HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Mueller Might Not Be Done...

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 09:11 AM

Mueller Might Not Be Done With Manafort Yet

Mueller Might Not Be Done With Manafort Yet

The disgraced operative still needs to answer for his ties to a suspected Russian spy.
Natasha Bertrand
6:00 AM ET

snip//

The first clue that Mueller’s interest in Manafort goes beyond his financial crimes came early last month, when one of the top prosecutors on Mueller’s team, Andrew Weissmann, said in a closed-door hearing that a meeting Manafort had in August 2016 goes “very much to the heart of what the special counsel’s office is investigating.” (Manafort’s deputy Rick Gates was also at the meeting, The Washington Post said, citing court records. A status update for Gates, who has been cooperating with Mueller, is due on Friday.) During that meeting Manafort provided internal Trump-campaign polling data to Kilimnik and discussed a “Ukraine peace plan” favorable to Russia. Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with” Trump’s campaign, as his appointment memo described it; Jackson agreed that the topic of Manafort’s meeting was at “the undisputed core of the Office of Special Counsel’s investigation.”

But Weissmann’s tantalizing comment wasn’t resolved in the government’s sentencing memo for Manafort; on the contrary, details about the August 2016 meeting were conspicuously absent from the 800-page document. The episode was briefly brought up in Manafort’s sentencing hearing on Wednesday, when Jackson reaffirmed that Manafort had lied to the government about the meeting in his conversations with Mueller’s team. “I still find that the special counsel’s office proved that Manafort intentionally gave false testimony with respect to that matter,” she said. And it was only one of “several matters he lied about with regard to Mr. Kilimnik,” she added.

The topics discussed during the August 2 meeting might be the closest thing to a “smoking gun” of collusion that has been revealed so far. A footnote in a court filing submitted by Manafort’s attorneys last month, first noticed by the national-security journalist Marcy Wheeler, indicates that Manafort and his deputy sent 75 pages of polling to Kilimnik and that Kilimnik sent at least six emails to the pair discussing the data. Richard Westling, Manafort’s lawyer, denied that Manafort had lied about the content of the August 2 meeting and said that while the data that Manafort shared with Kilimnik was “very detailed” and “relevant” to a meeting the campaign had had earlier in the day, it would not have been useful to the suspected Russian spy. "It frankly, to me, is gibberish,” Westling said. “It’s not easily understandable." Jackson shot back: "That’s what makes it significant and unusual.”

Still, the content of the 2016 meeting was only revealed by accident due to a redaction error by Manafort’s lawyers, and the significance of the episode to Mueller’s main probe, while hinted at by Weissmann, has yet to be fully explained.

“It’s hard to imagine that something so explosive and central to the mission of his investigation wouldn’t be addressed either in charges against someone (Manafort or others) or in a report,” Mimi Rocah, a former federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, wrote in an email. “And the fact that the special counsel hasn’t brought it out but it was only revealed inadvertently, reinforces the idea that [Mueller] is saving it for something else.”


That “something else” could be anything from a line in Mueller’s report to an entire conspiracy charge. “My money is on Mueller including the Manafort efforts as part of the ‘case’ alleging Trump campaign collaboration with the Russians,” Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who specialized in organized crime, told me in an email. “The question then is, what is the best way to make that case? For myself, I believe a RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] indictment would be the appropriate vehicle to bring such a case: charge the campaign as the ‘racketeering enterprise’ and name Trump, Manafort and the rest of the gang as members of the enterprise … straight out of the mob prosecution playbook.”

more...

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/03/mueller-might-not-be-done-manafort-over-kilimnik-ties/584995/

1 replies, 244 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply Mueller Might Not Be Done With Manafort Yet (Original post)
babylonsister Friday OP
manor321 Friday #1

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Fri Mar 15, 2019, 09:22 AM

1. Natasha is the best!

Ignore Ken Dilanian, Michael Isikoff and Pete Williams.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread