, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
KEY CLARIFICATION #1: Based on how Trump (via his lawyer Rudy Giuliani) has defined "collusion"—that is, to mean *only* "conspiring directly with the Kremlin to hack the DNC"—when Trump says "no collusion," he's *literally* only denying 5% of what would be considered "collusion."
KEY CLARIFICATION #2: When media says we don't know if Trump was a "witting" colluder, they *mean* we don't know if he was "wittingly" a Kremlin *agent*. We *know* he "wittingly" *coordinated* with the Kremlin—see e.g. promoting Papadopoulos after learning he was a Kremlin agent.
KEY CLARIFICATION #3: The FBI having concluded—based on "specific and articulable facts"—that there was a reasonable suspicion in May 2017 to believe Trump was a witting or unwitting Russian asset means *everyone* who said that at the time was exhibiting FBI-level case awareness.
KEY CLARIFICATION #4: Because the FBI concluded—based on specific, articulable *public* facts—that there was a reasonable suspicion in May 2017 to think Trump was possibly a Russian asset, anyone who said otherwise (even some lawyers) *wasn't* exhibiting FBI-level case awareness.
KEY CLARIFICATION #5: That the FBI folded its counterintelligence probe into Trump into Mueller's investigation means—contra what the NYT says—that investigation *must* be open, as Mueller has no mechanism or authority to "close" only *parts* of his probe until he reports to DOJ.
KEY CLARIFICATION #6: Lawyers following Mueller's probe know there are collusive criminal acts, non-collusive criminal acts, collusive non-criminal acts, and non-collusive, non-criminal *but still impeachable* offenses—so Trump can be up a creek even if he didn't conspire by law.
KEY CLARIFICATION #7: It's a violation of journalistic ethics—*always*—to anonymously quote *any* defense lawyer for *any* proposition in *any* story, as defense lawyers are sworn to zealously advocate for a position and *not* to be neutral, open, objective sources for reporters.
KEY CLARIFICATION #8: Once Giuliani said—rightly—that *as to his client* the Mueller probe is, until Trump leaves office, a purely *political* matter (i.e., a question of impeachment), *nothing* Giuliani *ever* said could be treated as news or legal analysis rather than rhetoric.
KEY CLARIFICATION #9: *Every witness* in the Trump-Russia case with *one* exception—Erik Prince—has a *significantly less robust* history of lying than Trump, and would *decimate* Trump in a "battle of credibility" before a jury, so all evidentiary analyses *must* flow from that.
KEY CLARIFICATION #10: To the best of my knowledge—after researching and writing on this case for two years—*no lines of inquiry* in the Trump-Russia investigation (including Prague, the Alfa Bank pings, or anything else) have been disproven, shut down, or moved on from entirely.
KEY CLARIFICATION #11: *All the public evidence* indicates Trump and his aides "crossed" their illegal coordination with foreign nations—meaning not only did they *not* draw lines between the nations they coordinated with, but figured out ways to *dovetail* all such coordination.
KEY CLARIFICATION #12: Just as the "presumption of innocence" is, in the law, only a "trial presumption"—meaning non-jurors needn't indulge it, or can apply it however they wish if they do—there's a gulf between when corporate media will say collusion and when normal folks would.
KEY CLARIFICATION #13: Even if I told you the wildest year-/continent-spanning tale of international collusion between leaders of major nations, not only *wouldn't* it be the first time in history it's happened but most *other* times it was far harder because it was pre-internet.
KEY CLARIFICATION #14: In the 2016 election, Russia was in a discrete, unilaterally aggressive "hot" cyberwar with America that some GOP pols—e.g. Trump—knew of long before some of their actions giving aid/comfort to the Kremlin. But the Treason statute requires a *declared* war.
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