«

»

Nov 27 2018

The Russian Connection: Manafort Met With Assange

What is it with these Trump characters? They don’t seem to be able to stop lying even after they’ve been cornered and confronted with the facts. It has to be pathological because it certainly isn’t for self preservation. As ek hornbeck wrote earlier, yesterday it was reported that Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort lied to the Special Prosecutor violating his plea deal, a plea deal so iron clad that even a presidential pardon won’t save his hide. From Marcy Wheeler when the deal was struck:

(T)he fact that no media outlet was able to confirm whether or not the plea would include cooperation could only be possible if Mueller had made silence about that fact part of the deal. Otherwise, Manafort’s lawyers would have confirmed that it included no cooperation to placate the President. As it was, no one outside of the deal knew that the plea did include cooperation until Manafort was already pleading guilty.

And at this point, the deal is pardon proof. That was part of keeping the detail secret: to prevent a last minute pardon from Trump undercutting it.

Here’s why this deal is pardon proof:

Mueller spent the hour and a half delay in arraignment doing … something. It’s possible Manafort even presented the key parts of testimony Mueller needs from him to the grand jury this morning.

The forfeiture in this plea is both criminal and civil, meaning DOJ will be able to get Manafort’s $46 million even with a pardon.

Some of the dismissed charges are financial ones that can be charged in various states.

Marcy Wheeler also noted last night, the breach of the deal also opened the door for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to issue a public report, something Trump and his acolytes don’t want:

And that “detailed sentencing submission … sett[ing] forth the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies” that Mueller mentions in the report?

There’s your Mueller report, which will be provided in a form that Matt Whitaker won’t be able to suppress. (Reminder: Mueller included 38 pages of evidence along with Manafort’s plea agreement, which I argued showed how what Manafort and Trump did to Hillary was the same thing that Manafort had done to Yulia Tymoshenko.)

Then this morning The Guardian dropped this lead shoe:
Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy, sources say

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told.

Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 – during the period when he was made a key figure in Trump’s push for the White House.

It is unclear why Manafort would have wanted to see Assange and what was discussed. But the last apparent meeting is likely to come under scrutiny and could interest Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

A well-placed source has told the Guardian that Manafort went to see Assange around March 2016. Months later WikiLeaks released a stash of Democratic emails stolen by Russian intelligence officers. [..]

Manafort’s first visit to the embassy took place a year after Assange sought asylum inside, two sources said.

A separate internal document written by Ecuador’s Senain intelligence agency and seen by the Guardian lists “Paul Manaford [sic]” as one of several well-known guests. It also mentions “Russians”.

According to the sources, Manafort returned to the embassy in 2015. He paid another visit in spring 2016, turning up alone, around the time Trump named him as his convention manager. The visit is tentatively dated to March.

Manafort’s 2016 visit to Assange lasted about 40 minutes, one source said, adding that the American was casually dressed when he exited the embassy, wearing sandy-coloured chinos, a cardigan and a light-coloured shirt.

Visitors normally register with embassy security guards and show their passports. Sources in Ecuador, however, say Manafort was not logged.

Embassy staff were aware only later of the potential significance of Manafort’s visit and his political role with Trump, it is understood.

While this report has yet to be confirmed by any other new agency, The Guardian has always been a reliable news agency.

The Trump and his cronies have dug themselves in so deep that even the truth won’t save them. The truth will save out Republic.

Leave a Reply