I’ve got five more chapters to go in Seth Abramson’s Proof of Collusion, which you can buy here: simonandschuster.com/books/Proof-of…
My threads on the previous chapters can be found here.
Congratulations to Seth on his debuting at #15 on the NYT’s best sellers! That’s a whooooole lot of people getting up to speed on #TrumpRussia.
Without further ado, Chapter 10: The October Surprise – October 2016
I actually hit on this topic a lot in my Chapter 9 thread here:
This is actually going to be the last chapter I livetweet, because it’s the last one that deals with the events of the election – the rest concerns the aftermath.
The final month leading up to the election is one of the most critical parts of #TrumpRussia; while everything that happened before October 2016 softened the ground for the combination of the Podesta emails and the Comey letter to take their toll...
... if the election had been held a couple of weeks before it was, Hillary would’ve won the election (I know this is in dispute, but given the margin, probably shouldn’t be), probably handily (you can dispute that part if you want).
What’s important to understand is that the Comey letter didn’t just happen; nor was there a straight line from him “closing” the email case in July to reopening it in late October on one day’s notice (if he’s to be believed – I don’t believe him).
There were things bubbling up in the Trump campaign, the FBI’s national headquarters, and the FBI’s offices in NYC. This may be a fairly short thread, because I have explored this part of the story really extensively, but let’s see if Seth has any surprises (pun not intended).
Interesting tidbit on Randy Credico, Roger Stone’s alleged intermediary with Julian Assange (I’m not sure he really was that; Stone probably was directly in contact with him) on p. 197, “Credico, a longtime Stone friend...
spends much of the 2016 presidential campaign loudly denouncing Bernie Sanders as insufficiently progressive, until suddenly he declares, on May 10, 2016 – once it’s clear that Trump will win the Republican nomination – that he is founding a “Sanders Supporters for Trump” group.
It is an about-face that makes no sense, Washington Monthly observes, without the further knowledge that Credico and Stone are both seasoned political operatives ‘with a history of ratfucking their political opponents’ – in this case, Sanders’s primary opponent Hillary Clinton.
Funny coincidence; a little while ago I happened to review this post I wrote last year (which actually references Seth) about a Twitter account with a fake teenage boy avatar that appears to have started the #BernieWouldveWon hashtag at the beginning of the DNC in 2016...
... and then became a Trump supporting account soon after, with apparent foreknowledge of the “October Surprise” in question: thegreatconsolidation.com/2018/02/who-st…
Oh, wow. I knew that Stone had been in contact with Wikileaks during the campaign, but, p. 198, “… the day after Trump’s victory in November, WikiLeaks messaged Stone privately on Twitter to say, ‘Happy? We are now more free to communicate.’”
So WikiLeaks thinks they won (stole) Trump the election. I’m not going to totally disagree, though it’s more complex than that.
Here’s something I don’t think has been examined enough. I think it’s widely believed that after Manafort left the campaign in August 2016, he didn’t factor into the campaign from there. But, p.199, “In October 2016, Stone’s business partner Manafort reemerges…
in October Manafort contacts Trump to offer ‘the GOP nominee pointers on how to handle the Clinton email news and urging him to make a play in Michigan’ – the latter being a surprisingly, perhaps suspiciously prescient remark about where Trump must focus his energies...
"if he wants to win the election.’” I’ve found this suspicious too… not just from Manafort, but the whole, “It’s not Russia’s fault Hillary didn’t visit Michigan or Wisconsin right before the election.” It’s just a very pat statement that is typical of Russian gaslighting.
I have believed for a while that Russia actually fed Trump that explanation.
Just like Roger Stone, Rudy Giuliani telegraphed loudly what he was up to until he got scrutinized later. P. 202: “On October 26, two days before Comey reopens the Clinton case, Giuliani tells Fox News’s Martha McCallum that Trump..."
"...has ‘a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next two days. I’m talking about some pretty big surprise.’” He made two other TV appearances in the coming week bragging about what he knew, including...
... “On November 4, Giuliani tells Fox & Friends that he ‘heard about’ what Director Comey was going to do – reopen the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server – before it happened. ‘This has been boiling up in the FBI,’ he says..."
...‘I did nothing to get it out. I had no role in it. Did I hear about it? Damn right I heard about it.’”
He backtracks later, insisting, p. 202, “… that the pretty big [October] surprise… was just a new Trump ad campaign.” As the kids say, “Horsefeathers!”
Seth provides here a missing piece of the puzzle I hadn’t realized was missing. P. 202, “Giuliani’s insistence that ‘I did nothing to get it out’ and ‘I had no role in it’ – with respect to the story that FBI agents were then (in Giuliani’s words) in a state of ‘revolution’...
" – is particularly telling, as indeed it is *another* [Jason’s emphasis] man who will in the future be a legal adviser to Donald Trump who *is* responsible for that information getting to the media. That man, well-known Republican attorney Joseph diGenova, was, with Giuliani..."
", one of the most vocal opponents of Comey’s decision not to prosecute Clinton when Comey announced that final judgment in July 2016… Calling FBI director Comey ‘a dirty cop,’ a liar, and ‘worse than a criminal,’ diGenova says on The Laura Ingraham Show on October 13, 2016..."
, that ‘his law firm will represent any FBI agent who comes forward and wants to testify before Congress about Comey’s [Clinton] investigation.’ That an attorney who would say, in April 2018, that he and his wife ‘[play] the role of lawyers on television and in real life’ for..."
"... Donald Trump would go on-air less than thirty days before a general election offering to assist FBI agents in undermining Trump’s opponent… underscores how close to Trump’s orbit the effort to pressure Comey into reopening Clinton’s case finally was.”
I don’t want to overexcerpt Seth’s book, but I’ll say that he explains something that I think nearly everyone has overlooked. I’ve mentioned this a few times during these threads, but I did a livetweet (in one day!) of the DOJ Inspector General’s report...
on his investigation of the Clinton email investigation. You should definitely read it. It’s not a short read, but it explains a something like 400 page document and I think it’s the most important thing I’ve ever written. No exaggeration. thegreatconsolidation.com/2018/06/my-rea…
One of the things I can’t let go of (among many; there is SO much in the report that I’ve never heard anyone else mention) is that the IG, who couldn’t really figure out why the FBI was investigating Hillary in the first place...
nor why the investigation went on for an entire year, found a three week gap that began about a week after Comey found out about Anthony Weiner’s laptop in late September 2016, and when he sent his Pandora’s-box-of-a-letter to Congress on October 28th. I’m not kidding.
None of the major players in this investigation (who include Comey, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, and Peter Strzok, who come across as incompetent at best and malevolent at worst in the report) could explain to him what they remembered about that critical period.
The IG also couldn’t get a straight answer from Comey as to why he issued the letter ten days before the election while those same players were also involved in the budding #TrumpRussia investigation, which they suppressed on the grounds of not wanting to tip the election!
His best (pretty informed) guess was that Comey was being pressured by the NY office to release it, but he doesn’t actually prove it.
Well, it appears that diGenova fills in a lot of that gap – he was essentially baiting current and former FBI members, particularly from the NY office (where Giuliani had particular contacts) into providing that pressure on Comey...
.... and he and diGenova (among others?) were stoking the flames of those members’ anger.
Christopher Hitchens said, “The elementary rules of logic: that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”
Every time I have found something major in this book, I’ve checked Abramson’s sources (which make up almost a third of the book!), and this one sources easily – a contemporaneous account from the Daily Caller:
dailycaller.com/2016/10/17/exc…
If I hadn’t read anything but this portion of this chapter, this book would have still been worth the price of admission. That’s some major brain clickage for me.
p. 205, “That Trump shares ‘informal’ legal counsel with the FBI agents who pressured Comey into reopening the Clinton case has not been widely discussed – but that the agents’ illegal leaks to the media helped convince Comey to reopen the Clinton investigation..."
", thereby costing Clinton the election is clear. On October 30, 2016, just two days after Comey reopens the Clinton case, the New York Times reports that he did so because ‘he believed that if word if the new [Clinton] emails leaked out – and it was sure to leak out..."
".... he concluded – he risked being accused of misleading Congress and the public ahead of an election.’ "
I didn’t know that that was actually reported contemporaneously… so the Times (and the rest of the media) knew the whole thing was a railroading, and yet they ran dozens of articles “incriminating” HRC with no hesitation, and woefully little fact checking.
p. 206, “When Comey reopens the Clinton case, the Republican National Committee will immediately declare that this ‘shows how serious this discovery… must be.’”
So the RNC probably knew this was coming, and here’s why. Abramson continues: “However, in August 2018 it will be revealed that the True Pundit story [which seemed to provide advance info before the Comey letter dropped]...
... that concerned Comey and McCabe was written by a former employee of Republican National Committee finance chair Steve Wynn… As it happens, diGenova is also a former employee of the Republican Party…”
p. 207, “The convergence of Comey’s decision and the supposed content of Clinton’s ‘new’ emails produces a vivid display of the influence and danger of viral alt-right conspiracy theories fueled in part by Russian disinformation and fake social media accounts.
This display starts online a day after the Comey announcement and ten days before the November election. It ends in a pizza restaurant in Washington [Pizzagate].”
p. 208, “The investigation conducted by Rolling Stone ultimately sets the birth of Pizzagate much earlier than October 2016, however – and much closer to Russia, too.”
p. 210, “The possibility of both Russian and Trump campaign involvement in a conspiracy theory that spread quickly across the internet in the ten days before the 2016 presidential election – constituting an ‘October surprise’ of the sort Giuliani had hinted at days earlier..."
"... – is underscored by what Rolling Stone finds when it looks for intersections between the Trump campaign and the pre-election fake-news operation. ‘The [Trump] campaign’s engagement [with Pizzagate] went far deeper,’ writes the magazine...."
"... ‘We found at least 66 Trump campaign figures who followed one or more of the most prolific Pizzagate tweeters.’”
The bastards not only engineered the FBI leaks that led to the Comey letter; they also used them as a vehicle for what became Pizzagate. It’s amazing how many layers there are to #TrumpRussia.
P 212., “When self-described private investigator Douglas Hagmann goes on Alex Jones’s Infowars program four days after the ‘Carmen Katz’ Facebook post to say, ‘Based on my source, Hillary did in fact participate on some of the junkets on the Lolita Express,’..."
"... the Pizzagate story is transformed from an obscure conspiracy theory to a mainstream phenomenon. According to Rolling Stone, ‘Google Trends measures interest in topics among the 1.17 billion users of its search engine on a 0-100 scale…. "
"... On October 29th, the day Katz posted the story on Facebook, searches for ‘Hillary’ and ‘pedophile’ ranked zero… [But] when Hagmann ‘broke’ the story on InfoWars, they scored 100.’”
There’s so much here; if you can’t get around to reading this whole book, just get to Chapter 10. I didn’t think I’d learn much from it, but it all makes so much more sense after reading it.
That’s the end of my livetweeting of @SethAbramson’s Proof of Collusion. Buy it here: simonandschuster.com/books/Proof-of…
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