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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Garrett M. Graff — author of a book focused on Mueller, and one of the investigation's best narrators — writes for Axios that we now have a host of new clues to Mueller coming attractions.

What's happening: Michael Cohen's lies to Congress fit an odd pattern. Multiple people in Trump's orbit have outright lied or "forgotten" about a whole variety of contacts with Russian officials, developers, oligarchs, and emissaries. It's a uniquely consistent problem, across many top aides, that only seems to occur when the subject is Russia.

  • Remember Michael Cohen's two major revelations so far have come in just two, fairly limited, specific episodes, both of which investigative reporters have unearthed ahead of time: Stormy Daniels' hush money payments and the Moscow Trump Tower project. Cohen, though, worked with Trump — on his most sensitive messes — for a decade. What other episodes does he know about that we haven't unearthed yet?
  • Prosecutors ethically can't let a witness testify or plea to things they don't believe are true. So remember that everything Michael Cohen is saying in court, or pleading guilty to doing on paper, has been combed over for corroboration.
  • If Cohen is standing up in court and saying Donald Trump ordered him to do something, prosecutors aren't going just off his word. They have independent corroboration. Remember all those emails and telephones seized in the April raid on Cohen's office? We haven't seen any of that come out yet.

Every twist of the investigation shows that Mueller knows far more than we thought he did:

  • Cohen's plea deal shows he has phone records (hence the 20-minute telephone call to Moscow).
  • The aborted Jerome Corsi plea agreement shows Mueller has a host of emails.
  • The fact that Mueller knows Paul Manafort was lying to him likely indicates heretofore unseen corroborating witnesses, documents, and more

Be smart: There's a lot more behind the curtain.Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.