The Jury Talks Back

10/30/2017

It’s Manafort

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 5:41 am

My prediction last night:

I tend to think the indictment will be to a Trump-related person and not a Dem. But it probably will have zilch to do with Russia collusion and everything to do with financial shenanigans (probably Russia-related) and/or lying to the feds.

Always trust content from Patterico! The New York Times reports:

Paul Manafort and his former business associate were indicted on Monday on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges, a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over President Trump’s first year in office.

Mr. Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, and his longtime associate Rick Gates, surrendered to the FBI on Monday. The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, said Mr. Manafort laundered more than $18 million to buy properties and services.

“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on that income,” the indictment reads.

Mr. Gates is accused of transferring more than $3 million from offshore accounts. The two are also charged with making false statements.

Well, it didn’t take a genius to see this coming.

My initial impression is that Trump can spin this as a nothingburger without straining too hard. From what I can tell from the early reports, nothing about this says “Russia collusion.” And Trump will say, not without justification, that his dealings with Manafort show he acted correctly when he learned Manafort was dirty. Deeeeeep in the New York Times article we get this reminder:

Mr. Trump fired Mr. Manafort just months later, after reports that he received more than $12 million in undisclosed payments from Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former Ukrainian president and a pro-Russia politician. Mr. Manafort spent years as a political consultant for Mr. Yanukovych.

At most, today’s story is a reminder that Donald Trump sometimes shows very poor judgment in the people he surrounds himself with.

Otherwise, this is kind of a yawner, to be honest.

UPDATE: Unlike the Manafort indictment, this could end up being a problem for Trump:

3 Comments »

  1. UPDATE: Unlike the Manafort indictment, this could end up being a problem for Trump:

    http://twitter.com/csmcdaniel/status/925003848812584960

    Comment by Patterico — 10/30/2017 @ 6:32 am

  2. Trump’s employees/associates are not the brightest bulbs.

    Comment by DRJ — 10/30/2017 @ 6:56 am

  3. I wonder if Matafort, who has reportedly plead not guilty, is planning on a fruit-of-the-poisoned-tree defense? If he was a subject of the FISA wiretaps, and that FISA warrant was, as reported, obtained using the “Trump Dossier” without disclosing its provenience, he might well have a good defense if the wiretaps played a role in leading investigators to the crimes.

    I also wonder if Matafort’s indictment had anything to do with Tony Podesta resigning from The Podesta Group (which he owns) this morning. Given that Matafort was working for the Podesta Group while the charged crimes occurred, and that they involve clients of The Podesta Group, my hunch is it’s directly related.

    My take on this whole sordid mess; I hope the truth comes out, whatever it is.

    One thing that’s bothering me a lot; I see a heck of a lot of either-or in commentary. Many are saying that what the Democrats did, actually paying millions for what they believed to be Russian government info on Trump, was worse. And I agree. But, that has no bearing whatsoever on whether Trump’s people are guilty. It’s not an either/or situation, but so many are painting it as one.

    And well done on your prediction, Patterico.

    Comment by Arizona CJ — 10/30/2017 @ 11:27 am

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