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12 counts: Will Manafort also turn in Democrat super-lobbyist Tony Podesta?

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As CNN reported, based on a leak from Robert Mueller’s special counsel office, there was an indictment in the Russia probe unsealed today. And to nobody’s surprise, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, one a former Trump campaign manager, the other a political and business associate of Trump’s, were ordered to surrender to federal authorities.

What’s next?

Certainly, investigators will interview and take depositions from both men. They will present the men (and their lawyers) with the indictment and the charges against them. A federal prosecutor will set the time for an arraignment with a judge, and the case will proceed with pleas and opening motions. The wheels of justice churn like a grist mill.

The charges

The 12 counts include two conspiracy charges, money laundering, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign banks and financial accounts. These are all financial crimes for the most part, and they have little bearing on the Trump campaign’s Russia ties.

Paul Manafort, Rick Gates indicted by federal grand jury in Russia probe | Fox News

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/10/30/report-paul-manafort-rick-gates-to-surrender-to-special-counsel.htmlFormer Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates have been indicted by a federal grand jury Monday on 12 counts, according to the special counsel’s office. Manafort and Gates face the first charges in the special counsel’s investigation. This is also the first time the special counsel’s office has confirmed that a grand jury has been impaneled.

Tony Podesta’s problem

Manafort may provide ammunition for Mueller in his expanded investigation of Democratic super-lobbyist Tony Podesta, who has ties to various congressional Democrats and Bill Clinton.

The very charges against Manafort go to the heart of the Podesta link. In his work for the Ukraine, Manafort set up a group called European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU), which used Podesta’s lobbying group. These bear directly on the indictments, and could spell trouble for Democrats. Of course, the DNC, neck-deep in every part of the Russia connection, from the “dossier” to “fake news” and lying about it, denies any knowledge of anything.

Reports

Manafort To Turn Himself In To Feds | The Daily Caller

http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/30/paul-manafort-told-to-turn-himself-in-to-feds/Manafort walked into the FBI’s field office in Washington, D.C. Gates is a longtime associate of Manafort and serves as his junior partner at his firm. Gates became a point of interest in the investigation into Mueller after investigators found Gates name on documents linking Manafort’s firm to offshore companies that received payments from Eastern European politicians and businessmen.

Mueller Now Investigating Democratic Lobbyist Tony Podesta – NBC News

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mueller-now-investigating-democratic-lobbyist-tony-podesta-n812776Under FARA, people who lobby on behalf of foreign governments, leaders or political parties must file detailed disclosures about their spending and activities with the Justice Department. Willful failure to file the forms is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison, though such prosecutions are rare.

The Podesta Group amended its FARA registration to accurately reflect its work with ECMU only after the payments were reported by the media. Manafort’s firm also filed a FARA registration after media reports in June disclosed its work in Ukraine from 2012 through 2014.

Are Dems As In-The-Dark As They Claim? | The Daily Caller

http://dailycaller.com/2017/10/29/what-did-dems-know-about-dossier-their-handling-of-imran-awan-affair-is-instructive/The denial is reminiscent of Ellison’s claims to have not heard of Democratic IT aide Imran Awan, despite being repeatedly informed of the major investigation involving him. In both the Awan and dossier affairs, Democratic leaders have said they did not have knowledge of major events that greatly concern them. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi professed unfamiliarity with the Awan investigation despite playing an important role in the handling of the case months ago as one of the House leaders who determined it warranted a criminal probe.

Final thoughts

This is just the beginning. But a few thoughts here.

For one thing, as Erick Erickson notes, we need to be careful in our assumptions. At this point, it doesn’t appear that the charges against Manafort are directly related to anything he did with the Trump campaign. Though the investigation was spurred on by the president’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey, that angle led to these charges against Manafort, who we all knew had Russian problems before he was hired by Trump. (I’m sure Manafort will pass his exceeding thanks for the jail sentence on to Trump, if he’s not pardoned.)

Another thing, is that we know the Democrats and the swamp-rats all over K-street have their paw prints on this whole Russia thing. If Mueller is just making his mark with these two indictments and then closing shop, Trumpists will hail it as exoneration (but it’s not really), while Democrats will howl that there’s no justice but in fact be relieved and use it to raise badly-needed cash.

But if more Trump-related charges come forth, without anything on the Democrat side, then perhaps Joe Cunningham has a point. Mueller could be either a Democrat operative or a Republican hack. If the investigation drones on without any further findings (a la Ken Starr), that might do more to exonerate Trump than anything (plus Republicans can raise funds off it).

What this ultimately does teach us is that both Democrats and Republicans are as swampy and dirty on this as they can get. And the Russians are laughing at us.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. eric

    October 30, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Yes, the Russians are laughing at us.

  2. Pingback: Tony Podesta’s Ass Could Soon Be Grass, And That’s Not Good For The Clintons

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Culture and Religion

Marco Rubio whips out Bible verse that goes after the Florida recount debacle

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Marco Rubio whips out Bible verse that goes after the Florida recount debacle

There are two prevailing opinions pertaining to the Florida election and subsequent recounts. Democrats generally feel like it’s good to “count every ballot” until they win, even if that means “finding” more ballots to add to their candidates’ tallies. Republicans have been fighting against the recounts despite that play coming across ingenuously to voters on both sides.

We should want every valid vote counted. The operative word there is “valid.”

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Catholic, Tweeted a Bible verse that seemed apropos to the current debacle in Florida.

One might even say this draws in one of the favorite punching bags for Republicans, former presidential candidate “Crooked” Hillary Clinton. That wasn’t the intent, I’m sure, but it’s always fun to laugh at Hillary.

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Guns and Crime

Pregnant woman killed in London with crossbow, preborn baby saved

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Pregnant woman killed in London with crossbow preborn baby saved

Doctors in London were able to save a preborn baby after his mother was killed with a crossbow.

Sana Muhammad, 35, was allegedly shot and killed by her ex-husband, 50-year-old Ramanodge Unmathallegadoo. Her current husband, Imtiaz Muhammad, said the assailant emerged from the family’s garden shed where he had been lying in wait. The victim was killed in front of her five other children.

Ilford crossbow death: Man charged with pregnant woman’s murder

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-46193380The Met Police said the baby was in a “stable condition” in hospital after the attack in Ilford, east London, on Monday.

Police were called to the house on Applegarth Drive at 07:40 GMT on Monday where she was found with a wound to her abdomen.

She was taken to hospital, and pronounced dead at 11:00.

“She was a wonderful mother and wife. We were together seven years. I am heartbroken, we were inseparable,” Muhammad said. “She was a wonderful mother and wife. We were together seven years. I am heartbroken, we were inseparable.”

Medics were able to deliver the baby, which was due in four weeks, by emergency caesarian. The bolt was still lodged in his mother during delivery because it hit so close to the womb.

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News

Not over yet: Mia Love catching up to Ben McAdams in Utah

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Not over yet Mia Love catching up to Ben McAdams in Utah

Representative Mia Love (R-UT), a moderate who has clashed with President Trump at times during her time in the House, was dead in the water by the end of last week in her reelection bid. The President even publicly chastised her for not showing him “more love” and attributed her loss to this.

She hasn’t lost yet. In fact, she’s catching up.

The latest news from Utah shows her down by 1,357, less than 1% of the total.

Ben McAdams holds a 1,357-vote lead over Rep. Mia Love after Salt Lake and Utah county election updates

https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/11/13/latest-utah-county-vote/Dave Hansen, Love’s campaign manager, expressed optimism after seeing the new Utah County figures.

“The numbers are moving in the right direction,” he said, “and we are diligently watching for additional results.”

McAdams is currently winning in Salt Lake County, while trailing Love in the parts of three other counties — Utah, Juab and Sanpete — that make up the 4th Congressional District.

Chances are still slim for Love with Ben McAdams being mayor of the county with the most remaining votes, but stranger things have happened (and continue to happen) in this election cycle. Stay tuned.

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