Posted by: maboulette | July 7, 2019

Review of Proof of Collusion – New Book By Seth Abramson


The theory of the case made by attorney, curatorial journalist, and professor Seth Abramson is that Trump and a core group of 10 to 20 aides, associates, and allies conspired with a hostile foreign power, Russia, to sell that power control over U.S. foreign policy in exchange for financial reward and covert election assistance. The resulting Kremlin’s leverage over the president, says Abramson, endangers U.S. national security as well as the nation’s sovereignty.


Abramson allows that “collusion” has no meaning outside antitrust law. But the federal conspiracy statute is violated when the parties take an “act in furtherance” of the commission of the intended crime. The collusive behaviour described here includes criminal behaviour—aiding, abetting or conspiracy to commit electoral fraud, computer crimes, bribery, money laundering, witness tampering, lying under oath, and obstruction of justice.


All the evidence points to a verdict of guilty. The corruption grows from the collusion. There is nearly no evidence that might excuse the key actors. Abramson says that Congressional investigations have been partisan and superficial. They have not used subpoena power to compel disclosure of Trump’s tax returns and other financial records that might point to the use of shell corporations and hidden bank accounts.


The book’s introduction, 14 chapters, and afterword take the reader from 1987 to summer 2018. Each chapter begins with a one- or two-page summary of that chapter’s argument, followed by a brief exposition of the relevant facts, followed by an annotated history high-ling some episodes and paraphrases what is found in the sources used.  


Thus, chapter one, titled “Russia and the Trumps,” sets the stage for what follows. It taps a wide range of reports that describe and analyse Trump’s visits to Moscow beginning in 1987 and some visits by his associates. Ranging over three decades, the chapter quotes contradictory claims by Trump and others about what he did in Russia, whom he met, and what was discussed. 


Proof of collusion by Trump et al. is in plain sight, according to Abramson.  Following his theory of the case, the author has gathered evidence from many publicly available sources and put the dots together.  His book has 109 pages of notes to back up 320 pages of text. Most of the sources are basic—the major U.S. and UK newspapers plus Politico, BuzzFeed News, The Hill, Bloomberg News, Washington Monthly, and conservative news outlet Daily Caller.


Abramson also quotes extensively the trove of Trump’s Twitter statements. For perspective he also cites Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House and Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White House. There seem to be no Russian sources, in Russian or in translation, so that we see/hear nothing from the other side.


 Rather than term Abramson a conspiracy theorist, perhaps he should be referred to him as a serious researcher working to test a bold hypothesis. If and when we learn more on the results of the Mueller investigation, we will have a better foundation to assess Abramson’s hypothesis.

Mueller goes before Congress next week to better explain the Mueller Report that half of Congress and less than that in the American public has read the report.



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