BREAKING NEWS: A NYT article, echoing claims made on this feed, has stated correctly—for the first time—what the Mueller Report found: that by the standard used in counterintelligence cases, Trump's campaign conspired with Russia. Please RETWEET this news. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/opinion/mueller-trump-campaign-russia-conpiracy-.html …
1/ What I've tried to explain on this feed is that when the defendant is the PRESIDENT and the trial venue is an IMPEACHMENT, the standard of proof used is NOT the criminal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt, but "high confidence"—expressed as a preponderance of the evidence.
2/ The Mueller Report makes CLEAR in Vol. 1 that the "preponderance of the evidence" standard for Trump representing a national security threat HAS been met, using evidence in which the Special Counsel had "high confidence." This means the Report found Donald Trump *impeachable*.
3/ This scenario—in which Mueller did *not* establish conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt but *did* establish an actionable set of facts—arises from 3 factors:
1. The defendant is the POTUS.
2. The allegations involve national security.
3. The remedy is noncriminal—impeachment.
4/ As Americans, we're accustomed to a very *different* set of circumstances:
1. The defendant is not the POTUS.
2. The allegations have criminal implications only.
3. The defendant can be indicted.
We have to reorient ourselves to the situation we're actually in *immediately*.
5/ The Mueller Report was covered in the media like a police report, but it was NOT a police report. It was a NATIONAL SECURITY report that contained a section analyzing whether the counterintelligence information in—and implications of—the report could ALSO amount to a crime.
6/ ALL the info in the Report was "high confidence" info—or it couldn't have been included in the Report. So the only question for the "finders of fact"—CONGRESS—was if the facts in the Report established by a preponderance of the evidence (50.1% proof) that Trump is compromised.
7/ A compromised president is INELIGIBLE to serve and MUST be impeached. But being compromised under a counterintelligence standard is NOT the same thing as being convicted of a crime, and indeed the sort of evidence one looks to in the former case is VERY different in character.
8/ For instance, a person who is being blackmailed is compromised—even if they've not committed a crime. A person unable to uphold that element of an oath of office involving duty to a nation is compromised—even if they've not committed a crime. Those are just two brief examples.
9/ The Report ESTABLISHES by a *preponderance of the evidence* that Trump is:
1. Unwilling to act to protect the U.S. from cyberattack.
2. Unwilling to uphold rule of law amidst a national security threat.
3. Susceptible to blackmail.
4. Under undue influence by a hostile power.
10/ National security officials have been saying this to America in EVERY possible venue since the Report came out—in fact, they were saying it before that. But because the media urged us to treat this scenario as a criminal case exclusively, the real situation was obscured. /end
NOTE/ An "article" is a "nonfictional prose composition." An opinion piece by a legal scholar is of course an "article"—and it is *also* "breaking news" when it injects into our national discourse a revelation about a legal document that could save the nation from hostile attack.
PS/ What's most astounding about this revelation is that it PRECEDES the full counterintelligence report on Trump that the HPSCI and SSCI will receive. This means the preponderance standard HAS ALREADY BEEN MET before we've even seen all the relevant counterintelligence evidence.
PS2/ "Coordination" occurs if someone acts "in concert with" another, whether or not there's an explicit agreement. Mueller suggests (Vol. 1, pg. 2) that he found Trump and Russia to be "two parties taking actions...informed by or responsive to the other’s actions or interests."
PS3/ Sufficient evidence for an impeachment predicated on a course of coordination threatening national security requires only that it be more likely than not that Trump and Russia acted "in concert with" one another, even if no agreement was struck. The Report suggests they did.
PS4/ Vol. 1 of the Report, and much in Vol. 2—such as "high confidence" intel Trump thought he was susceptible to Russian blackmail pre-election, as he was drafting Russia policy—indicates "two parties taking actions informed by or responsive to the other’s actions or interests."
PS5/ Just so, Trump learning the Kremlin supported him (as he knew by April 2016 at the latest) then asking it to commit crimes—crimes it committed in 5 hours—occurred without agreement, but was "two parties taking actions informed by/responsive to the other’s actions/interests."
PS6/ Trump knew by March 2016 a "Kremlin intermediary" had infiltrated his campaign—a man he immediately promoted, and whose clandestine efforts to set up a secret summit with Putin he supported. But when US intel briefers asked about infiltration in August 2016, he lied to them.
PS7/ The evidence suggests by a preponderance of the evidence that Trump knew for months that his national security team was illegally negotiating US foreign policy with the Kremlin—an wholly pro-Russia policy with no benefit to the U.S.—and was lying about it to American voters.
PS8/ When you understand that it's counterintelligence evidence like THIS that determines if Trump is impeachable—and that the standard of proof (preponderance of the evidence) just means "more likely than not"—you understand how OFF our Mueller Report discourse has been so far.
PS9/ This is FIXABLE, as the media has national security experts. They will confirm:
1. A POTUS can be impeached if he's a national security threat.
2. The standard of proof for a threat to national security ISN'T beyond a reasonable doubt.
3. Impeachment/removal is noncriminal.
PS10/ Besides retweeting the first tweet in this thread to spread the news that the discourse over impeachment has—finally—fundamentally changed, I hope readers of this will start speaking of the Mueller Report in terms of (a) national security, (b) preponderance of the evidence.
You can follow @SethAbramson.