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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,645

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This wins.


Paul Manafort's trial is not about tax evasion, it's about Vladimir Putin

The trial of Paul Manafort has begun. The first of 35 federal grand-jury targets to face allegations in court, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager stands accused of more than 30 criminal counts in a Virginia federal court. The granularity of the charges might lead us to believe it’s a trial about tax evasion, or the failure to comply with arcane regulations covering registration as a foreign agent, or money laundering to hide the resources required for the lavish lifestyle, the expensive rugs and bespoke suits to which Manafort became accustomed. It isn’t.

This trial is about how Russia moves money and buys influence. We probably won’t hear much about that in court. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which brought charges against Manafort as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has said it will not bring forward evidence regarding Russian coordination with American campaigns at the trial. But that background is what we need to keep in mind when the coverage gets lost in the language of taxation and regulation.

Manafort’s trial is no more about tax evasion than former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s 2016 trial was about wire fraud rather than sexual abuse. It’s a trial about the astonishing ways in which Vladimir Putin effectively transformed Manafort into a Kremlin subsidiary, first in Ukraine and then in the United States, turning a famed Washington political operative like Manafort – once adviser to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush – into a Russian stooge.


Fast forward to 2016 and today. Deep in debt in spite of his multimillion dollar fees, Manafort ingratiated himself with Trump and was said to have offered Deripaska “private briefings” on the Republican campaign. Manafort signed on to oversee the party nominating convention in Cleveland, where, perhaps not coincidentally, an effort to include traditional Republican rhetoric in platform planks critical of Russia’s annexation of Crimea were killed in the cradle. Manafort became campaign chairman. Court filings tell us that Manafort participated in the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, in which Kremlin-linked Russians were said to have offered compromising information on Trump’s rival, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that Manafort may have joined what Rudy Giuliani now describes as a meeting two days earlier to plan “the strategy of the meeting with the Russians."

Mueller will have to tie together the facts of Manafort’s activities in 2016. The special counsel is a professional capable of presenting that case with precision that an outside observer never could, and his 35 indictments and five guilty pleas to date underscore he’s doing his job well. But make no mistake, we already know what this trial is all about. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that his tragic protagonist Gatsby’s fixation Daisy Buchanan had “a voice full of money.” Paul Manafort had a voice full of rubles, and he used it in Ukraine and in the United States – for Vladimir Putin.

The Rest:

3-D Printer...

Remember this woman when you vote in November.

These are hate rallies, pure and simple.

One of these is just like the other

Good Lord, watch this. We're going to be at "Collusion is Awesome!" by next week.


Trump's son is actively encouraging Trump supporters to direct more rage and abuse at journalists

Be Best everyone!




I Am SO Done With Being Civil


Oh look, it's Sessions' Religious Liberty Task Force.

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