Seth Abramson @SethAbramson @Newsweek columnist. Analyses @BBC. NYT bestselling author of Proof of Conspiracy (bit.ly/2kP6FkZ). Next: Citizen Journalist (Macmillan). Professor. Attorney. Sep. 29, 2019 1 min read

The first of two corrupt Ukrainian prosecutors to try to seed fake news in U.S. politics via the Trump campaign was a man who had, per RFEFL ( https://www.rferl.org/a/why-was-ukraine-top-prosecutor-fired-viktor-shokin/30181445.html ) repeatedly dropped cases connected to Manafort's old pro-Kremlin boss, Viktor Yanukovych (thus *pleasing* Trump):

1/ Obama and Biden *opposed* both of these corrupt prosecutors because they *wouldn't* investigate politicians tied to the Kremlin—exactly why Trump *loved* them. Now Trump, Giuliani, and diGenova are calling those who *fought* the Kremlin's favored Ukrainian prosecutors corrupt.

2/ What Trump, Giuliani, and diGenova are counting on is Americans not knowing enough about post-Soviet Ukraine to know that *from the jump* Trump has been in bed with pro-Kremlin/pro-corruption Ukrainians—e.g., by hiring Manafort—and all that's happening now is the *same thing*.

3/ The Clinton/Biden conspiracy theories Putin's explicit/implicit allies in Ukraine have been pushing on Trump and his team are all *debunked*—but because Trump, Giuliani, and diGenova want to win and don't care if they get foreign aid in doing so, they're spreading them anyway.

4/ So when Trump was asking Ukraine to "do him a favor" in exchange for military aid, that favor was to re-install corrupt prosecutors who would spread Kremlin propaganda about Clinton and Biden to help him win in 2020. This is *literally* the Trump-Russia scandal all over again.

5/ Republicans want you to think this is all about one phone call (though even if it were, the quid pro quo Trump asked for in that call—and confessed to asking for—is both criminal and impeachable). In fact, the story is about as long in years-of-unfolding—three—as Trump-Russia.

6/ The shorthand to use with friends who are like, "I'm tired...I understood the Russia thing, but don't understand this Ukraine thing" is:

1. THEY'RE ONE THING.
2. WE KNEW TRUMP AND PUTIN WOULD NOT STOP COLLUDING.
3. THEY DID NOT STOP COLLUDING.
4. THIS TIME WE'RE STOPPING IT.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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