The impression being given to Americans by the NYT and others is Flynn had no testimony to give on Prince. Nothing on Bannon. No testimony on Kushner or Don Jr. or Sessions or Trump. That impression is inconsistent with *all* the facts we have.
2/ Many federal prosecutors who know few of the background facts of the Trump-Russia probe are being quoted by media as saying that in the normal course of events Flynn being sentenced means he has no testimony to offer. They should add that they don't know the facts of the case.
3/ The idea that Trump's "shadow" NatSec campaign adviser and former NSA Michael Flynn had something to offer on Manafort and Gates but *nobody else in the whole Trump-Russia probe* is so *mind-bogglingly silly* that I admit to some frustration watching smart people implying it.
2/ If he keeps going this way, the odds George ends up back in the criminal justice system for something worse than the last time are very good. But between now and that eventuality, Trump and his minions will squeeze every last drop of value from the kid.
3/ Upshot: @GeorgePapa19 needs to watch the Pacino film "Devil's Advocate" like it's a documentary because some very sick and arguably straight-up evil people are playing on his vanity and his desire to be on TV with no intention but to destroy him in the end. It's hard to watch.
Big news, but understand that this in no way means Mueller is not going to call Flynn to testify against Trump (&c) down the line. *Any* review of Flynn's role in Trump's national security apparatus confirms that he's one of the most important witnesses in the Trump-Russia probe.
2/ A Flynn sentencing does suggest Mueller got—in 10 months—the info he needs or anticipates needing via Flynn. But the idea that someone getting convicted means you don't plan on calling them as a witness over the course of a long investigation/sequence of prosecutions is false.
3/ Public info suggests at least 4-8 more major indictments in this probe. Flynn will be a key witness should any of these proceed to trial or, as the case may be, impeachment proceedings. He'll be subpoenaed and, if he contradicts anything he told the feds, face perjury charges.
There are men and women who did bad things as teens and acknowledged what they did wrong, worked hard, and earned a second chance. Then there are rich Maryland prep-school kids who attempted rape and decades later are still denying they did anything. Nichols sees *no* difference.
2/ I might also tell Nichols that rape doesn't happen "between kids." Rape is something that one person *commits upon* another as a violation of human dignity, and it doesn't matter a rat's ass whether it happens at a party, in a field, in an alley, in school, or *anywhere else*.
3/ It's not just understandable but natural that one of the assumptions we make about someone who's going to be an *unreviewable judge* is that they have an unbroken or nearly unbroken history of lawfulness—it's *not* a "permanent disqualification from everything" to expect that.
GOP spokesman: "It's disturbing these uncorroborated allegations from more than 35 years ago would surface on the eve of a committee vote."
So now it's Ford's fault that she didn't—while Kavanaugh was allegedly holding her down—gather up witnesses to watch her nearly get raped?
2/ And in fact my understanding is that—in the sense the term "corroboration" is used in the criminal justice system—there actually *is* corroboration because Ford discussed Kavanaugh's actions with several people well *before* he was nominated to the United States Supreme Court.
3/ So every single aspect of the GOP statement on Ford is false: the allegation is *not* uncorroborated, it *wasn't* brought forward on the eve of a committee vote (but in July), and the only disturbing thing here is the GOP response to Ford's allegations so far.
Can someone explain what the rush is to get Kavanaugh on the court in the next 15 days? What makes it *impossible* for the nation's most august deliberative body to conduct even a *cursory* investigation of an allegation of *sexual assault* against a lifetime-appointment nominee?
2/ If I'm not mistaken, and I'd be happy to be corrected if I am, this is the first time in modern U.S. history that a credible allegation of criminal violence by a lifetime-appointment nominee has received precisely zero investigation by the body about to vote on his nomination.
3/ I bet @SenatorCollins and @lisamurkowski never thought that in order to get another Trump judge on SCOTUS they'd not only have to vote to overturn Roe v. Wade but *also* for the Congress to *ignore* credible allegations of sexual assault against a lifetime-appointment nominee.
(THREAD) One of the subjects I teach at University of New Hampshire is journalism, so readers often ask questions about whether a given tendency they're seeing in major media is "good journalism." Without criticizing anyone in particular, I'd like to answer some common questions.
1/ First, I want to say that I think these questions are healthy—and discussing good journalism publicly is something that we can do without making it about personalities and institutions. As with any professional skill-set, no one who works in a profession is immune from lapses.
2/ Second, I want to say that nearly all the questions I get about journalism are about sourcing, which is understandable in the present political moment: the question of who we can trust—and when, and on what subjects, and in what fora—is critical to our democratic institutions.
Trump let the Kremlin WRITE his foreign policy as he was NEGOTIATING a business deal with the Kremlin, and did so though he KNEW Russia was committing crimes against America. Anyone who says that's not collusion can be ignored; anyone asking for proof can read PROOF OF COLLUSION.
1/ Trump's foreign policy's authors: Paul Manafort, Russian agent in debt at least $17 million to one of Putin's "2 or 3" top allies; Richard Burt, lobbyist for a Kremlin-owned gas company; George Papadopoulos, self-described Kremlin intermediary; Dimitri Simes, Putin's "friend."
2/ At the time these men wrote Trump's foreign policy, his personal lawyer (Michael Cohen) and business partner (Felix Sater) were in ACTIVE ("hot") negotiations with the Kremlin (via its spokesman, Dmitry Peskov) to build a Trump Tower Moscow with Russian oligarch Sergey Rozov.
One of the surprisingly frustrating things about having authored PROOF OF COLLUSION is that I nightly hear TV analysts saying, of some Russia issue, "Well, what we don't know is..." The truth? About 75% of the time we *do* know what they say we don't. It's that *they* don't know.
2/ If you've read the 100 most important breaking news stories on Manafort—including the many stunning stories that for no clear reason suddenly disappeared from pubic discourse—you *know* what Mueller is asking him with great particularity *and* what he's likely saying in reply.
3/ In the same year Putin accepted Manafort's offer to explicitly push Putin's agenda in the U.S., Putin's top ally, Oleg Deripaska, paid him $10 million—which Manafort used, in part, to move into Trump Tower. By February 2015 he was telling Tom Barrack, "I need to get to Trump."
Bob Woodward tells New York Magazine that he doesn't know if Trump colluded with Russia but that a younger journalist could find the answer. I'm willing to accept that challenge—as I think in the digital age "horizontal" journalism, i.e. curatorial journalism, gets us the answer.
2/ The "public" investigation of Trump-Russia collusion is made up of hundreds of news stories that must be networked by digital journalists in order to uncover what they show—a clear collusive scheme. Journalists who say you must talk to a guy under a bridge in Moscow are wrong.
3/ Horizontal journalism connects far-flung news stories in a way that fundamentally changes our understanding of what each individual story is telling us. My point: we know *far* more about Trump-Russia collusion than conventional journalists are telling us or than they realize.
UPDATE: Manafort will get somewhere between 17 to 21 years in prison, according to a quick read of this document. His DC and Virginia sentences will run concurrent. If correct, he'll have a chance of being out of prison in his late 80s—if he's still alive. justice.gov/file/1094151/d…
2/ According to his agreement, however, *if* Manafort's cooperation satisfies the government he'll have the right to argue for a downward adjustment of the sentencing guidelines that could give him *less* than 17 to 21 years. So he *could* have a shot at a *little* bit of a life.
3/ This would seem to suggest Manafort is going to be asked to cooperate across all topics, not just non-campaign issues (as NPR's source said; I'm worried NPR used—as too many media are—Trump legal-team sources). If he wants the biggest downward adjustment he'll need to do that.
2/ I call Clovis (19 hours of testimony/interrogation), Page (10 hours of iinterrogation), Sater (publicly offered full cooperation), and Nader (publicly reported cooperation) "Cooperating Individuals" because all are *voluntarily* submitting themselves to Mueller's questioning.
3/ Meanwhile, Bannon had to be threatened with a subpoena; Prince had phones and computers seized and voluntarily spoke to Congress—where he lied repeatedly under oath—though not Mueller, to our knowledge; and Kushner and Jr. have spoken to Congress but not, it appears, Mueller.
(THREAD) There are four types of cooperation deals that Paul Manafort could have entered into with Special Counsel Mueller—we don't know which one he has yet, but we can discuss each of them in turn and that's what I do in this thread. I hope you'll read on and share with others.
1/ The biggest bombshell would be if Manafort decided to give Mueller the goods on Trump—it'd be a bombshell because it'd break Manafort's Joint Defense Agreement (JDA) with Trump, end Manafort's chance at a pardon from Trump, and run a very high chance of ending this presidency.
2/ As authority for the claim Manafort flipping on Trump would endanger Trump's presidency I cite... Trump. NBC reported months ago that Trump was telling friends on the phone that he could "crush" Mueller and wasn't afraid of his probe *because* Manafort wasn't going to "flip."
This is wrong—as (a) there are many people Manafort can agree to give up who are not Trump, (b) we are relying on Team Trump to inform us accurately and in a timely way as to when any JDA expired (or did not), and (c) they have every impetus to *not* announce any such expiration.
2/ The moment Team Trump announces the Trump-Manafort JDA has ended, it's as good as confirming NBC's January reporting that Manafort *can*, in fact, sink Trump—as Trump was telling friends by phone, per NBC. So thinking we'd get this news immediately from Trump is faulty logic.
3/ But there's another key point: Mueller already has Manafort slated for prison and can re-try his Virginia cases if this agreement doesn't cover those. So if Manafort offers up a *lateral* suspect—especially one who might then give up Trump—*that* would be worth it for Mueller.
Defendants don't accept more prison to save "stress and expense." It requires one of these things:
1) a sentence concurrent with prior ones 2) a cooperation deal for a lesser sentence 3) a life sentence that's already been imposed 4) a sentence far less than you'd get post-trial
2/ Mueller has the time, resources and evidence to nail Manafort in DC and a Virginia retrial. So he's not going to offer a concurrent sentence, or even a consecutive sentence that's far less than Manafort would get post-trial. And Manafort doesn't currently have a life sentence.
3/ I'm not saying Manafort gave up Trump. I'm saying either there's a fifth option in addition to those I cited—Manafort expects a pardon—or Mueller is getting something of value. And Mueller isn't going to play to Manafort's pardon strategy by helping him end his cases quicker.
2/ The stories of a Manafort plea that I said didn't make sense didn't make sense until the new info we've just gotten that Manafort doesn't care what his DC sentence is because he's almost certainly been promised a pardon. Mueller should end negotiations and seek life in prison.
3/ I wrote over and over again that NBC had reported in January that Trump was telling friends on the phone that he'd be in trouble if Manafort flipped, but knew Manafort wouldn't. Now we know how Trump knew that, and it is criminal Obstruction of Justice beyond almost any doubt.
This is such a bad road for George and Simona to go down. @GeorgePapa19 must accept that his loose lips created the Mueller probe and that he therefore has no future in GOP politics. His goal now should be to avoid any additional charges, tell the truth, and get on with his life.
2/ George knows better than anyone that Trump's National Security Advisory Committee was—like Nixon's Committee to Reelect the President—a criminal enterprise. And one that doesn't have Halper or Downer to blame for what it did—its guilty members have only *themselves* to blame.
3/ George thinks—like Trump, Stone, Manafort, Cohen, Jr. and all Trump's henchmen—that the criminal justice system can be navigated like politics is. Dershowitz has it backward—it's not about criminalizing politics, it's about these guys *politicizing crime*. But it *won't work*.
(THREAD) 20 QUESTIONS FOR GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS. Now that @GeorgePapa19 is talking Russia on Twitter—and keeping in mind he follows this feed, so I know he'll see these tweets—I want to see if he'll answer tough questions from a guy who wrote a book about him. Read on and find out.
2/ Q1: You connected with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias 3 times: early May 2016, late May, then via George Tzitzikos—his aide—in September. You said you blurted Mifsud's intel on HRC emails in late May from nervousness. Why? You'd already met Nikos.
3/ Q2: You went to Greece in early May 2016 with Seth Cropsey—who you call a Hudson Institute friend though he was a fellow and you an intern. Cropsey knows Bud McFarlane and K.T. McFarland—which of them sent Cropsey to babysit you? Or was it someone else?
2/ Based on the research I did for (and am publishing in) PROOF OF COLLUSION, there are elements of Papadopoulos' campaign activity he still hasn't revealed publicly, with the likely reason being federal law enforcement has asked him to continue to keep certain information close.
3/ There's been no follow-up from media regarding his one-on-one meeting with Trump (3/21/16); their phone call (pre-3/21); the fact he'd already told Trump of the backchannel pre-3/31; who sent him to Greece; who sent Seth Cropsey (tied to McFarlane/McFarland) to go with him...
HOLY COW. Just realized that when Trump got his first classified security briefing in August 2016, and he was told Russia was trying to infiltrate his campaign—which it already had—surely the CIA/FBI briefers asked if he had any info to report, and surely he lied. That's a crime.
2/ I'd bet a steak dinner whoever in the intelligence community has notes from that briefing—if there were any—or simply any person who *attended* that briefing has either documentary or testimonial evidence of Trump committing a federal crime to hide his campaign's Russia ties.
3/ MARCH 2016: Trump learns directly from Papadopoulos that Papadopoulos is a Kremlin intermediary. SPRING 2016: Trump learns from others (though he already knew) that Russia supports his campaign. JUNE 2016: Russian hacking becomes public. AUGUST 2016: Trump lies to the CIA/FBI.
2/ Funny how The Daily Beast has dragged my research and here they are calling an "exclusive" info less explosive than what we already knew long ago.
FACT: the Trump campaign promised Simes "writing input" into the Mayflower speech, and we already know who else wrote/edited it.
3/ So here's an "exclusive": know who edited the outline on Dimitri Simes' desk? GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS. The "coffee boy." Know when he was given the awesome responsibility of editing Trump's first foreign policy speech? Immediately after he told Trump he was a Kremlin intermediary.
Remember when folks on the left were castigated for raising the 25th Amendment? Republican White House staffers were having the same talk internally. Remember when Trump said there was a left-wing deep-state FBI conspiracy? Well—there's a right-wing deep state in the White House.
2/ I never imagined elements within a government working to thwart that government because that actually *is* a "deep state" in a certain sense of that bizarre phrase. I assumed if White House staffers thought a president dangerous they'd quit or use the 25th, not undercut POTUS.
3/ Here's my point: the Constitution created the 25th Amendment and architecture created *exits* so that people in an administration who consider it dangerous have 2 options. Choosing neither option so you can get judges nominated, then calling yourself a hero is *not* an option.
(THREAD) BREAKING NEWS on CNN: Robert Mueller has offered to accept written answers from Trump on Russia, and won't ask for written answers on Obstruction. This news is DEVELOPING, but I'll offer a real-time legal analysis of it in this thread. I hope you'll read on and retweet.
1/ First, understand that this is not what Mueller wanted or wants. He wants multiple live interviews, preferably under oath (though legally that will make no significant difference, as you can't legally lie to the FBI) and with the ability for follow-up questions, on all topics.
2/ Part of Mueller's offer could be a calculation that a) a court battle over a subpoena would take many months and harm Americans' confidence in the probe, b) he could lose that battle with Kavanaugh on the bench, and c) Trump is going to lie in whatever format he is questioned.
I worry Dems, afraid to talk Russia on TV, will grill Kavanaugh on Roe, when all America anticipated and already accepted Trump would nominate someone who opposed abortion rights. Meanwhile, the nomination is a plot to scuttle the Russia probe—but we might hear little about that.
2/ Look at it this way: the list the Federalist Society gave Trump to choose a Justice from was filled with Roe opponents. But Trump went *off-list*. He did that because Kavanaugh will help him end Mueller's Russia investigation, not because Kavanagh was another pro-life jurist.
3/ So when Democrats stamp their feet about Roe v. Wade, they'll be entirely *correct* but they won't surprise anyone in or out of Congress into changing their mind about how this nomination should be seen. With they need to do is show the *corrupt intent* behind this nomination.