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Ex-federal prosecutor explains why Michael Cohen may have leaked latest bombshell himself

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Trump attorney Michael Cohen is reportedly getting ready to flip in the coming days — and a former federal prosecutor speculates that the president’s longtime “fixer” may have leaked this news himself.

Writing on Twitter, ex-federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti explains that Cohen is likely running out of resources to fight the FBI investigation into his business dealings, and he then speculates that Cohen may be leaking news of his potential impending cooperation with investigators as a way to get President Donald Trump’s attention.

“By moving towards cooperation now, Cohen is signaling that he doesn’t believe he will receive a pardon — or he’s trying to get one sooner rather than later,” Mariotti writes.

Although Mariotti acknowledges that Trump could “derail all of this with a pardon of Cohen,” the president’s pardons are only recognized for federal crimes. This means that New York’s state attorney general could pick up where the FBI left off and Trump would be powerless to stop them.

“If Trump pardoned Cohen for federal crimes, state prosecutors would have to use the evidence gathered by the FBI,” he writes. “Regardless of how it plays out, Cohen’s cooperation is a blow to the Trump team and could strengthen the case Mueller is building. How much it helps Mueller depends on what Cohen knows and how forthcoming he is.”

Vanity Fair’s Gabe Sherman, who reported on Tuesday that Cohen expects to be arrested within a matter of days, backs up Mariotti’s theory by reporting that Cohen is sending a “smoke signal” letting Trump know that he needs help.

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Trump considering withdraw from 68-year-old treaty with Japan: report

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President Donald Trump has been privately talking about withdrawing from the postwar defense treaty with Japan, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Trump is telling confidants the treaty is unfair to the U.S. because it promises to help if Japan was ever attacked, but doesn't require Japan to come to America's defense, the sources told Bloomberg.

So far, the president hasn't taken any step toward pulling out of the treaty, which was signed in 1951, and administration officials insist that move would be highly unlikely.

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2020 Election

Rep. Ted Lieu: Impeachment is coming — and so is a Democratic president

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Donald Trump recently called “impeachment” a “dirty, filthy, disgusting word,” but his continued stonewalling of legitimate congressional oversight requests are moving more and more House Democrats to embrace that “filthy” concept. That was the very point made by Rep. Ted Lieu of California, a progressive Democrat who sits on the House Judiciary Committee during our recent conversation on “Salon Talks.” That committee would be the starting point for an actual impeachment inquiry of the president.

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2020 Election

New report targets 15 House Democrats who ‘deserve’ progressive primary challengers

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As progressive candidates continue to announce their intentions to oust corporate Democrats, a new report names 15 House Democrats to unseat in primary challenges.

Published Monday by the left-leaning group RootsAction, the new report is entitled Bad Blues: Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to Be 'Primaried.'

The list, the report notes, "is by no means exhaustive—only illustrative."

"There may well be a Democratic member of Congress near you not included here who serves corporate interests more than majority interests, or has simply grown tired or complacent in the never-ending struggles for social, racial, and economic justice as well as environmental sanity and peace," the report notes. "Perhaps you live in a district where voters are ready to be inspired by a progressive primary candidate because the Democrat in Congress is not up to the job."

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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