Patterico's Pontifications


Beware of Jason Leopold, One of the Reporters Who Broke the Blockbuster BuzzFeed Story (UPDATE: Special Counsel Says Story Inaccurate)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:01 am

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last twelve hours, you’ve heard about the BuzzFeed story alleging that there is documentary evidence that Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow deal:

President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.

Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.

. . . .

The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.

This is a genuine “whoa if true” moment. If the President of the United States instructed his personal lawyer to lie to Congress about the extent of a proposed business deal with Russia, that is impeachable.

But hold up. Let’s look at the names on that BuzzFeed story again. Why does the name Jason Leopold sound familiar? Oh, right: because he told us confidently in 2006, again and again, based on anonymous law enforcement sources, that Karl Rove would be indicted.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald spent more than half a day Friday at the offices of Patton Boggs, the law firm representing Karl Rove.

During the course of that meeting, Fitzgerald served attorneys for former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove with an indictment charging the embattled White House official with perjury and lying to investigators related to his role in the CIA leak case, and instructed one of the attorneys to tell Rove that he has 24 business hours to get his affairs in order, high level sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said Saturday morning.

I mean, he had a case number for the case (06 cr 128) and everything. It was solid, man! Solid!

NARRATOR: Rove was never actually indicted. Leopold, and his sources, were dead wrong. Laughably so. And he was a laughingstock at the time. I remember it well and wrote about it right here, again and again.

Leopold already had credibility issues when the Rove series of articles broke. The idea that you’d take his word on anything … well, let’s just say I don’t recommend it.

That said, the pair that broke the current BuzzFeed story has been out front on the Cohen story for a while. As I noted in November:

Oddly enough, and I feel weird saying this, but a BuzzFeed story from May 17, 2018 co-authored by (shudder) Jason Leopold appears to have gotten a lot of this right before anyone else did — in particular the extent to which Cohen had continued to push the Trump Tower Moscow deal months after January 2018, when (according to what Cohen had told Congress) the deal had supposedly been dead

The reporter who is not Jason Leopold sounds very confident:

But he has not seen the evidence himself.

Leopold was 100% confident about Rove. I mean 100%. I’m glad it’s the other reporter who dealt with the sources. Still…

This, I’ll believe when I see it in Mueller’s report.

If I do, and if the evidence is solid, I will be foursquare behind impeaching and removing this guy. Heck, I’m already threesquare behind it.

Meanwhile, the drama in D.C. continues, with Pelosi (maybe) delaying the SoTU, and Trump retaliating by canceling her trip to visit the troops in Afghanistan. What a show! Sure would be a shame if it came to an end, wouldn’t it?


[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back, where discussion is unfailingly civil.]

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2023 secs.