😎 Good Saturday morning.
Milestone ... "COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — The U.S. Secret Service has ended its detail for George H.W. Bush after nearly 40 years of protecting the former president, who was known by the code name 'Timberwolf.'"
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
The flashing siren in the "known knowns" of the Russia probe is how often people close to Vladimir Putin approached people close to Donald J. Trump — and how often they gladly connected.
Two court filings last evening on Michael Cohen — one by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, followed an hour later by special counsel Robert Mueller — put new meat on those bones, show that the contacts go back to 2015, and allude to multiple ongoing investigations.
Connecting the dots I ... Garrett M. Graff writes on WIRED that Mueller’s court filings, "when coupled with other investigative reporting, paint a picture of how the Russian government, through various trusted-but-deniable intermediaries, conducted a series of 'approaches' over the course of the spring of 2016 to officials in Trump's orbit:
And it all started even sooner than that. Yesterday's Mueller filing shows that a "Russian national who claimed ties to the Kremlin told ... Cohen ... as early as November 2015 that he could use his Russian government connections to help Trump’s business and political prospects," per the WashPost:
The puzzle pieces fit together. Trump needed Russia for his business dealings. Russia wanted Trump to win because they could influence or control him. And the Trump team wanted Russian help simply because they thought the Russians could help Trump win the election. Everyone profits, everyone gets what they want.
P.S. Shot ... N.Y. Times lead story: "Federal prosecutors said on Friday that President Trump directed illegal payments to ward off a potential sex scandal that threatened his chances of winning the White House in 2016, putting the weight of the Justice Department behind accusations previously made by his former lawyer," Michael Cohen.
Former FBI Director James Comey, who's 6-foot-8, strides through security as he arrives at Rayburn House Office Building yesterday to testify after being summoned to testify during Republicans' final full month of control.
"A Guatemalan living in the U.S. illegally who says she faced abusive working conditions as a maid at Donald Trump's New Jersey golf club doesn't regret speaking out, even though she might lose her job and be deported," AP's Claudia Torrens and Bernard Condon report.
"Morales said that during Trump's presidential campaign, hours for workers at the resort whom she thought were in the country illegally were cut. She was told she couldn't clean Trump's house anymore."
"Walmart CEO Doug McMillon keeps a photo on his phone that lists the top 10 retailers in the U.S. over the past few decades to remind him how so many companies come and go," CNBC reports.
"Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is getting help from District officials, congressional Republicans and the Trump administration as he tries to clear a major roadblock to building a new, 60,000-seat stadium on the site of RFK Stadium," the WashPost's Liz Clarke and MikeDeBonis report:
Why it matters: "By tucking it into a complex spending bill, the team and local officials could sidestep some public debate over whether other uses for the coveted parcel of land would benefit a broader swath of D.C. residents."
"After being nearly muted at this year's ceremony, the 2019 Grammys are shaping up to be the year of the woman, with powerful female voices representing the majority in two of the top categories," AP Music Writer Mesfin Kefadu reports:
"Nominees for album of the year at the 2018 Grammys only included one woman — Lorde — and she was not given a performing slot on the show."