Mueller Moves To Block Manafort Release From Home Confinement Over Drafting Of An Opinion Piece

440px-Director_Robert_S._Mueller-_III-1Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has reportedly scuttled his own deal to secure release from home confinement under a deal Manafort with prosecutors.  Prosecutors learned (from an unspecified source) that Manafort was working with a ghostwriter on an opinion piece on his case.  The second man reportedly had ties to Russian intelligence — hardly ideal for a man at the center of the Russian investigation. The work was deemed to be in violation of a court order for all parties to refrain from “trying the case in the press.” However, the order raises a long-standing question of the need and constitutionality of orders limiting the free speech of defendants and counsel.  While once the exception, gag orders have become the rule with many judges.  Yet, Manafort is presumed innocent and the order prevents him from responding to those questioning his loyalty and honesty.


According to court documents, Manafort was working on an editorial on his work in Ukraine with a person “who is currently based in Russia and assessed to have ties to a Russian intelligence service.”  It is not clear what is meant by such “ties”.  However, Manafort is charged not with espionage but  tax fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.

Under the agreement, Manafort would have surrendered assets including real estate valued at a $8 million and life insurance policies valued at $4.5m. However, his work on the oped was deemed as “an intention to violate or circumvent the court’s existing orders, at a time one would expect particularly scrupulous adherence.”

This however brings us again to the central point that Manafort has not been convicted of any crime and wants to speak or write publicly in his own defense.  Courts now routinely strip defendants of their free speech rights in the interests of protecting the potential jurors from influence.  Yet, it means that a citizen is denied free speech rights when they are most in need for them — to defend their name and to oppose the government’s actions.

As I previously mentioned, Manafort has long had a reputation in Washington for suspicious dealings.  However, statements of this kind are precisely why he should not be denied the ability to rebut them publicly.

What do you think?

157 thoughts on “Mueller Moves To Block Manafort Release From Home Confinement Over Drafting Of An Opinion Piece”

  1. Are ex-Presidents immune from The Logan Act?

    “I grant you that at the moment we have a temporary absence of American leadership on the issue,” the former president noted, which was met with laughter from the room full of French former ministers and CEOs at the invite-only event, according to Reuters.

    However, he noted, “you’re seeing American companies and states and cities continuing to work” to meet targets and stay on track.

    The Logan Act
    Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

    This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply, himself or his agent, to any foreign government or the agents thereof for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

    Of course if it can’t proven he was communicating with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, then he will get a pass.

  2. Many here are dyslexic, confusing left with right. The Authoritarians stand on the right.

    1. David, you know that authoritarians stand on the extremes of both the left and right. It’s just that authoritarianism has become more entrenched in general leftist thinking.

    2. Right wing commenters use unsophisticated argumentation techniques e.g. “what about…ism” and volleying back criticisms which were leveled at the right wing verbatim, without tailoring them in any way.

      As the political parties moved to the right, the intellectuals who previously wrote for conservatives became mainstream leaving a void in intellectual thought on what is now the far right. Without serious talking points to deliver, the babble of Hannity , Limbaugh, Levine and their ditto heads fill the void.

  3. The left would ban free speech if they could.

    Next to the truth, it is their greatest enemy.

      1. She’s right David. What do you think the intention of Antifa is when they act violently to prevent speech on the college campus?

  4. No, they won’t be able to impeach him but right now they don’t know what else to do so they are looking for something to destroy the Presidency and keep him occupied. Let’s see how things go after they pass the tax bill and midterms come up. I think the left’s attempts to discredit him make a former nonideological President into one that has moved somewhat to the right.

  5. Ollie the left claims all sorts of unproven things, but they can’t “unprove” what is true.

    Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI

    When lying to the FBI wasn’t a crime.

    “There’s always conflicting recollections of facts,” FBI Director Comey said.

    It was a year ago and Comey was explaining why Hillary’s close aide, Cheryl Mills, not only received an immunity agreement in exchange for turning over her laptop, but a pass on lying to the FBI.

    The FBI Director claimed that Mills had to receive immunity because the laptop might be protected by attorney-client privilege. Mills, like Hillary Clinton, had worked as a lawyer. But they were both government officials working for the State Department. Hillary wasn’t Mills’ client. The government was.

    Comey and his people knew the law. They chose to ignore it to protect a key Hillary aide from rolling over. Mills was the woman Hillary would send in to clean up her dirty laundry. Mills had taken point on the email server cover-up. If anyone knew where the bodies were buried, she did. Instead not only did she get an immunity agreement, but the FBI also agreed to destroy the computers after the search.

    Mills had told the FBI that she didn’t know about Hillary’s email server. But the FBI had notes and emails proving that Mills was lying. And when Comey was asked about it, he came out with, “There’s always conflicting recollections of facts.”

    No doubt.

    That is what the lawyer of the woman who had been caught lying to the FBI might have been expected to argue. But there were no charges, instead the FBI Director was presenting her defense.

    George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn were charged with lying to investigators. But lying to investigators isn’t a crime when you’re Hillary Clinton.

    Or one of her associates.

    Hillary Clinton had told the FBI that she had no idea that the “C” stood for confidential. Instead of laughing in her face or arresting her, the FBI boss testified personally to her truthfulness.

    Hillary Clinton, Mills and Huma Abedin made what appear to be false statements to the FBI.

    Had Mills been working for Trump, the same number would have been run on Mills as on Flynn and Papadopoulos. But the men interviewing Mills didn’t want her to sing. They wanted her to keep quiet.

    Mills and Abedin were interviewed by the FBI’s Peter Strzok and the DOJ’s David Laufman. Strzok was exchanging pro-Hillary and anti-Trump messages in an extramarital affair with a woman working for FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. McCabe’s wife had received a sizable amount of money from a Clinton ally. Laufman, whose counterintelligence section was heading the investigation, is an Obama donor.

    Mills’ lie made it more urgent to hand her an immunity agreement on any pretext. The immunity agreement wasn’t leverage for her testimony. It was leverage to keep her from testifying. The obstruction of justice was coming from the inside.

    Strzok received input on the Comey letter exonerating Clinton. The Mills interview killed two birds with one stone. A key Hillary aide got immunity and the evidence would be destroyed.

    This wasn’t an interview. It was a cover-up.

    It’s why Comey sounded like Mills’ lawyer. And why so many Clinton associates got immunity agreements. Why the FBI agreed to destroy evidence. Why there were no recordings of Hillary’s testimony. And why lying to the FBI wasn’t a crime when it came to Hillary and her aides.

    But the double standard kicked in when the Clinton cover-up crew went after Trump.

    While Mills received an immunity agreement based on an imaginary attorney-client privilege that didn’t exist, Manafort was denied attorney-client privilege with his actual attorney.

    The double standard isn’t surprising when you look at who was doing the interviewing.

    Strzok and Laufman had also interviewed Hillary. No recordings were made of the session. But Comey testified that it’s a “crime to lie to us”.

    Not for the Clintons and their associates.

    Hillary had told her interviewers that she hadn’t received training on handling classified information, but she signed a document testifying that she had. Hillary claimed that she hadn’t carried a second phone, but an aide, Justin Cooper, who made the server possible, testified that indeed she did.

    Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills told the same lie.

    These are the kinds of misstep that Team Mueller would have used to hang a Trump associate. But Comey testified that Hillary Clinton did not lie.

    And that meant he was lying.

    Not only did Clinton’s people lie to the FBI. But the head of the FBI had lied for them.

    The fix had been in all along.

    Comey had drafted his letter exonerating Clinton before the interviews even took place. Strzok had been copied on the next email. His contribution had included changing the description of Clinton’s actions from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” Strzok is now in the spotlight because Team Mueller’s stonewalling of the reasons for his removal have been exposed.

    Strzok, a Hillary partisan, had given his favorite politician a pass and signed the document opening the Russia investigation. The Steele dossier, provided by a Russian intelligence operative and paid for by the Clinton campaign, was funneled through to Strzok’s team. And Strzok had interviewed Flynn.

    Team Mueller resisted discussing Strzok. Alongside the constant leaks to favored media outlets like the Washington Post, Mueller’s people have worked to maintain a monopoly on information.

    Judge Beryl Howell, an Obama appointee, a friend of Loretta Lynch, Obama’s DOJ boss, and of Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s deputy, decided to seal the Papadopolous case. Howell also decided that Manafort isn’t entitled to attorney-client privilege. These actions took place at the behest of Weissmann. The latter had sent an email praising Sally Yates, the disgraced former acting Attorney General, for refusing to stand by the law on the Trump travel ban.

    Weissmann, like the rest of Team Mueller, wasn’t there to get at the truth, but to stop President Trump. The Mueller deputy is one of two Obama donors on the team. There are also five Clinton donors. One of whom had represented the Clinton Foundation. Another had represented Justin Cooper, the Clinton adviser, who helped run Hillary’s email server and claimed to have destroyed some of Hillary’s devices.

    It’s hard to imagine how this investigation could have been any more partisan or tainted.

    The endgame for this is to go after President Trump on obstruction of justice. But you can’t obstruct a justice that was already obstructed. Both the Clinton and Trump investigations were tainted by blatant partisanship. While the Clinton investigation did everything possible to protect her and her aides, regardless of the evidence, the Trump investigation did everything possible to destroy him and his associates without producing a single charge relevant to the actual investigation.

    The Clintons and their allies have obstructed justice. And it’s time for a real investigation.

    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

    1. Allan,
      Weaponizing the IRS for political gain pales in comparison to weaponizing the FBI. When our premier law enforcement agency becomes an enforcement arm of a political party, we’ve reached banana republic stage. When the American people lose confidence in the FBI and/or Justice Department to uphold the rule of law, then we are poised for a hell to break loose.

      When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.

      1. Control over the justice of a nation along with the army is what all political despots do. Obama could be considered a political despot except for the fact he was prevented from going further than he did.

        1. Given how these agencies have been weaponized against conservatives, it’s not a surprise there is so much hatred for President Trump to be in office. I believe it’s a rational response, but only if one agrees whoever has that office should wield that kind of power. All of a sudden, the Left is trying to invoke the constitution as if it really meant something to them. Now they want to read bills before debating and voting on them. Now they want to strip the executive branch of power when before they were giving the President a standing ovation for making Congress irrelevant.

          1. The left thought it could bring itself closer to total rule, but the people intervened. That was not supposed to happen and if the left had won none of this stuff would be revealed. Even none politicians like Matt Lauer could probably have continued without anyone giving a care (everyone knew for years). Now those on the left that have been ruling lawlessly are worried about what is going to be found. They are desperate to impeach the President before they are found out.

            The danger to the Republic is real, but the foolish ones prefer to think of politics as a ball game where they support their team no matter what.

            1. They are desperate to impeach the President before they are found out.

              Impeachment won’t save them. Pick your favorite euphemism; that train has left the station, that bell has been rung, that horse has left the barn, etc.

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