(THREAD) Okay, I’m pretty sure I’ve figured this one out.

The phone conversation between Trump and Cohen took place around Sept 6, and was clearly CAMPAIGN RELATED. (h/t to Philip Bump, WaPo). #cohen
1/ Pecker (the “David” on the tape) has already paid $150K to Macdougal to get the rights to her story, which he will then bury. (In journalism, it’s called “catch and kill.”)
2/ Trump and Cohen agree that it’s important for Trump to BUY the story from Pecker.
3/ They’re not worried that Pecker himself will run the story, but to be on the safe side, they want to get the story (i.e., the publishing rights) INSIDE Trump Org (and therefore the Trump campaign.) (h/t Philip Bump)
4/ Pecker could get run over by a truck, they agree, and then there’s no telling what would happen to the story.
5/ It must be kept in mind that Cohen raised a personal loan (mortgaged some of his real estate) in order to buy off Stormy Daniels for Trump.
6/ In the critical part of the tape, Cohen says he’s already spoken to Allen [Wiesselberg], the attorney for Trump Org, about “when it comes time for the financing,” i.e., like the financing that Cohen had personally gotten for the Stormy Daniels payment.
7/ TRUMP: Wait a sec, what financing? COHEN: Well, I’ll have to pay him something. TRUMP: [UNINTELLIGIBLE] pay with cash.
8/ This is the flash point over the tape. Lanny Davis is right, and “sweetening” (careful analysis of the tape with technology that is now very advanced) will prove him right: Trump does say “pay in cash.”
9/ But Futerfas, another Trump lawyer, is also right: it doesn’t mean what Davis alleges it means. It means that Trump is telling Cohen: “Don’t raise the money through financing/mortgaging yourself as you sometimes do”--probably b/c there may not be time for it.
10/ (The convo took place around Sept 6, and the election is just two months away; the clock is ticking, and this is clearly a CAMPAIGN-related matter).
11/ So TRUMP says: “Just pay with cash, we don’t have time to get financing.” To which Cohen replies: “No, no, no, no, no. I got it.” I.e, I’ve already GOT the financing lined up.
12/ TRUMP: “Check.” I’m not entirely sure what this means. Could mean “Great, good,” as in the slang expression “ok,” or “yes.” Or it could mean: then pay Pecker now by check and get the rights to the McDougal story in house NOW: i.e., don’t delay. Or it could be both.
13/ The fact that this conversation took place on or around Sept 6 and is clearly campaign related is very incriminating. It indicates a lot of criminal exposure, even though a payment was never made.
14/ What they were clearly discussing was buying the rights to a story that would be very damaging, which makes it a discussion about arranging a campaign-related contribution.
15/ And this makes it likely that the Trump campaign waived privilege over the tape because the special master had (or shortly would) declare that this tape was not protected by attorney-client privilege because of the CRIME-FRAUD exception to that privilege.
16/ That being the case, Trump and his lawyers tried to spin the matter as well as they could (read: not very well) because they had no choice.
17/ Some other thoughts.
18/ It was certain before, and it is certain now, that Cohen is going to flip in order to protect himself. But it’s even worse than that: because privilege had to be waived over this tape, Weisselberg, the Trump Org attorney, is also being thrown under the bus. #cohen
19/ What Cohen says on the tape is that Weisselberg knows about the plan to get financing to make the payment to Pecker. Like Cohen’s financing for Stormy Daniels, this involves falsely representing the purpose of a bank loan--which is a serious federal felony. #cohen
20/ This is a huge, developing story, and it’s going to be yet another absolute disaster for Blimpy. (As if he doesn’t have enough disasters waiting for him in the wings already.)

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More from @twoodiac

Oct 9, 2018
One key to getting to the bottom of this is the private-wealth office of Deutsche Bank. @NatashaBertrand

I posted this to Twitter a long time ago. It’s from Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky, The Corporation: Russia and the KGB in the Age of President Putin. Encounter Books. 2008, pp. 40-41 (not available online):
Read 4 tweets
Oct 6, 2018
Let’s try to clear up some confusion here.

We need to be clear about terms like “investigation,” “inquiry,” and “background check.”

Let’s begin with a relatively unloaded term: “inquiry.” 1/16
Here’s the question: Should the INQUIRY re #Kavanaugh have been conducted as a standard FBI BACKGROUND CHECK or as an FBI INVESTIGATION? 2/16
An FBI background check is not the same thing as an FBI investigation (though the former might very well lead to the latter). 3/16
Read 16 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
(THREAD) Collins votes YES, so Kavanaugh’s confirmed.

This is the finale of the confirmation VOTE, but it is NOT the end of the #Kavanaugh ISSUE. 1/14
The FBI “investigation” was a sham, and that makes Collins’ special pleading for her YES vote a sham. It was a sickening performance. 2/14
The fatal weakness of her defense of her vote is that there was no meaningful investigation. Merely seeking corroboration in the form of direct, eyewitness testimony from the participants of the 1 Jul 1982 meeting does not constitute a meaningful investigation. 3/14
Read 14 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
A subjective impression, admittedly, but in the pics and videos I have seen, Senate Rs look grim and worried--even, on occasion, angry.

D claim that this was a cover-up (20+ witnesses not called) is getting traction. No adequate push back from Rs yet.
McConnell saying on the floor that the Senate must vote to confirm b/c “in this country you’re not guilty until proven innocent” has this whole matter so wrong (it’s a job interview, Mitch, not a trial) that he must be feeling a little desperate.
Read 4 tweets
Oct 2, 2018
(THREAD) The predicted early conclusion of the FBI background check on #Kavanaugh that has been reported by Politico and the WSJ is surprising and cause for anxiety and concern, but let’s look try hard to look on the (possibly) bright side. 1/8
We must keep in mind that this investigation is essentially a background check on #Kavanaugh, in light of newly surfaced allegations of belligerent drunkenness and sexual violence alleged against him by Ford and others. 2/8
So this investigation is more about Kavanaugh and his nomination than it is about Ford or any other accusers, and while the FBI does not reach conclusions, it does uncovers facts, and presents those facts to others so they can better reach their own conclusions. 3/8
Read 8 tweets
Oct 1, 2018

1/ Dr Blasey: The party where the assault occurred was attended by Smyth (P.J.), Judge, Kavanaugh, another boy she can’t recall…
2/ Remember: Kavanaugh’s calendar (July 1) has Chris Garrett, her boyfriend at the time (she was at least dating him) at that party.
Read 15 tweets

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