Live Blog

Here is your live blog for the day.

Good Thursday morning.

Here is what's on the president's agenda today:

  • The president meets with the secretary of state
  • The president meets with governors-elect
  • The president and first lady attend a Christmas reception
  • The president and first lady attend another Christmas reception

Mike Flynn sentencing update

The judge presiding over the Michael Flynn case wants to review some papers — and I mean some FBI PAPERS — related to Flynn's case.

District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on Wednesday ordered Flynn’s lawyers to hand over two documents: a memo that then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote after speaking with Flynn ahead his Jan. 24, 2017 interview with two FBI agents and the FBI summary of notes taken during that same interview.

That summary, known as an FD-302, was compiled on Aug. 22, 2017 by the two FBI agents who interviewed Flynn. It is unclear why the summary was put together seven months after the Flynn interview.

And the clock is ticking.

Sullivan also ordered the special counsel to hand over any other memos or interview notes relevant to Flynn’s interview.

The judge set a Friday deadline to turn over the documents. He will decide on Flynn’s sentence next Monday.

Just to remind you, Mike Flynn was urged (by the fired, anti-Trump Andrew McCabe) not to bring an attorney to his meeting with FBI agents. And this: "McCabe also wrote in the memo that he and other FBI officials decided before the meeting that Flynn would not be warned ahead of the interview about the penalties of lying to the agents. McCabe noted that 'they wanted Flynn to be relaxed' and 'were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport.'" HOLY CIVIL LIBERTIES, BATMAN! One of the agents that interviewed Flynn was Peter "insurance policy" Strzok. So you can see how this entire situation looks like a massive setup. Because it was a setup.

Cohen sentenced to three years

I'm not a lawyer, so I would need to hire one if I got into any legal messes. I would listen to my lawyer who tells me what is/isn't legal because I don't know. I don't have the knowledge. I'm not a lawyer. So, if my lawyer tells me bad/wrong information, is that my fault? How is this Cohen character the victim? If anyone knows what is/isn't kosher it's a lawyer and yet... Cohen told the court that Trump made him "cover up his dirty deeds."

"Time and time again, I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds, rather than listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass," Cohen said. Well, that's on you, bro. "It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light," he said.

Right. Cohen isn't spending three years in a federal penitentiary for nothing. He was obviously involved in some serious stuff — and not just covering it up, but involved. He made a lot of money (millions!) pretending he had influence with Trump once Trump was president. This guy gets no sympathy from me and he shouldn't get it from you.

Related:

He is a convicted perjurer. What kind of witness will Cohen be? LOL. Robert Mueller is counting on Michael Cohen to deliver evidence of White House criminality

Democratic Rep. Heck: 'This is the beginning of the end for the Trump administration'

How the National Enquirer broke up with President Trump

Congress makes deal on sexual harassment hush money

Unbeknownst to the American taxpayer, pervy elected officials had been paying off their victims from the government treasure chest. I support 100 percent revealing the names of any and all pervy officials who had their victims paid off with my money. Name and shame. Obviously, the victims should be kept anonymous, but the predators who abuse and grab at their staffers should be identified. This will never happen, but it really should.

Yesterday, the Senate and the House agreed to overhaul the hush-money regulations.

Under the terms of the compromise announced Wednesday, members of Congress would be held personally liable for sexual harassment and retaliation settlements, requiring them to reimburse the Treasury. It would also publicly identify members of Congress settle harassment claims, along with any settlements.

The agreement would also extend harassment protections to unpaid staff, including interns and congressional fellows, and create an electronic system for processing sexual harassment claims.

It's a good start, but if the taxpayer was footing the bill for these payoffs, we have the right to know who these predators are.

Historical picture of the day:

A U.S. Marine sniper seeks out Viet Cong with a high-powered rifle and scope near Que Son, Vietnam, Dec. 13, 1965. (AP Photo)

Other morsels:

She's 78, I'm just sayin' Pelosi Agrees To Term Limits, Secures Votes To Be The Next Speaker

Opioid maker Insys paid kickbacks to physician assistant, jury hears

What is the point of this? Protesters host dance party outside Stephen Miller's home

North Carolina on cusp of House race reset

Interesting. GOP Kentucky governor lashes out at newspaper for partnering with Pulitzer-winning journalism project

Boy Scouts On Verge Of Bankruptcy

‘Something bad is going to happen on Friday’: Weekly Standard staffers brace for end

Florida school massacre panel recommends arming teachers

11-Year-Old Boy Had to Change ‘Trump’ Last Name After Being Relentlessly Bullied at School

Julian Castro suggests new guard of Dems has 2020 edge, as he takes big step toward bid

Train crashes into overpass in Turkish capital; 7 dead

California proposes a plan to tax text messages

Congress just quietly passed a law that could spark a boom for the $1 billion marijuana-linked CBD industry

People are attacking Waymo's self-driving cars in Arizona by slashing tires and, in some cases, pulling guns on the safety drivers

And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!

Newsmax's John Cardillo today interviewed Sidney Powell, a former Justice Dept. official and author of Licensed to Lie, "the inside story of the most high-profile prosecutions of the last decade."

The "lead villain" in Powell's legal thriller is none other than Special Counsel Mueller's “first lieutenant," Andrew Weissmann. The hero is Judge Emmet Sullivan, who today demanded that Team Mueller cough up all of the government's documents and memoranda related to Michael Flynn's FBI interview by 3:00 p.m. EST Friday.

As you can imagine, she had some choice words for Mueller's witch hunt.

The Office of the Inspector General has released a report on "Recovery of Text Messages on Certain iPhone Devices."

The DOJ watchdog was unable to recover Peter Strzok and Lisa Page's text messages during Mueller's tenure because the SCO records officer had scrubbed them.

This is a good thread on the IG's text report, which suggests that this may not be as bad as it looks:

"Office of the Deputy Attorney General told the OIG that the Department routinely resets mobile devices to factory settings when the device is returned from a user to enable that device to be issued to another user in the future."

Chuck Schumer calls Rand Paul out on Israel.

Earlier this week, I reported on the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) effort to get Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) to drop his hold on two pro-Israel bills.

Now even Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is jumping in. From the Jewish Insider:

ON THE HILL — Schumer in Senate gym presses Paul on Israel aid: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been pressing Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to remove a hold on the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018.

During a speech at a forum hosted by the American Zionist Movement (AZM) on Capitol Hill yesterday, Schumer said that during a routine workout at the Senate gym in the morning, he “lobbied Rand Paul to let this go, and I think we will be able to work something out.” [JewishInsider]

Schumer added: “I don’t get up and say the Republicans are anti-Israel because Rand Paul is against this pact and holding it up. But I do hear people on the other side often say, ‘So-and-so said something anti-Israel, all the Democrats are bad.’ That is detrimental to the U.S.-Israel relationship — no matter which party you’re part of — if you’re pointing to the other side when there’s such overwhelming support.”