Looks like sh*t is getting real

Sam Stein refers you to Special Counsel Mueller Impanels Washington Grand Jury in Russia Probe (251,000+ shares), by Byron Tau and Del Quentin Wilber at The Wall Street Journal. As Tim O'Brien tweets, “Mueller impanels grand jury, signaling that ‘a long-term, large-scale series of prosecutions’ are being contemplated.” Tau and Wilber note that the expansion beyond the Flynn grand jury is a sign the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election is “ramping up.” Rudy Takala has some insight about grand juries: “Just spent 5 weeks on a federal grand jury. #1 thing I learned is they'll indict anyone for anything.”

At Reuters, Karen Freifeld has the Exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in relation to Russian lawyer, Trump Jr. meeting - sources (19,000+ shares). Tweets Anthony Johnson, “Ruh rho, #TrumpCrimeFamily. Bad enough that you lie to the American people. Better not lie to the grand jury.”

For more context, CNN’s Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Shimon Prokupecz report, One year into the FBI's Russia investigation, Mueller is on the Trump money trail (81,000+ shares). They reveal that 16 attorneys are currently assigned to the probe and, as Keith Boykin tweets, “Mueller is investigating Trump's shell companies, tenants at Trump Tower, and Trump's Miss Universe pageant ties.” Says Steve Cochran, “Uh oh...Trump's worst nightmare...SHOW ME THE MONEY!” And Frank Pallotta points out, “Headline on the CNN homepage evokes the famous words of ‘All The President’s Men.’” 

One of the targets of the investigation: Michael Flynn. AP News’ Stephen Braun is reporting, Flynn details tie to data firm, transition pay. Tweets Anthony De Rosa, “Flynn updates financial disclosure to include Mercer's Cambridge Analytica. Mercer is Trump's single biggest donor.”

And while we’re at it, This Trump real estate deal looks awfully like criminal tax fraud, write The Washington Post’s David Herzig and Bridget Crawford. “Another story that would be a big scandal for a normal president. Probable criminal tax fraud by Trump,” says Jonathan Chait

Meanwhile in Israel...Netanyahu will be indicted: The meaning of his top aide turning state's witness. Gidi Weitz has the report for Haaretz.

Child-proofing the government 

Could all this spell a return to bipartisanship? The Hill’s Jordain Carney has two pieces on across-the-aisle collaboration: In Senate bill would require court's approval for Trump firing Mueller (17,000 shares), he writes, “GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) are moving to limit the Trump administration's ability to fire Robert Mueller.”

Of the second, Senate blocks Trump from making recess appointments over break, Anthony Duignan-Cabrera tweets, “Senate child proofs government while it’s on vacation.”

In the meantime, “New COS John Kelly has ‘upended the West Wing.’ Great read from @nytimes,” tweets Neil McMahon. He links to John Kelly Quickly Moves to Impose Military Discipline on White House, by The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush, Michael Shear and Eileen Sullivan. Of note, “John Kelly prefers Irish whiskey over Scotch: Report,” tweets Roque Planas. “Calling an idea ‘shit nuts’ is my new favorite insult,” says Jody Avirgan.

Then there’s this: Newsweek Dubs Trump “Lazy Boy” on Latest Cover, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Patrick Shanley. Most of the tweeting about this was reassuring others that this is indeed the real cover and not something that was made with a Photoshop template.

And yet, “So sometimes they swim on rather than off the sinking ship,” says Chemi Shalev, referring to West Virginia Governor to Switch from Democrat to Republican (49,000+ shares), as reported by The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin.

This is a good blog post

Allison Benedikt links to Jonathan Chait’s piece in New York Magazine, Australia’s PM Slowly Realizes Trump Is a Complete Idiot (60,000+ shares). Tweets Lisa Song, “‘Why do you discriminate against boats?’ is one part of the transcript I can't stop staring at. (Among many others).” “Worth reading this annotation of Trump's call with Australian PM. Confirms Trump lacks basic comprehension skills,” says Jonathan Freedland.

About those transcripts...The Atlantic’s David Frum argues Why Leaking Transcripts of Trump's Calls Is So Dangerous. “Whether you like Trump or not, this is really bad,” says Doc Washburn. And Michael Weiss tweets, “Trump not only reckless and dangerous, he inspires recklessness and dangerousness in others.”

In other news, we learned that the Secret Service has vacated Trump Tower command post in lease dispute with president’s company (95,000+ shares), as reported by Carol Leonnig, David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell for The Washington Post. Tip from Ben Pershing, “Maybe Trump could call Trump and work this out …” After all, Mike Wereschagin notes, “If you were in danger and a group of people pledged to protect you with their lives, why would you charge them rent?”

Also, “This is..bizarre. 2 House Intel staffers traveled to London to try to track down dossier author Chris Steele,” tweets Natasha Bertrand, who links to Hunt for Trump dossier author inflames Russia probe, by POLITICO’s Ali Watkins. Tweets Ashley Feinberg, “Everyone is like two levels of paranoia away from turning into Louise Mensch.”

On to some truly badass women. “Heretics to some. Heroines to others. Regardless these are 2 badass women. Check out my intv,” tweets Dana Bash, who links to Collins, Murkowski take CNN behind the scenes of the health care battle, with additional reporting by CNN’s Ashley Killough and Abigail Crutchfield. Tweets Jennifer Bendery, “Lisa Murkowski is tough as nails y’all.”

Weekend round-up:

The Wall Street Journal had another big scoop on Thursday. Douglas MacMillan and Newley Purnell report, Smoke, Then Fire: Uber Knowingly Leased Unsafe Cars to Drivers. “Why am I not surprised,” says Vindu Goel

New from Kimbriell Kelly, Wesley Lowery and Steven Rich of The Washington Post, Fired/Rehired: Police chiefs are often forced to put officers fired for misconduct back on the streets. Tweets Lowery, “How hard is it to fire ‘bad apple’ officers? We analyzed hundreds of cases where fired officers won their jobs back.” Adds Rich, “This story was done by combing through more than 10,000 pages of #FOIA docs and data to create our own database.” 

Vanity Fair Fires Back at Angelina Jolie, Stands by Writer in Controversial Casting Retelling, writes Chris Gardner for The Hollywood Reporter. He links to the Vanity Fair response, Vanity Fair Responds to Angelina Jolie’s Comments Related to Its September Cover Story. Tweets Alyssa Bereznak, “bless transcriptions and all of their inconvenient truths.” Says Brad Esposito, “damn vanity fair going in straight savage on angelina jolie.” “good own,” says Aleksander Chan.

“Alert! Another Correal yarn is waiting for your eyes: The Secret Life of the Banana. A hilarious & fascinating balm,” tweets Caitlin Dickerson. She links to The Secret Life of the Urban Banana, by Annie Correal of The New York Times. “This is why I pay for the Times tbh,” tweets Margaret Ely. “One of the many things I learned in this fun @anniecorreal story: Bananas are slightly radioactive!” says Nick Corasaniti, and Jake Grovum says, “This is a perfect story.” Not convinced? How about this for an endorsement: Elizabeth Sile tweets, “Hello, my name is Libby and I hate bananas. But I like this article.” “Seriously, how could you not read a story with this headline: The Secret Life of the Urban Banana,” says Amy Virshup.

Ryan Lizza Revisits his Phone Call with Anthony Scaramucci in a New Yorker podcast with David Remnick. Tweets Lizza, “I talked with David Remnick on @newyorkerradio about that call from Scaramucci. Audio excerpts of the call included!” And Alyssa Bereznak “just gasped.” 

Watch Chris Cornell's Daughter Sing ‘Hallelujah’ for Father and Chester Bennington, as posted by Rolling Stone’s Ryan Reed.

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