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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
One of the surprisingly frustrating things about having authored PROOF OF COLLUSION is that I nightly hear TV analysts saying, of some Russia issue, "Well, what we don't know is..." The truth? About 75% of the time we *do* know what they say we don't. It's that *they* don't know.
2/ If you've read the 100 most important breaking news stories on Manafort—including the many stunning stories that for no clear reason suddenly disappeared from pubic discourse—you *know* what Mueller is asking him with great particularity *and* what he's likely saying in reply.
3/ In the same year Putin accepted Manafort's offer to explicitly push Putin's agenda in the U.S., Putin's top ally, Oleg Deripaska, paid him $10 million—which Manafort used, in part, to move into Trump Tower. By February 2015 he was telling Tom Barrack, "I need to get to Trump."
4/ Criminal investigators don't believe in coincidences. At the time Manafort moved into Trump's house, *everyone* in Russia who was paying him knew Trump had a special relationship with Russia. That's why Manafort didn't just move into Trump Tower but did *consulting* for Trump.
5/ Tom Barrack had been a close friend of Manafort's since the 70s—he knew Manafort was doing work for Russia. When Manafort told Barrack, "I need to get to Trump"—after Trump unveiled a pro-Russia policy—and when he said he'd work for Trump for free... well, Barrack is no idiot.
6/ That's an example of a line of questioning Mueller has for Manafort that TV analysts don't touch. Why did Manafort move to Trump Tower? Why did he begin consulting for Trump? Why did he need to get to Trump and work for free? Why did Barrack *let* him get to Trump? And so on.
7/ In answering that question, Mueller would look at Barrack's lobbying of Trump—which involved Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. You think Mueller won't grill Manafort on *every single aspect* of his relationship with Barrack, and how/why Manafort entered Trump's orbit in 2006?
8/ That's one example I have of a hundred. I know—and others who've researched all this know—what Mueller wants to know from Manafort. But nightly we've got folks on TV saying (Benjamin Wittes is one) "who knows?" what Manafort has or what Mueller is asking him. JFC—we *do* know.
9/ There are *many* out there who follow this stuff closely—this isn't about me. What I'm saying is too often what I'm seeing out there is "Aw shucks—how could we possibly know?" commentary when at a minimum everyone should acknowledge there *is* expertise out there to be found.
10/ Whether you read this feed or not, my hope is all of us—me included—are watching analysis of the Trump-Russia case with a critical eye, so that every time a Benjamin Wittes says, "We can't know how big the Manafort plea is," our reaction is, "Really? Really? We've *no* idea?"
PS/ What people read as arrogance sometimes—and I understand why: because they don't know me personally—is actually frustration, confusion, disappointment, impatience, and even a sense of anxiety at how poorly certain things are reported. I *do not believe* I am special—at *all*.
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