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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 20 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
It's getting new attention now, but this feed has always treated August 17, 2016 as a sacrosanct date in the Trump-Russia timeline because it establishes the latest day on which, legally speaking, Trump was responsible for knowing that Russia was a hostile actor in the election.
2/ Media will soon give significant new scrutiny to the extraordinary (and secret) meeting Sessions had with Russia's ambassador on September 8, 2016, during which we know sanctions were discussed. That meeting, given its date, is, if Trump knew of it, evidence of a conspiracy.
3/ After he'd perjured himself about whether the meeting occurred, Sessions tried to explain it away by saying it was a routine meeting that was part of his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee. But *no other senator on the committee* met with Russia's ambassador in 2016.
4/ Once Sessions was compelled by media revelations to admit that the meeting had occurred, he also had to admit that he and Kislyak discussed Ukraine, which in the parlance of the Trump-Russia investigation means that they *directly discussed* Trump's Russian sanctions policy.
5/ Sessions was head of Trump's national security and foreign policy teams; it would've been *absolutely extraordinary*, and indeed a firing offense, had he met with Russia's ambassador and failed to disclose having done so to Trump both afterward and before the meeting occurred.
6/ And indeed, because Sessions ultimately had to concede under oath that his September '16 meeting with Russia's ambassador was a follow-up on an earlier meeting at the Republican national convention, it's clear Sessions scheduled the meeting as a representative of Donald Trump.
7/ Sessions also received the August 17, 2016 classified briefing Trump received. Therefore, he met Russia's ambassador to negotiate sanctions policy just 3 weeks after learning that the Russians were hostile actors in the 2016 presidential election. And *Trump knew all of this*.
8/ So the media is 6 to 9 months behind by suddenly expressing an interest in Trump's August 2016 classified briefing. Because it's *not* just that Trump got a briefing, it's that he cleared his foreign policy chief to negotiate sanctions with the Russians *after* he received it.
9/ Moreover, we now know that Trump got his August 17, 2016 briefing just two weeks after his team was informed that multiple nations besides Russia wanted to directly and illegally assist him in winning the 2016 presidential election. This is a *key* part of the timeline, also.
10/ I said a year ago and will keep saying until it becomes an accepted reality in U.S. media that Jeff Sessions illegally negotiated U.S. sanctions policy in September 2016 *at the direction of Donald Trump* and at a time Trump *knew* Russia was waging cyber-war on America. /end
PS/ One other thing I've long said that will eventually be part of the case against Trump. By March 22, 2016 at the *very latest*, Trump knew his presidential campaign had been *actually infiltrated* by someone who was legally a Kremlin agent. But the truth is likely much worse.
PS2/ Legally speaking, George Papadopoulos announced himself as a Kremlin agent directly to Donald Trump on March 31, 2016. We know this for certain. But statements by Papadopoulos and statements/actions by Trump strongly suggest Trump was given this information 10 days earlier.
PS3/ That's the *very best-case scenario* for Trump: that he was *directly informed* there was a Kremlin agent on his national security team, and he immediately thereafter promoted that agent and put him on the speechwriting team for his first foreign policy speech in April '16.
PS4/ The *worst-case scenario*, and certain statements by Papadopoulos suggest this, is Papadopoulos was sent by the the campaign (specifically Sam Clovis, but with Trump's knowledge) to Italy in mid-March '16 for the express purpose of making contact with a Kremlin agent there.
PS5/ So the media, 6 to 9 months behind this story, can focus on August 2016, but far more investigative reporting should be focused on what happened in the 30 days before the now-infamous Trump national security meeting on March 31, 2016 at the Trump International Hotel in D.C.
PS6/ George Papadopoulos says every foreign trip he took was taken with campaign approval. He says he had meetings with Trump that Trump hasn't acknowledged. And he wouldn't have jaunted off to Italy for no reason just days after Sam Clovis hired him. That *was* a campaign trip.
PS7/ By the same token, Trump's campaign says Trump's lawyer randomly jaunted off to the same country, *Italy*, in the critical 10 days before the Republican National Convention, when there's no question Trump needed Cohen to be doing campaign work rather than being on vacation.
PS8/ But Cohen's alibi has already fallen apart. Just as we should expect that when Papadopoulos was in Italy he wasn't randomly contacted by Mifsud. Which is why witnesses say Trump *wasn't surprised* on March 31, when Papadopoulos revealed the Kremlin had made contact with him.
PS9/ There are rumors, I don't know how credible, that Sam Clovis will soon be targeted by Bob Mueller. That would certainly be consistent with Clovis mysteriously quitting his government job and clearly being at the *center* of whatever Papadopoulos was up to in March of 2016.
PS10/ The upshot: Trump loyalists can pretend that Mueller only has in his pocket ancillary figures who were pinched on actions having nothing to do with the campaign, but that's laughable. He struck deals with key players who can clearly give him inculpatory evidence on Trump.
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