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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 17 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter

1. Were there 2 men at the meeting or 3? If 3, why did Stone lie? Who was the third person?

2. Why did both Caputo *and* Stone forget the same clandestine Russian contact in their testimony?

3. Stone said Trump never pays *money*. So what *did* Trump offer?
3/ No one has ever alleged Trump offered money to anyone for Russian assistance, so that part of the story is immaterial. In *every* instance the allegation is that Trump was offering favorable Russia policy to the Kremlin, i.e. unilateral sanctions relief benefiting only Russia.
4/ If in fact Stone talked to a third person rather than "Greenberg," it means he's still lying about what happened even after lying about it to both Congress and the press. That means that the person he met with is *not* who Greenberg claims and someone more connected to Russia.
5/ It doesn't matter if Russia was in the news in May 2016. The question investigators are asking is if Russia was on the minds of the Trump campaign. If it was (and it *was*), neither Caputo nor Stone would have forgotten about the meeting because it fit into a series of events.
6/ Investigators have one (perhaps muted) reaction if two unrelated people forget two unrelated, relatively unimportant things. When two *related* people (here, Mssrs. Stone and Caputo) forget the *same* very *big* thing, investigators understandably are *very* suspicious indeed.
7/ The FBI angle is a red herring. Remember that Trump *advisers* Sater and Page had *both* previously worked as FBI informants. So "Greenberg" having previously worked as an informant simply confirms that many people around Trump had been involved in bad sh*t at various points.
8/ Stone mentioning the FBI is a PR move (not a legal defense) in light of the fact he knows he committed a felony by lying about this meeting with a Russian despite preparing carefully for his Congressional testimony and trying to think back to any meeting he had with a Russian.
9/ Stone wasn't entrapped, partly due to the facts of the meet; partly due to Stone's "predisposition" (legal term) for dirty tricks; partly because the charge will be for *lying*; partly because an entrapped man wouldn't have lied to Congress (which lying proves predisposition).
10/ As the chances of Stone being indicted are now nearly 100%, he's trying to stack his conspiracy to meet with Russians atop the FBI narrative Trump is already working on (both to curry favor for a pardon by showing solidarity and perhaps to further taint his future jury pool).
11/ Months ago I got in a Twitter spat with Caputo over whether Gates would plead. Caputo was adamant Gates wouldn't and was angry I said he would. He later apologized for his threatening tweets. But it makes me think *Caputo told Gates about the meeting and Gates told the feds*.
12/ It seemed to me then that Caputo was being especially emotional about the prospect of Gates pleading. Caputo's tied to Gates, Gates to the Ukrainians. Greenberg says it was a Ukrainian Caputo had Stone meet. I think there's something there; I think Caputo told Gates about it.
13/ My point: everything we know about the Trump campaign suggests that the chances Paul Manafort (who had such a long history with the Ukrainians) was never told that a Ukrainian was offering the Trump campaign Hillary dirt are zero. But it'll take a while for that to come out.
14/ The two events investigators will be tying together are the Stone-Caputo-Ukraine "clandestine-Hillary-dirt-meeting conspiracy" and Manafort (whose right-hand man was Caputo pal Gates) offering an oligarch he met via Ukraine work "private campaign briefings" just weeks later.
15/ Trump's plan, the evidence shows, was to reward Russian assistance with *access to him and favorable Russian policy*. Every Hillary-dirt offer Russia made to the Trump campaign was soon thereafter met with additional access and new public statements favoring sanctions relief.
CONCLUSION/ We don't know nearly all the facts of this yet, especially who was at the meeting and who was told about it afterward. Stone is almost certain to be indicted. This meeting is linked to other April-to-July 2016 Trump campaign actions. The FBI tie is a red herring. /end
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