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Russia expert reveals which parts of Mueller’s investigation Flynn cooperated with — by reading between the lines

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Investigative journalist and Russia expert Michael Isikoff read special counsel Robert Mueller’s sentencing memo for former Trump aide Michael Flynn “about 20 times” — and deciphered it through the redactions for his fellow CNN panelists Wednesday evening.

While many people speculating about what’s underneath the blacked-out phrases in the heavily-redacted memo are “reading tea leaves,” Isikoff admitted, there is a way to “parse it.”

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“There appears to be a reference to three investigations that Flynn has been cooperating with,” the reporter noted– and only one of them is Mueller’s “Russia mandate” that focused on alleged “coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.”

The other two investigations are criminal, Isikoff added, noting that one appears to have been farmed out to US attorneys or other Justice Department prosecutors.

“If you look at the wording in how Flynn’s cooperation is described in each of these three, you see the phrase, ‘substantial assistance in the criminal investigation, non-Russia,'” he pointed out. “That suggests Flynn has provided information about somebody else. He’s fingered somebody who they can bring prosecutions against.”

In the memo’s section about Russia, however, the phrase “substantial assistance” isn’t used — rather, the memo says Flynn “assisted” and “provided useful information.”

To Isikoff, that suggests Flynn didn’t rat someone out for prosecution but rather pointed prosecutors in the direction of others who provided them with further information about the investigations.

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Host Anderson Cooper jokingly pointed out that meanwhile, Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani claimed Flynn didn’t know “bupkis.”

Watch below via CNN:

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Sondland is in ‘tremendous trouble’ no matter how he tries to change his testimony tomorrow: NYT columnist

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On Tuesday, in the wake of testimony from several witnesses in the impeachment hearing that broadly implicated EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in improper backchannel foreign policy, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali suggested that Sondland is in "tremendous trouble" — and that no testimony he could give tomorrow will get him out of this mess:

No. He will be trying to save himself. The perjury plus multiple stellar witnesses paint a damning portrait. He's in tremendous trouble. https://t.co/CxN5w0EErb

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Even the Republican witnesses make Donald Trump look like a depraved criminal

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The second half of Tuesday's hearing offered something new in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry: Witnesses called by the Republican minority on the House Intelligence Committee. It's understandable why Republicans would want these two men.

One of them was Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide who is among the few people directly exposed to Trump's famous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who claims to believe there was nothing wrong with it. The other was Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, who appears to have been a major actor in Trump's extortion scheme in that country. Indeed, Volker was deemed one of the "three amigos" — along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump donor/EU ambassador Gordon Sondland — who Trump entrusted with Ukrainian relations as he exerted increasing pressure on the country's leaders to give into his extortion scheme.

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Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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