Seth Abramson @SethAbramson Attorney. @Newsweek columnist. NYT bestselling author of a book on Trump's Iran policy, Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, Professor. Jun. 13, 2019 6 min read

(THREAD) On August 3, 2016, Trump Jr. met in Trump Tower with an emissary from the Saudis and Emiratis and an Israeli intel expert⁠—introduced to the campaign by an Israeli government agent⁠—offering illegal pre-election help. Don responded approvingly. 

1/ The evidence is clear that Trump Jr. knew he was speaking to agents of three foreign governments: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel. George Birnbaum, Netanyahu's former chief of staff, had sent the Israeli to the Trumps, first using Gates as his intermediary.

2/ The Israeli, sent to the Trumps by one of Netanyahu's top advisers, was offering the Trumps an illegal domestic disinformation campaign to use on American citizens pre-election that was identical to what the Russians were doing. He wanted the Saudis and Emiratis to pay for it.

3/ Major media reporting confirms that the Israeli (Zamel) asked the Saudi and Emirati emissary (Nader) to pay for the campaign on behalf of the Trumps, and that the Saudis and Emiratis did so, and that Zamel subsequently executed the illegal pre-election campaign for the Trumps.

4/ Trump Jr. then went on to lie to Congress (a federal crime) about whether the meeting had occurred, whether he had accepted foreign aid at the meeting, and whether anyone else on the campaign knew of any such meeting (which Stephen Miller certainly did, as he had attended it).

5/ Stephen Miller then lied to Hope Hicks about whether he had met with any foreign nationals during the campaign—and did so to ensure Hope Hicks would go out and lie to America on that very topic. When law enforcement contacted Zamel's company, it closed its doors *immediately*.

6/ The Saudi and Emirati emissary who Trump Jr. and Miller met with on August 3 thereafter became a top campaign adviser—in secret—for the rest of the general election, meeting regularly with Bannon, Flynn, and Kushner. He was one of *many* Trump campaign foreign-agent advisers.

7/ Kushner was regularly advised by Yousef al-Otaiba, the Emirati ambassador to the United States, as well as Soviet-born Putin "friend" (Putin's words) Dimitri Simes. Kushner hid that he was receiving advice—and negotiating with—foreigners throughout the campaign, as did Don Jr.

8/ Trump advisers were in contact with foreigners—seeking their help—*throughout the 2016 campaign*, whether it was Tom Barrack being in regular contact with al-Otaiba, Stone being in contact with Guccifer 2.0, Nader being in contact with the Kremlin—the list is almost endless.

9/ The one element of the crime of illegal solicitation of foreign campaign donations Mueller struggled to establish was intent—yet *every one of these contacts was carefully and systematically concealed*, and concealment is what's usually used to establish intent in these cases.

10/ Trump Jr. was *so* certain he was committing a federal crime when he met with Kremlin agents in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016 that the Mueller Report establishes that he *lied to top campaign officials* about the meeting and—so *he* claims—concealed it from his dad for a year.

11/ Kushner and Trump built a huge public-facing NatSec team that they carefully photographed for the press—a group comprising twelve people, plus one abroad at the time and missing from the photo—yet that group had *nothing to do with who was advising them on national security*.

12/ The Trump campaign so ardently concealed the foreign aid they received during the campaign that the campaign concealed... *its entire national security advising team*. Simes was never revealed; al-Otaiba was never revealed; Nader was never revealed; Prince was never revealed.

13/ Even Flynn—a Turkish agent at the time—was carefully left off *every single national security advising team Trump compiled pre-election*, with Trump revealing his key role in his campaign only *after* Election Day. The *whole Trump campaign* was brought to you by foreign aid.

14/ So now we're going to have a dainty conversation on whether Trump "would" accept aid from foreign nationals during a campaign, as if that wasn't *the goddamn founding principle* of his 2016 presidential campaign, based on both Mueller Report info and counterintelligence info.

15/ One of Trump's top NatSec advisers pre-election was Erik Prince, who was—get this—*simultaneously the NatSec adviser to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi*, the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates. Trump NatSec adviser Nader *went to the Kremlin pre-election*—*repeatedly*.

16/ Trump NatSec adviser Flynn met with the Russian ambassador at his personal residence during the campaign; then dined with Putin during the campaign; then bragged to friends that he was regularly speaking to the Russian ambassador face-to-face, by text, and phone pre-election.

17/ Another man who advised Trump on foreign policy, Barrack, was writing public editorials pre-election parroting Emirati talking points so that certain parties in the Middle East would be sure Trump was on their "team"—doing so *while in touch with the Emiratis the whole time*.

18/ In the history of American politics, no campaign has received even *10 percent* the foreign aid Trump received. And yet the *one* thing the Trump campaign had managed to do—prior to yesterday—was hide *all* pre-election contacts between Trump *himself* and foreign nationals.

19/ But now Trump himself, knowing a counterintelligence report on his pre-election activities will *eventually* be given to *someone*—sooner rather than later, now that Schiff says he'll compel FBI Director Wray to testify—is trying to set the table for such contacts being okay.

20/ My question: how much of the context I just gave you for Trump's comments yesterday—*all of which context was taken directly from major-media reporting in America*—have we gotten so far in reporting on this question on cable and the networks? 10 percent? Even *5* percent? No.

CONCLUSION/ Trump wins because our memories are short—and our memories are short because even the media whose job it is to have a long memory can't even be bothered to *go back and read their own damn coverage* to see that what happens today has a *context* they *must* report on.

NOTE/ I was a public defender for many years. I represented many good, decent people. I also represented a few career criminals who never had remorse for their actions because they never faced consequences—or even disapproval from their milieu. @DonaldJTrumpJr is such a criminal.

PS/ A still-open question: whether Joel Zamel was "just" an Israeli agent offering a psy-ops product "similar" to what Russia was doing or—given that Zamel's past bosses include Russian oligarchs Oleg Deripaska and Dmitry Rybolovlev—offering Trump Jr. a *Kremlin-approved* scheme.

PS2/ Donald Trump isn't a genius: his current testing out of a new "product" on the American people—would you do anything, or care, if I pardoned 2 foreign agents, Flynn and Manafort, now that Flynn is about to be sentenced—is something any common criminal would instinctively do.

PS3/ The Israelis, Saudis, and Emiratis are among the best hackers in the world—with the best intel and most scruple-free spies. These nations are allied around one thing in particular: re-electing Trump. There's every likelihood Trump *already* has had re-election aid from them.

PS4/ As to Steele—right-wingers paid a US firm employing an allied-intel veteran to get Trump info from *non-government sources* because of Trump's lies on Russia; Democrats employed that firm after the right-wingers. The allied-intel veteran *went to the FBI* with what he found.

PS5/ Those are a *few* differences between what Trump is embracing (criminally obtained intel from a hostile foreign government designed to interfere in an election) and what Steele did (oppo research for a US firm responding to false claims on overseas topics by a US candidate).

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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