Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ex-Trump Adviser George Papadopoulos Pleads Guilty in Mueller's Russia Probe

Ex-Trump Adviser George Papadopoulos Pleads Guilty in Mueller's Russia Probe

He is the only one so far who has been brought to justice for something done during the campaign. Manafort and his lackey have been indicted for various financial crimes (money laundering, tax evasion) they committed before the Trump candidacy. (And Manafort probably would have faced these charges even if Mueller had never been appointed, or even if Trump had never run. As far as I can see, they have nothing to do with Trump.)

This is precisely what I predicted within a thread over the weekend. It's obvious that Mueller hopes to cut a deal with Manafort by indicting him for the many illegal things that he really did before the campaign, thereby forcing him to co-operate with the investigation of the campaign itself.

Manafort's choices are:

Tough it out with the possibility of a lot of jail time, but even if he survives a trial, millions of dollars in legal fees ...

OR

Air out the campaign's dirty laundry and skate away with a slap on the wrist.


But I have to admit frankly that I'm still not sure there's all that much for him to tell. Manafort seems to be a weasel, and has probably acted as a stooge for Russia, but so far nothing in his indictment connects to the campaign.

But you have to read the Papadoupoulos indictment. It seems to signify the beginning of a long string of indictments that ARE related to the campaign, and may even reach Trump personally (see item II.9). Certainly the characters identified as "Campaign Supervisor" and "High-Ranking Campaign Official" are at least making sure they have plenty of assets in secret offshore accounts, and are currently pausing to think about the possibility of a lifetime in a country with no American extradition treaty.

(SPECULATION: The campaign supervisor is probably Sam Clovis. The high-ranking campaign official seems to be Corey Lewandowski. "Another campaign official" may or may not be Manafort or Gates.)

Also note: Papadopoulos was arrested in July, but the arrest was not announced. The indictment against him was filed October 5, about 70 days after he was arrested, and he had been co-operating all that time.

AND he is listed as a “proactive cooperator,” verbiage which frequently means he either wore a wire or made phone calls and e-mails which were suggested and monitored by investigators. My guess is that he was not just chatting, but was working some kind of sting with the investigators in August and September.

5 comments:

  1. I know you don't like Trump, Scoop, but I agree with your analysis here in that there, so far at least, doesn't seem to be anything incriminating Trump or the Trump Campaign.

    This whole thing has been, indeed, a "Witch Hunt", as Trump has described it, but now we must ask ourselves 'a witch hunt for whom'?

    Like the Salem Witch Trials of the 1600's, where the term 'witch hunt' came from, the 'investigation has failed to turn up a problem in its original mandate and now is reaching far and wide to justify its existence and the massive amounts of money it has spent.

    So they grab some little guys, make it look like they're pressuring them to spill on the big guys but in the end, it will all come to nothing except millions of dollars wasted.

    Our government at work.

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    Replies
    1. Manafort and Gates is a nothingburger so far

      But you have to read the Papadoupoulos indictment (link below). It seems to signify the beginning of a long string of indictments that ARE related to the campaign, and may even reach Trump personally (see item II.9). Certainly the characters identified as "Campaign Supervisor" and "High-Ranking Campaign Official" are at least making sure they have plenty of assets in secret offshore accounts, and are currently pausing to think about the possibility of a lifetime in a country with no American extradition treaty.

      The campaign supervisor is probably Sam Clovis. The high-ranking campaign official is probably Corey Lewandowski.

      Also note: Papadopoulos was arrested in July, but the arrest was not announced. The indictment against him was filed October 5, about 70 days after he was arrested, and he had been co-operating all that time.

      AND he is listed as a “proactive cooperator,” which usually means he either wore a wire or made phone calls which were listened to by investigators. My guess is that he was working a sting with the investigators in August and September.

      https://www.justice.gov/file/1007346/download

      Delete
    2. A Trump apologist at work.

      Delete
  2. Interesting comments from both above, but I think you are surely overlooking a lot of what has already been divulged in the public record to get to the point where you say that this has all been about nothing. Rosenstein's letter to Mueller specifically charges him with, first, investigating "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump"; and secondly -- and more importantly -- with investigating any matters that arise from his initial investigation. To take only one example, the initial investigation revealed the existence of the July 2016 meeting between Trump Jr, Manafort, and Kusher with Russian nationals promising to produce "incriminating" evidence concerning both the Clinton campaign and the DNC. We don't know yet what Mueller found in his investigation of that meeting, but we do not that it resulted in the concealment of a felony because both Trump Jr (through his lawyer Alan Futerfas), and the second Russian at the meeting, Mr. Ackmetshin, have admitted that the promised incriminating evidence of Clinton and the DNC having received illegal foreign source funds was in fact provided -- both orally and in documents that were left with Trump Jr. And yet, Trump Jr's statement summarizing the meeting, apparently drafted by his father, makes the entirely contrary claim that the Russians failed to provide the incriminating information that they had promised and that the meeting did not result in anything of value or interest being provided. And Trump Jr has admitted that he destroyed the incriminating documents rather than turn them over to authorities.

    It's important to remember that the felony of receiving (or soliciting) foreign funds by a campaign is committed whenever any foreign national provides anything of value to a federal campaign. That foreign national doesn't have to be connected to the foreign government in any way.

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  3. I never said the whole Trump/Russia connection was about nothing. I said that Manafort/Gates is a nothingburger to this point, and may remain so.

    But that's a small portion of the investigation. I agree with your points. Don Jr already admitted to meeting with connected Russians to get dirt on Hillary, and Don Sr seems to have personally drafted a summary of that meeting with an eye to deceiving the press, the public, and investigators.

    In an earlier time, with the old rules, a president in this predicament would already be very close to a resignation, maybe even already there, and his son would probably have been indicted for taking the meeting and lying about it.

    But this is a new time. Don Sr. is Teflon Don. The special counsel has to be meticulous in assembling the case.

    ReplyDelete