On Thursday afternoon, NBC News reported that the investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump and Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign will likely end as soon as February of 2019. The NBC News report, which echoed a Yahoo! News report of just 17 days earlier, was attributed to “sources.”
But both reports may have been sourced from the same anonymous individual or individuals, with both using similar phrasing — including the phrase, “tying up loose ends.” The phrase first appeared in the December 3 Yahoo! News report as a quote from a “source,” and was then repeated as an anonymous quote in the NBC News report on Thursday.
Yahoo! appeared to state that Trump’s own defense lawyers provided the information on Mueller’s supposed end date, while NBC attributed the “loose ends” quote to “a lawyer who has been in contact with the Mueller team.” That clue is just one reason why Trump-Russia scandal expert Seth Abramson, author of the New York Times bestselling book, Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America, took to his Twitter account Thursday to declare the NBC News report “false.”
“This same story has been published by US media 7 times before in just the last year — with almost no change in any of its details,” Abramson wrote on Twitter. “Each time Trump-Russia experts like me have said the story is false. Each time it has been false. The media won’t stop publishing the story, though.”
“The (NBC) report’s euphemisms cover weak sourcing,” Abramson continued in his Twitter thread. “Its key source is ‘a lawyer who’s been in contact with the Mueller team’ — which makes you think s/he got the skinny from Mueller. Nope — it’s just a lawyer for a witness, who was ‘in contact’ with Mueller’s team as part of their job.”
In addition, Abramson notes, several individuals have said themselves that they expect indictments from Mueller, including Trumps’ eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr., according to a New York Magazine report.
Close Trump associate Roger Stone has also said that he is “prepared” to be indicted by Mueller, according to the Daily Beast. And an associate of Stone, conspiracy theory author Jerome Corsi, as also said that he expects an indictment from Mueller of his alleged advance knowledge of when WikiLeaks would release emails stolen from Democratic Party servers by Russian hackers, CNN reported. If all three, and possibly others, have yet to be indicted one week before Christmas of 2018, the chances that the entire investigation will end just two months later appear unrealistic, according to Abramson.