Preserved Stories Blog

Evidence mounts that White House anticipates damaging results from Russia investigation: Oct. 3, 2017 Just Security article

Click here for previous posts about Russia >

An Oct. 3, 2017 Just Security article is entitled: “Evidence Mounts that White House Anticipates Damaging Results from Russia Investigation.”

The article is of interest, because it addresses the “coordination of stories.”

Public relations, propaganda, corporate and political branding and communications, and private and public broadcasting tend to entail a high level of coordination of stories.

The coordination – and consequent shaping – of a story can entail evidence-based reporting, or it can, depending upon the circumstances, entail the manufacture of out-and-out lies.

I have been involved in media relations, as a volunteer serving a wide range of community-based interests, for about forty years. For that reason, I have a keen interest in how stories are shaped, and the circumstances where the shaping of stories may give rise to legal jeopardy, as may the case with the current FBI investigation.

Similarly, I have often marvelled, as I have noted at some previous posts, that journalism can take so many forms, including forms that do not entail the label of “journalism.” Some of the best journalism that I’ve encountered, over the years, has involved the texts of academics such as linguistic anthropologists, as well texts by lawyers summarizing conclusions, based upon a lengthy investigation, of a noteworthy incident or situation.

I anticipate (and I could be wrong, of course), that some of the best writing, that will come out of Washington, D.C. at the conclusion of the ongoing FBI White House investigation, will be written by prosecutors.


An Oct. 4, 2017 ProPublica article is entitled: “Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. Were Close to Being Charged With Felony Fraud: New York prosecutors were preparing a case. Then the D.A. overruled his staff after a visit from a top donor: Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz.”

The article “is a collaboration between ProPublica, WNYC and The New Yorker and is not subject to our Creative Commons license.”

The opening paragraphs read:

In the spring of 2012, Donald Trump’s two eldest children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., found themselves in a precarious legal position. For two years, prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had been building a criminal case against them for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo, a hotel and condo development that was failing to sell. Despite the best efforts of the siblings’ defense team, the case had not gone away. An indictment seemed like a real possibility. The evidence included emails from the Trumps making clear that they were aware they were using inflated figures about how well the condos were selling to lure buyers.

In one email, according to four people who have seen it, the Trumps discussed how to coordinate false information they had given to prospective buyers. In another, according to a person who read the emails, they worried that a reporter might be onto them. In yet another, Donald Jr. spoke reassuringly to a broker who was concerned about the false statements, saying that nobody would ever find out, because only people on the email chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception, according to a person who saw the email.

There was “no doubt” that the Trump children “approved, knew of, agreed to, and intentionally inflated the numbers to make more sales,” one person who saw the emails told us. “They knew it was wrong.”


A parallel Oct. 4, 2017 New Yorker article is entitled: “How Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., Avoided a Criminal Indictment.”


Share this:

This entry was posted in Commentary, Newsletter, Story management. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *