Friday, August 11, 2017

He'll Cooperate

And by cooperate, I mean squeal.
Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, declared last month that Manafort was not a “cooperating witness” -- a legal term for someone who agrees to provide evidence and testimony to prosecutors. When reached Wednesday, he only addressed the revelation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid, saying, “Mr. Manafort has consistently cooperated with law enforcement and other serious inquiries and did so on this occasion as well.”

He's cooperating, but he's not a cooperating witness. Wanna bet?
In fact, Manafort had alerted authorities to a controversial meeting on June 9, 2016, involving Trump’s son Donald Jr., other campaign representatives and a Russian lawyer promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton, according to people familiar with the matter. The president and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were dragged into the matter in July as details repeatedly emerged that contradicted the initial accounts of that meeting.

Manafort disclosed the meeting to lawmakers about three months ago in response to a congressional request for any information related to Russia during his time on the campaign.
Three months ago? That would be before July 8 - by about two months - when the New York Times first reported the story, and Junior tried to pretend it was a meeting about adoption. It would appear Junior, et al., didn't know Manafort had already squealed (or else they thought he told the adoption story, too).

Manafort's "cooperating" all right.
Paul Manafort is the linchpin in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s election interference. Whether the investigation ends up centering on potential financial crimes or possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, [...] former prosecutors said nailing the goods on Manafort will be key to Mueller’s case.


[T]he longtime GOP operative seems to have a toe in almost every part of the special counsel’s sprawling probe. And a slew of recent reports indicate Mueller’s team is tightening the vise on the former campaign chairman.

In a surprise move for someone in the thick of a federal investigation, Manafort announced through a spokesman Thursday that he was no longer working with his longtime counsel, WilmerHale, and was “in the process” of retaining a law firm with expertise in international tax cases, Miller & Chevalier.

Can't afford both? Maybe the Trump Organization could throw him a bone. If not, maybe he'll have a lot more to sing about.
Confirming that the [surprise FBI pre-dawn] raid took place, Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said that the former campaign chairman had “consistently cooperated with law enforcement.” In July, Maloni told Politico that it was “silly” for that cooperation to lead anyone to think Manafort was serving as a cooperating witness; he did not respond to a question from TPM about whether that comment still stands.
He'll be "consistently cooperating" a little better from now on.
A Mueller spokesperson declined comment for this story.
They never will. These guys don't chat.
Mueller assumed control of several pre-existing probes into the former campaign chairman’s business activities and record-keeping. He took over an investigation run out of the Southern District of New York into whether Manafort laundered money from eastern Europe, as well as a separate probe into his belated registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for his political work in Ukraine.


Other Trump associates touched by the investigation are surely watching Manafort’s situation closely.
I bet they are. Not to mention The Rump himself.
One of the President’s personal attorneys, John Dowd, sent a furious email to the Wall Street Journal in the wee hours of Thursday morning, complaining that the raid on Manafort’s home represented an “extraordinary invasion of privacy” and “gross abuse of the judicial process” done only for “shock value”.
Now why would Trump's attorney do such a thing?
Asked about the raid while on vacation at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, Trump distanced himself from his former campaign chairman, calling him a “decent man” but telling reporters “[I] haven’t spoken to him for a long time.” In the mildest show of support, the President questioned whether the FBI needed to wake Manafort so early in the morning to search his home.

“I thought it was pretty tough stuff to wake him up, perhaps his family was there,” Trump mulled. “I think that’s pretty tough stuff.”
Was there a trickle running down his leg when he said it?
I'd say that Manafort has been simultaneously thrown over the side and under the bus. There's a certain raw predatory glee in which this president* dispatches inconvenient people that is fascinating in a purely clinical sense. But it doesn't make for good government, and it sure as hell doesn't help you when there's a special prosecutor on your trail and when the person being dispatched probably has a paper trail that leads straight up your spinal column.


My guess is that, very soon, it will reach the point at which Manafort would roll on the Archangel Gabriel to keep from spending several centuries in jail. He will have to give the prosecutor something [...]. This bird can sing.

  Charles P Pierce
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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