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Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Indicted

Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort, a long-time Washington insider who served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager until August 2016 and managed the 2016 Republican National Convention as part of those duties, has been indicted along with a top associate by Russia special counsel Robert Mueller:

WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort and his former business associate were indicted on Monday on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges, a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over President Trump’s first year in office.

Mr. Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, and his longtime associate Rick Gates, surrendered to the FBI on Monday. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said Mr. Manafort laundered more than $18 million to buy properties and services.

“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on that income,” the indictment reads.

Mr. Gates is accused of transferring more than $3 million from offshore accounts. The two are also charged with making false statements.

“As part of the scheme, Manafort and Gates repeatedly provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants and legal counsel, among others,” the indictment read.

Mr. Gates is a longtime protégé and junior partner of Mr. Manafort. His name appears on documents linked to companies that Mr. Manafort’s firm set up in Cyprus to receive payments from politicians and businesspeople in Eastern Europe, records reviewed by The New York Times show.

Mr. Manafort has expected charges since this summer, when F.B.I. agents raided his home and prosecutors warned him that they planned to indict him. That warning raised speculation that Mr. Manafort might try to cut a deal to avoid prosecution.

Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Ty Cobb, said there were no concerns that Mr. Manafort would offer damaging information about the president in exchange for a deal.

Some close to Mr. Manafort, including his former business partner Roger J. Stone Jr., have said he had nothing to offer that would help prosecutors build a case against Mr. Trump.

“He’s not going to lie,” Mr. Stone said in September.

Mr. Manafort, a veteran Republican strategist, joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 to help keep delegates from breaking with Mr. Trump in favor of establishment Republican candidates. Mr. Trump soon promoted him to chairman and chief strategist, a job that gave him control over day-to-day operations of the campaign.

But Mr. Trump fired Mr. Manafort just months later, after reports that he received more than $12 million in undisclosed payments from Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president and a pro-Russia politician. Mr. Manafort spent years as a political consultant for Mr. Yanukovych.

More from The Washington Post:

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates have been charged in a 12-count indictment with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money and making false statements.

It marked the first criminal allegations to come from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Gates did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort. Manafort was spotted walking into the FBI’s Washington Field Office Monday morning.

Washington — especially those in political and media circles — had been anxiously anticipating the charges since CNN reported Friday night that a grand jury had approved the first charges in Mueller’s investigation. That report was soon matched by others, including Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, though affiliates of many involved said they were in the dark as to what was about to come. About a dozen reporters staked out the entrance to the federal courthouse in downtown D.C. Monday morning, waiting for any glimpse of prosecutors or possible defendants.

pokespeople for Mueller and the Justice Department declined to comment over the weekend. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment Monday, and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office did not return messages seeking comment.

According to the indictment, Manafort and Gates arranged to hire two Washington-based lobbying firms to work on behalf of their Ukrainian clients, arranging meetings with U.S. officials and boosting their public image in the United States. Prosecutors say, however, that Manafort and Gates arranged for a Brussels-based nonprofit to nominally hire the companies to hide the fact that their work was for Ukrainian government officials and would otherwise require registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

In fact, prosecutors allege, Manafort was communicating directly with then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych about the effort, promising in 2012 to provide him weekly updates about the effort.

To further obscure Ukrainian involvement in the lobbying effort, prosecutors say payments to the Washington firms were routed through obscure offshore companies. Prosecutors say that when the Department of Justice approached Manafort and Gates in 2016 and 2017 about whether they should have registered as foreign agents for the work, they responded with false and misleading letters, indicating they had not directed the lobbying effort and asserting they did not hold records reflecting their work, even though later searches showed they did, according to the indictment.]

Manafort and Gates also were accused of willfully and intentionally trying to hide monies kept in foreign bank accounts — Manafort from 2011 to 2014 and Gates from 2012 to 2014 . And Manafort was accused of filing fraudulent tax returns — stating on tax forms he filed from 2008 to 2014 that he controlled no foreign bank accounts.

The fact that Manafort and one of his top associates are the first indictments to come out of the Mueller investigation is not entirely surprising. As I noted over the weekend when it was revealed that there will be indictments issued by one of the Grand Juries convened by Robert Mueller, this is a man who has been in the crosshairs of the investigation even before Mueller was brought into it in May of this year. In addition to managing Trump’s campaign through the final steps of the nomination process, Manafort had a long history as a Capitol Hill lobbyist and political consultant that eventually branched out from representing domestic clients and turned toward providing similar services for international corporations and foreign governments. Among those foreign governments was the former pro-Russia leadership of Ukraine and the government of Turkey. As we learned, though, there were several discrepancies in the disclosures that Manafort filed pursuant to Federal law as well as allegations that he hid income from some of these activities and did not properly report them on his income tax returns. It is those apparent violations of tax laws that are the focus of today’s indictment.

As noted, these charges are not related directly to the Russia investigation or even the Trump campaign, although it is worth noting that it appears from the indictment that Manafort was continuing to engage in the money laundering scheme that is the subject matter of the main focus of the charges even as he was serving as Trump’s campaign manager. Instead, this appears to be something that was uncovered during the course of Mueller’s investigation and thus falls within the scope of his investigation. The indictment does specifically allege, however, that Manafort was essentially secretly working for pro-Russian interests and that he had a number of contacts with such people for years. This is significant both in the context of the main focus of Mueller’s investigation and because, as The Wall Street Journal noted several months ago, much of Manafort’s overseas work, including that not the subject of today’s indictment was primarily for the benefit of a Russian oligarch with close ties to Vladimir Putin. Additionally, it appears that Manafot has been the focus of a Federal investigation for at least a year, which means that he was under Federal investigation while serving as Trump’s campaign manager. It’s unclear at this point whether he was aware of the investigation at this time, but if he was it will be interesting to find out, as I believe we eventually will, whether or not he disclosed this fact to anyone associated with the Trump campaign. If he did and they hired him anyway, that would be a shocking development , to say the least, but hardly a surprising one given the amateurish nature of the Trump campaign both before and Manafort was involved with it and afterward.

The process going forward is fairly straightforward. Manafort surrendered himself at the FBI Field Office in Washington, D.C. this morning and will appear before a Federal Magistrate Judge at some point later today. At that hearing, Manafort will be informed of the charges against him and there will be at least some initial consideration of bail. Given that this is a white-collar crime and that Manafort and his attorney had obviously been informed of the charges ahead of time, it’s likely that he will be released on his own recognizance or that a low amount of bail will be set and also condition on certain other conditions such as an agreement that he will stay in the Washington, D.C. area and surrender his passport. It’s not common for a plea of any kind to be entered at this hearing, although it’s possible that this might occur if the parties had reached some kind of agreement prior to the indictment being made public. In any case, today’s hearing will be brief and future proceedings will be some time down the road.

As I noted over the weekend, at least part of what is likely going on here is that Mueller is using these charges in an effort to “flip” Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, who was visiting the White House as recently as June according to reports. Given Manafort’s connections to the Trump campaign it’s certainly possible that he has knowledge that Mueller would find of interest in connection with the main focus of the investigation. In that regard it is worth noting that Manafort was one of the three people present along with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner who met with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Putin government on the promise that she had some kind of information regarding Hillary Clinton. In reality, she apparently had no such information and instead used the meeting to discuss other issues such as the Obama Administration’s sanctions against Russia that were imposed in the wake of the annexation of Crimea and at other points in recent years. Manafort could have information about that meeting, and about other matters that may touch upon any contact that the Trump campaign may have had with Russian officials or citizens.

Where this goes next is anyone’s guess. The Manafort indictment could prove to be significant, or it could prove to be a side issue for Mueller that just happened to come up during the course of his investigation. In any case, while the Trump Administration may try to spin this is an indication that there is no evidence of the campaign’s possible collusion with Russia regarding the 2016 campaign that clearly isn’t the case. The Mueller investigation continues, as evidenced by the fact that recent reports indicate that his investigators have recently begun interviewing White House officials. In other words, to borrow the words of Winston Churchill after the Britsh victory at the Second Battle of El-Alamein, this isn’t the end, it isn’t even the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning. After only five months, we’ve seen the first indictments out of Mueller’s investigation, but they are unlikely to be the last.

Update: In addition to the Manafort and Gates indictment, charges have also been filed against George Papadapoulos, who was a low-level foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. The charges relate to lies to F.B.I. investigators about contacts with Russian officials while he was working with the Trump campaign. Papadapoulos has pled guilty.

Here’s the indictment:

Paul Manafort Indictment by Doug Mataconis on Scribd

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    the Trump Administration may try to spin this is an indication that there is no evidence of the campaign’s possible collusion with Russia regarding the 2016 campaign

    I’m sure the usual suspects will be along momentarily to regurgitate their morning feeding from Breitbart and Fox.

    I’ve said from the start that this was money-laundering at its heart. Manafort is a money-launderer. Trump’s casino admitted to money-laundering and paid a fine. The Manafort money involved is Putin’s money. The indictment of Gates is interesting – that’s Mueller’s trump (heh) card in unraveling Manafort.

    Manafort will lead to Flynn and Kushner and Ivanka.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    George Papadopoulos pleads guilty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  3. JKB says:

    Of course, so far the only other person to come up as under investigation is a Podesta. So Manafort may have information to trade that could do down either side of the aisle.

    To quote Scott Greenfield of Simple Justice, and he works in the trenches of federal white collar everyday: “Sorry, Matt Apuzzo, but I don’t think “significant escalation” means what you think it does.”

    We shall see.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 29

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’d say it’s likely he is just the first of many pancakes to come.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  5. michael reynolds says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    That’s huge, actually. That’s a direct connection between Russians and the Trump Campaign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  6. Gustopher says:

    “Conspiracy against the US” is an odd charge — is that misdemeanor treason?

    I really have no idea what it means, and with breaking news, it’s hard to know what anything means.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Gustopher says:

    @JKB: The far right has had all weekend to work out talking points, and this is the best they come up with?

    How about this: “There’s a reason that Trump personally fired Manafort, and this is part of it. Donald Trump is personally rooting out the foreign influence on both sides of the aisle, and the Mueller investigation is getting in the way. Mueller needs to resign, and we need to build the wall. Believe me, what’s coming next will shock you bigly, but it rhymes with SHMENGHAZI, Schmuranium, Schmemails and LOCK HER UP”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds: The agreement is very damning. An extremely potent enema for anyone involved with trump.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: It’s a standard charge for any kind of fraud against the US (such as tax evasion), or so a lawyer explained over at Balloon Juice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  10. Matt Bernius says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    George Papadopoulos pleads guilty.

    The pleading documents are worth a read. They really indicate how long Russia was shopping the “emails” for:

    https://www.justice.gov/file/1007346/download

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  11. MarkedMan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yeah, the George Papadopoulos plea is interesting, and his involvement seems to point directly to Russian collusion. Given that a plea this early is a sign that he has flipped on someone higher up the food chain, one interpretation of Mueller putting this out now is that he’s sending a message to all of Trump’s co-conspirators: People are flipping. Just remember that the earlier you flip the better your deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  12. MarkedMan says:

    [Worth a cross post from another thread]
    Josh Marshall has an interesting perspective:
    Even based on what is publicly known, what was publicly known a year ago, that Manafort has been involved in highly questionable foreign representation for decades and a lot of financial transactions that look like money laundering. As I said last night about President Trump, lots of people slip through for years or decades without getting in trouble for their financial crimes. Some never get caught. Going to the white hot center of the US political process is a really good way to get caught.
    Why would Manafort do that?

    One plausible explanation is simple hubris. Arrogance makes people stupid. But there are other indications that Manafort needed money, that he was overextended and desperate. But he, quite conspicuously, worked for Trump for free.

    That’s odd. Because there’s nothing about Paul Manafort and his forty years in the US political world that suggests he works cheap or for free. But a salary is not the only way or even the primary way someone like Manafort could restore himself financially through getting tight with Donald Trump. The big pay off would be in the influence he would gain and the money he could make of the work – either re-juiced for the US political game or to get the big money in Russia or the Ukraine with his influence batteries recharged.

    As I noted yesterday, spies look for people who are crooked and people who are desperate. Manafort looks like he was both. How and why did he come to work for Donald Trump?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  13. Mu says:

    Trump is disavowing Manaford in his tweets, so he must not fear anything Manaford could divulge in plea negotiations. Otherwise we’d hear about a “honest fighter” who needs (pardon) protection from a biased prosecutor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  14. Mikey says:

    IMHO the Papadopoulos plea is more relevant to the question of collusion. From the charging document:

    In truth and in fact, however, defendant PAPADOPOULOS understood that the professor had substantial connections to Russian government officials (and had met with some of those officials in Moscow immediately prior to telling defendant PAPADOPOULOS about the “thousands of emails”) and, over a period of months, defendant PAPADOPOULOS repeatedly sought to use the professor’s Russian connections in an effort to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and Russian government officials.

    There’s also mention of extensive communications and meetings with a “female Russian national” who Papadopoulos was told was “Putin’s niece.” It would be interesting to know who she actually was.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. JohnMcC says:

    @MarkedMan: I believe I just overheard from the low-hum background noise of MSNBC that the Papadopolous plea was actually signed on the 5th of Oct. News was just released today presumably to coincide with the Manafort & Gates arrests.

    I agree the plea is probably the biggest news here unless there is some unexpected breakthrough later today.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  16. Matt Bernius says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Just finished reading the plea in full… I think this is could be the far more significant story in the long run (especially since he’s been cooperating for two months after the plea and it confirms most of what has been reported about the emails and the coordination around them).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Rick Zhang says:

    Overall about what I expected. I do think that Flynn will be next, and there’s enough also to get Kushner. Trump Jr is a stretch based on what’s come out so far but who knows. There are few enough people there at the Russian meeting that they can all keep their silence and be safe, or if one person breaks the circle of trust they’ll all fall (save the whistleblower). It’s a matter of game theory and risk management.

    None of this has directly implicated Trump so far, but it speaks volumes about his goals and judgment of character that he chose Manafort despite his sordid history. Of course we all knew this and remarked on it at the time. Manafort works for Eastern European strongmen types. Trump has so far displayed an affinity for authoritarian governments and seeks to emulate them at every turn, so it’s actually not a surprise that he chose Manafort to be his campaign manager.

    @JKB: This is a matter of the law. If Podesta is implicated by anything coming from the investigation, then he should face the same trial as Manafort. This is not a partisan issue, especially with someone as independent and nonpartisal as Mueller. Let the legal process work its course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  18. Neil Hudelson says:

    An interesting timeline for Papadopoulus:

    He signed his confession at the beginning of October.
    IANAL, but I’m assuming the signed confession came after a few weeks of negotiating a deal, as well as getting all the details of the story correct–so let’s say that process started in early September.

    Which means he was under pressure to flip as early as July or August.

    Which means they were building a case against Papadopoulus–which, admittedly, didn’t seem hard to do–in July or June.

    Mueller came on board in May.

    That’s some mighty fast work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. michael reynolds says:

    If Mueller has kept the Papapdopoulos guilty plea secret this long, it is reasonable to suspect that he has more such low-level informants. Mueller doesn’t leak. Anyone associated with Trump who is not already lawyered up, needs to get that done right now.

    If some Hillary people get dragged in, I have no objection – let the investigation and prosecutions continue. And I’m sure all Trumpies will agree with me therefore that the Mueller probe must continue. Right? Right?

    This was always going to be about money-laundering and tax evasion at its core. Trumpies will desperately insist that it’s all terribly unfair to go after the Trump crime family, but them’s the breaks, kids, when you’re not just a criminal but a stupid one. Pro tip from a former criminal: don’t make yourself the most well-known person on planet earth. Fame and crime are not compatible over the long haul.

    Did Trump himself or people acting on his orders collude with Putin and his people? I think that’s likely, say a 7 out of 10. Did he keep his business organization afloat with Russian mob/GRU/FSB money? I’d call that an 8 out of 10. Did he engage in money-laundering and tax evasion? 8 out of 10 as well. Did he obstruct justice? That’s not even a question: guilty. He’s still doing it.

    Side bets: I’d say it’s a 6 out of 10 that we’ll catch him taking middle-eastern money, and Chinese money for policy changes. And I’d guess a 50/50 chance of getting proof that Trump has committed sexual assaults.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  20. Mikey says:

    Also re: Papadopoulos, he met with the Russian “professor” at the end of April 2016, the “professor” told him the Russians had dirt on Clinton, “they have thousands of emails.”

    And only subsequent to that meeting did Trump start saying stuff like “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

    He knew. They all knew.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  21. charon says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Scroll down this thread to 74/ – Papadopolous plea is more significant than Manafort stuff:

    https://twitter.com/SethAbramson .

    Pretty much ices the collusion aspect – Mueller has collusion in his pocket.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  22. John430 says:

    In any case, while the Trump Administration may try to spin this is an indication that there is no evidence of the campaign’s possible collusion with Russia regarding the 2016 campaign that clearly isn’t the case.

    I’m sure the faux-lawyers on this blog will refuse to consider that most, if not all the dealings took place thru 2012, long before Trump went political. Even Doug’s “analysis” is chock-full of “maybes”, “ifs” and “could bes”. Methinks you leftys hope too much.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 16

  23. michael reynolds says:

    @charon:
    Oooh, thanks for that. He’s right: collusion is practically a done deal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  24. Mikey says:

    @John430: Trump “went political” many years before 2012, dude.

    And Manafort’s indictment might be bigger news today than Papadopoulos’ guilty plea, but it’s actually Papadopoulos who points more directly to collusion…and he’s been flipped.

    You can keep whistling past this particular graveyard if you want, but the ghouls are still rising from their graves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @John430:
    Dude, you need to check the expiration date on your jar of bullsh!t. That story line has expired.

    The way it looks now:

    Papadapoulos, working simultaneously for Trump and Putin, set up a quid pro quo: change the GOP platform position on Ukraine and receive Hillary’s emails in exchange. The platform was changed to favor Putin, and the emails were released. And Trump started talking up the emails between the offer and the delivery.

    That, my friend, is a quid pro quo, changing US policy for a campaign pay-off – a pay-off that was itself the fruit of criminal activity. Collusion with a hostile foreign power.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  26. drj says:

    @charon:

    Actually, I would suggest readers start at #68:

    68/ Papadopoulos met a Russian national to set up a Kremlin channel for Trump on 3/24/16. It now seems clear he told Trump this on 3/31/16.

    69/ This means Trump ordered a GOP platform change to benefit Russia *pre-hacking* and *after* being told the Kremlin wanted a relationship.

    70/ That is to say, it now seems release of the DNC emails was a quid pro quo from Trump ordering Gordon to change the GOP platform 3/31/16.

    72/ If Trump ordered the GOP platform change after Papadopoulos laid out the Kremlin’s interest in him—and he did—collusion has been proven.

    73/ I said this before—that the GOP platform change was *provably* collusion—but *now* we know Mueller has that witness in his back pocket.

    If you read on, it seems that Sessions will be toast as well.

    Abramson even says Trump is “done.” I wish I could be so optimistic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  27. Mister Bluster says:

    …most, if not all the dealings took place thru 2012, long before Trump went political.

    Here’s a Timeline of Every Time Donald Trump Ran for President

    Sexual Pervert Donald Trump “went political” as far back as 1987.
    He confessed to being an active sexual molestor of women in 2005.
    Why do you keep making excuses for this “fu*king moron”?*

    *Rex Tillerson said this and he would know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  28. Hal_10000 says:

    Re: the Papadopoulos plea. It’s significant but worth noting that he said he attempted to coordinate meetings with the upper echelons of the campaign and was met with disinterest. So I don’t think that’s the thread that will unwind the whole thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  29. grumpy realist says:

    @John430: So what? It’s not the politcs; it’s the corruption.

    And if you don’t think that Trump has played around with some awfully odorous companions (a.k.a. Russian mafia) in his greed for money, you haven’t been following his history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  30. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:
    The quid pro quo was both quidded and quoed: the offer was trade hacked Hillary emails for a change on Ukraine policy. The change was delivered, the emails emerged, and between event #1 and event #2 Trump started blathering about his high expectations for Russia to deliver Hillary’s emails.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  31. drj says:

    @Hal_10000:

    …and was met with disinterest.

    Have you even seen Papadopoulos’ guilty plea?

    The Trump campaign knowingly kept on a conduit to the Kremlin, whom they knew to have offered them Russian support to get “dirt” on Trump’s domestic political opponent.

    And the Trump campaign eventually got that dirt, didn’t they?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  32. MarkedMan says:

    One of the things that anyone thinking about flipping should keep in mind: Trump and his co-conspirators are tremendously stupid. And you never come out ahead by aligning with stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  33. As several people have noted in the comment thread, there has been a third series of charges filed against George Papadapoulos, a lower-level foreign policy adviser on the Trump campaign. I discuss the charges against Papadapoulos and what they could potentially mean in a separate post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  34. Mike in Arlington says:

    @drj: Check out footnote 2 on page 8:
    *snip*
    “The government notes that the official forwarded defendant PAPADOPOULOS’s email to another Campaign official (without including defendant PAPADOPOULOS) and stated: “Let[‘] discuss. We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”
    *snip*

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  35. Guarneri says:

    Other than that these charges relate to Manafort’s business dealing years before any Trump association, and that his ties with the with the Dem lackey Ukrainian Pres really are part of “reset” efforts you guys are doing great.

    Here’s the real issue, courtesy of an honest man:

    https://hotair.com/archives/2017/10/30/dershowitz-manafort-indictment-leverage/

    Back to your whacking off……………..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  36. Mikey says:

    @Guarneri: Just keep waving your hands and stomping your feet. That always makes the bad things go away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  37. gVOR08 says:

    Just to be clear, Mueller is investigating Tony Podesta. The ex Clinton campaign chair who had his email spear phished is John Podesta, Tony’s brother. Not making any point beyond asking that in comments you note which Podesta.

    Also, there are the emails hacked from Podesta and the DNC. These were apparently hacked by the Russians and fed to Assange. There are also the 30,000 emails Hillary’s people deemed not subject to public records, and the remainder of Hillary’s emails turned over as public records, as far as I’m aware there is no evidence the Russians or anyone else ever hacked any of these, although the Russians did dangle the possibility as bait. Again, let’s be clear which emails we talk about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    You know, for a moment there I actually thought you might be smart enough not to jump in on this. But once again you’ve lived down to everyone’s lowest expectations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  39. Guarneri says:

    Tony! Tony! Where ya goin’. We hardly got to know ya.

    “…emails obtained by the Associated Press showed that Gates personally directed two Washington lobbying firms, Mercury LLC and the Podesta Group, between 2012 and 2014 to set up meetings between a top Ukrainian official and senators and congressmen on influential committees involving Ukrainian interests. Gates noted in the emails that the official, Ukraine’s foreign minister, did not want to use his own embassy in the United States to help coordinate the visits.
     
    And this is where the plot thickens, because while the bulk of the press has so far spun the entire Ukraine lobbying scandal, which led to Manafort’s resignation, as the latest “proof” that pro-Moscow powers were influencing not only Manafort but the Trump campaign in general (who some democrats have even painted of being a Putin agent), the reality is that a firm closely tied with the Democratic party, the Podesta Group, is implicated.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  40. Guarneri says:

    You go, dude.

    One of these decades you might have something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  41. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    We have no problem with Mueller looking into Podesta or Hillary. We are happy to let the investigation proceed.

    Which your side of course, is not.

    I wonder why.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  42. An Interested Party says:

    Once again we’re seeing alternate realities being spun…to think that all of this will somehow hurt the Democrats as opposed to really hurting the Orange Mange? That seems a tad…delusional…

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  43. al-Ameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    Back to your whacking off……………..

    Speaking of which …
    Sure looks like Manafort is getting whacked, and Flynn might avoid getting whacked by cooperating with non-Russian authorities.

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  44. Eric Florack says:

    Manifort’s under house arrest for tax evasion.
    Rev(?) Al Sharpton owes $4.4 Million to the IRS and he’s strutting around free.

    I wonder when we might see The Usual Suspects in this group calling for Al Sharpton’s arrest

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