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Thread by @SethAbramson: "America needs to understand what Flynn's December negotiations with the Russians *were*: Flynn—Trump's top national security advisor—was neg […]"

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America needs to understand what Flynn's December negotiations with the Russians *were*:

Flynn—Trump's top national security advisor—was negotiating whether the Kremlin would be REWARDED or PUNISHED for violating U.S. national security by trying to steal the election for Trump.
2/ The reason Flynn, and Pence, and Trump, and the whole Presidential Transition Team, and Trump Jr., and Priebus, and McFarland, and countless other Trump allies LIED about what Flynn was doing in December is Trump's plan was to REWARD Russia for interfering in our elections.
3/ The REWARD Trump was promising the Kremlin—unilateral dropping of all sanctions against Russia—was NOT first offered to Russia by Michael Flynn in December 2016. Flynn was participating in an ONGOING and ILLEGAL negotiation that had begun BEFORE the 2016 presidential election.
4/ The core narrative Bob Mueller is pursuing is that Trump deliberately INDUCED continued Russian interference in August 2016, September 2016, October 2016, and November 2016 by PROMISING to REWARD the Russians for their behavior with a massive economic and political windfall.
5/ Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Jeff Sessions, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Donald Trump Jr., Michael Cohen, and others PARTICIPATED in this ongoing negotiation over how to REWARD Russia for its interference, and did so over the period from March 2016 through January 2017.
6/ This effort to INDUCE the gravest national security attack in U.S. political (as opposed to military) history is the most significant CRIME in U.S. political history. And a crime this size required everyone involved in it to LIE to anyone—including the FBI—about what they did.
7/ Never, ever lose sight of all this as we discuss how Mike Flynn, Mike Pence, Donald Trump, and Trump's entire Presidential Transition Team sought to LIE to both America and the FBI about the negotiations that the Transition Team was CONTINUING—not starting—in December of 2016.
8/ The reason Trump, Pence, Flynn and others have LIED about the ongoing sanctions negotiations Flynn was conducting in December of 2016 is that to tell the truth about Flynn's actions would reveal the ONGOING nature of the negotiations—i.e., that they also PRECEDED the election.
9/ The Russia probe is VERY simple in this respect: Donald Trump sought to win the presidency by INDUCING and then REWARDING Russian interference in our electoral process.

His INDUCEMENTS and REWARDS all had to do with the LIFTING of economically crippling sanctions on Russia.
10/ What Flynn told Russia on December 29, 2016 is that it should NOT react to America's punishment of the Kremlin for cyber-attacking America. The reason? ALL sanctions on Russia would be removed by President Trump once he ascended to the Oval Office. And that WAS Trump's plan.
11/ Trump came into office, media reports confirm, planning to drop ALL sanctions on Russia. The ONLY thing that prevented him executing this prior promise to the Kremlin was that Mike Flynn was caught LYING to the FBI—which risked revealing the entire course of the negotiations.
12/ THAT is why Trump waited 3 weeks to fire a man the DOJ said was compromised by the Kremlin; THAT is why Trump tried to immediately re-hire him; THAT is why Trump told Comey to drop the case; THAT is why Trump witness-tampered by calling Flynn and telling him to "stay strong."
13/ THAT is why Trump hired Flynn when the Obama Administration urged him not to; THAT is why Trump hired Flynn when his own friend Chris Christie told him not to; THAT is why Trump considered Flynn for VP. Because Flynn had access to the Kremlin and had already been compromised.
14/ Trump and Pence and the Transition Team were NOT covering up "normal" contacts between an incoming National Security Advisor and a hostile foreign power. They were covering up the CONTINUATION of a ONGOING sanctions negotiation that had BEGUN months—in a sense YEARS—before.
15/ Trump was discussing sanctions in Moscow in 2013. Trump was discussing sanctions in most of his foreign policy speeches in the 2016 campaign. Trump was sending lieutenants to discuss sanctions with Russia in private. Mike Flynn just happened to be the only one who got CAUGHT.
16/ Or, rather, the only one CHARGED. Kushner got CAUGHT negotiating sanctions and lied about it. Sessions got CAUGHT negotiating sanctions and lied about it. Papadopoulos got CAUGHT negotiating sanctions and lied about it. Page got CAUGHT negotiating sanctions and lied about it.
17/ Trump Jr. got CAUGHT negotiating sanctions and lied about it. CLOVIS and GORDON and MANAFORT and others got CAUGHT indirectly or directly negotiating with the Russians on sanctions-adjacent topics and lied about it. EVERY LIE the Trump team has told has been about SANCTIONS.
18/ We're being played for suckers by these men. They know what they did and why; they know Mueller knows what they did and why; their lawyers know what they did and why; the GOP knows what they did and why. Yet all pretend—with each INDICTMENT or PLEA—these are unrelated events.
19/ It's time for us to WAKE UP to the most OBVIOUS political crime of the last century, which is treated as complex ONLY because it spans several nations, scores of bad actors, years of clandestine contacts, and many different federal agencies. But the CORE NARRATIVE is simple.
20/ America was SOLD OUT by men who wanted POWER and were willing to trade U.S. POLICY to get it. It's that simple—and happened under our noses.

And it led to a presidential election the fairness and accuracy of which no one in America could possibly have confidence in anymore.
PS/ PRIOR to August 2016, Trump and his team MAY have known enough about Russian cyber-crimes to be actively INDUCING and offering REWARD for them, but we KNOW they were actively INDUCING and offering REWARD for access to Clinton emails they had to ASSUME were acquired illegally.
PS2/ The crime is NOT collusion.

The crime is AIDING AND ABETTING COMPUTER CRIMES. The crime is ILLEGAL SOLICITATION OF IN-KIND FOREIGN DONATIONS. The crime is CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT FRAUD.

And then—afterward—OBSTRUCTION, WITNESS TAMPERING, MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS, and PERJURY.
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