Seth Abramson connects the dots on the Trump-Russia investigation, explaining in detail that Trump’s impeachment is now inevitable in light of last night’s stunning news reports.
Attorney and University of New Hampshire professor Seth Abramson has been publishing extensive tweets regarding the ongoing investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
While he has his critics, Abramson – a former public defender – has an impressive resume. As his website notes:
Seth is regularly interviewed about politics and higher education by domestic and International media. Recent interviews include the BBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, ABC Radio, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Magazine, and The New England Review of Books. Seth’s essays have also been widely cited, including discussions on CNBC, PBS, FNC, BET, and NPR, as well as in Politico, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy, Slate, and Pitchfork.
Abramson published a massive megathread on Twitter regarding Monday night’s bombshell reports by CNN and The New York Times on the Paul Manafort wiretap warrants and impending indictment.
CNN broke the news last night that: “US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election…, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe. The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.”
At about the same time, The New York Times reported that Manafort was warned by Mueller’s team in July of this year that he would be indicted.
Paul J. Manafort was in bed early one morning in July when federal agents bearing a search warrant picked the lock on his front door and raided his Virginia home. They took binders stuffed with documents and copied his computer files, looking for evidence that Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, set up secret offshore bank accounts. They even photographed the expensive suits in his closet.
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, then followed the house search with a warning: His prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him, said two people close to the investigation.
Abramson’s mega-thread contained 65 tweets and 5 sub-tweets, as well as a final post script and we will cover some of the high points, below, starting with his final analysis.
- Here’s where tonight’s news about how *bad* Trump’s lawyers are—they were discussing confidential information in public—comes into play.
- As I saw in countless cases, *bad* criminal defense attorneys (usually highly paid ones) have a [habit of] telling clients they’ll be *fine*.
- We learned today that Ty Cobb—a Trump WH attorney—is telling him he’s going to be *fine* when it is manifestly clear that that is false.
- If or when Trump gets competent counsel—he doesn’t have it now—he’ll *finally* be told he’s a goner and he’ll react quickly and rashly.
- So don’t be surprised if tonight’s breaking news stories lead to a shake-up on Trump’s personal and/or WH legal team in the coming days.
- And don’t be shocked if the shake-up leads to Trump learning the truth of his situation and starting to threaten Mueller publicly again.
Abramson goes on to explain the importance of last night’s revelations, tweeting that Monday “ranks, taken in sum, as the biggest day of news in the Trump-Russia scandal since the appointment of Bob Mueller way back in May.”
Continuing, Abramson confirmed belief that Trump will eventually be impeached, writing: “I know it’s hard to accept investigations take this long; they do. I know it’s hard to keep feeling Trump will be impeached; he will be.”
He concluded his analysis with a final tweet and ominous post script:
- In the next month things will get VERY intense on the Trump-Russia front. Stay hopeful—and patient—and we’ll all get through this.
- And remember: *legal* actions—like pardons or firing the FBI director—become *illegal* if done for an illegal purpose. Like Obstruction
Abramson’s mega-thread began with a link to the breaking story about Manafort’s pending indictment, but before getting too far into his analysis, he embedded his earlier 5-part analysis of the CNN story regarding Manafort’s wiretap.
BREAKING NEWS (and pretty damn *big* news, too, given that we’re talking about the President’s Campaign Manager for *six months* in 2016).
- This means Mueller likely has a transcript of Manafort’s mid-January call to Priebus urging Trump to use Russian kompromat on Clinton.
- That transcript may well prove that Manafort, Kushner, and Don Jr. *did* tell Trump about their 2016 meeting with Kremlin agents.
- The chance these transcripts contain evidence against Trump for Obstruction and/or Witness Tampering (as to Manafort) is also high.
- *This* could be the FISA warrant that establishes the “smoking gun” on Russia. The feds now think Manafort was encouraging Russia.
- It’s telling the FBI was able to get this secret warrant. Telling that word of it leaked. Trump staffers’ reported terror? Telling.
Returning to his thread, Abramson speculates that Manafort could be sent to prison for the rest of his life, giving him more than enough incentive to flip on Trump – for him to offer to exchange information and/or testimony against others (like Trump) in return for a reduced sentence.
- That the FBI got a FISA warrant on a presidential campaign’s Manager and then got it *renewed* means they had something good on Manafort.
- What we know of the Manafort investigation suggests Mueller has the charges to possibly put Manafort away for life. And that will be key.
- If Paul Manafort is looking at the rest of his life in a federal prison, the chances that he flips on President Trump rise exponentially.
- Remember, one reason to charge Manafort first is to get him to talk about Trump. He won’t do that unless he’s facing the *maximum* pain.
- So any criminal lawyer will say, don’t expect rinky-dink charges on Manafort. He’ll be hammered—and Mueller will add more as he gets it.
- Manafort is a hard man—perhaps he won’t flip. But by throwing the book at him, Mueller sends a message to other Trump aides: *flip now*.
Continuing, Abramson writes that in his opinion “Mueller will need two or more flips to get Trump,” and discusses some possibilities.
- Flynn building a seven-figure/seven-person legal team suggests he plans to be a loyal soldier and not flip. *Or* Mueller won’t offer it.
- Kushner would be a top flip target but he’s family; turning on Trump would end his marriage. And he may be *willing* to do a brief bid. We can’t forget that Kushner’s father—his biological father—went to prison. So Jared may have a higher tolerance for the idea than most.
- Carter Page was interviewed by the FBI more hours (10) than anyone. But he appears to be a Russophile ideologue—so, less likely to flip.
Abramson goes on to make a couple of explosive remarks regarding the extent of Mueller’s knowledge and what that means for Trump:
- There’s no doubt Mueller is being aggressive. And no doubt we’ve seen only a fraction of what *he* has—so he must have seen *bad stuff*…. Any experienced criminal attorney will say you don’t see this much smoke without fire—and the pace the fire is unfolding is anticipated.
- Trump WILL be impeached. I say that not as a Dem but an experienced criminal lawyer and someone who’s researched this case for 9 months.
Abramson also talks about the historic context of Trump’s downfall, writing that:
- Historians will disagree on “the beginning of the end” of Trump. But his campaign manager getting indicted? That’ll be a *popular* pick.
Moving on, Abramson writes that: “we now know that the Trump-Russia scandal will go to DEFCON 1 either this month or next. It’d be a *shock* if it takes till November.” He then speculates on how things might play out with Manafort flipping on Trump and what that will mean to Mueller’s investigation:
- So what happens if Manafort flips? First: it’ll leak very quickly, and Mueller knows that. So he’d want to be *ready* to move on others.
- Why? The moment any flip leaks, destruction of evidence and possible flight and secret witness-tampering plots go into *overdrive* ASAP.
- That said, a leaked flip could *also* lead to a “rush to the courthouse”: witnesses rushing to flip and get deals before they’re gone.
- So Mueller must balance the chance of unanticipated gains coming from a high-profile flip and dangers/resource drains stemming from it.
- Cooperating individuals need protection/management, as many people want to tamper with them or even (in a big case like this) hurt them.
- Details of a flipped witness’ proffer leak about the same time as the leak of the flip—giving others tips on how to change their story.
- Prosecutors may gain access to new flippable witnesses, but they *also* immediately *lose* access to any then-cooperative probe targets.
- That’s why I say Mueller has to have all his ducks in a row on the day that he signs any sort of deal with a witness like Paul Manafort.
- He also needs to play the *pre*-flip period right: just having witnesses think Manafort *could* flip could send them running to Mueller.
Abramson’s point-by-point analysis continues for an additional 27 remarks with the following sprinkling of highlights:
- Watch the president *very* carefully over the next week—because there’s every reason to think tonight’s news inculpates Donald Trump.
- My point—I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Trump is THE target of Mueller’s probe. Every choice made is made with that in mind.
You can views Abramson’s full mega-thread here. It is well worth a read.