The Steele dossier remains one of the most lied-about items of the whole Trump presidency. Republicans lie about Steele's background, motivations, knowledge, funders and claims. They lie about the dossier timeline and they lie about its provenance and they lie about its accuracy.
We must also understand that it's no surprise that Republicans lie about the dossier. When the author of a dossier tells you in advance that 30% of it is likely inaccurate, as long as you lie about him telling you that and claim he didn't you can spend years pointing out the 30%.
Steele is an honorable man who had been a valuable FBI partner for years when *Republicans* approached him to try to keep Donald Trump from the presidency. When the GOP folded and accepted Trump as its Lord and Savior, a law firm hired Steele to continue his overseas work.
While Steele was doing his work, he didn't know who was paying him besides his immediate patron—the entity that was being paid by the law firm. Steele was not tasked by his boss to find dirt on Trump, he was explicitly tasked to simply find accurate information, whatever it said.
Steele used sources he'd been using for years—including when he was the Russia desk chief at the British foreign intelligence service, and indeed considered such a model spy he was asked by the British government to train new British spies. Steele knew his dossier was raw intel.
Steele had no idea what he was going to find when he contacted longtime trusted sources within Russia. Like any intel professional, his job was to report back the intel he received. He was shocked at the intel he received, and as a longtime FBI partner, wanted to inform the FBI.
Republicans would eventually take brutal advantage of the fact that Americans don't understand what a raw intel dossier is. They convinced average Americans, and even some untalented journalists, that Steele had a secret agenda and that he claimed his dossier was *100% accurate*.
In fact, Steele had done what any intel expert in his position would've done. He informed his FBI partners that he estimated the accuracy of the dossier at 70%. Time has borne out that assessment, which is unsurprising given that Chris Steele is one of the top spies in the world.
Incredibly, the very people who falsely called the Russia scandal a mere conspiracy theory—despite thousands of pages of evidence establishing collusion—have devised a wholly unsupported conspiracy theory about Steele and his dossier and done so without any public censure at all.

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More from @SethAbramson

21 Feb
Anyone else feel like each time we see a new video from Donald Trump Jr. he's desended one sub-basement deeper into a subterranean cavern stocked to the ceiling on each floor with whatever it is that makes him sweaty, puffy, bloodshot-eyed, and prone to affecting a strange drawl?
If I were someone who cared about Donald Trump Jr.'s health—which candidly I'm ambivalent about—I'd tell him to get some fresh air and maybe record a video from a meadow or something talking about the Great Outdoors rather than how his family can continue to degrade our democracy
I mean... yikes?
Read 5 tweets
18 Feb
This article puts me in a category with {rechecks article} President John Adams and President Joe Biden. No one else is in the category. I'm pretty sure this will never happen again.

I have thoughts on this topic, but am working on other things right now.…
What I'll say briefly is we really need *former* public defenders tweeting, as they're not bound in the ways current ones are; we need more tweeting on first principles, alongside tweeting about types of cases; we need tweeting from PDs who've worked with every type of community.
Also, it should go without saying—though incredibly, it *doesn't* in this article—that those of us who believe in equality under law should be cheering *every PD* getting the word out on this topic, without cynically tallying retweets or likes like it's a zero-sum game. It's not.
Read 4 tweets
17 Feb
(ESSAY) Charles Euchner has published a dozen books, has taught writing at Columbia and Yale, and has directed a think tank at Harvard. He now runs THE ELEMENTS OF WRITING. His just-published essay about my work is illuminating, and I hope you'll share it.
(PS) I agree with the few critiques Euchner offers of my work. I get myself in trouble by bringing jargon into popular media, though I do it because I think certain words—if they crystallize and become ubiquitous—can help us have conversations we presently don't know how to have.
(PS2) Euchner also notes, rightly, that independent journalists end up being their own PR reps; and the more they get attacked, the more they have to do it. I hate (more than I think any reader would guess) self-promotion and defensiveness. But attacks seem to come in near-daily.
Read 7 tweets
17 Feb
(THREAD) The main problem with that @DanDrezner piece in the Post is that it's an international politics prof writing about the field in which I'm a professor—communications. No one in communications would *ever* compare the blogosphere to either Twitter or Substack. Here's why.
1/ Back in the mid-aughts, I was a Koufax Award-nominated political blogger (I don't know what Drezner was doing then; I first heard of him about a year ago). So I was into the blogosphere pretty deep, as I also ran a second high-traffic blog that was focused on the art world.
2/ The "blogosphere" was an outgrowth of MySpace and LiveJournal, inasmuch as in the heady early days of the internet people suddenly realized that they could engage in private diaristic writing—a very specific subgenre of writing—in the public square, and it was suddenly "okay."
Read 22 tweets
17 Feb
(PROOF) ICYMI: "Some Say the Criminal Justice System Will Save Us From Trump—But Can It?"…
(PS) Apropos of this essay from a few days ago, Maddow now reports that Georgia Republicans are trying to change Georgia's Constitution to make it impossible to indict him for election interference. They appear not to have the votes—but it underscores my point in the essay above.
(PS2) Maddow also reports that the DOJ under Joe Biden hasn't yet taken certain evenhanded actions that could help advance a civil lawsuit in Manhattan that could eventually transform into criminal charges. So here too we see the wheels of justice grinding to a halt to aid Trump.
Read 4 tweets
16 Feb
(THREAD) On February 11, CJR published a piece on me by Lyz Lenz (@lyzl). It had been informed in writing months earlier—before Lenz began her work—that Lenz felt malice toward me. I requested a different interviewer. The request was ignored. This is the story of what came next. Image
1/ I tell this story not just because it's shocking, but for three other reasons. Columbia University wishes for me to itemize my complaints with the piece—having already declared it will make no changes to it—and I see no reason why I should do so privately rather than publicly.
2/ Second, what happened to me at the hands of CJR—defamation—has happened to many other independent journalists at the hands of other media outlets. Right now there is a needless war between Old Media and New Media, and Old Media is fighting dirty. It has to stop, and right now.
Read 57 tweets

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