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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
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(THREAD) New evidence suggests Rick Gates' plea has much more to do with Russia than we thought.

And that's because it may have more to do with Trump advisor Erik Prince and Trump fundraiser/RNC deputy finance chair Elliott Broidy than we thought.

Hope you'll read on and share.
1/ When Gates pleaded guilty, the White House insisted his crimes had nothing to do with Trump or Russia. But it's increasingly clear the reason Mueller offered Gates a plea deal did in fact have to do with Russia-related information Gates had about not just Manafort but others.
2/ First, understand how significant Gates was to Trump's campaign: he was its Deputy Campaign Manager; he ran its operations at the RNC, where Trump campaign aides made contact with Russian nationals and subsequently changed the RNC platform to benefit Putin and lied about it...
3/ ...per media reports, he was effectively running Trump's campaign—more so than Manafort—for several months in the summer of 2016; when Manafort was fired, Trump stayed in contact with his former Campaign Manager and declined to fire Gates, instead giving him a critical role...
4/ ...as his campaign's liaison to the RNC, a move which at the time surprised political observers because (a) that was a critical campaign role, and (b) it was assumed that Gates, Manafort's deputy, would've been removed from the campaign at the same time Manafort was because...
5/ ...like Manafort, Gates had ties to the Ukraine and therefore should've been as big a liability as Manafort was—by then—thought to be, at least publicly; Trump then made him Deputy Chairman of his inaugural committee (a key role) during the transition, which we now know was...
6/ ...lousy with secret meetings and calls with Russian nationals—even as Trump (and, one presumes, let's be honest, Gates as well) stayed in touch with Manafort behind the scenes (and of course Trump and Manafort lived in the same building and could meet up whenever they liked).
7/ So Gates was at the top of Trump's campaign and transition; was at the top of the campaign and transition at all points at which suspicious Trump-Russia contact occurred; and was definitively tied to that contact, at least in terms of the lied-about platform change at the RNC.
8/ But Trump's decision not to fire Gates in mid-2016, but put him in a key position as the link between himself and the RNC, never sat right with me, or with many others in the media. Gates came in with Manafort and had all the same liabilities; so why didn't he go out with him?
9/ Indeed, Trump responded to the *loss* of Manafort (against Trump's wishes, and only in public, to be clear) by *promoting* Manafort's equally compromised deputy to a position of even *greater* prominence and power than he had before—which he stayed in through the inauguration.
10/ And now Rick Gates has pleaded guilty.

Immediately after that happened, sources in the White House successfully got the media to pass on (essentially without analysis) two lies: (a) Gates wasn't a particularly prominent Trump-campaign figure; (b) he'd no knowledge of Russia.
11/ But you know who Gates was linked up with as a result of Trump shocking the media and naming him his RNC liaison? The man pictured atop this thread, Elliott Brody, who less than 90 days after Gates ceased to be Trump's RNC liaison became the deputy finance chair of the RNC.
12/ Days after Gates was indicted, McClatchy reported Mueller was looking into new charges against Gates involving a shady film-production scheme. As part of that scheme, two producers sent $100K in fraudulently-obtained funds to a nonprofit run by Broidy. mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-wo…
13/ That wasn't the first time Gates was involved with Broidy: Broidy was Vice Chairman of the Trump Victory Committee during the 2016 campaign, a joint operation between Trump and the RNC, which linkage therefore—per Trump's surprising summer promotion of Gates—was run by Gates.
14/ As soon as the campaign ended, Gates and Broidy continued working together, this time on Trump's inaugural committee—for which Broidy was the Vice Chairman and Gates the Deputy Chairman. So the compromised-by-Ukraine-cash Gates was hand in glove with Broidy for *many* months.
15/ And after he worked with the compromised-by-Ukraine-cash Gates for many months, Broidy was rewarded by the RNC with a promotion of his own—to deputy finance chairman. So Trump saw to Rick Gates' elevation, and the RNC saw to Broidy's. Both sides of that partnership prospered.
16/ Three weeks ago, a story dropped suggesting that Broidy's wife was trying to collect millions of dollars in return for influencing Trump Administration policy. huffingtonpost.com/entry/elliott-…
17/ Two days later, the George Nader news dropped—Nader, a Trump insider-turned-Mueller-informant, established that Erik Prince had lied about his Trump-sanctioned secret meeting with a Russian in the Seychelles—and Nader was immediately tied to Broidy too.motherjones.com/politics/2018/…
18/ Lest you wonder if Broidy is only connected to Nader, not Prince, understand first that Broidy is in the same niche industry as Prince—private Middle East military contractors—specifically in the UAE, which is where Prince lives. He's tied to the UAE royal family—like Prince.
19/ But wait! I'm just getting warmed up. Just four days after the Broidy-Nader scandal (which itself was two days after Broidy's wife's scandal), this bombshell dropped: Broidy was possibly connected to a scandal involving (wait for it) Russian sanctions. aljazeera.com/news/2018/03/t…
20/ According to docs held by a Ukrainian prosecutor, Broidy has been acting as an agent of a sanctioned Kremlin-owned bank—in other words, the Kremlin. And the media reports Broidy has "significant access to Trump" and is lobbying him. On what? Why, Russian sanctions, of course.
21/ That's right, Broidy appears to be lobbying Trump to do just what Trump has done: slow or avoid the imposition of any new Russian sanctions, and militate publicly for an end to all sanctions on Russian entities. Thank god there's no evidence that Broidy is giving Trump money!
22/ (Surely, if you're reading this, you know what's coming next.)
23/ Broidy has been a major Trump fundraiser since 2016, and the money sure didn't stop flowing once (allegedly) Broidy began working for both the RNC and—apparently—Putin's VTB Bank.

One week ago Broidy hosted a $35,000-a-person fundraiser (!) for Trump. hollywoodreporter.com/news/mueller-p…
24/ The Al-Jazeera investigation linked to in this thread implies that Mueller now could be investigating Broidy—who, again, apparently has shady ties to both the Kremlin, the RNC, Ukraine, Erik Prince, and the UAE—for FARA violations and more. And who could help him? Rick Gates.
25/ (I wish I could tell you this thread is about to get *less* complicated, but it's about to get *more* complicated. But also *absolutely stunning*.)
26/ Trump (and Jared) are surrounded by a horde of fundraisers and advisors who are trying to lobby Trump not just about private military contractors in the Middle East but, more significantly, about *nuclear power* in the Middle East.

Specifically, gifts of U.S. nuclear tech.
27/ Rick Gates is part of that horde. And so is another man Mueller has in his pocket due to a plea: Michael Flynn.

Trump pal Thomas Barrack is also in that horde. So is Bud McFarlane, who was a VIP at Trump's Mayflower Speech in April 2016. So is Broidy. propublica.org/article/white-…
28/ So now we have a story involving Gates, Flynn, Prince, Broidy, Barrack, McFarlane, Kushner, Nader, and Donald Trump. But guess what: it all comes back to Russia and the UAE, the two parties Prince secretly met with and lied about meeting with while under oath before Congress.
29/ If you read the ProPublica story, you'll see the UAE can only get U.S. nuclear tech if we give it to Saudi Arabia first. Trump's pals are all either working to get that tech to Saudi Arabia or lobbying on behalf of the UAE—which, as to nuclear tech, amounts to the same thing.
30/ What does this have to do with Putin and sanctions? That's a reasonable question to ask.The answer: Moscow wants the contracts to build all new nuclear power plants in the Middle East, and stands to make *hundreds of millions* doing so.

Just one thing stops them: sanctions.
31/ Yesterday the Saudi Crown Prince, who wants our nuclear tech, which would allow it to flow also to the UAE, which would make Putin hundreds of millions—but only if sanctions are dropped—said this about Jared Kushner: he's "in my pocket."

Process that. nymag.com/daily/intellig…
32/ Does this change your view of why Kushner secretly met the Russian ambassador at Trump Tower in December 2016—he smuggled him in the back door—to discuss setting up a secret backchanel to Putin? While Gates and Broidy were running the inaugural committee and lobbying Trump?
33/ Does this change your view of the pending (unanswered) question about where the "extra" tens of millions of dollars raised by Gates and Broidy for the inauguration went? propublica.org/article/trump-…
34/ Does this change your view of today's news about Broidy allegedly helping Moscow companies lobby Trump on sanctions?

Does it change your view of whether Mueller wanted Gates under plea for reasons (as the White House says) entirely unrelated to Trump? bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
35/ Gates and Flynn have a lot to tell Mueller, and we should assume they've told all of it. We should further assume Broidy and Kushner are in Mueller's path and that at least one will roll on Trump. We should assume all pending UAE-Saudi Arabia scandals are equally about Putin.
36/ I've said this from the day I first read Chris Steele's dossier 14 months ago: Trump sold U.S. policy on Russia for money, and he did it before the campaign started (2013 in Moscow), during the campaign (his 2015 Trump Tower Moscow deal) and while in office post-January 2017.
37/ Yesterday's big news from the New York Times is of course part of all this, as it underscores that Trump's clandestine arrangement with Moscow flowed (much if not all the time) through negotiations with the UAE and Saudi Arabia—often via his top aides. nytimes.com/2018/03/21/us/…
38/ Trump is toast. Not because he's an asshole, though he is; not because he's a Republican, which (in fact) he isn't; he's toast because he's one of the biggest traitors in the history of the U.S. and Mueller has *at least* three key witnesses *already* who can testify to that.
39/ Now you know why Trump hired Joe DiGenova—who wanted Comey prosecuted and will pull the same BS on Mueller. You know why he's hiring DiGenova's wife Victoria, who spread the Uranium One hoax—he's going to go after Clinton. You know why he hired Bolton—he's going to go to war.
40/ Trump knows he's toast, which is why he's preparing for two wars: a war on the rule of law here at home, and a senseless war abroad, in either North Korea or Iran. All of it is to save himself—he thinks—by delaying what at this point is inevitable: his fall from power. {end}
UPDATE/ I was one of the louder voices online outlining why DiGenova and Toensing had too many conflicts to work with Trump—due to other Trump-Russia clients and DiGenova's alleged role in blackmailing Comey to reopen the Clinton case. Well, look at this: cnn.com/2018/03/23/pol…
NOTE1/ What Joe DiGenova and his wife are learning, which most of us lawyers learned in law school, is that a client can waive an *apparent* conflict of interest, but an *actual* conflict of interest must be avoided by a lawyer at all costs—per the Rules of Professional Conduct.
NOTE2/ Representing Clovis, Prince, and Corallo is an *actual* conflict of interest for DiGenova and his wife that can't be waived by the clients and can't be allowed by DiGenova and Toensing. Their clients (and they) have info on facts and strategy Trump wants and needs to know.
NOTE3/ When I say Trump is "toast," please (I ask you) do *not* add the word "imminently" after it in your mind—as I didn't say that and don't believe it and am sick of being misquoted. The writing is on the wall for Trump, but it'll take *many* months for this to come to a head.
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