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If Paul Manafort isn’t charged, the Mueller investigation may be in big trouble

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Paul Manafort

GOP strategist and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has had the FBI keeping an eye on him for a few years through two FISA warrants. The fact that we know this means somebody leaked it. That’s against the law.

Leaking the very existence of a FISA warrant is a federal crime. As Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement, “If true, it is a felony to reveal the existence of a FISA warrant, regardless of the fact that no charges ever emerged.”

In reality, the leaker(s) will be very hard to track down, charge, and prosecute. This isn’t really about the leaker(s). At risk here is Robert Mueller, special counsel in charge of investigating Russian influence over the election and whether or not the Trump campaign was involved. Following a raid on Manafort’s home and office in July, the leak that Manafort was being “wiretapped” as late as this year will be in the spotlight thanks to one Tweet from the president and mainstream media’s responses to it.

Most in mainstream media have balked at the Tweet since March. Some came out and accused him of outright lying. Now that he’s been proven correct, pressure will be on Mueller to deliver fruits from the FBI’s current and previous actions. If they are unable to charge Manafort or anyone else involved, this will be a stain on the process, a demerit for Mueller, and a reason to finally change the subject for liberal mainstream media.

For their part, the Manafort camp is asking that the information in the surveillance be released. They apparently feel Manafort did nothing wrong, so getting this definitively settled would behoove them so Manafort can continue with his work as a consultant and lobbyist.

This could all be a bluff, though. It’s hard to believe that an experienced investigator like Mueller would take things so far with such a high-profile case unless he had very good reasons to do so. Considering he has access to surveillance on Manafort dating back years and decided to raid Manafort’s home and work, it seems likely that he has something on the guy.

I have one final thought below, but let’s look at perspectives and reactions first:

Perspectives

The CNN wiretap ‘bombshell’ that wasn’t | Robert Eno, ConservativeReview

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/the-cnn-wiretap-bombshell-that-wasntMedia figures like CNN’s Brian Stelter and ABC’s Brian Ross refused to believe that the case laid out by CR Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin, back in March, had any merit. If CNN’s recent reporting is true, Levin’s claim that people affiliated with the Trump campaign were surveilled has been proved correct.

US officials intercepted communications between Paul Manafort and Russians: Report | Diana Stancy Correll, Washington Examiner

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/us-officials-intercepted-communications-between-paul-manafort-and-russians-report/article/2634995Paul Manafort’s spokesman condemned recent reports that his client had been surveilled by federal officials. “If true, it is a felony to reveal the existence of a FISA warrant, regardless of the fact that no charges ever emerged,” Jason Maloni said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

Manafort Calls On DOJ To Release His Surveill | Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller

http://dailycaller.com/2017/09/19/manafort-calls-on-doj-to-release-his-intercepted-communications-with-foreigners/It is unclear whether the warrant was obtained before or after Manafort left the Trump campaign in August. According to CNN, the surveillance on Manafort, who has a residence in Trump Tower in New York, picked up conversations he had with Russian operatives about the election.

Paul Manafort wiretap intercepts should be released, spokesman says | Andrea Noble, Washington Times

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/19/paul-manafort-wiretap-intercepts-should-be-release/The Justice Department’s Inspector General should investigate leaks that indicate U.S. authorities wiretapped President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the transcripts of the intercepts should be publicly released, his spokesman said Tuesday.

Reactions

Final Thought

Personally, I think Paul Manafort is crooked. His history has been tainted by foreign money (lobbying for Ukraine) and questionable tactics. However, a guy is allowed to be crooked as long as they don’t break the law. If Manafort did not, he will be vindicated and deserves reparations.

Scarlett is a mom and a friend. She blogs for a living but really prefers to read more than write. She writes mostly about politics, but occasionally delves into book and movie reviews.

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