Mueller & Friends

Oct 6, 2018
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#1
We don't have a Mueller thread here yet, so, I thought I'd start one with this tidbit:

Manafort Breached Plea Deal by Repeatedly Lying, Mueller Says

WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, repeatedly lied to federal investigators in breach of a plea agreement he signed two months ago, the special counsel’s office said in a court filinglate on Monday.

Mr. Manafort’s “crimes and lies” during a series of interviews with prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, and the F.B.I. relieve them of all promises they made to him in the plea agreement reached in mid-September, investigators wrote in the filing. Defense lawyers disagreed. Mr. Manafort has been truthful with the special counsel’s office and has abided by the agreement, they argued in the same status report to Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Given the impasse between the two sides, Mr. Manafort asked that Judge Jackson set a sentencing date.

The dramatic development in the 11th hour of Mr. Manafort’s case means, at a minimum, that prosecutors will not ask for a lighter punishment in return for his cooperation. They could also conceivably seek to refile bank fraud charges that they agreed to dismiss as part of the plea agreement.
This sounds highly unusual, but I'm far from any kind of legal expert; presumably Mueller would have to be both well backed by proof, and sufficiently irked by continued shenanigans.
 

Kara Spengler

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#2
I am not sure what the standard of proof would need to be but presumably they only need to prove non-cooperation.
 
Oct 6, 2018
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#3
I am not sure what the standard of proof would need to be but presumably they only need to prove non-cooperation.
Per EmptyWheel:

Mueller Just Guaranteed He Can Issue a Public Report – emptywheel

As I notedback in September, the standard the government has to prove to claim Manafort has breached his agreement is just “good faith,” as compared to preponderance of the evidence with Rick Gates.
She goes on to speculate that Manafort and Team Trump have been communicating during this time, and Mueller's been aware of this, with an intriguing side goal. I'm reluctant to go this far, but we'll see in due course.

But Mueller’s team appears to have no doubtthat Manafort was lying to them. That means they didn’t really need his testimony, at all. It also means they had no need to keep secrets — they could keep giving Manafort the impression that he was pulling a fast one over the prosecutors, all while reporting misleading information to Trump that he could use to fill out his open book test. Which increases the likelihood that Trump just submitted sworn answers to those questions full of lies.

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.
 

Innula Zenovka

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#4
I don't follow the logic here:
But Mueller’s team appears to have no doubt that Manafort was lying to them. That means they didn’t really need his testimony, at all. It also means they had no need to keep secrets — they could keep giving Manafort the impression that he was pulling a fast one over the prosecutors, all while reporting misleading information to Trump that he could use to fill out his open book test. Which increases the likelihood that Trump just submitted sworn answers to those questions full of lies.
Manafort offered testimony on various matters relating to the investigation. Mueller's team wanted to use this evidence, but he turns out to be a witness on whom they say they cannot rely, so they want to cut their losses.

This doesn't necessarily mean they didn't need Manafort's testimony because they already had reliable evidence on the matter. All it means is that Manafort has proved to be unreliable when discussing matters about which the investigators do have reliable evidence, so they can't trust his word on other matters, either.

That doesn't mean they have independent evidence on those other matters. It simply means in respect of matters where they have independent evidence it's become clear that Manafort can't be relied on to keep his side of the bargain in the plea deal.
 

Kara Spengler

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#5
I don't follow the logic here:
Manafort offered testimony on various matters relating to the investigation. Mueller's team wanted to use this evidence, but he turns out to be a witness on whom they say they cannot rely, so they want to cut their losses.

This doesn't necessarily mean they didn't need Manafort's testimony because they already had reliable evidence on the matter. All it means is that Manafort has proved to be unreliable when discussing matters about which the investigators do have reliable evidence, so they can't trust his word on other matters, either.

That doesn't mean they have independent evidence on those other matters. It simply means in respect of matters where they have independent evidence it's become clear that Manafort can't be relied on to keep his side of the bargain in the plea deal.
From what it sounds like originally Manafort copping a plea gave them a huge link. Only one of multiple though. By him lying and them knowing it he may have unwittingly given them a shortcut path to their endgame though.
 

Innula Zenovka

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From what it sounds like originally Manafort copping a plea gave them a huge link. Only one of multiple though. By him lying and them knowing it he may have unwittingly given them a shortcut path to their endgame though.
All sorts of things may be the case, but I don't think it's safe to assume that any one of them must be the case.

I find it difficult to believe that Mueller ever intended to rely on Manafort's evidence particularly, since his past conduct gives any defence attorney plenty of ammunition with which to attack his credibility, so I suspect his main value was that he was thought to be able to corroborate evidence the investigation already had, and maybe point the investigators towards new evidence with which to develop their lines of inquiry.
 
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Chin Rey

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Oct 28, 2018
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#7
Why is it Hollywood never could come up with a plot as good as this?
 

Pamela

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#9
Sounds like Donny thinks someone deserves a pardon!


And no there are no “sides”,:like this is a baseball game and Mueller is the umpire. This the law vs criminals.
 
Sep 21, 2018
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#11
Sounds like Donny thinks someone deserves a pardon!

Notice how Trumpy gets more and more nervous when we're talking about investigation of Jarod, Ivanka and Don Jr? He publicly drew a "red line" forbidding investigation of his family, which was the equivalent of posting a Wiley Coyote sign saying "Hey look in here!".
 
Oct 6, 2018
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#12
Notice how Trumpy gets more and more nervous when we're talking about investigation of Jarod, Ivanka and Don Jr? He publicly drew a "red line" forbidding investigation of his family, which was the equivalent of posting a Wiley Coyote sign saying "Hey look in here!".
That's the hilarity, ne? If I were still on birdsite, I'd be tempted to suggest he become a criminal defense attorney, as his strategy of defining the limits of an investigation to those charged with investigating potential crimes is quite novel, and would surely rapidly gain him a reputation in the courtroom.
 

Katheryne Helendale

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#13
Oct 6, 2018
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#14
He's got a list, he's checking it twice..

Mueller has emails from Stone pal Corsi about WikiLeaks Dem email dump

Two months before WikiLeaks released emails stolen from the Clinton campaign, right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi sent an email to former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone anticipating the document dump, according to draft court papers obtained by NBC News.
"Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps," Corsi wrote on Aug. 2, 2016, referring to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to the draft court papers. "One shortly after I'm back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging."

The email was revealed in a draft court document, known as a statement of the offense, sent to Corsi by special counsel Robert Mueller's office. Mueller also sent Corsi a draft plea agreementstipulating that the special counsel would not oppose Corsi requesting a sentence of probation if he agreed to plead guilty to one count of lying to federal investigators.
The full article is worth a read. ^_^
 

Jolene Benoir

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#15
Rumor has it Trump is entertaining the notion of pardoning Manafort, who Mueller claims breached his plea agreement.

Nadler warns Trump 'dangling a pardon' for Manafort is 'close to obstruction of justice' | CNN
Well, since Manafort gave Trump's team information prior to Trump answering questions, we'll have to see if and how badly Trumpy boy copied off Manafort's paper.

Manafort’s Lawyer Said to Brief Trump Attorneys on What He Told Mueller

If he gets an F grade, I wouldn't expect a pardon.
 
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Sep 21, 2018
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Manafort met Assange in Ecuadorian Embassy

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.
Given that the UK has kept close watch on the Embassy, I would not be surprised if there is surveillance camera footage, plus passport and airline data. Even credit card data can place Manafort in the area at the time.
 
Oct 6, 2018
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#17
Ooh. Here's a fun coda to the news Mueller has incriminating Corsi email..

Trump and Jerome Corsi Have a Defense Agreement, Giuliani Confirms

President Donald Trump, who built his political rise on promoting far-right birther claims against President Barack Obama, does in fact have a joint defense agreement with leading birther conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, The Daily Beast has confirmed.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney handling special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, said in a brief phone interview morning that the joint defense agreement that Corsi had earlier claimed existed does actually exist.
 
Sep 21, 2018
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#18
He's got a list, he's checking it twice..

Mueller has emails from Stone pal Corsi about WikiLeaks Dem email dump

The full article is worth a read. ^_^
Corsi's bibliography reads like the men's room walls at a mental asylum.

Among other things he co-wrote "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry" along with the seminal Obama-is-a-Muslim book, "Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to be President".

It's very hard to read through the list without rolling my eyes so hard my brain hurts. It only makes sense that he's tied this way to the Trump gang. Like Trump, he's a pathological liar whose word isn't worth the powder it would take to blow it away.
 

Kara Spengler

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#19