Manafort Indictment Here (and not related to DJT on its face)

Manafort and his partner, Richard Gates, were apparently big time crooks.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1rgmKJRZ5DaM1hBN0lIaTI0eEU/view

The indictment is replete with factual allegations which include defrauding banks, major tax evasion, FBar violations, money laundering [HUGE money laundering], and more. A fascinating read. I have not tried to read between the lines to find the connection to the campaign, if any. I invite you to do so.

47 Responses

  1. The Indictment is explicitly seeking forfeiture of certain real estate in NYC.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The money laundering is tied to properties bought in New York and Virginia with offshore accounts that hadn’t been taxed. They then use this as the basis for tax evasion. It could be a warning shot across the bow of Trump.

    The indictment also puts asset forfeiture claims on all this property which could create a real incentive to plea bargain.

    Conservatives taking comfort that this indictment has no direct connection to Trump or the campaign are whistling past the graveyard.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shocked to discover entitled elitist acted like entitled elitist. Will be interesting to see how to it plays out, though I still think this will all be throwing folks under the bus.

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  4. Mark:

    I have not tried to read between the lines to find the connection to the campaign, if any.

    Never-Trumper Andrew McCarthy at NR says there isn’t.

    Even from Paul Manafort’s perspective, there may be less to this indictment than meets the eye — it’s not so much a serious allegation of “conspiracy against the United States” as a dubious case of disclosure violations and money movement that would never have been brought had he not drawn attention to himself by temporarily joining the Trump campaign.

    From President Trump’s perspective, the indictment is a boon from which he can claim that the special counsel has no actionable collusion case. It appears to reaffirm former FBI director James Comey’s multiple assurances that Trump is not a suspect. And, to the extent it looks like an attempt to play prosecutorial hardball with Manafort, the president can continue to portray himself as the victim of a witch hunt.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453244/manafort-indictment-no-signs-trump-russia-collusion

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    • I still don’t get how Facebook posts are corrupting an election.

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      • Because the wrong candidate won. Apparently $100,000 in Facebook ads mattered more than all the other ads and MSM reporting combined.

        There really is no consensus on free speech anymore. The amusing/ironic thing is the objections voiced by the progressive side mirror the Chinese and Russian objections (among others) to NGO’s “interfering” with their elections.

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    • …a dubious case of disclosure violations and money movement…

      I don’t think McCarthy read the indictment.

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      • Mark:

        I don’t think McCarthy read the indictment.

        I’d bet he did. He’s a former assistant US Attorney, and his article was pretty detailed in justifying why he characterized the charges as he did. I have no idea whether or not he is correct, but he is not the kind of writer who half-asses his analysis, especially when it comes to legal stuff, and I didn’t get a sense that this was an exception.

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        • You are correct that he actually did read the Indictment and that I was exaggerating to make the point that the disclosure violations are virtual slam dunks and the money movements are self evidently covert attempts to hide the income.

          My specific criticism of that phrase is about calling the disclosure violations and sham entity money trail a “dubious case”.

          Now his experience is worth something when he writes about the concept of underlying illegal activity. But that underlying illegal activity could be the hiring of an American agent to do lobbying specifically without disclosure, as the law was written to include Americans lobbying for Nazi Germany or Communist Russia without disclosure, as I understood it. Of course, I could be wrong about that interpretation of underlying illegal activity. If McCarthy is correct, and he may be, that the funds were “clean” as a transfer to Manafort, we will see that argument made in pretrial motions.

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        • MArk:

          Now his experience is worth something when he writes about the concept of underlying illegal activity.

          I thought that was the most interesting thing in his piece. I’ll be curious to see how that plays out.

          BTW, he also called the disclosure case a slam dunk, so by “dubious” I assumed he was speaking about the (according to him) out-of-the-ordinary treatment of the Manafort violations.

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        • Mark:

          Alan Dershowtiz was on FOX yesterday talking about the Manafort indictment, and suggested that the only reason for the indictment was as leverage over Manafort. He said that if not for Manafort’s connection to Trump, they would never have indicted him.

          http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/10/30/alan-dershowitz-mueller-hoping-squeeze-manafort-get-trump

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        • Manafort knows where the bodies are buried. Literally.

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        • yello:

          Manafort knows where the bodies are buried. Literally.

          Literally? Which bodies are missing that you think need to be found?

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        • They are buried in Kiev. Manafort has blood on his hands, at least metaphorically.

          In a series of texts reviewed by Business Insider that appear to have been sent by Andrea to her sister, Jessica, in March 2015, Andrea said their father had “no moral or legal compass.”

          “Don’t fool yourself,” Andrea wrote to her sister, according to the texts. “That money we have is blood money.”

          “You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly,” she continued, according to the reviewed texts. “As a tactic to outrage the world and get focus on Ukraine. Remember when there were all those deaths taking place. A while back. About a year ago. Revolts and what not. Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered.”

          http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-manafort-daughter-text-messages-ukraine-2017-3

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        • yello:

          They are buried in Kiev.

          So, then it seems that whether or not Manafort knows where the bodies are buried, yello does. Maybe Muller should be talking to you?

          Manafort has blood on his hands, at least metaphorically.

          So by “literally” you meant “not literally”?

          In any event, when you spoke of Manafort knowing where the bodies were buried, I assumed you meant with regard to Trump, since that is Muller’s ultimate goal. I guess you meant something else.

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        • It’s beginning to look a lot like Fitzmas…..

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        • Yes, it is. The giddy excitement is strangely familiar.

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        • If Manafort were not involved with Russian backed elements in the Ukraine and had he not been DJT’s campaign manager and confidante his actual crimes which were legion might have gone undiscovered. I assume that most big dollar international financial crime goes undetected. It sometimes takes an army of investigative accountants to ferret out these deals, so only when a forensic investigating team has been assembled do we learn of $75M scams.

          On a smaller scale:

          I once had a law partner who embezzled from the firm, from client money, and from the partnership of firms that owned our building. We caught him almost by accident and he paid high dollar restitution – with interest, as to the client amounts, in full as to the building funds, and about 75% worth to the law firm. He signed a full and detailed confession, of which every state bar in America has a copy.

          Disbarred, he took a teaching job at a public community college and managed to embezzle six figures from it over time.

          In each case, he was caught finally on a dumb slip up.

          I think white collar crime goes undiscovered at six figure, seven figure, and eight figure levels all the time. Scrutiny comes with public life. When the scrutinized guy is a known womanizer, we learn of – cum on the blue dress, etc. When the scrutinized guy is an unregistered agent of foreign government or a wheeler dealer con man we get $$$ signs.

          I have always thought that what DJT most feared was a forensic investigation of his business dealings. If he is caught out on something totally unrelated to the campaign or the Presidency it will be easy to say “if not for his election he would not have been indicted”[after he serves his term of office]. It won’t mean he shouldn’t have been caught out, however. And I am not predicting any particular outcome here.

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        • Mark:

          McCarthy has another column today on the indictments, explaining in more depth his sense that they have “over charged”, and also pointing out some charges that are strangley missing from the indictment (tax evasion, fraud). Worth reading.

          http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453305/paul-manafort-indictment-mystifying-enigmatic

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        • McCarthy seems to have missed that the revealed indictment is 201B. 201A is still sealed. Those of us who noticed that assume the tax counts, at least, are spelled out. The other shoe, so to speak.

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        • I’ll wager that Manafort is either never convicted or if so, it’s overturned on appeal and never retried.

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        • If I were to make that bet you would lose it. He will ultimately plead to failing to register as a foreign agent and/or false swearing on a security document, even on a plea bargain for everything else.

          Pardons would nullify the bet.

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        • He won’t need to plea. He’ll spend a few million on defense and live out his years as a free man. He’ll die a non-felon.

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        • Do you think that result would be just and right?

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        • No.

          Curious why you ask that?

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        • Because you assert the system can be perverted with such certainty. But I see it is just part of your deep skepticism, which is even deeper than mine.

          Here is a funny Milbank column:

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-other-huge-scandal-mueller-brought-to-light-this-week/2017/11/01/5e05a458-bf4c-11e7-959c-fe2b598d8c00_story.html?tid=pm_pop&utm_term=.ae91d4bb8cb0

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        • Ok, thank you. If I’m understanding you correctly, deep skepticism and certainty precludes an understanding of justice and rightness

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        • Is that an implication of what I wrote? I was trying to convey that skepticism is warranted, and certainly one would have to have an understanding of justice to be skeptical of whether it was even handedly meted out. My own response to Scott that I think financial crimes in particular are largely overlooked was a product of my experience and of my skepticism.

          So I certainly prefer you to read what I mean, not what I write!

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        • Mark:

          Here is a funny Milbank column:

          It is pretty amusing to see a practice – political patronage – that has existed since the nation was founded presented as a Trumpian innovation. And the idea that the federal bureaucracy is somehow the lesser for having hired someone without a college degree…hilarious!

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        • Do you think this is a different level of patronage than that practiced by the immediately previous 14 administrations? I do. I think it is not merely different in degree, but different in kind. I think it is so different and so extreme as to be painfully funny. I think you might not find this many totally unqualified appointees to similar positions in any five of those administrations, cumulatively. I think the practice of patronage to the extent of “meaningful” appointments was generally limited to cushy ambassadorships to retirement aged donors who couldn’t speak the language and we always laughed at that. So why shouldn’t I laugh when the practice is spread to the entire administration?

          Goes in line with my discussion of skepticism with George.

          Speaking of skepticism, I do not think a primary cause of HRC losing was related to the Russian digital media campaign. That effect must have been marginal, although I could be wrong, not being a follower of twitter or facebook or online rumors. However, I heard enough yesterday to make me think that the surprising [to me] pervasive effort by Russia might have affected the Republican primaries. This, because I have read that Republican primary voters are disproportionately high volume users of these alternate information services.

          I would really like to know what Kev, who follows pop culture, thinks of this possibility.

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        • Mark:

          Do you think this is a different level of patronage than that practiced by the immediately previous 14 administrations?

          I have not made it practice to look at the depth of patronage practiced by all administrations, but if I had to bet, I would say it is most probably not all that different.

          I think it is not merely different in degree, but different in kind.

          Why?

          I think you might not find this many totally unqualified appointees to similar positions in any five of those administrations, cumulatively.

          What qualifications are needed for “confidential assistant at the Agriculture Department”? I have no idea, but I’d bet the answer is not much more than “is breathing and can read/write”. Milbank mocks one of the people for having been a “cabana attendant” for 6 years. I’d rate it a dead certainty that this person is very recent college grad and that this was a summer job that he kept through high school and college, then worked on the Trump campaign and this is his first job out of college. This is something worthy of mockery and contempt? You think the Obama or Bush or Clinton admins didn’t hire any recent college grad campaign workers with typical high school/college work experience? More interestingly, do you seriously think Milbank, or anyone else at the Post, went trolling through resumes to find out, with the goal towards mocking them as “unqualified”?

          Look, you know I can’t stand Trump, but what I hate even more is the obvious and pervasive double standards used by the media, even when they are using them against Trump. (And Milbank is a dishonest hack, so I am likely to discount anything he says in any event.)

          This, because I have read that Republican primary voters are disproportionately high volume users of these alternate information services.

          Where have you read that? I’d like to see, because intuitively I would imagine it would be the exact opposite. We hear constantly about how Republicans are disproportionately old, while social media like Facebook and Twitter (as well as the internet in general) are overwhelmingly used by the younger generation, which is not exactly known for its Republican proclivities.

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        • intuitively I would imagine it would be the exact opposite. We hear constantly about how Republicans are disproportionately old,

          Good point. Having read both, I now have to step back and admit shit for knowledge here, and thus my inference was crap, as well.

          As for the trolling through resumes, they [media] have been doing that as far back as I can recall, and sometimes they have come up with doozies, but usually it is some rich old socialite who gave to the campaign and is now to become the ambassador to Fiji.

          I remember, as a management side lawyer, how much I hated WJC’s 1993 appointments to the NLRB. I expected pro-union, of course, but what we got were hacks, “yes” men, not respected labor side lawyers. That level of bad appointment has been frustrating, but this to me smacks of paying no attention to the job of making appointments at all; of total incompetence.

          BTW, the often outrageous decisions of that hack bunch of NLRB appointees mainly were overruled by Clinton appointed fed judges, by the late 90s. Those judges were sympathetic to organized labor, but not in the tank.

          It’s not that I see these DJT appointees as being “in the tank”, I think they are out to lunch.

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        • Mark:

          As for the trolling through resumes, they [media] have been doing that as far back as I can recall,

          Of the 6 people whose resumes Milbank chose to highlight, half of them have been appointed to the job of “confidential assistant”. Do you have any idea what that position is? I don’t, but I’ll bet you $100 that it has far more influence over the office morning coffee order than over any potential policy. If this represents the most egregious that Milbank can find among Trump’s appointments, then I feel justified in viewing this as just the typical MSM double standard hit piece, rather than an indication of just how a-historically unqualified Trump’s appointments are.

          I guess I just don’t find credible the notion that the Post/Milbank ever considered writing a similar column about Obama’s “confidential assistant” appointees, but just couldn’t make it work because of their undeniably stellar qualifications. Call me a cynic.

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        • The money laundering itself is so blatant and obvious that I don’t know how you get around that. That in itself taints the offshore money by making it clear that they wouldn’t have to launder it if it hadn’t been ill-gotten. The logic is a little circular there but a good lawyer should be able to make that stick. These were not boy scouts who just checked the wrong box.

          And I have no problem with shady crooks like Tony Podesta getting swept up in the moral equivalence hysteria.

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        • yello:

          The money laundering itself is so blatant and obvious that I don’t know how you get around that.

          Read Andrew McCarthy.

          Finally, the money-laundering conspiracy allegation (Count Two) seems far from slam-dunk. For someone to be guilty of laundering, the money involved has to be the proceeds of criminal activity before the accused starts concealing it by (a) moving it through accounts or changing its form by buying assets, etc., or (b) dodging a reporting requirement under federal law.

          Now, it is surely a terrible thing to take money, under the guise of “political consulting,” from an unsavory Ukranian political faction that is doing the Kremlin’s bidding. But it is not a violation of American law to do so. The violations occur when, as outlined above, there is a lack of compliance with various disclosure requirements. Mueller seems to acknowledge this: The money-laundering count does not allege that it was illegal for Manafort and Gates to be paid by the Ukrainian faction. It is alleged, rather, that they moved the money around to promote a scheme to function as unregistered foreign agents, and specifically to avoid the registration requirement.

          That seems like a stretch. To be sure, the relevant money-laundering statute includes in its definition of “specified unlawful activity” “any violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.” (See Section 1956(c)(2)(7)(D) of Title 18, U.S. Code.) But the prosecution still has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the money was the proceeds of unlawful activity in the first place.

          http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453244/manafort-indictment-no-signs-trump-russia-collusion

          Like

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