(IMPORTANT) Putin had three plans for getting US sanctions dropped.
1) TRUMP ORG. Putin enticed Trump with deals. Mueller looked at this.
2) UKRAINE. The "peace deal" passed to Cohen. Still being looked at.
3) MIDDLE EAST MARSHALL PLAN. The story of this is just coming to light.
Of these three collusion plots, the TRUMP ORG plot was the simplest and has been proven by public records—Trump secretly negotiated a real estate deal with the Kremlin while pursuing the most pro-Russia policy in U.S. political history, and did so knowing Russia was attacking us.
The UKRAINE plot is slightly stranger—involving Russian oligarchs, an ex-GOP pol, Cohen, Flynn, Sater, and more. It begins with secret Sessions-Kislyak Ukraine negotiations in September 2016, continues in December 2016 Flynn-Kislyak talks, and ends with a January 2017 peace deal.
The MIDDLE EAST MARSHALL PLAN plot is *so* much bigger and more confusing and more populated by strange figures than the other two that you should look at it this way: if (as to its size) the TRUMP ORG plot is X, and the UKRAINE plot is 4X, the MIDDLE EAST MARSHALL PLAN is *20X*.
The TRUMP ORG plot exposed exclusively Trump to new criminal charges—with possible charges being conspiracy, aiding and abetting, bribery, obstruction, and witness tampering. It *looks* like Mueller believes the conduct, while wrong, may have fallen short of 90% proof of a crime.
The TRUMP ORG plot is very much an active counterintelligence issue—inasmuch as the details of the Trump-Kremlin negotiations, only some of which we know, and the details of any kompromat that might have been brought to bear, continues to be a basis for Trump being compromised.
It is hard to tell how deeply into the UKRAINE plot Mueller delved, as it so intersects with the inaugural fund issue and with Cohen's cooperation that it's not clear that Mueller felt it was a case he had to handle. More importantly, it's the *least* criminal of the three plots.
The MIDDLE EAST MARSHALL PLAN plot is not just the biggest but the most criminal and most harrowing of the three plots—by *far*. From what we know, Mueller excused himself from being lead investigator of this plot, leaving it to EDNY, EDVA, USAO-DC, and other federal prosecutors.
To be clear, those are simply the three COLLUSION plots involving TRUMP and SANCTIONS. There were other COLLUSION plots—e.g., Kremlin attempts to use debts owed to Russian oligarchs by Trump's campaign manager to get the campaign to aid the Kremlin's election interference effort.
I don't think that the feds are done with the MANAFORT-KILIMNIK COLLUSION plot, which doesn't involve sanctions—so I didn't list it among those three—but almost certainly involves Trump: it's why Trump told friends Manafort could sink him. Alas—Manafort's silence stymied Mueller.
Kilimnik remains under indictment—and Manafort remains under threat of having to actually serve the long federal prison sentence he's been given—so the possibility remains that some federal prosecutor can prove that Trump knew his campaign manager was colluding with the Kremlin.
The book I'm writing now is about the MIDDLE EAST MARSHALL PLAN collusion plot—100% a Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy and quite clearly something Mueller gave over to others to investigate. Its many suspects include Trump—and Trump's crimes include bribery and money laundering.
As my focus has been on one type of plot—any plot involving TRUMP, RUSSIA and COLLUSION—my two books run through the four plots I've discussed here and several subplots. The biggest of these is active and unprosecuted. Other plots—TRUMP / WHITE-COLLAR CRIME plots—are active. /end
You can follow @SethAbramson.