Manafort Loses Plea Deal After Judge Finds False Statements To Special Counsel

Paul Manafort added to his burgeoning record of alleged crimes and falsehoods this week with a decision from U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson that he had broken his cooperation agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller by making false statements and withholding information. The result could be devastating for Manafort who will now face sentencing without the benefit of the plea deal that he struck with Mueller. That could mean that, absent a pardon from President Donald Trump, Manafort could die in prison since he is looking at decades of potential jail time.

Jackson ruled that Manafort intentionally misled investigators on at least three matters. This included lying about his communications with Russian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik, a figure closely tied to Russian intelligence who was indicted by Mueller. He also allegedly lied about payments to a law firm and another unspecified matter.

While the ruling found that the Manafort did not lie on other subjects, including his communications with the White House, it leaves him in the worst possible position. He was previously convicted in Virginia on various counts and then pleaded guilty to other crimes in Washington. Those admissions will now be used against him without the benefit of a plea arrangement.

Manafort elected to divide the cases rather than face a single, unified trial. The reason may be that he believed the Virginia jury pool was better for him and he would succeed in defeating some of those counts or even secure a hung jury in his home state.

The problem for Manafort is these trials made it increasingly difficult to portray him as a victim. Indeed, the second trial involved allegations of money laundering and foreign lobbying as well as false statements to the FBI. The government is preparing almost three times the number of documents detailing his transactions and associations with an array of sleazy characters around the world.

Manafort’s dealings in the indictment include his involvement working on behalf of a pro-Russian faction in Ukraine. The prosecutors notably held back much of the evidence of Manafort’s Ukrainian dealings in the Virginia trial. Manafort was working for the interests of one of the most bloodsoaked and sinister figures in Eastern Europe — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych — widely viewed as a Russian stooge who took over the government with the help of Moscow and ultimately did Moscow’s bidding. Yanukovych was accused of not only massive corruption, but also the murder of protesters and the arrest of political opponents. He accumulated an estimated net worth of $12 billion through alleged pilfering of Ukrainian funds. He ultimately fled to Russia.

When he fled into Russian exile, Yanokovych took away not only Manafort’s most important client but also the source of his wealth. Manafort’s opulent lifestyle now faced a serious downgrade. It was then, the government claims, that he began to lie to banks, the IRS and ultimately investigators.

In other words, Manafort is one of the least redeeming characters facing a sentencing and the last defendant who would want to do so without a prior sentencing agreement.

Manafort has been trying to play two-hands in this controversy: preserving a plea bargain will seeking a presidential pardon. He is now left with only a pardon as an escape from what could be a terminal sentence.

94 thoughts on “Manafort Loses Plea Deal After Judge Finds False Statements To Special Counsel”

  1. Let’s talk about something more interesting, i.e., not Russia, shall we….

    Saturnalian (a.k.a., your beloved-Christmas-holiday) Brotherhood —

    House of Borja
    House of Breakspeare *
    House of Somaglia *
    House of Orsini *
    House of Conti
    House of Chigi
    House of Colonna
    House of Farnese *
    House of Medici
    House of Gaetani
    House of Pamphili
    House of Este
    House of Aldobrandini *
    * = Most powerful bloodlines

    Now, how many connection does Trump have to these families? Hrmmm

    We do know that one of these so-to-speak “hidden hand” families lent him money back in the day. Not sure if they ever recovered their loan. My guess, is probably not.

    Anyone…? Bueller? Bueller? No, not Mueller, I said Bueller.

  2. Manafort is going to enjoy the privilege and immunity of a Presidential Pardon in the several states and in one state.

    If Manafort cannot enjoy the privilege and immunity of a Presidential Pardon in the several states,

    Manafort cannot enjoy the privileges and immunities of a Presidential Pardon in one state.
    _____

    If freedom of speech and freedom of religion are privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States,

    freedom of speech and freedom of religion are privileges and immunities of citizens of each and every single state.

    Article 2, Section 4

    The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

  3. But with no connection to President Trump or tie in to Russia or any crime activity such as the famous non crime of collusion why are we wasting time on this nothing bichi burger? Same goes for Cohen. When does the real investigation begin and this farce end?

  4. Manafort will be pardoned on the federal and state levels. A Presidential pardon is an immunity provided to American citizens. In any particular state, the citizens must enjoy the immunities provided by the Constitution. No state can overturn a Presidential pardon which would overturn “immunities” provided to citizens by the Constitution. States cannot deny free speech or a free press and states cannot deny a Presidential pardon.

    1. No state will pardon Manafort. If Trump tries to pardon him for federal offenses, he will get impeached. The American republic cannot stand if the POTUS got elected with the assistance of a hostile foreign government that manipulated social media to nullify the popular vote, and whose campaign manager who helped the hostile foreign power lied under oath to courts, only to be pardoned by the POTUS who cheated to get into office in the first place. Trump only has the power to pardon federal offenses, not state offenses. Manafort’s going down, and deserves to do serious time. Maybe after he’s been in the cooler for a few months, he’ll change his mind about the wisdom of lying to cover for Trump.

      Meanwhile, the breaking news is that Trump will sign the bipartisan bill, but will still try to declare an “emergency”. Anything to get his way. Anything to try to validate the “Promises Made…Promises Kept” banners. He lied on Monday about the “big beautiful wall” being built “as we speak”. There is no new wall under construction, and the only wall construction is repairs to an existing segment for which funds were appropriated years ago. Of course, his office is trying to spin this as addressing an “humanitarian crisis”, but we know it is the product of a pathological liar with a fragile ego–a liar who told his adoring crowds that Mexico would pay to construct a “big beautiful wall from sea to shining sea”. He never had any plan for coercing Mexico to do this. Meanwhile, the courts will again have to get involved and teach him a lesson about separation of powers. The Congress decides how taxpayer money is spent–not Trump. Getting caught in a lie with no way out and dropping approval ratings do not constitute an “emergency”.

      1. Can anyone imagine Natacha confining her remarks to two sentences which incorporate substance and nothing more?

        1. Everywhere Natacha goes she fires at a tiny target with buckshot. Her words go everywhere but generally not to the point.

          1. The “No” was in answer to Absurd’s Feb. 14th, 4:58 PM question.
            As far Natacha’s prediction that Trump would be impeached if he pardoned Manfort, that might be as likely as Bill Clinton being impeached for pardoning Marc Rich.

      2. Manafort is going to enjoy the privilege and immunity of a Presidential Pardon in one state and in the several states.

        If Manafort cannot enjoy the privilege and immunity of a Presidential Pardon in the several states,

        Manafort cannot enjoy the privileges and immunities of a Presidential Pardon in one state.

        Article 2, Section 4

        The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States. A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

          1. – Manafort will enjoy a fungible, special privilege and immunity tendered by the President of the several states.

            – Manafort has a constitutional protection agaisnt double jeopardy.

            _______________________________________________________________________________

            Article 4, Section 2

            The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
            ____________________________________________________________________________________

            5th Amendment

            “…nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb;…”

          2. The inverse of Article 4, Section 2 is also true.

            To wit,

            The Citizens of the several States shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens of each State.
            ____________________________________________________________________________________

            Article 4, Section 2

            The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

        1. Beats the hell out of those Fake News sites you’ll are relying on for the real facts.

          And it looks to me me didn’t even notice who that lawyer was in that first in the 1st infowars link that detailed Coup leader Mueller’s career.

    1. Nunes says that McCabe is a traitor and that the investigation into Trump is an attempted coup? Do you really believe this manure? Nunes was a Republican plant. He helped block subpoenas for documents that would have elucidated crucial information, in order to try to create a parallel narrative to the Mueller investigation and the various guilty pleas and convictions. Now that Democrats are in control of the House, those documents will be obtained and the truth will be disclosed. You are clearly a Faux News disciple, but you are being misled.

    2. Guillotines might be more efficient given the number of co-conspirators in the most prodigious abuse of power and political scandal in American history, the Obama Coup D’etat in America:

      Sessions, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Obama et al.

  5. MANAFORT’S FORMER CLIENT:

    VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH – PRESIDENT UKRAINE, 2010-2014

    Paul Manafort’s professional relationship with Yanukovych began around 2004. At the time Manafort was a consultant to Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska whose name continues to come up in relation to Manafort’s activities in the former Soviet Union.

    Yanukovych employed Manafort as a consultant and lobbyist during his rise in Ukrainian politics. Yanukovych represented ethnic Russian regions of eastern Ukraine. In fact, Yanukovych is fluent primarily in Russian and never spoke Ukrainian on any conversational basis.

    Yanukovych successfully campaigned to become the fourth President of Ukraine in 2010. Though it appears said campaign was generously funded with Russian-related money. Oleg Deripaska no doubt played a significant role in funneling said funds.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    The following paragraphs are edited from Wikipedia’s profile on Yanukovych:

    By January 2013, more than half of the ministers appointed by Yanukovych were either born in the Donbas region or made some crucial part of their careers there, and Yanukovych has been accused of “regional cronyism” for his staffing of police, judiciary, and tax services “all over Ukraine” with “Donbas people”.[175] Over 46% of the budget subventions for social and economic development was allotted to the Donbas region’s Donetsk Oblast and Luhansk Oblast administrations – 0.62 billion UAH ($76.2 million) versus 0.71 billion UAH ($87.5 million) for the rest of the country.[176]

    Anders Åslund, a Swedish economist and Ukraine analyst, described the consolidation of Ukrainian economic power in the hands of a few “elite industrial tycoons”, one of the richest and most influential of whom has become President Yanukovych’s own son Oleksandr Yanukovych. The exact distribution of wealth and precise weight of influence are difficult to gauge, but most of the country’s richest men were afraid to cross the Yanukovich family, even in cases where their own economic interests favored an economically pro-EU Ukraine.

    Yanukovych had an estimated net worth of $12 billion,[citation needed] and has been accused by Ukrainian officials of misappropriating funds from Ukraine’s treasury. Arseniy Yatsenyuk has claimed that treasury funds of up to $70 billion were transferred to foreign accounts during Yanukovych’s presidency. Authorities in Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein froze the assets of Yanukovych and his son Oleksander on 28 February 2014 pending a money laundering investigation. Yanukovych has denied that he embezzled funds and has said that his alleged foreign accounts do not exist.

    Yanukovych abandoned his large estate, Mezhyhirya when he fled the capital. The estate is located in a former forest preserve on the outskirts of Kyiv.

    He had acquired the property in 2007, according to critics, through a convoluted series of companies and transactions. Yanukovych did not reveal the price he paid, although he called it a “very serious price”. Mezhyhirya is estimated to have been sold for more than 75 million U.S. dollars.

    Protesters walked unchallenged into the former president’s office and residential compounds after police and security left their posts in Kyiv. Protesters had free access to government buildings, and to the presidential mansion and estate. They were amazed at the opulence and extravagance of what they found, including a private zoo, a fleet of cars, and a large boat.

    In a feature with photos on Yanukovych’s Mezhyhirya mansion, Sergii Leshchenko notes “For most of [Yanukovych’s] career he was a public servant or parliament deputy, where his salary never exceeded 2000 US dollars per month.” Under a photo showing the new home’s ornate ceiling, Leschenko remarks, “In a country where 35% of the population live under poverty line, spending 100,000 dollars on each individual chandelier seems excessive, to say the least.”

    Crowned with a pure copper roof, the mansion was the largest wooden structure ever created by Finnish log home builder Honka, whose representative suggested to Yanukovych that it be nominated for the Guinness Book of Records. The property contained a private zoo, underground shooting range, 18-hole golf course, tennis, and bowling. After describing the mansion’s complicated ownership scheme, the article author noted, “The story of Viktor Yanukovych and his residence highlights a paradox. Having completely rejected such European values as human rights and democracy, the Ukrainian president uses Europe as a place to hide his dirty money with impunity.” [170]

    When the former President departed, 35 cars and seven motorbikes were left behind. Kyiv’s District Court seized 27 vintage cars in 2016 from the fleet stationed at Mezhyhirya, some worth more than $US 1 million.

    Yanukovych told BBC Newsnight (in June 2015) that stories that Mezhyhirya cost the Ukrainian taxpayer millions of dollars were “political technology and spin” and that the estate did not belong to him personally; he claimed that the ostriches in the residence’s petting zoo “just happened to be there”[183] and remarked “I supported the ostriches, what’s wrong with that?”.

    1. RE. ABOVE:

      It appears that as soon Yanukovych became President of Ukraine, he set about to appropriate as much wealth as possible for his family and ethnic Russian cronies. Yanukovych’s gigantic wooden mansion was built on what had been a public forest preserve. How Yanukovych obtained that land is a controversy in itself.

      Paul Manafort’s fortunes rose with Yanukovych’s only to plummet when the latter fled to Russia 5 years ago this month. Theoretically, Paul Manafort should have been a pariah to the Republican party after his long involvement with Yanukovych.

      The fact that Manafort was allowed to run Donald Trump’s campaign only 2 years after Yanukovych’s flight to Russian exile is rather astounding, to say the least.

  6. What seems to be the most incriminating detail here besides the widespread lying is Manafort giving polling data to a potential Russian intelligence operative, who has denied he is an intelligence operative and whom Manafort claims he did not know was an intelligence operative (you don’t have to believe him) – but after Manafort was no longer with the Trump campaign. This could suggest a conspiracy by a private U.S. person to assist a foreign government to target the election, or it could simply be one person providing information to another for more or less innocent purposes ranging from the technically legal but shady to an utterly neutral exchange pursuant to the kind of more or less legal business relationship that Manafort has had for his entire career and that is widely pursued by lobbying organizations everywhere. We don’t know this yet, although many people feel certain that it is the first possibility as opposed to the second. The rest is (1) people associated with Trump, before and after the election in Nov. 2016, talking with Russians or Ukranians with a view to possibly readjusting U.S. policy to make it more favorable to the Yanukovich faction, and relieving anti-Russian sanctions, should Trump become President; (2) Trump keeping his real estate options open in Russia in case he lost. It is difficult to tell how the lies (and the other fraud crimes for which convictions or pleas have been obtained) are as necessarily material to the alleged Russian hacking during the 2016 election campaign, or to the possibility of collusion by Trump with Russians to mess with the election, as they are constantly hyped to be. At this point they seem collateral, and the inevitable outcome of letting loose an entire investigative apparatus to the tune of millions of dollars to turn over every rock of the people being investigated. Otherwise, I’m not seeing how it is illegal to discuss policy with representatives of foreign countries during a campaign, or after one is elected.

    1. Manafort was fired from the Trump campaign on August 19th, 2016.

      The meeting between Manafort, Gates and Kiliminik at The Grand Havana Room (in which $767,000 worth of Tony Fabrizio’s detailed, sophisticated in-house Trump polling data was both given and explained to Kilimnik) took place on August 2nd, 2016.

      Manafort was still Trump’s campaign manager when the August 2nd meeting took place. Manafort remained Trump’s campaign manager for another seventeen days after the August 2nd meeting.

      Gates was never fired from his position as deputy campaign manager. Gates served on the transition team and the inaugural committee. Manafort continued communicating with Gates and others throughout the transition. Manafort continued communicating with The White House after the inauguration.

      1. Thank you for that clarification. So, is the theory then that he passed the information to the intelligence officer who then used it to . . . ? And you think (1) that this will prove damning because Manafort knew or should have known that the man he gave it to was an intelligence officer or probable Russian government personnel, and that Manafort had specific intent that the man he gave it to would use it to influence the election; (2) that it is likely that Mueller has evidence we have not seen yet which will show what this person, who is allegedly a Russian intelligence officer, did with the polling data in relation to the 2016 election, which in turn will prove a conspiracy to defraud or something in that vein?

  7. “The result could be devastating for Manafort who will now face sentencing without the benefit of the plea deal that he struck with Mueller.”

    Though I have no fondness for Manaforte, the more heinous and outrageous the punishment and behavior of the prosecutor the more likely Manaforte is to be pardoned.

    1. OMG. You people with Trump Derangement Syndrome are blind as can be. Anything to spin away the obvious. No, the problem isn’t with the prosecutors, and no, Manafort is no victim. Here’s what you have: Trump, who is not a successful dealmaker or businessman, needs to borrow more money to keep his empire and lifestyle going. No U.S. bank would lend him money due to his history of stiffing his creditors, so he looks to Mother Russia, which will lend him money, but at a price. They see what most people see: a pathetic egotistical narcissist who is financially vulnerable, and who is neither patriotic nor altruistic, and who really doesn’t know much about international politics–the perfect stooge. They see their chance to purchase the Presidency of the United States in order to advance their interests, which include removing sanctions, getting the U.S. military out of places they want to take over and to otherwise take steps financially and strategically advantageous to them. They also have very clever hackers who know how to manipulate social media, and people like Manafort, Trump campaign chairman, and who is crooked and financially vulnerable, who can funnel information to them so they know where to target their information wars strategically to have the maximum effect. Russian hackers did do this. All of the U.S. intelligence agencies agree. The only one who doesn’t is Trump, because he will defend Putin to the max, as he proved in Helsinki. Why would he publicly dismiss the work of American intelligence agencies and side with a murdering thug like Putin? Because of his ego and lack of talent as a businessman. He needed the money. He needed the adulation. It only took a few thousand votes in a few key precincts to obtain the Electoral College “victory” that had the effect of nullifying the popular vote. BTW: it was reported yesterday that Trump has taken steps to gut the sub-agency of Homeland Security that is tasked with preventing further Russian interference in our elections and making all elections fair in the future. Why would he do this? Also, Russian hackers did try the same thing in 2018’s elections, but it didn’t work.

      So, Manafort gets caught and cuts a plea deal, but as it turns out, he also lied to cover for Trump, depending on a pardon from Putin’s lap dog. If Trump pardons him, there will be no choice other than impeachment. I do believe people will take to the streets in protest, just like they did after the so-called “victory”, but those with Trump Derangement Syndrome will keep tuning in to Rush, Hannity, Coulter and Ingraham for their daily dose of affirmation. It will be up to the Republicans to choose between patriotism and their party. I don’t have much hope in them, but I do have hope for the American people, most of whom don’t have Trump Derangement Syndrome.

      1. I have to admit that I didn’t read past the first couple of sentences because I find it a waste of time to read your venting.

        You did say: “and no, Manafort is no victim. “. I don’t believe he is, but none of his crimes that may exist have anything to do with Trump or the Trump campaign. In fact had Trump not decided to run Manaforte might not have been prosecuted for anything even things where he seems guilty. That tells us of a potential problem at the DOJ. You are too busy fantasizing to look at where the real problems lie so write what you will but I can’t listen to so much garbage.

        1. Natacha said, “They [The Russians] also have very clever hackers who know how to manipulate social media, and people like Manafort, Trump campaign chairman, and who is crooked and financially vulnerable, who can funnel information to them so they know where to target their information wars strategically to have the maximum effect.”

          Tony Fabrizio worked with Manafort and Gates when Manafort and Gates were working for Yanukovich and The Party of Regions. The detailed, sophisticated in-house Trump poling data that Manafort and Gates gave and explained to The Russians was Tony Fabrizio’s work. Fabrizio billed the Trump campaign $767,000 for that polling data. Fabrizio said that that “debt was resolved.” But Fabrizio did not say that the Trump campaign “resolved that debt.” Roger Stone said that Trump “doesn’t pay for anything.” Do the head-scratching Sluggo.

          Either Manafort, Gates and Fabrizio sold Trump down the river to Putin. Or Manafort, Gates and Fabrizio did exactly as Trump had contracted with them to do. If Trump throws Manafort under the bus, then a conspiracy without Trump’s knowledge nor approval is the likelier. If Trump does not throw Manafort under the bus, then a conspiracy with Trump’s knowledge and approval is the likelier. Either way, Putin still wants that Ukrainian Peace Proposal that amounts to sanctions relief for Russia that Putin’s Ukrainian oligarchs bought and paid for.

          Did you know that a quid pro quo does not have to come to fruition in order to be charged as a conspiracy? Likewise, the several necessary conditions for a quid pro quo to be charged as bribery do not include successful completion of the quid pro quo. Don’t take my word for it, Sluggo. Ask Blagojevich and Rezko. [paraphrase] “This thing is [expletive deleted] ‘molten.'”

          1. Diane, instead of talking to yourself you are now repeating other people and fantasizing in an almost incoherent manner. Enjoy yourself. The nurse will be by soon to give you your meds.

  8. Judge is an Obama appointee. Some judges are collaborators with abusive prosecutors. See the presiding judges in the Lewis Libby and Conrad Black cases.

    1. I think one of the best examples of what I believe you are trying to point out is Howard Root whose video explains the process, the horror and the entire abuse that our justice system can use against an American citizen.

      This video posted before is a fantastic course in how the justice system can go awry. In my opinion it should be used in all law schools to stimulate understanding and discussion.

  9. Yanukovich was the duly elected President of the Ukraine, like it or lump it. At that time, Russophile parties in the Ukraine corralled a much larger share of the electorate than they now do. There’s a dreadful quantum of crookery in Ukrainian public life, so it’s doubtful that you’re going to find a prominent figure who is on the square. There was quite a bit of riotous violence at the very end of Yanukovich’s term of office, but that’s all. The notion he was ‘blood-soaked’ is a fantasy.

    I have no clue why people routinely lie about the dynamics of Ukrainian politics when certain realities are just a mouse click away. Usually it’s ‘dissident right’ partisans of various foreign powers who are lying. Here it’s the moderator. Most displeasing.

    1. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/30/russia-ukraine-war-kiev-conflict
      This was written in 2014 shortly after the uprising that forced out Yanukovych.
      I mentioned a couple of years ago in an exchange in one of the threads here that I was watching that course of events closely as it unfolded, and watching it via a variety of U.S. and foreign media coverage.
      I also mention that the U.S. MSM coverage of those events was spotty and deficient in many respects, and that observing foreign coverage was helpful if not essential in trying to get a comprehensive and accurate picture of what was going on in Kiev.
      I don’t agree 100% with everything presented in the linked article, but it helps iilustrate that, in some cases, a groupthink-like approach by our MSMedia can overwhelm how the news is “packaged and managed” for consumption.

    2. Doubly Absurd chortled, “Yanukovich was the duly elected President of the Ukraine, like it or lump it.”

      And Manafort, Gates, Fabrizio, Kilimnik, Deripaska and your old pal Vlad got Yanukovich elected President of The Ukraine in the exact same way that Manafort, Gates, Fabrizio, Kilimnik, Deripaska and your old pal Vlad got Trump elected POTUS.

      Had Mueller never been appointed special counsel, Trump would have had to have settled his debt to Putin by now. And that would have led directly to somebody’s appointment as special counsel . . . most likely Mueller.

      1. The voters in the Ukraine elected Yanukovich in 2010 to a 5 year term.
        “Mananafort, Gates” etc. etc. did not “get him elected”.
        If that same delusion about Putin and other “king-makers” helps those still in denial about the results of the 2016 election in the U.S., it’s pointless to try to tear them away from such an ingrained and treasured fantasy that they harbor.

  10. Lefty loons like Late4Yoga felt moisture in loins when they saw this headline, but they skipped this part: “While the ruling found that the Manafort did not lie on other subjects, including his communications with the White House…” Manafort being found to lie is biggest revelation since gambling found to be taking place in Casablanca. Another irrational short-lived feeding frenzy for the lefty loons. ..

      1. Some observers argue that Manafort breached his plea agreement to preserve his chance for a pardon from Trump. Other observers surmise that Manafort possesses the same komrpomat on Trump that Putin has, because Manafort gave his kompromat on Trump to Putin. Thus, had Manafort told the truth about his and Putin’s kompromat on Trump, then Manafort would not be able to use that kompromat to leverage a pardon from Trump any more than Putin would be able to use that kompromat to leverage that Ukrainian Peace Proposal that amounts to sanctions relief for Russia from Trump.

        IOW, at the bare minimum, Manafort was a Russian mole planted in the Trump campaign.

        1. “IOW, at the bare minimum, Manafort was a Russian mole planted in the Trump campaign.”

          The “If Girl” is using her hypothesis to draw conclusions. Soon, in her mind, the above will become fact used in her dialogue. She creates the type of fantasies more often seen in State Mental Institutions.

    1. Bill M.,
      I did try show some restraint yesterday when L4B repeatedly made herself such an easy and deserving target for insults like “Lefty Loon”, etc.
      I’m still trying to maintain that restraint and not stoop to those kinds of harsh words when commenting about Diane Demento.

  11. Oh, please. Sleaze is sleaze and nothing new unless you believe in unicorns and rainbows. Throw Manafort in jail and get on with it. As for Trump, I’ve yet to see anything solid. If you have evidence of a crime, bring it; otherwise this is all political BS.

    1. Thomas J.,
      It sounds like you’re another one of those people who doesn’t want to wait for another 2 1/2 years to wrap this thing up.
      Welcome to the club….you have a lot of company.

  12. Sadly, JT is avoiding the $64,000 question: if every contact with the Russians by the Trump campaign was completely innocuous, why then all of the perjury? Until there is a plausible answer to this question, one only can presume that there must be something amiss.

      1. Circumstantial evidence is evidence.

        If Trump had no idea what Manafort, Gates, Cohen, Flynn, Stone and who-knows-who-all-else were up to, then Trump is even more demented than Reagan.

        1. I will show some degree of restaint this morning and not point out the irony of L4B characterizing someone else as “demented”.

            1. The case against Latrine4dindin as to perjury, confabulations and diarrhea of the keyboard is stronger and yet, like Hillary, she remains

              Lock her up

            1. There is circumstantial evidence, as well as direct evidence, that Wile-E-Coyote is, in fact, trying to murder the Road Runner.

                1. “A line has been drawn, L4D, a clear line in the sand.”

                  — Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

                  (Note: Video is too R-rated for this blawg.)

                    1. About the real Greater Roadrunner, which is a member of the genus Cuckoo, from the entry at Wikipedia:

                      This bird walks around rapidly, running down prey. It feeds mainly on small animals including insects, spiders (including black widows), tarantulas, scorpions, mice, small birds, and especially lizards and small snakes. Venomous serpents, including small rattlesnakes, are readily consumed. It kills prey by holding the victim in its bill and slamming it repeatedly against the ground.

                    2. Anonymous says: February 14, 2019 at 8:30 AM

                      “O_O I have no words.”

                      Try this word–“SPROING!!!”

                  1. There’s no evidence that the Acme Corporation is locate in Ethelbert Manitoba. There’s circumstantial evidence that Don Coyote is a beta tester for the Acme Corporation.

                    1. Did Don Coyote violate Rule 10b-5, or Section 16(b), or both, while Acme Corporation’s president? 😉

    1. There wasn’t any perjury. These people pleaded guilty to misleading the FBI, which doesn’t record interviews. NB, in the New York Penal Law, perjury and related charges require that you swear falsely or affix your signature to an instrument to which a jurat is applied, and it’s a misdemeanor charge if you are not testifying in court.

  13. It’s time to take another look back at Sekulow’s rendition of Mueller’s questions for Trump. That was the moment when we all should have snapped out of it and started to pay attention.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/30/us/politics/questions-mueller-wants-to-ask-trump-russia.html

    Apr 30, 2018 … The questions show the special counsel’s focus on obstruction of justice and … Mueller Wants to Ask Trump About Obstruction, and What They Mean …. Mr. Mueller’s question suggests he wants to know why Mr. Trump soured.

    Trump Answers Mueller’s Questions on Russian Interference – The …

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/us/politics/trump-mueller-questions-answers.html

    Nov 20, 2018 … The special counsel has not ruled out trying to order the president to … pursue presidential answers on obstruction, Mr. Mueller was silent. … The Questions Mueller Wants to Ask Trump About Obstruction, and What They Mean.

    1. Excerpted from the first article linked above:

      What communication did you have with Michael D. Cohen, Felix Sater and others, including foreign nationals, about Russian real estate developments during the campaign?

    2. Also excerpted from the first article linked above:

      What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?

      What do you know about a Ukrainian peace proposal provided to Mr. Cohen in 2017?

      1. As I said previously, Mueller has not even graded and returned the written essay test that Trump submitted in November.😉
        Why should he be expected to complete further assignments from the headmaster when he hasn’t even had his original assignment returned and graded?
        Each special prosector/ independant counsel/ special counsel investigation of a sitting president has had its own characteristics.
        This one has been especially aggressive with the SWAT-style raids of targeted individuals homes, and the raid involving the seizure of records from a Trump attorney.
        Given the composition of the Special Counsel team, and other factors, I guess that isn’t too surprising.
        It also isn’t surprising that the other side isn’t “playing nice” either, especially given the fact that they’ve been targeted and investigated for over 2 1/2 years.

  14. Turley ignores the following questions: 1) Why is Manafort lying? 2) who is Manafort trying to protect by lying? This allows Turley to continue his willfully blind assertion that there is no evidence that Trump was involved in a criminal conspiracy with Russian nationals. There is circumstantial evidence of such a conspiracy, and Mueller is still holding cards that he has not publicly played yet.

    If you like analysis with real meat on the bone, instead of an additive-filled meat substitute, go read Emptywheel.

    1. This allows Turley to continue his willfully blind assertion that there is no evidence that Trump was involved in a criminal conspiracy with Russian nationals.

      What evidence exists to support your claim? Why do you suppose it is so clear in your mind’s eye and not JT’s?

      and Mueller is still holding cards that he has not publicly played yet.

      Which begs the question: if Mueller has anything not yet made public, then how are you able to declare this as fact?

      1. The publicly available evidence implicates members of the Trump campaign and Trump associates. Nothing publicly available has directly implicated Trump, himself, but only indirectly so in the manner of circumstantial evidence.

        The existence of non-public evidence behind the numerous redactions is surmised from the number of federal judges who have reviewed those redactions and denied various motions to dismiss charges, to suppress evidence from search warrants or to quash subpoenas for documents and witness testimony.

  15. Turley wrote, “He [Manafort] is now left with only a pardon as an escape from what could be a terminal sentence.”

    Presumably that was Manafort’s end-game strategy all along. The trouble is that, when Manafort sold Tony Fabrizio’s $767,000 worth of detailed, sophisticated, in-house Trump polling data to a Ukrainian oligarch with ties to Yanukovich for $2.4 Million while, at the same time, pushing a Ukrainian Peace Proposal that amounted to sanctions relief for Russia, Manafort effectively sold the pardoner, Trump, down the river to Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin.

    You’d think that that would be the end of Manafort’s chance at a pardon. But Trump has not yet thrown Manafort under the bus for betraying Trump to Putin. And that makes one wonder what else Manafort knows about Trump that gives Manafort leverage over Trump and keeps Manafort’s hopes alive for a pardon from Trump.

    BTW, that Ukrainian Peace Proposal that Manafort discussed with Kilimnik before the election is the same Ukrainian Peace Proposal that Michael Cohen delivered to Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn during the transition. And Trump has refused to answer Mueller’s questions about that and anything else that happened after Tuesday November 8th, 2016. So don’t be surprised if Mueller and crew put all of the puzzle pieces together into one big picture.

  16. Manafort’s going to get pardoned, so what does he care if he gets sentenced to one year or a thousand years……?

    1. Kitty W.,
      It isn’t certain that Manafort will be pardoned, and he still could serve time for state crimes even if he’s pardoned for the federal crimes.
      Manafort is about 70 years old, and he may have been looking at c.20 years in prison even if he cooperated with Muller; we don’t really know what kind of deal he was offered.
      Given Manafort’s apparent “backflip” in agreeing to cooperate with the OSC, then reneging, he could now be an old man of 110 by the time he’s done serving his sentence, instead of a spry 90 year old if he’d gone along with the program and cooperated.
      I’m just guessing that whatever Manafort was offered was not sufficient, in his calculations, to wreck a potential pardon from Trump.
      I think that’s what he’s going for, but it’s not that certain that he’ll get it. It seems like he’s just playing the odds and potential benefits of going one way vs. another way (cooperation vs.a potential pardon).

  17. Turley wrote, “Manafort is one of the least redeeming characters facing a sentencing . . . ”

    The Bill of Rights does not wear a white collar. The Bill of Rights does not wear a blue collar. The Bill of Rights does not even wear a lace collar. The Bill of Rights recognizes no collars at all.

    The Bill of Rights is Collar-Blind.

    1. Of course, the lawyers still see green in those who wear white collars. But the lawyers are not the Bill of Rights.

      1. But it’s true. The lawyers are not the Bill of Rights because the Bill of Rights is Collar-Blind and the lawyers are not Collar-Blind.

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