Mueller Files New Manafort Charges As Investigators Look Into Alleged Quid Pro Quo Deal Of $16 Million Loan

440px-Director_Robert_S._Mueller-_III-1Paul Manafort has been something of a target rich environment for Special Counsel Robert Mueller who has piled on an assortment of charges for financial and fraud crimes.  The charges were not much of a surprise for many of us in Washington where Manafort has long held a reputation for dubious clients and practices.  Indeed, as discussed before, it is astonishing that Donald Trump selected Manafort to head his campaign when minimal vetting would have revealed his controversial history and clients.  Now Mueller has now filed greatly expanded charges against Manafort and Gates.  There is a new allegation of mortgage fraud but one recently disclosed inquiry could present an even more serious issue for Manafort and the Administration.  All of the past charges have been unrelated to election or the campaign.  The new allegation is no exception, but it does involve the Administration in Manafort allegedly securing a $16 million loan in exchange for an appointment of the banker to a prestigious Administration position.  Mueller is reportedly seeking information on the appointment of Stephen Calk to Trump’s council of economic advisers in August 2016. He is the president of Federal Savings Bank and gave Manafort the over-sized loan. As discussed in my most recent column, this is why I have been arguing the financial allegations are more important to watch than the collusion allegations.

The loan was in the form of three loans for homes in New York City and the Hamptons in December 2016 and January 2017.  The timing is obviously a concern. He went to Federal Savings Bank.  Mueller is suspicious of the timing and merits for the loans. Reports indicate that bank officials questioned the basis for the loans.  There is also a report of pressure allegedly being applied to one bank employee.

This may be the same mortgage loans that Mueller has suggested were based on false reporting of income and assets by Manafort.  The White House declined to say whether Manafort lobbied for Calk’s appointment. On the face of it, such lobbyist would be deeply unethical given his highly favorable loans.

This is still not an allegation linked to Russian collusion but it would be the first to allege serious criminal conduct touching upon the Administration itself.  In the end, as with the appointment of Omarosa and Rod Porter and others, this scandal is the direct result of poor vetting and poor judgment in the selection of personnel.  As Omarosa said recently, “it’s not going to be ok.”

 

86 thoughts on “Mueller Files New Manafort Charges As Investigators Look Into Alleged Quid Pro Quo Deal Of $16 Million Loan

  1. Rick Gates was offered a plea deal. He turned it down. His lawyers quit. Gates got another lawyer who specializes in plea deals. Gates was offered another plea deal. He turned that one down, too. So now Mueller is throwing the book at Gates and Manafort. This will probably delay both trials in both jurisdictions. That, in turn, will probably keep the special counsel’s investigation going forward well into 2019 or beyond. Some observers had foreseen a possible end point in 2018 for the OSC investigation. That end point is no longer in sight. Trump supporters should properly thank Rick Gates and Paul Manafort for extending Mueller’s investigation all the way out to the event horizon for Trump’s reelection bid. Covfefe. Enjoy!

    • David Benson – what is more interesting is that Manafort and Gates are tied to the Podesta Group who was paying them from an offshore account for their work in the Ukraine.

      • You switched the subjects onto the wrong sides of the transitive verb, Schulteacher. Manafort was paying the Podesta Group from offshore accounts. Manafort and Gates are also the ones who set up the phony European Centre for a Modern Ukraine to cover up the connection to a foreign government. If Mueller can show that the Podesta Group knew that they were not being paid by The European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, but were being paid by Manafort, instead, then the Podesta Group would be culpable for the same FARA violation for which Manafort and Gates were charged. Otherwise, it’s just Manafort and Gates who are on the hook for it.

          • If Tony Podesta is complicit in the same alleged crimes for which Manafort and Gates were indicted, then Mueller would not have hesitated to indict Podesta. Meanwhile, the Podesta Group is reported to be the “Company B” referred to in Mueller’s first indictment against Manafort and Gates. There’s no reporting yet on the “Company A” mentioned in that same indictment. Presumably, Company A would be a shell company through which either Yanukovich, or Deripaska, laundered money to pay Manafort and Gates, who used the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine as a shell entity to pay the Podesta Group.

            • Diane – Dick Morris thinks Bill Clinton has gone underground because that is his SOP when he is in trouble, which would have to do with the Clinton connection to the Podestas.

                  • Yes, and he’d get plenty of bad press for going after someone not connected to the Trump campaign.

                    Also, the perception of impartiality was badly damaged by the choice of a close Comey ally as Special Counsel.
                    And by stacking the Mueller team with mostly partisan Democrats.
                    At this stage, I don’t think that the Special Counsel’s investigation can overcome widespread public skepicism of the “impartiality” claim.

                    • You are of course, allowed your own opinion — no matter how uninformed it it — but not your own facts. Mueller’s team is made of up lifelong prosecutors; most of which are Republicans, and a small minority of whom have contributed to Democratic election campaigns. However, amongst professional law enforcement, the law is the law, and lady justice doesn’t have a bumper sticker favoring one party over another; a concept which I am quite sure is totally beyond the denizens of bedlam who lurk here. The warp and the woof of the entire affair is that a Republican was chosen by another Republican to investigate potential wrongdoing by the election campaign of another Republican. Pro tip: unsupported conspiracy-mongering by Pravda Faux News shills is nothing more than incoherent wishing; a practice which Federal grand juries don’t engage in as they review “evidence” rather than wishes.

                      this is to “if you click three times you’ll be back in Kansas (or not)” tommie

                    • Mark M., 13 of the 16 lawyers on Mueller’s team are registered Democrats; none of the 16 are registered Republicans.
                      When I have time, I’ll explain to you why that means that “most of” Mueller’s team are Reuplicans.
                      Maybe you can work the math out on your own.

                    • Mark M
                      ..meant to write that 13 of 16 as registered Demovrats means that your claim that “most of” Mueller’s team are Republicans is wildly inaccurate.
                      You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own math.

  2. All the Establishment Dims have is Russia Russia Russia and they intend to keep it going along with the compliant MSM and the intel peeps. Now they want 300 mil allocated to “fight possible Russia election tampering”

    Money that could be used for infracture, jobs programs, VA, etc etc

    Clearly the Party of the People does not give a rats arse about ordinary citizens.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-election/democrats-want-300-million-to-fight-possible-russia-election-tampering-idUSKCN1G526N

    • Not much money left cause T rump and his pubs gave. 1.3 trillion to da billionaire and da rich corporations, What is Goldmans cut?

      • Is insisting the Tax Reform bill was for billionaires and large corporations all the Democrats have to bring to 2018? Here’s an idea, search for all the programs and loopholes imbedded in the prior tax system that have been removed. It’s quite a long list and very interesting. Some of the dumbest stuff (which should have been in appropriations bill). Reading that list is a feel-good. Who knew this was going on?

        • To date, 337 companies have raised wages, bonuses, and/or 401k contributions. I seriously doubt all of those workers are billionaires.

          But yes, Sandi, that is all they have.

          • Haha. Really? 337 companies in a country of 315 million? You think that means anything at all? Why are you people so unable to comprehend rational, verifiable facts? Bring me a “statistic” of thousands of companies combined with raises for millions of American workers. That’s what I thought. Nice try though. Pro tip: anecdotal evidence is just that, nothing more than some guy’s barstool story.

            this is to “but that’s all hannity issued today” sierra

            • Marky Mark Mark – Super Pro Tip: anecdotal evidence in court is called “eye-witness testimony.” This is why you are still doing Chapter 7s. No one would trust you in court, even on your own traffic ticket. You are not a pro, so stop giving pro tips.

            • The list of major companies that have recently boosted wages is readily available on the internet.
              I have a few friends who own small business with anywhere from 3 to 8 employees.
              I don’t know if they’ve recently given pay raises or not.
              Let’s say that dozens of companies, each employing an average of 100,000 people, raised wages.
              And let’s also assume that there are thousands of very small businesses that did not raise wages.
              The argument that only a very small percentage of companies ( dozens v. thousands) is technically true, but it is also specious.
              If 10,000,000 workers got wage increases from dozens of large companies, and there were no wage increases for, say, 25,000 who work for the the thousands of small businesses, then a far greater number of workers saw their wages increase.
              The number of companies which gave raises is relatively meaningless; the number of employees who received higher wage is the important number.

  3. It’s simply amazing that Mueller is permitted to engage in the most reckless and absurd allegations and then Jon Turley and his fellow Leftists start to salivate at the “news,” whipping themselves up into an ecstatic frenzy over nothing. If Turley would bother to read the source of his stupid article, he would have noted the following:

    “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is now investigating whether there was a quid pro quo agreement between Manafort and Calk. Manafort left the Trump campaign in August 2016 after the millions he had earned working for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine drew media scrutiny. Calk did not receive a job in President Donald Trump’s cabinet.”

    Let me repeat that last sentence in all bold so that Turley and other Leftist “mentals” can grasp just a glimmer of reality: ‘CALK DID NOT RECEIVE A JOB IN PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S CABINET.”

    Get it, Leftist dummies? NO JOB was offered! Thus, the ONLY way that there could possibly be a quid pro quo is if there is proof that Calk had a reasonable expectation of receiving the job. Even if, arguendo, Calk did actually have a reasonable expectation of receiving the job, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for Mueller to prove such a remote allegation, no matter how many more millions of taxpayers’ dollars he spends on his witch hunt.

    Conclusion: Yet another Muellergate nothingburger.

  4. Are we to believe that Trump couldn’t find a more qualified Campaign Chairman? Why Paul Manafort, a man who had spent years in the Ukraine and had ties to Putin cronies? How could Trump have thought Paul Manafort would the perfect fit for his campaign? None of it makes sense! A savvy politician would have taken one look at Manafort’s recent background and thought, “This guy could be controversial”. But then, of course, Trump wasn’t a savvy politician. He was, instead, a ‘genius businessman’.

    • He is a businessman, not a politician, thank God. He accomplishes things. He’s diving into the Republican slippery slope, gun control. Everyone is entitled to privacy about medical problems. Somehow that needs some revision. Although it seems the Florida shooter had all the privacy he needed. Has either side of Congress doing anything? Revising the Second Amendment to outlaw war-like weaponry for some citizens seems sensible.however, the Second Amendment must remain.

  5. Yes, the finances will tell the story, which is why Chump won’t disclose his tax returns. Even he knows it’ll all be over once his finances are disclosed. What amazes me is the mentality of the Trumpsters. It really doesn’t matter how obviously dirty Manafort or any of the other Trump appointees are, they refuse to believe he’s a crook. Isn’t there some way to pivot to blame Hillary, Obama, Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer for all of this? I’m sure Hannity will find a way.

    • They think hirin da most crooked people you can find is draining da swamp. When will real estate swamp broke mogul qualify for a security clearance. Guess no one is acceptin payoffs.

    • RSA,…
      -There’s a good video on the vetting process….you can google “Cliff Sloan, Stephen Colbert” to view it online.
      I think Sloan was responsible for overseeing the vetting process in the Clinton administration.
      Most experienced politicians seem to have an “in house” vetting process to screen those being considered for positions in their administration.
      The Trump transition team ( and the Trump campaign) may not have had much of a “vetting infrastructure” in place.
      That’s one of the downsides when a political novice with no previous governing experience takes office.
      I think the FBI focuses more on background checks for security clearance purposes..it doesn’t look like they’re involved in early vetting of an administration’s nominees/ appointees.

  6. This Russian collusion thing is going to get real serious if any of those under investigation ever had lunch at the Russian Tea Room in NY or have an open parking ticket.

  7. What the Mueller “investigation” most reminds me of is MBS’ “anti corruption campaign” in KSA. MBS has his main rivals arrested and confiscates their ill gotten assets. While no one would argue that the assets were indeed ill gotten, this isn’t really about rooting out corruption in KSA.

    First, the actions are selective. MBS has plenty of ill gotten gains himself (and an even bigger pile right now after all the hard anti corruption work he’s been doing!). Then we look at the methods of “reform”. Rivals were taken to the Ritz Carlton where MBS had hired Erik Prince’s Blackwater to come in an torture them until they forked over the money. Some lucky guys were even hung upside-down and beaten into submission. Others were whisked away to a maximum security prison until they coughed up money along with plenty of blood. The hotel was cleaned up and is now open for business. Likely, Thomas Friedman was given a complimentary room for one year!

    So what about all of this spells anti corruption to any thinking person? Torture is itself a crime. Is anyone being prosecuted for that? No they are not. No trials? No problem. That isn’t exactly how a reform movement would look. If using raw power and force is in any way different from what was going on in KSA before MBS got started “reforming”, someone needs to explain how.

    MBS was eliminating his rivals and taking their assets. That’s not reform. Similarly, the deep state of USGinc. is getting rid of some people they don’t like. They are using extra legal methods to accomplish their aims. They aren’t going to be prosecuted for acting in an extra legal manner. They are just going to rid themselves of some people they no longer have use for and move on. This isn’t reform. This isn’t anti corruption. It is corruption itself.

    Returning to the rule of law is reform. Wiping up the blood stains in DC and moving along as before will make some people richer and more powerful. Our nation lies in shattered pieces.

  8. Okay, so let me get this straight. . .an individual–who was, at the time of receiving a, so-called, prestigious position, with the White House–held the job as president of a bank. Not too shabby. . .president of a bank. Now, this president of a bank was offered–and received–a prestigious position with the White House administration. . .so far, correct? And, there are allegations that the proper “vetting” may not have been performed, correct? Well, other than his, potentially, questionable transactions, involving Manafort, what if this former president, of a bank, had a spotless record? An impeccable record? A record, filled with nothing but praise, accolades and awards, in the field of banking, not to mention, any assortment of awards in his community, yet, we are expected to jump to the hasty conclusion that this individual was hired due to a lack of adequate vetting? Where is there any reason or proof to believe that a lack of vetting–with regard to hiring this president of a bank–was, in fact, the case? I don’t get it. I simply don’t get it. People, who act badly and break the laws, often have beautiful resumes. Wonderful educations, from elite universities. Tremendous track records, which have allowed them to reach positions, like, presidents of banks. If he, unknowingly, relied upon bogus information and false documentation, presented to him and the bank by Manafort–and we don’t know whether or not that may have been the situation–does that necessarily mean that the White House, by hiring him, failed in vetting him properly? We have no idea as to whether or not he had any prior knowledge as to Manafort’s shenanigans. Immediately assuming, without any facts to support the conclusion, that he was a co-conspirator, with Manafort, is a colossal jump at this point, to say the least. I’m going to assume–assume–that the White House did, in fact, vet this person, before hiring him, and that no warning flags emerged; however, in this day and age, when a mere, unsubstantiated accusation or association can send one to the guillotine, and where it is sport to paint all individuals, associated with Trump, as villains and devils, it seems unfashionable to reserve opinions until all of the facts have emerged. Too much fun to jump on the bandwagon and accuse the White House of failing to vet this person, when, in fact, we don’t know that to have been the case or whether this person was, knowingly, involved in any wrongdoing or fraud. But, hey, don’t allow me to ruin your party, JT. I’d hate for you to have to wait until all of the facts have emerged before determining that the hiring, of this bank president, was, yet, another failure on the part of the White House. Party on.

  9. A quid pro quo appointment to a council in August of 2016. When no one even thought Trump had a chance of winning. And this never, ever happens – just this one single time. FFS, indeed.

  10. This entire Russian collusion thing has become a big scam by the left and the biggest joke to it is Jeff Sessions. Sad, sad, sad.

  11. I am not a lawyer, but to me these charges appear to be like a law suit. I’ve always been told that anyone can sue someone else over almost anything. I use to have a customer that was a trial lawyer and he told once that anything can happen in a court room. Even if you have a slam dunk case. It does not guarantee a victory for Your side.

  12. >>The White House declined to say whether Mueller lobbied for Calk’s appointment.<<

    You need to replace "Mueller" with "Manafort" in this sentence.

    • The real question is “when are the unthinking trumpbots gonna stop relying on Pravda Faux News shills for their talking points.” Pro tip: thinking for yourself will set you free.

      this is to “hannity is my son’s godfather, I hope” suze q

  13. On the one hand I’m happy to see any member of the oligarchy and/or their minions get indicted for criminal wrongdoing. On the other hand, I see clearly that there is selective prosecution. This would include the glaring failure to indict the many people whom we know lied openly to the FBI (by their own account). Then there is a tool of the deep state injustice system called “parallel construction”. This is explained by Bill Binney in the video below. I believe the origin of these charges is likely the result of illegal spying on American citizens, part of the parallel construction process. As Mueller has openly admitted to having no problem with using the illegal parallel construction to obtain convictions, there needs to be indictments of the indicters themselves.

    This is a thoroughly corrupt corporate state “govt”. It all needs to be reigned in under the rule of law. That’s not happening and we need to pay attention to what is actually going on here:

          • Hi Autumn. i haven’t yet but I will. Thanks for posting it here. I did find something which is exactly the selective prosecution I’m worried about:

            “Despite the FBI’s knowledge of the money laundering scheme – while Robert Mueller was the Director, the Obama administration approved the related deal for Tenex to purchase Uranium One.

            When Campbell asked the FBI why all of the illegal schemes he uncovered weren’t being prosecuted, he was explicitly told it was political:”

            https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-22/uranium-one-undercover-fbi-informants-attorney-demands-doj-inquiry-coordinated

            And further, we are now enabling our very good friends, the KSA, to get nukes! It’s all too insane!! WTF is wrong with these lunatics?

            • How Trump will kill the NWO Deep Sate.

              I’ll post this on another thread later.

              Watch it all but I thought the most important piece started at about 1:52/1:53:

              • More awesomeness. A cite to the chairman of the board of kookdom. Pro tip: believing anything which emits from the mouth of the guy who claims the sandy hook shooting was a hoax and the children who survived the Florida shooting were actors merits you exactly what you deserve; an honorary seat in the klown kar of nonsense-spouting gullible fools. It looks good on you though.

                this is to “alex jones takes all my calls on air” okie

            • Excellent. A citation to zerohedge.

              this is to “just because everyone says they’re batshit crazy doesn’t really mean they’re all-the-way batshit crazy” jill

  14. Now let’s see how far the story unfolds and how long for it to get to the main attraction who does not reside in the White House.

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