Today’s edition of quick hits:
* The big case: “Special counsel Robert Mueller may not need Rick Gates to prove crimes against Paul Manafort. But the appearance of Manafort’s longtime protégé in an Alexandria federal courtroom this week has made for riveting courtroom drama – turning what had been a dry case about tax and bank records into a political soap opera.”
* Michael Cohen: “The legal pressures facing Michael Cohen are growing in a wide-ranging investigation of his personal business affairs and his work on behalf of his former client, President Trump. In previously unreported developments, federal prosecutors in New York are examining whether Mr. Cohen committed tax fraud, people familiar with the investigation said.”
* I don’t know what he’s doing, and I’m not sure he does, either: “U.S. Senator Rand Paul on Monday invited Russian lawmakers to visit Washington after holding talks in Moscow with parliamentarians and pledging to obstruct new sanctions against Russia.”
* Donald Trump may be excited by the idea that collusion is not a crime, but he’s effectively argued the opposite more than once.
* It’s hard to see this as benign: “[O]ne group of Americans who regularly find themselves on the receiving end of Trump’s attacks on their intelligence are black Americans, especially prominent ones who criticize him.”
* This really was stunning: “Saudi Arabia’s state media on Monday tweeted a graphic appearing to show an Air Canada airliner heading toward the Toronto skyline in a way that recalled the September 11, 2001, terrorist hijackings of airliners that struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.”
* Jared Kushner “personally ordered a software developer at his newspaper to remove stories that were critical of his friends and real estate peers.”
* Shrinking Alex Jones’ reach: “Facebook, Google and Apple have each taken steps to remove conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from their platforms, marking a significant shift in the approach taken by big tech companies to the radio host.”
* One might start to get the impression that the president says things that aren’t true: “There were no massive TV screens and no JumboTrons outside of the Trump rally in Tampa on Tuesday, like President Donald Trump said there was.”
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.