Seth Abramson @SethAbramson @Newsweek columnist. Analyses @BBC. NYT bestselling author of Proof of Conspiracy ( Next: Citizen Journalist (Macmillan). Professor. Attorney. Jun. 22, 2019 2 min read

(BREAKING) POLITICO reports Manafort wrote Trump adviser Sean Hannity toward the end of a case, “Once [it's] dine [done] then we need to sit and build the plan"—a reference some will surely take as referring to a Trump-Hannity-Manafort conspiracy to pardon Manafort (obstruction).

1/ Holy cow, we're going to see Sean Hannity testify before Congress. Has to happen, now: "Hannity replied, 'Perfect' and then 'Sooner better'—prompting Manafort to respond with his desire for top Trump administration officials to intervene on his behalf." 

2/ A guy who goes on TV *every single night* accusing law enforcement of being part of a conspiracy involving POTUS has just put himself at the center of...

...a conspiracy involving POTUS.

If it weren't our democracy at stake, this is the sort of thing that'd call for popcorn.

3/ So let me get this straight: we were told (even by Mueller) Trump only tampered with Manafort's case through his lawyers, and now it sounds like he was doing it *directly* with a man he speaks to on the telephone almost *daily* (Hannity)? I am... somehow... actually surprised.

4/ So I get to post this again—trying yet again to get media to notice: "Trump is telling friends and aides in private that things are going great...[as] he's decided a key witness in the Russia probe, Paul Manafort, isn't going to 'flip' and sell him out." 

5/ So if you suspected Hannity might be a criminal—which, incredibly, I didn't, perhaps because I'm too charitable—turns out you were right to be suspicious.

6/ This article is... amazing. Hannity even acknowledges he think Mueller will eventually come for him to "squeez[e] [him] to lie about [Manafort/Trump] or be indicted." Of that possibility, Hannity writes Manafort, "I’ll be in the cell next to u." Wow... Hannity before Congress!

7/ Let's be clear: this has *zero* to do with freedom of the press. Hannity was not interacting with Manafort as a reporter (which he isn't, in any case): he was, it appears, conspiring with Manafort and Trump to ensure that Manafort stayed quiet and wasn't punished for doing so.

8/ Note: none of the newsworthy info Manafort gave Hannity appears to ever have been reported—almost certainly because it was intended for Trump's ears, not the public. "Gates is in for ling [long] haul," Manafort told Hannity. "Gates is totalky [sic] united with trump and m[e]."

9/ By the way: it's pretty great that the conspiracy case against Hannity—if indeed one materializes post-Barr—,would include a text between the co-conspirators discussing "build[ing] the plan"—literally taking notes on a m*****-f***ing conspiracy just like that dude on THE WIRE.

10/ SOURCE: 

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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