* How do you cover a late-breaking story like the one about how Michael Cohen’s third “mystery client” is actually Sean Hannity? Via twitter, of course. Here’s how Jake Tapper opened his show today:
.@jaketapper: The judge forced Michael Cohen to admit in court he has a third client. And the third client is Sean Hannity.
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) April 16, 2018
* Here are a few other choice tweets:
Michael Cohen: I paid hush money to Stormy Daniels.
Trump: I don't know anything about it.
Michael Cohen: Sean Hannity is my client.
Sean Hannity: I'm not.
Is calling your lawyer a liar a common legal strategy? Four dimensional chess or the last stop before jail?
— JRehling (@JRehling) April 16, 2018
Things we've learned about Michael Cohen in the 11 days since Trump said "Ask Michael Cohen":
He's under criminal investigation;
The Feds think he has criminal evidence;
He barely practices law but does 'other things' for Trump;
He represents Sean Hannity.
— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) April 16, 2018
I’m sure Sean Hannity can expect the same privacy and respect that he afforded Seth Rich’s family.
— Bobbie Oliver (@thebobbieoliver) April 16, 2018
It will be threading a needle, but holy crap, it’s possible that Trump won’t take down American democracy but that he will take down Fox & the NRA
— Dana Houle (@DanaHoule) April 16, 2018
* On a more serious note, here is what Judge Kimba Wood decided the next steps will be for the material collected in the raid of Michael Cohen’s offices.
A federal judge denied Michael Cohen’s request for a temporary restraining order on the government’s review of records seized from him last week. But Judge Kimba Wood instead laid out a process for government lawyers to do a superficial review of the documents, while Cohen’s attorneys are also allowed to review them.
Judge Wood left open the possibility that she could appoint a special master at a later date to conduct a fuller review of the documents for materials that fall under attorney-client privilege. She said it was also possible that she would let a “taint team” go forward with the review…
Wood ordered that the government organize all the seized material in a database to ascertain the amount of evidence that could fall under attorney-client privilege. The review will be done by the taint team, working with attorneys representing Cohen and President Trump, who has intervened in the dispute, using search terms to help organize the evidence. For now the government will not be reviewing the documents themselves, Wood said. She requested that both sides come to the next hearing with names of potential special masters in mind.
* In news not related to Michael Cohen, there’s this:
People with Trump administration experience on their resumes are unemployable in the private sector. https://t.co/UsjF2zuKfV
— Bruce Bartlett (@BruceBartlett) April 15, 2018
* Since Syria’s use of chemical weapons is once again in the news, this is a helpful breakdown on what has happened since the civil war started:
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 13, 2018
Cheryl Rofer provided an excellent primer on the difference between nerve agents (i.e., sarin) and chlorine.
Chlorine is in a different category in the Chemical Weapons Convention than nerve agents. It is essential for water purification, whereas the nerve agents are only for killing. Chlorine is what is called a dual-use agent. Its possession cannot be prohibited. It can be produced much more easily than the nerve agents. Using it as a war gas is a war crime.
It was the sarin attack on Ghouta that led the Obama administration to negotiate the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons via the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons). In was once again the use of sarin four years later in an attack on Khan Sheikhoun that led to Trump’s decision to launch a military strike. In terms of the most recent attack on Douma, US officials expressed confidence that both chlorine and sarin gas were used.
* Expanding on the potential for a wave in November is the developing blue Muslim wave.
More than 90 American Muslims, nearly all of them Democrats, are running for public office across the country this year. Many are young and politically inexperienced, and most are long shots. But they represent a collective gamble: that voters are so disgusted by America’s least popular president on record that they’re willing to elect members of America’s least popular religious minority group.
Although their number seems small, the candidacies mark an unprecedented rise for the nation’s diverse Muslim community that typically has been underrepresented in American politics.
There are more than 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States, but Muslim Americans hold just two of the 535 seats in Congress. And the Muslim community’s voter participation pales in comparison to the general public’s.
…In a 2001 Zogby poll of American Muslims, 42 percent said they voted for Republican George W. Bush in the previous year’s presidential election, while 31 percent said they voted for Democrat Al Gore. By last year, just 8 percent of voting American Muslims in a Pew poll said they voted for Trump, while 78 percent said they voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
* Finally, in case you missed it, while Michael Cohen’s lawyers were in court on Friday arguing to keep his records private, the man himself was hanging with his buds (one of whom was Rotem Rosen) smoking cigars. Someone found the perfect musical accompaniment for the scene.
omg this is amazing pic.twitter.com/TOlAIKvPl5
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 14, 2018