Mueller Accuses Manafort Of Witness Tampering And Seeks Jail

440px-Director_Robert_S._Mueller-_IIIPrisonCellJust days after President Donald Trump was seen as sending a message to Mueller targets that he could still help them with pardons, Special Counsel Bob Mueller could be sending a message of his own: your future may belong to the President but your present belongs to me.  In a major move, Mueller has accused Paul Manafort of witness tampering and is seeking his possible jailing in an adjustment of his pre-trial status. For someone like Manafort, jail can be a panic-inducing element in an already nightmarish case.  The motion seeks to “revoke or revise” his current status of home confinement before trial.


Manafort is facing two trials in two different jurisdictions in Washington and Virginia.  The Virginia case focuses on bank fraud and tax evasion charges in Virginia. The allegations are more relevant to the Washington proceedings but both judges were informed of the allegations against him.  He is accused of violating 18 USC 1512 by attempting to tamper with potential witnesses while on pretrial release.  Here is the relevant section:

(b)Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—

(1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;

2) cause or induce any person to—(A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding; (B) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; (C) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or (D) be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process . . .

Beyond denying the truth of an allegation, a defendant does have a statutory defense:

(e) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, it is an affirmative defense, as to which the defendant has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct consisted solely of lawful conduct and that the defendant’s sole intention was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to testify truthfully.
The move is certainly consistent with some of Mueller’s top aides who have a reputation for coercing potential witnesses and burying those who do not cooperate.  The filing in federal district court could land Manafort in jail if the evidence is sufficiently strong.

The document say that Manafort tried to contact witnesses by various means, including an intermediary and through an encrypted messaging program. The messages allegedly sought to influence their accounts — an act that could easily consistent subornation.

FBI Special Agent Brock Domin declared in his statement that Manafort communicated with two people from “The Hapsburg Group,” a firm working for Ukrainian interests.

The allegations include contacts with members of a public relations firm to help coordinate accounts.  This statement from a witness stood out: “They should say their lobbying and public relations work was exclusively in Europe.” If true, that type of steering would be a very serious matter for a defendant allowed to remain under house arrest.

It would be a moronic act of galactic proportions. However, Manafort has long had a reputation for incautious and questionable tactics.  Indeed, the indictment documents his array of questionable clients and activities.

The biggest danger for the Trump team would be the jailing of Manafort, who is already under considerable pressure to cooperate.  From the unnecessary no-knock raid on his home to this filing, they are continuing to squeeze Manafort.  The timing is notable.  While the Trump is offering the prospect of a pardon, Mueller could be offering the certainty of jail.

Here is the filing in the federal court in Washington, D.C.

171 thoughts on “Mueller Accuses Manafort Of Witness Tampering And Seeks Jail”

    1. Great. Given previous performance, it’d have taken the State of Arizona 20 years to secure convictions at trial and another eight years to determine a sentence.

      1. DSS – This has got Scottsdale, Sheriff’s Dept and Phoenix PD involved. There are two bodies in Paradise Valley that have not been identified and tied to him yet (as of this morning). However, this is how jurisdictions can work together. Since the original four deaths were in Scottsdale, the Sheriff’s Dept (Paradise Valley) and Phoenix PD have turned over their crime scenes to Scottsdale PD.

    1. I sincerely don’t know how he has the gall to appear before grieving families whose loved one died in service when no one named Trump ever served. Mr. “five deferments for an alleged heel spur” has no concept of how outrageous this is. He’s using them for his own ego purposes just like everything else he does. He literally makes me sick to my stomach.

      1. Clinton did not serve. W kinda sorta served. Obama never served. In fact, why don’t you watch Obama’s town hall at Fort Lee where he showed open contempt for the service people are were concerned about the VA and mixed combat units.


    The fact that Trump hired Manafort is one of the craziest parts of the entire Russia scandal. Manafort was known in Washington as the lobbyist you’d go to if you were a foreign dictator with a brutal human rights record, but he hadn’t worked on a campaign in years. And he volunteered to run Trump’s campaign without pay, an absolutely bizarre offer that to any ordinary candidate would have raised enormous red flags. As we now know, Manafort was deeply in debt, suggesting that this apparently generous offer to Trump hid some other way that Manafort planned to use the Trump campaign to rid himself of his financial troubles.

    If Trump wondered about why Manafort made him this offer, it didn’t seem to bother him. Perhaps it was just personal; Trump was a client of Manafort’s firm Black, Manafort, & Stone (yes, that’s Roger Stone) in the 1980s and 1990s, and Manafort had an apartment in Trump Tower. Or perhaps Manafort’s connections to dictators and oligarchs in the former Soviet Union actually made Trump feel more comfortable with him, because Trump had spent years dealing with those same kind of people and taking their money.

    Either way, anyone with political sense or a desire to avoid anything smelling of criminality wouldn’t have gotten within a mile of Paul Manafort, let alone appointed him to run their campaign. And Manafort is hardly the only Trump associate about whom you could say that. Just look at Michael Cohen, Trump’s “personal attorney.” It has become clear that Cohen is either going to flip on Trump or he’s going to be spending a very long time behind bars. Even before he went into Trump’s employ, Cohen’s entire career had taken place in suspiciously close proximity to organized crime, including crime involving Russian and Ukrainian mobsters. Yet upon meeting Cohen, Trump said to himself: This is a guy I want to do business with.

    Edited from The Plum Line by Paul Waldman


  2. Do meetings with the English attract such opprobrium?

    Maybe we are investigating meddling by the wrong foreigners. Maybe the British are the ones who had “collusion” criminal activity whatever that may be, still not sure what statute that is. LOL

    1. Perhaps you’re going to discover that the Russians are one of the actors in this soap opera featuring a vast international conspiracy to defraud the American people. It only took money to ensnare the presidential candidate and his crew to be co-opted by the Saudis, Turkey, Russia and various other Middle Eastern despots. The Seychelles hosted some visitors with a great deal of information to impart on this conspiracy. Nader is cooperating, but soon the participation of Eric Prince and Cohen and Flynn and Manafort and Trump junior are among the about-to- be- revealed traitors. Felix Sater is going to be a fount of knowledge too, I should think.

  3. Wagers this is more humbug. Mueller has no credibility.

  4. What does Akismet do? I read the link and it is word salad. Does no one actually study rhetoric anymore?

    1. David Benson still owes me two citations after two weeks, one from the OED. You didn’t study it, why should anyone else?

        1. David Benson still owes me two citations after two weeks, one from the OED. You are looking up the word for you, not me. You are proving to the rest of the blog that you are a man of your word. And only you can look it up since only you know which of the variations you are using for a meaning.

          1. What a stupid fool!

            I never agreed to provide the single definition to be found.

            Well, perhaps Paul C Schulte has gone mad…

            1. David Benson still owes me two citations after two weeks, one from the OED. Your word, you silly twit, was that it came from the OED. You have yet to prove it. Doesn’t Weart cite his sources?

              1. When I write a paper I provide citations. So does Weart, if you could be troubled to actually read his work.

                For a single word, look up the definition online yourself, nitwit.

                1. David Benson still owes me two citations after two weeks, one from the OED. Then, cite your source for the word, nitwit (just using your word). You said it was the OED but the OED has many definitions for words, which is it?

  5. What appears to be simple day after day is anything in Trump’s orbit is incompetent and corrupt.

  6. The fact that these guys: the Clintons, the Trumps, etc are guilty, both Democrats and Republicans, is irrefutable. They should go to jail. That’s the only way to dial these travesties back a little. They should also get jail term extensions for being so sloppy, so confident, so arrogant, that they could get away with it. It’s as if these liars and cheats are laughing at the rest of the world as they dance around the laws and circumvent the process of democracy. Slick Willie’s argument about what constituted ‘sex’ belongs in a Turley blog posting along with other nonsense. Trump’s every other statement makes Clinton look like a saint. Trump may not be proven guilty of being directly in contact with breaking the law, however, he is laughing at America, openly and behind that shi*eating grin. Trump is on record, recorded, impossible to argue, laughing at how he makes stuff up and gets away with it. Trump came out of the womb laughing.

    When Trump meets Kim in a week or so, if it happens, it will be apples to apples, two tin pot dictators-one for real and one aspiring, with hair fetishes, getting together for a good laugh. Kim will be reinforced that he is being courted by the President of the US who is just like him. Trump probably won’t have any idea of where he is or what he is doing, or the President of the United States would not be sitting down with one of the most despicable leaders in the world. Hollywood doesn’t even have the imagination to make stuff like this up.

  7. Ms. Late, You are on a cruise on The Nile River with your conspiracy theory beliefs. Look at the calendar – post-Memorial Day dog days of summer. Go for a walk around the block and take a look at your fellow humans and ask yourself how many believe or care about your conspiracy theory and how many will even remember it after Labor Day weekend. And while you dream about the email conspiracy perhaps you might consider taking the time to think about the content of those emails which reveal the real reason HRC lost – pompus attitude toward public and fixing of primary election. Don’t be afraid to go there Ms. Late. Good Day Ma’am. Thank you for revealing your thoughts today and resisting urge to post lefty loon articles. Got to go out to the real world now to make money to pay for internet so that we can “meet again someday”. Bye.

    1. I care that a foreign government influenced our elections. I care that we have an executive branch that spasticly reacts to news it doesn’t like. I care that members of our legislative branch are bought and sold by the uber-wealthy. I care that millions of my fellow citizens can’t receive proper health care because our healthcare system is run as a for profit enterprise. I care that my fellow veterans can’t get the healthcare that they are entitled to receive because the legislative and executive branches refuse to properly fund the Department of Veterans Affairs. I care that many of our states’ voting districts are so badly gerrymandered so as to defeat the “one person, one vote” law.

      And, in Mueller I trust.

      1. DO you care how many elections the US has fudged around the world the past 70 years? I doubt all you high and righteous Russia-haters give a damn about that. Stop acting so pompous

        And if the question is what did the Russians do, then why are they bothering the hell out of the President? He’s not a damned Russian and neither are all the people Mueller is locking up for a bunch of financial mishmash stuff.

        1. Kurtz,

          Your post here is most cynical. If Trump’s pattern of Russia links can be answered with only cynicism, that speaks volumes in itself.

      2. Wally said, “And, in Mueller I trust.”

        Ditto. Mueller is one of the most mission-oriented Americans ever to come down the turnpike. Rosenstein gave Mueller a mission. Mueller aims to complete his mission.

  8. It is funny how left media refer to Manafort as Trump “campaign chair”, “campaign manager” etc and fail to mention that Trump fired Manafort when stories about questionable Ukrainian dealings came to light, and then finished campaign with Conway at the helm. Just an interesting little fun fact that seems to get buried by lefty media loons who are loyal to the resistance.

    1. Here’s another fun fact that seems to get buried by the righty MAGA cultists: Manafort attended the June 9th, 2016, Trump Tower meeting, wherein senior members of the Trump campaign openly negotiated sanctions relief for Russia in exchange for Russia hacking and leaking thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton. And that’s just what the attendees actually admitted to doing in their Congressional testimony. There’s an excellent chance that Mueller already knows what really happened at the Trump Tower meeting. And so does The POTUS, Trump.

      1. And here is another interesting fun fact right back you you Ms. Late. After Trump Tower meeting the Russian lady lawyer met with Fushion GPS. Now don’t you go resorting to lefty loon article links Ms. Late, don’t you do that.

        1. Veselnitskaya had hired Fusion GPS to do research for the Prevezon Holdings civil forfeiture trial a court hearing for which took place on June 9th, 2016, mere blocks away from the Trump Tower. Veselnitskaya is nothing if not a multi-tasker. Consequently, sometimes a coincidence really is just a coincidence.

          1. You just shot down your own expectations of smoking gun Trump Tower meeting. Lady set up a bunch of meetings that day in NYC and maximized her time that day. Evil plot meetings I would imagine go longer than 30 minutes and you would think she would have blocked out the whole day to plot with Trump campaign on Russian takeover of 2016 U.S. presidential election.

            1. Refutation by inconsistent assumption s no refutation at all. Veselnitskaya made a court appearance in the Prevezon Holdings case on June 9th, 2016. Veselnitskaya attended the Trump Tower meeting on June 9th, 2016. Veselnitskaya met Simpson outside the courthouse on June 9th, 2016. Veselnitskaya had a busy day on June 9th, 2016. If there wasn’t enough time to conspire with the Trump campaign, then there wasn’t enough time to conspire with Fusion GPS, either. If there was enough time to conspire with Fusion GPS, then there was enough time to conspire with the Trump campaign, too.

              (Logic is hard; isn’t it Bill?)

              1. OK I get it. The brief June 9, 2016 meeting in Trump Tower was just to kick off the evil plot since she had a very busy day that day in NYC. And then she was going to circle back later and block out a whole day to map out the evil plot with Trump campaign to steal election from Hillary. That makes more sense. Thanks for enlightening me Ms. Late.

                1. You might be interested to know that there’s an email chain in Mueller’s possession showing that Veselnitskaya tried to schedule follow up meetings with the Trump campaign in November of 2016. While those follow up meetings were not held, there was, nonetheless, an ongoing effort to schedule those meetings, anyway.

                  1. So what? Again more proof of nothing against Americans. The fact Russians did something that is normal meddling for great powers does not equate to any American violating the law. It’s now just one innuendo after another .Shameful!

                    1. You might want to learn the difference between a free and fair election versus the sham elections in name only that are held in your beloved Mother Russia, Komrade, Kurtz.

              2. L4D is enabling David Benson If you are already conspiring it does not take long for an update.

                1. The election was on November 8th, 2016. The “update” as you are euphemizing it was a reminder of the previous arrangement. Had it not been for that pesky, pestering, pain-in-the-posterior, James B. Comey, Trump could have and would have held up his end of the bargain.

                  P.S. No more double-dipper’s benefits for Trump.

          2. Veselnitskaya met with Fusion’s Glenn Simpson both before and after her meeting at the Trump Tower.
            Sometimes two “coincidences” are just two”coincidences”.
            Another “coincidence” is that Fusions’ work with Veselnitskaya in the Prevenzon case was in line with her objective of undermining the Magnistsky Act.

            1. Still listing facts while avoiding assertions, are you Tom? Two sticks rubbed together. Where’s the fire? Maybe the fire was Trump firing all US Attorneys for the sake of firing Preet Bharara who had brought the civil forfeiture case against Prevezon Holdings. Or not. But you do see the difference between listing facts versus asserting an argument, now. Don’t you, Nash?

              1. L4D is enabling David Benson – they just hired 311 new AUSAs.

              2. Preet Bharara was the U.S. Attorney who opposed letting Veselnitskaya into the U.S. in June 2016; he was overruled by the Obsma DOJ, which interceded on her behalf to allow her entry.
                Sometimes 3 coninxodences are just 3 coincideneces.
                NBC News reported that Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS provided Veselnitakaya WITH MATERIAL TO PRESENT at the Trump Towere meeting.
                Sometimes 4 conincidences are just 4 coincidences.
                I do understand the importance of factual accuracy, to answer your final bull**** question.
                That’s where we differ; we’ve been down this rode before with some of your previous lies and games.


      2. L4D is enabling David Benson You misstate why the meeting took place. When the meeting took place the leaking of the DNC documents was not public, however from Hillary’s testimony and the testimony of some of her staff, her email was unsecured for 6 months after she became SoS. At the time, only foreign nations and a few Americans knew this. It is quite possible that the offer the Russians were making was from this pile of emails. However, the meeting appears to have been a Fusion GPS setup that Trump and his team did not fall for.

        Liberals get their panties in a twist about Hillary’s emails on the loose, but not the Steele Dossier. And speaking of the Dossier, why hasn’t Mueller interviewed Steele?

        1. What a loon.

          If that doesn’t disparage loons, that is…

          1. David Benson still owes me two citations after two weeks, one from the OED. – can you prove anything I wrote was incorrect? No, of course not. All you can do is make ad hominem attacks.

              1. anonymous – if you check the definition, perseveration requires the cessation of stimulus. David Benson and his refusal to give me my citations is the stimulus. And, if you will notice, I have changed the title card with the amount of time it takes him to supply me with the citations.

                BTW, Thanks for making me look it up. I learned a new word. You might suggest that to David for Making Stuff Up, though,

                    1. anonymous – made this week’s changes. Any other changes have to come from David Benson.

        2. Paul Caviler Schulteacher said, “You misstate why the meeting took place.”

          You misread what I stated. Then misstated what I stated. Moreover, you’ll never follow an argument when you’re only reading one post at a time, rather than reading the whole thread.

          It doesn’t really matter what emails the Trump campaign thought the Russians had to offer. What matters is that the Trump campaign negotiated with Russians for the leak of thousands of emails they believed would be damaging to Hillary Clinton. What matters is what the Russians were asking from Trump in return. What matters is whether Trump, Kushner, Manafort and Flynn tried to hold up Trump’s end of the bargain before that pesky, pestering, pain-in-the-posterior, James B. Comey, threw his investigatory monkey-wrench into the gears on The Great Deal Artist’s hurdy gurdy.

          Are we clear, now? Or would you like me to go back over it one more time more slowly until you catch on?

          1. L4D is enabling David Benson – true, I do read one email at a time, so you need to make your argument one email at a time. So, you have a meeting in June, but how do you reconcile that with text messages that now show an investigation going back to 2015, predating and knowledge of missing emails? This whole thing is falling apart and you are refusing to recognize that.

      3. The claim is made that “attentees (of the Trump Tower meeting)..actually admitted in Congressional testimony” that they “..openly negotiated sanctions relief in exchange for Russian hacking and leaking of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton. And that’s just what the attendees actually admitted to doing in their Congressional testimony”.
        Where is the evidence to back up the claim that “the attendees actually admitted” this in testimony to Congress?

        1. There isn’t. More Gish Gallop from Diane, and lying Gish Gallop for ‘a that.

          1. Wrong again, equivocator. The Russians admitted what they were asking for and what they were offering. The Trump campaign members admitted what they were hoping for and what the Russians were asking for. Believe it or not, but that is, in fact, “negotiating.” Whether the negotiations at that “business meeting” constitute a conspiracy to defraud the United States remains to be seen. If the second-draft cover-story turns out to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then nothing “criminal” took place at the Trump Tower meeting. But that’s the only way that nothing criminal took place at the Trump Tower meeting. That second-draft cover-story has to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

            1. L4D,…
              The issue raised was your claim that the attendees of the Trump Tower meeting testified in Congressional testimony that they would give Russia sanctions relief in exchange for damaging emails on Hillary.
              I see why you want to talk about rubbing two sticks together, change the subject, etc.
              This is why I rarely read or respond to your posts; it seems to always involve a hopeless attempt to keep an exchange on track, untangle your spin, pretend that you are an expert on logic, etc.
              Either verify your claim about the Congressional testimony your claim about the attendees testifying in Congress that they agreed to relieve sanctions on Russia for Hillary emails, or quit changing to subject and detouring to avoid getting called on your manufactured “facts”.
              If you have half the day to play these games, enjoy yourself.

            2. L4D,…
              Your “belief” or your “claim” about what happened in the Trump Tower meeting does not support your statement that the attendees testified to Congress that they’d relieve Russian sanctions in exchange for damaging emails about Hillary.
              You can’t magically transform your beliefs, assertions, or claims into facts.
              Nice try….maybe in a few thousand more words, say by the end of the week at your rate, you can suffiently muddy the waters and stack on enough verbiage to make your false claims about Congressional testimony buried as ancient history.

          2. Nutchacha,..
            Interesting to see her doubling down on the same lie 2 1/2 months later.
            If she thought that she could score points by insisting that 2+2=5, she would do so.
            There is limited value in a protracted exchange with a serial liar and games-player like her.

        Let’s see if you’re slick enough to triple down on a lie.
        I’ve retrieved and referred to that comment by who before, and NOW you decide to
        deny making that claim.
        ( if nothing else, try the PTOM bit, or the GNASH bit. That’s always a REALLY EFFECTIVE rebuttal you like to include.)

        1. L4D ….Try reading what you wrote in a comment you made on a June 5, 2018 column.
          Then think of another lie/ deflection to weasel your way out of it, you LSOS.
          And since you made the claim about the Congressional testimony, try backing that up.

          1. I’m still waiting to see evidence that that “the attendees at the Trump Tower meeting” testified in Congress about a deal to drop sanctions in return for an email dump damaging to Hillary.
            So far, I got one non-answer after about 5 deflections by LIAR4 Breakfast to avoid the topic.
            Her claim was that there was an agreement to drop sanctions for the email dump, and those at the meetiing actually testified to that in Congress.
            Non-answers and deflections won’t stop me from calling Liar4 Breakfast out on her lie.
            If this gets too troublesome for her, maybe she can ask an investigative reporter for the New York Times to help out.
            But since L4D falsely claimed that the NY Times does not do investigative reporting, that might be awkward for her.

      5. “actually admitted doing in their Congressional testimony”.
        OK, let’s see that “Cobgressional testimony” that L4D claims exists.

      6. I would be really interested in seeing that so-called “Congressional testimony” that L4D claims exists.
        Maybe she can find a way to have it entered retroactively into the Congressional Record, in order to produce it.

      7. HERE. is the claim that Liar4Breakfast made on June 5, 2018.
        It concerns her claim about non-existent Congressional testimony in which the “attendees at the Trump Tower meeting” supposed said, in Congress, that there was an agreement to drop sanctions against Russia in return for an email dump damaging to Hillary.

        1. Just in case Liar4 Breakfast missed the last 5-6 times her June 5 comment was revisited, I’ll put it up again for her.

          1. I think LIAR4BREAKFAST’S best bet is to have someone read (and explain to her) the comment and wild claims that she made on June 5.
            If she hasn’t even read own June5 comment, despite 6-7 opportunities to do so, her attendant/ caregiver might be able to help her out.

      8. I lost track of how many versions of the Trump Tower meeting L4B has tried to sell.
        This version she tried to peddle is a flat-out lie.

    2. And, therefore the reference is somewhat “untrue”? Unfair? Or, maybe the firing is evidence of Trump’s recognition of having been caught. Stop whining…

    3. That’s because it’s a fact that Manafort was the campaign manager.

      Please aquatint yourself with facts.

      1. Had Manafort never been Trump’s campaign manager, then Manafort’s work for Viktor Yanukovich and The Party of Regions in The Ukraine would have been outside the scope of Mueller’s special counsel investigation. But, as Wally all-too-patiently reminds the ever impetuous Bill Martin, Manafort was, in fact, Trump’s campaign manager. The fact that Trump fired Manafort in no way whatsoever negates the prior fact that Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager and that, therefore, Manafort’s connections to Russia and Russians were well within the scope of Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

        Thanks, Wally. And thanks to Barry Scheinberg, too.

    1. Actually, it’s Manafort who is being accused of subornation–not Mueller. It’s just that MAGA cultists have been operantly conditioned to play volleyball with verbiage.

      1. L4D is the last person who should whine about “playing volleyball with verbiage”.

  9. Of Mueller has evidence of witness tampering, why not simply prosecture Manafort? Seems like a strongarm tactic designed to shape Manafort’s testimony. A case of tell us the story we need or we will ruin you.

    With that sort of power, he can get someone to testify that Trum was in on the plot to kill Lincoln.

    1. Your argument assumes that Mueller does not already know what really happened at the Trump Tower meeting. That assumption is highly improbable. When Manafort sings, he will have to stick to the libretto of evidence, documents, phone records, emails and testimony from, say, Rick Gates, for instance, that Mueller has already compiled. There will be no composing by Manafort. Just straight forward recitation.

      1. If you are betting on Trump Tower meeting being the smoking gun that will bring down president then you might as well start howling at the moon. That Russian entourage walked right through the front door of Trump Tower passed media to elevators. Dr. Evil character knows that such evil plot meetings are held in secret locations. And by the way no offense intended in case you actually do howl at the moon.

        1. Your logic is inconsistent. Veselnitskaya and Simpson met outside a courthouse in broad daylight on a busy New York City street. If the news media knew about the Trump Tower meeting for a year before they reported anything about the Trump Tower meeting, then maybe Dr. Evil is wrong in his assumptions about the supposed necessity for secret clandestine locations for conspiratorial conversations.

          1. So now we know that you are clinging to that brief meeting in Trump Tower as smoking gun that will take down Trump presidency. Good luck with that Ms. Late.

            1. Evidence must be relevant. It does not matter what emails the Trump campaign thought the Russians had. What matters is that the Trump campaign negotiated with Russia for the leak of thousands of emails they believed would be damaging to Hillary Clinton. What also matters is what the Trump campaign offered Russia in return for the leak of thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton.

              BTW, in the context of rhetoric, logic is merely a tool for analyzing or constructing arguments. The structure of a logical argument is a separate issue from the soundness of the premises.

              1. L4D is enabling David Benson Hillary Clinton negotiated for dirt on Trump with the Russians, she colluded. Where is her investigation? The same crimes that Manafort is accused of, one of the Podestas is tied into, where are his charges? Why is Christopher Steele not in prison?

                1. Where’s the evidence that HRC offered sanctions relief to Russia, Senor Bos? Where’s the evidence that Tony Podesta offered sanctions relief to Russia, Senor Bos? Where’s the evidence that Christopher Steele offered sanctions relief to Russia, Senor Bos?

                  Meanwhile, the allegation against Tony Podesta is that he was not registered as a Foreign Agent for the Ukraine by way of the Hapsburg Group. That allegation was previously refuted by the fact that the Podesta Group did not lobby in the United States on the behalf of the Hapsburg Group or The Ukraine. It was the Mercury Group that lobbied in the United States on behalf of the Hapsburg Group and The Ukraine using Vin Weber as the principal lobbiest for the Mercury Group.

                  P. S. Either you’re obsession with OED citations has made you forget previously refuted assertions or just pretending to have forgotten just in case L4D forgot, too. That’s so typical of you, Senor Bos.

                  1. L4D is enabling David Benson – those refutations I take with a grain of salt. 🙂

            2. In fairness to Mespo, Mueller could report to Rosenstein either a strong case or a weak case. The strong case would include evidence for the predicate crimes in the Russian hack and leak operation. The weak case would not include evidence for the predicate crimes of the Russian hack and leak operation. Either way, those defendants who are not POTUS could adopt a defense strategy of challenging the predicate crimes for the Russian hack and leak operation. The POTUS would have to be Impeached, tried, convicted and removed from office. If that happens, then defense counsel for Trump could deny that Russia hacked and leaked the DNC and Podesta emails. But they might not want to defend Putin and Assange for the sake of defending Trump.

              1. The FBI investigation into Russian/ Trump campaign “collusion” began in July 2016.
                Mueller’s appointment as special counel was a little over a year ago.
                Neay two years into the investigation about coorsination between the Trump campaign and Russia, we gave cgarges filed by Mueller for allegations of crimes unrelated to the central issue of “collusion”.
                Mueller’s investigation may or may not turn up evidence of “collusion”, but time is not on his side.
                The longer this dog and pony show of unrelated insictments continues, the more likely it is that the public loses interest in and patience with this investgation.
                Crimes like monet laundering, tax evasion, lying to the FBI, etc. should not require a special counsel team for investigation and
                The central mission of the soecial counsel was to investigate allegations of illegal activity related to one campaign, the Trump campaign, and the Russians.
                The beliefs or
                hopes that the Mueller investigation will ultimately come to this or that conclusion about Trump campaign-Russia crimes don’t change “the facts on the ground”; i.e., that the central question that prompted the investigation remains unanswered.

    2. A case of tell us the story we need or we will ruin you.

      Which of course is not considered witness tampering if done by the prosecution, right?

      (b)Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—

      (1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;


    Donald Trump marries not one, but ‘two’ women from the former Soviet Bloc. His lawyer, Michael Cohen is married to a native of Ukraine. The Trump organization welcomes investment from Russian billionaires. Ex-con Felix Sater, a Russian immigrant, has an association with the Trump Organization. The company leans heavily on Deutsche Bank at a time said bank is laundering money for Russian billionaires.

    Trump runs for president and chooses a Campaign Manager who spent time in Ukraine advising the president, a close Putin ally. Candidate Trump then refrains from ever criticizing Putin. To the contrary Trump praises Wikileaks for hacking DNC emails when investigators have already linked the hacks with Russian-sponsored trolls. Meanwhile,campaign advisors Michael Flynn and Carter Page are known as Russian-friendly lobbyists.

    Obviously there comes a point where one has to say, “Donald Trump has many ties to Russia”. And Paul Manafort is certainly one of them. The fact that Trump chose him as Campaign Manager becomes hard to ignore on top of everything else.

    1. I suspect that it is related to the close relationship between the Manhattan Mafia and the Russian Mafia.

      (I learned to do the all-caps newflashes and how effective they are from our man on the ground in Hollywood).


        I must admit that it is easier to read the all caps. I wonder what they look like in a teeny tiny text window, though. I think Tom Nash may be a masochist.

        1. Late4Dinner/Out2Lunch,…
          I can see why you might think that, if you’re under the mistaken belief that I regularly read your daily columns and links.
          I only occasionally see some of what you post; it’s unavoidable as I scroll past it.

      2. Tom Nash – Manafort was brought in as a delegate specialist, to keep them in line in case Trump did not win on the first vote. One of the other candidates was trying to get candidates to switch after the first vote if Trump did not win.

        1. Paul C. Schulte,…
          I think that was also Manafort’s role ( “delegate handler”) in the 1976 GOP Convention, when Reagan mounted serious challenge to Ford’s nomination.
          I don’t remember if he was trying to get Ford delegates to stay on board, or trying to win over delegates for Reagan.

          1. Tom, Paul,

            I just reviewed Manafort’s Wikipedia bio to make sure I wasn’t rash in questioning his credentials.

            It appears that Manafort’s early career was largely focused on U.S. domestic politics. From the late 70’s through the 80’s, Manafort worked steadily with high profile Republicans; including jobs in the Reagan administration. So for 15 years, or so, Manafort was on track for a big career in U.S. politics.

            But there comes a point, after the Reagan era, where Manafort shifts focus to advising foreign leaders. And the foreign leaders he advised tended to be strong men. This is where Manafort’s career becomes a tale of intrigues. Even before his long stint in Ukraine, Manafort has enough foreign adventures to fill a dossier.

            But Manafort’s years in Ukraine stand out as particularly troubling in relation to U.S. foreign policy. Consider these three paragraphs from Manafort’s Wikipedia bio:

            “Manafort also worked as an adviser on the Ukrainian presidential campaign of Viktor Yanukovych (and his Party of Regions during the same time span) from December 2004 until the February 2010 Ukrainian presidential election even as the U.S. government (and US Senator John McCain) opposed Yanukovych because of his ties to Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin. Manafort was hired to advise Yanukovych months after massive street demonstrations known as the Orange Revolution overturned Yanukovych’s victory in the 2004 presidential race.

            Borys Kolesnikov, Yanukovich’s campaign manager, said the party hired Manafort after identifying organizational and other problems in the 2004 elections, in which it was advised by Russian strategists. Manafort rebuffed U.S. Ambassador William Taylor when the latter complained he was undermining U.S. interests in Ukraine. According to a 2008 U.S. Justice Department annual report, Manafort’s company received $63,750 from Yanukovych’s Party of Regions over a six-month period ending on March 31, 2008, for consulting services.

            In 2010, under Manafort’s tutelage, the opposition leader put the Orange Revolution on trial, campaigning against its leaders’ management of a weak economy. Returns from the presidential election gave Yanukovych a narrow win over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a leader of the 2004 demonstrations. Yanukovych owed his comeback in Ukraine’s presidential election to a drastic makeover of his political persona and, people in his party say, that makeover was engineered in part by his American consultant, Manafort”.

            These three paragraphs clearly tell us that Manafort advised a Putin ally during a time when that strong man was quashing a popular uprising. An uprising that had some degree of encouragement from western democracies; including the U.S. One could clearly say that Manafort was bucking Western sentiment in advising that leader.

            Therefore I stand by my earlier statement that Paul Manafort was an odd choice to run a U.S. Presidential campaign. A responsible U.S. candidate would have looked at Manafort’s resume and concluded that his recent career was too intriguing. And the fact that Trump didn’t recognize those intrigues is intriguing in itself. It’s too coincidental in light of Trump’s many odd links to Russia.

            1. Peter Hill – Dick Morris, Clinton strategist, was on the other side of some of the Manafort foreign intrigues. However, both were legal.

              1. Dick Morris was a Republican strategist before he advised Clinton. So don’t tie him only to Clinton.

                1. Peter Hill – I was just trying to make the point that strategist work for everybody everywhere.

              2. Peter and Paul,..
                Manafort was the 1996 GOP Convention manager for Bob Dole,c. 8 years after Reagan left office.
                He and Trump were said to have breifly met at the 1988 GOP Convention for Bush 41; I’m not sure if Manafort was a delegate, or had another role in the 1988 convention, or in any campaigns or conventions from 1996-2016.
                Yanukovyk was the elected President of Ukraine, U.S. government and JohnMcCain’s objections notwithstanding.
                I watched much of the 2014 “Orange Revolution/ Riots”, a violent uprising that ultimately forced Yanukovych to flee for his life.
                I think he had already made sizeableconcessions to the “protesters”, including an agreement for early elections.
                There were provisions in the Ukraine Constitution to remove him from power; he was ultimately removed for “failure to perform his duties after “protesters” seized government buildings and ran him out of Kiev.
                This unfortunately gave some legitimacy to the claims of Putin and Yanakovych that he was illegally removed from power.
                Whatever Manafort’s activities/ offenses might have been prior to his involvement in the Trump campaign, there seemed to be little or no interest in prosecuting him until he gained a high profile position in that campaign.
                And those charges are unrelated to the campaign itself.

                1. Tom:

                  Thanks for the clarification. But Manafort remains, by almost any measure, an intriguing choice to run a presidential campaign. And since writing the above I have learned that Manafort had partnered with Roger Stone and owned a condo in Trump Tower. So Trump more than likely knew Manafort long before the 2016 campaign.

                  1. Peter,..
                    The Clintons spent most of their adult life involved in politics; one overwhelming advantage Hillary was thought to have in 2016 was “the infrastructure” of her campaign, stacked with experienced political operatives and volunteers built up over decades in political life.
                    By contrast, Trump had never run a campaign and his campaign organization was considered to be a ragtag group of relatively inexperienced people.
                    In that context, the choice of someone with Manafort’s experience does not seem unusual.
                    Additionally, Manafort was brought on board as a last-ditch “dump Trump” revolt was being discussed as a plan to thwart his nomination.
                    ( Trump was already over the top in the delegate count, but the “Hail Mary” plan was to get delegates to defect from the Trump camp).
                    Manafort’s experience going back to the last “brokered convention ” in 1976 was probably a factor in his selection as campaign manager.
                    Without a c. 40 year history of involvement in campaigns, I think Trump was looking for experienced people and ended up with an ad hoc, disjointed campaign structure.

                    1. Tom, that sounds believable. An inexperienced Trump may have fancied Manafort as an old pro. And Manafort may have come with Roger Stone’s recommendation. The two had been partners in a lobbying firm. Trump may have viewed Manafort’s time in Ukraine as a foreign policy credential.

    3. PH re: “Trump runs for president and chooses a Campaign Manager who spent time in Ukraine advising the president, a close Putin ally”

      Not making sense – Ukraine is certainly not a Putin ally. Quite the contrary.

      1. Manafort worked for Viktor Yanukovich and The Party of Regions, who were, in fact, allied with Putin.

        We have every reason to believe that Autumn already knew that.

        1. If not she’s very possibly the last person here not to. I reckon even Crazy George would have gotten that one right.

            1. Well, he would doubtless embellish it by tying it in with the Illuminati, the Templars and the assassination of JFK, but I think he might get Manafort’s connection to the Russian stooge ex-Ukrainian President right.

              1. Maybe on a good day when he had remembered to take his medz.

  11. Out of sheer curiosity, how does the defendant know who Mueller’s witnesses are?

    1. Partners in crime are often witnesses in ongoing investigations–especially when conspiracies are being investigated. IOW, Manafort already knew which of his partners in crime needed to be suborned or otherwise tampered with.

      (Keeping up is hard to do.)

    2. Shannon: This article from Business Insider might provide some background information. Special Counsel Mueller’s latest court filing mentions the Hapsburg Group and Persons D1 and D2.

      From the latest court filing:

      Manafort’s Attempts to Influence Potential Witnesses
      On February 23, 2018, the grand jury returned the operative Superseding Indictment of
      Manafort. Doc. 202. As relevant here, the Superseding Indictment included new allegations
      concerning a part of Manafort’s lobbying scheme that is alleged to have violated the Foreign
      Agents Registration Act (FARA), 22 U.S.C. § 611 et seq. Informally referred to by Manafort and
      his co-conspirators as the “Hapsburg” group, this part of the charged illegal United States lobbying
      scheme involved the secret retention of a group of former senior European politicians who would
      act as third-party paid lobbyists for Ukraine. Manafort was alleged to have funneled to the
      Case 1:17-cr-00201-ABJ Document 315 Filed 06/04/18 Page 3 of 18
      Hapsburg group more than 2 million euros from overseas accounts he controlled. See Superseding
      Indictment ¶¶ 30–31.
      Two individuals who were principals of a public-relations company (Company D) acted as
      intermediaries between Manafort, Person A, co-defendant Richard Gates, and the Hapsburg group.
      Those two individuals are described herein as Persons D1 and D2. Manafort, with the assistance
      of Person A and Gates, managed the work of Persons D1 and D2 on behalf of Ukraine (along with
      the work of Companies A, B, and C, and others).2

      Persons D1 and D2’s work for Manafort, which included their work directing the Hapsburg
      group, was—from its inception—directed at both the United States and Europe. Manafort himself
      wrote a June 25, 2011 memorandum to Person D1 describing the goals and deliverables of Persons
      D1 and D2’s work for Ukraine. Manafort stated that a “goal of the program . . . is to educate
      western media, expand the media awareness of what is really happening and establish mechanisms
      to maintain a constant flow of information into Europe and the US,” including “Washington.”
      Domin Decl. ¶ 6. Similarly, Manafort noted in a “conference call agenda” that one deliverable of
      Persons D1 and D2’s work would be “Print/electronic media coverage in European [sic] and US,”
      and that Ukraine’s contract with Persons D1 and D2’s company would “cover the EU and the US.”
      Pursuant to Persons D1 and D2’s scope of work—and in coordination with Manafort,
      Person A, Persons D1 and D2, and others—the Hapsburg group directly lobbied and conducted
      public-relations work in the United States.

      And, Late4Dinner makes an excellent point:

      “Manafort already knew which of his partners in crime needed to be suborned or otherwise tampered.”

    3. The court likely required counsel for the parties to exchange lists of witnesses and evidence.

    1. Manafort had the choice to be out on bail and be the FBI’s bitch boy, or to go to jail and be Bubba’s bitch boy. Looks like he chose Bubba.

    2. David Benson still owes me two citations, now going on two weeks, one from the OED. Mueller has thought people were guilty before, who were innocent. Don’t get your panties in a twist yet.

      1. David Benson still owes me two citations after two weeks, one from the OED. David, I am sure that even Weart showed his work. You evidently come from the Michael Mann branch of pseudo-science where we should just take your word for it. I’m David Benson and the fact that I wrote it should be enough proof for you. Well, David, it is not. I want concrete proof, your word is not near enough.

  12. To get this evidence, Mueller went after Manafort’s iCloud account. Doesn’t the accused get a copy of the warrant? Or at least get to look at it?

      1. Excerptd from the document to which hollywood linked above:

        “Manafort’s inability to satisfy the financial conditions necessary to ensure his release have, to date, prevented him from securing the modification he seeks.”

        Awesome work, hollywood.

    1. What??!! Seems like “Prosecute By Any Means Necessary.” It sounds unethical to me.

      1. Actually, Manafort is the one who wants to go to trial at least in D. C. Mueller wants Manafort to reach a plea agreement to testify against at least Trump Jr. and Kushner and perhaps a few others as well.

        (Ethics are also hard to do. Especially if one can’t keep up.)

    1. Dear Mr. Hollywood Henderson: Thank you for providing that clarification. I feel so much better now about my government’s creepy crawling special counsel investigation and persecution of fired Trump campaign manager and resurrection of a decade’s old cold case investigation of Manafort so that he could get squeezed to flip on a president for a phantom crimes that have never been defined (no probable cause to start investigation). As for your call to ” Lock him up!”, I say that as a society we can do better than that and chant should be “Send him to the Gulag!”.

      1. The “rigged investigation” did not make Manafort tamper with witnesses. The “rigged investigation” did not make Manafort attend the Trump Tower meeting. The “rigged investigation” will not make Manafort avail himself of Turley’s masterfully hand-crafted justificable-witness-tampering defense, either.

        The morning dew must needs evaporate. It’s human nature’s way, too, you know.

        1. It doesn’t read right, but, under the circumstances, I’m sticking with justificable, anyhow.

        2. Ms. Late: Creepy crawling federal investigations with no probable cause can put pressure on wide-net targets to resort to desperate measures.

          1. No probable cause? You cannot be serious. George Papadopoulous knew that Russia had thousands of emails that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton on April 26th of 2016. Wikileaks published the hacked DNC emails on July 22nd, 2016.

            Do not lecture L4D about resorting to desperate measures. Bill Martin is in denial.

            1. L4D is enabling David Benson George Papadopoulous was told of the possibility of Clinton documents from the Russians. if the Russians had already given them to Wikileaks, why release them to George Papadopoulous? I think the Russians may have the 6 months worth of unsecured emails from when Hillary was first made SoS.

              1. Whereas the Russians have anything and everything from Trump. He either tells it to them directly or they hack his nonsecure phones that he refuses to give up.

                1. hollywood – that depends what he has on the phone. Hillary had everything on her phone, including classified emails.

              2. Senor Bos said, “George Papadopoulous was told of the possibility of Clinton documents from the Russians. if the Russians had already given them to Wikileaks, why release them to George Papadopoulous?”

                Listen very closely, Senor Bos. Julian Assange at Wikileaks could not offer sanctions relief to Russia. But George Papadopoulos of the Trump Campaign could and, in fact, did notify his superiors at the Trump campaign that Russia had thousands of emails that would be damaging to Hillary Clinton. Now here’s the kicker: If elected POTUS, Trump could deliver sanctions relief to Russia.

                Do you understand the significance of what I just said to you, Senor Bos?

                1. L4D is enabling David Benson – so your contention is that Russia is hanging on to even more damaging emails regarding Hillary that they would give to the Trump campaign? Why would they do that? Hillary already sold them 20% of the US uranium deposits (Mueller was in on that, too).

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