Seth Abramson @SethAbramson @Newsweek columnist. Analyses @BBC. NYT bestselling author of Proof of Conspiracy (bit.ly/2kP6FkZ). Next: Citizen Journalist (Macmillan). Professor. Attorney. Sep. 21, 2019 4 min read

I'm not just sick of the presidential crimes, but their transparency. Trump has a history of using his lawyers to commit crimes for him—on the presumption they can't testify against him. He did it again here: shaking down a foreign power using his lawyer as a criminal instrument.

1/ This Ukraine incident would be described—were it *anyone* but this president—as a crime *spree*: extortion, bribery, witness tampering, conspiracy, illegal solicitation of foreign campaign donations, obstruction of justice, Logan Act crimes and more. It's a *historic* scandal.

2/ But the part that's truly crazy, and I know astonishes criminal lawyers the nation over, is that all of the principals have either confessed to the crimes, confessed to intent to commit the crimes, or accused *other* people of the same conduct and called the conduct criminal.

3/ Either this is a nation that only cares about criminal activity when it's a poor, unknown, or defenseless person, or we care about criminal activity whenever/wherever we find it, and particularly when people with privilege and power use those things to harm others and America.

4/ If you think Clinton committed a crime by hiring a law firm that hired a nonpartisan research firm that hired an independent contractor to conduct routine opposition research, you also think presidents can't extort foreign leaders for personal gain. Not f*cking rocket science.

5/ Everyone has their own (often overlapping) reasons for feeling fury during the Trump presidency. Mine are not special but I'll tell them to you:

1. Because as a public defender I watched hundreds of poor men go to jail for acts 5% as serious as what Trump has done.

{Cont.}

6/

2. Because I not only love this country but took an Oath to serve it (and its Constitution) in 2001, so any oathbreaker who repeatedly and gleefully violates the U.S. Constitution and acts to disintegrate it is *literally* as well as viscerally my sworn enemy as an attorney.

7/

3. Because I've worked for 25 years in a series of professions in which petty jealousies, professional conventions, and the narrow-mindedness of professional silos threaten to destroy both the profession and all that it stands for—and journalism falls squarely into that mold.

8/

4. Because 90% of America doesn't care about any of this (bad enough) but then all of us who are online have to be confronted daily by hundreds of right-wingers who *gleefully* don't care and—the true rock-bottom people—fellow lefties who just want to cannibalize their peers.

9/

5. Every day I meet people who would rather America burn than they miss a single chance to snark someone on social media who over-sincerely thinks we're in a national emergency. I meet folks who say they care but get upset if a national crisis causes them *any* inconvenience.

10/

6. Because we're all *sentenced* to experience so much of this national tragedy on social media, which increasingly is just a cesspool for everyone (me included, on several occasions) to dump our toxic envy, vanity, anger, confusion, self-delusion, and post-digital nihilism.

11/

7. Because I don't want to spend more of my life writing about this, or watching my attempts to help not reach as far as they might because I'm not in the major-media "club" or particularly graceful on Twitter. Like most of you, *I want my old life back now*.

12/ I don't know how much I have left in the tank right now. My fuse gets shorter and shorter when I see people pointlessly snarking fellow progressives, or really just anyone trying to help or do *something* productive during a national emergency. It increasingly *nauseates* me.

13/ I see no courage in DC—and little in media. I see activists, authors, researchers and citizen journalists working hard, and many Americans earnestly trying to educate themselves, but an increasingly large group in and out of journalism who act like this is all a kind of game.

14/ I've been writing on Trump as a danger for years—since mid-2015—and I'm at the point I feel I've contributed what's in me to contribute. Mostly I recall 25+ hitpieces; 1,000 false allegations of grifting; endless snark; and no concerted effort to end this criminal presidency.

15/ A large swath of the nation wants America to be saved from the destruction of its rule of law and democracy—and *acts like it*. That "large swath" is about 25% of voting adults. I'm gonna be honest and say that I don't know what the *f_ck* the rest of the country is thinking.

UPSHOT/ I *really* appreciate everyone out there who's fighting and learning and caring and writing and reading—earnestly trying to hold onto your dignity and love of country. I just don't know that it's a big enough group—and only a handful did we deign to send to Congress. /end

PS/ The first tweet in this thread references Trump's assumption about attorney-client privilege as a career criminal, not mine as an lawyer. The "crime-fraud" exception has pierced Trump's attorney-client privilege about 1,000 times by now—and, moreover, Rudy should be arrested.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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