Mr. Manafort And His $15,000 Ostrich Coat

1531416683549The Justice Department received well-deserved pushback yesterday in the trial of Paul Manafort from U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis who noted that it’s not a crime to be rich in America.   The Justice Department has been trying every possible way of introducing pictures and witnesses detailing Manafort’s “extravagant lifestyle” in the jury trial.  This includes such items as his $15,000 jacket that’s “made from an ostrich.”  On style values alone, many of us would be tempted to convict on the Ostrich jacket but that is hardly what Manafort is charged with. Nevertheless, the government got plenty by using lifestyle witnesses to confirm Manafort’s use of direct wire transfers from his many foreign accounts — a practice that was recalled as exceptionally rare by the witnesses.

As I mentioned in my recent column, Manafort’s tastes and expenses would clearly alienate most jurors.  However, Ellis grew increasingly impatient with the obvious effort of Mueller’s team to use the lifestyle evidence as a wedge with the jury.

It’s not a crime to be wealthy, said U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. And the pejorative term “oligarchs” and evidence of home renovations aren’t necessarily relevant to the charges in question, he added. At one point, Ellis even called out lawyers from both sides for rolling their eyes.

Ellis repeatedly told prosecutor Greg Andres “Let’s move it along.” Andres insisted that the evidence showed the he lived “lavishly” and was presumably intended to give a motive for his allegedly falsifying loan documents and misrepresenting his income.

One witness, Maximillian Katzman, testified about how Manafort was the only client of his high-end boutique to pay with an international wire transfer. It was more than $900,000 at that one store.

Ellis continued to noted that some evidence merely “shows is that Mr. Manafort had a lavish lifestyle. It isn’t relevant.”

Ellis also barred the use of the term “oligarchs,” as a coded term meant to show Manafort was associating with “despicable people and therefore he’s despicable.”

He added “That’s not the American way.”

330 thoughts on “Mr. Manafort And His $15,000 Ostrich Coat”

  1. The Donald is unhinging.

    Taking many-o-many commenters here along with him. Unfortunately St. Elizabeth’s is closed.

  2. No, Peter Shill, I think I and others are capable of distinguishing between open minded Democrats, and those who just repeat the DNC talking points as if they were Gospel. I.E., shills.

    For one thing, shills seldom answer direct questions or stay on point. For example, should Hillary have been indicted for her email foibles? If she wasn’t indicted, is that good evidence that the FBI investigation was rigged in her favor? If there isn’t any evidence of Russian Collusion with Trump, should the investigation be terminated? If there is evidence that Hillary’s campaign involved foreigners in the Dossier, should a special counsel be appointed to investigate?

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. You want answers? Here they are.
      For example, should Hillary have been indicted for her email foibles? [No] If she wasn’t indicted, is that good evidence that the FBI investigation was rigged in her favor? [No]If there isn’t any evidence of Russian Collusion with Trump[There is], should the investigation be terminated?[No, because there is evidence] If there is evidence that Hillary’s campaign involved foreigners in the Dossier, should a special counsel be appointed to investigate?[No, not a crime to do research.]

      1. Are you saying that deleting classified material, a specific violation of law, shouldn’t be punished or just Hillary shouldn’t be?
        What evidence of collusion has been disclosed? Collusion is not a crime.
        Not a crime to do research? I agree. But, she paid a foreign national to spread the charges in the dossier to the media, in hopes of affecting the election. That foreign national testified that the charges in the dossier were unverified raw intelligence, and there was only a 50/50 chance of accuracy.

        1. All in all, the fraudulent Clinton dossier and other trumped-up “evidence” used by FBI personnel openly hostile to Trump to perjuriously obtain and renew surveillance warrants have involved foreign agents from Britain, Ukraine, Russia, and Australia — a veritable Clinton Global Crime Initiative.

    2. Yawn.

      You used to post comments that were at least interesting, what happened?

      1. Wildbill, you used to be more interesting yourself but recently you have turned into a left wing hack. We now have a shill and a hack.

      2. It is summer, and I am out by the pool more, and sitting with my cat and smoking my pipe. And tending my flowers, and getting fresh air.

        Plus, I am consciously trying to interact less with shills and hacks, because one can never convince them of anything. I even wrote a short one-act play about it! Peter Shill was my inspiration!

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

    3. Mz Reporter,

      Comey protected Hillary to protect Obama.

      If Comey had indicted Hillary, Comey would have convicted Obama.

      Obama used a pseudonymous account and an illegal server to deliberately, willfully and repeatedly exchange e-mails, which included classified material, with Hillary Clinton – then Obama committed perjury by lying about it.

      Page to Strzok, “…potus wants to know everything we’re doing.”

      Page to Congress, “…the texts mean what the texts say.”

      Obama is the “holdover” president and leader of the coup d’etat in America.

      The documents being withheld by the DOJ/FBI are so incriminating that Sessions and Rosenstein must “run out the clock”

      in hopes of a democrat mid-term victory.

      As with the loss of Hillary, if the dems lose the mid-terms, Obama and his forces will be exposed as corrupt, treasonous and guilty

      of the most prodigious scandal in American history.

      1. Peter Hill – yes you are. We all voted and you got the job. 😉

        1. PC Schulte,…
          – The conspiracy theory that promotes the belief that the Trump campaign, if not Trump himself, “colluded” ( conspired) with the Russians to win the 2016 election is an “acceptable” conspiracy theory to many here.
          The lack of evidence after 2 years of investigations should, in no way, make that conspiracy theory any less acceptable.
          Clinging to that particular conspiracy theory seems to be like a therapeutic exercise, maybe similar to Linus clinging to his blanket.
          I’ve decided to vet all conspiracy theories, or all that I have time to get to.
          I will then produce a list of “acceptable, rational” conspiracy theories.
          That list of “approved” conspiracy theories will be determined by using only the ones that I want to believe in.

            1. PC Schulte…, Assuming adequate time to do so, I will do the vetting and produce my list of acceptable conspiracy theories.
              If I can’t find the time, I’ll just buy one of the lists of acceptable conspiracy theories that some are selling here.

          1. I’ve forgotten who offered the distinction between ‘local’ and ‘global’ conspiracies. Local conspiracies are common. ‘Global’ conspiracies lack inductive reasoning in their conception and are functionally unfalsifiable, repairing to the notion that the Conspiracy has fabricated the contrary evidence and destroyed supporting evidence (or that the sheeple are ignoring the supporting evidence). The John Birch Society, the 9/11 Truther claque, and a large swath of Kennedy assassination aficionadoes are subscribers to ‘global conspiracies’. So are most (but not all) people who subscribed to the various birther memes (Obama birthers, primarily, but also a few Cruz birthers). There are four or five people who’ve been regulars here who subscribed to ‘global conspiracies’.

            The Russian collusion meme as posited is a ‘local’ conspiracy. It’s just that the subscribers are continuing to wade through the manure and no amount of failure can persuade them there isn’t a pony in there.

            1. Thanks for those red herrings, but I think I’ll just go with the tuna salad.

            2. I’m sorry Teaching, I misunderstood you as comparing this conspiracy to the Birchers. I agree, we should think logically and discretely.
              Not that global conspiracies aren’t real — it’s just that there’s no need to prove such in order to prove that the U.S. deep state is conspiring against the presidency.


              i don’t think belief in a global conspiracy is necessary to ask the question of why a building that was not hit by any airplanes and got some indirect debris hits and burned on a few floors for a while suddenly free fall collapsed on its own footprint nicely as if it were the subject of a perfect demolition job

              I just look and say hmm that appears to have been demolished and then it’s up to other people to fabricate the phony explanations and call conspiracy

                1. ok rod i am glad you believe, accepting the government’s fantasy explanation of why these buildings pancaked the way they did is important to a sound sleep at night. once you feel the bite of the doubt it is very unsettling to think that so many people could be so thoroughly deceived. life is easier when you believe what they tell you on tv.

            4. I think Obama is under-rated as a President even though I did not really like him nor vote for him.

              I think it is more probable than not that he was born in Hawaii. I consider him a natural born citizen, accordingly.

              However I do think that there are credible reasons to have raised the question in light of its constitutional relevance and the fact that he mostly lived overseas in his youth and had a foreigner for parent and step parent.
              i also think it is legitimate to conduct forensic analysis of his birth certificate and very few people have watched any such thing so here it is just for fun

              1. “I think Obama is under-rated as a President ”

                It depends on how one looks at it. As far as causing harm to America, he is severely underrated.

  3. the comments from the judge illustrate that fact that this is a political show trial and not “justice” at work

    1. Yep, no one would care about this case, especially not Mueller, unless this guy had been attached to the Trump campaign for, what, three months?

      1. No one would know about it if the information wasn’t derived as a result of the original bogus charge therefore will not be allowed in court. On that one look for a gujilthy plea on a minor charge if anything

        look for some court ordered arrests on strong arming false gjuilty pleas

        the judge is a swamp drainer and doing quite well. Every step Meuller is looking more like Mewler .

        1. Would be nice, but how often do we see court-ordered arrests? Especially of prosecutors?

      2. No, 5 months and thereafter defrauding a bank for $16 million on the promise of making the bank president Secy of the Army!

        1. thereafter defrauding a bank for $16 million on the promise of making the bank president Secy of the Army!

          Manafort was fired in August of 2016, never had the pull to promise a subcabinet position to anyone before or after he was fired.

          The bank fraud counts in the Alexandria indictment make no such allegation against Manafort and Gates. The dates in the specific counts are ‘approximate and inclusive’. The counts refer to his dealings with ‘Lender B’ and ‘Lender D’. The last loan from Lender B was obtained in March 2016 before Manafort worked for Trump. That from Lender D is not specified as to the date. The complaint is not that Manafort and Gates promised a public office to the bank president, but that they supplied fake supporting documentation for a fictitious account receivable and that they supplied a mendacious explanation for an overdue balance on Manafort’s American Express card.

          The DC indictment doesn’t include any bank fraud chages.

    2. To the contrary, the Judge senses the prosecution is going to win, therefore he is making every close call against them to eliminate issues on appeal. Too bad Manafort. If you lose at trial, you lose on appeal. Hint: you are losing.

  4. Imagine.

    What if there were a constitutional/conservative court, as aberrant and wacky as the 9th Circus, that arbitrarily nullified statue and constitutional law in favor of its ideological allies?

    What if U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III just threw Mueller’s “Show Trial,” “witch hunt” and “malicious prosecution” in the trash bin of history where it belongs?

    Oh yeah, then America could bring capital charges against Rosenstein, Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Steele, Simpson, Hillary, Huma, Lynch, Brennan, Clapper, Kerry, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Power, Farkas, Rice, Obama and the rest of the treacherous defectors of the Obama coup d’etat in America.

    1. And that would be a GOOD thing for our Constitutional Republic. As for The Democracy. It’ doesn’t exist in our country as a legal organization.

    2. I think the way this turns out is that the jury is going to throw Maanafort in the clink for years on end.

    3. “the Obama coup d’etat in America”

      Even for a crazy confederate sympathizer that is remarkably stupid George.

      I don’t see how you will top it.

  5. Manafort initiated his alleged criminal activity in 2007.

    Who was the Director of the FBI in 2007? Mueller.

    What was Mueller doing in 2007? Apparently not his job related to Manafort.

    We do know that then-Secretary of State Clinton ordered then-FBI Director Robert Mueller to deliver highly enriched uranium to the

    Russians in a secret plane-side meeting in 2009.

    We also know what Mueller was doing on February 11, 2003.

    Mueller was lying about WMD in Iraq.

    1. “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

      ― Vladimir Lenin


      As America sinks into the abyss of incoherence and hysteria,

      America loses its grip while global communism burgeons:

      “Google is planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept reported Wednesday, citing leaked documents and people familiar with the matter.”

      – Slashdot

      A Metaphor For America

      “If you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will of course frantically try to clamber out. But if you place it gently in a pot of tepid water and turn the heat on low, it will float there quite placidly. As the water gradually heats up, the frog will sink into a tranquil stupor, exactly like one of us in a hot bath, and before long, with a smile on its face, it will unresistingly allow itself to be boiled to death.”

      – Daniel Quinn

      1. George what is this all about? ““The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”― Vladimir Lenin”

        The DNC is holding a sale on rope hoping to raise money.

        1. Google is perpetrating censorship in league with the tyrannical and oppressive totalitarian communists in China.

          Google is pursing capitalism into the trap of the communists – “selling the rope with which we will hang them.”

          Google is acceding or caving to the totalitarian communist Chinese requirement to censor.

          The Chinese just put the frog in a cool pot of water. Soon it will begin to heat it up. Ultimately, the frog will be cooked.

          Have you ever heard of freedom of speech, thought, religion, belief, press, assembly, socialization and every other natural and God-given freedom and right per the 9th Amendment?

          Those rights and freedoms were given to the People NOT the government.

          The government was severely restricted by the Founders and their Constitution.

          Freedom and rights were given to the People.

          Google is taking them away beginning with its efforts to censor free speech by order of the tyrannical Chinese communists.

          1. Censoring by the left through Google, Facebook, Twitter, the MSM and the universities has been terrible. Those from the left do not believe in freedom of speech.

  6. Will here it is. IRS says even little children & old ladies are tax cheats too. And wants all tax cheats to pay up now.


    10:51 AM EST

    With Manafort’s trial pressing forward, a federal judge in D.C. on Thursday affirmed the legal legitimacy of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s appointment.

    In a 93-page opinion, Judge Beryl A. Howell wrote that Mueller’s power “falls well within the boundaries the Constitution permits,” because he was supervised by an official who was himself accountable to the president. She wrote that “multiple statutes” authorized Mueller’s appointment, and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who named him to the post, “had power to do so.”

    The opinion came in response to a legal challenge from a witness who was arguing he could not be compelled to testify before a grand jury. The witness argued that Mueller wielded too much power and was appointed unlawfully. In the witness’s view, Mueller should have been nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, and there was no statute giving Rosenstein the authority to appoint him.

    The witness was not named, though his attorney told The Post’s Manuel Roig-Franzia it was Andrew Miller, an associate of political operative and Trump adviser Roger Stone.

    The ruling from Howell won’t have any direct bearing on Manafort’s case. Manafort himself had sought to challenge Mueller’s authority in the case against him in D.C. — though he abandoned part of that, and a judge rejected his request to stop Mueller from bringing charges against him in the future. Judge T.S. Ellis III also earlier rejected an effort by Manafort to get the charges against him in Virginia thrown out.

    Edited from: “Paul Manafort Trial: Day 3”


    1. Bookkeeper testifies she did not know of Manafort’s offshore accounts

      Heather Washkuhn, who prepared ledgers of Manafort’s finances, testified that she was specifically unaware that Manfort controlled firms in Cyprus that loaned him money or gave him payments, including a 2011 $2 million loan from Yiakora Ventures. She said she would have asked for documentation on that kind of loan but did not recall getting it.

      Washkuhn, managing director at California-based Nigro Karlin Segal Feldstein & Bolno, testified she had access to Manafort’s personal and business bank accounts, managed his spending and also oversaw several of his properties, including a horse farm in Virginia, condos in New York City and a property in Florida.

      Washkuhn described Manafort as an engaged client during the seven years she worked with him, from 2011 to 2018.

      “He was very knowledgeable,” Washkuhn told the jury. “He was very detail oriented. He approved every penny of everything we paid.”

      Washkuhn testified she prepared ledgers each year of Manafort’s financial activities, which she then handed off to his accountants to prepare his tax returns each year. Washkuhn told the jury she sometimes saw activity in those accounts from other accounts she did not have access to. She would request documents from Manafort on those accounts, but only get them “sometimes.”

      Critically, Washkuhn also testified she was unaware of and did not have any records of foreign holdings or accounts controlled by Manafort. That’s important because prosecutors allege Manafort hid income in accounts offshore in places such as Cyprus and used them to make loans to himself and pay vendors as a tax avoidance scheme.

      Edited from: “Paul Manafort Trial: Day 3”


    2. “Edited from: “Paul Manafort Trial: Day 3” Today’s WASHINGTON POST”

      Though I didn’t find anything that seemed like Peter Shill was altering the data or quotes in this piece except for his headline one has to be careful of Peter Shill’s editing and use of quotation marks for in the past he has quoted people using his own words and has made things up.

      1. Allan: Did Professor Turley appoint you to police my posts??

        And why should we presume you’re so credible??

        This is a perfect example of the self-righteous hypocrisy that certain conservatives are prone to. Just sanctimonious old farts appointing themselves guardians of morality.

        1. Actually, I appreciate his warning about you. Although I have not seen you behave in that manner, I’ve seen it from enough other liberals. A lot of you seem to have a very flexible relationship with the truth

          1. Wally, show me an academic study that says liberals are more prone to lying.

            And allow me to point out that our current president, a conservative, is setting all time records for false statements.

            1. Nice try. I didn’t suggest it was a study, I said I’ve seen it happen. And seriously, all we have to do is look at the MSM and we have numerous examples of lying from liberals.

                1. Here’s one example from the linked article:

                  “Not surprisingly, immigration is the top single source of Trump’s misleading claims, now totaling 538. Thirty times just in the past five months, for instance, the president has falsely claimed his long-promised border wall with Mexico is being built, even though Congress has denied funding for it”.

                  1. From the above link, Trump routinely makes false claims about tax cuts:

                    “Misleading claims about taxes — now at 336 — are also a common feature of Trump’s speeches. Eighty-eight times, he has made the false assertion that he passed the biggest tax cut in U.S. history”.

                    1. Is it false? How many dollars was this tax cut compared to the one you think was higher? Do you think Reagan’s tax cut was a larger dollar amount? Kennedy’s?

                  2. Peter Shill, it is presently being built though too slowly because it hasn’t been funded for completion. That is something the President notes all the time. In fact, he is ready for a showdown to further fund the wall before the midterms. You have to place what the President says in proper context. You don’t and all too frequently that alone makes you a liar.

                    1. If we build a wall, it’s going to be a very strong wall around Donald J. Trump. And Manafort. And Don Jr. And Jared. And Cohen. And Butina.

                2. Note, “false or misleading”. Most of these things are based on opinions or stretching opinions. Trump says we have a great economy. WP can say that is misleading or false; the economy could be better. Note how the WP didn’t quote the President so that one could judge for themselves. A lot of this opinion is based on the metrics used and how the statistics are formulated. Statistics were misused all the time under Obama.

                  I’ll wait for Peter Shill’s list of the three worst that involve Trump’s Presidency and are significant. He’ll stick with generalities because he can’t prove sh-t. With all those lies digging up three should be pretty easy. Those on the right actually dig up these things all the time on Obama actually showing videos of Obama lying. Even Gruber admitted lying to the American public in order to pass Obamacare because they wouldn’t have permitted it to pass had they known the truth.

                  “”You can’t do it political, you just literally cannot do it. Transparent financing and also transparent spending. I mean, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies. Okay? So it’s written to do that,” Gruber said. “In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in, you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical to get for the thing to pass. Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.””

                  The text and video are at:


              1. Wally, note how quickly Peter Shill changed the context of your remarks. Next stop you might be quoted saying something Peter Shill made up.

            2. Peter Shill, you call all sorts of things lies that should have an adjective next to them. Why don’t you list in context 3 of his worst lies that are significant and involve his Presidency?

        2. Peter Shill, how do we know you aren’t paid to post lies and misquotes? I love policing you. It’s always a lot easier to find lies from a liar than from honest folk.

          1. Allan, what do we know about ‘you’..???

            I’ve spent a lot of time with Chicago cops and they have a favorite saying, “I don’t know you from Jack S**t”.

            And we don’t know anything about Allan. He poses as a sanctimonious old fart. For all we know Allan’s an ex-con. Seriously. It’s often a liar who’s calling other people liars. That could easily be the case with Allan.

            1. Peter, they are neck deep in the toxic lies of their dear leader, NOTHING, or facts will change what little minds they have left.

            2. All anyone needs to know about people on this blog where aliases are used all the time is what they write.

              We have seen what you write and how you have lied.

              Anytime you wish you should correct me. If you are successful I will thank you because that means I learned something. That is my object, to learn. Yours is something completely different.

              1. I don’t remember the exact comments, and it was maybe 4 or 5 months ago. But whatever it was, it was several comments Peter Hill said that were deliberately deceptive and made me consider him nothing but a DNC shill. Hence, I call him Peter Shill and usually just avoid interacting with him because I do not think he has any ability to accept new information, either because he is very dumb, or just a shill. Either way I do not take anything he says at face value.

                I suspect that he is more of a shill than an idiot, because he/she/it gets frantic whenever the Dems get caught out doing bad things. That is my overall impression.

                Squeeky Fromm
                Girl Reporter

                1. Perhaps you are the one that should be given the credit for his name, Peter Shill. I believe you are entirely correct and I wouldn’t trust him at all.

                    1. The DNC will tell you they don’t me from Jack S**t. And I’m okay with that.
                      I never pretended to speak for them. The ‘Shill’ label came from one of ‘you’.

                      The idea seems to be that any Democrat supporting the party is linked to 500 conspiracies. From that mindset any good Democrat has to be a shill.

                    2. You didin’t solicit advice, but I’m giving it to you anyway.

                      1. Don’t present glossed Bezos Birdcage Liner oppo as if it were something anyone should take seriously

                      2. Demonstrate you have a personal perspective. Do this without contrivance. It’s easy to spot an Olly post and differentiate it from one of Allan’s or Paul’s.or Mespo’s.

                      3. Don’t say blatantly false things.

                      4. Don’t invest in the day’s disinformation.

                      5. Don’t cut / paste text from peddlers of the day’s disinformation.

                      And people will stop calling you ‘Shill’.

                    3. Very good. I missed that one. Thank you for the Peter Shill. It fits so well.

              2. Last week, Allan, you wrote that you wanted to see me get a rectal exam, or something to that effect. That sounds real respectable.

                1. I did mention something about you getting a rectal exam but I don’t think it was in the context you are repeating.

                  Anyhow, what is not respectable about getting a rectal exam? Are you afraid that if one were done on you one would find your head residing there?

          2. Ya figure Peter Shill gets piece rates from “Correct the Record”?

    3. Which means we hang Rosenstein first.

      Meuller still has no case as the evidence is fruit of the poisoned tree.

    4. It may be faded from memory by now, since it happened a few months ago.
      Judge Ellis, who is presiding now over the Manafort trial, told prosecutors that they didn’t care about Manafort, this was about getting Trump.
      It’ll be interesting to see how long the trial lasts.
      There will probably be some complex “forensic accounting” presented to the jury that’ll take time.
      But Judge Ellis is no Judge Itto and is pushing both sides to move quickly.

      1. Tom, if the forensic accountant produces something that is hard to understand that will mean the forensic accountant is trying to produce a case that doesn’t exist.

        1. Allan,
          I haven’t seen profiles of the jury members, and there may not be one.
          With 32 seperate counts to decide on, and probably complex transactions to examine, the jury could be deliberating a long, long time.
          The trial portion itself is estimated to last 2-3 weeks, so the jurors’ heads will probably be spinning by then with a the details of a slew of transactions to examine.
          I don’t know if you read my comment on the Bundy trials, but those trials are examples of what can happen even when the prosecution case looks very strong.

      The judge’s decision on the DOJ ‘s right to appoint a Special Counsel makes no judgement about the wisdom of choosing a longtime friend and associate of fired FBI Director James Comey as Special Counsel.

      1. My last comment was in reply to Peter Hill’s headline news about the judge who ruled on the right to appoint a Special Counsel.
        It looks like my comment posted WAY below Peter’s….I’d have to scroll back and scan to even find his comment.

  8. Every new release shows the Mueller probe to be a “conspiracy”. There is tangible proof of this in the emails sent back and forth.

    “Strzok demanded declassification, other FBI powers before joining Mueller team, emails show

    Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton questions what Strzok was doing for Mueller’s team.

    Anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok insisted on preserving his security clearance and powers he held as a deputy assistant director at the agency before joining Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, newly released emails show.

    The emails, acquired by the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, reveal that Strzok’s supervisor agreed to make him a “floating” deputy who would be able to approve national security letters and declassify documents – all while working on the Mueller team investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government.

    “Broadly, I need to be able to act at least in the capacity of my old CD [counterintelligence division] DAD [deputy assistant director] job – approve NSLs [national security letters], conduct [redacted] declassify information, [redacted] agent travel, requisitions, etc. Of those, the most problematic and one of the most essential is declassification authority,” Strzok wrote in an email to Bill Priestap, FBI counterintelligence chief, dated July 13, 2017.

    “Of those, the most problematic and one of the most essential is declassification authority.”

    Priestap wrote back a few days later, saying his request was approved: “In answer to your initial question, while assigned to the special counsel’s office, you will retain your CD DAD authorities to include declassification authority.”

    “Assuming the 7th floor approves, you will remain on CD’s books as a fourth (floating) DAD. When you move on from your DAD position, your DAD slot will revert back to HRD [human resources department],” he added.

    Strzok’s insistence on keeping the declassification authority raises concerns whether such authority gave the Mueller investigation special capabilities to target President Trump.

    “It sure did,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Fox News. “Strzok wouldn’t have asked for it if he didn’t think it’d be useful in his new job.”

    “He wanted the authority to issue national security letters, which essentially are secret requests for information that fall short of needing court approval,” Fitton continued. “He also wanted – and he said this was ‘essential,’ which is very unusual – he wanted the ability to declassify information. He wanted to keep that ability.”

    “Strzok wouldn’t have asked for it if he didn’t think it’d be useful in his new job.”

    – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton
    The FBI agent has been under fire ever since he was removed in the summer of 2017 after he exchanged tens of thousands of texts with then-colleague Lisa Page, with whom he had an extramarital affair, and expressed anti-Trump comments, raising questions of bias.

    “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page texted to Strzok in August 2016, months before Trump won the presidential election. “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.

    Last month, the FBI agent testified before Congress, denying his personal views affected his job as an investigator.

    “Like many people, I had and expressed personal political opinions during an extraordinary presidential election. Many contained expressions of concern for the security of our country,” Strzok said in his opening statement, noting that those opinions were expressed “out of deep patriotism.”

    He also later denied that the FBI would interfere in the election to stop one particular candidate. “The suggestion that I, in some dark chamber in the FBI, would somehow cast aside these procedures … and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me,” he said.”

      1. NUTCHACHA’S “Affirmative Action Privilege,” welfare, food stamps, quotas, Obamacare, social services, forced busing, unfair “Fair Housing” laws, discriminatory “Non-Discrimination” laws, WIC, HUD, HHS, HAMP, HARP, utility subsidies and the rest of her unconstitutional “free stuff” funded by Other People’s Money in the finest tradition of communism are threatened by actual Americans (i.e.conservatives) and the “manifest tenor” of the U.S. Constitution.

        What will NUTCHACHA be in a free America under the American thesis of freedom, free enterprise, severely limited government and success through merit as is required by the Constitution?

        What will NUTCHACHA be without the artificial construct, false support and abutment of the welfare state.

        Answer: Nothing.

        1. Well, we know none of this will be funded by Manafort’s money, because he doesn’t pay taxes. When did I ever write about affirmative action, etc? I missed the part of the Constitution that “requires” “severely limited government.” Where can I find that?

          1. They take their cues from the dear leader, they just make it up and believe it.

          2. Crazy George thinks the vote should only be exercised by white men of property.
            He also thinks the wrong side won the Civil War.

            He’s nutz.

  9. I have not heard what the defense counsel is doing to counter attack these jibes. I would state “objections” and in the ears of the jury state how nasty this dork prosecutor is getting with all the rich guy diatribe. I would call it “diatribe”. As I make this objection I woiuld look at the jury and nod over toward the dork prosecutor. “We– (looking at the jury) are all entitled to a fair trial.” How would any of you folks like to be treated like this?” Say that one looking out at the crowd but the jury will know it means them too. The judge may cut you off but you have done your thing. The prosecutor can lose this case by resorting to alll this diatribe.

    1. I might add. As the jury is walking out at the next break, have some guy in the audience say loudly: “Listen to all this diatribe from the government about a jacket!” The juroris will hear.

      1. Spoken like someone who has never been sanctioned by a judge. Heck, a judge once made me pay the court $50 or $100 because I was late for a hearing. I’d hate to see what would happen if I appealed to the emotions of a jury…

        1. Civil Disobedience is not for those who live in fear nor is a member of a Fully Informed Jury.

          Sounds like the Judge is coming to that conclusion. Just left Rosenstein open to full charges and set up Meuller to have either the Jury, the Judge, or both toss the whole thing.

    2. Liberty 2,…
      I haven’t heard the defense present its side either, although I expect that they’ll weigh in with their “counterattack” next week.
      (I haven’t followed the news closely today, so I might be behind on the development).
      The oerformance of Gates as a witness will be critical, if he testifies.
      It looks like he will ve called to testify, but that’s not certain based on the news I’ve read.
      Should interesting to watch as we into the trial next weekm

  10. Would the prosecution go to such lengths if Manafort was donating lavishly to charity? I don’t care how or why Manafort spends his money. I care whether he violated the law to get it.

    1. I think they answered your question already. They were aware of Manafort for years but didn’t prosecute until now when they were going after Trump. I think it had less to do with how he spent his money and more to do because he was a link to Trump.

      1. Manafort was exonerated by Rosenstein eight years ago in the original investigation.

        1. If that’s true, why can’t Manafort’s lawyers get Rosenstein on the stand to explain WHY he chose not to charge him eight years ago?

          1. It is not adviseable to call someone to the stand and question them when you don’t have the answers especially when they have a lot of room to spin.

            1. Allan,..
              – I’ve seen that happen twice, when a prosecutor ( in these 2 cases) thinks he has a solid witness, and the witness ends up benefiting the defense side.
              I can’t help but find the humor in that😆😀….it’s kind of like watching a play, when an actor on stage screws up his lines from the script and everyone else on stage has to scramble to get back on track😉😆….I’ve only seen that happen once.
              The play wasn’t that great to begin with….my date fell asleep less than halfway through the play…..but the temporary choas😯😧 that the one actor caused made the play worth the price of the tickets.

          2. I hope Lawfare is on trial here.

            Just imagine the fallout if the prosecution makes the case that the previous investigation did not have the evidence it has today. Maybe the investigation was sloppy, maybe the FBI treated it as a matter they were not too interested in, maybe it just required a different set of eyes to review all the evidence available, as well as getting all the evidence they didn’t have at the time. That would certainly open up some other high profile FBI matters to renewed scrutiny. That of course assumes the DOJ is truly about equal Justice and the FBI is truly about Investigations.

        2. Thank you Wally, that is one of the reasons I think Manafort will win. This isn’t something new.

        1. Olly, that is being questioned but how can you know what is in another person’s mind? One requires tangible evidence to move forward. That is the problem faced by the lefties all the time. They blame Trump based on what they believe is in his mind rather than on his actions. That makes the lot of them sound very stupid.

          1. but how can you know what is in another person’s mind?

            Ask them. If new evidence has come to light in the past 8 years to indict, then that will be made clear. If there is nothing new here, then the jury will see that there is something else influencing the decision to prosecute this.

            1. Olly, Rosenstein can spin all of this in any fashion he wishes. He is as smart as he is despicable. I listened to Rosenstein at dinner a couple of months ago. If I didn’t know anything about him I would think he is a choir boy. He knows the law and he knows how to spin it. I think he also knows how to keep his hands clean. That is a problem with smart lifelong bureaucrats. They can do terrible things but never be held accountable.

              A short true story: A friend of mine was in charge of a municipal department. There was one employee that was totally screwing everything up. The friend could not get rid of the employee in any fashion and couldn’t fire the employee. The friend did the only thing possible to make the department function. The friend recommended the employee for an advancement far away. Can you imagine how many people in government climb the ladder of success by being bad?

          2. you cant. that’s called speculation and it’s about the easiest objection to make imaginable.

            usually one tries to elicit from the witness observeable facts that the jurors can use to make inferences about intent. lead them to it not let the witness blurt it out and get scolded by judge

      2. It was very unusual cor the presiding judge, Ellis, to come right out and that this isn’t really about Manafort, but that the prosecutors’ real target was Trump.
        Very unusual.

    2. True BUT Meuller intentionally ruined that possibility. More probable would be unsupported speculation on how much Meuller is getting paid? Off?

    1. Have you ever considered the possibility that your opinion of yourself and your status on this blog might be just a tad bit inflated?

        1. Rudy has a track record. He was a fantastic mayor of NYC. Hollywood, you don’t have a track record.

        1. Has Tom Nash ever considered the possibility that Tom Nash’s opinion of L4D might not be L4D’s opinion of herself???

          Is it even possible in the first place for Tom Nash to distinguish between his own opinion of someone–say, Trump, for instance–versus that person’s self opinion???

          BTW, exactly what is Trump’s opinion of Trump???

          1. I know damn good and well that my opinion of L4D does not match her opinion of herself.
            That self-inflated “I’m oh so clever sophistry” that L4D proudly displays is what prompted FF Sierra’s question in the first place.
            These are fairly straightforward questions and comments about the prolific gasbag and propagandist L4D.
            It’ll be interesting to see how she pivots into a muddled, convoluted duscussion with herself to combat direct and straightforward words.

            1. please don’t run them down too much, i like to come here and reply to her silly remarks. she might get discouraged and buzz off

              1. Mr. Kurtz,…
                – I don’t intend to mean, but after about 10 years worth of her spin, distortions, and propaganda, I probably get pretty blunt in my comments.
                A friend once said, diplomatically, that I got “intense” 😆 during a debate/ argument with a mutual friend.
                No lasting harm done to the friendship, but the the debate/ argument did get pretty “heated”, or “intense”.

      1. Jitterbug Jitterbug Madre said, “Have you ever considered the possibility that your opinion of yourself and your status on this blog might be just a tad bit inflated?”

        Have you ever considered the possibility that you might actually enjoy being punished?

        And that you richly deserve to be punished, relentlessly, mercilessly???

        1. JFC, you poor woman. You are getting sicker by the day. Prayers ascending.

        2. will you join me in my call for legalizing sex work?
          i think you could sell dom services with that kind of talk
          or do you give spankings for free? that’s legal

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