Correction: This story has been updated to correct Paul Manafort's former title. He was Donald Trump's campaign chairman.
The looming verdict for President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and new questions about what exactly the White House counsel told special counsel investigators, combined with Trump’s increasingly combustible Twitter feed, have put the feeling of climax in the air.
Jury deliberations in Paul Manafort’s first (of two) trials are expected to end this week, and whether special counsel Robert Mueller can secure a guilty verdict against the man who led Trump’s campaign will be a pivotal moment for the probe, which Trump continues to attack as a “witch hunt.”
Alongside the news that White House counsel Don McGahn spent more than 30 hours with investigators, it seems that Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and possible conspiracy has tentacles that could be moving in directions the public does not yet understand.
A source told CNN that McGahn did not provide information that would be incriminating to the President, but Trump’s lawyers also admitted they did not get a readout from the top White House lawyer about what he said.
It bears mentioning on a daily basis that no matter what happens, Trump’s presidency will make history; the US has never encountered an administration like Trump’s, where the chief executive is convinced the government he leads is out to get him.
And history was much on Trump’s mind as he dispatched his takes on Watergate and McCarthyism on his Twitter feed over the weekend.
Trump was alleging McCarthyism over the weekend, but it’s the Watergate comparisons he rejects that seem to be sticking.
It was Richard Nixon’s White House counsel John Dean who flipped on Nixon and helped bring him down. In Trump’s telling, Dean is a villain of the Watergate saga because he told the truth about his boss, the president.
Trump called Dean a “RAT” on Twitter on Sunday and denied the comparison, but The New York Times reported officials in Trump’s legal team don’t actually know what McGahn might have said before Mueller’s team.
Trump’s legal team on Monday was trying to clean up an odd declaration by Rudy Giuliani over the weekend that “truth isn’t truth” as he sought to explain why Trump shouldn’t testify before Mueller because he could get caught in a lie.
“When you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well, that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth,” Giuliani told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday morni