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12:00 PM ET, August 22, 2018


 Top Items: 
Isaac Stanley-Becker / Washington Post:
In Trump's right-wing media universe, it was a day like any other  —  It's Tuesday afternoon.  Imagine, for a moment, that President Trump logs on to Twitter.  News is breaking that could prove existential for his presidency.  But his social media feed hardly records the magnitude of the developments.
Lanny Davis /
Michael Cohen Truth Fund  —  $17,822 of $500,000 goal Raised by 377 people in 9 hours  —  On July 2, 2018, Michael Cohen declared his independence from Donald Trump and his commitment to tell the truth.  —  On August 21, Michael Cohen made the decision to take legal responsibility and to continue his commitment to tell the truth.
Mark Penn / The Hill:
Cohen's plea deal is prosecutor's attempt to set up Trump  —  Here we go, from Russia with love to campaign finance with love.  —  Why was Michael Cohen investigated?  Because the “Steele dossier” had him making secret trips to meet with Russians that never happened, so his business dealings got …
Discussion: Washington Post and Fox News
Colin Dwyer / NPR:
Michael Cohen's Lawyer Says His Client Would Never Accept Pardon From ‘Corrupt’ Trump  —  Less than a day after Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts in a federal court — ranging from tax evasion to campaign finance violations — Trump's longtime attorney and fixer is downplaying the possibility of a pardon.
GOP fears Cohen set road to impeachment  —  Impeachment proceedings against President Trump went from a theoretical danger to a vivid reality with yesterday's guilty plea by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, sources close to the White House tell Axios.  —  The big picture: Cohen's guilty plea …
New York Times:
A One-Two Punch Puts Trump Back on His Heels  —  WASHINGTON — In two courtrooms 200 miles apart on Tuesday, President Trump's almost daily attempts to dismiss the criminal investigations that have engulfed his White House all but collapsed.  —  Mr. Trump has long mocked the investigations as …
Carol D. Leonnig / Washington Post:
Trump's company approved $420,000 in payments to Cohen, relying on ‘sham’ invoices, prosecutors say  —  President Trump's real estate company authorized paying $420,000 to lawyer Michael Cohen in his effort to silence women during the presidential campaign and then relied on “sham” …
Joe Tacopino / New York Post:
Cohen willing to tell Mueller about ‘conspiracy to collude’: lawyer  —  Michael Cohen is willing to speak with Special Counsel Robert Mueller about a “conspiracy to collude” with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign, his lawyer said on Tuesday night.
David Crook /
New York Prosecutors Can Go After Trump Now, Even If Mueller Won't  —  Michael Cohen's Guilty Plea Opens the Door to State Criminal Charges for Trump, His Company and His Kids  —  By David Cay Johnston, DCReport Editor-in-Chief  —  Michael Cohen's admission today in federal court …
Discussion: The Atlantic, Daily Kos and CNN
Rebecca Morin / Politico:
Trump advises against Michael Cohen's legal services
Adam Edelman / NBC News:
Trump takes shot after guilty plea: 'Don't retain the services of Michael Cohen!'
Discussion: Shareblue Media, Vox, Mother Jones and MSNBC
Alex Horton / Washington Post:
Michael Cohen's tweet about Hillary Clinton and prison came back to haunt him. Now it's gone.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo, Axios and Politico
Julie Pace / Associated Press:   Analysis: With Cohen plea, GOP faces familiar Trump quandary
New York Times:   What the Manafort Verdict Means
Philip Bump / Washington Post:
How the campaign finance charges against Michael Cohen implicate Trump
'It's the only excuse they'll need': Legal blows fuel impeachment fears
Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife indicted in use of campaign funds for personal expenses  —  (CNN)Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted Tuesday on charges related to the misuse of $250,000 worth of campaign funds for personal expenses and the filing of false campaign finance records.
POLITICO Playbook: GOP frets as Trump world implodes
Robert Costa / Washington Post:
Trump adviser Larry Kudlow hosted publisher of white nationalists at his home
Sam Levine / HuffPost:
Georgia County Can't Support Claim It Must Close Polling Places Over Access Issues  —  Officials in majority-black Randolph County lack the data to back a proposal to shutter most voting spots.  —  Officials in a majority-black Georgia county accused of trying to close almost all polling places …
Benny Arthur Johnson:
I promised myself I would stay off of politics while on vacation.  I'll break that promise just once.  —  Mollie Tibbetts was an Iowan.  She was raised not far from me.  She went to the University of Iowa, just like me.  Rooted for the Hawkeyes.  She had hopes, dreams, a good upbringing & a loving family cheering for her future.
Republicans want to make Mollie Tibbetts a household name
Discussion: Mediaite and Law & Crime
Mike Allen / Axios:
GOP's midterm nightmare: Party “looks like a criminal enterprise”  —  Corruption instantly becomes a centerpiece issue in the midterm campaigns — a huge new weight for Republicans in marginal races.  —  What we're hearing: With a corruption indictment of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) …
Discussion: Raw Story and POLITICUSUSA
Emily Bazelon / New York Times:
When the Supreme Court Lurches Right  —  What happens when the Supreme Court becomes significantly more conservative than the public?  —  In 1957, Robert A. Dahl, a father of modern political science, published a canonical article about the Supreme Court's “most peculiar position” in American democracy.
Discussion: Althouse
New York Times:
Cohen Implicates President Trump. What Do Prosecutors Do Now?
Discussion: Vox
Christopher Hooks / GQ:
Beto O'Rourke vs. Ted Cruz and the Fight for America  —  Down in deep-red Texas, a fresh-faced liberal named Beto O'Rourke has a shot at beating Ted Cruz.  But huge as that would be, the race has grander implications: It helps explain all the giddy hopes and secret fears of Democrats everywhere.
NBC News:
In case of Mueller firing, break glass: Democrats prep an emergency plan  —  Congressional action and protest rallies are among the contingencies being planned if Trump tries to shut down the Russia probe.  —  WASHINGTON — It would start within minutes of special counsel Robert Mueller being fired …
Matt Wilstein / The Daily Beast:
Jimmy Kimmel Doesn't Want to ‘Appeal’ to Trump Fans: 'I Don't Think That World Exists Anymore' … HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — When I walk into Jimmy Kimmel's large corner office above the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, he offers me the customary bottle of water.
Discussion: Althouse
Seung Lee / Mercury News:
Verizon throttled Santa Clara County firefighters' data as they fought Mendocino fire, chief says  —  Verizon throttled one Bay Area fire department's data plans as its firefighters helped battle the largest wildfire in state history and even demanded the department to pay nearly three times …
David D. Kirkpatrick / New York Times:
Saudi Arabia Seeks the Death Penalty for Female Activist  —  Saudi Arabia, which has one of the highest execution rates in the world, is taking the rare step of seeking the death penalty for a 29-year-old female activist accused of encouraging demonstrations for greater rights for the Shiite Muslim minority …
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 More Items: 
NAFTA ‘handshake’ deal with Mexico targeted for Thursday
Discussion: CNBC and The Daily Caller
Linette Lopez / Business Insider:
Internal documents reveal the grueling way Tesla hit its 5,000 Model 3 target
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Joshua Kirschenbaum / Alliance For Securing Democracy:
Russian Investments in the United States: Hardening the Target
Linda Stasi / New York Daily News:
Singer claims he was drugged and raped in 2010 by classical music power couple
Francisco Toro / Washington Post:
No, Venezuela doesn't prove anything about socialism
Andrew Roth / The Guardian:
Paul Manafort went to Kyrgyzstan to 'strengthen Russia's position'
Arizona Republic:
Photos: Sheriff Joe Arpaio through the years
Discussion: Political Wire and Roll Call
 Earlier Items: 
Elura Nanos / Law & Crime:
Impeachment Time? Here's Why We're Definitely Getting Warmer
Jason L. Riley / Wall Street Journal:
The Media Keep Falling Into the Trump Trap
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Lucia Graves / The Guardian:
‘Addicts, crooks, thieves’: the campaign to kill Baltimore's light rail
Esther King / Politico:
German foreign minister calls for revamp of EU-US ties
Dave Philipps / New York Times:
Red Flags for Immigrant Recruits: Calling Parents, Not Laughing at Jokes
Mead Gruver / Associated Press:
Wyoming rebuffs Trump, picks native son in GOP governor race
Taking Down More Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior
Top Republican on Tax Subcommittee Received Yacht Loan From Foreign Bank Lobbying on 2017 Tax Bill