Seth Abramson @SethAbramson @Newsweek columnist. Analyses @BBC. NYT bestselling author of Proof of Conspiracy (bit.ly/2kP6FkZ). Next: Citizen Journalist (Macmillan). Professor. Attorney. Oct. 10, 2019 1 min read

It took 21 days for the first arrests of individuals linked to the Trump-Ukraine scandal... where do you think we'll be by the time primary voting starts in 4 months, GOP? For God's sake, read the writing on the wall, and if you can't, talk to a criminal defense attorney who can.

1/ Literally the *first* conversation the feds will have with these two is, "Give us Rudy."

2/

3/ Prosecutorial judgments—whether a prosecution or declination decision—create paper trails and require lead-time. It's not just making a call. If Barr had engineered a timely indictment—which I don't think he did—he'd have created new whistleblowers and incriminating evidence.

4/ So yes, from one standpoint the timing of the indictment is "convenient," but most likely *not* for the reason you think: it's convenient for any prosecutor who wants to authentically prosecute here—and get Rudy—to have full control over these two and cede nothing to Congress.

5/ The indictment also prevented them from fleeing, which many witnesses in the Trump-Russia case (Mifsud, Kilimnik, and some others) have done (with respect to whatever country they're in at the time) when they know a Rubicon has been crossed as to their questioning/prosecution.

6/ So don't be distracted by the fact that this likely ends any chance at Congressional testimony from these two on *any* subject; it's "noise," not "signal," however relevant and suspicious it may seem at the moment. Focus on flight (fleeing) as consciousness of guilt, instead.

7/ That said, *never* forget the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor Trump/Giuliani wanted to work with let Konstantin Kilimnik—Manafort's Russian intelligence-linked partner—flee Ukraine, and Trump aide Papadopoulos' lies to the FBI allowed Kremlin agent Joseph Mifsud to flee America.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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