Paul Manafort

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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:21 pm

The Mysterious Return of Manafort’s ‘Russian Brain’

Mueller says that the former Trump campaign chairman repeatedly lied about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a man with ties to Russian intelligence.

Franklin Foer is a staff writer for The Atlantic. He is the author of World Without Mind and How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization. He is the former editor of The New Republic
Dec 9, 2018

Image
The 2012-issued passport of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman was admitted into evidence during Manafort's 2018 trial.Reuters / Department of Justice

In the Collected Works of Robert Mueller, there are Russian names that come and go. But there’s only one of these figures who provides a recurring presence in this oeuvre. He is a diminutive man, whom Mueller has called an “asset” of Russian intelligence. His presence is either the sort of distracting irrelevance that Alfred Hitchcock described as a MacGuffin, or he is the shadowy character who steps into the frame to foreshadow an ominous return.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/ar ... ik/577693/
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:30 pm


southpaw


Paul Manafort does not want to come to court tomorrow to answer for his alleged "crimes and lies" in Mueller's Friday evening filing. He cites the "time involved in having the U.S. Marshal Service transport me to and from the courthouse."
Image
https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw




The Mysterious Return of Manafort’s ‘Russian Brain’
Mueller says that the former Trump campaign chairman repeatedly lied about his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a man with ties to Russian intelligence.

FRANKLIN FOER
DEC 9, 2018
Konstantin Kilimnik trained in Russian military intelligence as a linguist; he spent decades by Paul Manafort’s side, serving as a translator and then rising through the ranks of his organization. Eventually, Manafort would come to describe Kilimnik—also known as K.K. or Kostya—as “My Russian Brain.” He would travel with Manafort to Moscow to meet with their client, the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. When Kostya worked with Americans, they suspected him as some sort of spook. (Last June, I wrote this profile of him.)

When Paul Manafort cut a deal with Mueller in September, he promised to come clean. Any student of Manafort knows that coming clean is not a skill that comes naturally to the man. He built a career around his expertise at distorting images of scuzzy public figures; he made a fortune by erecting fantastically complicated financial contraptions that hid his money from governments, so ridiculously intricate that it is a miracle they worked in the first place. These habits of misdirection, this engrained proclivity toward the construction of expedient narratives, can’t be easily shed.



Everything we know about Paul Manafort also suggests that he would never stop working the angles. If there was a prospect of a presidential pardon, no matter how distant, he would make a play for one. Still, I don’t think this sort of legal gamesmanship fully explains why Paul Manafort would have continued to lie to Robert Mueller, when he obviously knew the risks of misleading the Special Counsel’s Office—and when Manafort had ample personal evidence of Trump’s flakiness and indifference to the fate of loyal servants.

Of course, it’s hard to see exactly where Mueller intends to take his investigation; we must take into account the redactions in his filings and his necessary silence about matters he continues to investigate. But I think there’s a reason that he seems to care so much about Kilimnik—and Manafort’s alleged lies about him.

To recap some of the crucial plot points in the Paul Manafort story, based on my own reporting and lawsuits filed against him:

1. He owed millions of dollars to Oleg Deripaska, who invested in a fund that Manafort created for buying up assets in Russia and Ukraine.

2. Manafort was so deep in debt to Deripaska that he avoided him when the oligarch came asking for his cash in 2010.

3. When Manafort went to work for the Trump campaign, he suggested giving Deripaska “private briefings,” with the hopes of the Russian forgiving his debts. (All this is obliquely explained in emails obtained by The Atlantic last year.)

Perhaps Manafort’s messages about campaign access never reached Deripaska; it’s possible that this was another one of his harebrained schemes. But we know that Manafort was attempting to use Kilimnik as his interface with Deripaska.

As I have read back over Mueller’s past references to K.K. in his sundry filings, there’s one mention that stands out. Last March, almost as an aside, Mueller noted that Kilimnik “has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016.” Manafort would have recognized this instantly as a description of K.K., and yet he repeatedly misled the prosecutor about his relationship with him, according to Mueller.

One reason that Manafort might have lied about his contacts with K.K. could be that he doesn’t want to be vulnerable to charges greater than the ones that Mueller has already leveled against him. It’s one thing to admit to a failure to adhere to the Foreign Agents Registration Act; it’s quite another to implicate yourself in an effort to collude with a hostile regime, to admit that your closest aide is a Russian spy.

There’s been talk that Robert Mueller has reached the point in his investigation where he’s tying together loose threads. But reading through both of the special counsel’s filings yesterday, it’s striking how many threads there are. And even as we get greater evidence of contact between Trump aides and Russians, there’s still so much that remains vague or maddeningly elliptical. The bigger picture fills in, pixel by pixel, but we still don’t quite know what we’re seeing yet.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/ar ... ik/577693/
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:54 pm


emptywheel
emptywheel
@emptywheel
Aaron still beclowns himself bc he doesn't realize Manafort has already pled to a conspiracy



Aaron Maté
Aaron Maté
@aaronjmatei
I think it's fine that my ex-colleagues
@democracynow
feature a conspiracy theorist (see below) as their go-to Russiagate guest, but it's too bad they fail to challenge the conspiracy theory & exclude voices who do. MSNBC-lite is not the DN! I remember.
https://mobile.twitter.com/aaronjmate/s ... 5501456384



Whatever will Amy do without Mate by her side :lol:




https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8A6xcu34o48


Marcy Wheeler: Mueller Probe Could Lead to Indictment of the Trump Organization
STORYDECEMBER 10, 2018

GUESTS

Marcy Wheeler
independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties at EmptyWheel.net.


EmptyWheel.net

Federal prosecutors have accused President Trump of committing a federal crime by directing illegal hush money to two women during the presidential election. The accusation was revealed Friday in filings made public by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, including a damning sentencing memo for Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, who has admitted to paying adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the campaign in order to prevent them from speaking to the media about their alleged affairs with Trump. The sentencing memo was made public along with two new sentencing memos from special counsel Robert Mueller: one for Cohen and another for Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort. “We keep talking about whether you can indict a sitting president,” says independent journalist Marcy Wheeler, editor of EmptyWheel.net. “There’s still a debate about that, but, really critically, you can indict a corporation. You can indict Trump Organization.”

Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Federal prosecutors have accused President Trump of committing a federal crime by directing illegal hush money to two women during the presidential election. The accusation was revealed Friday in filings made public by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, including a damning sentencing memo for President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, who has admitted to paying the women. The memo states, quote, “With respect to both payments, Cohen acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election. … He acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1,” end-quote. “Individual-1” is a reference to President Donald Trump. The payments were made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the campaign in order to prevent them from speaking to the media about their alleged affairs with Trump.

AMY GOODMAN: The sentencing memo was made public Friday along with two new sentencing memos from special counsel Robert Mueller: one for Cohen and another for Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort.

We go now to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where we’re joined by independent journalist Marcy Wheeler. She edits EmptyWheel.net and has been closely following the multiple investigations of President Trump.

Marcy, welcome back to Democracy Now! Can you explain what’s most significant about these filings? And just for people to understand, we’re talking about filings from two different places, from the Mueller inquiry and from the U.S. court in New York, from the prosecutor’s office, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

MARCY WHEELER: Right. So, there’s two sentencing memos, actually, both for Cohen—one out of Manhattan, as you said, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York, and one out of Mueller’s office. And then, the Manafort thing is actually not a sentencing memo. It’s just a memo laying out the lies he told and the reasons he—that the government has said that he violated his plea agreement, and all of the benefits that he thought he was going to get out of that are now gone.

The news that is catching attention is what you just said, which is that in the New York sentencing memo, it makes it very clear—doesn’t accuse Trump yet, but it makes it very clear that what Cohen did in setting up these hush payments, and, importantly, getting reimbursed by Trump Organization for these hush payments, he did it with Donald Trump’s knowledge and on his instructions. And there’s been a—in the right wing, they’re sort of saying, “Well, this is just a minor campaign finance”—actually, Trump this morning tweeted out and said that, as well. But what they’re missing is that the language the U.S. attorney in New York uses is very clearly talking about fraud to carry out that campaign finance violation. So, for example, they point to all of the efforts Cohen and the Trump Organization used the hide the payments and to hide what they were actually for, things like the shell company that Cohen set up to carry out the payments.

And so, I would expect the next charges, the ones that might name Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator but will almost certainly name Trump Organization, because, remember, his company can be indicted, and also probably whichever one of his children is named in those filings, as well, they’re going to be charged with what’s called conspiracy to defraud the United States. And the argument is that any time you carry out fraud to hide the fact—to hide stuff that prevents the government from doing regulatory work, when you do that, that’s a crime in and of itself, irregardless of how serious the campaign finance violation is. So, that seems to be where they’re going in New York.

There’s a bunch of stuff in the other two memos that say Mueller has similar kinds of crimes coming in his investigation, as well as the conspiracy with Russia. There’s still some hints that that’s going to come reasonably soon, as well.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, Marcy, I want to go to Democratic Congressmember Jerry Nadler, the incoming chair of the House Judiciary Committee. He was interviewed on Sunday by CNN’s Jake Tapper about Michael Cohen’s admission that he made illegal hush money payments to two women at the direction of President Trump.

JAKE TAPPER: If it’s proven, are those impeachable offenses?
REP. JERRY NADLER: Well, they would be impeachable offenses. Whether they are important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question. But certainly they’d be impeachable offenses, because even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office. That would be the—that would be an impeachable offense.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: So, Marcy Wheeler, can you comment on what Nadler said, its significance? And these are, in fact, impeachable offenses, he says.

MARCY WHEELER: The idea is that you cheated to win. You cheated to win the office of the presidency, and that goes to the core of whether or not you should be president. It sounds like where Nadler is going is, the underlying crime, the hush payment, may not be grave enough by itself to sustain an impeachment, but, as I mentioned, there was stuff in the filings on Friday that suggests Mueller is going to charge very similar crimes.

Just as one example, one of the things that Paul Manafort lied about is that he was getting payments through a super PAC from Tom Barrack, who is one of Trump’s biggest donors, who’s the guy who hired Paul Manafort in the first place. So he was getting payments through a super PAC that themselves are probably not legal. And it raises questions—the question we’ve always asked about Paul Manafort is: He was dead broke for the entire time he was working for Trump, so who was paying him? And if he was being paid through this super PAC, for example, then it’s another example of, as I said before, the conspiracy to defraud the United States. And what I expect is what we see in New York. We’re going to see parallel kinds of charges but tied to hiding the role of the Russians, in Mueller’s investigations. And those, I think, together, will add up.

And then the other thing that I think is really important that people have just forgotten through this entire process—we keep talking about whether you can indict a sitting president. You know, there’s still a debate about that, but, really critically, you can indict a corporation. You can indict Trump Organization. And that filing in New York and, frankly, the Cohen filing from Mueller, as well, both make it quite clear that the Trump Organization was involved in this fraudulent activity. And so, I think we should start talking a lot more about how Trump is going to react when his eponymous corporation starts getting charged in crimes, as well, because, you know, that’s where his ego is invested, that’s where his alleged billions are invested. And that, too, I think, makes him vulnerable in a way other presidents have not been.

AMY GOODMAN: So, the issue is, I mean, you’ve got the hush money payments for alleged affairs that Trump was trying to keep secret. But then, on the issue of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which is supposedly what this inquiry was all about, explain what you think is most significant about what both Michael Cohen has said and what Manafort has said, why, for example, building a Trump Tower in Moscow weighs in here and more. And what were you most surprised by, Marcy?

MARCY WHEELER: It wasn’t surprising. We’re still getting more details about Cohen’s version of the Trump Tower deal. But the language that prosecutors—that the Mueller’s prosecutors here used in his sentencing memo was really stark, because it laid out that that Trump Tower deal could have meant hundreds of millions of dollars for Trump. That Trump Tower deal, they make explicit, probably required the involvement of the Russian government. That Trump Tower deal was being arranged at the same time as the June 9th meeting we’ve heard about over and over again. So, there’s that paragraph in the Cohen memo which lays out the stakes of what it meant for Trump, for Cohen, for Don Jr. to be open to a meeting with Vladimir Putin and to be open to a meeting from Russians offering election-year assistance on behalf of the Russian government. So, the language that Rob Goldstone, who’s the music promoter who set up that June 9th meeting—he talks about a package of assistance from the Russian government.

And the Cohen memo makes it very clear now what that would have meant to Don Jr. To Don Jr., it would have meant hundreds of millions of dollars if Vladimir Putin would buy off on this Trump Tower deal. And so, it really changes his willingness. Most of the witnesses in that meeting say that at the end of that meeting he said, “Sure, we’ll get rid of—you know, we’ll revisit these Magnitsky sanctions when and if my dad wins.” Changes the entire meaning of that meeting. And I think it makes it a lot clearer what the quid pro quo there was involved. And it was about money, and, again, money for the Trump Organization. So, it goes to that corporate entity, that can also be charged, in addition to Don Jr., who keeps talking about his expectation he’ll be indicted.

NERMEEN SHAIKH: And, Marcy Wheeler, what do you expect—what steps do you expect the Trump administration to now take? I mean, the White House has essentially entirely dismissed what happened on Friday, saying that nothing new was revealed and nothing damaging to the president.

MARCY WHEELER: Well, it’s not clear they can do much. Matt Whitaker has not been able to prevent anything from happening. It’s not yet clear whether he’s cleared his ethics review. So it’s not yet clear whether he actually is in direct control of the Mueller investigation yet, because he should be recused. He should be ethically not permitted to be in charge of this. But the thing is that, I mean, you know, the Mueller—the Manafort discussion about the lies he told, that’s going to go forward regardless of what Whitaker said. Again, Don Jr. sounds like he recognizes more and more that Mueller has the goods, not just that he lied, but that he lied for a reason. He lied to hide this larger deal that was going on. And it sounds like Michael Cohen has provided a great deal of evidence in support of that. That’s why the Mueller prosecutor said that he actually should get some consideration in his sentencing.

So, I’m not sure what Trump can do to interrupt it. I mean, he wants to bring in William Barr as attorney general, but he, too, is going to have ethical problems, because he interviewed to be on Trump’s defense team. So, it’s not even clear, if he does get confirmed quickly, that he’ll be able to help Trump in the way that he helped Poppy Bush years ago in killing the Iran-Contra crisis. So, we’ll see. But I’m not—I think it may be beyond Trump’s ability to really undercut this investigation anymore.

AMY GOODMAN: Marcy Wheeler, we want to thank you very much for being with us, independent journalist who covers national security and civil liberties, runs the website EmptyWheel.net. We’ll link to your latest piece, “The Quid Pro Quo Was Even Tighter Than I Imagined.”

This is Democracy Now! When we come back, we go to the streets of Katowice, Poland, where thousands marched this weekend. And we go underground in a coal mine here in Poland. Stay with us.
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:40 am

Manafort friend got his pay off from trump


The US will lift sanctions against companies owned by a Russian oligarch tied to the Mueller probe

Annalisa Merelli
December 19, 2018

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Oleg Deripaska is still subject to sanctions.
The US Department of Treasury announced today (Dec. 19) that it is planning to lift sanctions imposed on three Russian companies controlled by a Russian oligarch who’s come up in the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In a letter to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, the Treasury said it will end sanctions to En+Group, U Rusal, and EuroSibEnergy in 30 days.

The companies are controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who has deep connections to Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman. Deripaska invested $18.9 million into a Ukrainian telecom venture ran by Manafort, but was never paid back. Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly investigated the links between the two men as part of his probe into Russia’s electoral interference.

Deripaska, who is close to Vladimir Putin, was “accused of threatening the lives of business rivals, illegally wiretapping a government official, and taking part in extortion and racketeering” when the Treasury hit him with sanctions in April.

At the time, the Treasury also imposed sanctions on the three companies as a way to hit Deripaska. But the agency said Wednesday that it will no longer sanction them, because they have agreed to distance themselves from the oligarch. “These companies have committed to significantly diminish Deripaska’s ownership and sever his control,” Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. They will suffer ”severe consequences” should they not comply, he added.

The Treasury said it will remove sanctions from any venture in which Deripaska has less than 50% ownership, though the oligarch will still be subject to them personally.
https://qz.com/1502146/mnuchin-is-lifti ... deripaska/




So maybe Pauly will not be put down
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:37 am


Exclusive: Russian Ex-Spy Pressured Manafort Over Debts to an Oligarch



When the U.S. government put out its latest sanctions list on Dec. 19, the man named at the top did not seem especially important. Described in the document as a former Russian intelligence officer, he was accused of handling money and negotiations on behalf of a powerful Russian oligarch. The document did not mention that the man, Victor Boyarkin, had links to the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump.

A months-long investigation by TIME, however, found that Boyarkin, a former arms dealer with a high forehead and a very low profile, was a key link between a senior member of the Trump campaign and a powerful ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In his only interview with the media about those connections, Boyarkin told TIME this fall that he was in touch with Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in the heat of the presidential race on behalf of the Russian oligarch. “He owed us a lot of money,” Boyarkin says. “And he was offering ways to pay it back.”

The former Russian intelligence officer says he has been approached by the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Boyarkin’s response to those investigators? “I told them to go dig a ditch,” he says. Peter Carr, the spokesman for the Special Counsel’s Office, declined to comment. Through his spokesman, Manafort likewise declined to comment on his alleged connections with Boyarkin.

But those connections could be potentially important to the Special Counsel’s inquiry. They would mark some of the clearest evidence of the leverage that powerful Russians had over Trump’s campaign chairman. And they may shed light on why Manafort discussed going right back to work for pro-Russian interests in Eastern Europe after he crashed out of the Trump campaign in August 2016, according to numerous sources in the TIME investigation.

‘Our friend V’

When he joined the campaign in the spring of 2016, Manafort was nearly broke. The veteran political consultant had racked up bills worth millions of dollars in luxury real estate, clothing, cars and antiques. According to allegations contained in court records filed in the U.S. and the Cayman Islands, he was also deeply in debt to Boyarkin’s boss, the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who was demanding money from Manafort over a failed business deal in Ukraine and other ventures.

Boyarkin says it fell to him to collect the debt from Manafort. “I came down on him hard,” he says. But the American proved elusive. In a petition filed in the Cayman Islands in 2014, lawyers for Deripaska, a metals tycoon with close ties to the Kremlin, complain that Manafort and his then-partner had “simply disappeared” with around $19 million of the Russian’s money.

When he reappeared in the headlines around April 2016, Manafort was serving as an unpaid adviser to the Trump campaign. He wanted his long-time patron in Moscow to know all about it.

In a series of emails sent that spring and summer, Manafort tried to offer “private briefings” about the presidential race to Deripaska, apparently, as one of the emails puts it, to “get whole.” Reports in The Atlantic and the Washington Post revealed those emails in the fall of 2017. Among the questions that remained unanswered was the identity of Manafort’s contact in Moscow, the one referred to in one of the emails as “our friend V.”

Even after TIME learned his full name in April, he proved a difficult man to find. His online presence amounted to digital scraps: one photo of him at a conference in Moscow, a few benign quotes in the Russian media from his years selling arms for state-linked companies, and some vague references in U.S. government archives to someone by that name, “Commander Viktor A. Boyarkin,” serving in the 1990s as an assistant naval attaché at the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C. – a job sometimes used as cover for intelligence agents.

Only in early October was a TIME reporter able to track Boyarkin down. In the company of a senior Russian diplomat and two young assistants from Moscow, he attended a conference in Greece that was organized by one of Putin’s oldest friends, the former KGB agent and state railway boss Vladimir Yakunin. “How did you find me here,” was the question Boyarkin asked, repeatedly, when confronted about his ties to Manafort during a coffee break at that conference.

Once he agreed to discuss their relationship, it was mostly to confirm the basic facts, often with a curt, “Yes, so what.” (He did not respond to numerous requests for comment after his name appeared on the U.S sanctions list on Dec. 19.)

The outlines of Boyarkin’s career suggest a life spent at the intersection of Russian espionage, diplomacy and the arms trade. Having served at the Russian embassies in the U.S. and Mexico in the 1990s, dealing primarily in military affairs, he says he turned his focus to the arms trade in the early 2000s. His specialty was the export of small and medium-sized warships and other naval vessels that were produced in Soviet-era shipyards across Russia.

This business kept him in touch with military buyers from around the world, including in various parts of Africa. By the late-2000s, he had put this expertise in the service of Deripaska, whose global mining and metals empire often involved making deals with despots in the developing world.

But his range was broader than that. As Boyarkin tells it, his acquaintance with Manafort goes back to around 2006, the year Deripaska asked both of them to help redraw the map of Eastern Europe.

The Montenegro connection

Montenegro, a tiny Balkan nation on the Adriatic Sea, was an important testing ground for Manafort’s relationship with Deripaska. The oligarch had invested heavily in that country, buying control of a vast aluminum smelter in 2005 that accounted for roughly half of Montenegro’s exports and a sixth of its entire economy. The following year, he decided to support the Montenegrins’ drive to become an independent country. That meant breaking away from its more powerful neighbor, Serbia – and convincing the world to recognize Montenegro as an independent state.

To get this done, Deripaska offered the help of several of his advisers, including Manafort. “They were a good team,” says a senior official in Montenegro who was involved in that vote. “They helped get the support we needed from our international partners,” both in Russia and the West, says the official, who spoke to TIME on condition of anonymity. After the people of Montenegro voted by a margin slightly above 55% to declare independence from Serbia in May 2006, all the world’s major powers recognized the results.

Manafort has been open about his role in this campaign. “I have always publicly acknowledged that I worked for Mr. Deripaska and his company,” he said in a statement to reporters in the spring of 2017. “For example, one of the projects involved supporting a referendum in Montenegro that allowed that country to choose membership in the EU, a measure that Russia opposed.”

In fact, Moscow never tried to stop Montenegro’s independence, and Deripaska would not likely have supported it so robustly without approval from the Kremlin. (In 2007, he told the Financial Times, “I don’t separate myself from the state. I have no other interests.”)

“There was never any real resistance from Moscow [to the independence vote],” says the senior official in Montenegro, who was involved in lobbying for Russian support in the years before and after that referendum. The Kremlin, he says, was only too happy to have another potential ally in Eastern Europe – one that was heavily dependent on Russian investments. The arrangement suited Montenegro’s leaders just fine. “Better the Russians come here with suitcases of money than with columns of tanks,” says the official.

But their relationship with Deripaska quickly soured in much the same way it began—over money. After years of disputes over unpaid debts, the Russian billionaire sued Montenegro in 2014 for seizing the aluminum plant he controlled. The country then sped up its plans to join the NATO military alliance and integrate with the West.

The Kremlin wasn’t pleased. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in 2014 it would be “irresponsible” and “even a provocation” for another Balkan state to become a NATO member. According to investigators in Montenegro, Russian agents soon began plotting to unseat the nation’s leaders and install a government more friendly to Moscow. By coincidence, the dispute came to a head in the fall of 2016, at the same time as the U.S. presidential race.

About three weeks before the American elections, the people of Montenegro were due to hold a pivotal vote of their own. Depending on the outcome, the government would either shepherd the country into the NATO alliance the following year, or a new set of leaders would take power, most of whom wanted to change course and develop closer ties with Russia.

According to three sources in this opposition movement, known in Montenegro as the Democratic Front, they were counting on help from an American lobbyist who had worked in their country before – and who happened to be fresh out of a job in Washington. His name was Paul Manafort.

Enter Manafort

Having served for three months as Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016, Manafort was forced to resign in mid-August after his links to Russian interests in Ukraine became public. Still deep in debt, he reportedly went around pitching his services as a consultant in the months that followed to a wide variety of foreign leaders, from the Kurds in Iraq to the incoming president of Ecuador.

The TIME investigation found that Manafort was also in contact with politicians from his old stomping ground of Montenegro. Among them was Nebojsa Medojevic, one of the opposition leaders who were then campaigning to unseat the country’s pro-NATO leaders. His ties to Manafort were first reported to TIME by a former associate of Montenegro’s ruling clique, who said the American consultant had met with Medojevic to discuss a possible consulting deal in the fall of 2016.

At first the tip seemed implausible. Why would one of the world’s most prominent political advisers – still fresh from the chairmanship of the Republican presidential campaign – consider working with a group seen as pro-Russian upstarts in a Balkan nation of 600,000 people?

The senior Montenegrin official suggested an answer. “If Manafort got involved here in 2016, it would only be through the Russians,” he said.

At the time, Russian money was indeed flowing into Montenegrin politics. According to the sanctions list posted Dec. 19, Deripaska and Boyarkin were “involved in providing Russian financial support to a Montenegrin political party ahead of Montenegro’s 2016 elections.”

In more than a dozen interviews that TIME conducted this year, officials and political leaders in Montenegro confirmed that Deripaska and one other Russian oligarch bankrolled the pro-Russian opposition in 2016. Two of them said they heard Manafort’s name come up in strategy meetings for that opposition movement.

When asked about Manafort’s role, Medojevic, one of the leaders of this movement, confirmed that he had met with Manafort to discuss a potential partnership in the fall of 2016. He added that the meeting was a disappointment, and that no deal came out of it. In several follow-up conversations, however, he refused to talk about the meeting, saying that his contacts in the West were legitimate and urging reporters not to publish his initial comments.

For Medojevic and the rest of the opposition, the elections in Montenegro did not go smoothly. The day before the vote, a group of men was arrested and charged with plotting to overthrow the government of Montenegro, assassinate its leader and seize power by force – all with abundant help from Moscow. The Montenegrin authorities later charged two agents of Russia’s military intelligence service with masterminding the alleged coup. Several of the leaders of the opposition in that country, including Medojevic, are currently on trial for charges that stem from the alleged coup attempt.

The following year, Montenegro’s parliament overwhelmingly ratified membership in NATO, as pro-Russian demonstrators protested outside. Russia’s foreign ministry said lawmakers were “trampling all democratic norms and principles.” Now, Montenegro is protected by Article 5 of the alliance, which calls for all members to support any state that comes under attack.

This summer, President Trump took issue with that protection. “Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people,” he said, after being asked by Fox News in July if the U.S. should come to Montenegro’s defense. “They are very aggressive people, they may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in World War III.”

Known unknowns

It remains unclear whether Manafort actually provided any services in Montenegro in 2016. His lawyers deny he did any work for any Montenegrin politicians that year. Nor is it clear whether Manafort owes debts to Deripaska and, if so, how much. A court in Virginia convicted Manafort in August on eight charges of bank and tax fraud related to his lobbying work in Ukraine; he is due to be sentenced in February.

Boyarkin, for his part, denies having anything to do with Montenegrin politics. When TIME met him in Greece, he said he had not worked for Deripaska since the end of 2016. The U.S. government differs on that point; the Dec. 19 press release from the Treasury Department said Boyarkin “reports directly to Deripaska and has led business negotiations on Deripaska’s behalf.”

Those negotiations, involving mining deals in Africa and factories in Europe, were of secondary concern to U.S. investigators when they contacted Boyarkin last year, he says. They wanted to know about his links to Manafort, and the “private briefings” he had offered to Boyarkin and his boss. “They asked about all of that, yes,” the operative recalls. Once again, he says he told them to get lost.

—With reporting by Jovo Martinovic/Podgorica, Montenegro

http://amp.timeinc.net/time/5490169/pau ... ssion=true



emptywheel

Also, those of you really excited that Boyarkin would tie Manafort to an ex-Russian spy?

You do realize that multiple Mueller filings say that Kilimnik was also an ex-or-maybe-not-ex-GRU spy?

That is, Mueller has ALREADY publicly tied Manafort to the agency that did the hack.


Know who said Konstantin Kilimnik was ex-GRU? Rick Gates, Mueller's star cooperating witness.

Know when he said it? To Alex Van Der Zwaan, well before Mueller was hired.



"He owed us a lot of money. And he was offering ways to pay it back"—Viktor Boyarkin on #Manafort. Yet another Russian spy with leverage over the Trump campaign. This corroborates earlier reports of "private briefings" to Putin pal Deripaska…who was just gifted sanctions relief.
Image


Boyarkin did more than collect Deripaska's debts. He worked w/ Manafort since 2006—"the year Deripaska asked both of them to help redraw the map of Eastern Europe." Manafort has consistently worked for Putin/Russia's interests & against US interests. In 2016, on Trump campaign.

Image
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:52 am

Paul Manafort's submission was due yesterday re: the govt's claims that he lied and breached his plea deal. — nothing is on the docket. This could mean: 1) They filed under seal 2) They missed the deadline 3) Something else happened under seal. His team isn't commenting


Big Oval Office Announcement Tonight

National Emergency Declared?




“Fine-looking wife & daughters ya have there, Paulie...”



Just in: Paul Manafort's spokesman Jason Maloni says Manafort's lawyers responded yesterday to Mueller's allegations that he breached his plea deal. "We filed our opposition yesterday under seal," he says



emptywheel

Anybody besides me think Manafort's redaction fail was intentional? Especially since their response into getting caught lying abt his Russian handler is to ask for more evidence?



Paulie's lawyer claims Paulie didn't lie about any one specific individual.

I guess they mean, aside from the Russian he was "colluding" with, Konstantin Kilimnik.
Image




These failed redactions show Manafort had a meeting with Kilimnik in Madrid, gave him campaign polling data, and discussed a Ukrainian peace plan with him - then lied about all of it. Very normal contacts between a US presidential campaign manager & a Russian intelligence asset.

southpaw

You can copy the black highlighted “redactions” in the Manafort team’s filing, paste it somewhere else, and see what it says. Here’s the first one. https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... 108-Dc.pdf

Image

The sentence @jonswaine reported is in the second redaction.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DwaPOVEX4AAgk6p.jpg




NEW: Paul Manafort's attorneys failed to properly redact their filing. They reveal that Mueller alleges Manafort "lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign". Konstantin Kilimnik has alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

More
Things we learned today from Manafort's lawyers' redaction errors: Manafort is alleged to have met in Madrid w/Kilimnik; shared polling data with him; and discussed a Ukraine peace plan w/him more than once. Is that the same peace plan that Cohen delivered to Flynn in Jan 2017?




emptywheel

Anybody besides me think Manafort's redaction fail was intentional? Especially since their response into getting caught lying abt his Russian handler is to ask for more evidence?




MANAFORT’S REDACTION FAIL TELLS TRUMP THAT MUELLER CAUGHT HIM LYING ABOUT HIS RUSSIAN HANDLER, KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK

January 8, 2019/2 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe /by empty wheel


Boy do I look stupid! This morning, I suggested that Robert Mueller had finally found a way to shut Paul Manafort up. Then I went away for a few hours, and come back to discover Manafort’s filing on the lies he got caught telling about the information he shared with Konstantin Kilimnik. The redactions covering up details of that information-sharing are easily reversible, showing the following:

MANAFORT TRAVELED TO MADRID TO MEET WITH KILMNIK DURING THE CAMPAIGN TO DISCUSS A UKRAINIAN PEACE DEAL

Two redactions in a section on Manafort’s interactions with Kilimnik hide that he went to Madrid while still working on the Trump campaign and listened to a Kilimnik pitch on a peace plan for Ukraine.

(See, e.g., Doc. 460 at 5 (After being shown documents, Mr. Manafort “conceded” that he discussed or may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Mr. Kilimnik on more than one occasion); id. at 6 (After being told that Mr. Kilimnik had traveled to Madrid on the same day that Mr. Manafort was in Madrid, Mr. Manafort “acknowledged” that he and Mr. Kilimnik met while they were both in Madrid)).

[snip]

In fact, during a proffer meeting held with the Special Counsel on September 11, 2018, Mr. Manafort explained to the Government attorneys and investigators 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 forefront of Mr. Manafort’s mind during the period at issue and it is not surprising at all that Mr. Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed. The same is true with regard to the Government’s allegation that Mr. Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign. (See Doc. 460 at 6).

He excuses this lie by saying that he was just so busy with the campaign that he didn’t pay attention to the requests his Russian handler was making of him during the campaign.

Perhaps more damning still — given that the Russians were stealing Hillary’s analytics well into September — is the revelation that Manafort shared polling data with Kilimnik, a lie about which Manafort offers no real excuse.

MANAFORT CLAIMS HIS PATTERN OF COVERING FOR KILIMNIK DOESN’T AMOUNT TO BE A PATTERN OF COVERING FOR KILIMNIK

Most remarkable, in a brief that addresses three lies about Konstantin Kilimnik and one about Tom Barrack (who is believed to have been in the loop on at least one of their meetings), Manafort’s lawyers claim there’s no pattern here.

Notably, there is no identifiable pattern to Mr. Manafort’s purported misrepresentations – no specific individual or potential crime is identified in the Government’s submission.


I guess, sure, you could say there’s no pattern to the many other people he attempted to protect with his obstruction.

But it’s clear that Kilimnik is a key one, especially given Manafort’s embarrassing lawyer that in spite of Kilimnik’s agreement to help him tamper with witnesses, he can’t say that Kilimnik entered into a conspiracy with him.

Mr. Manafort was asked to agree that Mr. Kilimnik, too, possessed the requisite state of mind to legally establish his guilt. Mr. Manafort balked at this characterization, because he did not believe he could confirm what another person’s internal thoughts or understandings were, i.e., another individual’s state of mind.


MANAFORT DOESN’T MUCH CARE THAT MUELLER CAUGHT HIM LYING

Manafort’s lawyers don’t offer much by way of explanation for his lies. They note he was being held in solitary, suffered from gout, and did not have an opportunity to review documents before telling these lies. But they concede that given the “good faith” standard on breaching the plea agreement they consented to, there’s not much to argue about. So long as Mueller doesn’t charge Manafort further, they won’t contest the finding he breached the agreement, even while claiming the breach was not intentional.

Despite Mr. Manafort’s position that he has not made intentional misstatements, he is not requesting a hearing on the breach issue. As discussed further below – given the highly deferential standard that applies to the Government’s determination of a breach and the Government’s stated intention to limit the effect of the breach determination to its advocacy at sentencing in this case1 – Mr. Manafort suggests that any necessary factual determinations are better addressed as part of the presentencing report (“PSR”) process.

1 Based upon discussions occurring after the November 30 and December 11 hearings, the OSC has advised that the only remedies it currently plans to seek related to the alleged breach relate to its position regarding sentencing in this matter. Should the Government seek to bring additional charges or take any other adverse action beyond its sentencing position, the defendant reserves his right to challenge the Government’s breach determination at that time.


MANAFORT DEMANDS TO HAVE MORE WITNESS TESTIMONY BEFORE HE’LL RESPOND TO OTHER DETAILS ON HIS LIES

In a section on how Tom Barrack paid him via a third party contractor — for what is not yet clear — Manafort suggests he can’t respond because the government hasn’t shared the witness statements of others alleging to the fact.

The Government has indicated that Mr. Manafort’s statements about this payment are inconsistent with those of others, but the defense has not received any witness statements to support this contention.

Then, in a section rebutting his lies about whether or not he had contacts with the Trump Administration, he claims the two instances that Mueller raised don’t really count. He again demands more witness statements.

The first alleged misstatement identified in the Special Counsel’s submission (regarding a text exchange on May 26, 2018) related to a text message from a third-party asking permission to use Mr. Manafort’s name as an introduction in the event the third-party met the President. This does not constitute outreach by Mr. Manafort to the President. The second example identified by the Special Counsel is hearsay purportedly offered by an undisclosed third party and the defense has not been provided with the statement (or any witness statements that form the basis for alleging intentional falsehoods).


Then, even as agreeing there’s no need to have a breach hearing, Manafort asks for more witness statements again.

While a hearing regarding the Government’s “good faith” in declaring a breach of the plea agreement is not necessary, to the extent that there are witness statements that the OSC contends demonstrate Mr. Manafort’s intentional falsehoods, these should be produced to the defense. After having an opportunity to review such statements and any other documentary evidence, the defendant would then suggest that the issues be narrowed during the usual sentencing process in the parties’ submissions to the U.S. Probation Office in the preparation of the PSR.


THIS MISTAKEN NON-REDACTION CONVENIENTLY LETS CO-CONSPIRATORS KNOW WHAT MUELLER SHARED

I have no idea whether this non-redaction was a colossal mistake or whether this was a cute way to disclose what evidence Mueller has shared with Manafort (remember: these five lies were not the only ones that Manafort told; just the only ones that Mueller wanted to describe).

But even ignoring the redaction fail, the filing feels very contemptuous, as if they’re still playing for a pardon.

Effectively, they’re admitting their client maybe lied or just conveniently forgot to minimize his ongoing conspiracy with someone even Rick Gates has said has ties to Russian intelligence — the same Russian intelligence agency that hacked Democrats. But they don’t think that’s a big deal. They’re just going to double down on obtaining more information on the evidence Mueller has while they wait for the pardon.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/01/08/m ... -kilimnik/



Manafort Shared Trump Campaign Data With Russian Associate, Prosecutors Say

Jan. 8, 2019
Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, was convicted last year of 10 felonies.Carlo Allegri/Reuters


Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, was convicted last year of 10 felonies.Carlo Allegri/Reuters
WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with an associate tied to Russian intelligence during the 2016 campaign, prosecutors alleged, according to a court filing unsealed on Tuesday.

The accusations came to light in a document filed by Mr. Manafort’s defense lawyers that was supposed to be partly blacked out but contained a formatting error that accidentally revealed the information.

Prosecutors for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, broke off a plea agreement with Mr. Manafort in November, accusing him of repeatedly lying to them. The details of their accusations have been kept largely secret until now.

In one portion of the filing that Mr. Manafort’s lawyers tried to redact, they instead also revealed that Mr. Manafort “may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan” with the Russian associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, “on more than one occasion.”

Investigators have been questioning witnesses about whether Russia tried to influence the Trump administration to broker a resolution to hostilities between Russia and Ukraine. Various “peace plans” were proposed, including at least one that called for the lifting of American sanctions against Russia. Mr. Manafort and Mr. Kilimnik had worked closely together for years on behalf of Russia-aligned Ukrainian interests.

Prosecutors have also accused Mr. Manafort of misleading them about his contacts with senior administration officials, about a payment from a pro-Trump political action committee made to cover his legal expenses, and about how he and Mr. Kilimnik tried to influence the testimony of witnesses to ward off criminal charges.

In their filing, Mr. Manafort’s defense lawyers said that Mr. Manafort never intentionally misled federal authorities. Instead, they blamed a faulty memory, lack of access to his own records and illness for his mistakes, saying their client has gout, depression and anxiety.

But they said that they would not seek a hearing to challenge the prosecutors’ assertions Mr. Manafort lied, a decision that brings Mr. Manafort one step closer to being sentenced for his crimes. He was convicted last year of 10 felonies including conspiracy to obstruct justice and failure to disclose years of lobbying work for pro-Russia oligarchs in Ukraine.

The decision not to seek a hearing reflected the dearth of legal choices for Mr. Manafort, 69, who led Mr. Trump’s campaign during a crucial period in mid-2016, then became a prime target of Mr. Mueller’s team. One prosecution in Northern Virginia resulted in his jury conviction in August for bank fraud, tax fraud and other financial crimes. A second led to his guilty plea in September on two conspiracy charges.

He agreed then to assist federal prosecutors in any matter they deemed of interest, including the special counsel’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign. He met 12 times with prosecutors or investigators from the special counsel’s team and from other offices, traveling from a detention center in suburban Washington where he has been held in solitary confinement since June.

The plea agreement gives the prosecutors the power to almost unilaterally decide whether Mr. Manafort has violated it. Unless Mr. Manafort can show they acted in bad faith — a high bar — their judgment stands. The prosecutors could also decide to file new charges against Mr. Manafort for lying to them, but do not plan to do so, according to the defense lawyers’ filing, unsealed Tuesday.

“They have him so deeply in the soup here that what both sides are almost saying is that this doesn’t matter,” said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor.

The new filing came one month after Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in Federal District Court in Washington that she needed to know more about the prosecutors’ latest accusations against Mr. Manafort before she sentenced him on two conspiracy charges, which carry a maximum penalty of five years each. Judge T.S. Ellis III in Northern Virginia will sentence him for the other eight felonies.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/us/p ... CMM39XNmV3
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:06 pm

We are now at the point where *two people* from the Trump Tower meeting have been indicted by the Feds — one on the Trump side, one on the Russia side.



emptywheel
Some things missed in yesterday's confusion over whether Manafort gave Kilimnik data for Pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs or for a Russian one.

1) In claiming that it was for Ukrainians, Manafort's spox admits he was still waiting on over $2M from those Ukrainians. He was a paid agent of foreigners at a time when he was working for "free" for Trump.

2) He has *already* pled guilty to conspiring with Konstantin Kilimnik, a former GRU translator and a key go-between with several oligarchs, both Russian and Ukrainian. THAT conspiracy was to cover up Manafort's work for those oligarchs.

3) His not-really contested continued lies to prosecutors pertains to his ongoing interactions with Kilimnik (again, who has ties to the agency that hacked Democrats) DURING the campaign, while work for "free."

4) In addition to sharing data with a guy who has ties to the agency that hacked Democrats, Manafort also lied about talking to Kilimnik (ever time they talked, per Mueller, tho Manafort is ALSO lying abt that) abt Ukraine, including reinstalling RU there, throughout campaign.

To sum up: Yes, someone has already pled to conspiring with a Russian, even a Russian with ties to the agency that hacked the Democrats. That person was Trump's "free" campaign manager. That person continues to commit crimes to cover up his conspiracy.

The 5 things Manafort lied about are actually only *some* of the things he lied abt. We do know that Manafort is willing to face life in prison rather than tell the truth about his relationship with that Russian who has ties to GRU



CORRECTION: PAUL MANAFORT asked KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK to pass TRUMP polling to the Ukrainian oligarchs SERHIY LYOVOCHKIN & RINAT AKHMETOV, & not to OLEG DERIPASKA, as originally reported. We have corrected the story & I deleted a tweet repeating the error.

10:39 AM - 9 Jan 2019


LYOVOCHKIN & AKHMETOV had funded Russia-aligned political parties for which MANAFORT had worked. Manafort believed he was still owed $$$ for the work. Passing along polling data to the oligarchs could be a way to try to collect by proving continued value.

LYOVOCHKIN & AKHMETOV did not respond to questions about whether they received the polling data from KILIMNIK, or about their interactions during the campaign with MANAFORT & Kilimnik.
https://twitter.com/kenvogel/status/1083070872754274305





OLEG DERIPASKA MET SERGEI MILLIAN AT THE ST. PETERSBURG FORUM MICHAEL COHEN WOULD HAVE MET PUTIN

January 9, 2019/5 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, emptywheel, Mueller Probe /by empty wheel

In a piece puzzling through why Oleg Deripaska — who wrote a deceptive op-ed that was published at his outlet — would get polling data from Trump’s campaign manager [Note, NYT has updated reporting to specify that Manafort sent the data to Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov], Chuck Ross mentions something that has entirely new meaning given recent disclosures. Oleg Deripaska met with Sergei Millian at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in June 2016.

Deripaska has denied through intermediaries being a source for Steele, though he was spotted in June 2016 at an economic forum in St. Petersburg with Sergei Millian, an alleged source for the dossier.


Here’s a photo of the meeting, which Wendy Siegelman found.

Image

Of course, Ross mostly cares about all this because Millian was allegedly a source for the Christopher Steele dossier, not for all the other events this event intersects with.

Consider the timeline of some key events below.

It shows that the email hacks paralleled Manafort’s increased responsibility on the campaign.

But even as Russia’s operation to release dirt on Hillary was proceeding (and Russians were reaching out to George Papadopoulos to dangle emails as well), Michael Cohen was negotiating a Trump Tower deal, via Felix Sater, which was premised on a meeting between him — and then later, Trump — and Vladimir Putin. On June 9 — the same day that Don Jr told Aras Agalarov’s representatives that the Trumps would revisit sanctions if Trump was elected — Cohen even started to book his travel for that meeting. He canceled those plans, however, on the same day Russia’s role in hacking the DNC became public.

But two key figures in the operation did meet at the St. Petersburg Forum: Deripaska and Millian. And Millian would pick up the Trump Tower deal after the RNC Convention, laundering it, at that point, through a junior staffer who had proven to be a useful go-between for the Russians.

We don’t know whether Deripaska, whom Steele was pitching as a viable partner to counter Russian organized crime, was a source for Steele’s dossier. We do know that Manafort is the one who pushed Trump to discredit the Russian investigation by attacking the dossier.

As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post.

TIMELINE

January 12, 2016: Steele writes Bruce Ohr to say Oleg Deripaska may obtain a visa for later that year

January 20: Michael Cohen speaks with Dmitry Peskov’s personal assistant for 20 minutes about Trump Tower deal

January 21: Putin’s office contacts Felix Sater about Trump Tower deal

February 21: Steele sends Ohr Orbis reporting claiming Deripaska was not a tool of the Kremlin

February 29: Manafort drafts proposal to work for “free” for Trump

March 19: GRU hacks John Podesta

March 29: After the intervention of Roger Stone and Tom Barrack, Manafort joins the Trump campaign, initially only as Convention Chair

April: Manafort asks Kilimnik,”How do we use to get whole?”

April 18: GRU hacks into DNC via DCCC

April 26: George Papadopoulos learns Russians are offering election assistance in form of leaked emails

April 27: In first foreign policy speech Papadopoulos includes signal to Russians to meet

May 4: Cohen tells Sater he’ll do a trip to Russia before the Convention; Trump will do one after

May 5: Sater passes on Peskov invite to Cohen to attend St. Petersburg Forum to meet Putin or Medvedev

May 19: Manafort formally named campaign chair

May 21: Manafort forwards request for Trump meeting to Rick Gates, warning against sending a signal

June 3: Rob Golstone starts arranging meeting with Don Jr.

June 7: Manafort meets with Trump and Trump announces he’ll have an announcement about Hillary

June 8: GRU releases first emails via dcleaks

June 9: Trump Tower meeting presents dirt for sanctions relief; Cohen makes plans for trip to St. Petersburg Forum

June 14: WaPo reveals Russia hacked DNC; Cohen cancels plan for St. Petersburg trip

June 15: Guccifer 2.0 created

June 16-19: St. Petersburg forum (Putin does attend)

June 20: First Steele report, allegedly relying on Millian as one source

July 7: Manafort tells Kilimnik he’s willing to provide Deripaska private briefings; Ohr call with Steele about Deripaska

Week of July 15: Trump campaign prevents change making platform more belligerent to Ukraine

July 21: Sater visits Trump Tower

July 22: George Papadopoulos asks Ivan Timofeev to help prep for a meeting with Sergei Millian; Millian would eventually pitch Papadopoulos on Trump Tower Moscow deal

August 3: Manafort and Kilimnik meet in New York

August 17: Manafort fired from campaign

August: Manafort and Tom Barrack take boat trip, meet Kilimnik

October 18: Steele and Ohr discuss dispute between Ukraine and RUSAL

January 11 or 12, 2017: Manafort contacts Reince Priebus to tell him how to use the Steele dossier to discredit Russian investigation (remember, Manafort insists he didn’t lie about meeting with Trump officials, because those meetings happened before inauguration)

January 27: Papadopoulos agrees to meet FBI without a lawyer, in part in hopes of sustaining possibility of a job with Trump Admin and possibly a deal with Millian

January or February 2017: Manafort meets Kilimnik in Madrid
https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/01/09/o ... met-putin/



MANAFORT CLAIMS HE CAN’T BE A WITNESS TO TRUMP’S CONSPIRACY WITH RUSSIA BECAUSE HE MANAGED THE CAMPAIGN

January 9, 2019/46 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe /by empty wheel

As more detail has come out about the events about which Paul Manafort lied to Mueller’s prosecutors, the method of his lie becomes more clear: it serves to excuse anything that might taint Trump’s campaign with conspiracy with Russia; it excuses that by claiming forgetfulness caused by the busyness of that campaign. Manafort cannot be a witness to the Trump campaign’s conspiracy with Russia, you see, because his memory of those events is too garbled because he was campaign manager at the time.

Only that excuse doesn’t work.

In their redaction fail submission the other day, Manafort’s lawyers addressed each of the subjects about which Mueller accused Manafort of lying in what appears to be the same order as Mueller’s prosecutors laid them out in their own submission last month:

Interactions with Kilimnik
Issue a (page 4-5)
Issue b (page 5-6)
Issue c (page 6)
Kilimnik’s role in the obstruction conspiracy
Payment to a firm working for Manafort
Another DOJ investigation
Contact with the Administration
But rather than dealing with Issues a, b, and c separately, Manafort lumps all three into one discussion, like this:

It is accurate that after the Special Counsel shared evidence regarding Mr. Manafort’s meetings and communications with Konstantin Kilimnik with him, Mr. Manafort recalled that he had – or may have had – some additional meetings or communications with Mr. Kilimnik that he had not initially remembered. The Government concludes from this that Mr. Manafort’s initial responses to inquiries about his meetings and interactions with Mr. Kilimnik were lies to the OSC attorneys and investigators. (See, e.g., Doc. 460 at 5 (After being shown documents, Mr. Manafort “conceded” that he discussed or may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Mr. Kilimnik on more than one occasion); id. at 6 (After being told that Mr. Kilimnik had traveled to Madrid on the same day that Mr. Manafort was in Madrid, Mr. Manafort “acknowledged” that he and Mr. Kilimnik met while they were both in Madrid)).

It is not uncommon, however, for a witness to have only a vague recollection about events that occurred years prior and then to recall additional details about those events when his or her recollection is refreshed with relevant documents or additional information. Similarly, cooperating witnesses often fail to have complete and accurate recall of detailed facts regarding specific meetings, email communications, travel itineraries, and other events. Such a failure is unsurprising here, where these occurrences happened during a period when Mr. Manafort was managing a U.S. presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions with many different individuals, and traveled frequently. In fact, during a proffer meeting held with the Special Counsel on September 11, 2018, Mr. Manafort explained to the Government attorneys and investigators 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 forefront of Mr. Manafort’s mind during the period at issue and it is not surprising at all that Mr. Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed. The same is true with regard to the Government’s allegation that Mr. Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign. (See Doc. 460 at 6). The simple fact that Mr. Manafort could not recall, or incorrectly recalled, specific events from his past dealings with Mr. Kilimnik – but often (after being shown or told about relevant documents or other evidence) corrected himself or clarified his responses – does not support a determination that he intentionally lied.


The way in which Manafort’s lawyers cite from Mueller’s text (which I’ve bolded above) even makes it clear which discussion is which, with “issue a” including the “conceded” quotation on the correct page to be Ukraine.

Image

“Issue b” includes the “acknowledged” quotation on the correct page to pertain to the Madrid meeting.

Image

That — plus the page number — makes it clear that “issue c” is the sharing of polling data.

By submitting this filing with failed redactions — whether intentionally or not — Manafort’s lawyers have told co-conspirators precisely what events Mueller asked questions about during proffer sessions, as well as what kind of evidence Mueller had obtained to learn about those events. Mueller has electronic communications, drafts, and travel records proving multiple discussions about a Ukraine peace plan, he has evidence of Kilimnik’s travel to Madrid, and he has email and testimonial evidence describing how he and Gates shared polling data with Kilimnik.

And while Manafort doesn’t think a hearing in which Mueller could provide more evidence that Manafort lied about conspiring with a former or current GRU officer is necessary, he would like witness statements about which he could find some opportunity to fail to redact in the future.

While a hearing regarding the Government’s “good faith” in declaring a breach of the plea agreement is not necessary, to the extent that there are witness statements that the OSC contends demonstrate Mr. Manafort’s intentional falsehoods, these should be produced to the defense. After having an opportunity to review such statements and any other documentary evidence, the defendant would then suggest that the issues be narrowed during the usual sentencing process in the parties’ submissions to the U.S. Probation Office in the preparation of the PSR.


By treating all three of his Kilimnik lies as one, Manafort excuses the lie about the Madrid meeting — which Manafort’s spox issued a “clarification” to explain happened in January or February 2017 — the same way he excuses the lies about events that happened during the campaign — he was too busy running a campaign to remember them all.

[T]hese occurrences happened during a period when Mr. Manafort was managing a U.S. presidential campaign and had countless meetings, email communications, and other interactions with many different individuals, and traveled frequently.


This is, of course, nonsense! Even the Ukrainian discussions (which Manafort’s lawyers try to minimize as maybe having been discussed on more than one occasion, but which Mueller has reason to believe got discussed “at each meeting” Kilimnik had with Manafort) appears to have extended beyond the time when Manafort was ousted from the campaign, as Kilimnik was still talking about it (though trying to distance Manafort from it) in February 2017, around the time he met Manafort in Madrid.

Kilimnik also said that he had drafted a plan to bring peace to Ukraine in the nearly three-year-old conflict with Russia.

He referred to it as a “Mariupol plan,” a reference to the southeastern port city that abuts the current line of conflict between government forces and Russia-backed separatist fighters.

It would bring Yanukovych back to Ukraine as a regional leader in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, where fighting has raged on and off for nearly three years, or possibly involve others such as the current separatist leaders there.

That plan, which Kilimnik said Manafort was not involved with, would face almost certain opposition in Kyiv since it calls for Yanukovych returning to Ukraine from Russia, where he fled in February 2014.


It is nonsense to claim that the daily grind of a campaign he had exited at least five months earlier, or protective confinement in jail, or gout can explain why Manafort forgot a meeting that involved flying to a European city to attend.

Nevertheless, that’s the explanation Manafort’s lawyers offered in their attempt to claim that Manafort really had good intentions while he was supposed to be cooperating with Mueller, he just had a bad memory of all his ongoing conspiring with a former or current officer from the same Russian intelligence service that hacked Trump’s opponent.

Yet, in spite of the defense claim that “there is no identifiable pattern to Mr. Manafort’s purported misrepresentations – no specific individual or potential crime is identified in the Government’s submission,” there actually is. On top of trying to dissociate a guy with whom he conspired from the conspiracy he pled guilty to, Manafort is excusing his forgetfulness about anything that might show a conspiracy between him, while he was campaign manager for the Trump campaign, and Kilimnik, by saying his activities as campaign manager prevent him from remembering conspiring with Kilimnik while working for the campaign.

Only, for that to be true, whatever “campaign” Manafort was running would have had to extend well into 2017.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/01/09/m ... -campaign/
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:57 pm

Wendy Siegelman

US v. Paul Manafort - Declaration in support of the Government's breach determination and sentencing - evidentiary basis to support finding the defendant's statements were false - some but not all evidence is described in the filing
https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov ... .476.0.pdf
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the twittersphere is about to go crazy as folks decipher these redactions in the Manafort filing...

"The ____ gave ____ approximately $19 million for ____."

($19 million is also the amount Oleg Deripaska said Manafort owed him)


https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov ... .476.0.pdf

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https://twitter.com/WendySiegelman/stat ... 2675461126


Mueller has requested another delay in Rick Gates' sentencing. "Defendant Gates continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations, and accordingly the parties do not believe it is appropriate to commence the sentencing process at this time."

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Mueller Investigation Shines Light on Pro-Trump Super PAC’s Suspicious Activity


The pro-Trump super PAC Rebuilding America Now is reportedly under scrutiny in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. But from its inception, Rebuilding America Now has engaged in dubious legal maneuvers.

The super PAC’s close ties to the Trump campaign, its sources of funding, and its activity both before and after the 2016 election could give rise to additional campaign finance charges if Mueller’s team continues examining the group.

Rebuilding America Now was deeply enmeshed in the Trump orbit from the start.

In mid 2016, then-candidate Trump dropped his opposition to super PACs, and signaled that wealthy donors should support the newly-created Rebuilding America Now.

Trump’s campaign chair at the time, Paul Manafort, had dispatched two of his close associates to run the PAC. Manafort asked Trump’s longtime friend Tom Barrack—who would later run Trump’s inaugural committee—to help raise money for the group. Trump’s vice-presidential nominee, Mike Pence, even endorsed the super PAC and expressly encouraged donors to give.

At several points during the 2016 cycle, Rebuilding America Now appeared to cross legal lines prohibiting coordination with the Trump campaign. But it nonetheless raised $23 million in the 2016 cycle, and was one of the top super PACs supporting Trump’s 2016 election.

The PAC went dormant after the November 2016 election—but recently emerged as a subject in the Mueller probe.

Super PAC Under Scrutiny by Special Counsel

Last month, Mueller’s team filed a memo stating that Manafort lied to prosecutors about a $125,000 payment from Rebuilding America Now towards Manafort’s debt, paid through another unidentified firm. Manafort responded to that memo this week, confirming the transaction.

Then, the New York Times further reported on December 13 that prosecutors are examining whether Rebuilding America Now had received foreign contributions, possibly via American intermediaries:

"Among other issues, they asked about a Mediterranean cruise that Mr. Barrack and Mr. Manafort took after Mr. Manafort was fired in August 2016 from the Trump campaign because of a scandal over his previous work for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. Mr. Manafort was in serious financial trouble at the time, and Mr. Barrack, who has an extensive business network in the Persian Gulf, may have been attempting to help him find clients.

On the cruise, the pair met one of the world’s richest men, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar. Until 2013, Mr. Al Thani presided over the country’s $230 billion sovereign wealth fund. He remains a highly influential member of the nation’s governing royal family.

Investigators also sought information from a businessman, Rashid Al Malik, an associate of Mr. Barrack’s who heads a private investment firm in the United Arab Emirates, according to a person familiar with the inquiry. Mr. Malik, whose lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment, has been described as close to a key figure in the U.A.E.’s government."

This is a big deal.

Campaign finance law not only prohibits any foreign national from making a contribution, but also bars any other person from soliciting or receiving such a contribution, or from “knowingly providing substantial assistance” in the making of a foreign national contribution.

Any foreign nationals who contributed to Rebuilding America Now would have violated the law. If Manafort or Barrack solicited a foreign national to make a contribution, or knowingly provided substantial assistance in the making of such a contribution, they too would have violated the law. Moreover, if any U.S. citizens made contributions in their own name using funds from foreign nationals, they would have violated both the foreign national ban and the “straw donor” ban.

But that’s only the beginning. Even before the Mueller probe, it was clear that Rebuilding America Now was engaged in some shady business.

Violating Coordination Rules from Day One

In early 2016, shortly after Manafort joined the Trump campaign, he hired two longtime associates to join him on the campaign: Laurance Gay, a close friend and godfather to Manafort’s daughter, and political operative Ken McKay.

Just weeks later, Manafort dispatched Gay and McKay to form Rebuilding America Now.

This arrangement was a clear violation of Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules, which require a 120 day cooling-off period before a campaign staffer can play a role in a super PAC supporting that campaign. That way, a staffer can’t take a campaign’s strategic plans to a super PAC and execute them with unlimited funds.

Despite these rules, Rebuilding America Now didn’t wait 120 days: in fact, its first pro-Trump ad ran fewer than 50 days after McKay and Gay first joined the campaign.

CLC filed a complaint, which is still pending with the FEC.

As the 2016 election rolled on, additional evidence emerged suggesting coordination between the Trump campaign and Rebuilding America Now. Both the campaign and the super PAC reportedly placed ads using effectively the same media buying firms, which also implicates FEC coordination rules. (The NRA and the Trump campaign deployed a similar strategy, using the same firms, triggering a CLC complaint to the FEC.)

The fact that Rebuilding America Now was created by former Trump campaign staffers, and bought ads using the same vendor as the Trump campaign, was already compelling evidence that the two engaged in unlawful coordination. But, it turns out, that wasn’t all.

When interviewed by the special counsel after the campaign, the New York Times reported, “Mr. Barrack said that Mr. Manafort seemed to view the political committee as an arm of the campaign, despite laws meant to prevent such coordination, according to a person familiar with the interview.”

Burning Through Leftover Cash, and Lying About It

In August 2016, three months before Election Day, the campaign let Manafort go.

After the election, Manafort came under increasing scrutiny as the Russia probe heated up. Although Manafort was quietly advising the Trump White House, he was no longer treated as a Trump insider.

With Manafort on the outside, the two Manafort associates running Rebuilding America Now—Gay and McKay—could no longer claim any significant connection to Trumpworld. And without that connection, donors no longer had no reason to fund the super PAC —so the Manafort associates running Rebuilding America Now apparently decided to just burn through the remaining cash. Gay told the Daily Beast in 2017 that the PAC was laying the groundwork for the midterms, but Rebuilding America Now didn’t end up running any independent expenditures in the 2018 cycle.

Of the $1.05 million the PAC spent in the year after the 2016 election, $917,000 went towards consulting fees for Gay and McKay, travel, and meals.

Some of that money indirectly flowed back to Manafort.

On December 7, 2018, Mueller filed a memo stating that Manafort lied to prosecutors about a $125,000 payment in 2017 from Rebuilding America Now towards Manafort’s debt, paid through another unidentified firm. The filing states:

"The payment came from another firm (Firm A), which performed work for an entity, Entity B. Manafort has a long relationship with the heads of Firm A and Entity B. Entity B had engaged Firm A at Manafort‘s suggestion to perform certain work. Under the terms of the contract, Firm A was to receive a 6% commission on expenditures made to it from Entity B."

The New York Times reported that Entity B is Rebuilding America Now.

On January 8, 2019, Manafort’s team responded, writing:

"Mr. Manafort initially explained that he approached the head of [Rebuilding America Now], who owed him money, seeking help in paying his debt. After further discussion, Mr. Manafort acknowledged that the head of [Rebuilding America Now] had the head of Firm A pay the amount for Mr. Manafort. Despite the confusion, at bottom it appears that the Government’s evidence corroborates Mr. Manafort’s testimony that the head of Firm A paid the money at the head of [Rebuilding America Now]’s request from money the head of Firm A owed to the head of [Rebuilding America Now].

In a subsequent meeting, Mr. Manafort explained that it was unclear to him how this payment was recorded by his accountants and he believed the original plan was to report the payment as a loan, but that it had actually been reported as income on his 2017 tax return. The Government has indicated that Mr. Manafort’s statements about this payment are inconsistent with those of others, but the defense has not received any witness statements to support this contention."

Based on these filings, it appears that Firm A owed Rebuilding America Now money, so “the head of Rebuilding America Now”—possibly Laurance Gay, Manafort’s longtime associate—directed Firm A to pay Manafort’s debt, rather than to repay its own obligations to the super PAC.

The identity of Firm A is not entirely clear. Rebuilding America Now did not disclose any debts owed to it on reports filed with the FEC.

However, after the 2016 election, between February and June of 2017, the media firm Multi Media Services (the super PAC’s top vendor in the 2016 cycle) refunded over $1.1 million to the super PAC. The reason for these payments is not clear, but these were the only apparent debt settlements that Rebuilding America Now reported in 2017. It appears that Multi Media Services was the super PAC’s only debtor.

Notably, although super PACs cannot coordinate spending with candidates, they otherwise face few limits about how they spend money. It appears unlikely that any laws were violated by Rebuilding America Now indirectly paying off Manafort’s debt.

So why would Manafort mislead prosecutors? Perhaps Mueller is further investigating coordination between Manafort and the super PAC—and perhaps Manafort lied about the payment from the super PAC in an attempt to thwart that inquiry. 

Will Mueller Probe Net Additional Campaign Finance Charges?

What’s next? We’ll see—but campaign finance violations do seem to keep popping up as Mueller digs deeper.

Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen has already pled guilty to campaign finance violations. Trump’s longtime friend David Pecker’s publishing company struck a deal with prosecutors effectively admitting the same. Both Cohen and AMI have implicated the president in these violations.

The relationship between Rebuilding America Now and the Trump campaign, and allegations of secret foreign funding for the super PAC, could give rise to new campaign finance charges.
https://campaignlegal.org/update/muelle ... s-activity
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:43 am

F77900E5-FD69-4D9C-9AAD-A54FB3E1929A.jpeg
F77900E5-FD69-4D9C-9AAD-A54FB3E1929A.jpeg (49.46 KiB) Viewed 1024 times


Paul Manafort will be reunited with one of his $5,000 suits as judge says he does not have to appear in a prison jumpsuit at Friday hearing
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... aring.html


Manafort Due in Court Over Allegations He Lied

(WASHINGTON) — Paul Manafort will make his first court appearance in months on Friday as prosecutors and defense lawyers argue over whether the former Trump campaign chairman intentionally lied to investigators, including about sharing polling data with a business associate the U.S. says has ties to Russian intelligence.

Attorneys with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office say Manafort breached his plea deal by repeatedly making false statements after he began cooperating with them in September. Manafort’s lawyers say he simply had an inconsistent recollection of facts and events from several years ago, and that he suffers from depression and anxiety and had little time to prepare for questioning on the days he met with investigators.

Manafort, who is locked up in Virginia as he awaits sentencing, had asked to skip Friday’s appearance in federal court in Washington. But Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied the request, saying he’d already been excused from several court dates.

Once a high-flying political consultant with a taste for luxury clothing, Manafort then asked for permission to attend court in a suit rather than his jail uniform. The judge granted that request.

The allegations that Manafort lied to investigators jeopardize his chances of getting leniency at sentencing.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in Washington in September and was convicted of eight financial crimes at a Virginia trial last year. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month in the Virginia case and faces years behind bars.

Friday’s court hearing may take place at least partly in private given the heavily blacked-out court filings that lawyers have exchanged. One allegation that did emerge from a poorly redacted defense filing was especially striking — that Manafort shared polling data from the 2016 campaign with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate and co-defendant charged by Mueller, and then lied about it.

Kilimnik is not in U.S. custody and has denied links to Russian intelligence.

http://time.com/5512900/paul-manafort-c ... stigation/
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:55 pm

Craig Unger



ICYMI, below is my favorite email from Roger Stone in #HouseofTrump. Laughed at when it was first published, it has a far darker hue today. Photo is of Stone with partner Paul Manafort circa 1985 when the duo was known as the Torturers' Lobby.
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After Trump returned from USSR, under Stone's supervision, he ran a full page ad in @nytimes, WaPo, & Boston Globe assailing Western Alliance--a position that was anathema during the Cold War. All of which raises question of whether Trump was compromised more than 30 yrs ago.
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[img][img]https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Dxxp9m5XgAEvRzI.jpg[/img]
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Exactly. At risk of repeating myself, Stone's interaction w/ Trump and Russia began in 1987 after Trump's 1st visit to Moscow, when he oversaw Trump's abortive 1988 presidential candidacy.
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:39 pm

Firms Recruited by Paul Manafort Investigated Over Foreign Payments

Feb. 5, 2019
Paul Manafort, who later served as President Trump’s campaign chairman, enlisted prominent law and lobbying firms in Washington in 2012 to bolster the image of the Russia-aligned president of Ukraine.Shawn Thew/EPA, via Shutterstock


Paul Manafort, who later served as President Trump’s campaign chairman, enlisted prominent law and lobbying firms in Washington in 2012 to bolster the image of the Russia-aligned president of Ukraine.Shawn Thew/EPA, via Shutterstock
WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors in recent weeks have been interviewing witnesses about the flow of foreign money to three powerful law and lobbying firms that Paul Manafort recruited seven years ago to help improve the image of the Russia-aligned president of Ukraine, people familiar with the questioning said.

The previously unreported interviews about the flow of the money are among the latest developments in the investigation of key figures who worked at the three firms — Mercury Public Affairs, the Podesta Group and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Prosecutors have focused on the role of Skadden Arps’ lead partner on the account, the former Obama White House counsel Gregory B. Craig, in arranging financing and media coverage for his firms’ work, the people familiar with the questioning said. And the prosecutors, they said, have also been asking about the extent to which the lead partners on the accounts for Mercury and Podesta — Vin Weber, a former Republican member of Congress, and the Democratic fund-raiser Tony Podesta — were involved in orchestrating their firms’ day-to-day lobbying and public relations on the account.

The case has drawn intense interest in Washington in part because of the prominence of the three main figures, each of whom has played high-profile roles in politics and lobbying. But it has also sent shock waves through the influence industry by underscoring a newly aggressive legal crackdown on lobbyists and lawyers who do lucrative work representing foreign governments without registering as foreign agents.

The focus by prosecutors on precisely how the firms were paid for their work highlights the ripple effects of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. His team’s inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election spawned the investigation into unregistered foreign lobbying by the firms, which was referred to federal prosecutors in New York.

In recent weeks, people who worked with the firms on the Ukraine efforts have been summoned to Manhattan for daylong interviews with prosecutors and investigators, according to several people familiar with the questioning who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation. The interviews were run by prosecutors from the office of the United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, with assistance from the F.B.I. and the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

Prosecutors from the southern district are playing central roles in a number of the investigations that have spun out of the special counsel’s work, including the escalating inquiry into President Trump’s inaugural committee.

Questions have centered on what the firms’ officials knew about who was funding and directing their work, which occurred in 2012 and 2013, whether they intentionally misrepresented the source of the money and, if so, why.

The work initially was advertised as being directed by a Brussels-based nonprofit group, in the cases of Mercury and Podesta, and the Ukrainian Justice Ministry, in the case of Skadden Arps. But later, it was revealed that the direction for the nonprofit came from Ukraine’s ruling party and the funding for Skadden Arps’ work came from a Ukrainian oligarch.

Specifically, prosecutors have asked whether Mr. Weber may have had political motives to avoid registering as a foreign lobbyist. At the time of the lobbying, Mr. Weber was working as a top foreign policy adviser to the 2012 Republican presidential campaign of Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney’s sharply adversarial stance toward Russia was anathema to that of the Russia-aligned politician Viktor F. Yanukovych, a longtime client of Mr. Manafort who was then president of Ukraine.

Mr. Manafort, who served as Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman, was convicted of some charges brought by Mr. Mueller’s team and pleaded guilty to others related to his lucrative work on behalf of Mr. Yanukovych.

As part of his plea deal, Mr. Manafort agreed to cooperate with federal investigations, as did his former deputy Rick Gates, who also pleaded guilty to crimes related to their Ukrainian work. While Mr. Mueller’s team has accused Mr. Manafort of violating his deal, the New York prosecutors handling the inquiries into the work of Mercury, Podesta and Skadden Arps presented new information in recent weeks to witnesses, some of whom had been interviewed months earlier in the matter, according to the people familiar with the questioning.

Mr. Manafort had recruited Skadden Arps to write a report that he intended to use to allay Western human rights concerns about the Ukrainian government’s prosecution and jailing of a political rival of Mr. Yanukovych. Mr. Manafort arranged for the firm to receive $4 million funneled from an oligarch through a Cypriot account controlled by Mr. Manafort, according to government filings.

Initially, Mr. Yanukovych’s government claimed that it funded the report with a payment of about $12,000 in public funds. But the arrangement was deemed “highly suspicious” by the Kyiv Post, an influential English-language Ukrainian newspaper. In an op-ed, it cited “speculation that Skadden is being paid by someone on the side,” and urged the firm to come clean.

Mr. Manafort told Mr. Craig that the oligarch wanted his involvement to remain anonymous, according to emails cited in a settlement released last month between the firm and the Justice Department. It showed that Skadden Arps declined to reveal the oligarch’s identity under questioning from the department soon after the report was published.

President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has now been accused by the special counsel of violating his plea deal by repeatedly lying to federal prosecutors. But this wasn’t Mr. Manafort’s first scandal.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The firm asserted in a letter to the department at the time that its work on the report did not constitute lobbying under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, “and, respectfully, we therefore do not believe that you are entitled to such information.”

Behind the scenes, the firm was scrambling to deflect scrutiny, according to emails quoted in the settlement, which does not name Mr. Craig or another partner on the account, Clifford M. Sloan, who also worked in the Obama administration. Their identities were confirmed by people with knowledge of the arrangement.

In one email cited in the settlement, Mr. Sloan warned Mr. Craig that “the Ukraine payment situation” could “put us in a very deep hole in the western press,” if it was revealed by others. “I really think we need to get it out there as soon as we can.”

Instead, according to the settlement, Mr. Craig worked with Mr. Manafort to modify the firm’s contract with Ukrainian government retroactively to bill it for $1.1 million, and to backdate the correspondence reflecting the change so it appeared as if it was executed before the Kyiv Post op-ed.

In a FARA lobbying filing Skadden Arps submitted to the Justice Department last month as part of its settlement, the firm indicated that it “understood” the oligarch to be Victor Pinchuk, a steel magnate who has portrayed himself as pro-Western. A $150,000 donation by Mr. Pinchuk to Mr. Trump’s since-shuttered charitable foundation has drawn scrutiny from Mr. Mueller’s team, and he sought to distance himself from the renewed scrutiny of the report.

In a statement, his representatives said that “he had no connection to the project either professionally or personally,” and “was not the source of any funds used to pay fees of Skadden in producing the report.” But the statement also said, “Mr. Pinchuk’s understanding was that Skadden’s review was going to be led by a former counselor to two U.S. presidents, and that Skadden, a pre-eminent U.S. law firm, was going to be free to reach its own conclusions based on its own independent work.”

Mr. Pinchuk’s representatives also seemed to reject a claim Mr. Gates made in testimony during Mr. Manafort’s trial last year that Mr. Pinchuk used a company called Plymouth Consultants Limited to pay Mr. Manafort for an unspecified “legal project.”

Skadden Arps said the firm was continuing to cooperate with federal investigators, but said its settlement with the Justice Department absolves it of any criminal exposure related to the Ukraine work. The settlement required the firm to pay the federal government $4.6 million — the total fees it received for the Ukraine work, minus $567,000 it had refunded to the Ukrainian government in 2017 as scrutiny of its work escalated — and to fully cooperate with other Justice Department investigations.

Mr. Craig left Skadden Arps in April of last year as scrutiny of the Ukraine work mounted after a former associate of the firm pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his work on the report.

The settlement accused the partner known to be Mr. Craig of misleading both his partners at Skadden Arps and the Justice Department about his contact about the report with a journalist. The journalist, who is not identified in the settlement, is David E. Sanger of The New York Times. The contact with Mr. Sanger should have prompted a lobbying registration under FARA at the time, the Justice Department said in the settlement.

Mr. Craig’s lawyers, William Taylor and William Murphy, said Mr. Craig “never acted as a lobbyist, press agent or public relations counsel for Ukraine,” and that Mr. Craig “never sought to mislead the Department of Justice or his former partners about his actions.”

Mercury was enlisted by Mr. Manafort to help roll out Skadden Arps’ report as part of a lobbying project on behalf of the Brussels-based nonprofit group, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. The Podesta Group also was paid to promote the nonprofit.

In recent weeks, prosecutors have asked lobbyists who worked on the account why red flags years earlier went unheeded. In particular, prosecutors have focused on a previously unreported 2012 email in which Ina Kirsch, a German citizen who was the head of European Centre, seemed to admit that the funding for the lobbying by Mercury and Podesta came from businessmen who backed Mr. Yanukovych’s party, according to people familiar with the questioning.

The firms initially failed to register the work under FARA, instead disclosing it under less rigorous congressional lobbying rules, because they contended that the European Centre was not linked to Mr. Yanukovych’s government or his political party. But, under scrutiny from the Justice Department, they reversed course and registered under FARA in 2017.

Allies of Mr. Podesta, Mr. Weber and their firms blamed their problems on Skadden Arps, which — separate from its work on the Ukraine project — also provided lobbying compliance advice to Mercury and Podesta, as well as on Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates admitted in his guilty plea that he “provided false and misleading representations” to Skadden Arps in an effort to convince Mercury and the Podesta Group to avoid FARA registration.

Mr. Weber’s lawyer has previously said that Mr. Weber was willing to register under the act and did not do so only because Skadden Arps advised Mercury not to.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/05/us/p ... raine.html
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:43 pm

Trump Associate Paul Manafort ‘Changed His Story Completely’ to Protect Suspected Member of Russian Intelligence, Prosecutors Say

By Cristina Maza On 2/8/19 at 11:24 AM
President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort lied repeatedly to conceal the nature of his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a man with suspected ties to Russian intelligence agencies, prosecutors allege.

In a partially redacted transcript of a hearing that took place Monday, February 4, prosecutors told the judge that Manafort had continued working with Kilimnik on issues related to Ukraine until 2018, even after Special Counsel Robert Mueller had indicted the longtime Republican political consultant.

The special counsel’s office is working to determine whether members of the Trump campaign collaborated with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential elections. Manafort’s longstanding partnership with Kilimnik, who was once in the Russian military, goes “to the heart of what the special counsel’s office is investigating,” prosecutors told the court.

Prosecutors also argued that it was unusual for someone working on a presidential campaign to maintain such a close working relationship with someone tied to Russian intelligence. The court documents revealed that Kilimnik was in Washington during Trump's inauguration.

gettyimages-1083470630-594x594 Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for then presidential candidate Donald Trump, arrives at federal court in Washington, D.C., on April 19, 2018. Manafort lied repeatedly to conceal the nature of his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a man with suspected ties to Russian intelligence agencies, prosecutors allege. Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Manafort allegedly lied about Kilimnik’s work with the so-called “Hapsburg Group,” a small group of high-level politicians from Central Europe who lobbied officials in Washington and Europe about issues related to Ukraine. Manafort changed his story on multiple occasions to make it appear as if Kilimnik’s involvement in this scheme was only related to work in Europe and not to lobbying work in the U.S., prosecutors allege.

Manafort “changed his story completely within 32 days" because he did not want to provide any evidence that could be used with respect to Kilimnik, the court documents read.

“There are ample records of Mr. Kilimnik being involved in setting up the Hapsburg Group events, being on emails where the Hapsburg Group is working in the United States. So it’s not a case where Mr. Kilimnik and Mr. Manafort didn’t both know and knew that the others knew,” the transcript continues.

At the heart of the matter is whether Manafort was helping Kilimnik lobby for a peace plan for Ukraine that would be beneficial to the Kremlin. Pro-Russian separatists have been fighting with Ukraine’s forces and destabilizing the country since 2014, and Russia has an interest in creating facts on the ground that will allow Moscow to control its neighbor. Efforts to promote a peace plan for Ukraine appear to have continued well after Manafort was indicted, according to prosecutors. Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates also allegedly made efforts to conceal their contacts with Kilimnik, including a meeting that took place in Manhattan in August 2016, just weeks after the Republican National Convention.

The men allegedly discussed sanctions relief for Russia.

Prosecutors also suggested that Manafort was economically dependent on Ukraine’s pro-Russian former President Viktor Yanukovych and his political party the Party of Regions. Yanukovych fled to Moscow in 2014 after a pro-Western social movement ousted him from power. Manafort played a key role in bolstering Yanukovych’s image and helping him win the presidency.

Noting that Manafort had a “liquidity issue” during the 2016 campaign, prosecutors said that “Mr. Yanukovych had fled in 2014 from the Ukraine, and there was a dramatic drop in income that was coming in to Mr. Manafort.”

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson will now decide whether the prosecutor’s allegations mean that Manafort has breached his plea agreement.
https://www.newsweek.com/trump-paul-man ... ce-1324368



Paul Manafort continued his political work in Ukraine into 2018 while he was under federal indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Office, prosecutors say.



emptywheel

ABJ making the same complaint I did.

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https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/07/politics ... index.html


The kickback scheme that was part of Trump's campaign manager payoff.

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Last fall, Mueller was still trying to figure out where Manafort has all his money stashed.


Image

ABJ's not buying it.

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TFW you're trying to hide your kickback scheme from jail after being busted for tax fraud already.


Image

Manafort, having pled guilty to prevent a trial mucking up the election period, then wants to renege on his admission he conspired with a Russian spy.

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Kilimnik is worried for his family's safety, living in Moscow, if the US decides he conspired with Trump's campaign manager.

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The (at least) five times Kilimnik pushed for a Ukraine "peace" deal from Manafort.

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Nathaniel Scholl

Replying to @emptywheel
Here's a thought. Silly?

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Weissmann isn't going to go on the record about Manafort's ongoing efforts to keep close ties to senior [redacted] seeking "peace" in Ukraine.

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The OpSec the campaign manager and his deputy use when meeting with foreign intelligence during a campaign.

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What case is Weissmann talking about here?

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That juror who threw the case for Manafort is all they've got.

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Previously, the other investigation was assumed to be Steve Calk. But it's clearly not. This context (and the involvement of Rhee) suggests it may be Stone.

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https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/1 ... 5251462151
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:05 pm

Manafort just learned where he will spend every single day for the rest of his life.

P-R-I-S-O-N.

Judge voids Paul Manafort plea deal, says he 'intentionally' lied to the FBI, special counsel and grand jury

Investigators zero in on Manafort meetings with Russians
Washington (CNN)Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, lied to special counsel Robert Mueller, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson said that Manafort "intentionally made multiple false statements to the FBI, the (office of special counsel) and the grand jury concerning matters that were material to the investigation."

The issue was the subject of a closed-door hearing Wednesday afternoon.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/13/politics ... index.html



That Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime associate of his who the FBI thinks has “ties to Russian intelligence” (a Mueller prosecutor said this topic goes “very much to the heart of” their larger investigation)
That in 2017 and 2018, Manafort worked with Kilimnik to advance to promote a “Ukraine peace plan” (aimed, it seems, at settling the Russia-Ukraine conflict on terms favorable to Russia)
That $125,000 paid out from a pro-Trump Super PAC to a political media firm during the campaign was later used to help pay Manafort’s legal fees
That Manafort changed his story about a matter another Justice Department office is investigating — one that seems to involve the Trump campaign or administration

https://www.vox.com/2019/2/13/18222477/ ... ooperation


As a reminder: SCO says that Manafort lied about passing polling data to Kilimnik bc if he told the truth Trump wouldn't pardon him.
E9F6896C-FA16-4956-940B-5599269108DA.jpeg
E9F6896C-FA16-4956-940B-5599269108DA.jpeg (88.86 KiB) Viewed 886 times




Summer 2016 is Ground Zero for MuellerTime: Israel/UAE/Russia
August 2, 2016 Manafort meets with Gates and Kilimnik in Kushner's 666 building Grand Havana Room to discuss DNC hack
August. 3, 2016: Prince, Zamel and Nader update Trump Jr on trickster plan called "Project Rome"
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:04 pm

Laurence Tribe

August 2, 2016, in the Havana Room, a fancy cigar club in Manhattan: a Manafort-Gates-Kalimnik meeting that may well live in infamy — by revealing a conspiracy with Putin to steal the U.S. presidency for a criminal named Donald J. Trump. Mueller’s victory today (2/13/19) is BIG.


Manafort’s choices

PARDON OR PLUTONIUM :shrug:


A week after Manafort passed Trump's internal poll data to a Russian military intelligence trained guy who'd been passing messages from Manafort to another GRU guy who worked for Deripaska, Deripaska met with the indicted head of the troll farm and Putin.

gettyimages-587757080-1024x1024.jpg
gettyimages-587757080-1024x1024.jpg (206.01 KiB) Viewed 862 times

Presidents of Russia and Turkey meet for talks in St Petersburg
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - AUGUST 9, 2016: Rusal president Oleg Deripaska (L) and Concord Catering general director Yevgeny Prigozhin at a meeting of Russian and Turkish government officials and business leaders. Mikhail Metzel/TASS (Photo by Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images)



Lincoln's Bible


Bye-Bye Paulie "One Sock" - you treason-sucking, Genovese-Vor wh*re.
Enjoy the gout.




THE UNSEEN ASPECTS OF PAUL MANAFORT’S LIES AND TRUTH-TELLING ARE AS TELLING AS THE ONES WE’VE SEEN

February 14, 2019/0 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe /by emptywheel
As noted, yesterday Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Mueller’s team had proven Paul Manafort lied in three of the five areas they accused him of lying about:

The kickback scheme via which he got paid

Meetings with Konstantin Kilimnik to share polling data and discuss a “peace” deal with Ukraine

The role of a 7-character named person in an attempt to salvage Trump’s campaign being investigated in another district

The ruling is damning, and Manafort now may face what amounts to a life sentence (though, in her order ABJ noted that whether she’ll give him credit for acceptance of responsibility at sentencing depends “on a number of additional factors”).

Yet, in spite of the mounting evidence that Manafort shared polling data at a meeting where he also discussed a Ukrainian peace deal — a backdoor way of giving Russia sanctions relief, in spite of how damning this breach discussion has been, ABJ’s ruling is still just one step in an ongoing process.

I say that for several reasons.

WE’RE ONLY SEEING HALF OF MANAFORT’S COOPERATION

First, we’re only seeing material relating to half of Manafort’s cooperation. In his declaration on the breach determination, FBI Agent Jeffrey Weiland described Manafort’s cooperation to include 14 sessions:

3 pre-plea proffer sessions: September 11, 12, and 13

9 debriefing sessions: September 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, October 1, October 5, October 11, and October 16

2 grand jury appearances: October 26 and November 2

If I’ve tracked everything properly, the descriptions of Manafort’s lies only include material from some of those sessions:

3 pre-plea proffer sessions: September 11, 12, and 13

5 debriefing sessions: September 20, 21, October 1, October 5, and October 16

1 grand jury appearance: October 26

That means there are three debriefing sessions and a grand jury appearance we haven’t heard anything about yet:

3 debriefing sessions: September 25, 26, 27, and October 11

1 grand jury appearance: November 2

In the breach hearing, Richard Westling claimed that the material we’ve seen constitutes just a “small set” of the topics covered in Manafort’s cooperation and he says some of the other topics were “more sensitive topics.”

WESTLING: And I think, you know, the last point that I would make is that given that relatively small set of areas where this occurred, whether even the allegations are being made, you know, we note that there’s not really a lot to explain. There’s no pattern, there’s no clear motive that would suggest someone who was trying to intentionally not share information. And many of the more sensitive topics that we’re aware of from a — all of us paying attention to what’s gone in the news cycle over the last many months, you know, are things where these issues didn’t come up, where there wasn’t a complaint about the information Mr. Manafort provided. And so we think that’s important context as we get started here today.

THE COURT: Do I have — and I don’t think I need them for today, but I’m certain that what you just said is also going to be a part of your acceptance of responsibility argument and argument at sentencing. Do I have the 302s from 12 days of interviews? Do I have everything, or do I only have what was given to me because it bore on the particular issues that I’m being asked to rule on today?

MR. WEISSMANN: Judge, you do not have everything. We are happy to give you the — all of the 302s. We just gave you — you have, I think, the majority of them, but not all of them.

THE COURT: Okay. And I don’t know that — if I need them. But, it’s hard to assess — and I certainly don’t think they should be a public part of any sentencing submission. But, if you want me to put this in context of more that was said, it helps to have it.

Now, it’s possible that Manafort did tell the truth about these more sensitive topics. It’s possible that (for example, with regards to Trump’s foreknowledge of the June 9 meeting), Manafort lied but prosecutors don’t have proof he did. Or it’s possible they know he lied about other issues but for investigative reasons, don’t want to share the proof they know he lied.

One of the other topics Manafort would have been asked about — which Westling’s reference to “what’s gone in the news cycle over the last many months” may reference — pertains to Roger Stone’s actions.

ABJ asked for — and presumably has or will obtain — the rest of the 302s from Manafort’s cooperation, so she may end up agreeing with Manafort’s lawyers that some of his cooperation was quite valuable.

MUELLER WAS INTERESTED IN MANAFORT’S COOPERATION, IN PART, TO OBTAIN INTELLIGENCE

As I’ve noted before, Andrew Weissmann described Manafort’s cooperation to be somewhat unusual for the extent to which Mueller was seeking intelligence, rather than criminal evidence. Though he makes clear that that was true, as well, of Rick Gates’ early cooperation.

[T]here’s enormous interest in what I will call — for lack of a better term — the intelligence that could be gathered from having a cooperating witness in this particular investigation

[snip]

And with Mr. Gates, we also wanted to make sure that we could get information, and we thought that there was — I think there was certainly a significant issue. And we dealt with it by having the defendant plead to something in addition to take — to have the ramification for it. But that is to show, I think, an example of wanting the intelligence, but dealing with what we considered to be, you know, unacceptable behavior from the Government, particularly from somebody whose information we would rely on, and potentially ask the jury to rely on.


So we may never see a great deal of what Manafort was asked about.

MUELLER IS STILL PROTECTING AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION

That said, Mueller is still protecting both his and the other DOJ ongoing investigation. That’s true from the redactions, ABJ noted that much of what they discussed at the breach hearing could be unsealed, while noting that Mueller felt more strongly about keeping some things secret.

I think a large portion of what we discussed could be public. I think there are certain issues where you probably only need to redact out names and turn them back into entities. And then there are may be one or two issues where we’re really talking about something that was completely redacted at every point prior to this and will continue to be. And, hopefully, you’ll both be on the same page about that with respect to what of the investigation is not yet public. I think the Office of Special Counsel has the stronger point of view about that.

Certainly, all the names had to be redacted, under DOJ guidelines prohibiting the publication of anyone’s name who has not been charged. Likewise, the other investigation is not Mueller’s to reveal (in any case, it seems to be still active, even if Manafort’s refusal to cooperate may have protected the target of it).

But more of the rest of the discussion could have been unsealed if Mueller didn’t have ongoing interests in the topics. Those topics include Manafort’s ongoing communications with the Administration, Ukrainian peace deal/sanctions relief, and his sharing of polling data (though there’s one reference to sharing polling data on page 19 that may have gotten missed by the censors). Mueller redacted those things even though Weissmann makes clear that they believe the polling data goes to the core of what they are investigating.

MR. WEISSMANN: So — so, first, in terms of the what it is that the special counsel is tasked with doing, as the Court knows from having that case litigated before you, is that there are different aspects to what we have to look at, and one is Russian efforts to interfere with the election, and the other is contacts, witting or unwitting, by Americans with Russia, and then whether there was — those contacts were more intentional or not. And for us, the issue of [2 lines redacted] is in the core of what it is that the special counsel is supposed to be investigating.


Note his use of the present progressive. They’re still trying to answer this question.

MUELLER IS STILL SITTING ON INFORMATION ABOUT THE SHARED POLLING DATA

It may well be that, given Manafort’s refusal to cooperate on this issue, Mueller will never be able to charge Trump’s campaign for sharing polling data with Russia in the context of sanctions relief.

But they are sitting on more information than came out publicly in this breach discussion. Starting on page 93 of the transcript, ABJ, on her own, brings up other information she has seen, that pertains to the topic.

THE COURT: I need to ask the Office of Special Counsel about something ex parte because — and so I apologize for that, but I need to do that. And it may be after I talk to them, they tell me there’s no problem with sharing it with you. But I have received information in this case, in this binder, and in other means, and I just want to make sure I understand something. And so, I can’t — I need to ask —

MR. DOWNING: We would object. But we don’t know he —

THE COURT: I note your objection. And I will deem your objection also to be a request that what we’re about to discuss be revealed to you. And that will be the first thing I’m going to ask. And we can do it at the end, after we’re done, or you can just have him come to the bench for a minute.


The ex parte discussion on this topic is fairly short. But after the lunch break, Weissmann tells ABJ that the material she was thinking of remains redacted. But he does point her to two Gates 302s from early in his cooperation that seem to provide some of the same information.

THE COURT: All right. Let me start with you, Mr. Weissmann. Is there anything further you can add to what we talked about, that you can add publicly?

MR. WEISSMANN: Yes. Yes, Your Honor. So, we haven’t finished our review, but we believe that the material that you asked about was redacted.

THE COURT: Okay.

MR. WEISSMANN: However, I would like to direct your attention to two exhibits in the record. If you recall, I mentioned that I recalled that Mr. Gates had, very early on in his cooperation, given us information about [redacted]. And there are two 302s that are dated in, I believe, both in January of 2018. So before he actually pled guilty, so in connection with his proffers. So, the first one is Exhibit 222. And if you look at page 17 of that exhibit, there’s a long explanation of communications with [redacted] that refer to [redacted] at the direction of Mr. Manafort. And then if you look — and that is dated January 31st, 2018. And that was, of course, provided to counsel in connection with the Eastern District of Virginia trial. And Exhibit 236, and I believe I referred you previously to page 3, and I would also refer you to page 5. Both of those refer to [redacted] and also refer to the discussions of the — discussions of [redacted] at the August 2nd, 2016 meeting.

THE COURT: All right. I will look at all of that. So for right now, I’m going to leave the little conversation that we had ex parte, ex parte with your objection noted.

MR. WEISSMANN: Judge, we will continue to look to see if there is any portion that was unredacted to confirm that.


Given the issues she has presided over, this may pertain to one of the search warrant affidavits that Manafort tried to get completely unsealed last year, but which ABJ suggested pertained to other people.

In any case, there’s more on the sharing of polling data that ABJ knows about, this is relevant to its importance, but that does not appear in the unsealed transcript.

MUELLER DIDN’T REVEAL ALL THE EVIDENCE OF MANAFORT’S ATTEMPTS TO CONTACT THE ADMINISTRATION

Finally, there appear to be communications between Manafort and Administration officials that Mueller did not release as part of this process. The government stated that clearly in a footnote (on page 27) of its breach declaration.

This is not a complete listing of such contacts Manafort had with Administration officials. Further, for the purpose of proving the falsity of Manafort’s assertions in this section, the government is not relying on communications that may have taken place, with Manafort’s consent, through his legal counsel.


And, in a bid to refute Manafort’s claim, in the redaction fail filing, that, “Mr. Manafort was well aware that the Special Counsel’s attorneys and investigators had scrutinized all of his electronic communications” because “Mr. Manafort voluntarily produced numerous electronic devices and passwords at the request of the Government,” Agent Weiland states that the FBI had found more than 10 devices or documents for which Manafort hadn’t shared a password.

Defendant said in his pleading that he has provided electronic to the government. However, although he has provided some electronic data, passwords, and documents, in more than ten instances he did not provide passwords to access his electronic communications, thumb drives, or documents.


Mueller’s team remains coy about how many of those 10 accounts, thumb drives, or documents they’ve been able to access without his assistance.

And Greg Andres provides some hints about what those other conversations involve: Manafort providing information about the investigation.

MR. ANDRES: Sure. Judge, throughout the interviews with Mr. Manafort and some of the issues we’ve discussed today, you see that he constantly either minimizes the information he has about the administration or any contact with the administration. So there’s an issue whether or not during his cooperation he’s communicating with [15 character redaction] or providing information about the questions or other things that are happening in the special counsel investigation, whether he’s sharing that with other people. And this is another example of Mr. Manafort —

THE COURT: That hasn’t been given to me as we’re troubled by this or he wasn’t truthful about that, so I don’t see how to put this in the context of that because I don’t know about that.

MR. ANDRES: Well, so for example, in the No. 4, the one that Mr. Manafort — that Mr. Weissmann just talked about with respect to the [redacted, other investigation], you see Mr. Manafort changing his story so as not to implicate either [redacted] or someone in [redacted]. I think, with respect to this issue, again, Mr. Manafort is trying to distance himself from the administration and saying he’s not having contact with the administration at a time when he’s under at least one indictment.

THE COURT: But you’re not suggesting right now that there’s more information in here about other efforts to distance himself from the administration or to deny a relationship or to deny reporting back to them?

MR. ANDRES: We’re not relying on any other evidence of that issue.

Particularly given that Manafort, between his early September proffers and his October 5 lies about the other investigation, managed to match his own testimony to that of the Trump associate being targeted in it, those communications may even date as recently as last fall (though that would mean he was communicating with the Administration from jail).

The fact that Mueller has other communications between Manafort and the Administration — but chose not to bolster their argument that Manafort lied about ongoing communications with the White House — suggests protecting what he wants to do with those communications is more valuable than convincing ABJ that Manafort lied about this topic (and, indeed, this is one of the two topics where she did not rule for the government).

For all the debate about whether Mueller is almost done or not, the things we didn’t learn about during this breach discussion are just as interesting as the things we did learn about. They suggest that all the discussion about cooperation deals (including my own) often forgets that Mueller is seeking both criminal evidence and intelligence on what the Russians were doing. They also suggest that Manafort may have provided testimony that bears on other parts of the investigation we’ve recently learned about (which might include Stone, or the Trump Tower deal) — but we can’t be sure whether Manafort told the truth, or whether he lied but Mueller either can’t prove or doesn’t want to reveal that he knows Manafort lied. They suggest that Mueller would still like to make the case, in whatever form, that Manafort intentionally gave the Russians polling data with the understanding that he’d push a Ukrainian peace deal that amounted to sanctions relief — but Manafort’s refusal to cooperate on this point might thwart that effort. Finally, they make it clear that Manafort remained a part of an effort to obstruct this investigation, including via means that bypassed the Joint Defense Agreement Trump has exploited.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/02/14/t ... h-telling/





John Weaver

The campaign chairman (mgr) and the deputy mgr walked down the street from Trump Tower to a clandestine meeting with a GRU asset & handed him the most private polling/targeting material from the campaign.


Within weeks the Russians (for which they have been indicted) were conducting sophisticated targeting in key states of American voters to move them to Trump or away from Hillary. Stop with the no proof of collusion (conspiracy). It is right in front of us.


In the meantime, Trump was continuing negotiations with Kremlin for Trump Tower in Moscow, even offering Putin $20 million gift. And, "coincidentally" or in exchange, offering reductions in sanctions, blind eye re: Crimea and change in GOP platform re: Ukraine.

https://twitter.com/jwgop/status/1096070988700307456
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:05 am

Lincoln's Bible

Turns out, unpacking the history of Russian mafia's take-over of Fred Trump's territory + watching the 2016 online activities of Roger Stone's khaki-pleated neo-Nazi Incel tikitwats = front row seat to treason.


Manafort clients

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SpicyFiles

Oh.
My.
God.
Holy shitcakes...this is equally GLORIOUS yet SAD

The Order is equally balanced and a very thoughtfully Written

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“OSC has established by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant intentionally made false statements to the FBI, the OSC, and the grand jury concerning the payment by Firm A to the law firm”
OSC failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that on October 16, 2018

Out of 5 she found Manafort materially breach 3 of 5

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Remember that time (Feb 8, 2019 3:10-3:24PM)
@MattWhitaker46 contradicted himself re Swawell & Escobar & PARDONS
@realDonaldTrump has pardons at the ready.
Pardons to obstruct justice
Pardons to influence defendants
Pardons to protect his family
Pardon me

Q: @RepEscobar “...did you ever create, see or become aware of the existence of any pardons...”
A: @MattWhitaker46 LONG pause...
‘Yes I am aware of documents related to pardons of individuals...


HAPPY FRIDAY AMERICA
Spicy starts humming
“The Doors” - This is the End...
“It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die”
“...government includes a version with the proposed redactions applied...”


Image


Judge Spells Out How Manafort Lied About Russian Associate

A federal judge said she agreed with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s claim that Paul Manafort lied about his contacts with a Russian associate but said she couldn’t determine if the Russian was a spy.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson concluded that Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, made intentional false statements about his communication with Konstantin Kilimnik, a translator tied by Mueller to Russian intelligence, according to a transcript of a sealed hearing released Friday.

Manafort’s contacts with Kilimnik are “at the undisputed core” of Mueller’s investigation into whether anyone in Trump’s campaign coordinated with Russian meddling with the 2016 election, Jackson said at a Feb. 13 court hearing, according to the transcript.

Kiliminik “doesn’t have to be in the government or even be an active spy to be a link” to Russia, yet she didn’t have enough information to decide if he’s a spy, she said.

“I have not been provided with the evidence that I would need to decide, nor do I have to decide because it’s outside the scope of this hearing,” Jackson told lawyers in her federal courtroom in Washington.

Mueller’s Claims

At the hearing, Jackson delivered her decision that largely agreed with Mueller’s claim that Manafort lied repeatedly during a dozen debriefings with prosecutors after he pleaded guilty on Sept. 14 and agreed to cooperate with the Russia investigation. She said he lied in three of the five areas where Mueller said he was untruthful.

The transcript was released at virtually the same time that Mueller recommended that Manafort serve between 19 and 24 years in prison for his jury conviction on tax- and bank-fraud charges in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. The term that Mueller urged is particularly harsh for a 69-year-old man who has recently suffered from depression, anxiety and gout. He could be sentenced to another 10 years for his guilty plea in the Washington case.

In the Virginia case, jurors found that Manafort lied to tax authorities about tens of millions of dollars he earned in Ukraine and misled banks about his financial health to get loans. A jury convicted Manafort of filing false tax returns after prosecutors said he spent $15 million from unreported offshore accounts for expensive properties, custom clothing, renovations to his Hamptons estate and other luxuries.

Prosecutors said U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III needs to send a tough message.

“Manafort acted for more than a decade as if he were above the law, and deprived the federal government and various financial institutions of millions of dollars,” prosecutors wrote to the judge. “The sentence here should reflect the seriousness of these crimes, and serve to deter both Manafort and others.”

Political Consultant

Kilimnik worked for a decade with Manafort, a political consultant, on campaigns in Ukraine for pro-Kremlin politicians. He met several times with Manafort during and after the campaign, raising suspicions by Mueller.

Prosecutors have focused on how Manafort shared polling data about Trump’s campaign with Kilimnik, as well as their discussion of a peace plan for Ukraine. The U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia after its annexation of Crimea in 2014, and Russia has sought relief from that punishment.

Mueller’s prosecutors have said that a meeting between Manafort and Kilimnik at an upscale cigar bar in Manhattan on Aug. 2, 2016, is central to their inquiry. Manafort’s former right-hand man, Rick Gates, also attended the meeting before the three men separately left the Grand Havana Room.

Manafort also met with Kilimnik in Washington during the Trump inauguration, according to a transcript of a Feb. 4 court hearing. Both Manafort and Kilimnik also had communications with U.S. State Department officials in Ukraine, according to that transcript. The two men sought political work in Ukraine as late as 2018, records show.

Jackson ruled that Manafort also lied about a $125,000 payment made to his law firm by a company at the direction of a Manafort friend, and about a matter under a separate, undisclosed Justice Department investigation. She found that prosecutors failed to prove that Manafort lied in two areas -- about Kilimnik’s role in an obstruction-of-justice conspiracy, and his contacts with the Trump administration.

Mueller is also examining whether Manafort sought a pardon from Trump.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -associate






Ale


Which was clear to every one of us that's been following the matter. But now it's in FILED OFFICIAL COURT DOCS. Filed by Mueller. So BLOOP, Roger and Trump campaign. As in: this is basic step 1 of conspiracy.Ale added,

CNN

JUST IN: Special counsel prosecutors say they have communications of Roger Stone with WikiLeaks https://cnn.it/2Ecet7f

2 "During its investigation of the Russian hack of the Democrats, "the government obtained and executed dozens of search warrants on various accounts used to facilitate the transfer of stolen documents for release, as well as to discuss the timing and promotion of their release"

3. "Several of those search warrants were executed on accounts that contained Stone's communications with Guccifer 2.0 and with Organization 1" Organization 1 is Wikileaks. Mueller's saying Stone's everywhere in comms that discussed the transfer and distribution of HACKED emails

4. Said HACKED (meaning STOLEN) emails and docs are of course the DNC ones, which we've always known Stone discussed with Wikileaks intermediaries. Looks like it wasn't just that, and Mueller has documented evidence of Stone CONSPIRING with Wikileaks & Guccifer re: hacked emails.


5. Stone was conspiring with them ON BEHALF OF THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN. This must be clear to everyone. Stone wasn't doing ANYTHING alone. He was SPECIFICALLY coordinating with the Trump campaign and was ordered to inquire about hacked emails from a SENIOR Trump campaign official.

6. NONE of this is speculation, it's all officially stated by Mueller in COURT DOCUMENTS. NO ONE can claim "fake news" over COURT FILINGS. THis is official evidence that WILL be used in court against not simply Stone but the TRUMP CAMPAIGN. Trump has no escape.

7. This is how you build a conspiracy case. You start from the bottom, meaning Roger Stone, and go up the chain of command. The "Senior Trump campaign official" is the next step. Hey Jr. how's it going? I see why you say you know you're going to be indicted.

8. Repeat: this filing by Mueller says Stone and WikiLeaks DID in fact communicate and not just that, but Stone CONSPIRED WITH THEM about the release and distribution of STOLEN DOCS (the hacked DNC emails) SPECIFICALLY in order to help the Trump campaign.

9. There are many crimes involved here ranging from the theft of docs to trying to influence an election via a FOREIGN actor (as Wikileaks is a GRU front). They all awfully smell like "conspiracy against the US". Thing is, Stone was committing these crimes FOR THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN.

10. So, we just got the first official confirmation, from Mueller's team itself, that Mueller DOES in fact have evidence against the Trump lackey wagon proving CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE US. And who were they conspiring with? A RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE FRONT. Happy Friday, y'all. /END
https://twitter.com/aliasvaughn/status/ ... 8382225409
Mazars and Deutsche Bank could have ended this nightmare before it started.
They could still get him out of office.
But instead, they want mass death.
Don’t forget that.
User avatar
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