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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 15 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Even as the GOP betrays America, media is letting us down too. I teach journalism—and couldn't for the life of me tell you the reliable, coherent news content about the Mueller probe in this Washington Post article. It's vapor—you can't grasp and hold it. washingtonpost.com/world/national…
2/ Which parts of the probe are going to be "wrapped up"? When? And how? And by whom? And why now? And with what findings? And who was the source for this information? Read the Washington Post article I just linked to and answer *any* of these questions definitively—I *dare* you.
3/ What this Washington Post article *does* do is open up the possibility Mueller will suddenly walk away from his investigation without having done *anything* but (a) confirmed what we knew in August 2016 (Russia attacked us), and (b) confirmed Trump tried to obstruct justice.
4/ Yet that doesn't comport with *anything* we know of the facts of the case—nor even with the Washington Post article itself(!), which says that Mueller has recently *expanded* his witness list and started a new round of interviews—so WaPo leaves America more confused than ever.
5/ I can't imagine being an editor in charge of that WaPo story and letting it out the door, let alone with a crowded—four-person!—byline atop 40 paragraphs of, well, what exactly? *Four reporters* worked on this story entirely devoid of sources or news content? What's happening?
6/ Media has *falsely* reported the imminent end of the Mueller probe *every single month* for the last ten months—never giving a source for the claim, and never getting it right. Speculation is that the sourcing is Trump's lawyers, but how would we even know? WaPo won't tell us.
7/ And then people in the media wonder why Americans are turning to independent digital journalists trying to synthesize what we already know for *certain* about the Russia investigation—rather than claiming we have anonymous sources who tell us the whole thing will be over soon.
8/ As a former investigator and criminal defense attorney, I look at the number of witnesses to be interviewed, the charges so far, the track of the investigation as publicly known, and say that, under the circumstances we know exist, we'd *imagine* the case continuing into 2019.
9/ But if you're in mainstream media publishing stories in which anonymous sources tell you the most complex federal investigation of our lifetimes is about to wrap up in the next several weeks, you better write an *air-tight*—multiply-sourced—article convincing us that it's so.
10/ I'm seeing commentators nightly on TV who clearly don't even know the case they're analyzing—being asked if Trump could be "colluding in plain sight" (the answer's yes) when the only information they seem to have is what he said on July 27, 2016. But we know *so* much more.
11/ When Trump said "Russia, if you're listening..." he was in active negotiations backchannel with Russia about sanctions. At *least* five top staffers were involved in those negotiations. He knew Russia was supporting his candidacy, and he knew Russia had stolen Clinton emails.
12/ He'd signaled a willingness not just to negotiate with Russia but to have known Kremlin intermediaries *on his NatSec and speechwriting staffs*. He *knew* Russia was watching his every move and listening to his every word. So *yes*, "Russia, if you're listening" was an *ask*.
13/ And the "ask" that Trump made on July 27, 2016 was made after he had *publicly* promised the Russian ambassador a "good deal" on sanctions exactly 90 days earlier at the Mayflower Hotel—where the Russian ambassador was a VIP invitee to an event he shouldn't even have gone to.
14/ So is it a crime to promise a financial benefit to someone who's committing a certain type of crime, then *ask* them to *keep* committing that crime *for you*? Yes—it is! Always has been! Since forever! And Mueller's not going to say "no it isn't" in the next few weeks, WaPo!
15/ I keep saying Trump has colluded "in plain sight"—and while on occasion we hear hosts on CNN/MSNBC say, "Well, maybe?" the guests I often see are lawyers who haven't followed the Trump-Russia investigation closely enough to answer that sort of question. It's aggravating. /end
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