Seth Abramson @SethAbramson @Newsweek columnist. Analyses @BBC. NYT bestselling author of Proof of Conspiracy (bit.ly/2kP6FkZ). Next: Citizen Journalist (Macmillan). Professor. Attorney. Jun. 19, 2019 1 min read

This editorial is disgraceful—I don't know why WP ran it. It ignores the scope of the Report, the *many* criminal statutes besides conspiracy Americans consider "collusion," and misstates what the Report says on Mueller's access to evidence on conspiracy.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/06/18/russia-collusion-trump-is-right-george-stephanopoulos-is-wrong/ 

1/ Trump doesn't use the word "collusion" because he heard it in media. He uses it because the most common allegation against him is that he's guilty of bribery—an impeachable offense—and if he can convince us that the *only* collusive crime is conspiracy he can skate on bribery.

2/ For this author to say the Report shuts down the possibility of coordination being discovered is outrageous. Volume 1 lays out the myriad ways that Mueller says he was *not able to get access the evidence he needed to access*. One reason? Trumpists lying. Another? Obstruction.

3/ George Stephanopoulos was 100% correct in how he described the findings of the Report, and in fact has been one of the first U.S. reporters to get it right. So what does he get in response? A factually flatulent editorial in the Washington Post falsely saying he got it wrong.

4/ The Report is not hard to understand for anyone of good faith. The special counsel's office referred a double-digit number of obstruction charges to Congress, and found insufficient evidence to charge conspiracy in part due to the obstructive actions of Trump and his advisers.

5/ On that second point, the evidence is *crystal clear*: Trump dangled a pardon before Paul Manafort so that Manafort *wouldn't give federal law enforcement any information* on *precisely* the sequence of facts that would've led to a finding of Trump campaign-Kremlin conspiracy.

6/ If this were *any* situation other than a highly charged political one, the Washington Post would be accused of publishing an editorial that falsely exonerates (and even celebrates) a mob boss for successfully saving his own ass by obstructing a federal criminal investigation.

7/ Journalism is a big field that includes much more than reportage. As anyone who teaches journalism will tell you, political columnists are journalists—but *only* if they adhere to journalistic ethics and don't falsify the factual record. This writer gives all of us a bad name.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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