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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 20 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
(THREAD) I have what may be an unpopular opinion regarding Steve Bannon and the New Yorker Festival, which is that, while I respect the *hell* out of those who are pulling out of the Festival, I think they're wrong and Bannon should stay in. This thread is about why I think that.
2/ If you're followed the Trump-Russia case for 18+ months, as I have, and written a book on the case, as I have, you no longer have any serious doubt about who the targets are in the Mueller probe. In fact, I can list them for you right now, and I will do so in the next tweet:
3/ Here are Mueller's likely targets—some already confirmed:

Trump Sr.
Trump Jr.

Maybe: Barrack, McFarland, Phares, Miller, Lewandowski, Dearborn
Unlikely: Conway, McGahn, Pence, Priebus
4/ Right now we have the *greatest crime in U.S. political history*—a presidential campaign simultaneously colluding with three nations at least: Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia—and zero effective *public* investigation of that crime because Congress won't act.
5/ There's evidence to suggest the Trump presidential campaign also sought to collude with Israel and Qatar. And yet of the seven Congressional investigations that started in 2017, all but one is gone and Mueller is a professional so he won't leak even if his probe takes *years*.
6/ So we as citizens are trying to do our best to figure out *what happened*. Why? BECAUSE WE HAVE TO VOTE IN 60 DAYS. So yes, we damn well *do* need a *public* investigation of what happened in 2016, if we'll never get it from Congress and we can't get it from the FBI (for now).
7/ So it's in that context that the editor-in-chief of The New Yorker—a Trump critic—says he's going to bring Bannon out on stage and *grill* him in public. And I have to assume Remnick won't *waste our time* asking about Bannon's views when he could cross-examine him about 2016.
8/ There's an assumption that you drag Bannon out on stage and let him spout bullshit for an hour. Why? David Remnick could call me *tonight* and I will give him every single question he needs to be asking Bannon to *publicly prosecute* the case for Bannon's criminal liabilities.
9/ So there are some very good, honorable, decent, smart celebrities out there who don't understand that Bannon is a top Mueller target—and has *criminal liability* for what he did in 2016. They assume he's just some hateful ideologue (which he is) but not *also* a key *witness*.
10/ If you understand Bannon is a Mueller witness with legal liability, you take *any chance you can get* to get him on a stage and *interrogate him for an hour* about his clandestine dealings with the UAE before the inauguration. You'd ask those questions as a *public service*.
11/ Americans have been denied a *public* investigation of what Trump, Bannon, and others did to sell US foreign policy for money and election assistance from Russia, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. And Bannon thinks he won't ever be grilled publicly as part of a public investigation.
12/ If Remnick is going to let Bannon talk about his vision? No. Jettison him. But if Remnick knows the Trump-Russia case as well as I do, which he damn well should if he's putting Bannon on a stage, then this interrogation is, again, a *critical* public service, not a sh*tshow.
13/ Here's my point: there are some of us out here who know we're about to enter the DOJ's pre-election dead zone, in which Americans will get *zero* additional information about the crimes committed in 2016 and 2017 that maybe *should be taken into consideration in how we vote*.
14/ Now a man (Remnick) comes out and says, "I'm going to give you folks interested in the public investigation a freebie one-hour interrogation of Steve Bannon—not him spouting his nonsense, but getting *grilled* about what he did in 2016 and 2017." Who would say *no* to that?
15/ The emotional response—which I get!—is to presume Bannon will have the upper hand, spout his nonsense, and somehow he'll convince people (I guess? I don't actually fear this as much) to his side. The *strategic* response is let's nail this guy with a public cross-examination.
16/ If you're OK having America vote in November with SIX shuttered Congressional investigations, ONE stalled Congressional investigation, and ONE opaque FBI investigation—and a DOJ-mandated information "dead zone" from here to November—sure, you boycott the New Yorker Festival.
17/ But if your thought is that every time we can get one of these criminals who think they got away with colluding with our enemies in public to be hammered with questions we should *take the opportunity*, you see why I'm against boycotting the Festival due to the Bannon invite.
18/ Now that said, some of you (and maybe some of these celebrities) know Remnick in a way I don't. Maybe you or they know that—despite Remnick being a Trump critic who's promised to grill Bannon—he's actually going to let Bannon soliloquize. If you think that, okay, boycott it.
19/ But if you asked me—as a lawyer and former investigator—whether I'd take a 40% chance we get Bannon grilled in public in a way we (and Mueller) could use later on to make key decisions, over a 60% chance it doesn't go that way, I'd say the 40% chance is worth it for America.
20/ Bannon's *ideas* are dangerous and hateful. His *actions* in 2016, however, were even worse—particularly with respect to his secret meetings with the UAE in December 2016. I worry that our rightful hatred of his ideas is keeping us from getting at the truth about his actions.
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