DID TRUMP COLLUDE WITH RUSSIA?

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Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America, by Seth Abramson (Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2018, 448 pages).

Book Review by Dennis Moore

For the first time, the full, explosive record of the unthinkable: how a US president compromised American foreign policy in exchange for promise of future business and covert election assistance.

January 25, 2019 (San Diego) - Coming at a time when President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, is scheduled to testify publicly in Congress on February 7, 2019, Seth Abramson has written a provocative and timely book; Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America.

 

Looking back at this moment in history, historians will ask if Americans knew they were living through the first case of criminal conspiracy between an American presidential candidate turned commander in chief and a geopolitical enemy. The answer might be: it was hard to see the whole picture. The stories coming in from around the globe have often seemed fantastical: clandestine meetings in foreign capitals, secret recordings in a Moscow hotel, Kremlin agents infiltrating the Trump inner circles.


Perhaps the most profound statement by Abramson in this riveting and insightful book, is made in the very first chapter; “Russia and the Trumps”, as he states: “AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS OF FINANCIAL FAILURES IN RUSSIA – failures born not of a lack of desire to succeed but a lack of access to the people in Russia who make wealth creation possible – the Trumps discover that the key to making a fortune in real estate in Russia is greasing the skids with influential Russian officials. When the Trumps finally learn this lesson in the early 2000s, the result is the Russian riches that the family, particularly its patriarch, Donald Trump Sr., has long sought. The family gains, too, a new set of Russian, Russian-American, and Soviet-born allies who will in time rescue the family from its business struggles in the recession of the late 2000s and early 2010s, when many U.S. banks are declining to lend to the Trump Organization. Many of these new allies have criminal histories, dubious business practices, close ties to the Kremlin, or all three.”

 

Seth Abramson has tracked every one of these far-flung reports and now, in Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America, finally gives us a record of the unthinkable – a president compromising American foreign policy in exchange for the promise of future business and covert election assistance. The attorney, professor and former criminal investigator has used his exacting legal mind and forensic acumen to compile, organize and analyse every piece of the Trump-Russia story. His conclusion is clear: the case for conclusion is staring us in the face.

 

Drawing from American and European news outlets, Abramson takes readers through the Trump-Russia scandal chronologically, putting the developments in context and showing how they connect. His extraordinary march through all the public evidence includes:

 

·         How Trump worked for thirty years to expand his real estate empire into Russia even as he was rescued from bankruptcy by Putin’s oligarchs and Kremlin agents.

 

·         How Russian intelligence gathered compromising material on him over multiple trips.

 

·         How Trump recruited Russian allies and business partners while running for president.

 

·         How he surrounded himself with advisors who engaged in clandestine negotiations with Russia.

 

·         How Trump aides and family members held secret meetings with foreign agents and lied about them (i.e., Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer, Donald Trump, Jr., Jared Kushner).

 

·         By pulling every last thread of this complicated story together, Abramson argues that – even in the absence of a Congressional investigation or a report from Special Counsel Mueller – the public record already indicates a quid pro quo between Trump and the Kremlin. The most extraordinary part of the case for collusion is that so much of it unfolded in plain sight.

 

This writer, having earlier written reviews of Donald Trump’s Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices, Donna Brazile’s Hacks, Malcom Nance’s The Plot to Hack America and Dr. Bandy Lee’s The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, in the East County Magazine, Abramson’s book ties all these others together and puts the issue of collusion into proper perspective.

 

George Papadopoulos, recently pleading guilty and sentenced to prison, is profiled in Abramson’s book as a connection to the proof of collusion by Trump, as he states: “George Papadopoulos now urges the Russians to move forward with back-channel negotiations, which they do.” Papadopoulos is pictured here with President Trump and Attorney General Sessions at a National Security Meeting before he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and was sentenced to prison.

 

It should be interesting to note that the George Papadopoulos referenced by the author in Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America, would plead guilty in the attached court transcript of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1001, and serve prison time. Read court transcript here.

 

Specifically, the court transcript would state: “In the course of that interview, the Defendant made a series of deliberate false statements and deliberate omissions that are including, but not limited to the timing of when he met certain individuals that the Defendant understood had substantial connections to high-level Russian government officials; and the extent and nature of his communication with those individuals and with certain Russian nationals that he was communicating with during the campaign.”

 

The attached transcript that George Papadopoulos would plead guilty and be sentenced to prison would further state: “The Government would be able to prove this conduct by, among other evidence, a record of the statement itself, which was recorded; e-mails; text messages; communications via social media such as Facebook; Skype records; records of internet searches; location data; and other evidence which would show that the Defendant’s statements that were made during that January 27th interview were false. And that he knew that they were false at the time they were made, and that there was a deliberate effort to provide false information to the government.”

 

It is also interesting to note in this revealing and intriguing book by Abramson, the following passage that relates to Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, who as mentioned earlier is scheduled to testify in public before Congress on February 7, 2019: “At his in-court allocution, Cohen unambiguously identifies Trump (using a euphemistic appellation required by Department of Justice protocols) as the man who directed him to commit a number of crimes.”

 

Equally revealing and prophetic in Abramson’s Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America, is him stating: “In Washington, the top three Republicans in the House of Representatives talk about Donald Trump and Dana Rohrabacher getting ‘paid’ by Putin to take the policy positions they do; the three men do not realize their comments have been recorded.”

 

This is a fascinating book, with a cast of characters from Oleg Deripaska to Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn, giving ample reason and proof of collusion, that I highly recommend.

 

Dennis Moore has been the Associate Editor of the East County Magazine in San Diego and the Book Review Editor of SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine. Mr. Moore can be contacted at contractsagency@gmail.com or you can follow him on Twitter at: @Dennis Moore8.

 

Comments

Trace the Greed

Poor Jussie Smollett. He thought we needed an actor to convince us the Trump regime was harmful. A good author is just fine and so far, its been many an author piercing this tangerine tinged elephant sucking up Democracy for personal profit and a family legacy fueled by the desire to outdo daddy. Trump is certainly a juicy case for a head (and maybe hair) shrinker, but Seth Abramson does a tidy job by connecting the dots of this megalomaniac on this map of overwhelming evidence towards undermining and concealing. Dennis Moore provides an excellent review prompting the reader to stop reading immediately and purchase the book. I've often found this to be the case of Moore's take on various topics and his ability to flesh out the essence of the author's intent and grounded message. America is being sold out by a man who's goal was not to be president, but to survive in the quagmire of global real estate, having botched his investments and good will here. Russia was a safe haven, ripe opportunity and who would ever think to bother him there? Hell, Mitt Romney brought up the Russian threat, but who listened to that guy? Barack Obama got this entire nightmare started by joking about Trump's lack of pure power at that infamous White House Correspondence Dinner. Thanks, Barry for poking the birth-certificate searching bear. Anyway, as an author I am constantly checking to see which new book Moore is reviewing so I can get a good assessment of what new interesting offerings are in the market place. I anticipate his review of my upcoming comedy encyclopedia, "This Day in Comedy" by TrineDay and being released this Fall. Thank you Dennis, for another exciting and informative review. Darryl Littleton, historian and author of "Black Comedians on Black Comedy" and the upcoming "This Day in Comedy: The Ethnic Encyclopedia of Laughter". funnylit.com

Did Trump Collude?

The last few days The Washington Post has uncovered more information into The Trump investigation. Now Cohen has decided to Testify after backing out for fearing for his life and his family. Mr. Cohen will open up and reveal secrets that have a major impact on other individuals who may also be implicated. We shouldn't be surprised by his testimony. Remember he was the Fixer. Mobile Notary

More conspiracy/collusion evidence

Today Mueller asked a judge to sentence Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort to 18-24 years in prison after he breached his plea bargain deal for financial crimes. Why did Manafort blow his plea deal?  From Axios:

Judge fixates on Manafort’s ties to suspected Russian intelligence operative (Axios)

… Manafort… had the chance to cooperate with the special counsel in exchange for leniency. And yet he chose to throw that opportunity away and risk spending the rest of his life in prison by lying to investigators, including — among other details — about his interactions with Kilimnik….Kilimnik served as Manafort's liason to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and was in frequent communication with Manafort while he was working as Trump's unpaid campaign manager, according to the Washington Post. He served in the Soviet army and is believed to have been an officer in the GRU, the Russian intelligence agency indicted by Mueller for hacking and leading the interference effort in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Deputy Trump campaign manager Rick Gates, who is a cooperating witness, told the special counsel that Manafort shared 2016 campaign polling data with Kilimnik. Manafort subsequently lied to investigators about doing so — one of the false statements that caused him to breach his plea deal.

Judge Jackson called Manafort's lies "a problematic attempt to shield his Russian conspirator from liability," raising "legitimate questions about where his loyalties lie." It's a remarkable statement from a federal judge who knows far more than the public about what exactly Robert Mueller has uncovered.

Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America, by Seth Abramson

This book is timely, the title newsworthy, and the cover design is interesting. I think most Americans and the world, probably believe that Putin has something or a number of things on President Trump, and as a result the latter has no choice but to be "nice" to him. I am not sure how much we will get from the Mueller investigation, but I do believe that both Michael Cohen and Roger Stone will shed some much needed light, and will help put the missing pieces together. I agree with the author when he says that “AFTER FIFTEEN YEARS OF FINANCIAL FAILURES IN RUSSIA – failures born not of a lack of desire to succeed but a lack of access to the people in Russia who make wealth creation possible – the Trumps discover that the key to making a fortune in real estate in Russia is greasing the skids with influential Russian officials"" I think if Mueller, who has been quite secretive thus far, follows the money trail, subpoena tax returns and get deep into his dealings with Deutsche Bank, I do believe that we will all get closer to the proof collusion. Seth Abramson, has done his research, and has carefully detailed it in this book which is aptly timed. Submitted by Jacqueline Carr - Author of "Hands of Time", "Quiet Thoughts", and "A Selected Few Just For You"

The President and his Lies

I have covered this Administration since the election. This President has colluded with Russia he is the ring leader. Our Country is in shambles he is the biggest con artist ever. Lock them all up. We as Americans need a honest leader. Shame on the Republican Party for allowing such a stain on our Democracy.

The Flat Earth Society Called....

wondering where you've been. Two years of investigation, millions of wasted tax payer dollars = ZERO collusion. The only proven collusion has been between the DNC and Fusion GPS. It is truly sad that there are people out there as ill-informed as this that don't take the time to think objectively, and look at evidence rather than tote the party line. Educate yourself. There's another weasel in the woodpile

There is abundant evidence of collusion,

and remember the Mueller investigation is not concluded yet.  He has already indicted and gotten guilty pleas from many Trump conspirators and the indictments are moving closer and closer to Trump, higher and higher up in his inner circle. This is the same means Mueller has used through the years to take down organized crime rings. You don't start at the top.  Prosecutors start at the loweset tiers, get plea bargains or people to turn state's evidence and work their way up the chain of commend. This goes beyond Trump to include operatives and leaders of Russia, a foreign power.  To say there is no collusion means you haven't bothered to read the mountains of evidence that are now in the public domain.  Read the court records, Congressional testimony, investigative reports, news interviews, etc.   It won't be long before Trump's family members are indicted, but already there is evidence showing Trump knew of some of the key meetings/contacts and has lied to cover up the conspiracy.  Those are crimes. The only question is how and when he will be held accountable -- will be be impeachment, indictment while in office, or indictment after he leaves office.

You're delusional

and in for yet another big disappointment. Mueller's got nothing, and your leaders know it which is why they're preparing yet another investigation of their own. The Senate Intelligence Committee spent 2 years investigating whether there was any collusion, they found NONE. The Dems have spent the past 2 years attacking anyone who dare raise questions about the foundation of the Mueller investigation. Now, they say they'll keep investigating if Mueller doesn't find what they want. This will inevitably turn around and bite your team just like Harry Reid's decision in 2013. Be prepared to reap what you sow.

Manafort's sentencing today alludes to "Collusion"

Although the charges made by Mueller in the case today did not specify collusion, you really do need to read the book to see where there is collusion. On pages 307 and 308 it specifically identifies collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. In February 2018, Nastya Rybka claimed to have audio recordings of Paul Manafort's former boss, Russian oligarch and Putin confidant Oleg Deripaska, that would, she said, confirm that Russian government officials colluded with the Trump campaign.Alexei Navalny theorized that Paul Manafort's offer of private briefings for Deripaska was made as part of a slightly longer back channel intended to lead from Manafort to Deripaska, Deripaska to Prikhodko, and Prikhodko to both Putin and Medvedev. Read the book!

Judge rules that former Trump Campaign Manager lied to SCO

To counter what this reader commented on about being delusional, one would have to be delusional not to realize that there definitely is collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The attached Special Council Sentencing Memo to the judge in the Paul Manafort case, whom the judge had earlier ruled that Paul Manafort breached the cooperation agreement between him and Robert Mueller's office, recommend 19 to 24 years in prison for this former campaign manager for Donald Trump. And this is just in this particular case, while Manafort is yet to be sentenced in another federal district. When all the smoke clears, and after numerous guilty please and verdicts, one would be hard pressed not to see collusion. And then Andrew McCabe book comes out just today, which reveals a counterintelligence probe against Trump by the FBI. See Manafort sentencing memo here.

Show me collusion, I challenge you.

Please read the document in its entirety, and find me one reference to collusion between Trump and the Russians. Find the word collusion anywhere in the document for that matter. Manafort's problems have nothing to do with Trump's campaign. You folks seem to want to imply that because a former advisor is found guilty of crimes, that this by default implicates Trump even though those crimes pre-date his role with Trump. You've got the audacity to come on here and talk about Manafort being dishonest and pimping Andy McCabe's book in the same post? Just amazing, Dennis. You are aware that Andy McCabe was found guilty of lying UNDER OATH multiple times, right? Assuming you're also aware that he was the Deputy Director of our FBI, right? You bring me pennies, I'll show you dollars, and why your Party is morally broke.

JDInSD perhaps you should read the book!

JDInSD perhaps you should read the book before drawing any conclusions. In regard to collusion, it is staring you in the face; the Trump Hotel meeting between Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr., along with a group of Russians. If you are being honest with yourself there is no way that you can not view that as collusion. Perhaps you should go to the dictionary to read the definition of collusion, and I don't say that to be mean. After all, this is our country that we are talking about, and Russia has long been our sworn adversary.

Not a chance

I wouldn't spend a dime or a minute to hear anything McCabe has to say, he's a proven liar and a criminal. You've drank the Kool-Aid the MSM has been selling in their attempt to divert attention from the real crime, which is the weaponizing of our judicial and legal system to overthrow a duly elected president. No president in our lifetime has been tougher on Russia since Reagan, that's a simple fact. If you think Trump is more of a crook than the Clintons, then there's no chance we'll ever find common ground.

Collusion with Russia

I definitely want to get this book. I just hope it's available for the Kindle, since I am currently in Ecuador and have no mailing address. I have believed from the beginning that Trump is somehow connected to Putin, and from Trump's body language in Helsinki, I felt that it was obvious that Putin had something on him. I'm looking forward to reading this. I can't say the subject is near and dear to my heart--it's more like it shoots knives down my spine. Great review, Dennis.