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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 30 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
(THREAD) There is so much less to this headline than meets the eye—indeed, one could argue the story is interesting *only* in ways the headline doesn't hint at—that it's a shame Bloomberg, a great media outlet, published this in this way. Read on for more.…
1/ *Everyone* knows that the next step in the Mueller probe will come after the November 6 election, as Mueller is currently foregoing any additional steps in his work because of the DOJ's recommended "60-day pre-election" rule against action on cases with political implications.
2/ *Everyone* knows that Mueller has completed or nearly completed the Obstruction portion of his investigation (indeed, might have completed it long ago), so even news that Mueller would be ready to issue findings on Obstruction sometime after November 6 would not be surprising.
3/ *Everyone* knows that Rosenstein fears for his job, and fears for Sessions' job, and fears for Mueller's job, so *no one* would be surprised to learn that Rosenstein was pressuring Mueller to release *some* sort of report shortly after November 6 in order to show his progress.
4/ *Everyone* knows that behind the scenes Trump has been pressuring the FBI/DOJ to "wrap up" their work, so—while it was not just inappropriate but possibly illegal for Trump to pressure Rosenstein during a recent plane trip—*no one* would be surprised to learn that he did that.
5/ *Everyone* knows that when a federal probe starts with 17 prosecutors and then get pleas/cooperation deals from *major* figures in the case—Flynn, Manafort, Cohen, Gates, and Papadopoulos—it can start to shed prosecutors, because it's proceeding expeditiously through its work.
6/ *Everyone* knows that White House officials—under the guise of talking to the press as anonymous "U.S. officials"—has been trying to hurry Mueller's investigation along by *falsely* claiming that it's almost over. Administration officials have been doing this since *mid-2017*.
7/ Taking all that into account, read the Bloomberg article again—and not just the headline. Read the whole thing. It underscores that Manafort would never have gotten a cooperation deal if his testimony weren't going to lead to significant indictments, and *not* on Obstruction.
8/ The Bloomberg article also underscores that Mueller's ardently trying to get answers from Trump on the topic of collusion, and may well seek a subpoena to get his testimony—something that not only *wouldn't* he do but that would be impossible to do in a "wrapping up" timeline.
9/ Right now we are less than three weeks pre-election. It benefits the Republicans enormously to tell media—without any evidence whatsoever, and having falsely spread the same story at least five times before since 2017—that Mueller is about to wrap up and hasn't found anything.
10/ Each time the Republicans' anonymous (false) leaks *work*—and always for the same reason. Non-attorney/non-investigator journalists credit them, because they earn clicks and attention; attorneys and investigators not up on the Russia case credit them to avoid looking foolish.
11/ And each and every time, attorney/investigator journalists who're *knowledgeable* about the Russia probe say the *same thing*—these reports are false and come from the White House. Mueller is *not* close to finishing his work on collusion. And each time we're exactly *right*.
12/ Cohen just spent *50 hours* with federal investigators; Manafort just got a sweetheart cooperation deal; Flynn got a deal and then spent a *year* giving the feds information on collusion. There are precisely *zero* signs that Mueller has issued even *half* of his indictments.
13/ We have major media reports confirming that Erik Prince lied to Congress. We have major media reports confirming that Trump Jr. lied to Congress. We have George Nader telling Mueller that Trump Jr. agreed to collude with 3 nations on August 3, 2016. Media need to *wake up*.
14/ *Every piece of public info* on the Mueller probe confirms that there are more indictments to come—and witnesses are being given sweetheart deals left and right *because* they have information on collusion. Yet every few months GOP operatives play the media in the *same way*.
15/ Will Mueller reappear post-11/6? Yes. Will he issue an Obstruction report soon? He may. Does Rosenstein want him to work *fast*? Yes. Is Trump trying to hurry everything? Yes. Are GOP operatives lying to media? Yes.

Does this have anything to do with the collusion probe? No.
16/ Mainstream media has been terrified since Day 1—back in October 2016—that they would be shown to be chumps for believing this collusion investigation might turn something up. They've hedged their bets at every turn—*even as* every piece of evidence has turned up inculpatory.
17/ Were I a GOP operative with no scruples I'd be doing *just* what GOP operatives are doing: feeding the media a story every few weeks that the probe is almost over because you *know* that their innate professional cowardice already compels them to want to believe exactly that.
18/ Fortunately, what I *am* is a longtime attorney/investigator who looks at facts—not a fulltime journalist looking over my shoulder to see if I'm going to be made a fool of. *Every piece of information we have* tells us Mueller's collusion probe is going *just fine* thank you.
19/ What Bloomberg did was get info from an anonymous—likely White House—source that was intended to depress Democratic turnout during the midterms. It was intended to drain Democrats of hope. But then you read the *article* and you see the facts don't line up with the headline.
20/ Note too that Mueller may issue a report on one subject but not another (e.g. obstruction, not collusion); a partial report on just one subject; a report that's non-public because it's blocked from publication by the GOP.

We have 9-12 months *minimum* left in this saga. /end
PS/ I do not now—nor have I ever—predicted the timing of indictments; no one can or should do that. But there will be indictments for Trump Jr., Prince, Kushner, and Stone—at a minimum—before any collusion probe is completed. Anyone following this case closely will tell you that.
PS2/ Remember—should you be inclined for *even a moment* to believe this (likely) White House "leak"—that all of America was *promised* by Team Trump, in August '17, that the *whole* probe would be over *well* before Thanksgiving '17. That was a *year* ago. And *nothing* is over.
PS3/ When Papadopoulos was indicted, I said: more coming. When Flynn was indicted, I said: more coming. When Gates was indicted, I said: more coming. When Manafort was indicted, I said: more coming. When Cohen was indicted, I said: more coming.

Legal Expertise 5, White House 0.
PS4/ I can't urge talented, insightful journalists not to fall for these White House tricks—as the commitment in journalism is often to one's own carefully curated (instinctively obsequious) professional reputation than anything else. But *attorneys* are *obligated* to do better.
PS5/ There is no—I repeat *no*—credible public evidence suggesting Mueller is *anywhere* close to done, and indeed a *mountain* of published evidence confirming that he is getting *all the cooperation he needs*—and *on the collusion question*—from major figures in Trump's circle.
NOTE/ There are so many ways this story is silly I haven't touched on. E.g., Rosenstein is a *witness* in the Obstruction probe—he *can't* legally pressure Mueller on it. E.g., NYT got a few Trump tax records and found *hundreds of millions* in fraud—Mueller has *all* those docs.
NOTE2/ E.g., Prince's perjuries are certain—and he hasn't been charged yet. E.g., the same for Trump Jr.'s lies—which he already began backpedaling on under questioning (now he "may" have told his father about the June 2016 meeting beforehand). Mifsud fled and is now likely dead.
NOTE3/ E.g., the suspect—Trump—promised *20 months ago* he'd speak to his chief investigator under oath, and has fought tooth and nail ever since to avoid doing so, which no innocent man would do under these circumstances. E.g., *zero* exculpatory evidence has come out since '16.
NOTE4/ All I can say is you won't find a seasoned criminal investigator who'll tell you—off the record, when no one else is around—that Mueller's *not* going to find a *ton* on collusion. Any criminal investigator with any experience/seasoning would be *embarrassed* to say that.
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