Archive for October 30th, 2017

Mongo’s Mueller Monday


the mongo awoke before dawn
he put his boots on
he took a face from the ancient gallery
and he walked on down the hall . . .

Mongo woke before dawn on Monday and burrowed in at the Whiter House residence to wait for the Russia bombshell he knew was coming.

Separated from most of his West Wing staff, Mongo clicked on the television and spent the morning playing fuming media critic, legal analyst and crisis communications strategist.

The resident digested the news of the first indictments in Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe with exasperation and disgust. He called his lawyers repeatedly. He listened intently to cable news commentary. And, with rising irritation, he watched live footage of his onetime campaign adviser and confidant, Pavel Rooskifort, turning himself in to the FBI.

A few minutes later, court documents were unsealed showing that George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser on Mongo’s campaign, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the FBI about his efforts to broker a relationship between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The case provides the clearest evidence yet of links between Mongo’s campaign and Russian officials.

Mongo’s anger Monday was visible to those who interacted with him, and the mood in the corridors of the White House was one of weariness and fear of the unknown. As the resident groused upstairs, many staffers—some of eighty-years-later-bride-of-frankenstein-is-still-sexy-and-scary-1026-1445874107whom have hired lawyers to help them navigate Mueller’s investigation—privately speculated about where the special counsel might turn next.

Mongo is also increasingly agitated by the expansion of Mueller’s probe into financial issues beyond the 2016 campaign and about the potential to him and his family.

“The walls are closing in,” said one senior Republican in close contact with top staffers. “Everyone is freaking out.”


The first big takeaway from Monday morning’s flurry of charging and plea documents with respect to Pavel Rooskifort, Jr., Richard “Prison” Gates III, and George Papadopoulos is this: the resident of the United States had as his campaign chairman a man who had allegedly served for years as an unregistered foreign agent for a puppet government of Vladimir Putin, a man who was allegedly laundering remarkable sums of money even while running the now-president’s campaign, a man who allegedly lied about all of this to the FBI and the Justice Department.

The second big takeaway is even starker: a member of Mongo’s campaign team admits that he was working with people he knew to be tied to the Russian government to “arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government officials” and to obtain “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of hacked emails—and that he lied about these activities to the FBI. He briefed Mongo on at least some of them.

The Papadopoulos stipulation offers a stunningly frank, if probably incomplete, account of what occurred during the spring of 2016 in the Mongo campaign. To wit, during that period, Mongo campaign officials were actively working to set up a meeting with Russian officials or representatives. And from a very early point in the campaign, those meetings were explicitly about obtaining hacked, incriminating emails. 

Susan Hennessey & Benjamin Wittes

Asked about the indictments on Monday evening in Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “We don’t know what the charges are.” After a and c_fmbeing sent a copy of the indictments, he responded, “My office hours are over!”


Mueller’s opening bid is a remarkable show of strength. He has a cooperating witness from inside the campaign’s interactions with the Russians. And he is alleging not mere technical infractions of law but astonishing criminality on the part of Mongo’s campaign manager, a man who also attended the Mongo Tower meeting.

Any hope the White Houser may have had that the Mueller investigation might be fading away vanished Monday morning. Things are only going to get worse from here. 

Susan Hennessey & Benjamin Wittes

this is the end
of all elaborate plans
the end
of everything that stands
the end
no safety or surprise
the end



When I Worked

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