President Trump has often repeated the mantra that no proof of collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russian interests has yet to be unearthed by the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and to a certain degree, he is correct. No proof has yet been presented publicly. However, there is a preponderance of the evidence that President Trump has colluded with the Russians, even though most of Mueller’s findings remain under active investigation and most of the information provided in court filings remains heavily redacted. So much evidence exists, in fact, that Harvard Law School graduate, public defender, and author Seth Abramson has written a 400+ page book just about what we know so far.
Abramson’s book, Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America, is available on Amazon and attempts to curate the ever-expanding media archive of information related to Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between Trump and Russia.
In an opinion piece for the Guardian, Abramson calls the Mueller probe “the most complex, far-ranging criminal investigation of our lifetimes.” Abramson suggests in the piece that his motivation for writing the book was to use curatorial journalism to simplify the historical complexity of the investigation– a complexity that Abramson says “has led some members of the public and the press to misunderstand the significance of parts of Mueller’s investigation, or even doubt its importance – a fact which Trump and his cronies have tried to capitalize on by calling the probe a witch-hunt, a hoax and fake news.”
(THREAD) What's happening with the McClatchy story about Cohen going to Prague is what happened with the Kavanaugh hearings: journalists are using a tortured definition of corroboration, ignoring reams of evidence supporting the McClatchy story. I hope you'll read on and retweet. pic.twitter.com/12NJmf4rgx
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) December 29, 2018
Abramson also argues that curatorial journalism can help restore American faith in the media, and that modern journalism is actually more credible than it ever has been, despite the debates over “fake news.” He cites the internet and the digital age as having internationalized hard news reporting, giving readers access to high-quality reporting from around the world to a degree never before seen. That advancement has come at a cost, however, in that time and resources limit reporting, and the sheer amount of reporting forces reporting to be “in the moment” more than ever before. Curatorial journalism, Abramson argues, can fill the gap by offering more long-view reporting of an entire string of events that often can be lost in the shuffle through traditional news sourcing.
The book contains over 1,600 endnotes and nearly 2,000 citations from hundreds of media outlets to provide a comprehensive picture of what the Mueller investigation has already uncovered. In an interview with the Gothamist, Abramson says that speaking as a former attorney and criminal investigator, the volume of evidence curated in the book “is enough to blow a jury’s hair back.”
Abramson notes that there are a number of statutes that fall under the umbrella of collusion, and just considering activities uncovered through 2017, illegal activity so far exposed by the Russia investigation includes bribery, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit election fraud, aiding and abetting computer crimes, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, perjury, making false statements, lying to Congress, illegal solicitation of donations from foreign nationals, failing to register as a foreign agent and several others.
Regarding the individuals who have been charged or likely will be charged in connection with each of those activities, Abramson said. “(Y)ou have a large number of witnesses who are going to be charged with making false statements, perjury, lying to Congress. You have Donald Trump who, in public, has committed acts that would qualify as witness tampering and obstruction of justice. The broader conspiracy that is being investigated here and that involves a small number of Trump allies, aides and associates as well as Donald Trump himself is a conspiracy to commit election fraud and aiding and abetting of computer crimes, a conspiracy to defraud the United States and also a bribery case.”
“Depending upon what Robert Mueller discovers in the tax returns of Donald Trump, which presumably would be the first thing that he tried to acquire, there may also be money laundering charges.”
Even with the incredible amount of evidence already uncovered, there is much that remains. None of the redacted information in previous court filings has become public as of yet. Also, Mueller has yet to file the expected indictments of a number of Trump associates, including Roger Stone, Jerome Corsi, and even Donald Trump, Jr., who have all publicly stated that they expect to be indicted by Mueller. And, of course, the future of President Trump remains to be seen.