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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

There are two beneficiaries to gun control, and you are I aren’t among them

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There are two beneficiaries to gun control and you are I arent among them

Gun control is all over the news as just about every Democrat and a growing number of Republican lawmakers are leaning towards some action that will “do something” about mass shootings in America. It’s so clearly an emotion-driven issue, as can be seen by the simple fact that gun control doesn’t work to stop gun violence. But just because gun control doesn’t make us safer doesn’t mean there aren’t people who will benefit from it once enacted.

The first is obvious. Criminals are clear beneficiaries of gun control because they have no intention of abiding by it. Their victims and potential victims, on the other had, are likely going to be compelled to undergo background checks, sign up for gun registries, or have their firearms confiscated in some “buyback” program. Gun control is the best news criminals have had since criminal justice reform.

The second is debatable, not because it isn’t unambiguously true but because these particular beneficiaries pretend they aren’t gaining from it. This is, of course, a lie. Politicians gain greatly from gun control. Not all of them do because not all of them are anti-American radical progressives who envision a nation that bows to socialism and the authoritarian control over our lives by a nanny state. But even those who are not radical progressives get the benefit of applause from the masses who have been indoctrinated into he belief guns are the problem, not criminals or the mentally ill.

When gun control comes around, and it almost certainly will, many Americans will cheer. This will be the same type of enthusiasm many happy sheep experience when they’re being taken to a brand new location. They never know until it’s too late they’re being led to the slaughter. Criminals will be cheering as their victims will be disarmed by laws that criminals, by their nature of living a life of crime, have no intention of obeying. Leftist politicians will cheer because they’ll be one step closer to the oppression they have planned through their socialist ideology.

Republican lawmakers who support gun control will cheer for a while until they realize the enthusiasm they once had from their base evaporated as quickly as our 2nd Amendment rights did when they decided to back gun control. By the time they try to spin it as a necessary evil or whatever other excuse they try to make, it will be too late for them. We will have already moved on to vote for lawmakers who are not willing to break their oath to defend the Constitution.

Criminals love gun control. Authoritarian politicians do, too. If you’re not a gun-toting felon or Marxist politician, then you will not benefit at all from gun control. In fact, its enactment in any form will make you less safe even if you don’t own a gun.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Guns and Crime

The 2nd Amendment is a reminder to government of a right we inherently have

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The 2nd Amendment is a reminder to government of a right we inherently have

I’ll keep this brief. The 2nd Amendment is often mischaracterized by both the left and even its defenders on the right. To state it simply, our right to keep and bear arms is a natural right, one that is granted to everyone by powers higher than man.

Read it carefully: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Many misconstrue this as the founders giving us the right to bear arms by codifying it in the Bill of Rights. But in reality, this amendment was not intended to grant a right to anyone. It is simply a reminder of the existence of the right, an explanation of why this right is so important to the nation, and a decree that the right itself is above reproach from government.

Everybody is born with the right to defend themselves from tyranny whether that tyranny comes from our neighbors (criminals) or from oppressive forces domestic or foreign. In many countries, the government takes that right away. In America, we can forgo this right with our actions. Sometimes, it’s voluntary – nobody is forced to own or carry a firearm. Other times, it’s mandatory – the actions of criminals is used as a declaration that they willfully gave up their right keep and bear arms through their actions.

As for the rest of us, this right is absolute and unambiguous. Unless we use our firearms to commit crimes, government does not have the legal power to prevent us from keeping or bearing them.

We can get into the practical application of this principle at another time, but the principle behind the 2nd Amendment must be understood in order for any debates to move forward properly. Otherwise, one or both sides will be operating on a false premise.

Law-abiding gun owners are the true targets of all forms of gun control. We know this because the proposed measures will adversely affect us while doing nothing to stop violent criminals. Yes, the 2nd Amendment is under attack from our own government.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Guns and Crime

California’s touted background checks yielded ZERO impact on gun deaths

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Californias touted background checks yield ZERO impact on gun deaths

As California goes, so too does the progressive side of the nation. California is where radical ideas are tried out and, in the vast majority of cases, fail miserably. Undeterred, progressives tend to look at these failures as successes waiting to happen eventually, so they beat the drum for whatever leftist legislation the state is able to pass. Such is the case with universal background checks which are now being pushed nationwide after California’s “groundbreaking” attempt to make them work.

They didn’t work. In fact, they can be chalked up as being a monumental failure to anyone who is honest. Sadly, the radical progressives of the Democrats Party are not honest, which is why they keep pushing these background checks as if they demonstrated some measure of success.

Many patriots already knew this. The non-partisan study into the effectiveness of background checks in reducing gun deaths told us late last year that they didn’t work. But that study has been suppressed, ignored, or “debunked” by leftists with a gun control agenda. They refuse to allow facts to get in the way of their agenda.

So, we’ll revisit it…

Johns Hopkins Study: California’s Background Check Law Had No Impact on Gun Deaths – Foundation for Economic Education

https://fee.org/articles/california-s-background-check-law-had-no-impact-on-gun-deaths-johns-hopkins-study-finds/A joint study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of California at Davis Violence Prevention Research Program found that California’s much-touted mandated background checks had no impact on gun deaths, and researchers are puzzled as to why.

In 1991, California simultaneously imposed comprehensive background checks for firearm sales and prohibited gun sales (and gun possession) to people convicted of misdemeanor violent crimes. The legislation mandated that all gun sales, including private transactions, would have to go through a California-licensed Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer. Shotguns and rifles, like handguns, became subject to a 15-day waiting period to make certain all gun purchasers had undergone a thorough background check.

It was the most expansive state gun control legislation in America, affecting an estimated one million gun buyers in the first year alone. Though costly and cumbersome, politicians and law enforcement agreed the law was worth it.

The legislation would “keep more guns out of the hands of the people who shouldn’t have them,” said then-Republican Gov. George Deukmejian.

“I think the new laws are going to help counter the violence,” said LAPD spokesman William D. Booth.

More than a quarter of a century later, researchers at Johns Hopkins and UC Davis dug into the results of the sweeping legislation. Researchers compared yearly gun suicide and homicide rates over the 10 years following implementation of California’s law with 32 control states that did not have such laws.

They found “no change in the rates of either cause of death from firearms through 2000.”

Take note that researchers were “puzzled.” It’s as if they did the study expecting it to yield tremendous results through which they could tout gun control. These American universities are not the NRA. They weren’t commissioned to prove gun control in general or universal background checks in particular are ineffective. They wanted gun control to be proven effective, and when the data didn’t support that premise, they were puzzled.

Here’s the reality: Gun control adversely affects law abiding citizens while criminals, who are wont to break such laws, are not affected. If anything, gun control measures aid in the rise of crime, as we’ve seen in Chicago and other cities with obtuse gun control measures already in place.

The 2nd Amendment defends an armed citizenry because our ability to protect ourselves from oppression is the cornerstone of what America represents. Whether against criminals or tyranny, the 2nd Amendment empowers Americans to stay safe and strong.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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