Posted tagged ‘Paul Manafort’

Democrats demand Congress move to protect Mueller from Trump ire

October 30, 2017

Democrats demand Congress move to protect Mueller from Trump ire, Washington TimesSally Persons and Stephen Dinan, October 30, 2017

(Rumors are also being spread that Henny Penny will soon announce the imminent fall of the sky. Congress must immediately pass legislation to silence Henny Penny. Please see also, Manafort surrenders…What has this got to do with Trump? –DM)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, speaks during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on Oct. 26, 2017. (Associated Press)

Democrats demanded Monday that Congress approve a bill preventing the special counsel from being fired after Robert Mueller unsealed charges against three former Trump campaign officials concerning their work with or on behalf of Russian interests.

Sen. Mark R. Warner, Virginia Democrat and vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said the charges against Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman and top deputy, and the guilty plea from a foreign policy advisor, are reasons to quickly protect Mr. Mueller from interference by an angry president.

“Members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, must also make clear to the president that issuing pardons to any of his associates or to himself would be unacceptable, and result in immediate, bipartisan action by Congress,” Mr. Warner said in a statement.

Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, unsealed indictments against Paul Manafort, who served as Trump campaign chairman from March to August, and against his deputy Rick Gates, charging them with a long-running scheme to represent pro-Russian interests in Ukraine, laundering money and avoiding taxes for the operation, then lying to investigators to cover it up.

The crucial activity appeared to take place before 2014, or well before the campaign.

But Mr. Mueller also unsealed a guilty plea entered earlier this month by George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy advisor, who admitted to lying to cover up contacts he had during the campaign with someone promising dirt on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Democrats said the charges showed there were live targets for Mr. Mueller’s investigation within the Trump campaign operation, and said it’s a reason to defend the special counsel against interference.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, warned Mr. Trump not to intervene to help his two former associates.

“The president must not, under any circumstances, interfere with the special counsel’s work in any way. If he does so, Congress must respond swiftly, unequivocally, and in a bipartisan way to ensure that the investigation continues,” he said.

Multiple congressional committees are probing Russian activities during the election, including Mr. Warner’s panel.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she still wants to see yet another investigation launched.

“Even with an accelerating Special Counsel investigation inside the Justice Department, and investigations inside the Republican Congress, we still need an outside, fully independent investigation to expose Russia’s meddling in our election and the involvement of Trump officials,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement.

Manafort surrenders…What has this got to do with Trump?

October 30, 2017

Manafort surrenders…What has this got to do with Trump? IWB, Mark Angelides, October 30, 2017

GWB. Remarks at Graduation Ceremony for FBI Special Agents. Quantico, VA.

It seems fairly obvious that when Manafort’s home was raided and he was warned by prosecutors that he would be facing charges, it was an attempt to get him to roll over on the president and either give up some real evidence or make up some tales to extricate himself. Those who know Manafort personally have stated that “he wouldn’t lie,” (at least not to get others IN trouble, getting himself OUT is clearly a different matter).

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Former Campaign manager to the Trump team, Paul Manafort has turned himself into the authorities after the long-awaited charges were finally filed on Friday. It is not our place to judge his guilt, but we can ask one question…What has this got to do with Donald Trump and the Russian conspiracy?

Back in the summer, the media had a frenzy about the FBI raiding Manafort’s home searching for evidence of money laundering from his days as a Ukraine spin master and lobbyist. According to the filed charges (you can read them here), they’ve found it. But not one of the charges mentions a single word about Donald Trump, his campaign team, his presidential bid, or in fact anything whatsoever that you would expect from an investigation into the aforementioned!

So why are the charges coming out now? If I were of a more paranoid bent, I would suggest that since the eruption of at least four major scandals over the last two weeks (all of which concerning Russia, Mueller himself, and the DNC) that Mueller, along with press, are trying desperately to get back to “the narrative.”

It seems fairly obvious that when Manafort’s home was raided and he was warned by prosecutors that he would be facing charges, it was an attempt to get him to roll over on the president and either give up some real evidence or make up some tales to extricate himself. Those who know Manafort personally have stated that “he wouldn’t lie,” (at least not to get others IN trouble, getting himself OUT is clearly a different matter).

So with Manafort refusing to dish the dirt, they have just gone ahead with the charges of money laundering, tax evasion, and of course, lying to authorities about it. Yet this really seems to have nothing to do with the president.

Lest you think this is an indulgent flattery piece that suggests the president can do no wrong, rest assured, I think it highly likely that at some point in time, the president has been involved in some questionable practices (especially with regards to his business dealings). But this is about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and this has turned up nothing to do with a Trump-Russia collusion deal! So what is the purpose?

Simply, the prosecutors (most of whom were large Clinton donors), Mueller (who was the guy who tried to falsify evidence in the case of trying arrest Julian Assange in Iceland), and the DNC, who have the most to gain by getting rid of Trump, have no realistic route back to power other than forcing the president to leave in disgrace. They have no new policies, no new ideas, and no new candidates…All they have are hints and allegations of some mysterious scandal that even today, with Manafort’s arrest, has still failed to materialize.

FBI’s Focus On Manafort Doesn’t Have Anything To Do With Russian Collusion In The Election

October 30, 2017

FBI’s Focus On Manafort Doesn’t Have Anything To Do With Russian Collusion In The Election, Daily Caller, October 29, 2017

(I have read the lengthy indictment of Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, released today (October 30th). It mentions neither Trump nor the campaign and appears to have nothing to do with Russian collusion. It is available here. — DM)

Paul Manafort (Getty Images)

The FBI’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is focused on several suspicious wire-transfers he made four years before the presidential election, according to a Sunday report from Buzzfeed.

Manafort allegedly made 13 wire transfers from 2011 to 2012 that drew the attention of federal law enforcement officials who were examining if he was helping the Ukrainian regime launder millions it plundered through corrupt dealings. Much of the money was filtered through the U.S. before landing in various areas around the world, Buzzfeed’s report notes.

Trump’s former campaign manager has been the subject of multiple law enforcement investigations into  Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.

A spokesman for Manafort did not respond to reporters’ questions about the investigation or any of the specific wire transactions. He became Trump’s campaign manager in May 2016 before he was forced to resign three months later after media reports exposed his ties to Russian oligarchs.

Manafort has since emerged as a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian influence, despite the former campaign manager’s repeated denials of any wrongdoing. His widely-reported connections to corrupt former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych sparked speculation he used Russian agents to help Trump at the expense of Clinton.

American financial institutions, which are required by law to tell the Treasury Department about any transactions they deem suspicious, began flagging Manafort’s transactions, Buzzfeed’s report notes. Suspicious activity reports do not prove wrongdoing, but they are sufficient to begin probes. Federal law requires financial institutions to file reports on cash transactions exceeding $10,000 in a single day.

Manafort’s suspicious financial transactions were flagged as far back as 2012 and forwarded to the FBI’s International Corruption Unit and the Department of Justice, a former Treasury official told reporters. Law enforcement officials said they found red flags in his banking records going back to 2004.

Four of the transfers originated with Manafort’s political consulting firm Global Endeavour, which was hired by Yanukovych to consult and lobby on his behalf. Manafort was working with the former Ukrainian president to lobby the U.S. and other Western countries to support for Ukraine’s entry into the European Union.

Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group’s involvement in Ukrainian politics is also complicating the situation. Mueller expanded the investigation to focus on Podesta and his Democratic-leaning lobbying firm with connections to Clinton, sources told NBC in an Oct. 24 report.

Manafort organized a public relations campaign for a group called European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU), which lobbied the U.S. to support Ukraine’s EU push. Podesta’s company was one of many firms that worked on the campaign.

The sources said Mueller’s investigation into Podesta, the brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, began as a fact-finding mission about Manafort’s role in the campaign but quickly morphed into a criminal inquiry into whether the firm violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA.

People and firms who lobby on behalf of foreign governments must file detailed disclosures about their spending with the Department of Justice. Willful failure to file is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison. Podesta and Manafort filed the requisite forms only after the media began reporting on their dealings with ECMU, according to NBC’s report.

CNN reported Friday that Mueller has filed charges in sealed indictments. It is currently not known what the charges are or who they have been filed against. CNN reported that multiple people could face charges. The FBI could begin arresting those charged within the week.

Carlson Exposes Russia Story the Rest of Mainstream Media Missed

October 26, 2017

Carlson Exposes Russia Story the Rest of Mainstream Media Missed, Accuracy in Media, Brian McNicoll, October 25, 2017

(Please see also, DOJ lifts gag order; former FBI informant can tell Congress about 2010 uranium deal. — DM)

 

Carlson’s source said he had also been interviewed by Mueller, whom the source said is now more interested in those who facilitated Russian involvement in our political system as opposed to electoral collusion.

“Manafort was crystal clear Russia wanted to cultivate Hillary,” Carlson quoted the source as saying. Manafort, Tony and John Podesta, who went on to manage Clinton’s campaign, were “operatives on behalf of Russian business interests.”

“And now it turns out two people very close to Hillary Clinton were working for them. Obama administration in its effort to seek a closer relationship with Russia acquiescing in the sale of materials that are strategic and place American security interests at some risk.”

The last remark referred to other reporting this week that President Obama worked with Clinton during her time at the State Department to sell a fifth of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russians – another event that has received almost no coverage.

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Nowhere in the New York Times or Washington Post will you find it, but Tucker Carlson might have pulled off the scoop of the year on his show on Fox.

Paul Manafort has long been known to be at or near the center of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The FBI searched Manafort’s house, he was at the meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., and the Russian lawyer who offered dirt on Hillary Clinton and his past as a lobbyist for foreign governments means he likely knows the people might collude with.

But the assumption has been that Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager for a brief period in the summer of 2016, was a problem for Trump and perhaps a link from underground Russian dealings to the Oval Office itself.

Carlson said that a former senior employee at the Podesta Group with “direct personal knowledge” of the Mueller investigation contacted the show because he was “motivated … by the disgust he felt watching media coverage.”

Not only are the media getting it wrong, he said, they are getting it backwards. 

The man told Carlson the Russians were deeply involved in American politics, but the real story – perhaps now even the focus of the Mueller investigation – has “almost nothing to do with the 2016 presidential campaign.”

Instead, it is about Manafort working for years with the Podesta Group on behalf of Russian government interests, the source told Carlson. Manafort was a regular in the Podesta offices and sought to influence the Obama administration, Congress and the Hillary Clinton State Department on behalf of Russian government interests.

Tony Podesta, in turn, was a constant voice in Hillary Clinton’s ear when she was secretary of state, working through David Adams, whom he hired from the State Department to improve access.

The man said he knows of at least one meeting held to “determine how to help Uranium One, whose board members gave $100 million to the Clinton Foundation.”

Carlson’s source said he had also been interviewed by Mueller, whom the source said is now more interested in those who facilitated Russian involvement in our political system as opposed to electoral collusion.

“Manafort was crystal clear Russia wanted to cultivate Hillary,” Carlson quoted the source as saying. Manafort, Tony and John Podesta, who went on to manage Clinton’s campaign, were “operatives on behalf of Russian business interests.”

The Podestas “are in the crosshairs,” Carlson concluded.

He then brought on Brit Hume, who agreed this revelation changed the story completely by complicating everyone’s idea of Manafort’s place in it and by revealing that Mueller “is on this” and may now be involved in “a more broad-gauged effort to determine the extent and depth of Russian efforts to influence American politics going back several years.”

But then raised perhaps an even more significant question.

The story “suggests what collusion that have been was between Paul Manafort and the Podesta Group on behalf of Russian interests,” Hume said. “What you’re coming around and getting at this now … how could it be that all these journalists chasing this story for lo these many months and never ran across this thing? How can that be?”

“It’s pretty striking, and it suggests the work done on this story has not been of the best quality or this would have turned up. I’d also suggest you have a pack of journalists who are so determined to follow one storyline that they completely missed this.

“And now it turns out two people very close to Hillary Clinton were working for them. Obama administration in its effort to seek a closer relationship with Russia acquiescing in the sale of materials that are strategic and place American security interests at some risk.”

The last remark referred to other reporting this week that President Obama worked with Clinton during her time at the State Department to sell a fifth of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russians – another event that has received almost no coverage.

“The tide may be turning in political terms and hopefully in journalistic tones,” Hume said.