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A Close Reading of Trump’s Friday Tweetstorm

(Source: theatlantic.com)

Then Trump makes an abrupt turn toward Corsi, the right-wing conspiracy theorist and longtime Roger Stone associate who has been telling anyone who will listen in recent days that he’s about to be indicted for perjury by Mueller’s team because he refused to strike a deal for a lighter sentence in exchange for his cooperation in the probe. Corsi appears to have been Stone’s back channel to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, the repository of hacked Democratic emails. The president claims that he doesn’t know Corsi, but Corsi told NBC News last month that he had recordings of four or five conversations with Trump that took place in 2011, when both men were promoting the lie that then-President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and not a U.S. citizen.

The “woman in charge of prosecuting” Corsi is an apparent reference to Jeannie Rhee, one of Mueller’s prosecutors who, according to The Washington Post, represented the Clinton Foundation in a lawsuit brought by Larry Klayman, who is now representing Corsi.

In classic thriller-writing style, Trump concludes with “A total Witch Hunt” followed by an ellipsis, directing readers to stay tuned for his next tweets.

….Will Robert Mueller’s big time conflicts of interest be listed at the top of his Republicans only Report. Will Andrew Weissman’s horrible and vicious prosecutorial past be listed in the Report. He wrongly destroyed people’s lives, took down great companies, only to be……..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018

…..overturned, 9-0, in the United States Supreme Court. Doing same thing to people now. Will all of the substantial & many contributions made by the 17 Angry Democrats to the Campaign of Crooked Hillary be listed in top of Report. Will the people that worked for the Clinton….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018

Here, Trump sticks to a recurring theme—that Mueller’s investigation is hopelessly tainted because the former FBI director hired too many investigators with ties to Democrats for his team and is focusing only on the Trump campaign (“Republicans only”) while ignoring unspecified crimes committed by “the Campaign of Crooked Hillary.” In fact, the scope of Mueller’s investigation was prescribed by Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed the special counsel and who himself was nominated to his office by Trump.

The president then turns his attention to Weissmann, the veteran prosecutor who led the government’s case against Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman. Weissmann made his name as a federal prosecutor going after the mob in the early 1990s, but it was his success in bringing down the corporate titans Enron and Arthur Andersen a decade later that Trump apparently considers “horrible and vicious.”

The president is correct in referencing a blip on Weissmann’s record: In 2005, the Supreme Court did unanimously overturn a conviction Weissmann had secured against Arthur Andersen for shredding Enron documents on the basis that the prosecution had persuaded the judge in the case to adopt a legal threshold for the jury that failed to require sufficient proof of guilt. But the Court did not rule on whether the accounting firm acted with criminal intent, and both companies remain etched in the public consciousness as emblems of corporate fraud—not exactly the sympathetic victims that Trump suggests they are.

….Foundation be listed at the top of the Report? Will the scathing document written about Lyin’ James Comey, by the man in charge of the case, Rod Rosenstein (who also signed the FISA Warrant), be a big part of the Report? Isn’t Rod therefore totally conflicted? Will all of….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018

…the lying and leaking by the people doing the Report, & also Bruce Ohr (and his lovely wife Molly), Comey, Brennan, Clapper, & all of the many fired people of the FBI, be listed in the Report? Will the corruption within the DNC & Clinton Campaign be exposed?..And so much more!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 7, 2018

These next tweets continue Trump’s pressure campaign against Mueller in advance of his report, a working-the-ref strategy that thus far has shown no signs of shifting the special counsel’s focus. But the president resurrects his criticism of Rosenstein in a curious way. Trump alludes to the memo that he instructed Rosenstein to write in May 2017 summarizing the deputy attorney general’s view that Comey deserved to be removed as FBI director over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server the previous year. But then the president suggests that Rosenstein himself is “totally conflicted” as the deputy attorney general overseeing Mueller’s investigation.

More Info: theatlantic.com

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