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Filing: Manafort gave 2016 polling data to Russian associate

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Filing Manafort gave 2016 polling data to Russian associate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data during the 2016 presidential campaign with a business associate accused of having ties to Russian intelligence, and prosecutors say he lied to them about it, according to a court filing Tuesday.

The allegation marks the first time prosecutors have accused Trump’s chief campaign aide of sharing information related to the election with his Russian contacts. Although the filing does not say whether the polling information was public or what was done with it, it raises the possibility that Russia might have used inside information from Trump’s Republican campaign as part of its effort to interfere with the election on Trump’s behalf.

The information was accidentally revealed in a defense filing that was meant to be redacted. The Associated Press was able to review the material because it wasn’t properly blacked out.

Manafort was among the first Americans charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and has been among the central characters in the case, having led the campaign during the Republican convention and as, U.S intelligence officials say, Russia was working to sway the election in Trump’s favor. Manafort has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in Washington and faces sentencing in a separate case in Virginia.

In its filing, the defense was trying to rebut allegations that Manafort intentionally lied to Mueller’s team after agreeing to plead guilty last September. Prosecutors say Manafort breached their plea agreement by lying, but defense lawyers argued that any misstatements were simple mistakes made by a man coping with illness, exhaustion and extensive questioning from investigators.

Lawyers say Manafort suffers from depression and anxiety, has had little contact with his family and, on days when he met with investigators, was awakened before dawn to have hourslong interviews with little time to prepare for the questioning.

“These circumstances weighed heavily on Mr. Manafort’s state of mind and on his memory as he was questioned at length,” the lawyers wrote.

Tuesday’s filing revealed the first extensive details of what he is accused of having lied about. A spokesman for Manafort’s defense team declined to comment on the incomplete redactions or on Mueller’s allegations, but lawyers later filed a corrected version of the document.

The filing contains new details about Manafort’s connection to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian-Ukrainian business associate who was indicted last year on charges he tampered with potential witnesses. The U.S. believes he is connected to Russian intelligence, but Kilimnik, who is not in U.S. custody, has denied those ties.

The latest allegations further detail how Manafort’s work on the campaign intersected with his past international work with Kilimnik.

Emails previously reported by the AP and other news outlets show that in July 2016, Manafort told Kilimnik he was willing to provide “private briefings” about the Trump campaign to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Manafort dangled the briefings as he was mired in a dispute with Deripaska over a multimillion-dollar deal involving a Ukrainian cable company.

Through his spokesman, Manafort has acknowledged discussing the briefings but said they never occurred.

The defense document acknowledges that Manafort conceded he had met with Kilimnik in Madrid only after being told that they had traveled to the city on the same day. Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said Tuesday that the Madrid trip mentioned in the filing occurred in January or February 2017— months after Manafort was ousted from the campaign and as Trump was taking office.

Manafort also did not initially disclose having earlier discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Kilimnik on more than one occasion during the 2016 presidential campaign. Russia and Ukraine have been locked in a conflict since 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The U.S. and European Union have imposed sanctions on Russia over that move as well as the country’s support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Manafort’s attorneys don’t specify the details of the peace plan but they write that Manafort told prosecutors in September that “he would have given the Ukrainian peace plan more thought, had the issue not been raised during the period he was engaged with work related to the presidential campaign.

“Issues and communications related to Ukrainian political events simply were not at the time forefront of Mr. Manafort’s mind during the period at issue and it is not surprising at all that Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed,” they said.

They say the same about his recollection of sharing polling data with Kilimnik related to the 2016 campaign.

Prosecutors have also accused Manafort of lying about his contacts with Trump administration officials, which defense lawyers also deny.

The filing says that a May 26, 2018, text message exchange with Manafort involved an unidentified “third-party” who was asking permission to name-drop Manafort if the person met with Trump. The request to use Manafort as an introduction to Trump came while Manafort was under indictment in two federal cases.

The defense team says Mueller’s team has indicated that they will not pursue additional charges against Manafort. Defense lawyers say they don’t want a separate hearing before a judge on the lying allegations but will address them instead during the sentencing process.

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Read the filing here: http://apne.ws/0tKWu9A

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Guns and Crime

Illegal alien crimes are getting more frequent, more heinous, and the media’s ignoring it

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Several communities have been shocked by slayings attributed to illegal immigrants

If you’re watching any mainstream media channels other than occasionally Fox News, you’ll notice the rash of slayings allegedly committed by illegal immigrants that we’ve been covering aren’t making national news the way they should. It goes against their narrative to report that there are people who aren’t supposed to be in this country who are killing American citizens.

Nevertheless, we’ll continue to report on them. Fox News occasionally does. Other conservative media outlets have been trying to keep up as well, but there have been so many it’s actually getting difficult to keep track. Here are the three mentioned in the Fox News video above, duly reported by NOQ Report. We rely on the generosity of our readers to allow us to keep reporting this important news.

But it doesn’t end with the three Fox News reported on. There have been so many heinous crimes allegedly committed by illegal immigrants in the past couple of months, we could fill our pages with stories about them alone and still have a full-blown news outlet.

Yes, it’s that bad. Here’s a sample:

Keep in mind, this is just over the past two months.

It isn’t just reporting the news that’s important. We are clear and bold in the way we report it. You won’t find flower language like “undocumented migrant” or “asylum-seeking snowflake” when we describe these criminal illegal immigrants or the crimes they allegedly commit. We use the proper terminology warranted by the White House. Those who enter the country illegally or stay longer than they’re supposed to stay are illegal aliens. Period.

Another important note is that we’re very much in favor of legal immigration. In fact, as a legal immigrant myself, I’m all in favor of increasing the number of legal immigrants who can enter the country just as soon as we stop the flow of illegal immigrants. We must deport those who are a risk to citizens, every last one of them. Then, we must fund ICE and border patrol to be able to detain those who are captured. Catch-and-release must be a thing of the past.

On top of that, we have to secure the borders with a strong combination of a wall, advanced LiDAR technology, much more border patrol agents, and more detention centers to accommodate the overflow we’re currently experiencing.

Visa overstays are arguably a bigger problem. There must be accountability for those who enter the country and either fail to extend their stay legally or ignore their visa expiration altogether. If that means weekly check-ins via mobile devices and instant warrants the moment their visas expire without record of them leaving or extending, so be it.

When all of these things are done, THEN let’s talk about immigration reform. Until then, we have too big of a problem with illegal immigration to even remotely consider expanding legal immigration in this country.

There is nothing wrong with having compassion. That means requiring they enter legally. It means those who deny our sovereignty by coming or staying illegally must be dealt with properly. The safety of American citizens must come first.

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Guns and Crime

Meth mules arrested in desert near Tucson

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Meth mules arrested in desert near Tucson

Drugs are smuggled into the United States through multiple means. Some comes through ports of entry by land or see, which gives border patrol the easiest opportunity to thwart their efforts. But much of the drugs are brought over by foot or boat, entering the United States where there is no wall or protection against foreign incursion.

Border patrol announced a bust this week of just such a type of incursion. The smugglers were carrying bags of methamphetamine across the desert, far from a part of entry and from areas where there is no border wall separating the United States from Mexico.

Agents from the Tucson Sector Mobile Response Team (MRT) aboard a National Guard helicopter responded to a report of six men walking in a desert area frequently utilized by drug smugglers. MRT agents found and arrested six Mexican nationals illegally present in the United States, after a tracking operation with a K-9 team.

One of the men was carrying four packages of methamphetamine concealed in a cardboard box inside his backpack. A search of the immediate area resulted in the discovery of a two-way radio, a communication method commonly used by smuggling organizations.

My Take

One of the main narratives being pushed by the left against building a border wall is their claim that nearly all arrests of drug smugglers are made at ports of entry. While this is true, it’s not a very good way to support their case. Drug smugglers who do not use ports of entry are simply not captured as often because… wait for it… there’s no wall in so many areas and border patrol can’t comb the entire desert looking for them.

Drugs are being smuggled into the United States, and not only through ports of entry. Those who use vehicles to try to smuggle drugs in do so because the loads may be too big to carry on foot, but whether it comes in on truck full of hundreds of pounds of drugs through ports of entry or by foot with hundreds of mules crossing the border illegally where there’s no wall, it’s getting here nonetheless.

It’s ignorant to believe our success in sniffing out drugs in vehicles means the smugglers are going to give up, especially when transit across our porous borders is so easy. Walls aren’t just to prevent illegal immigrants. They’ll help stop crime.

Don’t let the left use the “port of entry drug bust” claim to confuse the issue. Not all smugglers are dumb enough to drive their drugs through ports of entry. Most of it’s coming through places where there’s no wall. Build the wall.

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Guns and Crime

Immortalising terrorism with gun confiscation will only result in more terrorism

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Immortalising terrorism with gun confiscation will only result in more terrorism

Is it fair to punish the innocent for the crimes of the guilty?

Word has it that Jacinda Ardern the Prime Minister of New Zealand will immediately punish millions of innocent people with the taking of their property – at effective gunpoint no less. The plan is to grab the guns first and legislate later. Being that this is exactly what the terrorist wanted, it is the wrong thing to do from a practical and moral standpoint.

Practical because as the miscreant stated, it could have used any number of means to kill people. It is immoral because millions of innocent people will have to pay the price for its insane actions. They will not only be deprived of their property, but they will be left helpless in the face of criminals and terrorists who by definition do not comply with the law.

Why is tyranny quick to exploit a tragedy?

The Prime Minister had stated that previous attempts at depriving the people of their human rights failed to gain any traction. This time in the midst of the raw emotions of the moment the government took quick action to avoid any thoughtful deliberation on this extremely important civil rights question.

If they had contemplated this oppressive action over time, they would have realized that it won’t have the intended result. This will only embolden those who use terrorism to further their goals. This misguided action will only serve to encourage others to attain their own bit of ‘fame’ with these kinds of horrific acts.

As reported in USA Today, In her announcement of the ban and confiscation edict, the Prime Minister of New Zealand forwarded the bizarre presumption that somehow the government was the original owner of these weapons with the line: “We just want the guns back”.

Later on, in the same article, they reported on the statement she had made last Tuesday that

she would deny the man responsible for the nation’s worst terror attack in modern history the one thing he likely craved: fame.

This misguided action by the Prime Minister will have the opposite effect. What better way to gain infamy that to be the reason why millions of people will be deprived of their property and civil rights. This confiscation action will now enshrine the perpetrator of this crime in the history books. This is what happens when someone acts first and thinks later.

Immortalizing a criminal

The miscreant who perpetrated this crime will now be rewarded with exactly what it desired – being immortalized in the history books as the one who caused millions to lose their civil rights.  New Zealand already had strict limitations on Liberty and yet this did nothing to stop this crime from taking place. What will they do the next time around? Take away any remaining firearms in the country? Make no mistake, this will only cause more terrorism and division.

Socialists Bernie Sanders acted quickly to exploit on this serious crisis for political gain with a call for a ‘ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States.’ While Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez applauded this major denigration of Liberty.

The Takeaway

Leftist often parrot lines about ‘fairness’, ’equality’ and democracy, but this action shows that those are but mere window dressing. They will quickly jettison those precepts when the opportunity to exploit a serious crisis presents itself.

There should be no doubt that more of the Liberty grabber Left in the states will see this ‘progress’ as inspiration to call for gun confiscation as they have far too many times in the past. It will also ‘inspire’ would be terrorists to try to obtain this kind of result in other places. Instead of doing something about terrorism, it will encourage it while endangering the innocent.

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