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Member since: Wed Aug 22, 2012, 08:01 PM
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Seth Abramson....Thread on Alan Dershowitz


THREAD) My former Harvard Law professor, @AlanDersh, is making claims about Mueller that are unfortunately incorrect as a matter of law, fact, and analysis of both fact and law. Here I do my best to correct his misapprehensions and misstatements. I hope you'll read on and share.

1/ First, here's what Alan publicly wrote me earlier today via tweet: "Mueller crimes fit into three categories: process crimes that occurred after he was appointed; financial crimes unrelated to the Russia investigation; and crimes by non-Americans." Every part of this is wrong.
2/ Special Counsel Bob Mueller was appointed in May 2017. According to Alan Dershowitz, *none* of Mueller's indictments are of Americans who committed their crimes prior to May 2017—*unless* (Alan says) the crimes in question were "financial crimes." This is factually incorrect.
3/ George Papadopoulos is an American who committed the crime Mueller charged him with pre-May '17—and it wasn't a financial crime. So already Alan's claim—that all Mueller indictments fall into one of 3 categories—is demonstrably false. And frankly it wasn't hard to demonstrate.
4/ Papadopoulos committed his crime in January '17. Anyone who knows anything about the Trump-Russia case knows this. I can't conceive of a world in which Alan is brought on TV as often as he is to discuss the Trump-Russia case and somehow *doesn't* know this. But that's not all.
5/ Mike Flynn is an American who committed his crime pre-May 2017, and Flynn *also* wasn't charged with a financial crime. Flynn committed his crime during the same month that George Papadopoulos did, in January 2017. Anyone who knows anything of the Trump-Russia case knows this.
6/ A lesser-known Mueller conviction (but still one someone of Alan's status and visibility should know) is Richard Pinedo, an American charged with crimes committed from 2014 through 2017. And Pinedo's crimes *weren't* "financial crimes" in the way Alan means that term here.
7/ Alan uses the phrase "financial crimes" as a cudgel against Mueller—that is, he means something *very* specific by it. To Alan, such a crime (in the context of Mueller's work) is a crime that has nothing to do with Russian collusion but rather unrelated financial transactions.
8/ But of course Pinedo—an American accused of pre-Mueller appointment crimes—was charged and convicted of selling bank account numbers to Russians which were then used in Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Pinedo is now a cooperating witness in Mueller's investigation.
9/ A fourth American charged with pre-Mueller appointment crimes that aren't "financial crimes" in the "unrelated to Trump-Russia" sense Alan means it is Michael Cohen. A tough conviction to miss—but it's the fourth "miss" by Dershowitz in his blanket claim about Mueller's work.
10/ While Cohen was convicted in the SDNY (a separate federal jurisdiction from Mueller's D.C. jurisdiction) *it was in a case Mueller handed off to the SDNY*, so it *is* very much a product of Mueller's efforts. And it's not a "financial crime" in the sense Alan means that term.
11/ The Cohen charges go *directly* to whether Trump engaged in a fraudulent conspiracy to win election, and under no circumstances are a "financial crime" unrelated (as Dershowitz implies) to one of Mueller's briefs—to investigate whether the Trump campaign conspired in a fraud.
12/ Lest you say, "OK—but Mueller wasn't planning on investigating *that* election fraud involving Trump!", hold your horses: Mueller encountered the Cohen crimes in the context of determining if Cohen received *illegal foreign campaign donations from Russians* on Trump's behalf.
13/ So Alan is already *egregiously* wrong on *4 counts*. That's so many errors that we can put aside any thought that Alan—one of the most respected and experienced attorneys in America—just made an oopsie. No: his omissions present a *pattern of deception*. They are deliberate.
14/ Not even a first-year law student would call Pinedo and Cohen's crimes "unrelated" to the Russia investigation, and needless to say their nationalities and the dates of their offenses are basic public data even a non-attorney would spot immediately with a basic Google search.
15/ Needless to say, I won't dispute Alan's claim Mueller has charged non-Americans with crimes—as not only has Mueller done that, he's done it *over and over and quite impressively*. He deserves kudos for it. But Alan *implies* something with this claim that is grievously wrong.
16/ What Alan wants you to believe—along with his legions of adoring but quite candidly hallucinating conservative fans who, to their own detriment, deny the reality of what Mueller's uncovering daily—is that the "non-Americans" Mueller has indicted have nothing to do with Trump.
17/ In fact, one of the many Russians Mueller indicted is Konstantin Kilimnik, the Oleg Deripaska agent—i.e., the *Kremlin* agent, as Deripaska boasts of being "one with the State"—who Paul Manafort, Trump's Campaign Manager, communicated with regularly during the 2016 election.
18/ Manafort spoke with Kilimnik about giving *proprietary internal polling data* to the Kremlin; about giving *private briefings on Trump's campaign-eyes-only strategies* to the Kremlin; and about receiving *illicit monies from Russian sources* in exchange for this *collusion*.
19/ But wait! you say. Does this involve Trump? (Not that it'd *have* to to contradict Alan's thesis, but let's still look at this question—just for the lulz.) Answer: yes, Kilimnik is *absolutely* connected to Trump himself based on public reporting about the RNC platform shift.
20/ According Business Insider, CNN, and the number-two man on the Trump campaign's National Security Advisory Committee, J.D. Gordon, Trump *ordered* the RNC platform shift on Ukraine (which benefitted Putin) on March 31, 2016, at his hotel in DC. 96 hours after hiring Manafort.
21/ Gordon further made clear he was on the line to Trump Tower getting marching orders on the RNC platform change while it was happening. And once the change was made, Gordon lied about his involvement. Manafort lied about his involvement. And *Trump* lied about his involvement.
22/ And Trump not only lied about his involvement, but aided and abetted Gordon and Manafort in lying about theirs. And do you know *who* took credit in August 2016 for having negotiated the pro-Kremlin RNC platform change with Trump's campaign? That's right: Konstantin Kilimnik.
23/ So one of the "non-Americans" Alan wants you to ignore—under the theory he has *nothing* to do with Trump—claims credit for *negotiating* a universally-lied-about pro-Kremlin campaign gambit *Trump's own team says* Trump was the Trump-side manager for. How's *that*for a link?
24/ But Alan saves his biggest fibs for his "process crimes" argument: an argument so wrong on the facts, law, and analysis of facts and law that it *materially undermines* Americans' understanding of the rule of law—a cardinal sin for public statements by high-profile attorneys.
25/ Alan identifies 3 categories of indictment he says reveal the paltry fruits—and bad faith—of Mueller's work. These categories don't exist in the law, but worse—as a matter of teleology—they've nothing to do with how lawyers assess investigative inquiries or criminal charges.
26/ To explain: consider the difference between a perjury charge against a witness after a trial's ended; a witness tampering charge against a non-witness after an investigation is over but pre-trial; and a false statements charge brought in the midst of a criminal investigation.
27/ To Alan, these charges all fall into the category of "process crimes"—by which he means they're not about Mueller's probe of Trump-Russia collusion (1/3rd of his brief per his DOJ appointment letter). You can read that letter—it seems Alan hasn't—here: justice.gov/opa/press-rele…
28/ To Alan, a "process crime"—in the context of his analysis of Mueller's investigation—is a crime that is brought by Mueller *simply* because someone in Trump's orbit messed with him somehow. Alan wants you to believe that these are not *substantive*, *Russia-related* charges.
29/ But let's go back to the three examples I just gave: a post-trial perjury charge, post-investigation/pre-trial witness tampering charge, and a mid-investigation false statements charge. *No* attorney who's *ever* investigated a case would put these charges in the same basket.
30/ The last of these—the mid-investigation false statements charge—*isn't* brought because a prosecutor feels *put out*, but because (by law) a witness has lied about a "material fact" that's "relevant to the ongoing probe." So you bring a new charge *to get at the hidden fact*.
31/ Moreover, in any false statements case you might ever think of—*including* the Papadopoulos and Flynn cases whose defendants, dates and particulars Alan already misrepresented—the fact was hidden in the first place *because* of the underlying conduct the defendant engaged in.
32/ Compare that to a perjury charge brought *after* a trial's over because the prosecutor has evidence one of the witnesses lied under oath. In *that* case, sure—we wouldn't say the charge was brought "because of" or "to illuminate" the initial trial issue, as the trial is over.
33/ The witness tampering example I gave—that is, a non-trial witness threatening a trial witness post-investigation but pre-trial—could go either way. *Maybe* the prosecutor really fears that the tampering's intended to hide facts relevant to the case about to start, or maybe...
34/ ...the investigation has already locked in all relevant facts, and the tamperer just wants to disrupt the trial process. In the former instance, the charge might well be *substantive*—a charge *necessary* to advance the underlying case. In the latter instance, maybe less so.
35/ So what sort of so-called "process crimes" are we dealing with here, of these very different situations? Alan doesn't want you to think about it. And candidly, that's because *of course* what Mueller has brought are *substantive* charges very *much* about the underlying case.
36/ What did Papadopoulos lie about? Uh...only whether and when he'd had contact with Kremlin agents and whether he did so as a Trump campaign adviser and whether anyone on the campaign knew or could have known about his contacts with Kremlin agents.

*Substantive as hell*, that.
37/ What did Flynn lie about? Uh...only whether he'd illegally negotiated U.S. foreign policy with the Kremlin, whether he'd done so in his capacity as a Trump campaign official, and whether any Trump campaign staff were in a position to know what he was doing.

38/ For that matter, what did Alex van der Zwaan, another Mueller perp, lie about? Uh...only whether he lied to federal agents about a report he did for Trump's Campaign Manager and Deputy Campaign Manager that involved their work for Kremlin agents—including Kilimnik—in Ukraine.
39/ So what we see, over and over again, is that Mueller doesn't bring the sort of "you put me out!" charges that suggest he's stretching to find crimes by Trump aides, allies, and associates that his own investigation (only sort of) "created" just by existing—but the *opposite*.
40/ That is, the so-called "process crimes" Mueller charges: (a) reveal lies about substantive Russia-related wrongdoing; (b) arise in the *very midst* of Mueller *doing his job* investigating Russian collusion; and (c) are intended—as they should be—to *help him find the truth*.
41/ In other words, Mueller's doing exactly what prosecutors do: not looking for crimes that are out of his way, but using charges—of *all* kinds—to undercover Russia-related lies/wrongdoing and force those who chose quite carefully to lie about *that conduct* to tell the truth.
42/ So maybe it's no accident Alan forgot about Papadopoulos and Flynn, as in these cases the men had *much* to tell Mueller that was directly relevant to his ongoing Russia investigation—*and* it was the nature of the lies they *chose* to tell that *revealed* they had such info.
43/ The Stone indictment's of the same character. Stone *chose* to tell lies that were not only *about* Russian collusion but whose telling *revealed* to Mueller that Russia-related wrongdoing was afoot—and tied to Trump's campaign. That's why Mueller uses "speaking" indictments.
44/ Mueller's speaking indictments—indictments that don't just itemize charges, but lay out some facts that led to the charges—are generous acts that *ensure* men like Alan Dershowitz won't *ever* get to claim that *any* Mueller charges are far afield. But that doesn't stop Alan.
45/ But it also doesn't change the facts: when you read Mueller's speaking indictments on Papadopoulos or Flynn or anyone else, you understand perfectly that the charges against these men are being used (in the former case quite successfully) to pursue Mueller's primary mission.
46/ And finally, I want to address the farce that is Alan's reference to "financial crimes" he claims are "unrelated" to the Russian collusion issue. This is a dire and frankly embarrassing misunderstanding of particularly the charges brought against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.
47/ Manafort was a consultant making millions a year when he declared to a Trump pal he had to "get to Trump" and offered to work for *free*—he then used his position as Trump's Campaign Manager to try to "get whole" with ex-business partners by offering collusion to the Kremlin.
48/ So you needn't be a lawyer to see that charges establishing the financial crimes Manafort (and Gates) committed to *get Manafort into the situation he was in* during the campaign, under which circumstances he *colluded with the Kremlin*—with *Gates' aid*—are *hyper-relevant*.
49/ We've all heard of the importance of motive—and, more broadly, state of mind or mens rea—in proving a criminal case. The so-called "unrelated" financial crimes Mueller brought against Manafort and Gates *provide the entire context and reasoning behind their Russia collusion*.
50/ Who knows if it's Trump's pre-election collusion with Israelis, prurient stuff involving Trump pals, or something else that so diminishes Alan on Trump issues. I really don't care. What I care about is him being repeatedly and deliberately wrong when I *know* he knows better.
CONCLUSION/ Twenty years ago, almost to the day, I entered Alan's Criminal Law class at Harvard. I ended up getting an A+—not a typo—which is a grade that doesn't even exist at HLS. I suspect Alan gave me the grade because he felt I think as he does. I'm glad that I no longer do.

I am sick of politicians saying we need to protect Mueller....

That’s too fuckin obvious....

I need to hear them start saying we need to protect the USA, America...

Stop saying we must protect Mueller....that’s just too obvious...

We have enough corruption to sink a million ships.... to the point that

Corruption is becoming commonplace. Accepted and spread like butter on the morning bagel..

Start the Impeachment proceedings Now.....like Yesterday

The 5000 subpoenas should have happened the day the new House was sworn in...

Fuck the rules, repukes don’t follow the ‘rules’..

Is there anybody out there....



Trump university....when you graduate...you get trumped


The real drug cartel....


T-Mobile Announces Wireless Service Now Covers 70% of your apartment....


Howard Schultz...a billionaire who wants to keep the status quo....WHAT A SURPRISE



Major reason for broken voting system in USA....


Voting in USA is broken...

Remember when the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team admitted that the Diebold GEMS central tabulator used in 37 states in 2004 had “an undocumented backdoor account, which could [allow] a local or remote authenticated user [to] modify votes”?

Voting Machines: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


United States elections are not evidence-based elections. Only two states, Colorado and New Mexico, conduct manual audits sufficiently robust to detect vote tally manipulation. Depending on the type …

And then it turned out that the Diebold GEMS central tabulator (that US CERT warned about) had been programmed by the company’s Senior VP who had previously served time on 37 counts of embezzlement involving sophisticated computer tampering?

2/ nybooks.com/contributors/j…
And then ES&S acquired Diebold and took over many of its contracts and donated $30,000 to the Republican State Leadership Committee whose mission is to elect Republicans to state office? nybooks.com/contributors/j…

Remember when ES&S leaked 1.8 million Chicago voter records in 2015?

Literally everyone in this administration is a scumbag....

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