Jul 23 2018

The Five ‘Mystery’ Witnesses

Well, the real mystery is why they felt they needed immunity.

Five Financiers Granted Immunity Ahead of Manafort Trial
by BRANDI BUCHMAN, Court House News Services
July 23, 2018

A federal judge said Monday he will push back the start of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s trial on multiple fraud charges six days, and that he will grant immunity to five witnesses scheduled to testify for the prosecution.

The five witnesses granted immunity Monday are James Brennan, Donna Duggan, Conor O”Brien, Cindy Laporta and Dennis Raico, all of whom are connected to financial institutions.

And that’s all anybody really has reported (though the cited article has a pretty thorough summary of the charges as they relate to payments for services by Ukraine and the representation of those assets for taxes, bank reports, and registration as an agent.

Rawstory does better-

Here’s what we know about the 5 witnesses getting immunity in exchange for Manafort testimony
by Tana Ganeva, Raw Story
23 Jul 2018 at 16:30 ET

  1. Dennis Raico worked with Federal Savings Bank (FSB), a Chicago bank that supplied Manafort with a $16 million dollar loan, TPM reported. In 2017, Raico was sued for $78,750.00 for fraudulent inducement and breach of good faith covenant over a loan in a property deal.
  2. Cindy Laporta is an accountant affiliated with KWC accounting services, which are named as tax organizers for Manafort starting in 2012. The Mueller indictment contains an email chain between Laporta and others regarding Manafort’s “Int’l Income Question.”
  3. Conor O’Brien is primarily cited in the indictment in relation to email chains linked to DMP International. Manafort co-founded Davis Manafort Partners (DMP) in 2005, to engage in political consulting, with staff in the US, Ukraine and Russia.
  4. Donna Duggan appears in email chains about Chubb insurance, a Zurich based insurance company that focuses on property insurance.
  5. James Brennan: In an email from Dennis Raico to James Brennan sent on December 7th, 2016, the two discussed “moving forward with Manafort’s Brooklyn property.”

Prosecutors have said they don’t expect a single witness to utter the word “Russia.”