Seth Abramson
+ Your AuthorsArchive @SethAbramson NYT bestselling author. Lawyer. Journalist at RETRO ( and PROOF, the top-ranked culture outlet on Substack ( Apr. 17, 2019 93 min read

(MUELLER REPORT LIVE THREAD) This thread chronicles—in real time—the release of the Mueller Report, with news and analysis from a @Newsweek columnist and @NYTimes bestselling author (Proof of Collusion). Please retweet this thread widely for those you think might benefit from it.

1/ I want to start by offering my @Newsweek column from today (April 17), which sets the stage for what the Thursday (April 18) release of the Mueller Report will and will not be: 

2/ I've also detailed errors made by media in the run-up to the release of the Mueller Report. If you read the @Newsweek piece atop this thread and then the thread below, you'll get a sense of what an accurate accounting of events is up against right now.

3/ And now the biggest pre-Report news so far: the NYT is reporting that Justice Department officials have secretly been working with Trump's White House to aid the White House response to the Mueller Report—even though Trump was a target of the DOJ probe. 

4/ That report now frames two other stories:

(1) Barr will hold a presser at 9:30AM tomorrow—before reporters can read the Report—to give his gloss on it. (His last gloss was *political*.)
(2) Pompeo—Trump's right-hand man—was seen leaving DOJ right before the Barr announcement.

5/ What we are already seeing, therefore, more than 12 hours before the release of the Mueller Report, is a *concerted* White House pushback—with the aid of the DOJ at the highest levels—to frame how the public receives the Report before even a single civilian has read any of it.

6/ This DOJ-White House axis is even more troubling given that the AG has, by all accounts, redacted the Mueller Report to within an inch of its life—using four redaction categories, two of which (grand jury testimony and derogatory info) he could had navigated without redaction.

7/ We don't have any sense whether *the* key issue we need answered—whether the President of the United States is a national security threat, by virtue of being compromised by a foreign power—will be resolved by Mueller's work, or if the FBI/CIA counterintel probes are even over.

8/ It's this fact that makes the signs we're already seeing from DOJ nefarious, as it's DOJ that's been redacting critical counterintelligence info from a Report that it will now gloss—apparently in cahoots with the very White House it was investigating—before anyone has read it.

9/ As @NatashaBertrand notes, Mueller's absence at tomorrow's DOJ presser is telling—if he'd been kept apprised of how Barr was handling his work, you'd expect him to be there. Equally concerning is Barr's evasive testimony on his coordination with Trump:

10/ Jerry Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee—and the man most responsible for initiating impeachment proceedings in the U.S. Congress—has just issued a brief statement on the DOJ-and-White-House-orchestrated outrages we've seen already tonight:

11/ An update, now, on precisely who will be attending the 9:30AM pre-release presser tomorrow: *no one from Mueller's team*. (It's not clear that the team's spokesman, Carr, can or should be counted, given that he is appearing in a different role at DOJ).

12/ So far, every part of this report's release has been *devastatingly* badly handled by AG William Barr, with *all* of it reeking of the *worst* sort of pro-Trump partisanship. This doesn't bode well for tomorrow—or for America. We need a bipartisan, responsible report release.

13/ It's no coincidence Republicans have timed their pushback on the FBI and FBI partners to coincide with the release of—again, a *heavily* redacted—Mueller Report. Upshot: there's a lot in this report that Republicans must not want all of us to focus on.

14/ My sense is Republicans have been publicly shouting "No collusion!" but privately preparing for a devastating report...for months. The hive of activity we're seeing in the GOP—all to distract and confuse—confirms that it *always* thought this was worse than it was pretending.

15/ Confirmed: 11AM tomorrow is the time of the Report's release. That'll give Barr 90 minutes to misrepresent the Report's conclusions before anyone reads even the first word of it. This has all been orchestrated beautifully by Trump and Barr, I must say.

16/ Update: DOJ now says it will allow *certain* lawmakers to view the Report without *certain* redactions at some *uncertain* future date. Sounds generous until you realize Congress is entitled to the full unredacted report—and will go to court to get it.

17/ AG William Barr has created chaos pre-release—an enormous boon to Trump.


19/ This aide is most of America right now:

20/ Lest anyone reading this think that I'm the only one deeply (deeply) concerned about how American media has conducted itself (and has allowed itself to be "handled" by the Trump administration) since the release of the first Barr Letter in late March: 

21/ Trump's 2020 presidential campaign is now falsely fundraising—indeed, is fraudulently accepting millions of dollars from voters—on the premise that the Mueller Report...

...has *already been released*. This is incredible, and stretches the bounds of legality. (h/t @JYSexton)

22/ BREAKING: Mueller allegedly did not draw a final conclusion on obstruction because of difficulty proving intent (BTW, an explanation for non-prosecution you would *never* hear, on these facts, if the suspect weren't the President of the United States):

23/ The Post claims tomorrow's version of the Mueller Report will be only "lightly" redacted (the sourcing on this is crucial, as "lightly" is a subjective and relative assignation, seen differently by different observers depending on their positioning):

24/ I sense a slight bait-and-switch here, as we're told the *obstruction* evidence (which is mostly from the public sphere anyway) will be lightly redacted, when, as I've argued, the *new* (maybe interesting) material is on conspiracy. So the DOJ is doing us no real favors here.

25/ BREAKING: Democratic committee chairs call for Barr to cancel tomorrow's wholly unnecessary presser and just (as frankly all America wants at this point) release the damn Report:

26/ Upshot: the Democratic Party is getting beaten bloody by Trump and the DOJ because they insist on acting like we're living in normal times. The truth is, the GOP is *off the rails* and endangering American democracy; Democrats better start *acting* like we're in an emergency.

27/ Democrats should respond to what Barr and the White House have done by unleashing *all* their subpoenas *tonight*. Scores of them. *Hundreds*, if need be. It's time to stop screwing around.

28/ Secret DOJ-Trump coordination (similar to what we saw in October 2016, in the form of secret FBI-Trump coordination) is just as bad as the FBI-Clinton coordination Trump has alleged without evidence for years. And that's what's been revealed *tonight*.

29/ I tweeted this... five hours ago. And now... here we are.

30/ Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) is speaking out again:

31/ We all thought this thing would go off the rails tomorrow.

Turns out it's going off the rails *tonight*.

Hence this live thread. Please consider retweeting my pinned tweet so that people can follow along and stay informed on this historic (and historically upsetting) night.

32/ The most-asked question in all my in-boxes: "How do we know Barr didn't shut down the Mueller investigation prematurely?" The simple answer, though it will satisfy *no one*, is DOJ regs required Barr to certify to Congress that he denied Mueller nothing and Barr so certified.

33/ In case you missed it, a federal judge has *already* said *publicly* that Barr is *seriously* harming Americans' confidence in the Mueller Report-release process:

34/ "No one from the special counsel's prosecution team will be present as Barr holds a press conference on their report." Couldn't be a clearer signal of the Mueller-Barr tension we saw last week, when the team leaked that Barr was *downplaying evidence*. 

35/ DOJ will drop *two* Mueller Reports today: one for general consumption—given to Congress at 11AM and posted on the Special Counsel's website at noon—and one for a select group of Congresspeople that has *slightly* less of it redacted. That will be shown in a special location.

36/ A re-reading of yesterday's odd Washington Post story alleging DOJ redactions will be "light"—especially on obstruction—suggests it did indeed come from either Trump's DOJ or Trump's legal team, as at one point the article attributes that view to one or both of those groups.

37/ Remember: "light redactions" on obstruction means *nothing*—we've already been told most of the obstruction material is public record. What will be telling is if the *conspiracy* portion of the Report—far more likely to contain new and troubling evidence—is heavily redacted.

38/ So I fear that the Post inadvertently revealing at least the *general* sphere from which its information on redactions came—Trump's DOJ or Trump's legal team—is yet another attempt by those two entities (who we now know have worked in tandem) to frame today's narrative early.

39/ This should produce some concurrent concern as to the *other* big scoop from yesterday: the idea Mueller struggled to figure out Trump's intent on obstruction despite him... uh... broadcasting his intent nationally on multiple occasions. That might've been "pre-framing," too.

40/ We're ten minutes from Barr's presser—at which, tellingly, *no one* from Mueller's team will be, but Rosenstein (a witness in the obstruction case who also made the final call on that case) will. I hope you'll retweet my pinned tweet to spread the word about this live thread.

41/ That Trump is tweeting now about Barr's presser, and declared its existence on WMAL *before the DOJ did*, and that Pompeo was seen at DOJ—which he never is—right before the announcement of it, tells you *exactly* what this press conference will be: a Trump marketing tool.

42/ Trump has now tweeted a domestic disinformation video that says wrongly but repeatedly—while weaponizing misreporting on the subject as well—that the Mueller report resolves the *collusion* question rather than just a narrow "conspiracy" question. The two *aren't* synonymous.

43/ Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have now publicly called for Mueller and his team to testify before Congress ASAP. AG Barr is just seconds away from coming to the lectern, if he stays on schedule this morning. Everyone should understand this is a *Trump PR event*. That's all.

44/ What Barr has done is make it very hard to cover his presser. If Barr lies about the Report, or misrepresents it, or leaves out critical information, there's...not much I can do about it in trying to get the truth out to readers. Because I haven't seen the Report. No one has.

45/ When you see Rod Rosenstein on the stage with Barr, remember that DOJ regulations required that he recuse himself from this case the moment he learned he was a *major* witness in the obstruction investigation. I called for his recusal. He didn't recuse... and now here we are.

46/ Barr is here. Here we go.

47/ "I'd like to make a few comments on the report," Barr says. He thanks Rosenstein for his help and is pumping him up now, a critical strategic decision given that Rosenstein backed Barr up on saying Trump wouldn't be indictable for obstruction. (Rosenstein should've recused.)

48/ "Volume 1" of the Mueller Report is about conspiracy. Barr repeats the Report "did not establish [beyond a reasonable doubt]" finding. Barr says Russians "did not have the cooperation or knowing assistance" of anyone from the Trump campaign or any American.

49/ Barr says Mueller focused on the actions of the Internet Research Agency and the GRU—confirming my prior claims that Mueller looked at the conspiracy question in a narrow way, investigating whether Trump or his team conspired with the IRA or GRU (which *no one* ever alleged).

50/ Barr has just deliberately used the misleading Trumpian phrase "no collusion"—confirming he has coordinated his rhetoric with the White House. Barr was *careful*, though, and said no collusion *with the IRA*—again, *not something anyone ever alleged*.

51/ Barr is vindicating Trump on what Trump has always claimed he was innocent of—but *not* what he has been accused of. So Barr is again saying Trump's people didn't participate in the "dissemination" of hacked materials.

52/ The third conspiracy-related item Mueller looked at—per Barr—was if Trump or his campaign conspired with individuals *related* to the Russian government. This is the crux of the actual allegations against Trump, which is perhaps why Barr was so vague about what Mueller found.

53/ The obstruction issue will go to Congress. Barr/Rosenstein's views are *immaterial*. It's almost not worth publishing Barr's defense of Trump here—which is what Barr's giving right now. It's just Trump PR. All that's going to matter here is the *third* conspiracy allegation.

54/ Barr is providing *exactly* the full-throated obstruction defense of Trump that his lawyers would give. This is embarrassing. This is a dark day for the DOJ.

55/ Barr is explaining the 4 categories of redaction. I'm telling you, nearly all the redactions will relate to the third of three conspiracy topics—Trump and his team's contacts with Russians who may not have worked in the Russian government. That's the ballgame for this Report.

56/ Anyone reading the Mueller Report today should go *straight* to the third part of "Volume 1" of the Report, which deals with "conspiracy" with nongovernmental Russian nationals. Barr was most euphemistic on this topic—most vague—likely because *this* is the *real* allegation.

57/ Barr's presentation today is... if you're not watching, watch it later. Barr sounds like a Trump spokesman. He's *praising* Trump for not invoking executive privilege. This is so embarrassing for law enforcement. Trump was the *target* of the probe Barr is now the face of.

58/ All questions for Barr now should be about "Volume 1, pt. 3" of the Mueller Report. *All* the action today—and I bet nearly all the redactions—will be in this part of the Report. Obstruction is going to go through to Congress, and the IRA/GRU allegations were never serious.

59/ The *very first* question asked to Barr about the Report...and he's basically saying, "You have to read the Report." Then why are we having this press conference? Why is Barr talking about only the parts of the Report he wants to talk about, and deferring on all other topics?

60/ Barr says the only question in the Report was whether there was criminal conduct. That's... really odd. Because we were told the *counterintelligence* investigations were part of the Report. This makes it sound like it *wasn't*, because "criminal" =/= "counterintelligence."

61/ Barr admits that he doesn't know whether Mueller wanted the obstruction issue to go to Congress.

62/ Barr: "I have no problem with Bob Mueller personally testifying [before Congress]." Okay... not sure what "personally" means?

63/ William Barr says the Mueller Report is *his*, not Mueller's, which is why Mueller isn't present at the presser. He also says that there's *no* obligation for him to make the Report public. The DOJ then calls the presser. Wow. That was purely Trump PR, followed by the hook.

64/ Barr is going to get *skewered* for this presser. And he deserves to be.

65/ AG Barr simply stood up there and presented excuses about Trump's conduct, while still refusing to show us the Report until later today. Neal Katyal points out on MSNBC that Barr refused to mention the "does not exonerate" part of the Report—which is... a *pretty big deal*.

66/ Today was Barr's fifth presentation (summary) on the Report—and we still haven't seen it.

67/ The question is, how did Mueller define "conspiracy" in Volume 1, pt. 3 of the Report? That's the part dealing with nongovernmental Russian nationals. Did Mueller consider any potential offenses involving Trumpworld and nongovernmental Russian nationals, or just "conspiracy"?

68/ Did Mueller look at bribery, money laundering, RICO, illegal solicitation of foreign campaign donations, aiding and abetting, conspiracy to defraud the United States (which might well be seen *not* as a conspiracy "with" Russian nationals) or just one strand of "conspiracy"?

69/ Remember that "collusion" is *not* a legal term: but it *is* an umbrella term for a series of federal criminal statutes the violation of which would, in a speaking indictment, be undergirded by (broadly speaking) "collusive" conduct in the commonsensical sense of that word.

70/ I believe what we will discover in two hours is: (a) all the counterintelligence information about whether Trump is compromised will be *erased* from the Mueller Report, and (b) the *only* conspiracies really discussed in the Report will be those that no one accused Trump of.

71/ Barr trumpeted Trump's cooperation with investigators. *Wow*. He fought responding to questions for over a year—and when he did he'd only accept written questions on narrow topics with no follow-up. Not to mention he fired Comey, tried to fire Mueller twice, fired Sessions...

72/ AG Barr also confirmed that the White House had early access to the Report, i.e. while it was preparing its counter-response. NBC has already called this "actual collusion." MSNBC (Melber) notes Barr said Mueller looked at ten events in the obstruction timeline in particular.

73/ Trump is on a full PR *offensive* on Twitter. But even on Fox News, Chris Wallace is saying that Barr's press conference just now did not seem like a press conference by an Attorney General, but an advocate for the president. No one is buying this massive Trump/Barr PR blitz.

74/ Katyal notes—rightly—that Barr praised Trump wherever possible but never noted that Trump was (among much else) proved *wrong* on who interfered with the '16 election and how serious the interference was. All those tweets about this being a "witch hunt" investigation? Wrong.

75/ MSNBC notes, too, what I've been writing about here on Twitter for a year—we're talking about obstruction (was Trump "angry" when he obstructed? was he "frustrated" when he obstructed? was he in an "unprecedented" situation?) in a way we *never* would with an average citizen.

76/ Any attorney listening to Barr heard euphemistic, careful language in his presentation. In other words, Barr was putting a gloss on the case in the way a defense lawyer would—but not even the way a lawyer would *in-court*, but the way an attorney might *outside a courthouse*.

77/ Too few people are noting the following key (and overarching) fact: William Barr no longer has credibility, as the Attorney General, on *any* matters relating to Donald Trump. It is impossible to imagine any journalist crediting Barr on any Trump-related issue going forward.

78/ Neal Katyal, who helped write the DOJ's Special Counsel regulations, notes that Barr offering up Mueller's testimony to Congress was—well—worth nothing at all, as Mueller will shortly be outside the authority of the DOJ and, really, Barr can't stop him from testifying anyway.

79/ People misconstrue the problem with Barr using the term "collusion." It's not that it's not a legal term—though it's not—it's that it's a hard term to use accurately in this context—though you can—and it can easily be used as *political rhetoric*. And that's how Barr used it.


81/ Long ago, we were told by many media outlets that Rod Rosenstein was a "survivor." We were told that meant that he did what he had to do to survive professionally—that he was flexible. Well, here's what having no core principles looks like in practice:

82/ This will be the one time during this live thread I repeat something I've often said on my feed: never ever ask why men and women will throw away their good name for Trump—the GOP has made it clear they think Trump could tear the party in two and destroy it if they cross him.

83/ The GOP has long been about winning elections despite being a minority party whose views most of America disagrees with. Since 1994, it's rarely been about principles—but rather, multifaceted voter suppression. So no, *nothing* is more important than keeping the party alive.

84/ Per usual, @AshaRangappa_ gets it:

85/ I *do* differ from @AshaRangappa_ in distinguishing between *four* scenarios:

(1) Collusion by conspiracy (a crime)*
(2) Collusion by other crimes (a crime)*
(3) Noncriminal collusion (a national security threat)*
(4) Noncriminal collusion (an ethical offense)


86/ Barr's use of "collusion" *at most* referred to "Scenario 1 [of 4]"—collusion by criminal conspiracy. (I'd argue that he was only referring to conspiracy with certain people at certain times, however.) His *political trick* was to pretend he was referring to *all four types*.

87/ If you were, uh, *alive in America* from 2017 through the present, you know that "ten" is a *very* small number compared to the public behavior we saw from Trump and the private behavior we read about in major media:

88/ BREAKING: Papadopoulos Appears to Have Lied in Saying He Never Told an Australian Diplomat in April '16 About the Kremlin Having Stolen Clinton Emails (Intel Trump Adviser John Mashburn Says Papadopoulos Then Passed to the Campaign—Meaning, Trump Knew) 

89/ Congress gets the redacted Mueller Report in two minutes.

90/ This is incorrect. We were waiting on *Mueller* to tell us if there was a provable criminal conspiracy in the collusion we know about, and *are* waiting on *20 other investigations* to tell us if there were *other* impeachable crimes in that collusion.

91/ And the way Barr has framed the Mueller Report, it's *certain* we won't even get a *complete* answer on whether there was a criminal conspiracy in the collusion we know about—as Trump's collusion with Russia was part of a *multinational* conspiracy Mueller didn't investigate.

92/ The reports we've had from the NYT, Washington Post, ProPublica, and others have established that Trump's collusion with Russia was part of a broader "grand bargain" involving at least 6 countries—yet we heard *none* of those countries but Russia named by Barr in his presser.

93/ So in speaking carefully today, we must say that, *at most*, what we will learn in an hour is how much evidence there is that Trump or his circle engaged in *one* type of conspiracy with *one* type of co-conspirator (Russian government officials, and *perhaps* their cutouts).

94/ MAJOR BREAKING NEWS: Mueller Report Released


More coming very soon...

95/ NOTE: I am only going to focus on *new* information in the Report that readers of this feed do not already know.

More coming very soon...

96/ The Executive Summary to the Conspiracy Section (Volume I) seems to suggest that Mueller believes the first report to U.S. intelligence about Russia came from the Australians in July, regarding Papadopoulos' May 2016 meeting with Downer (in an earlier typo, I said "April").

97/ To be clear, though, I don't want to draw conclusions from the Executive Summary—especially as counterintelligence information from our Western allies may have been redacted. So let's proceed with caution, and simply put a pin in the Papadopoulos-Downer meeting in May 2016.

98/ "The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign."

Barr didn't note *that*.

99/ You will hear many today distinguish, quite rightly, between "did not establish [beyond a reasonable doubt]" and "no evidence" of conspiracy (or "coordination," which Mueller apparently defined identically as "conspiracy").

100/ The report *explicitly says* that "did not establish" does *not* mean "there was no evidence."

Wow. Mueller anticipated the Trump-Barr line of political rhetoric and fully defused it in the first *two pages* of his Report. That's something *else* we never heard from Barr.

101/ CONFIRMED: Mueller says he looked only at the crime of "conspiracy," not at other crimes (besides obstruction, of course).

102/ Wow—Mueller's summary of the Report's content does *not* say he looked at conspiracy with anyone but Russian government officials. That means that Barr *may* have misrepresented the Report in saying just minutes ago that it looked at conspiracy with *all* Russian nationals.

103/ The first redaction is "Harm to Ongoing Matter" and involves the Russian propaganda campaign. Already find myself thinking that what was redacted would be *incredibly* enlightening. And this is just the *first* redaction.

104/ The second redaction appears to be that Roger Stone began telling the campaign in *June 2016* that WikiLeaks would be releasing damaging information. Stone's name is what is likely (based on other info) what is redacted. Who did Stone tell? The evidence points to Trump here.

105/ What it says, however, is simply "senior campaign officials."

I find it odd Mueller would think to note "Trump later said" his "Russia, if you're listening" comment was "sarcastic." That's not exculpatory—as that it was said *after* Trump was told his comment was a problem.

106/ Things get sticky very early on: Mueller says he looked at "individuals with ties to the Russian government," but then concludes no conspiracy provable beyond a reasonable doubt "with the Russian government." Which is it? The government, or government *plus* those with ties?

107/ Early indications are that Mueller's report may not include Trump-Russia ties from before 2015. We'll see, but that's the early indication.

108/ Mueller's early Papadopoulos summary does *not* include the allegation from Trump adviser John Mashburn that Papadopoulos told the campaign what Mifsud told him about the Kremlin having stolen Clinton emails. I'm not sure why; this was Congressional testimony from Mashburn.

109/ I'm hoping this early summary is bare bones, because it's certainly very credulous—saying that Page went to Moscow "in his personal capacity" when it's clear the campaign knew of the trip, approved it, and afterward was debriefed on it (because Page met a Kremlin official).

110/ Mueller sets the date for U.S. intel hearing from Australia on Papadopoulos/Downer as between July 22, 2016 and July 29. Moreover, it cites Papadopoulos as telling Downer the Kremlin "could assist" the Trump campaign—that's new information about how Papadopoulos phrased it.

111/ Wow—Mueller says the Trump campaign's data-sharing with a man tied to Russian intelligence (Kilimnik) began MONTHS BEFORE August 2016 and continued for MONTHS AFTER. which is *crazy* because Manafort (the Kilimnik contact) was fired in mid-August. How did the sharing happen?

112/ The Report is so far at great pains not to name *George Nader*. But he is definitely referenced. Far bigger news: Kushner *passed a Russian sanctions plan approved by Putin* to Bannon and Tillerson. It's hard to imagine he hid it from Trump. This was during the transition.

113/ I find it odd that the summary doesn't mention Trump (and Flynn's) August 17, 2016 classified briefing on Russia. It's one of the biggest moments in the timeline, legally speaking, and it hasn't appeared yet.

114/ Holy crap! "Trump told advisers it was the end of his presidency" when Mueller was appointed. Was he simply whining, or is that consciousness of guilt? Jesus Christ what a thing to say! And this is just the Executive Summary!

115/ Mueller has now confirmed a major topic of dispute (pg. 9): He *simply* concluded *insufficient evidence* to convict beyond a reasonable doubt on conspiracy. That's a *totally* different result than "no evidence."

116/ I want to be clear that I am moving through this document *methodically*. I am not going to skip pages, as it may lead to *inaccurate analysis*. I don't care if others are doing so. Bear with me and we will get to *everything*.

117/ In his charging section, the 3 collusive crimes Mueller says he looked at were:

(1) FARA
(2) Campaign finance crimes
(3) Conspiracy

This is a pretty narrow window into which Mueller looked, though it *does* seem to cover Illegal Solicitation of Foreign Campaign Donations.

118/ I am not going to talk much of Mueller concluding there was no chargeable hacking conspiracy, as—to be very clear—*no one ever alleged that*. It's no surprise what Mueller found.

119/ Wait—why does Mueller say he only charged "some" of the lies Trump campaign staff told to Congress and law enforcement? *By definition* any such lies are crimes, if you're calling them "lies"—rather than merely accidental omissions. We better get *some* explanation of this.

120/ Every Trump-Russia expert says we still have uncharged lies told by Trump aides to Congress and law enforcement. Mueller has now CONFIRMED it. The question is, were these lies not charged because these individuals are now cooperating in other prosecutions or investigations?

121/ Note the difference between "established" and "did not establish." So, Mueller says he "established" (determined) that the Mayflower interaction between Kislyak and Trump aides was non-substantive. But it "did not establish" (couldn't prove beyond a reasonable doubt) that...

122/ ...Trump was involved—or Russia was involved—in the RNC platform change, even though Gordon said the former and Kilimnik said the latter. But see the difference: Mueller isn't excluding the possibility Trump and/or Russia orchestrated the change—he couldn't *prove* it fully.

123/ Mueller then provides a *litany* of ways in which his Office was stymied in its efforts to get at the truth—explaining, in part, why many things couldn't be established beyond a reasonable doubt. This section should get *much* more attention by the media than it likely will.

124/ Wow—how Mueller says he was stymied:

(2) DOJ policies on attorneys and media
(3) Legal privilege protected by "taint team" review

125/ Bookmark the *hell* out of this statement by Mueller (pg. 10), as given all the different ways that Mueller was stymied, and his statement that he simply couldn't establish certain things *beyond a reasonable doubt*, this paragraph should be stapled on the doors of Congress:

126/ So who stopped Mueller from getting a *definite* picture of what happened? By and large, noncompliance or lying by Trump's allies.

127/ Wow—in August 2017, Rosenstein *explicitly* authorized Mueller to investigate criminal charges on the subject of whether Page, Manafort, or Papadopoulos were "colluding" (yes, the exact term used!) with the Russians.

128/ Mueller confirms he was indeed investigating Papadopoulos as an *Israeli* agent *and* not one but *four* sets of allegations against Flynn.

129/ In October 2017, Rosenstein authorized Mueller to criminally investigate two individuals *whose names are redacted* for—it says—"Personal Privacy" reasons. I must wonder if either are still the subject of criminal investigations. There'll be much speculation on who they are.

130/ For *how long* did I say that Sessions was under investigation for lying to Congress? How frequently was I ridiculed? Well, here it is: the FBI *and* the SCO investigated this:

131/ Mueller looked into whether Cohen's shell corp for Trump mistress payoffs received money from the Russians. Wow. Will be interested to see the expanded section on *that* topic.

132/ Mueller is leaving a *lot* of daylight for other entities (including committees in Congress) to investigate Trump-Russia and to do so while saying, quite truthfully, that the SCO did *not* conduct certain investigations. It's almost an *invitation* that Mueller gives, here:

133/ And did I say that Mueller's work wouldn't "end, but merely transform"? Yes—and I was correct. Mueller has confirmed it:

134/ And *this* is an absolute must-read, and underscores that we are just at the beginning of looking at collusive activities that were outside Mueller's narrowly drawn (narrowly self-drawn) scope:

135/ BREAKING: There's a *claim* being made online that the DOJ accidentally left a way to see redactions. I will *not* write more about this until it's confirmed—but I did want to acknowledge that an attorney out there is making this *claim*. I'll follow up on this claim later.

136/ Mueller essentially says that a good deal of counterintelligence information—the category of information that'd tell us whether Trump is *impeachable as a national security threat* (because he is compromised)—is absent from the Report. He also implies those probes continue.

137/ A pg. 14 footnote worth flagging:

138/ Uh... yeah. Almost the whole IRA section of the Report is redacted. This is *not* "light redaction." You can hardly read *any* of it. This suggests I was right in thinking DOJ/Trump fed the Post the info that the Report was lightly redacted—and were referring to obstruction.

139/ I'm not going to screenshot it, but folks... like almost the whole IRA section, page after page after page, is nearly 100% redacted.

140/ NOTE: If you haven't already, please consider RETWEETING my pinned tweet—the first tweet in this thread—so others around the country can follow along too if they like. We're going to be here awhile, and we're going to do this *right*—no selective, rushed quoting, like on TV.

141/ Mueller's report says that internal IRA documents began referencing aiding Trump at *least* as early as *February 2016* (essentially, the very beginning of the GOP primaries, suggesting that Putin was on board with Trump becoming president from the very beginning of voting).

142/ The Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency's 100% pro-Trump propaganda campaign reached "tens of millions" of American voters, per the Mueller Report. Remember: this was an election decided in Trump's favor by... 77,000 votes.

143/ We always knew Trump aides and allies amplified Russian propaganda, but Mueller confirms it in writing with just a few examples:

144/ I want to note that *far and away the largest redaction category* is...


Don't lose sight of that.

We still have *twenty* pending federal and state investigations into Donald Trump, his family, his aides, his advisers, his allies, and his associates.

145/ An actual page from the IRA section of the Report:

146/ Look at Tweet #145, and then tell me we're all done here? As I and others have been saying, this Report is the *very* beginning of the *longest* stage of the Trump-Russia story.

147/ I'd be *much* more comfortable with the idea that no one listed here *knew* they were trumpeting Russian propaganda if the Trump campaign hadn't been told by Papadopoulos (per Mashburn) in *Spring 2016* that the Russians were messing around with our presidential election.

148/ This sure seems like Stone was in constant contact with the campaign about WikiLeaks and Mueller was trying to determine if Trump knew about it:

149/ There are fewer redactions in the GRU section (hacking) than the IRA section, and, notably, most of the redactions are based on "INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUE."

150/ Info on Stone's contact(s) with Guccifer 2.0:

151/ (I have to candidly say that nearly all of this information is in PROOF OF COLLUSION, which I published in November 2018. I believe readers of that book will agree with me. So far—*but* we're only on page 50—Bob Mueller is not turning up entirely new categories of evidence.)

152/ One thing that is *unmistakable* from Mueller's evidence is that WikiLeaks was indeed a pass-through for Russian military intelligence. It will be very interesting to see, therefore, what the feds do with Julian Assange once he gets stateside. That could be a whole new saga.

153/ So much of what I see trending on the news today (e.g., Flynn working with Peter W. Smith to find Hillary's emails) is *in* PROOF OF COLLUSION. There was a whole chapter called "The Hunt for Her Emails" that details *everything* the news is calling "breaking" today. Sheesh!

154/ Wow: Mueller establishes that the *whole Seth Rich storyline* concocted by WikiLeaks—pushed by Sean Hannity—was a *concerted* effort by WikiLeaks to *hide* that it was working with Russian military intelligence. Going to break from lawspeak a moment and say Assange is hosed.

155/ It took FIVE HOURS from Trump saying "Russia, if you're listening" until Russian military intelligence hacks seeking exactly the material Trump had asked the Russians to provide—I seem to recall from law school that "willful ignorance" isn't a defense to aiding and abetting?

156/ Trump was offering Russia *trillions* of dollars in unilateral sanctions relief—to *no benefit* to the US—on July 27, 2016, when he asked Russia to hack for him. They then did so. Understand that *this* is what media refers to when they speak of a quid pro quo in plain view.

157/ What the GRU sought to hack after Trump's "Russia, if you're listening" comment was a site it had *never hacked before*—seemingly confirming it was hacked in an effort to please Trump/respond to his request at a time he was offering the Kremlin trillions in sanctions relief.

158/ Okay, we just got to Trump campaign contacts with WikiLeaks. And...'s almost all redacted.

As I predicted. As so many of us predicted.

159/ It's hard to tell, but it *appears* Manafort spoke to Trump about WikiLeaks—which would be huge news, as it underscores how in the loop he was. (This news would also make sense, as Stone—Manafort's longtime business partner—was apparently the campaign's link to WikiLeaks.)

160/ (And by "in the loop [on WikiLeaks]," I'm referring to *Trump*, of course.)

161/ OK, *this* is big—Trump *knew more about the timing of WikiLeaks releases than Gates*, as he informed Gates of the timing. That's *incredible*, as Gates was Manafort's deputy/co-conspirator. So how was Trump in the loop—and Gates not? *Because Trump was in touch with Stone*.

162/ I'll again say: we're going to do this thing right here. Journalists who are on page 300 of the Report 30 minutes in are not proceeding carefully and methodically. We're on page 54 here, but we're getting it right and being deliberative here. We *will* cover everything here.

163/ Wondering why oddball conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi claimed to have a *joint defense agreement* with Trump? Because they *spoke on the phone 6 times*. No wonder Trump's legal team thought their fate was tied to Corsi's. So why not indict Corsi, when Mueller threatened it?

164/ Wow, Trump adviser Ted Malloch *really* sounds like a liar in this Report. He says he never contacted Julian Assange (WikiLeaks)—but he sure as hell seemed confident about passing on WikiLeaks intel to Corsi after Stone asked Corsi to ask Malloch to contact Julian Assange.

165/ What the *tornado of redactions* surrounding Trump-WikiLeaks contacts establishes is that the Stone trial this fall will be the event of the season. Anyone who thinks it's just going to be about lying—not collusion—hasn't read the Report or seen its Stone-related redactions.

166/ Wait... uh, what?

167/ My god these guys were thirsty to get illicit help from WikiLeaks/Russia:

168/ It is hard to know how much of this Report to discuss here, as nearly all of this content is in my book—so many readers of this feed have already seen it. For instance, I could discuss Stone's "Henry Greenberg" incident here, but readers of PROOF OF COLLUSION know about it.

169/ Another person who sure *sounds* like a liar in this report—which is no coincidence, as he *sounds* like a liar in real life, too—is Michael Caputo, who gave the FBI an account of setting up a Stone meeting with possible Russian cutouts that didn't jibe with other intel.

170/ Okay, so *now* we're getting into it: Trump followed "Russia, if you're listening" (July 27, 2016) with a DIRECT DEMAND TO HIS STAFF TO PROCURE STOLEN MATERIALS. Public evidence shows such efforts *preceded* Trump's demand also, but apparently this is when *he* got involved.

171/ My research suggests that Mueller has it wrong: that Trump made this demand *before* July 27, 2016, as the Peter W. Smith effort that Flynn coordinated with began in *June 2016*—and Flynn is the man Trump first ordered to get Clinton's emails. Either way, this is *damning*.

172/ So, yes—the research on Peter W. Smith that I have in PROOF OF CONSPIRACY (August 2019) contradicts Mueller's claim that Smith began his efforts only in July 2016. Mind you, *Smith* didn't even say that before he died—he acknowledged beginning his work far earlier than that.

173/ This is significant because even if Smith began the project on his own, once Mike Flynn became involved it's hard to imagine that happening without Trump also being in the know. So the idea that Trump demanded Flynn find the emails only in late July is suspect timeline-wise.

174/ Here's what's a bit frustrating: Mueller says no one Smith mentioned being in contact with on the Trump campaign (as he sought to get Clinton's emails on the Dark Web from Russian hackers) "initiated or directed" him—an allegation no one ever made. But what about "assisted"?

175/ Smith can't be charged with attempting to procure stolen property because he's dead. But it's unclear from the Report if at any point Flynn's involvement in the escapade acted in assistance of Smith—and again, there's *never* been an allegation he initiated or directed him.

176/ Mueller reveals Erik Prince PAID MONEY to assist Smith's efforts—and we have some indication from other reporting that Flynn's network may have helped Smith secure FUNDING for his effort to solicit illegal in-kind campaign donations from the Russians. Why isn't that a crime?

177/ It's an illegal end to receive campaign donations from Russia (also, it's collusion); Erik Prince and possibly Mike Flynn took an act in furtherance of that end after being in contact with Smith; that's *precisely* what a conspiracy to engage in a collusive crime looks like?

178/ This may be one of those instances in which Mueller had substantial evidence of a collusive conspiracy but *not* beyond a reasonable doubt—here, simply because Peter W. Smith is, well, dead (and under somewhat suspicious circumstances). That's *so* far from full exoneration.

179/ Mueller establishes that Smith listed Corsi in docs related to his Dark Web campaign—creating the first official link between 2 of the 4 efforts (the others being Schmitz's and Stone's) Trumpworld made to illegally receive stolen property and campaign donations from Russia.

180/ Here's the first spot where Mueller's *definitely* wrong. We know the *name of the hotel and the date* Smith met with Russian hackers—in fact, more than one hacking group in separate meetings. Major media reporting. Mueller says he "did not establish" such meetings occurred.

181/ I want to make a note here on Smith. Several weeks ago I erroneously used the word "tasked" to relate Flynn to Smith—which *isn't* how I describe the relationship in either of my books, even though it's *close* to how *Smith* represented himself to others. That was an error.

182/ What we do now know is that *Trump* tasked *Flynn* with getting Clinton's emails from Russian hackers—a crime—and that Flynn was subsequently in substantial contact (or already had been) with Smith, a fact I discuss briefly in my first book and *much* more in my second one.

183/ I find it odd Mueller uses "displayed interest" as a euphemistic phrase to describe the Trump campaign's relation to stolen materials it couldn't legally receive because doing so would be a crime on two fronts. They did *far* more than "display interest"—as the Report shows.

184/ I'm at pg. 70 now, in a pretty responsible amount of time, I think (about a couple hours). This is where the section on Trump-Russia contacts truly begins, and is the most important part of the whole Report, in my estimation (the obstruction section is largely public info).

185/ The first issue is Mueller's framing: he asks if Russia "provide[d] assistance to the campaign" in exchange for "favorable treatment," which is a way of saying "did they commit crimes" because they knew "Trump would give them good policy," which we already know is a "yes."

186/ So what Mueller was looking at was, was there a tacit/express agreement to have Trump give Russia good policy *in exchange for* aid to his campaign—oddly, an allegation no one has really made. The question is whether he aided and abetted Russia *after* he knew of its crimes.

187/ So, say Trump created a historically pro-Russia foreign policy—trillions in unilateral benefits to Russia, with no purpose for the US—to help him do business deals in Russia. Then Russia started helping him, and he learned that, and *kept helping them*—inducing more crimes.

188/ Mueller asked if there was a before-the-fact agreement—I'll give you good policy if you hack/propagandize the election. No one alleged that. But Trump created a corrupt policy Russia rewarded with election aid—and Trump *then rewarded that* with continued financial promises.

189/ Under federal law, if you have knowledge with "high likelihood" a crime is occurring, you can't do anything to induce its continuation—including financial inducements that can't be explained on any basis but you wanting the crimes to continue occurring. That's what happened.

190/ Trump *made clear* he wanted the crimes to keep occurring; he *made clear* his sanctions policy had to be secret (as it didn't benefit the US at all); his aides *secretly negotiated* sanctions (knowing they weren't licensed to do so). It's unclear if Mueller looked at this.

191/ I'm... a bit thrown here. Trump began discussing Trump Tower Moscow with the Agalarovs *way* before the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. They announced the deal *at* the pageant. I don't know why Mueller says they began discussing it after the pageant. That's... *wildly* wrong.

192/ It's bizarre—Mueller relies wholly, it seems, on Don Jr.'s testimony, which portrays his father as being uninvolved in the project. In fact, it was *Trump* who was the chief negotiator at the pageant, and *Trump* who struck a letter-of-intent deal with Aras Agalarov himself.

193/ Trump and Agalarov even announced funding for the deal (via Sberbank) just 10 days following the November pageant—after Trump met with Sberbank in Moscow with Agalarov. So why does Mueller say that Jr. and Emin (?) were the chief negotiators, and it all happened in December?

194/ Let me tell you why this matters: there is evidence that Trump spent the pageant *talking politics* with the Russians—including Russia policy—while he was setting up this business deal, which would establish his Russia policy was corrupt from the jump (of legal importance).

195/ Moreover, if Trump was receiving money from a Kremlin-owned bank while not only talking politics with Kremlin agents but at a time he'd already decided to run for POTUS, we've got the beginning of an illegal quid pro quo. Don Jr.'s false testimony elided *all* these facts.

196/ Part of the issue is that Mueller is lacking any *political* timeline here. For instance, Trump Org "accepted" an arrangement with Agalarov—a Kremlin agent—the *same week* Trump was telling New York State Republican officials he was going to run for president. That matters.

197/ Mueller says Trump-Agalarov negotiations trailed off in late 2014—after a year—and never left the planning stages. So why did Sberbank publicize funding for the project in mid-November...2013? Mueller's discourse on the Agalarov deal is really stunningly weak—and inaccurate.

198/ Why would a Crocus Group exec be writing an email about Trump "bailing out" of the Trump-Agalarov project in September 2014 if—per Mueller—there wasn't anything to "bail out" *of* except an idea still in the planning stages? See my book or David Corn's for more on all this.

199/ Wow—in September 2015, Trump *explicitly authorized* Cohen to pursue a Moscow tower deal with Rozov. That means everything Cohen did after was authorized, not a lark he kept bringing back to Trump to see if he'd be interested. (Of course, he later signed an "LoI" that fall).

200/ If you have any doubt that Trump *knew* his secret business deals with the Russians were seen by the Russians as a proxy for his foreign policy toward Russia as president (and therefore had that knowledge when he learned Russia was aiding his campaign via crimes), read this:

201/ Or consider this email excerpt from Felix Sater (Trump's longtime designated agent/rainmaker in Russia), reflecting Sater's understanding of how the Rozov deal should be—and was—being understood by the parties:

202/ I'm continuing forward, now, with a searchable version of the Report. You can find it here: 

203/ There's so much in here that's difficult to know how to work with. Mueller credited Cohen's claim that Trump never spoke with him of the *political* implications of a Trump Tower Moscow deal...

...even as Trump told Cohen his candidacy was an "infomercial" for his business.

204/ Moreover, *everyone* involved in the Trump-Rozov tower project, and it's clear that that included *Trump*, believed *Putin* had to *personally* sign off on it. So Trump's candidacy, by his own words, was an "infomercial"... for *Putin*. Why would we conclude *anything* else?

205/ Here's what many don't get: if Trump's Russia policy was—from the start—compromised by his Russian business deals, he can't be president. For *counterintelligence* reasons. It's literally that simple. No president's foreign policy can be beholden to a *secret business deal*.

206/ Mueller reveals Ivanka linked her dad's lawyer up with a Russian national close to Putin who used code in emails with Cohen—"our person of interest"—in referencing Putin, who Ivanka's contact said he could get Trump a secret meeting with. But yeah, no political implications.

207/ Jesus! Read this:

208/ "Trump's team"—anyone think that means the "Trump Org" rather than Trump's campaign team? No.

So as of fall 2015, Russian *government* was explicitly trying to link up to the Trump *campaign* to talk about business deals for Trump. And what did Trump do? Expressed interest.

209/ Mueller's a great investigator and a great attorney. But *many* Americans are going to draw different conclusions about Trump's conduct than Mueller did, because Americans are like juries (literally, as juries are just citizens)—they don't always see things like prosecutors.

210/ The reason is, Mueller had to see everything in the lens of "beyond a reasonable doubt" evidence—while Americans deciding if Trump's foreign policy is terminally compromised are more likely to use a "preponderance of the evidence" (50.1%) standard. Which is more appropriate.

211/ And indeed, counterintelligence *doesn't* use the "beyond a reasonable doubt standard"—but is more likely to use levels of "confidence" for which 50.1% proof of someone being compromised would be considered a *grave* national security risk. Which is what Donald Trump is now.

212/ Holy crap! Read this (from a Russian woman who has, it seems, disappeared from contact with the SCO, and for all we know, disappeared generally):

213/ Putin lieutenant Peskov's top assistant called Trump's top assistant (Cohen) via private line—not governmental—though she was calling on government business (permitting for a tower). You think she realized that conversation was illicit? Cohen certainly did—and lied about it.

214/ Remember: all of this is *during the presidential campaign*.

215/ Wow...Trump's personal assistant gave Trump's passport to Trump's lawyer to send to the Kremlin. And look at this email from Cohen, proving that everyone involved contrived a plot (call it a conspiracy) to turn bribery (an impeachable offense) into a plausible business deal:

216/ So Putin would show up to secret meetings with Trump in Moscow, but as he'd be accompanied by businessmen it'd plausibly be business-related, not "political"—even though all the private exchanges addressing the tower make clear it was *very* political.

Trump is compromised.

217/ NOTE: The bank the Kremlin offered to Trump was *sanctioned* if Trump wanted to do business with them, he'd have to remove sanctions.

Wow...this is so...hamfistedly obvious. Trump and Putin to meet secretly about getting Trump a tower he needs to lift sanctions to get.

218/ Side note: so far the only thing I can identify that was wrong in PROOF OF COLLUSION was that I—like everyone in media (and Cohen!)—thought Klokov was a weightlifter, when that was a different Klokov. If you read PROOF OF COLLUSION, you're otherwise well-prepared for today.

219/ Let's be clear that, eventually, the "business" pretense for any Trump-Putin meeting was *dropped*—as by May 2016, Cohen (who lied to Congress about these conversations) was *baldly* talking to Kremlin agents about a Trump-Putin summit related to Trump's much-desired tower.

220/ If you want others to follow this thread also, please RETWEET my pinned tweet (which is the first tweet in this thread).

A second reminder: if you don't want to see this thread, isn't is *amazing* that Twitter created a mute button for you—instead of forcing you to whinge?

221/ It's just all so damning (this is an email from Trump's Russian fixer to Trump's attorney; Peskov is Putin's right-hand man):

222/ Trump told Cohen to talk to Lewandowski about scheduling Trump for a Moscow trip to see spring '16. We know Manafort then unseated Lewandowski and put a stop to the trip talk ("DT is not doing these trips") so he could coordinate with the Kremlin secretly instead.

223/ In unseating Lewandowski, it's clear Manafort would've—among other things—pitched to Trump that he couldn't be seen publicly coordinating with Russia, as Manafort would do so instead. Maybe that's why Trump told friends in January 2018 (per NBC) that Manafort could sink him?

224/ (NOTE): Russian Deputy Prime Minister Prikhodko—in touch with Trump's assistant about Trump coming to Russia for an in-campaign business trip—is the VERY SAME MAN who Nastya Rybka had on tape consorting with Oleg Deripaska in a way suggesting involvement in an election plot.

225/ Nastya Rybka's stock just rose *significantly*. This also explains why Deripaska had her arrested and dragged away screaming by the cops at the airport in Moscow just as she was about to talk to reporters about the secret Deripaska-Prikhodko tapes she had. (Yep, look it up.)

226/ So maybe this is a pretty good time to note that Trump gave Burnett-connected companies ALMOST $24 MILLION—nearly a quarter of the whole Trump inauguration budget—during the Trump transition? Yes—I'd say it's a very good time to note that. See the below paragraph to get why:

227/ How's everybody doing?

228/ Foresman (Burnett's contact, and a man who wanted to link Trump to the Kremlin) was directed to Trump Jr. or Eric Trump or "someone Trump absolutely trusts"—confirming, as if any confirmation was needed, that Trump knew he needed to lie to voters about his Kremlin contacts.

229/ I have to say, when you read the emails men like Foresman were sending, and then their explanation of their intent...sorry, but I've practiced in front of countless juries, and most juries would not take these denials seriously. The intent of these people's actions is clear.

230/ Per Mueller, it took Papadopoulos *under a week* to tell a foreign government what a Kremlin agent (Mifsud) had told him about having Clinton's stolen emails. And we're supposed to believe he never told the campaign? When they began seeking her emails immediately after? No.

231/ Mueller left out top Trump adviser John Mashburn's claim (to Congress) that George Papadopoulos told the campaign what Mifsud told him about the Kremlin having stolen Clinton emails. One of the very first questions Congress will ask Mueller is why he did this. I promise you.

232/ Given that the London Centre of International Law Practice turned out to be little more than a means for Mifsud to operate as a Kremlin agent, I want to know who Papadopoulos' contact there was—and how Trump's campaign got Papadopoulos within *days* of his hire by the LCILP.

233/ The time between Kremlin agent Mifsud's operation (LCILP) hiring Papadopoulos and Clovis gobbling him up and telling him "Russia" would be his primary job? Like *two weeks*. Just one of a million-plus coincidences in the Russia case, or something more—well—obvious than that?

234/ Mueller credulously implies that—though Trump's campaign negged Papadopoulos previously—his job with the obscure LCILP and fact that Trump was being criticized for not having a foreign policy team explains Israel expert Papadopoulos being hired to deal with... Russia issues?

235/ And within *days* of Papadopoulos (who worked for Kremlin agent Mifsud's outfit, LCILP) being hired by Clovis to deal with "Russia," who pops up and says, "Oh, good! Now I have a contact with the Trump campaign on Russia!" Joseph Mifsud. It's like a terrible, terrible play.

236/ Oh, and Sam Clovis' "research" on Papadopoulos? Allegedly, nothing beyond a Google search.

In deciding to bring him aboard a presidential candidate's... national security team.

237/ God... Mueller established connections between Mifsud and the IRA *and* the GRU.

238/ It's amazing to read Papadopoulos' painfully yearning emails to the campaign as soon as makes contact with a Kremlin agent—*begging* to be taken seriously and *seen*—but somehow we're supposed to feel that when Mifsud gave Papadopoulos the best intel *ever* he kept it quiet.

239/ It's crazy that the pic I popularized long ago after finding it on Trump's campaign social media feed—of Papadopoulos sitting at the March 31, 2016 TIHDC meeting with Trump, Sessions and others—is actually *in* the Report. Thanks to @NatashaBertrand for helping get me there.

240/ Oh, I'm sorry... does it turn out that, as I *always said*, there was evidence of a kompromat tape? And that the CIA confirmed its existence for the BBC? And that British media found and reported on witnesses corroborating parts of the story? And now we have *this* from CNN?

241/ I'm sorry, but this footnote about video kompromat collected during Trump's November 2013 trip to Moscow vindicates this feed. I can't tell you how much grief I took about simply re-reporting what the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph (UK) and others had said on the issue. Wow—*wow*.

242/ I'm going to continue on, but a lot of people who caused me a great deal of pain are invisibly getting the finger from me now. I'm sorry I had the full story more than you did—and published it in a book—and you "found implausible" what I *thoroughly* researched. I was right.

243/ Many don't realize that the now multiply-sourced account of Trump *approving* of Papadopoulos' outreach to the Kremlin makes Papadopoulos a *Trump agent* in his Kremlin dealings—so when the Kremlin is responding to Papadopoulos, it's responding to an agent *Trump approved*.

244/ Moreover, we now know that the very next piece of intel Trump-approved agent Papadopoulos received when he got back in touch with the Kremlin was information about the Kremlin having stolen Clinton emails. The chances—I say again—Papadopoulos didn't report this back are nil.

245/ Trump sent Papadopoulos as an agent to engage the Kremlin. The Kremlin passed back intel that it had Clinton emails. And Trump then used that intelligence as a valuable piece of campaign rhetoric (about Clinton's emails being hacked, something that never actually happened).

246/ The *extent* of Papadopoulos' contacts with Kremlin agents—and Mifsud's contacts with Russian government—after Trump approved Papadopoulos to pursue secret conversations with the Kremlin is *well* beyond what any of us thought. This was *constant* contact... and for *weeks*.

247/ Read this and tell me that Trump adviser John Mashburn lied to Congress when he told them that Papadopoulos transmitted what Mifsud told him about stolen Clinton emails to the Trump campaign. Read this and tell me that. *No attorney or investigator* would believe that story.

248/ Note Mueller's words: "the Trump campaign had received"—not, as Papadopoulos would've said if he kept the info secret, "I received." Mueller thinks Trump's camp knew of "stolen Clinton emails" in May '16. He can't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt because Papadopoulos lied.

249/ This *matters* because if the Trump campaign knew Russia was dangling before it stolen materials—that it'd be doubly illegal to receive—beginning *before* the Mayflower Speech, *everything* Trump did afterwards would be seen as the "quid" to that "quo" to *get those emails*.

250/ We know from *Trump's own words*—public and now private—he *wanted those emails*. So if he in fact "knew" before his Mayflower Speech—during which he laid out a Russia policy—that Russia had those emails (which they actually didn't) and he wanted them, he was being *bribed*.

251/ I hope everyone sees why I'm focusing so much on the Report's first half—not the obstruction half. That's mostly public evidence that—frankly—Congress would (at best) act on in conjunction with findings of non-conspiracy collusion in the months ahead. Thus, my focus on this.

252/ That Papadopoulos said he'd go to Moscow "off the record" is *yet another powerful sign* that *everyone* on Trump's team knew that what they were doing was wrong. Wrong criminally (i.e., subjecting themselves to bribery)? Sure. But also wrong on *national security grounds*.

253/ Bookmark this footnote somehow, as you'll find out much more about Israeli efforts to connect Trump and Putin in PROOF OF CONSPIRACY. That's not intended as a tease; I'm noting that Israel's role in collusion is a side issue only hinted at by Mueller but it is *significant*.

254/ NOTE: this is apparently around the time Phares was present with Page for a brief meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak—who was secretly in touch with Flynn during the presidential campaign—at an RNC event. So this paragraph becomes far more important when you add that in.

255/ Again, here we have Trump *approving secret negotiations with the Kremlin* in March 2016 but all his people thereafter making sure that *no* communication indicates that Trump knows *anything* of what they're doing. This is, again, like a terrible play, or terrible spycraft.

256/ These are Papadopoulos' notes from September '16. Those who know that the "grand bargain" nations (see PROOF OF CONSPIRACY) include *Israel and Egypt* will be fascinated, as I am, by what appears to say "off[er] Israel! [and] EGYPT" in relation to a meeting with the Kremlin.

257/ Hey, anybody else believe Papadopoulos can't read his own handwriting or interpret his own ideas? Neither do I. So the notes I just put in this thread (Tweet #256) must be important.

258/ Mueller fails to note that Papadopoulos got *explicit permission* to give Interfax—Russian media—an interview in September '16, and sent a copy of the interview to foreign contacts, before getting canned by the very campaign that approved the interview. That's key evidence.

259/ Why did Trump's top aides tell Papadopoulos to give an interview to Interfax—during which interview Papadopoulos played up Trump-Russia friendliness—at a time when Trump still wanted Clinton's emails...

...and then *fire* Papadopoulos for giving the interview they approved?

260/ Ah yes—good old George. Mueller says he told *both the Australian and Greek governments* about the Kremlin having Clinton emails but *not the Trump campaign*. And yet, what's this? He—er—vaguely recalls *maybe* telling Clovis. And Mashburn says he told him. Jesus, Mueller...

261/ This is why I emphasized how—early in the report—Mueller said (in effect) "here are the obstacles I faced" in collecting evidence. One of them was *Trump's people lying*. There's *every indication* Clovis and others—and Papadopoulos—successfully lied *many* times to Mueller.

262/ You have a whole campaign that acted like it had just been told the Kremlin had Clinton emails, and a whole campaign that knew *they couldn't get in trouble for* acting on that knowledge in a bribery, aiding/abetting, or illegal solicitation way if they just *lied about it*.

263/ Did I mention Papadopoulos is a liar? And that Sergei Millian refused to come to the United States or talk to the Special Counsel's Office? Again, *remember what Mueller said*: he did the best he could, but he was stymied by people making themselves unavailable and *lying*.

264/ This report is so damn damning.

265/ Just a reminder to please RETWEET my pinned tweet (the first tweet in this thread) if you want people to follow along with this thread—which, I admit, could end up being historic in length by the time we're done. So why not participate in a little social media history here?

266/ I want to caution us all—again—about *scope*. For instance, in speaking of Page around pg. 100, Mueller says he couldn't establish (beyond a reasonable doubt) that Page "coordinated with Russian election interference"—a very high bar that has a lot of criminality beneath it.

267/ Page was never in a *position* to "coordinate" with Russian hacking or propaganda—which is why no one (even Steele) ever accused him of it. The question with Page was whether he ferried information between Team Trump and Russia as part of a criminal scheme and lied about it.

268/ I mean, Page actually told the SCO he was *working on America's behalf* in passing private information on the U.S. energy sector to Russian spies. That's how crazy it is—when you add that to him lying about meeting Kremlin officials in July 2016—to see his actions as benign.

269/ Page showed up at the campaign and said I want to help you improve relations with Moscow and help Trump meet Putin—and though he was an actual, obvious crazy person with a possible *Russian spy past*, he was brought aboard. That is *not okay* and *not normal* for a campaign.

270/ So if the question is, did the Trump campaign use Page as a courier in secret discussions with the Kremlin as part of a larger criminal scheme—likely bribery, aiding and abetting, and illegal solicitation of foreign campaign donations—*all* the public evidence says it *did*.

271/ But *Mueller* simply says that he couldn't establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Page "coordinated with Russian election interference"—a *completely* different allegation that *no one* made against Page, and that *none* of the evidence supports. You see the problem there?

272/ People misunderstand the Democrats' strategy in responding to the Report (as heard in Hoyer's words). There are *twenty* pending federal / state probes of Trump and his crew. The Democrats were *never* going to make a *final* call on impeachment until all the evidence is in.

273/ While some Democrats may inartfully answer questions about impeachment today, any media saying "it's off the table permanently" is quite simply misreporting the Democratic position in order to generate a headline that's easy for casual news-watchers to follow and understand.

274/ Mueller reports that in January 2016, Page told top Trump officials: (a) he had high-level Russian contacts; (b) he wanted to help Trump communicate with those people; (c) the topic he was interested in—and presumably *they* were—was *sanctions*. What did Trump do? Hire him.

275/ Okay, wow... Page helped edit the Mayflower Speech. That's... stunning.

The Mayflower Speech is the speech during which Trump formally established his foreign policy toward Russia, and we knew it was partly written and edited by Kremlin agents but we didn't know about Page.

276/ Mueller confirms Page was invited to Moscow "as a result of" his role on the Trump campaign, so calling it a "personal" trip—when he got campaign approval and gave the campaign a read-out, too—is insane. That canard is over. Done with. It was a campaign-related trip, period.

277/ When someone is your "Russia expert" and an announced member of your NatSec team and they are invited to Russia by Kremlin agents, you can't—Corey Lewandowski—just send an email saying that it's "outside" the person's campaign role and have that be so. Doesn't work that way.

278/ News of Page's visit went all the way up to Putin's office—as Lewandowski knew it would. *That's* why he didn't do what anyone else would—say to Page, "If you're on our campaign, you can't go on this trip." Lewandowski wasn't allowed to send *that* sort of message to Moscow.

279/ Page attended a speech in Moscow at which a Kremlin official railed against US sanctions, then shook Page's hand and said the Kremlin looked forward to working with Trump. The message was *clear*—both by the campaign letting Page go to Moscow and the Kremlin speaking to him.

280/ Holy cow—how good was Chris Steele's intel? Read the first two sentences and the last sentence in this image and tell me how Steele had access to a *private conversation* between a top Rosneft exec and Page. Steele was MI6 and his work was *freaking amazing*. This proves it.

281/ One of many things this feed did—beginning in January 2017—was presume Steele was *correct* in saying that his raw intel was likely between 70% and 90% correct.

And now here we are reading a report that underscores that Steele is just as good at intel as MI6 always thought.

282/ Mueller writes, "Page's activities in Russia...[are] not fully explained." One problem he had? He relied on *Clovis*—a man at the center of most sleazy Russia-related events, who then hired a guy who later became Trump's lawyer to tell Mueller he knew nothing about anything.

283/ Imagine it—the Trump campaign was so terrified at the blowback from a September 23, 2016 report that said Page illegally negotiated sanctions with the Russians in summer 2016 that it...

...fired him and had *Flynn* carry on the very same negotiations.

My god, these people.

284/ One of Hope Hicks' *countless* "white lies" (that weren't really so small at all) for Trump:

285/ So:

1) Hicks learns there's a law enforcement investigation into Page and Russia.
2) The campaign knew Page had contacts with Russia.
3) Hicks told staff to tell *everyone*—that'd include law enforcement—the campaign knew nothing of Page's contacts.

Still no crime, right?

286/ The section on Simes—CNI chief and a Putin "friend"—is very problematic, too. Mueller says he "did not identify evidence" that Kushner or Sessions—who had contact with Simes—passed info to the Kremlin. But they discussed Russia. And Simes is Putin's friend. See the problem?

287/ So when does chatting *repeatedly* with Putin's friend about Russia policy—when that friend is *irrelevant to the campaign*—become getting a message to Putin? Must Kushner confess, "I told him to pass it on!" Or—with hundreds of pages of other evidence—can one deduce intent?

288/ In other words, Kushner and Simes discussed... the National Security Advisory Committee that Jared's father-in-law was convening *that day*. This paragraph makes no sense if Simes was discussing the Committee on the day it was meeting and Kushner *didn't inform him of that*.

289/ We already knew Simes helped write Trump's foreign policy—yes, a Putin friend helped write Trump's Russia policy; that's a known fact—but we *didn't* know until now how closely tied he was to the National Security Advisory Committee, from which all the Russia contacts came.

290/ So it was *Kushner* who had the National Press Club speech moved to the Mayflower—lying about why (they said security / capacity, both untrue)—so he could have a VIP hour that would include a man (Kislyak) that Reuters said he contacted pre-speech. Oh Jared, what did you do?

291/ Congress *must* find out what Kushner said in his April 2016 call with Kislyak before the Mayflower Speech. Simes invited him to it on April 20, 2016, apparently—the day Kushner and Manafort announced it—so it's clear the Trump campaign was reaching out to Russia *directly*.

292/ Mueller reveals there was a *post-Mayflower Speech luncheon*—we never knew that, and it matters because it again explains why Kushner may have wanted the Mayflower to be the venue, not the NPC. I don't care about Kislyak not being there—*who spoke to Putin's "friend" Simes*?

293/ It sometimes seems like this Report was created piecemeal by people who weren't talking to one another about their research. It's blindingly obvious that Simes was helping run Trump's Russia policy, and trying to put Sessions and Kushner with the Russians whenever possible.

294/ I don't find anything Simes says credible—none of it. I can't *imagine* that Mueller did. This guy put himself at the *center* of Trump's Russia policy, and he's described as a "friend" of Putin. Then he tells Mueller he warned the campaign against secret backchannels? What?

295/ Jesus... I wrote Tweet #294 before reading of Simes' meeting with Kushner to discuss Russia policy...

...on the day Trump and Flynn were briefed about Russia's attacks on America and attempts to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

The. Exact. Same. Day.

Simes—Putin's "friend."

296/ If Mueller wants to know why Kushner told Dearborn to turn down most offers to set up Trump in a meeting with Putin... Jesus, Bob, couldn't it be because you just discovered that Kushner was *speaking regularly himself* with Putin's "friend" Simes? This is all... so obvious.

297/ I'm *very* comfortable thinking of Simes as a Kremlin agent—and every contact Kushner had with him as being a contact with a Kremlin agent, and every piece of "timely aid" he received from Simes being aid received from the Kremlin. Look up Simes and you'll feel the same way.

298/ Simes will end up before Congress—mark my word. He's emerged as one of the "stars" of the Mueller Report.

299/ So far I've identified Mueller's gravest error: he didn't realize Simes was a Kremlin agent. Read the Simes pages—pp. 100-110—with that in mind, and your head'll pop off. And feel free to check me on Simes' background—you'll find exactly what my many hours of research found.

300/ Trump's lawyer (Cohen) apparently told Mueller he thought Trump's son (Don) told Trump of the June 2016 meeting in advance. But given that Trump said "I can't recall" and Don Jr. repeatedly lied in every statement he gave to law enforcement or Congress, what're you gonna do?

301/ So it's confirmed: Don Jr. *did* tell a Kremlin agent, in Trump Tower, in the midst of the campaign, that if Trump was elected he'd revisit the question of sanctions (i.e. take another look at Obama's policy). So the Kremlin got what it wanted—a promise to revisit sanctions.

302/ And SDNY says the woman Don Jr. made that promise to was not only a Kremlin agent but a criminal:

303/ Holy cow—Veselnitskaya also tried to get to Erik Prince's friends in the Rohrabacher delegation that went to Moscow in 2016. This suggests the beginning of Kremlin efforts to get information to Trump was April 2016—not, as we thought, June 2016. Much more to explore on this.

304/ This is how Trump's son flagged the meeting with Kremlin agents at his dad's house in the middle of a presidential campaign. Think he knew he was doing wrong?

305/ Everyone doing OK?

(If a man can't tweet a few hundred times to help spread the word about the most important U.S. political news of his lifetime, how damn cynical have we gotten? Friends—I don't fear *embarrassment* when the stakes here are way *way* beyond my *feelings*.)



Sorry, I just need to be sure that *everyone* sees that point.

307/ What we're being told:

Don Jr. speaks of Clinton dirt to:

(1) Manafort
(2) Kushner
(3) Ivanka
(4) Hope Hicks
(5) Eric Trump

He lies about Clinton dirt *for a year* to:

(6) Donald J. Trump—his dad, the man who's going to leave him billions, and the GOP president candidate

308/ So all three Trump kids knew the campaign was getting Clinton dirt; Trump's campaign manager knew; his communications director knew; his son-in-law knew; his lawyer says *Trump* knew...

...but the report concludes there's *insufficient evidence* that Trump himself was told.

309/ Mind you, all this despite the fact that, *on the day Don Jr. told everyone*, his father went out and made a public statement saying he'd {*checks notes*} shortly be giving a "very interesting" speech on Clinton dirt. Yep, this all checks out. Nothing to see here, America.

310/ So the idea is that Donald J. Trump went out and gave a public statement saying he'd shortly be giving a huge and interesting speech on Clinton dirt but no one anywhere ever told him he would be receiving any such information from any source and he was just riffing—*got it*.

311/ Oh, and Don Jr. refused to be interviewed by the SCO about the meeting—which would have included the opportunity for him to commit a crime by lying about whether he told his dad about the meeting beforehand (as Cohen alleged *under oath* happened).

But, you know... *facts*.

312/ Oh, and the Kremlin agents who spoke to Trump's son at Trump Tower tried to get the translator to perjure himself about what happened at the meeting because nothing untoward at all had happened. Offered him money. Yes, this all sounds fine.

313/ What "did not establish" means:

Denman told Mueller that Gordon said he was on a call with Trump—on the RNC platform change—and Trump wanted the change. Gordon said he might've mentioned Trump told him he wanted the change.

Equals: "did not establish" Trump wanted change.

314/ Any layperson hearing the facts of the RNC platform change the Kremlin wanted—and that Kremlin agent Kilimnik bragged around Europe he'd negotiated it with Manafort—would say Trump *did* want the change and *expressed* it. Mueller says: "did not establish." See the standard?

315/ The "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard is the right standard for a criminal trial. It's *not* the standard we'd really expect at an impeachment; it's *not* the standard we'd use to determine presidential fitness; it's *not* the standard that protects our national security.

316/ Sessions' in-campaign bailiwick was Russia. This was a several-minute meeting with Russia's *ambassador* at the *RNC* in which he discussed *relations with Russia* after Kislyak asked him a question at a speech. If you think Sessions forgot—sorry, you're a rube. (No offense)

317/ Remember, Sessions was on the Armed Services Committee, and the press polled *every Committee member* to see if they'd had contact with the Russian ambassador—any contact at *all*—in 2016.

How many did? Zero.

Sessions *would have remembered*. (And had *several* contacts.)

318/ Yes, this all sounds right: Gordon and Page chose to sit with Kislyak at a dinner and spoke for {*checks notes*} "3 to 5 minutes." You know... one of one those 3-to-5-minute-dinners you often see at swanky diplomatic events.

319/ Confirmation that J.D. Gordon only acted to change the RNC platform to benefit the Kremlin because it "directly contradicted Trump's wishes."

320/ Mueller reports evidence that Gordon called his boss—Sessions—on the platform change. Sessions was the head of Trump's National Security Advisory Committee. Gordon says Trump set policy on the platform change at the first meeting of his National Security Advisory Committee.

321/ Mashburn and Clovis both say they thought Gordon was *contradicting* Trump—but Gordon and Sessions were on the "National Security Advisory Committee" (whose first meeting Gordon said included a directive on assistance to Ukraine—from Trump), and Mashburn and Clovis were not.

322/ Wow—Russia's ambassador invited the #2 man on Trump's National Security Advisory Committee (Gordon) to come to his house on the same day Trump Jr. met with a Saudi/Emirati emissary offering illegal assistance to the Trump campaign (possibly connected to Russia *and* Israel).

323/ Sessions and the Russian ambassador discussed Russia's aid to Iran in their early-September meeting. A key data-point—but to the conspiracy I explore in PROOF OF CONSPIRACY, not the Trump-Russia plotline most are already familiar with. (Something I'm putting a pin in, now.)

324/ Amazing that Kislyak tried to get both Trump's #1 and #2 *official* national security guys back to his house. The good news for *him* is...

...he got Trump's #1 *unofficial* national security guy, Michael Flynn, to his house. In fact, he did that back in December of *2015*.

325/ The Center for the National Interest's Dimitri Simes rears his head again—apparently trying to connect Sessions and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. I'm telling you, Dimitri's making himself into a *star witness* with this performance.

326/ Trump's Deputy Campaign Manager was secretly sending a Kremlin agent proprietary internal campaign polling data throughout the presidential campaign.

At a time the Kremlin needed hard data to target its propaganda campaign.

Just read those sentences a few times, I beg you.

327/ Reminder: if you want others on Twitter to follow this thread, please RETWEET my pinned tweet, which is the first tweet in this thread. Many thanks.

328/ If you believe this, you'll believe absolutely anything at all:

329/ A Definitely Normal Thing I Did on My First Day on the Trump Campaign (a memorandum by Paul Manafort):

330/ This is what I mean about Mueller having different people research different issues and apparently never talk to each other: the Manafort section—on his contacts with Russia—reads like none of the other sections in the Report on what the campaign was doing with Russia exist.

331/ Mueller reveals Manafort *lied* about whether he ever had polling data sent to Kilimnik—though Manafort *knew* Gates was telling Mueller that that's exactly what had happened. This clearly suggests that Manafort perceived his actions to be criminal—and, notably, *collusive*.

332/ You can believe the Trump-Russia timeline includes more than a thousand "coincidences" regarding Trump and Russia or you can be an adult.

Those are the two options.

333/ Just a small piece of Manafort's lies to the feds about negotiating a sanctions deal ("peace plan") with a Kremlin spy.

334/ Whoa... Manafort lied to the feds about whether he discussed *election targeting* with the Kremlin. Apparently he did.

There is *zero* fuzz on the question of why he lied. This goes directly to collusion broadly writ.

335/ Manafort stayed in contact with everyone after being "fired," including Trump and Kushner. Used the term "our" to refer to the campaign. So he remained a campaign adviser up to and well after the election—confirming Trump wanted to stay on good terms with Manafort's friends.

336/ I really want to know who flew Manafort out to the Middle East post-election. But I bet I can guess.

337/ See? Mueller knows *exactly* how to express himself when he means to say there is "no evidence." Anytime he doesn't use language like this (below), he's saying there *is* evidence (or an equivalent term,"proof" of some kind):

338/ (Of course, a good prosecutor never says "no evidence," but "uncovered no evidence" or the equivalent, as Mueller does here.)

339/ Mueller didn't find that Manafort brought the White House the "Ukraine peace plan"—which is fine, because we already know *Trump's lawyer did*.

340/ The report seems to indicate that Vladimir Putin tried to get to Trump through an intermediary on the subject of improving U.S.-Russia relations... as early as 3AM the morning after Election Day? Wow, if true.


I'm sorry, but both my attorney and investigator senses are tingling off the damn hook about this guy. He should be on the lips of *every journalist in America* as the key person of interest right now.

342/ Simes was such a Trump campaign go-to on Russia, Kushner contacts him *immediately* when he has *any* Russia issue—how is this guy not a Trump-Russia superstar already? Don't get me wrong—he has a *big* role in PROOF OF COLLUSION—but it should have been even bigger, clearly.

343/ OK, so this is a Kremlin agent—who acknowledges doing Putin's bidding—telling Mueller that Putin didn't know anyone in Trump's circle even though HIS AMBASSADOR HAD MET MULTIPLE TIMES WITH ALL OF THEM, and Mueller credulously repeating what this Kremlin agent said. Not good.

344/ Yeah... no. Putin never had ANY difficulty getting in touch with the Trump campaign. He NEVER EVER said to one of his agents that doing so would be difficult. I am embarrassed for Mueller and his team that they included this content in the Report. It is *not* to be credited.

345/ GEORGE NADER... the star of PROOF OF CONSPIRACY... makes his first appearance on {*checks*} page 147.

Now you understand how little overlap there is between PROOF OF CONSPIRACY and the Report I'm reading and live-tweeting right now. Very little at all. Which is... shocking.

346/ Imagine if the Mueller Report had a sequel just as long and shocking—containing many of the same characters but many new ones—and you'd have PROOF OF CONSPIRACY.

Just want people to know—as it looks like this is the only way anyone will get the info. 

347/ I'll say this many times in the coming months, I'm sure: the Trump-Russia story *is* the Trump-Saudi, Trump-Emirati, Trump-Israeli, and Trump-Egyptian stories. It's *one story* of collusion—and, yes, conspiracy. But the Mueller Report appears to tackle it only *glancingly*.

348/ Just so you understand who Trump's team (via Prince) was meeting during the transition:

349/ This is... bigger than Mueller may realize. That Putin's employee asked Nader to act on his behalf *during the election*... this is going to matter. A lot.

350/ It's important to note that a HUGE percentage of the grand jury redactions that Barr could have avoided show up the second we're talking about Prince, Nader, Dmitriev, MBZ, and Kushner's association with all of these. This is information America needs to see—for key reasons.

351/ The other *redaction tornado* that keeps us from seeing the Nader, Dmitriev, MBZ, and Prince material? "INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUES." We haven't seen a lot of this—it means counterintelligence information and methods. Now you know (or can guess) why I wrote PROOF OF CONSPIRACY.

352/ Wouldn't you like to know what this is all about?

353/ Many of us were waiting to see what Nader told Mueller. Now we're getting a sliver of it, and it's *amazing*:

354/ This gives you an indication of how *confident*—in fact—Putin's top agents were that they could get in face-to-face contact with Trump's team within *hours* of Election Day. Because they could—because they already had—because they knew that's what Trump and his team wanted.

355/ Man, it's almost like Nader had *already met with Trump Jr.* and *during the campaign* to talk about *pre-election collusion*, which Trump Jr. said "yes" to...

356/ And there it is: the reason you indict Erik Prince for lying to Congress. Because he was acting as a Trump emissary in the Seychelles, and checked with the campaign before the meeting, and then lied about all of that to Congress. Under oath. And did so like an arrogant SOB.

357/ Indict Erik Prince: everything he told Congress was a lie. Indict this guy.

358/ Indict Erik Prince. Everything he told Congress under oath was a lie.

359/ Great: either Bannon lied or Prince did. If Bannon told the truth and Prince lied, it may well be because he got his orders from *other* Trump insiders, namely Kushner and Trump Jr., and was trying to keep the more powerful Trump figures out of it by naming Bannon, instead.

360/ Again, notice how Barr—electively—kept from us much of the info about Prince, Nader and Dmitriev by refusing to ask a court for permission to publish grand jury info. Which he *easily* could have done—and has been done in similar cases in the past. Barr is a political actor.

361/ I'm speechless... Prince was *directly conveying messages from the transition to a Kremlin agent* on foreign policy—Libya—while Trump *wasn't in office*. So much illegality on the part of so many people here. And Prince lied about *every* *single* *piece of it*.

Indict him.

362/ If you can read the Mueller Report and understand why Prince isn't under indictment, you're much smarter than me. I know what Prince would say (and has implied): he's a CIA asset; they won't/can't mess with him. If that's true—which I doubt—it's scarier than anything else.

363/ Mueller couldn't recover the messages between Bannon and Prince—because, it appears, they'd been encrypted and then destroyed, if you read between the lines. The transition period... so many crimes. So much destruction of evidence. So much collusion. It *will* all come out.

364/ Trump is facing *twenty* pending federal and state investigations, including counterintelligence investigations, and many focus on his transition—don't forget that.

365/ We now know that not only did Mueller seize Prince's computers/phones, he interviewed him. And that interview must have revealed that Prince lied to Congress—repeatedly. And Mueller did not indict him. This—with Simes—is the greatest mystery of the Report thus far. By *far*.

366/ Wow... Mueller reveals that *Prince and Bannon told him diametrically opposed stories*, meaning either Prince was committing a crime in lying to law enforcement or Trump's campaign CEO was. How is this not *front-page news* across America right now? These are *known crimes*.

367/ PROOF OF CONSPIRACY covers in detail what Mueller hints at. There's so much more to all of this.

368/ Gerson told Dmitriev the Russia-UAE-Trump meetings had to be secret. Why? Because he knew they were wrong. Mueller even *says* Gerson knew they were wrong—negotiating foreign policy under no color of authority to do so, which is a Logan Act violation.

369/ And now you know who Dmitriev was: Putin's envoy on sanctions.

370/ DMITRI SIMES. The unsung star of the Mueller Report. Kushner's Kremlin guy.

371/ These (Colony Capital) are Tom Barrack's offices—he admits the transition used them for meetings they wanted secret from the press. Why keep this one secret? Gorkov (former intel guy) was to be Kushner's *channel to Putin*. So Kushner tried to hide this meeting from America.

372/ Again, Trump's people and the Russians lie. What is Mueller supposed to do? He can't indict (say, bribery or attempted bribery) and can't exonerate. Because of lies.

373/ A member of Putin's inner circle used *the guy who helped write Trump's foreign policy* as his cutout to get to Trump. That's how... *ridiculous*... this all is. *All* this poses a national security threat. *All* this is impeachable. The Kremlin wrote Trump's foreign policy.

374/ That's right—it's going to come down to the Mayflower Hotel, as I first wrote more than two years ago. Simes, Burt, Kushner, Manafort, Kislyak, Sessions, and the Center for the National Interest. The names keep coming back again and again—particularly Simes—like a bad penny.

375/ Simes saw that he'd gotten in over his head as a Trump-Russia conduit. So he bailed. Too late, I think—too late.

376/ This is *exactly* what Steele said about Page. This Report vindicates the *hell* out of Steele.

377/ My plan—not that you'll necessarily find it interesting or need-to-know—I'm going to eat dinner, then finish the last 30 pages of Vol. I (the "conspiracy" volume). I'll leave it to others to unpack obstruction of justice—which for various reasons interests me less right now.

378/ As anyone reading is catching up, remember that if you RETWEET my pinned tweet (the first tweet in this thread) it'll allow anyone who wants to get caught up to do so in the hour or so I'm gone. I'll return shortly. (And yes, obstruction matters. But others are covering it.)

379/ Here's what I'm not hearing anyone say: Mueller was able to make out (but not indict) a prima facie ("on its face") case of obstruction because the witnesses on *that* issue preserved evidence and told the truth.

The conspiracy witnesses lied and destroyed evidence. Period.

380/ Moreover, whereas Mueller had a "forgiving" charge, in obstruction—i.e. you don't have to successfully obstruct, merely intend to, so it's easier to prove—he *hamstrung* himself by investigating conspiracy when he should have been looking for bribery and aiding and abetting.

381/ If Mueller investigates bribery and aiding and abetting, not conspiracy—and if the witnesses in that case preserve evidence and don't lie to the feds—it's clear the story they would've told would have been a "prima facie" case of impeachable bribery and aiding and abetting.

382/ So now you ask, "Why did the witnesses in the obstruction case preserve evidence and tell the truth?" The answer: they were either (a) law enforcement witnesses, *or* (b) people who knew that, even if he were caught obstructing, the Senate would *never* impeach Trump for it.

383/ By comparison, everyone *knew* that the Senate would *have* to impeach Trump for any *collusive* crime—conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, aiding and abetting, you name it—so *those* witnesses, who were the very *worst* characters in all this, lied and destroyed evidence.

384/ But here's the rub: they didn't get away with it. They didn't get away with it because the Senate *must* impeach Trump if there's substantial enough evidence Trump is compromised to create a *national security threat*. And we *do* have that evidence. In spades. From Mueller.

385/ So this is where I reveal that I don't give a damn about Vol. 2 of the Mueller Report. Why? It's a red herring. *Everyone knows* Trump obstructed justice. We knew it *a year ago*. And *everyone knows the Senate will ignore any and all evidence of obstruction*. We *all* know.

386/ So now you tell me why, during dinner, I turned on CNN and I didn't hear Vol. 1 (conspiracy) discussed *one time*. *Everything* was about Vol. 2 (obstruction). Even though it's Vol. 1 that *doesn't require proof beyond a reasonable doubt*, for national security reasons. See?

387/ Vol. 1 *is* the ballgame. It establishes that Trump's crew told so many lies and destroyed so much evidence and has so many ties to Russia they refuse to explain that Trump's foreign policy is compromised *at the level of proof required for a national security impeachment*.

388/ And *still* media won't discuss Vol. 1 in detail. And here we come to the hard truth: it was uber-nerdy folks like me who spent two years *learning* all the ins and outs of the collusion question so that we could bring the hard news to people. The media *never* did the work.

389/ Sure, there was *great* investigative reporting from the NYT or Post on individual topics—but *anyone* who tried to draw the whole picture together got drawn and quartered as a conspiracy theorist. Even as everything we wrote about—often in books—has now been proven correct.

390/ So the case that Trump is a national security threat has been made—amply—at the level needed for impeachment. But Barr has managed to keep even more evidence from us; and the media doesn't know how to discuss it; and America hasn't been *prepared* for this topic. Not at all.

391/ So instead we'll spend today, tomorrow, and the next day discussing an *obstruction* case we all knew existed a year ago—and you or I would (I *promise* you, as I know from trial practice) already be in jail for—even as media coverage of Vol. 1 (conspiracy) is *weak sauce*.

392/ And here I am—making an ass of myself with a 400-TWEET THREAD so that someone will NOTICE and wake up and realize that the standard for impeachment on the only thing that was ever going to lead to impeachment has been met. And it's *not* obstruction—it's a compromised POTUS.

393/ Now you understand why I wrote PROOF OF COLLUSION—and will publish PROOF OF CONSPIRACY in August. Now you see why I barely focused on obstruction in my books and much of my tweeting—this was *always* a national security case underwritten by *bribery and aiding and abetting*.

394/ There's a reason the counterintelligence cases against Trump are ongoing. There's a reason Barr wouldn't let us see so much of what we need to see because of "GRAND JURY" or "INVESTIGATIVE TECHNIQUE" redaction—*he* knows that that's the danger to Trump here, not obstruction.

395/ Every time Trump lied; every time his family or aides covered for him by lying about what he knew; every time he created—willfully—a pressure point for Russia to press upon; every secret meeting his team set up and tried to hide; *all* of this provided Putin with blackmail.

396/ What I establish in PROOF OF CONSPIRACY is that it isn't *some* of Trump's foreign policy that's compromised by his lies and secret deals—it's *all* of it. His Israel policy. His Middle East policy. His Russia policy. Even his policy toward NATO and the EU. It's compromised.

397/ What America needed was a media that would do the hard work of painting a picture of how Trump became a compromised POTUS by acts of bribery, aiding/abetting, illegal solicitation of foreign donations, money laundering and more. Instead, we got wall-to-wall obstruction chat.

398/ The lawyers I know and respect knew *a year ago* that Trump obstructed justice and only DOJ regs or the lack of political will in Congress would save him—and guess what, he's a criminal and *both* things saved him. The focus should *always* have been on *national security*.

399/ The answer to the question of whether I have any self-awareness of how I come off is—Jesus, what in my bio suggests I lack the intelligence to have that self-awareness? I don't *care* because when American national security is at stake, you don't *worry* about embarrassment.

400/ America's foreign policy was written—*literally*—by our enemies. Obstruction is an impeachable offense by *law*—but not *by politics* unless you control both the House and Senate, which the Democrats do not. So we should *all* have looked to our national security. We didn't.

401/ I'd ask anyone at CNN and MSNBC the following: when we go to war with Iran—needlessly—and men and women we love start dying in uniform, of precisely what value will be this discourse on obstruction? Will you wish that you'd done the work to understand the collusion question?

402/ To those who saw an average citizen like me—a lawyer, writer, ex-investigator, professor, journalist, but *not* a native national security expert—working his butt off for years to try to shed light on a national security threat, and who thought "Let me make fun of this!": 🖕

403/ The Mueller Report is out, and its first 200 pages establish a part of a story that I researched in greater detail—as Mueller saw it as outside his purview—for PROOF OF CONSPIRACY. And what we're doing is debating *nonsense*: an obstruction case that will *never be brought*.

404/ Reporters could've been in the halls of Congress asking Republicans, "Why is it safe for our Russia policy to have been written by a Kremlin agent (Papadopoulos), a Kremlin lobbyist (Burt), a Putin "friend" (Simes), and a suspected Kremlin spy (Page)?"

They never got asked.

405/ Again, go to a courthouse tomorrow and watch an obstruction trial of a citizen like you or me—you'll hear *one-fiftieth* the amount of evidence that exists against Trump, and then the citizen will be convicted and remanded to custody. Trump won't be tried *because politics*.

406/ But no one's *ever* explained why it was okay for the Kremlin to write our Russia policy.

No one's *ever* explained how we can have a president who was compromised the moment he started doing secret business deals with the Kremlin mid-campaign and *lied to voters about it*.

407/ No one's *ever* explained how we have a president whose top aides *and family* met secretly with foreign nationals, illegally negotiated US policy with foreign nationals, in many cases took money from foreign nationals, then turned US policy as to those nations on its head.

408/ All right. That said—and ignored, I'm sure, by the folks in media actually in a position to fix their coverage and start doing so tonight—back to Vol. 1 of the Mueller Report ("conspiracy"). I have about 30 pages left before I wrap up. Thanks to everyone for bearing with me.

409/ Mueller doesn't explain, unless I missed it—I don't think I did—that the reason Trump's man on Russia (Flynn) stuck with Kislyak even after Kushner was told Kislyak wasn't the best conduit to Putin is because Flynn had already established a relationship with Kislyak in 2015.

410/ The same week Trump's national security adviser Flynn *dined with Putin in Moscow*—incredible the phrases we say when talking about the national security case against Trump—Flynn went to the Russian ambassador's house to talk U.S.-Russia policy. He was a Trump adviser, then.

411/ Mueller says McFarland was with Trump when Flynn asked for guidance—not from McFarland, his deputy—on dealing with Kislyak. Mueller says he couldn't establish Trump provided guidance—maybe because the witnesses (Flynn, McFarland, etc.) have *lied* to him. He's admitted that.

412/ This is the key point: on conspiracy, *all* the witnesses are liars. And they were often rewarded for it. McFarland, for instance, got rewarded for lying by being (ultimately unsuccessfully) nominated to be ambassador to Singapore. She has lied *repeatedly*. No consequences.

413/ When Mueller "cannot establish" Trump directed Flynn, understand it's because he has no witnesses willing to tell the truth—it's not that the evidence isn't there. In fact *all* the circumstantial evidence—like who had authority to direct Flynn and was there—tells one story.

414/ I don't want to get into the weeds on the Flynn-Egypt-Israel issue regarding the December 2016 UN resolution—I'll just note Papadopoulos had a September 2016 note ("off[er] Israel! EGYPT") at a time he wanted to please Israel and thought he had an in-road with the Egyptians.

415/ I'll note two that Papadopoulos was in touch with Flynn during the transition, when the transition was trying to lean on Egypt to withdraw a resolution on Israel that Israel was upset about. Remember, Israel and Egypt are both "grand bargain" nations... so it all worked out.

416/ I want to make a quick note here to say "thank you" to those sending money via my website. I'm not doing this for payment—but it'd be unkind of me not to say that that gesture is a thoughtful one. Hopefully people are getting value from this thread and seeing it as pro bono.

417/ Okay, wow—I guess we *are* going to talk about Egypt. I didn't realize that Trump spoke to el-Sisi *personally* in December 2016. El-Sisi was a member of the "Red Sea conspiracy" (October 2015) to help elect Trump, so him having a one-on-one with Trump on Israel is... *big*.

418/ K.T. McFarland admits to asking *everyone* who was at Mar-a-Lago for advice on a *huge* issue for the campaign—what to do about Obama's new sanctions on Russia. Mystically, magically, improbably, most likely perjuriously...she says she never asked the man actually in charge.

419/ I'm not sure I knew that Flynn discussed the Middle East with Kislyak on the same December 2016 call that involved sanctions and led to Flynn being charged with a felony. Again, we should all note how frequently the Middle East intersects with Russian sanctions. No accident.

420/ (TRUE STORY) When I was in college, I was a radio DJ—and the only music I played was psychedelic music from 1966 through 1971 (I *spat* on everything before and after). I only had *one* listener I knew of: a pizza delivery guy who'd been at Woodstock. 

421/ Wait... what? This is a bizarre conversation at a bizarre moment, and I'm torn between believing K.T. McFarland was for once telling the truth and allowing that she likely was, instead, per usual, lying.

422/ The basis for the lie would be that it's incredibly convenient to have Trump—four months after the intelligence community told him Russia was attacking America—expressing "sincere" doubt on the question, as it would harm substantially his criminal "mens rea" (state-of-mind).

423/ I'm leaning toward K.T. McFarland lying—first, because that's what she does, and second, because *since when* is Trump interested in having "leverage" over the Russians? His plan was to drop all sanctions on them... for free. What precisely was he demanding from them? Ever?

424/ Mueller details another instance of a conspiracy witness destroying (in a way) evidence: Flynn kept *off* his email briefing to transition officials that he'd discussed sanctions with Kislyak. Why? He knew that he'd committed a crime under the Logan Act—why *memorialize* it?

425/ On pg. 173, Mueller underscores—yet again—that he was looking at *conspiracy* only (and "coordination," but coordination defined synonymously with conspiracy). So—not bribery, or aiding and abetting, or money laundering, or illegal solicitation of in-kind campaign donations.

426/ Recall the 4 categories of collusion:

Collusion (conspiracy): impeachable and a crime
Collusion (other crimes): impeachable and a crime
Collusion (national security threat): impeachable
Collusion (ethical violation): not impeachable and not a crime*

*Political issue only.

427/ So Mueller looked at *one* of four categories of collusion—and, at that, only the *narrowest* form of conspiracy ("with the Russian government [the IRA or the GRU]"), and not conspiracies that could have occurred on other grounds and with other parties, Russian or otherwise.

428/ Wow—I'm going to *love* hearing prosecutors defend the Special Counsel's finding that you can basically "smoke if you got 'em" when it comes to receiving and distributing stolen electronic materials because, hey, what federal statute could *possibly* apply there? I mean wow.

429/ Now, I *will* defend Mueller—on this point—as to this much: state-level Receiving Stolen Property statutes probably *would* apply to electronic materials (in most jurisdictions) so Mueller could actually just be saying that this isn't a *federal* issue—not that it's legal.

430/ But a *much* better use of CNN and MSNBC tonight would have been discussions *broadly* like this. Why wasn't this Receiving Stolen Property? Why wasn't distributing such materials the equivalent of Identity Fraud? Questions like these have yet to be discussed on major media.

431/ (To be clear, I'm not referring to foreign nationals here—I'm referring to, say, Donald Trump Jr. potentially accessing a website illegally using a code WikiLeaks sent him, or Schmitz and others receiving material that purported to be stolen at the apparent behest of Trump.)

432/ That said, *so much is redacted* from the final section of Vol. 1 (describing Mueller's prosecution and declination decisions) that it *may* be that one of the sections *is* about Trump Jr. accessing the website, and the other cases are "HARM TO ONGOING MATTER"—so who knows?

433/ What's concerning is if Mueller thought he had Don Jr. on a minor offense but didn't bring it because it wasn't serious enough when he *also* had other offenses—lying to Congress—*and* could have used Jr. to get at the truth of certain matters he knows he was lied to about.

434/ My point: I've seen rabid prosecutors, and they'd charge the illegal website entry and lying to Congress and maybe throw in obstruction for the false statement Trump Jr. disseminated and *then* they'd say, "OK, *now* tell me the truth about all you lied about." Not Mueller.

435/ I'll amend what I said recently: per Mueller, he looked at conspiracy *and* FARA. There are maybe twenty other collusive crimes that either he never considered or passed on evidence of to one of the twenty federal and state jurisdictions now investigating Trump and his crew.

436/ One other correction—this is an oddly structured section, so it threw me a bit—apparently Mueller *did* look at illegal solicitation of foreign campaign donations. His summary explanation of non-prosecution was a joke, so hopefully his fuller explanation will have some meat.

437/ Yeah, this is information Congress is going to want to see unredacted.

438/ My defense of Mueller: Papadopoulos acted as an agent of the Kremlin in the legal sense for a brief—bounded—period of time, but then disclosed his agency to Trump and became (again) Trump's agent, making FARA registration sort of a nullity. But he *began* as a Kremlin agent.

439/ Here's a great example of the difference between a criminal probe and a counterintelligence one: criminal probe—insufficient evidence to charge Page with FARA; counterintelligence probe—more than enough evidence to get a warrant to see if Page was a national security threat.

440/ Now apply that to Trump: is there enough evidence to justify a warrant to see if Trump's a national security threat? Well, there's as much or more evidence of that than there was with Page, so yes. How can you have a president who arguably would be subject to a FISA warrant?

441/ In the past, I've done long threads on different standards of proof, pointing out that we might not see 90%+ evidence of something being true (beyond a reasonable doubt), but what if we see "clear and convincing" (70%) or preponderance (50.1%)? Does that make it... okay? No.

442/ When Mueller says he doesn't have 90%+ evidence of something *at the level he could get a unanimous verdict*, he may well think he has enough evidence to sway *some* jurors, and 70% (or, say, 50.1%) evidence—enough for a civil judgment—overall. That is—here—a harrowing fact.

443/ Mueller not finding an illegal solicitation crime because the info Veselnitskaya offered didn't meet the value threshold is, well, silly—so I think Mueller hung his hat on mens rea evidence, which he had too little of (if he did) in part because Jr. *wouldn't speak to him*.

444/ Mueller makes clear in the "prosecution and declination" decision section that there's material that would "HARM AN ONGOING MATTER"—so the question is if this material relates to the Stone case *or* some unknown case among the 20 federal/state jurisdictions still doing work.

445/ Frankly, there are so *many* redactions that they can't all be the Stone (or Bijan Kian) cases—so there *are* pending cases we don't know of that Mueller's evidence led to a referral for, and that would be *big news* if media didn't spend all night talking about obstruction.

446/ Moreover, there's a *whole section on someone lying and possibly committing a crime in doing so* that's been redacted. Was it Don? Prince? McFarland? Who? Congress *will* ultimately see this information and it *will* ultimately leak—and *may* be bigger news than obstruction.

447/ So *one* liar was "PERSONAL PRIVACY," meaning a person who won't be charged— likely Jr.—but the *other* was "HARM TO ONGOING MATTER," which I'm guessing is Prince. That means he *may* still be charged—indeed, maybe as part of another, larger case. (I think I know which one.)

448/ The evidence explaining why Sessions wasn't charged is weak—many, *many* attorneys (including many prosecutors) would argue the other way on the basis of Sessions lying in *successive Congressional testimonies he prepared extensively for*—not just one time. Mueller demurred.

449/ In *each case* the issue is "sufficiency of the evidence." In *no* case did Mueller find *no* evidence of a crime—merely *not enough* evidence. Those are *very* different ideas when Trump is claiming "exoneration" *and* impeachment doesn't require beyond a reasonable doubt.

450/ On pg. 199, Mueller gives a *big* list of (it seems) Trumpworld personalities—all names/info redacted—who at *some* point lied to Mueller but then came clean, or cooperated, or for some other reason escaped punishment. You and I should be so lucky—if we ever acted like that.

CONCLUSION/ I'm not going to cover obstruction here, for the reasons I've stated in-thread. I'm just going to note that collusion occurred; other conspiracies are still being investigated; and the national security threat Mueller's evidence clearly establishes is *unabated*. /end

Only one song I could possibly close with today.

Goodnight, all. 

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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