Trump biographers understand what motivates him to make a statement like this, which might be incriminating from another’s mouth: he’s simply trying to change history on what is considered the worst and most irresponsible decision of his presidency. He’s not “admitting” anything.
I understand the temptation to turn this into a “gotcha” moment—but the way Trump operates is that he’s keenly aware of media criticism and even criticism from certain historians, and he is trying to rewrite his failed presidency in real time to make his worst decisions his best.
Trump is accusing Comey of being part of a *political* conspiracy to derail and end his presidency. He is not saying that there was a criminal investigation of him personally at that point, as in fact there was not—the investigation of him that began was *because* he fired Comey.
This is my way of saying, as both a committed Trump critic and a longtime criminal defense attorney, that Trump is not in fact admitting to the federal crime of Obstruction here. He is skirting close to the line, but I do not believe that he is over it—at least in this interview.
One reason Trump wanted Comey to tell him he wasn’t under investigation was so he could fire him without it being a crime. Trump knew the leads Comey was pursuing would *soon* lead to him being under investigation—but he likely didn’t think he was at the time that he fired Comey.
Was Trump trying to obstruct the Flynn probe? Of course. We know this. But saying he would’ve personally been harmed if Comey hadn’t been fired may be a reference to political fallout from the obstruction we know he committed—not a *new* confession that he was protecting himself.
So this new statement would absolutely be valuable evidence in a criminal case against Trump that already was established beyond a reasonable doubt years ago, but it does not generate a new and discrete crime beyond the crimes Biden and Garland decided to let Trump get away with.

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More from @SethAbramson

8 Dec
Just a quick note: we should prepare for the revelation that *many* GOP members of Congress anticipated the Capitol would be breached and the joint session of Congress interrupted on January 6—and that it was largely Democrats and Pence caught off guard and under threat that day.
Some will say we already know this, but in fact we don't—that evidence hasn't emerged. But the indie journalism I am seeing on coup memos sent to GOP members of Congress pre-January 6 suggests the party aided and abetted the coup by not revealing what it thought likely to happen.
The question will be whether failing to inform the Pentagon, USCP, and MPD of an anticipated attack on the Capitol makes GOP members of Congress—possibly numbering in the dozens—co-conspirators in an armed insurrection.

Ethically? Of course. But the question will be a legal one.
Read 10 tweets
6 Dec
Holy sh*t.

“Matthews’ memo calls...[Mike Flynn’s brother] Charles Flynn, who served as deputy chief of staff for [Pentagon] ops on January 6...[an] ‘absolute and unmitigated liar’ for [his] characterization of the events of that day [before Congress].”…
(PS) Remember that Charles Flynn—who wasn’t in the chain of command on January 6—was *inexplicably* involved in the decision not to send troops to the Capitol. He’s now being accused of the federal crime of perjury. Given that his brother is an insurrectionist, this is startling.
(PS2) Remember too that the “theory of the case” regarding the insurrection is no longer—and for some of us never was—that Team Trump wanted to take over the government that day, but that it simply needed the Pentagon and others to ensure the Capitol would be *briefly* occupied.
Read 6 tweets
3 Dec
Please understand this: if Roe v. Wade is overturned, rich white Republican women and their daughters will continue to get abortions as before. Their focus is on controlling the bodies of non-white and poor women—as it’s always been. When Roe is lost, it’ll only be lost for some.
The percent of the GOP base so devoutly “pro-life” that—in keeping with certain religious dogma—it opposes both the death penalty and all abortions is vanishingly small.

For most Republicans, the goal on abortion is divide-and-conquer rhetoric and cultural “command and control.”
Republicans believe that women who, post-Roe, bring unwanted pregnancies to term—and they’re certain that such women will largely be Democrats—are more likely to stay in poverty and not vote.

Abortion is a liberty, equality, and economic freedom question, and the GOP *knows* it.
Read 4 tweets
26 Nov
(🔒) BREAKING: Mark your calendar—a 30-year debate among gamers just ended. RETRO has now published the largest-ever poll of retro gaming experts on the most hotly contested question in gaming history: "What's the best NES game ever?" 424 games are ranked.…
(PS) If you don't have a RETRO subscription yet, you can get an annual subscription—through this Tuesday, November 30—for 30% off (just $2.90/month for a year).…
(PS2) I figured I'd highlight a few of my personal favorites out of the 424 NES games ranked by 100 experts at the link above—as I may not have quite their expertise, but I do know a lot about the NES. So here's a trip down memory lane; let me know if any of these strike a chord:
Read 14 tweets
26 Nov
(BLACK FRIDAY SALE) I know it's early, but I thought I'd let folks know that not every Black Friday sale requires standing in line. Through tomorrow, annual PROOF subscriptions are 15% off. For $3.50/month, you can get the nation's best January 6 coverage.…
(ICYMI) And for those who missed the announcement, RETRO—now the #8 history substack in the US—is also having an annual subscription sale: 30% off (about $2.90/mo) for a year. RETRO covers Music, Film, Games, Digital Culture, Comics, Books, Toys, and more!…
(PS) The RETRO sale, unlike the very-limited-time PROOF sale, runs through November 30 (this coming Tuesday). Forgot to mention that!
Read 5 tweets
22 Nov
I often disagree with Bill, and disagree with some of this. I think he oscillates between pretending the far left and the Democratic Party are synonymous and acknowledging they're not. The Democratic Party is diverse; it's the *GOP* that made its fringe the whole of its project.
(PS) What idiot conservatives like Scott Adams are missing in trumpeting this video is that Maher *is* a classical liberal, and *is* saying that the Democratic Party's *policies* are where most of the country is—including, yes, the white Heartland.

The issue is, paradoxically...
(PS2) ...that folks like Maher conflating the Democratic Party and its left-most fringe is *precisely* the problem the party faces. Why? Because a party can't control all its fringes—unless it's an authoritarian party like the GOP—but it *can* ask people to focus on its policies.
Read 14 tweets

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