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Thomas Wood 🌊 @twoodiac
, 17 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
This article has provoked a lot of commentary today. Most of the commentary from the the left has been alarmist, though some (like @SethAbramson) have been dismissive. I don’t think either response is appropriate. 1/16
There was every reason to expect that Mueller would go into action again shortly after the election; we didn’t need this article to know that. 2/16
But what is interesting in the article is the claim that Mueller is about to make serious moves on the collusion front as well as the obstruction of justice front. 3/16
This is being treated as an unexpected development, but it isn’t. After all, last month (Sep 14), Manafort flipped and became a cooperating witness for Mueller. 4/16
There has been plenty of time (given the speed with which he works) for Mueller to be in a position now to indict MANAFORT for collusion. And he can do that without impugning Trump 5/16
(though the charging document would almost certainly leave the option open of a superseding indictment implicating Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator). 6/16
If Mueller indicts Manafort shortly after the election, it will help insulate his probe from political pressure from Trump to “wrap up” the investigation. 7/16
And it isn’t just Republicans who have been impatient to see indictments for collusion. So it’s significant if--as is almost certainly the case--Mueller is in a position to do that now. 8/16
As for obstruction of justice (OOJ): Mueller undoubtedly has the goods on Don Jr (and others) for perjury--especially because he’s gotten testimony now from Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort. 9/16
But note that any indictment of a family member will especially provoke Trump’s ire, and risk a Saturday Night Massacre leading to a shut down of the investigation. 10/16
However: an indictment of Manafort for collusion would make it much, much harder for Trump to get away with going ballistic and firing people over an indictment of Don Jr for perjury and obstruction of justice. 11/16
Lay people--i.e., almost all voters--tend to underestimate the importance of “process crimes” like OOJ, but lay people *can* be expected to accord more significance to such charges once Mueller has started indicting for *collusion* as well. 12/16
The claims by two anonymous government officials (who are quite likely WH officials) that one or more *reports* are forthcoming, and that the obstruction of justice and collusion parts of the Mueller probe are about to be “wrapped up,” should be rejected. 13/16
As the article itself points out (citing anonymous former federal prosecutors), Mueller isn’t anywhere close to “wrapping up” his probe; and there are many reasons to think that Mueller will not--and probably cannot--issue a series of “work in progress” reports either. 14/16
The two anonymous officials cited by Bloomberg probably sense something important is in the works, including on the collusion front. 15/16
I think they’re almost certainly right about that, but if they’re just pushing the old Rudy Giuliani-Jay Sekulow threadbare line that Mueller is about to wrap up his probe and imminently release all of his findings on collusion and OOJ, they’re unquestionably mistaken. 16/16
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