Saturday, March 23, 2019


Seth Abramson has a Tweet Storm for you. 

Here it is:

BREAKING NEWS: Mueller has sent a report to DOJ that DOJ is representing is "comprehensive" and will shortly be publicly summarized. A lot of the reporting surrounding this major event is *wrong*—so I'll try to report things accurately. I hope you'll read on and retweet.

1/ At the risk of sounding like Mike Myers' famous SNL talk-show host Linda Richman, "Mueller's final Trump-Russia report" is neither "Mueller's," final, about "Trump-Russia" or a "report." So all the breathless "reporting" today suggesting otherwise is inaccurate and misleading.

2/ What we call the "Trump-Russia" investigation is a web of criminal, counterintelligence, and Congressional investigations that intersect with the work of the Special Counsel's Office. So there are three key "c"-words here—"criminal," "counterintelligence," and "Congressional."

3/ Special Counsel Mueller is part of the "criminal" investigation; Mueller's work *intersects* with the "counterintelligence" investigation; and his work feeds into and draws from the Congressional investigation. And here's the key: all three of these investigations are ongoing.

4/ As part of the "criminal" investigation, Mueller investigated some things his office then prosecuted; he investigated some things his office handed off to others; he investigated some things he chose not to prosecute; he investigated some things he is letting Congress handle.

5/ Mueller's "criminal" investigations—that is, the information he derived during his nearly 24 months of *criminal investigative work*—then fed directly into multiple "counterintelligence" investigations and will undoubtedly feed into many ongoing "Congressional" investigations.

6/ The news we got today is that Mueller will not *himself* be bringing any more indictments. That's it. That's *all* that has just happened. Any reporting that says the "Russia probe is done" is false. Any reporting that "Mueller's work is done" is false. It is only what I said.

7/ Focusing *exclusively* on what Mueller's office will be doing going forward and *exclusively* on the criminal investigation—so, a small part of what we somewhat misleadingly call the "Trump-Russia scandal"—we can see that Mueller may be done indicting (*maybe*) but that's it.

8/ As of today, Mueller had ten attorneys working for him (himself not included, I believe) down from seventeen originally. But we found out this week that certain attorneys who "left" his Office will *still be doing work for it*. Why? Because the Office has some work left to do.

9/ That Office, whether still formally constituted or not, will see its attorneys prosecute Roger Stone in November, eight months from now. It will see its cooperating witness Rick Gates participate in "multiple" ongoing federal criminal investigations. And that's just the start:

10/ The Office will see its cooperating witness Mike Flynn testify in the Kian trial in July (Kian was a NatSec official on Trump's transition team whose case intersects with all the other parts of the Trump-Russia investigation). Flynn is also involved in *multiple* other cases.

11/ The Office will continue to pursue grand jury testimony from a Roger Stone witness, and continue to pursue a substantial trove of documents (for its grand jury, which is seated through July as far as was last reported) from an as-yet unnamed state-owned foreign corporation.

12/ The Office has—it appears—referred to DOJ for prosecution at least one man it previously promised to prosecute (Corsi) and presumably has referred to DOJ for *possible* prosecution a whole host of "Trumpworld" figures who Congress has recently accused of perjuring themselves.

13/ We also heard from major media over the past few weeks that Bob Mueller's office was referring out an unknown number of new cases to other federal prosecutors, including presumably—based on past cooperation and information-sharing practices—prosecutors in SDNY, EDVA, and DC.

14/ We *also* know from major media that there are many ongoing cases for which Mueller's office conducted some of the investigation, all of the investigation, or shared information with the case's primary investigators, such as Cohen's SDNY cases and the Maria Butina case in DC.

15/ What some in the media decided—I do not know why—is that the only cases they would associate with Mueller would be (a) indictments Mueller's office brought, (b) that were completed before he issued any report to the DOJ, and (c) immediately (on their face) involved collusion.

16/ So you have reporters today blithely saying that "Mueller is done" when Mueller will be prosecuting Roger Stone for most of 2019. You have reporters saying "he's done" when cases he initiated are not only ongoing in multiple jurisdictions but may well provide new intel there.

17/ If Roger Stone decides to cooperate—before or after conviction—that's Mueller. The same is true for Kian. The same is even true for Manafort (who can cooperate to reduce his sentence for the next year). But the same is also true for the many cases Gates and Flynn are working.

18/ The same is true for Butina. And for indictments that arise from the ongoing counterintelligence investigation(s). Or any new criminal referrals that go from Congress to DOJ. The same is true for cases Mueller began—that then went elsewhere—that could lead to new indictments.

19/ So Mueller has indicated not just all the charges he himself brought, but all those he sent elsewhere that we know of and all those he sent elsewhere that we *don't* know of. As for the "counterintelligence" investigation—quite possibly still ongoing—we'll get nothing at all.

20/ There may then be *another* category in what Mueller has submitted which includes cases he referred back to Main Justice. And a final category (possibly) that includes cases he suggests be referred to Congress because an indictment is impossible (e.g., cases involving Trump).

21/ As to what Mueller will do with one other category—inculpatory evidence he discovered involving potential offenses he regarded as outside his purview—I have no idea whether those will be in the report, were sent to other federal prosecutors, or will be given to Main Justice.

22/ What we have today are a large number of non-attorney journalists who don't understand what a *small part* of the big picture is being dealt with and discussed today because they want to believe they have a handle on a story they do *not* have a handle on. That's distressing.

23/ Imagine that tomorrow Bijan Kian says, "I saw things on the national security team during the transition—I want to talk." Imagine Stone says that. Imagine that any of the cases Mueller's cooperating witnesses are working on now—including Gates and Flynn—beget new indictments.

24/ Under those circumstances, what would today's too-oft-heard pronouncement—"no new indictments"—even mean? Or what would it mean if any of the cases Mueller referred to SDNY, EDVA, DC, state courts, or Main Justice—whether in the past or just recently—lead to new indictments?

25/ What if the counterintelligence cases that do not appear to have been subsumed by Mueller's investigation return to the criminal sphere in the future as new indictments? What if Congressional investigations spurred by Mueller's work produce new evidence, and then indictments?

26/ Thus—given all this—my statement that this investigation isn't "Mueller's." It now resides within—besides, still, Mueller's grand jury—the Stone case, the Kian case, Gates' cases, Flynn's cases, Cohen's cases, SDNY, EDVA, DC, NYCDA, NYAG, Main Justice, FBI, CIA, and Congress.

27/ And "new indictments" in *any* of those spheres may not be prosecuted by Mueller himself—but they will be the product of his work and the fact that his investigation has unleashed a snowstorm of legal hurt upon Donald Trump the likes of which no president has previously seen.

28/ This explains, too, why "final"—applied to today's "report"—is false. There is only a finality to Mueller himself bringing new indictments (with the exception that many things could happen that *would've* led to new indictments for Mueller that he'll now allow DOJ to handle).

29/ But Mueller did something else for America that we are only just beginning to appreciate: news stories tracking down what Mueller was working on informed us that what we call "Trump-Russia" isn't really "Trump-Russia" at all—that Trump's malfeasance goes *well* beyond Russia.

30/ That is, no matter the scope of what Mueller "reports," we know he investigated—and may have sent to other prosecutors outside Main Justice—data on pre-election Trump collusion with Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE, Egypt, Bahrain, and Qatar: all intersecting with Russian collusion.

31/ The extent to which Mueller pursued these leads is partly mandate-based and partly due to the imposition of urgency upon his work by voters, media, politicians, possibly DOJ itself. Investigation of these other courses of collusion—many quite baroque—can't be wrapped up soon.

32/ So for instance, major media reported that Mueller was looking into Trump-Saudi collusion—and soon after Representative Schiff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence picked up that thread, and will pursue it even if Mueller left it out of his "report" to DOJ.

33/ I keep putting "report" in quotes because what Mueller has made is a "report" by DOJ *regs* but not as we generally understand the term: it is not a conclusive statement that addresses all complexities of a given issue. It is a narrow perspective on a single subset of issues.

34/ DOJ can't charge someone with something *or discuss in much detail that they considered doing so*—or perhaps even *any* detail—unless they can prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt: with 90%+ certainty. But would a full "report" tell us there was 78% proof of conspiracy?

35/ To put this in concrete terms: If Mueller found 81% proof that Trump criminally conspired with the Kremlin, it's entirely possible you wouldn't find that anywhere in any "report" Mueller files. Would you then call that a full and final "report on conspiracy"? No—you wouldn't.

36/ Just so if Mueller had 78% proof Trump Jr. perjured himself. Or 86% proof Erik Prince did. Or 69% proof that Kushner committed espionage. That's all stuff you'd like to know—and that we'd expect in any "report" deserving that name on those topics—but you wouldn't see it here.

37/ To be clear, this isn't sour grapes—as the fact that this intel *won't* be in this "report" media is over-hyping only means that, instead, you will see this 78% (or 86%, or 69%) proof of harrowing federal felonies *paraded before Congress on your TV screen at home*. And more:

38/ It will *continue* to be—invisible to you and me—the subject of ongoing investigations by the FBI/CIA such that, if/when proof of Kushner committing espionage (say) goes from 69% to 90%, it *will* reappear in the criminal justice system as a "new indictment." You bet it will.

39/ So when I say "Mueller's final Trump-Russia report" is neither Mueller's, final, "Trump-Russia," or a report, I mean it—it isn't any of those things. That doesn't mean it's not an important milestone in an historic test of our rule of law, democracy, and civic fabric—it *is*.

40/ We're not jurors—we don't need 90%+ proof of conspiring with Russia to find a POTUS unfit or shun Kushner the rest of his life. My book PROOF OF COLLUSION—and upcoming book PROOF OF CONSPIRACY—establish these things at the high level of certainty informed citizenship demands.

41/ As for offenses underlying collusion and conspiracy—obstruction, witness tampering, perjury, bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, RICO and more—as to both Donald Trump *and* his family and aides I have every reason to believe such investigations and cases proceed onward.

42/ As for collusion and conspiracy—the latter a charge in itself, the former chargeable when it arises in conduct qualifying as conspiracy, aiding/abetting, bribery, fraud or even offenses like obstruction—there's *another* group that isn't jurors requiring 90%+ proof: Congress.

43/ PROOF OF COLLUSION and PROOF OF CONSPIRACY—taken together as a duology of Trump/Trumpworld treachery—make a fulsome case for impeachment in the context of the offenses alleged being national security threats no Congress can demand 90%+ proof of for an impeachment to proceed.

44/ And it's for this precise reason that *another* investigation will not be stopped should there not be found (by Mueller) 90%+ proof of conspiracy: the counterintelligence investigations that preceded Mueller's investigation and that are—as far as any of us know—still ongoing.

45/ In short, as to any offense which isn't a high crime or misdemeanor and involves Trump and his family, the investigation of such crimes continues; as to high crimes and misdemeanors, 90%+ proof not only won't be required and isn't expected, it *cannot* be set as the standard.

46/ I'd have liked Mueller to handle the prosecution of Don Jr., Prince, and others lying to Congress, but if others do so that's fine; I'd have liked Mueller to hold Kushner accountable for all that he's done with Russia, Saudi Arabia, and others, but have *no* doubt he will be.

47/ I'm sad that—for the sake of clicks, eyeballs, ratings, and the salaries of those who live by a breaking-news chyron—what happened today has wrongly been cast as the end of something rather than (as @neal_katyal wisely said) the beginning of something. But that's media today.

48/ The reason I often remind people that I was a practicing criminal attorney for years—and am still an attorney—and that I was trained as a criminal investigator at two universities and then practiced as a criminal investigator, is because I stand by my professional judgments.

49/ Trump is what I've said he is, and he's done what I've said he's done. Hundreds of hours of professional research for two books leave no doubt for me. Whatever we receive from Barr in the coming days—whether comprehensive and transparent or opaque and elusive—that remains so.

50/ You—whoever you are, reading this—want this to end *now*. I want it as much as you do—maybe far more. But it won't end anytime soon. What we see when we see Mueller's work will be the end of just *one* chapter of U.S. history's longest, most complex, most harrowing epic. /end

PS/ I just want to acknowledge a couple things I chose not to address in this thread: most notably, whether "no new indictments" from the SCO right now means no sealed indictments to unseal, or the fact that no obstruction indictment means nothing because Trump can't be indicted.

PS2/ Folks wisely note that Mueller gave great deals to a lot of people to get them to give info on people higher up, e.g. Flynn, Gates and Nader. That's why I noted that Flynn and Gates are still being used in multiple cases and Nader's help on Saudi Arabia may still be active.

PS3/ Folks likewise wisely note that many people you'd expect to have seen interviewed either weren't (Ivanka) or only narrowly (Jared). That's why I noted that there are investigations ongoing in several jurisdictions that may well see these individuals *eventually* get noticed.

PS4/ The wisest thing I heard this evening was a smart progressive pointing out that the only thing we know now that we didn't know a few hours ago is that some sort of report exists. Basically everything else we read online and see on TV about what Mueller has said is a *guess*.


So maybe, you know... calm the fuck down, m'kay? When Trump stops acting like a guilty man going down in flames, maybe then it'll be time to start worrying.

yer old pal Jerky