Many wonder why Mueller just told a federal court he's not done with Rick Gates.
Important to remember Gates was involved in Middle Eastern energy lobbying and speculation alongside Flynn, Barrack, McFarlane, and others. This is the Nader, Broidy, Prince (etc) side of collusion.
2/ My point: Gates may well be able to provide Mueller with info on not just his work on the RNC (and *with* the RNC) and on Russian collusion, but also on equally serious (and ongoing) collusion with Middle Eastern countries seeking nuclear tech, including Saudi Arabia and UAE.
3/ Lawyers disagree on whether the extension of Gates' cooperation is tied to him testifying or simply continuing to meet/offer information. I'm in the latter camp. Gates can be called to testify even after he's sentenced—it's the ongoing offers of information Mueller most needs.
We have to be careful with our wording here: Mueller can investigate obstruction "as a crime" without any expectation that he can *charge* that crime via indictment while the president is still in the Oval Office. That's *different* from deeming Trump's obstruction non-criminal.
2/ Should Mueller have determined a crime was committed but can't be charged (for now) "as a crime" due to DOJ guidance on indicting a POTUS, he might not put witnesses before the grand jury but, as Ryan says, use interviews to draft a report for possible *impeachment* purposes.
3/ But obstruction can be a basis for impeachment *separate* from "abuse of power," so Mueller by no means has to *choose* between these two terms, concepts, and fact patterns in formulating that section of his upcoming report to DOJ. I expect *both* allegations will be featured.
This feels like big news for several reasons—but the one that will be talked about least is that Graham's support for a bill of this sort suggests that, in private conversations with Trump on the golf course or elsewhere, Trump has indeed talked passionately of firing Bob Mueller
2/ Seven months ago Graham cosponsored a bill protecting Mueller that still would've allowed a senior DOJ official to fire him—including, now, presumably, Whitaker. The Democratic bill now envisioned—that Graham says he'd vote for—precludes anyone firing Mueller except for cause.
3/ @rgoodlaw points out that another key element of the Reuters story on Graham that came out today is Graham's willingness—which appears to be new—to publicly urge Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on a Mueller protection bill, a push McConnell has, until now, repeatedly rejected.
No one—*no one*—on the GOP side has articulated a basis for not passing a law protecting Mueller's job except by offering the false claim that Trump has never said or done *anything* to suggest Mueller's job is in jeopardy. OK—to *start* with—he previously *initiated his firing*.
2/ As we all recall, Trump had to be *talked down* from firing Mueller. Beyond that, he's repeatedly said Mueller is acting illegally and that his probe should end immediately—i.e prematurely. That leaves the GOP with *zero* legitimate basis for opposing a law protecting Mueller.
3/ As with nearly everything else involving the Mueller probe—*including its initiation*—this is a situation that *Trump* created (in this case the urgent need for a law protecting Mueller) and that Republicans feel they can't acknowledge as such because they'll anger Trumpists.
Exactly what I—or any responsible defense attorney, federal or state, practicing or non-practicing—would do under these circumstances. Papadopoulos has embarrassed himself and his lawyers; offended the court; invited new charges; and begun spreading lies for personal advancement.
2/ Note that—per @NatashaBertrand—Papadopoulos got new attorneys last month, so his old lawyers would surely have withdrawn now, whether he'd become unrepresentable (due to a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship) or not. But Papadopoulos' story isn't over by a long shot.
3/ If Papadopoulous thinks his new lawyers will be able to withdraw his plea, he's wasting his money. And if by some miracle that happens, the hammer Mueller will bring down on him—and the facts that will come out at trial—will make him wish he'd just taken the two weeks inside.
PROOF OF COLLUSION drops in 90 minutes; it's currently at #152 on Amazon and climbing. Many thanks to all of you who've sent it rocketing up the charts! That a book compiling all public evidence of Trump-Russia collusion could attract this attention sends a clear signal to Trump.
2/ Update: #135 with 45 minutes to go. The support from everyone here has been amazing.
3/ Final pre-release update: #118 nationally. Thanks so much to everyone! I'll post my upcoming interview with @DanRather (10:30AM, SiriusXM Channel 102) when/as I can.
(THREAD) The men below say Mueller is about to indict them. Both are suspected of a) collusive crimes, b) perjury. We have enough info to intelligently discuss their likely crimes; I do the necessary Trump-Russia deep dive here. It's wild stuff. I hope you'll read on and retweet.
1/ Kremlin agent Joseph Mifsud told George Papadopoulos the Kremlin had stolen Clinton emails on April 25, 2016. According to testimony from Trump aide John Mashburn, Papadopoulos emailed this intelligence to Mashburn (and possibly others) sometime almost immediately thereafter.
2/ Within two weeks, a massive campaign to get Clinton's stolen emails from the Russians had kicked off—and it involved many high-ranking officials in the Trump campaign. From the NatSec team, Flynn, Papadopoulos, and Schmitz; from the campaign brass, Bannon, Conway, and Clovis.
THIS IS OUR CHANCE. I'm asking everyone who reads this tweet to RETWEET it not because I wrote this book that drops tomorrow, but because if Trump awakes on Tuesday with America discussing a book called PROOF OF COLLUSION it sends a message he cannot miss. amazon.com/Proof-Collusio…
2/ Right now PROOF OF COLLUSION is #1 on Amazon in ELECTIONS; #1 in INTELLIGENCE & ESPIONAGE; and #1 in POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE. It's Top 5 in several other categories. With your help, it can reach the Top 10 overall and make a *statement* to Trump that he cannot ignore this book.
3/ Just wanted to give an update for those curious about the book's progress on Amazon in the final 4 hours before the day of its release. With 4 hours left until Tuesday (on the East coast), PROOF OF COLLUSION is at #175 nationally on Amazon among all books. We're getting close!
The top law enforcement official in the U.S. was illegally appointed as part of a plot to protect the president from a criminal probe—and in furtherance of this plot the president has lied to us about his relationship and conversations with his AG. And no one knows how to fix it.
2/ It's time for us to process the depth of the crisis we're in—namely, that the general consensus is that any action taken by the top law enforcement official in the U.S. on the most important federal criminal investigation he is supervising is per se illegal and can be ignored.
3/ Moreover, the president has nakedly paraded his criminal intent in front of us by lying about his conversations with Whitaker in a way that confirms, alongside all the other reports we now have, that he and his new AG are both part of a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice.
PLEASE RETWEET: You can now order PROOF OF COLLUSION—the full story of Trump-Russia collusion—for delivery this Tuesday. 2019 is a year Americans will talk about for decades; the aim of this 450-page, 1,650-endnote report is to prepare us for what's ahead. amazon.com/Proof-Collusio…
@KirkusReviews calls the book "spirited, thorough, and thunderously foreboding."
The link below will take you to several "nested" threads containing all 16 pages released from PROOF OF COLLUSION so far. Two more pages discussing Trump and Rybolovlev—money laundering and pre-election collusion—can be found here:
Trump-Russia collusion is a Bribery case—Bribery being one of the two enumerated impeachable offenses in the Constitution. Russia bribed Trump for a Russia policy that offered trillions in benefits to Russia and *harmed* US interests. The Bribery was achieved by Money Laundering.
2/ Those core crimes were in 2016-8 augmented by others, like Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, Solicition of Illegal Foreign Donations, Aiding and Abetting Computer Crimes (after the fact), Obstruction of Justice, Perjury, Witness Tampering, Making False Statements, and Lying to Congress.
3/ Some of the funds came to Trump at the Trump Organization, some to Kushner at Kushner Companies. A host of Trump aides (10+) participated in the fraud, solicitation, obstruction, and various forms of lying. Others (e.g. Bannon, Stone) were involved on the computer crimes side.
As we're seeing, the thread I did on Whitaker here on the feed establishes a "theory of the case" about Whitaker that every piece of evidence we have supports: he was a plant within the DOJ whose job was to help Trump do an illegal end-around on his then-recused Attorney General.
2/ We know Sessions has a history of bringing his Chief of Staff into meetings they shouldn't be in (and shouldn't be happening) like his summer 2016 meeting in his Senate office with Kislyak. I expect Whitaker had access to *much* intel Trump wanted and wasn't supposed to have.
3/ To augment the Vox story, it's not just that Whitaker and Trump spoke on the phone *with no one else on the line* many times, then sometimes with Kelly (who called Whitaker Trump's "eyes and ears" at Justice), but that, per NBC, Whitaker checked in at the WH *dozens* of times.
(THREAD) The Whitaker scandal is deepening, as it becomes clear that Sessions' Russia recusal was a coordinated sham and his firing an act of obstruction—and that his replacement is a White House plant inside the Mueller probe. I hope you'll retweet and read on for more details.
1/ From 2014-17 Whitaker worked for World Patent Marketing—which during his tenure defrauded consumers out of $26 million and was successfully prosecuted by the feds. His involvement in the scam confirmed he had loose morals and that the feds would never want to employ him again.
2/ Despite the seeming impossibility of a man with Whitaker's background getting a job at Justice ever again—he'd been found to have used his former title as a US attorney to fraudulently threaten consumers with valid complaints with criminal penalties—Whitaker found an opening.
Media must stop it with text like the below. First, these sources aren't qualified to provide such info—they have no access to it. Second, interviewing Trump clearly wasn't a last piece, or Mueller's probe would've ground to a halt a year ago. Instead, he issued many indictments.
2/ Just so, text like the below is out of bounds. Lawyers representing witnesses don't know the status of a probe! Nor do DOJ lawyers besides Rosenstein. And yes, as time moves forward, not backward, we're getting "closer" to the end of the probe. That *sentence* means *nothing*.
3/ The result of these ongoing issues in Mueller-probe coverage is that Americans are artificially made to feel impatient about the duration of the probe, wrongly made to think it's leaky, and are directly misinformed on the history of the investigation as to Trump's interview.
If Mueller decides to investigate Sessions' firing as obstruction, Matt Whitaker is perhaps *the* key witness and therefore must recuse himself from overseeing Mueller. And given that Whitaker was *illegally appointed*, doesn't Mueller have *two* reasons to head to court over it?
2/ A third issue is his prior statements about the probe; a fourth is his conflict with respect to Sam Clovis. The Washington Post has an interesting note on how these issues could end up being addressed (but note the lack of a controlling authority within the executive branch):
3/ "Ethics officials might advise Whitaker his commentary created the appearance of a conflict....If they recommended that he recuse himself and he declined, he could be referred to the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility, and his license to practice could be put at issue."
For too many reasons to count (e.g., his political ambitions, his past statements about the Mueller probe, his distaste for Jared, his law-and-order bona fides) Christie would be a favorable AG pick for Democrats—for that reason I think he has zero chance. cnn.com/2018/11/08/pol…
2/ On the other hand, there are enough indications that Pam Bondi is conventionally corrupt, and is or can be made to be Trump's creature, that I think—given that Trump probably thinks the Senate would never oppose a female nominee—she has a decent shot of being his pick for AG.
3/ Note: Whitaker being an illegal and unconstitutional pick—the Venn circles of those two terms are overlapping but not 100% concurrent—means that, if he issues an order to Mueller that Mueller considers obstruction, he technically could ask a court to force recusal or removal.
(1 of 2) CNN's story noting Mueller is writing his final report is confusing a lot of people. Remember that Mueller is investigating at least two discrete issues (likely more): collusion and obstruction. They're connected but also distinct topics. And investigators sometimes...
(2 of 2) ...produce documentation of their work in situ—as it occurs. So there's very little *news content* in saying that Mueller is "writing his report"—as it does *not* necessarily mean the submission of a comprehensive final report to DOJ is imminent. That's a key point here.
(PS) Anyone who pretends to know what's happening in Mueller's largely leak-free probe is dissembling, so I'm not saying I know Mueller is/isn't close to done with his report—though I'll say the evidence indicates he's *not*. The key thing is not *over-interpreting* CNN's report.
IMPORTANT: This requires nationwide protests and a Congressional probe. There *are* situations in which a POTUS can relieve someone of their duties without cause, but the case of an investigation in which *POTUS* is a target is *not* one of them. Trump has committed a crime here.
2/ A president's constitutional authority ends at the point of criminality. The Republicans can trot out my old prof Alan Dershowitz as many times as they like but it will *still* not turn the U.S. Constitution into a suicide pact. Trump is *not* authorized to commit Obstruction.
3/ All the evidence suggests Trump made the odd decision to make Sessions' Chief of Staff Acting Attorney General *because* Whitaker previously wrote that Mueller *must* be stopped from investigating Trump's finances—though it's actually within his purview. This is *obstruction*.
BREAKING: Tester won. The "big" GOP gain in the Senate is now maxed out at +3—with the Dem trailing by only 0.9% in Arizona with 1 million ballots left to count. There's also a recount in Florida, where the Dem trails by only 0.4%.
The NYT predicts just a +2 GOP gain in the end.
2/ Facing their worst Senate map in 60 years, the Dems could reasonably call a mere +2 GOP gain a win—sealing yesterday as a major Democratic victory. With a completely different map in both 2020 and 2022—*very* favorable to Democrats—today's slight GOP gains will be erased soon.
3/ And the Democrats were +7 in governorships—a major victory. (Stacey Abrams could still head to a run-off in Georgia—leaving the possibility of a +8 gain on the night for Dems.) Add to that what happened in statehouses around the nation and this was a *big* night for Democrats.
A REAL RUSSIA INVESTIGATION IS COMING. If you want to prepare yourself for the upcoming Russia investigation in the House of Representatives, this is the book you need. PROOF OF COLLUSION comes out in 6 days and brings you 100% up to speed on *everything*. amazon.com/Proof-Collusio…
2/ The nested threads below will lead you to a wide-ranging excerpt from the forthcoming PROOF OF COLLUSION—16 pages from all parts of the book, spread across four tweets from the last few weeks. Two more pages can be found here:
(THREAD) The GOP winning a few seats in the Senate means MUCH LESS than the Democrats winning control of the House and gaining a number of governorships—a fact that adds up to the midterm elections being a BIG WIN for Democrats. I offer my thoughts on the election in this thread.
1/ With a number of races yet to be called, it looks like Democrats will gain between 28 and 37 seats in the House and lose 2 to 5 seats in the Senate. Meanwhile, they'll gain between 5 and 7 governorships, some of them critical to their chances in the 2020 presidential election.
2/ The GOP already controls the Senate, with 51 seats—with 53 (or 54, or 55, or 56) seats, very little will change. Why? Because the Republicans are already getting almost every single federal judge confirmation they want, and that's most of what the Senate is good for right now.
Dem handwringing is way premature. The Senate was always too steep a climb, and Beto and Nelson are still very much in it. House and governors' races still looking reasonably good, with a few exceptions.
2/ Toss-up governors' races in Kansas, Michigan, and elsewhere looking good... a *bunch* of Dem House pickups... 31 Dems leading in GOP districts, only 6 going the other way... calm down, everybody. This could still be an okay night for Democrats. So much counting left. So much.
3/ If you are in line *anywhere*, *stay in line*. *Particularly* in large cities in Florida and Georgia.
2/ The two men's planes met on airstrips twice in the 10 days before the 2016 election and Rybolovlev's team refused to say if he was on the plane. The deal the men did years ago has all the signs of money laundering. The pre-election meetings would then imply collusion for cash.
3/ On an emergency basis I'm now releasing 2 additional excerpts from PROOF OF COLLUSION, both relating to the Trump-Rybolovlev deal that now looks more and more like a collusive deal touching upon the 2016 election (right-click and download to see a larger version of the image):