••• The International Writers Magazine - Our 20th Year: Review
Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America
by Seth Abramson
Pub: Simon and Schuster UK 2019
Can $ 37.99
Stevellie Wheeler review
Seth Abramson is a former criminal defence attorney and criminal investigator who teaches digital journalism and cultural theory at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of eight books and editor of five anthologies, a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.
Proof of Collusion has fourteen chapters, meticulous notes on each one, an introduction which includes a theory of the case, acknowledgements and an author’s note which directs anyone interested to the index of the book at www.sethabramson.net or http//proofofcollusionindex.com.
“Collusion” can be defined as “a clandestine agreement between two or more parties, implicit or explicit, to act in a mutually beneficial way”. Within the umbrella term are contained dozens of federal criminal statutes which are routinely applied by federal law enforcement agents. “Collusion is not a crime” is an easy out, a convenient phrase, but hardly a truthful response to Mueller’s serious investigation.
When Paul Manafort and Donald Trump changed the language in the GOP’s platform at the Republican National Convention in July 2016 so that the US would not encourage the Ukrainian army by giving them arms to fight the Russians, Trump justified it by saying he didn’t want to go to WW3 over the Ukraine.
The book states that Russia aided and cultivated Trump for a long time (probably 2011 – 2016) before he ran for President. It was Russia and Trump who combined to steal the American election for the GOP and, sadly, many of Trump’s supporters continue to believe his lies. Many good people who love America have been fooled.
Trump invited Aras (a billionaire developer who does projects for the Kremlin) and Emin (his son, an aspiring pop singer) Agalarov to the Miss USA pageant in 2013. There, Trump invited the Agalarovs to join him for the Miss Universe pageant on the future site of the Trump Tower Moscow. They promised him twenty million dollars and a meeting with Putin.
From here the book describes Trump’s movements according to and backed up by evidence contained in Christopher Steele’s report, also known as “the dossier”, which is proving to be more accurate than Trump and his supporters admit. The most salacious part is the description of Trump asking some prostitutes to urinate on the bed in the Presidential Suite at the Ritz-Carlton Moscow which Obama and his wife used. This was to show disrespect to the past presidential couple.
Multiple active-duty CIA officers told the BBC that there are sex tapes of Trump in Moscow and St Petersburg. These recordings comprise “kompromat”, blackmail material. This explains Trump’s behavior in foreign policy which includes referring to Putin in glowing terms, overlooking Putin’s involvement in the murders of journalists, opposing Russian sanctions, questioning NATO’s authority and viability, advocating Russia’s immediate return to the G7 and remaining open to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Many of Trump’s associates have already pled guilty to charges Mueller has brought, but there are many more, people like Erik Prince, Steve Bannon, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Sam Clovis, Roger Stone, Joseph Schmitz, J.D. Gordon, Carter Page and a number of Russian nationals who will be or already have been prosecuted for various campaign finance laws, election fraud, wire fraud, bribery, bank fraud, computer crimes, extortion, identity theft, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, perjury, making false statements to Congress, making false statements to law enforcement, failure to register as a foreign agent, money laundering, tax evasion and RICO charges.
Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort and George Pappadopoulis played prominent roles in Donald Trump’s rise to power and their dozens of trips to Russia, Saudi Arabia and Greece are exposed in Proof of Collusion.
In December 2016 Mike Flynn, Tom Barrack, Rick Gates and Bud McFarlane lobbied Trump to give nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia so that Russian companies and others could build reactors in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This would require lifting sanctions on the Russian companies which would then be free to partner with American companies and win contracts for billions of dollars. That arrangement didn’t succeed at the time since Saudi Arabia wouldn’t agree to the condition that it wouldn’t use the reactors for weapons. The Trump administration has reopened those talks and might not insist on the same precautions in the future.
In October 2017 Jared Kushner took a sudden trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he gave Mohammed bin Salman (the crown prince) the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince. These names could only be available to Kushner through his father-in-law’s daily security briefing. The name Jamal Khashoggi comes to mind.
In November 2017 Kushner advised Trump to support the Saudi blockade of Qatar. He was the only one of Trump’s advisors to do so and succeeded in squeezing a huge loan for a real estate deal from a Qatar-connected company.
The list of quid pro quos goes on as Proof of Collusion enumerates, in great detail, the Russian blackmail and gifts (in the form of real estate deals mostly) offered to Trump in exchange for the lifting of sanctions and establishment of Russian influenced foreign policy.
There may not be a “smoking gun” email or recorded phone call to prove Trump’s treachery, but with his growing tendency toward authoritarianism and the number of lies, investigations and unanswered questions surrounding this administration, Americans would do well to read Proof of Collusion and take heed.
© Stevellie Wheeler Feb 21st 2019
stevellie at hotmail.com
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