Opinion writer

* Looks like that “witch hunt” that President Trump keeps raging about just reached deeper into his inner circle:

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has interviewed White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, she told CNN on Friday.

"The President urged me, like he has everyone in the administration, to fully cooperate with the special counsel. I was happy to voluntarily sit down with them," Sanders said in response to a question from CNN. ...

While the substance of the interview with Sanders is unclear, one likely area of interest was how Sanders composed statements she made on the podium defending the President regarding the Russia investigation.

As Mueller wraps up his Russia probe, one focus of investigators has been conflicting public statements by President Donald Trump and his team that could be seen as an effort to obstruct justice, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Remember, among those public statements is very likely the one in which Trump falsified the reason that his top campaign officials met with Russians in the full expectation of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton. Also, the notion that the president has urged everyone to “fully cooperate with the special counsel” is pretty amusing, since he privately moved to fire that same special counsel not once, but twice.

* Katelyn Polantz digs into the latest Mueller filing and finds some pretty big news:

Prosecutors said for the first time that they have evidence of Roger Stone communicating with WikiLeaks, according to a new court filing from special counsel prosecutors.

During its investigation of the Russian hack of the Democrats, "the government obtained and executed dozens of search warrants on various accounts used to facilitate the transfer of stolen documents for release, as well as to discuss the timing and promotion of their release," the prosecutors wrote Friday to a federal judge.

"Several of those search warrants were executed on accounts that contained Stone's communications with Guccifer 2.0 and with Organization 1," which is WikiLeaks.

Previously, the prosecutors had only outlined how Stone attempted to get in touch with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange through intermediaries. Stone sought to learn about what the hackers had stolen from the Democratic Party and how he hoped for its release so it could help Donald Trump’s campaign, prosecutors have said.

#FakeNews #WitchHunt #Hoax

* House Judiciary Committee Democrats have launched a wide-ranging investigation of Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency, and are calling White House counsel and Department of Justice officials to Capitol Hill to justify the legal and factual underpinnings of the decision.

This is going to get worse for Trump.

* While declaring a national emergency today, Trump claimed that most drugs do not pass through official ports of entry, but as Philip Bump shows, multiple members of his own administration have confirmed that, yes, yes they do.

* Emma Kinery and Shira Stein report that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joaquin Castro will introduce a resolution terminating Trump’s national emergency, which suggests that Democrats will move ahead with their effort to force the GOP Senate to vote on it.

* Sean Illing has a useful roundup of expert opinion on the question of whether Trump’s national emergency is legal.

* Scott Anderson and Margaret Taylor offer a comprehensive look at the various funding sources (national emergency and not) that Trump is trying to tap to build his wall.

* Dara Lind has an exhaustive look at the winners and losers in the current standoff over the border, including a balanced examination of the good things Democrats got in the border deal that some on the left are so upset about.

* David Ignatius explains why Rep. Adam Schiff is seeking records detailing Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, and why that represents an important new phase in probing Trump’s finances.

* Jedediah Purdy offers a smart, nuanced look at the Green New Deal, with an emphasis on why (contrary to critics) it’s a positive that the blueprint intertwines ambitious goals on both climate and the economy.

* With Vice President Pence escalating the tough talking rhetoric about Iran, the Iranian foreign minister tells NBC’s Richard Engel that Washington has a “pathological obsession” with Iran, and staunchly defends the nuclear deal that Trump pulled out of. This is going well.

* And historian Julian Zelizer looks back at how Richard Nixon engaged in many abuses similar to what we are now seeing from Trump, and at how this led to Nixon’s downfall.