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‘Mike Flynn folded’: MSNBC chief legal correspondent explains how ‘Trump playbook’ backfired

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Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor “played himself” leading up to Tuesday’s sentencing hearing.

Federal Judge Emmett Sullivan continued Tuesday’s sentencing hearing for Michael Flynn after publicly scolding the defendant and hinting that he would sentence Flynn to prison.

“Our top story, let’s be clear, it wasn’t supposed to be a cliffhanger. It was not designed to be suspenseful,” MSNBC anchor and chief legal correspondent Ari Melber noted. “Michael Flynn was supposed to walk into federal court today with that rarest of things, a get out of jail free card from Bob Mueller.”

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“But something important happened on the way to the courthouse, Michael Flynn and his lawyers got fresh, brash. They started playing with the facts,” he continued. “As the judge showed them today, they ended up playing themselves.”

“Flynn’s final filing in this case, tried to walk back his guilty plea, tapping the Trump playbook to complain the FBI didn’t warn him it was a crime to lie to them — which was of course embraced by Trump and some Flynn defenders,” Melber noted.

“Mike Flynn made this legally stupid, self-contradictory argument at the worst possible time, heading right into when the judge was deliberating today — and it backfired,” he explained. “Today we witnessed the hammer of the judicial system coming down on a former Trump aide who Mueller tried to help keep out of prison.”

“Mike Flynn folded. Having dropped his defiant attacks on the FBI under oath, he went on to drop the entire plan to get sentenced today,” Melber noted. “Today, Flynn turned a free pass from Mueller into this judicial smackdown.”

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Frantic administration officials were forced to scuttle plans dealing with Suleimani killing due to Trump’s interference: report

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According to a report at the Daily Beast, plans to go after Iranian military leader Qassem Suleimani were months in the making and, after Donald Trump ordered his assassination, Pentagon and State Department officials were forced to scuttle their plans to handle the fallout because of how the president reacted in the aftermath.

The reports states, "The ensuing days became a mad dash to reconcile the intense intra-administration tensions over what the intelligence actually said about Iranian plots, and how best to sell their case to the American public. At the very top was a president who stewed and complained to staff about how the killing he’d just ordered might negatively affect his re-election prospects and ensnare him in a quagmire in the Middle East of his own creation."

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Dershowitz and Ken Starr are carrying a lot of baggage and personal conflicts into Trump’s trial: report

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According to a report at Politico , two of the most high profile lawyers defending Donald Trump in his upcoming Senate impeachment trial have conflicting views on the law which may make for a muddled defense of the president.

On the one hand there is attorney Ken Starr, who pursued former President Bill Clinton in the 90's in the far-ranging Whitewater investigation, and on the other hand there is former Havard Law professor Alan Dershowitz who was critical of Starr's methods.

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Putin’s goal is to show how ‘democracy is a kind of a sham’: ‘Citizen K’ Documentary maker Alex Gibney

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Ever since his breakthrough documentary "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" in 2005, Alex Gibney has displayed a remarkable ability to pull scandals from headline news and turn them into gripping cinematic experiences. He dramatizes, in the sense that he often tells his stories with the pacing and structure of a thriller or a mystery. And believe me, "Citizen K," his new film about the unlikely trajectory of the Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is highly effective in that mode.

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