and Yahoo, has agreed to pay about $5 million to settle charges from the New York attorney general that the media company's online advertising business was violating a federal children's privacy law," Sapna Maheshwari reports... (NYT)

-- The hiring sprees continue at WaPo and the LA Times... The Post shared plans for a fresh expansion of foreign coverage, while the Times announced more than a dozen new hires... (Twitter)

-- New Republic editor J.J. Gould has resigned, and now an editor search is underway, Erik Wemple reports... (WaPo)

-- The Washington Examiner says it is expanding its weekly magazine with a "nationwide subscriber footprint" starting in January... (The Hill)

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 66°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 69°
Huntsville/Madison
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 65°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 65°
Fort Payne
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 65°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 443009

Reported Deaths: 6662
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson649101007
Mobile31746574
Madison28413217
Tuscaloosa21566275
Montgomery20088332
Shelby19452132
Baldwin17333189
Lee13261107
Morgan12678142
Etowah12141181
Calhoun11555206
Marshall10487123
Houston9031164
Limestone838181
Cullman8296124
Elmore8243110
Lauderdale7946107
DeKalb7900107
St. Clair7876130
Talladega6523112
Walker6050183
Jackson603245
Colbert558194
Blount548586
Autauga540762
Coffee466964
Dale412785
Franklin377550
Russell358415
Chilton346873
Covington340880
Escambia339244
Tallapoosa3163109
Dallas313696
Chambers305470
Clarke303336
Pike265231
Lawrence255855
Marion254661
Winston234742
Bibb222948
Geneva213047
Marengo210531
Pickens200431
Hale186144
Barbour183438
Fayette178829
Butler174860
Cherokee166031
Henry160025
Monroe152621
Randolph146636
Washington142727
Clay130746
Crenshaw124845
Macon122837
Cleburne122125
Lamar120622
Lowndes116836
Wilcox108322
Bullock104628
Perry100518
Conecuh98022
Sumter90627
Greene77923
Coosa64018
Choctaw52124
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 710427

Reported Deaths: 8970
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby790251186
Davidson73248697
Knox40335452
Hamilton35983347
Rutherford34271298
Unassigned23946140
Williamson22259150
Sumner18862237
Out of TN1644883
Montgomery15200153
Wilson14878167
Sullivan13002221
Blount12382136
Washington12206206
Maury11337131
Bradley11263101
Sevier10877123
Putnam10200152
Madison9364186
Robertson793088
Hamblen7261119
Anderson7031116
Greene6779117
Tipton639571
Coffee578584
Gibson5767117
Dickson559082
Cumberland556777
Bedford546092
Roane536083
McMinn524674
Lawrence524369
Carter5215121
Warren511656
Loudon510352
Jefferson497078
Dyer487487
Monroe471964
Hawkins461473
Franklin426067
Fayette415953
Obion406683
Rhea391858
Lincoln388347
Cocke359063
Marshall358140
Cheatham350332
Weakley345948
Campbell338742
Henderson338659
Giles334476
Carroll318362
White317749
Hardeman315854
Hardin306650
Lauderdale299934
Macon294751
Wayne270325
Henry269960
Overton260546
McNairy249042
DeKalb247443
Haywood245650
Marion236233
Smith235430
Trousdale230617
Scott230432
Claiborne230033
Hickman229836
Fentress217835
Grainger217240
Johnson205335
Morgan196616
Crockett183738
Chester179039
Bledsoe178211
Unicoi170147
Cannon161721
Lake158522
Polk150517
Decatur149027
Union145725
Grundy143622
Sequatchie142120
Humphreys137717
Benton134135
Lewis131121
Meigs119216
Stewart112220
Jackson106624
Clay96526
Perry96325
Houston95226
Moore8319
Pickett69220
Van Buren6758
Hancock4227

Community Events