Manafort’s Information

The Special Counsel’s Office has filed a superseding criminal information on Paul Manafort.  

It is a 78 page document outlining all of the various ways that Manafort and Gates worked under the direction of pro-Russian oligarchs in the Ukraine and then attempted to hide their tracks and their money.

He will be pleading guilty to two charges: Conspiracy to Defraud the US and Obstruction of Justice.

Open Thread as more information comes in:

update 1: Manafort is flipping

 

 

196 replies
  1. 1
    Platonailedit says:

    A superseding criminal information filed against Manafort alleges conspiracy against the U.S. (money laundering, tax fraud, failing to file Foreign Bank Account Reports, violating FARA, lying and misrepresenting to DOJ) and conspiracy to obstruct justice. https://t.co/9mb9DsUp1h— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 14, 2018

    While @realDonaldTrump inaccurately charged @JohnKerry with FARA violations bc he spoke with Iranians, Manafort pleads guilty to, among other charges, FARA violation— Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) September 14, 2018

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  2. 2
    Platonailedit says:

    Upon entering his guilty plea, Manafort will forfeit his home in the Hamptons, a NYC property, a Brooklyn property, and a property in Alexandria, VA.In addition, Manafort will forfeit all funds contained in 4 banking accounts and a life insurance policy. https://t.co/NxO8mPDPnx— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 14, 2018

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  5. 5
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Popehat has been something of a skeptic about Manafort taking trump down, and I don’t pretend to understand all the legalese here, but this thread is about how unusual this agreement is from a prosecutor, i.e. Mueller making public information in an unusual way in this case. The meat for us lay folk (again, if I’m reading right, IANAL etc)
    More

    /6 I could be wrong of course. But it appears that the information is calculated to make it more politically painful to pardon Manafort — to make a preemptive strike on the “he was unfairly prosecuted for old stuff that was nothing” narrative.

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  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Please not to be referring to Ukraine as “the Ukraine.”

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  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Platonailedit:

    Manafort will forfeit

    Oooh.

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  8. 8
    Immanentize says:

    As per usual, I just wrote a long thing in the thread below about some things to think about — I am pasting it here too:

    OK, here is the deal — when you plead guilty to an offense, the court has a pre-sentence Investigation report prepared. In federal court, sentences are heavily guided by the federal sentencing guidelines which is a sentencing rubric that the court MUST consider. For a judge to go outside the guidelines, either up of down, she must have good reasons for doing so which are put in writing and may be appealed. The reason that the guidelines sentence range is so firm is because it includes all the normal sentencing considerations including type of crime, victims, damage, etc. For all the statutory items, aggravating and mitigating, you get ‘points’ which raise or lower your guidelines range. With me so far?

    Acceptance of responsibility is a HUGE benefit to defendants. So, once one pleads guilty, the probation department (technically the judicial branch, but really just cops) will ask you to explain every detail of everything associated with the crime. if you hesitate at all, you lose your acceptance of responsibility good points and instead get bad points for lack of remorse.

    These two charges will require Manafort to explain a whole heck of a lot about his money laundering crimes and his attempts to cover up sources and obstruct justice. Plus, his failure to fully come clean in this case can affect his range of punishment in the Virginia case. It will be interesting to see whether the sentencing is now consolidated….

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  9. 9
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: There’s some reason, as many have pointed out, that Mueller farmed our most of the prosecutions to other jurisdictions but kept this one. I’ve been wondering if Manafort is pardon bait, if Mueller has prepared not a perjury trap but an 11th-dimensional pardon trap of some sort.

    Not that I have any clue how that would work. But Mueller clearly is up to something deep here.

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  10. 10
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Immanentize: Great information because the question is with whom did he obstruct justice. I assume the answer is Trump and Trump sycophants. This is not a good day for Trump and his legal team.

    Go Mueller!!

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  11. 11
    Jamey says:

    So, basically, candidate Trump’s campaign head pled guilty to collusion and obstruction of justice.

    In chess, this is what’s called being “in check.” Manafort may get a pardon, but this is a world of shit for Trump’s defense.

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  12. 12
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Immanentize: thanks – I was about to ask if you or LAO or one of the other fine members of the Balloon Juice legal flying squad could explain what this means to the great unwashed among us

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  13. 13
    Jamey says:

    @Gin & Tonic: For one thing, it’s not fair to all the other Ukraines…

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  14. 14
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Immanentize: I want to say thank you for this and thanks in general for all the accurate legal information you provide to us here; it is incredibly useful and informative to us nonlegals.

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  15. 15
    Immanentize says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    Balloon Juice legal flying squad

    More like flying circus….

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  16. 16
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @StringOnAStick: And even the Balloon-Juice Platinum Select subscription plan costs less than law school tuition.

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  17. 17
    eric says:

    @Immanentize: It seems to me that Manafort is an interesting legal place: he may still have the right to assert the 5th amendment after a pardon because the state charges would still be viable. Yes?

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  18. 18
    eclare says:

    @Immanentize: Adding my thank you for the legal information.

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  19. 19
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I, in turn, am always amazed at Cheryl’s deep knowledge of things nuclear. And every day I am grateful for an insight or information some other jackal shares. You may have missed my favorite one the other day —

    “humans are not rational beings, they are just animals capable of reason.” I immediately took that to my criminal law class.
    Frankensteinbeck? Another writer? I misplaced the credit where credit is due! Please help me out if you can

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  20. 20

    @Gin & Tonic:
    As a Red Diamond member I pay six thousand times the ordinary Balloon Juice rate and receive exclusive services only shared by others who pay as much as I do.

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    HinTN says:

    Flying legal beagle squad?

    @Immanentize: Also too, thanks!

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  22. 22

    @Immanentize:
    “humans are not rational beings, they are just animals capable of reason.”
    That was me! It’s the basis of all modern psychology. It has been very, VERY thoroughly tested and proven.

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  23. 23

    @Immanentize:
    I believe I phrased it ‘Humans are not rational animals, we are animals capable of reason.’

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    Also what membership level do I have to buy to get an edit button?

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  25. 25
    Jeffro says:

    I’m trying to wrap my head around this one, knowing that Manafort is guilty as sin and Mueller is smart as heck.

    I’m thinking something along the lines of, Manafort not directly giving testimony against Trumpov himself, but giving up more than enough to lead prosecutors to all the right people, slush funds, meetings, and so on…not sure whether I’m thinking RICO or Russia or both

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  26. 26
    MattF says:

    Manafort is the guy who had his fingers (and toes and various other miscellaneous extremities) in all the pies. Getting him to explain all that is a big deal, IMO.

    He’s also in serious jeopardy from non-federal charges and retaliation from thugs and killers all over the world. And Roger Stone. I don’t think he’s getting away with anything.

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  27. 27
    MattF says:

    @MattF: Also, Manafort remorseful? Ha ha ha.

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  28. 28
    Betty Cracker says:

    I don’t have any idea what to make of this, but it has to be a relief for the Trump people not to have Trump’s campaign chairman on trial with reports of his perfidy surfacing daily during the run-up to the election.

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  29. 29
    WaterGirl says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: First you have to get the exact wording right so the Google can find your comment on balloon juice. Only then will you get the coupon code so you can apply for membership in the “you get an edit button” club.

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  30. 30
    Immanentize says:

    @eric: This is a very interesting question, but the answer about these two charges seems to clearly be no — they are federal crimes in nature. States can’t charge these, so he has no fifth amendment protections on these specific facts. That said, there is always an argument that coming clean may create further criminal charges, so maybe Mananfort may retain some 5th A. rights. But he would lose his acceptance of responsibility points, etc.

    My guess is that is precisely what the negotiations were about. Fundamentally an immunity agreement for other charges in return for pleading guilty to these — and coming clean.

    Indictments versus informations — As the news reports, the Government has filed a superceding information, not an indictment. Quickly, and indictment is a charge returned by a grand jury, an information is a charging document filed by the prosecutor without the grand jury). In federal court, prosecutors cannot file felony informations unless the charge has already been issued by the grand jury (indictment). Once a grand jury issues indictments in a case, the prosecutor has almost complete discretion to go with the indicted charges, pick some charges and discard others, or even decide to proceed on a lesser charge based on the same facts. In this case, the prosecutors chose among the charges already indicted. I imagine the deal includes dismissing the other indictments, although a voluntary dismissal does not preclude a prosecutor from re-seeking a new indictment on the same dismissed charges (within the statute of limitations) if the person taking the plea proves to be a bad bad boy.

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  31. 31
    geg6 says:

    So, stupid me, I still don’t get the reason that Mueller would agree to drop all the other charges. He’s not cooperating. He may still have Fifth Amendment protection because he could still be prosecuted by other jurisdictions. He has no incentive to give up anything at all, even the most minor of things, even during sentencing in the hope of decreasing possible sentences because Trump’s going to pardon him. So why not make him plead to everything?

    I don’t get it. Perhaps there’s an upside somewhere in this, but I don’t see one.

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  32. 32
    Immanentize says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: However phrased, it is a very important thing in criminal law mens rea issues and it is so well and succinctly put. Mille grazie!

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  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    @MattF: Just like my cocker spaniel used to be when I caught her in the garbage. She was very sorry that she had been caught. Not so sorry for actually getting in the garbage.

    Apologies to all cocker spaniels everywhere for the comparison.

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  34. 34
    hueyplong says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: As a Bronze Member I pay a fraction of what you elitists shell out, yet I receive the same criminal law procedure updates, along with spicy mustard.

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    hitchhiker says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Is that your own formulation or something from a rando expert? It’s super helpful.

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  36. 36
    Central Planning says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    As a Red Diamond member I pay six thousand times the ordinary Balloon Juice rate and receive exclusive services only shared by others who pay as much as I do.

    That pales to the benefits I get with my Unobtainium membership, which includes all benefits of the lesser membership levels plus meet-up expense reimbursement.

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  37. 37
    Immanentize says:

    @geg6: The punishment of Manafort is not the only goal. he will be in prison for years no matter what from his earlier conviction. Unless he sings like a boid. Mueller, as Adam reminds us, knows everything; but some of what he knows comes from intelligence sources that cannot be compromised or maybe cannot be used in court for other reasons (warrantless wiretapping of US citizen is one possibility that jumps to mind). These charges probably give Mueller the type of evidence about information he needs to further pursue his charge of ferreting out the collusion!

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  38. 38
    geg6 says:

    @Immanentize:

    I guess I don’t understand how that happens. I’d be laughing in all their faces if I was Manafort. He has nothing to lose by doing it. Nothing.

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  39. 39
    Immanentize says:

    @MattF: Almost everyone is sorry — that they were caught.

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  40. 40
    Amir Khalid says:

    The post headline “Manafort’s Information” is ambiguous. It could mean information provided by Manafort (this is what I was expecting at first; that he was trading someone’s hide to Mueller for a lighter sentence) or, as it turned out, information about Manafort.
    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I’m intrigued by Popehat’s speculation that Mueller’s team filed the superceding information not so much to sway the judge’s sentencing decision as to make it politically painful for Trump to pardon Manafort, on top of the fact that such a pardon would of course free them to compel Manafort to give damaging testimony against him who need not be named.

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  41. 41

    @Frankensteinbeck: if you want it now, and not in a few weeks, you have to contribute lots of time…

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    jeffreyw says:

    @hueyplong:
    Wait.. What? You have john’s mustard?

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    Cermet says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Not true nor has it been ‘proven’ – that is impossible. You’d have to test everyone to make that absolute statement about all humans. But it is a false statement, anyway; humans are most certainly capable and do follow rational thoughts and thinking; of course, far from always and for many, it is even rare. But that is not the same as saying we are not rational animals. That isn’t correct at all.

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    eric says:

    @Immanentize: is it constitutional to punish someone (read: uncooperative for sentencing) for exercising the constitutional right against self incrimination?

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  45. 45

    @geg6: perhaps he finds trials stressful and wants to live out his death-in-prison sentence in peace.

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    Anonymous At Work says:

    Key question: What facts is he pleading to, specifically? @Immanentize has a great point in that Mueller is getting guilty pleas to the federal-only charges and would retain the possibility to state-level charges to the rest, especially in cases of Presidential Pardon or back-sliding.

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  47. 47
    burnspbesq says:

    Meanwhile, the D.C. circuit vacated the one murder conviction of the Blackwater contractors in the Nasir Square massacre, and remanded the three manslaughter cases for resentencing.

    Apparently it’s improper to apply the “use of military weapons” enhancement to paramilitary troops.

    Yes, I agree, that’s hard to understand.

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  48. 48
    raven says:

    A woman is accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her at a party while they were both in high school.

    Kavanaugh, in a statement to The New Yorker, which broke the details of the encounter, denied the claim.

    “I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” he said. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

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  49. 49
    Betty Cracker says:

    Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer at The New Yorker just dropped a story on the Kavanaugh sexual misconduct allegations.

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  50. 50
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Central Planning:
    As a Thurston Poop Member I don’t even get meetups on my side of the planet, let alone meetup expenses. Sob.

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  51. 51
    tokyocali (formerly tokyo expat) says:

    @Immanentize: Thank you. I am so glad that there are lawyer jackals willing to explain the ins and outs to us non-legal folks. I hope you are right and that there is an intent to squeeze all they can from Manafort.

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  52. 52
    burnspbesq says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Also what membership level do I have to buy to get an edit button

    If you haven’t been invited, you’re not meant to have it.

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  53. 53
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Immanentize: What has struck me about Manafort’s legal maneuvering from the very beginning is that this is a guy who is willing to try every possible angle, every possible delaying tactic no matter how tiny the chances are that it might work for him. Is he just trying to drag this out longer and hoping for some kind of Hail Mary other than a pardon or in addition to a pardon?

    How long does it take to prepare and file the pre-sentence investigation report? Will we be getting those juicy details before or after the upcoming election? Some are saying this gets Manafort out of the news in the election run up since there will be no trial, but it seems to me that dribbling out this sort of information could be just as damaging.

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  54. 54
    Cermet says:

    @geg6: Simple: Mueller gets all the dirt, it goes public, and many others are either shown to be involved or knew about it. A long trial and even conviction wouldn’t achieve any more. Also, he gives up most or all of his money and properties. Its a hard hit and jail time will also be added. Even a pardon goes not return his money nor properties and we still have all the dirt dug up. This is a major win and allows Mueller to speed up his criminal investigation before the other rats have time to hid.

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  55. 55
    Immanentize says:

    @eric:
    1) It is not constitutional to punish anyone for exercising their right to remain silent, but
    2) once you plead guilty to a crime, you no longer have a fifth amendment right to be free from compelled testimony because you have already admitted to the elements of the crime.

    There will likely be a plea allocution today in which the judge either reads a bunch of facts prepared by the prosecution team and asks whether the defendant did those things (factual basis for the plea of guilty) or, in some cases, the judge makes the defendant say what they did and then asks specific questions to fill out the factual basis for the guilty plea. If a defendant starts hedging, the judge rejects the guilty plea and starts the trial.

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    hueyplong says:

    @jeffreyw: Not gonna respond re mustard. Holding out for a better please deal.

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    @Immanentize: Nah, flying pack of winged jackals.

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  58. 58
    jacy says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    The Black Diamond membership. It’s all downhill from there.
    (I’ll show myself out)

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    PAM Dirac says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Also what membership level do I have to buy to get an edit button?

    If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. :-)

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    cope says:

    I had to give up a property in NYC and one in Brooklyn and one in Alexandria, VA and the funds in four bank accounts and a life insurance policy once. But thanks to some great legal counsel I received here at BJ, I was able to keep my home in the Hamptons.

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    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Perhaps his lawyers want to be paid and he’s out of clean money.

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    Immanentize says:

    @burnspbesq: Things that make one go “hmmmm.” I guess that the proliferation of military-style guns in the public square makes them no longer military in the field. But bazookas are probably still military weapons. At least today.

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    Immanentize says:

    @raven:

    or at any time

    That is a very interesting add on to his denial.

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  64. 64
    geg6 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    But he won’t go to prison. Trump is going to pardon him, according to everything I’ve been reading.

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  65. 65
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think this is indeed part of the issue. Manafort is out of “Mr. Green,” his most critical witness.

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  66. 66
    hueyplong says:

    Plea deal, not please deal.
    Bronze Level does not include edit function.

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    StringOnAStick says:

    @Immanentize:

    There will likely be a plea allocution today in which the judge either reads a bunch of facts prepared by the prosecution team and asks whether the defendant did those things (factual basis for the plea of guilty) or, in some cases, the judge makes the defendant say what they did and then asks specific questions to fill out the factual basis for the guilty plea. If a defendant starts hedging, the judge rejects the guilty plea and starts the trial.

    Will this be public information? Oh yeah, my day just got a LOT more interesting!

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  68. 68
    Immanentize says:

    @geg6: Don’t believe everything you read at TPM

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    eclare says:

    @Immanentize: I thought that was odd, myself.

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    Immanentize says:

    @StringOnAStick: Yes, Manafort will have to do this in public today.

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    germy says:

    @Betty Cracker: And now the FBI is refusing to investigate, saying the letter was submitted too late?

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    StringOnAStick says:

    @Immanentize: YES! News media, get the hell ON THIS!

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    Elizabelle says:

    @geg6: Perhaps you need to read more widely! I hope that a pardon is not in the works.

    I get tired of these “gloomy gus” pundits. May be nothing more than taking a stand and staking out a brand.

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    eric says:

    @Immanentize: My bad, I apologize, i dont mean here and now. I mean if he is subpoenaed before a state grand jury.

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    burnspbesq says:

    @Immanentize:

    I kinda get the rationale for overturning the murder conviction. It probably would have been fairer to that guy to try him separately. But why reverse instead of vacating and remanding?

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  76. 76
    Immanentize says:

    Just a thought on the timing. This is normal before any trial — especially where the defendant is already convicted of other crimes and is going to prison in any case.

    That said, even if Trump is planning to pardon Manafort (which I for one doubt) he would not likely do it before the midterms. That means the Feds have six weeks to debrief Manafort before any pardon comes through.

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  77. 77
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @geg6: Except a big chunk of his net worth as mentioned above
    Upon entering his guilty plea, Manafort will forfeit his home in the Hamptons, a NYC property, a Brooklyn property, and a property in Alexandria, VA.In addition, Manafort will forfeit all funds contained in 4 banking accounts and a life insurance policy. https://t.co/NxO8mPDPnx— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September

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    Fair Economist says:

    @geg6: The betting markets are still 4:1 against a pardon in the near future.

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    burnspbesq says:

    Even if Kavanaugh did what he is accused of, it’s hard to come up with two Republican senators likely to change their votes as a result.

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    randy khan says:

    I’m thinking that the excruciating detail in the superseding information is kind of like the detail in Cohen’s plea – Manafort is going to swear in open court that all of what’s in there is true, which makes it useful for other purposes.

    Also, this is something of a reminder of what a dope Manafort was to try to tamper with witnesses. That’s one of the two charges he’s pleading to.

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  81. 81
    Fair Economist says:

    @Betty Cracker: And, amazingly, they manage to make a story about Trump appointing an attempted rapist to the Supreme Court to be about – Democrats in Disarray!

    Is this a hypnosis trick, like when somebody is made to cluck like a chicken?

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  82. 82
    Immanentize says:

    @burnspbesq: Vacating and remanding is what one appellate court does to another appellate court’s decision. When there is a trial error, the correct appellate court response to the trial court is to reverse (aka overturn) the conviction. It is really the same as vacating the sentence and remanding, but a reversal means the defendant is returned to his pristine not-guilty state while awaiting re-trial. and he can be retried on the charge underlying the conviction that was overturned.

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  83. 83
    Elizabelle says:

    @burnspbesq: I don’t know. I wonder if Murkowski and Collins have been looking for a reason not to support, much as Collins is a finger in the wind Lucy with the football kind of person.

    Kavanaugh is a terrible choice for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. He was chosen solely so Trump could try to keep his own ass away from legal penalties. And to pursue severely conservative positions, and enshrine them in law.

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  84. 84
    Tim C. says:

    Someone who understands more than me, help me please.

    Isn’t it clear to everyone what Trump is? Are there any voters left who will be swayed against Trump or the Republicans by a pardon? Why not do it before the election to prove a point and drive more GOP base voters to the polls by their love of Orange daddy-god?

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  85. 85

    @Immanentize:

    it is a very important thing in criminal law mens rea issues

    I am deeply intrigued. Can you elucidate?

    @hitchhiker:
    It’s my own phrasing, but it’s basic to psychology. The brain makes decisions with emotions first – literally cannot make decisions without emotions – and then applies logic, which most of the time merely paints a justification on those emotions. An ability at logic is built into us, but it requires effort and training to use it, especially to use it as an override. (Note that we do get training constantly from infancy, but of wildly varying quality.) Add onto that the human brain hosts a whole carnival of short circuits that change our thinking in ways we cannot see and many of which do not sound reasonable when you hear them explained.

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    tobie says:

    @germy: I wonder if Maryland can still investigate this. There’s no statute of limitation on rape in the state. I’m assuming the alleged assault happened in Maryland.

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  87. 87
    pluky says:

    @WaterGirl:
    From my catechism:
    – Regret: I’m sorry, not for what I did, but for the unintended consequences (like getting caught)
    – Remorse: I’m sorry because I just proved what a horrible person I am.
    – Repentance: I’m sorry, so I’ll do whatever is needed to fix what I can, including myself so I don’t do whatever again.

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  88. 88
    Immanentize says:

    @burnspbesq: It might be enough for Collins to finally change to a “non” (french Canadians and all). But it just helps solidify the impression that the republicans are the party of Pu$$y grabbers, harassers and rapi$ts

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    burnspbesq says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I’d be a lot happier if you were right. Kavanaugh is unfit.

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  90. 90
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker: Jane Mayer’s name on the reporting reassures me. Although, what we have is confirmation that there is a woman who has come forth with allegations and put them in writing.

    And the classmate who was the third party in the room conveniently doesn’t remember anything. Which is what you would say if you were drunk or wanted to use drunkenness as a cover for accomplice to an assault.

    But drip, drip, drip. A Democratic nominee with those bizarre credit card issues would not make it out of Committee. Drip, drip, drip might take this terrible nominee down.

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  91. 91
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @StringOnAStick: I suspect that Manafort really believed he had a chance of being acquitted in the first trial. I think he was gobsmacked by the convictions plus the news that only one juror thought he was innocent of anything at all. I think he’s decided to cut his losses.

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  92. 92
    Immanentize says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Can you elucidate?

    I can, but right now I may not! I have to go to a meeting about learning outcomes….

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  94. 94
    geg6 says:

    I am not exclusively reading my take on the pardon on TPM, though I do read it. It’s pretty much taken for granted on every site I read (except BJ) and has been for weeks since the last trial. And I don’t disagree, I guess. Trump isn’t smart and isn’t strategic. Why anyone thinks he’ll wait until after the midterms to do it is beyond me. And why Manafort would give up anything under those circumstances is also completely beyond my comprehension. This idea that he’s suddenly going to sing because he wants to shave a couple of years off of his sentence, one he doesn’t expect to serve at all, sounds like a bad joke.

    Nothing anyone has said so far has convinced me otherwise. Maybe you’re not explaining it simply enough for me. IANAL, but I’m not an idiot and did score well enough on the LSAT to get into my law school of choice when I still thought I was going to go to law school. So I do understand some of this stuff. I just don’t get how this is any sort of win for Mueller. It seems a disaster to me. Convince me I’m wrong.

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  95. 95
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @eclare: It does suggest “So all those other women are lying too”, doesn’t it?

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    prostratedragon says:

    @Gelfling 545: And for each asset listed there is the phrase “and any property traceable thereto.” I’m not a lawyer, but that sounds like it could really go places.

    Anyway, the basses have finally begun the Fugata theme and we should be hearing a rather strident chorus soon.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    According to CNN he is cooperating. Cue Tweetstorm in 3, 2……….

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    MattF says:

    @Gelfling 545: After all, he only tried to tamper with witnesses. So, maybe that doesn’t actually count.

    But seriously, there’s the real possibility that Manafort isn’t as brilliant as he thinks he is.

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    kindness says:

    Is it too early to start building guillotines?

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    burnspbesq says:

    Esoteric question: does a pardon wipe out the collateral estoppel effect that the convictions on the tax and FBAR charges would normally have in subsequent IRS civil proceedings? Or is Manafort still going to the almshouse when he’s released from prison?

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    Platonailedit says:

    The plea deal calls for a 10-year cap on how long Manafort will be sent to prison, and for Manafort to serve time from his separate Virginia and Washington cases concurrently, a source familiar with the discussions tells Politico. https://t.co/tfogr0QSOd— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 14, 2018

    10 years? Concurrent? wtf?

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    Calouste says:

    @raven: I expect that there will be more women coming forward accusing Kavanaugh of inappropriate behavior. You know that a guy with a privileged upbringing like his just thinks that he is allowed to do that. With all the other sexual abusers that have been exposed over the last year or two, it has never been just a single case either.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    Mike in DC says:

    @jeffreyw: Holy shitsnacks. Trump’s gonna stroke out at the thought of finally being held to account.

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle: And somehow, Chuck Grassley has just managed to find 65 women who went to high school with Kavanaugh who attest that he didn’t try to rape them..

    His staff works very quickly, n’est-ce pas?

    Or maybe they knew about the story a while ago and had time to prepare?

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    Gravenstone says:

    @MattF: As with most crooks, they’re remorseful that they got caught.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    germy says:

    update 1: Manafort is flipping

    Should be some interesting all caps tweets forthcoming.

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    geg6 says:

    @geg6:

    Well…I guess that pardon and joint defense agreement are out the window.

    Yeah, a plea with no cooperation would not have been a win. But the cooperation is a game changer. Jesus. Mango Mussolini is going to stroke out.

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    C. Isaac says:

    And the obligatory:

    Tick.

    Tock.

    Mother.

    Fuckers.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    eclare says:

    @Gelfling 545: Absolutely…..

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
    No One of Consequence says:

    @Just One More Canuck: I resemble that remark. And I will have you know that I have indeed showered this month. Already. That’s right.

    – NOoC

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    randy khan says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    According to CNN he is cooperating. Cue Tweetstorm in 3, 2……….

    My phone is now telling me this from multiple sources.

    That will be fascinating. And does the deal come with a food taster?

    ReplyReply
  112. 112

    Orange One to go red giant then super nova in 3, 2, 1….

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    randy khan says:

    @Platonailedit:

    10 years? Concurrent? wtf?

    And now we know why.

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    MattF says:

    @randy khan: And a doorknob-turner.

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    Ruviana says:

    @Immanentize: Dear god, you have my deepest sympathy!

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    Aleta says:

    @Amir Khalid: I received a discount offer for a Steve Hairball (SHair) trial membership if I answer a few questions about my home, bank accounts, etc.

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    MattF says:

    @MattF: And a defenestration parachute.

    ReplyReply
  118. 118

    @geg6: Intertoobz know-it-alls don’t know everything, film at elebenty. Mueller Wan-Kenobi knows what he is doing.

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    germy says:

    @tobie:

    I wonder if Maryland can still investigate this. There’s no statute of limitation on rape in the state. I’m assuming the alleged assault happened in Maryland.

    Good question. Any legal eagles here want to explain? Does she need to officially bring a complaint to the authorities?

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    Calouste says:

    @Platonailedit: Manafort is 69. The life expectancy of a 69 year old man is 15 years.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121

    @Betty Cracker: I knew it! R party is the brotherhood of pu$$y grabbers.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    danielx says:

    @Mike in DC:

    Nope. He does not believe that he will ever be held to account for anything. Why should he? He’s never faced any real consequences – i.e., penury, prison, or both – for anything he’s done in the past. He still has not grasped that DOJ employees are not his employees.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    feebog says:

    Mueller already has information from Rick Gates. Most likely Gates knows most of what Manafort knows. Mueller wants that last ten percent and I think he will get it with this plea agreement. The only thing Manafort has going for him right now is sentence reduction. There is no way he can count on a pardon from Trumpov.

    ReplyReply
  124. 124
    Ruviana says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’ve read that the Committee was aware of the letter a week ago, so Grassley had some lead time to prepare the response.

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    Bostonian says:

    @schrodingers_cat: GOP = Grabby Old Perverts

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Immanentize: Ain’t that the truth! Thanks for the guideline explanation; yours is much more succinct than mine would have been.

    Forfeiture gonna hurt… I once knew a guy who got out of being careerized by forfeiting all his properties and cash from his weed sales. I was a bit surprised to see his name on the unindicted co-conspirator list at a pretrial, since the had much more culpability than our client. The AUSA said “wasn’t my decision” rather unhappily. He’s more commonly referred to as Judge these days. My friend who worked that deal couldn’t explain it- has was quite surprised, though his guy told all, with some exaggeration about those lower down the chain. Like our client.😔

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    Keith P. says:

    I’m going to be hitting refresh on “realdonaldtrump” all day now :) I can’t wait to see how he goes after Manafort now.

    ReplyReply
  128. 128
    divF says:

    @burnspbesq:

    collateral estoppel

    Sounds like a piece of technical terminology out of Kraft-Ebing.

    ReplyReply
  129. 129
    Bruce K says:

    @Keith P.: You’re braver than I am. I had to block him both in his personal Twitter identity and the official POTUS identity, for the sake of my blood pressure.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    JPL says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: They will take his phone, so the tweets won’t come until later.

    ReplyReply
  131. 131

    @kindness:

    Is it too early to start building guillotines?

    Hell, no. We ought to have been stockpiling the fucking things since last year.

    ReplyReply
  132. 132

    @Keith P.: Give us an update of the gasbag evolution, from Orange to Red Giant to Super Nova and then a Black Hole. Like a real star, it will be huge.

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
    westyny says:

    @burnspbesq: I think it could, COULD, mind you, finally push Murkowski and Collins over the line.

    ReplyReply
  134. 134
    JPL says:

    Although I batting zero with my hunches, I think Jared flips next. This is good news for Don Jr.

    ReplyReply
  135. 135

    @Bruce K: I cannot watch him on TV for more than one minute. Or hear him speak for that matter.

    ReplyReply
  136. 136
    divF says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Liveblogging a Twitter feed.

    ReplyReply
  137. 137
    JPL says:

    @JPL: I’m batting.. ugh

    ReplyReply
  138. 138

    @Bostonian: Good One. There is nothing grand about the Reprobate party.

    ReplyReply
  139. 139
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @HinTN: There’s a bank in town that decided it will not accept checks payable you an individual attorney in a firm if the memo reads “legal fees”. So my friends are partners in Box of Rocks & Bag of Donuts, but the bank won’t take a check for legal fees to Joe Bag of Donurs; it has to say Box of Rocks & Bag of Donuts. So Joe had clients put “beagle fees” on all checks, payable to either.

    ReplyReply
  140. 140
    dmsilev says:

    Mouthpiece of Twitler speaks:

    NEW: White House @PressSec Sarah Sanders on Paul Manafort’s plea deal: “This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign. It is totally unrelated.”https://abcn.ws/2xcH6xl

    Yeah, good luck with that one.

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    The Moar You Know says:

    update 1: Manafort is flipping

    Fucker better plan on spending the rest of his short life in jail. Vlad is gonna have his dumb ass killed the first chance he gets.

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    PAM Dirac says:

    @tobie:

    I’m assuming the alleged assault happened in Maryland.

    Likely, but not certain. Prep draws from a pretty wide area and wouldn’t be unusual for the parties to be in DC or the VA suburbs.

    ReplyReply
  143. 143
    Fair Economist says:

    @feebog:

    Mueller already has information from Rick Gates. Most likely Gates knows most of what Manafort knows. Mueller wants that last ten percent and I think he will get it with this plea agreement.

    What Mueller gets is that now he can have *two* witnesses. Gates alone was not considered a credible witness to the jury during Manafort’s trial but if there are two people saying the same thing it gets a lot harder for the jury to refuse to accept it.

    ReplyReply
  144. 144
  145. 145
    WaterGirl says:

    @pluky: Excellent definitions.

    ReplyReply
  146. 146
    WaterGirl says:

    @pluky: Sorry, meant to add that my pup Mellon was clearly stuck at Regret. At getting caught.

    Sadly, most of the elected Republicans seem to be stuck at that stage, too. They regret that Trump says all this stuff out loud, but that’s about it.

    ReplyReply
  147. 147
    Origuy says:

    Talia Levin of the late Village Voice wrote an article last month about what Manafort did to Ukraine.

    ReplyReply
  148. 148
    Anonymous At Work says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: …and I have a new tattoo to get…
    PS: Earned a clinical psychologist the Nobel Prize in Economics…

    ReplyReply
  149. 149
    Kelly says:

    Seems to me Manafort has to have dirty money stashed somewhere. Will this expose the dirty money or somehow put it forever out of reach?

    ReplyReply
  150. 150
    Another Scott says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I assume Yulia and her team are pouring over today’s documents with all the popcorn, also too.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  151. 151
    gwangung says:

    @Kelly: Hm. Doubt it’ll expose it directly.

    But clues? Oh, hell, I think investigators will bore in as they suck up info on higher ups.

    ReplyReply
  152. 152
    MattF says:

    @JPL: I think Mueller will be extremely reluctant to indict anyone in Trump’s immediate family.

    ReplyReply
  153. 153
    dmsilev says:

    Heh. TPM:

    According to CNBC reporter Eamon Javers, Trump’s attorneys predicted in an initial statement that Manafort “will tell the truth,” before sending out a “corrected” version of the statement stripped of that line.

    ReplyReply
  154. 154
    joel hanes says:

    > beagle fees

    In the Scrooge McDuck comics, The Beagle Boys are a large gang of organized criminals.
    They all wear black masks.

    ReplyReply
  155. 155
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @dmsilev:

    or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign.

    Of which Paul Fucking Manafort was the fucking CHAIRMAN!

    ReplyReply
  156. 156
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Another Scott: Yulia really needs to STFU and go away.

    ReplyReply
  157. 157
    JPL says:

    @MattF: He will unlikely indict a family member before the mid-terms, but I assume just because he’s family isn’t going to stop Mueller.

    ReplyReply
  158. 158
    J R in WV says:

    I for one am satisfied with today’s — Friday’s — news dump. This is great news for Senator McCain ;-) who will discuss it in depth on chucky todd’s tv comedy Sunday.

    And it sounds like all by himself, Paul Manafort is enough Russian connection to put Trumpf between the big rock and the very hard spot!!

    “No puppet, no puppet!!!! You’re the puppet!!!”

    Hahah! Probably no tweets, what to say, after all?

    Glad to see that much of what Paul stole and hid will be confiscated!

    ReplyReply
  159. 159
    NobodySpecial says:

    I wonder how much of Manafort’s dealing was influenced by the demonstration of how small of a sentence Papadopolous got.

    ReplyReply
  160. 160
    Jeffro says:

    Dick Nixon on Twitter:

    Manafort is the fellow in a le Carré novel who gets away with it and retires to his villa, but drowns five years later.

    And yes, I sent that along to my RWNJ dad and brother, along with a few other choice quotes…;)

    ReplyReply
  161. 161
    Amir Khalid says:

    Oh, by the way:
    Whoever said that barre chords are tough was lying. Barre chords are easy. Whole-tone and three-semitone string bends — now those are tough.

    ReplyReply
  162. 162
    Aleta says:

    M’s lawyer’s press statement emphasized one thing: “this is for conduct that dates back many years and everybody should remember that.” (As well as the usual ‘he’s doing this for his family.’)

    ReplyReply
  163. 163
    Fair Economist says:

    @MattF: I don’t think Trump is Manafort’s prime target. His target is the Russian mafia/GRU web that got him in office, effectively owns the Republican party, got Brexit passed, controls much of the leadership of the Italian 5 star party, and is actively interfering with almost every major Western election at this point. Taking out Trump does little good if that is still active.

    Hence, as you say, indicting Trump family members is counterproductive. Mueller’s goal with Trump is to keep him from stopping the investigation. Trump isn’t flippable until he’s out of office.

    ReplyReply
  164. 164
    trollhattan says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    “Manafrit, Manafruit, Manipedi…doesn’t ring a bell, why do you ask? Let’s talk about Coal, Beautiful Coal and Crooked Hillary!”

    ReplyReply
  165. 165
    dmsilev says:

    @Gin & Tonic: He was just a guy who went on coffee runs and stuff like that.

    ReplyReply
  166. 166
    Aleta says:

    @dmsilev: Does that mean the T lawyers weren’t aware of the extent of the plea?

    ReplyReply
  167. 167
    trollhattan says:

    @dmsilev:
    So they literally redacted “the truth”?

    ReplyReply
  168. 168
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Betty Cracker: I was told that Kavanaugh also supposed to have a gambling problem. Anyone heard of that? A judge with a gambling habit would sound like something a wannbe mobster like Trump would like.

    I suppose in high school, one can be put down to stupid teens are stupid and was Kavanaugh doing this as an adult the real question. But the Republican defense that they have 64 women who went to high school with Kavanaugh and vouch for him is even more disturbing. What, are they suggesting Kavanaugh had consensual sex with all 64 of them?? Combine that with Kavanaugh credit card problems and gambling and it sounds like someone who just lives by animal impulse. .

    ReplyReply
  169. 169
    The Dangerman says:

    @C. Isaac:

    And the obligatory:

    Tick.

    Tock.

    Mother.

    Fuckers.

    I haven’t seen EFG around in a while, so, if I may stand in:

    Fuck Em.

    Can we get that on a baseball cap?

    ReplyReply
  170. 170
    Aleta says:

    @tobie: Iirc, ‘She was able to free herself.’ So attempted. Which is even more subject to interpretation than ‘assault by a well-connected white guy w/ promising future.’

    ReplyReply
  171. 171
    Another Scott says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’ll defer to your much greater knowledge about that.

    Still, I imagine many, many downloads of those documents are heading to Kyiv, UA.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  172. 172
    Punchy says:

    There is no way he can count on a pardon from Trumpov

    I dont understand. Why is this the case? Why wouldn’t Trump pardon him, as a major “FU” to all the libtards?

    ReplyReply
  173. 173
    GregB says:

    I assume we are about to see the Trump propaganda mill switch from the ‘Paul is a great guy, so terrible what is being done to him’ to ‘Paul has been lying and untrustworthy all if his miserable life’.

    ReplyReply
  174. 174
    Martin says:

    @MattF:

    @JPL: I think Mueller will be extremely reluctant to indict anyone in Trump’s immediate family.

    The NY AG won’t, however. They aren’t investigating political crimes but boring financial ones.

    ReplyReply
  175. 175
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    The information statement has unredacted names in the attachments listing senators and congressmen and their usefulness or opposition to lobbying for Manafort’s clients. Luger, Rohrabacher, and several others are listed with how they acted or failed to act.

    ReplyReply
  176. 176
    Martin says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S): Oh, this ought to be fun…

    ReplyReply
  177. 177
    geg6 says:

    My favorite thing about this whole plea is that, apparently, the cost of the entire investigation could be easily covered by the worth of the assets being recovered from Manafort, according to NY Magazine.

    So no GOP whining about the cost of the investigation being a waste of money.

    ReplyReply
  178. 178
    geg6 says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S):

    Okay, I take it back (comment at #177)…

    THIS is my favorite part of the whole plea deal.

    ReplyReply
  179. 179
    Elizabelle says:

    @geg6: LOL.

    @Fair Economist:

    His target is the Russian mafia/GRU web that got him in office, effectively owns the Republican party, got Brexit passed, controls much of the leadership of the Italian 5 star party, and is actively interfering with almost every major Western election at this point. Taking out Trump does little good if that is still active.

    Anything Mueller spends will be cost-effective if he helps save Western democracy.

    I think you’re right about the actual target, and it likely keeps expanding.

    ReplyReply
  180. 180
    hueyplong says:

    S’matter, Donnie, cat got your Twitter?

    ReplyReply
  181. 181
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @GregB: That would have the advantage of being true.

    ReplyReply
  182. 182
    sukabi says:

    @eclare: if there’s one in HS, there’s bound to be more than one during college frat days where booze flows and boys push each other over moral / legal boundaries just for the “fun of it”.

    ReplyReply
  183. 183
    Barbara says:

    I am mid-way through the information when I came to this paragraph, regarding the infamous report of a supposedly neutral U.S. law firm evaluating the fairness of the trial of ousted Ukrainian premier Tymoshenko:

    34. Manafort knew that the report also did not disclose that the law firm, in addition to being retained to write the report, was retained to represent Ukraine itself, including in connection with the Tymoshenko case and to provide training to the trial team prosecuting Tymoshenko.

    I am speechless.

    ReplyReply
  184. 184
    sukabi says:

    @pluky: and that’s where the evangelicals differ…once you’re “born again” you can do what ever you want without remorse / guilt as ALL your sins (including future ones) have already been forgiven.

    ReplyReply
  185. 185
    Princess says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Such a stupid move by Grassley to bring out that letter with 65 names today. All it does is prove he knew about the accusation when Trump nominated Kavanaugh, and prepared accordingly.

    ReplyReply
  186. 186
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    they have 64 women who went to high school with Kavanaugh

    Didn’t he go to an all-boys high school? So i’s not just finding 65 classmates, it’s finding 65 women from the general population who knew him, remember him and can vouch for him.

    ReplyReply
  187. 187
    BellyCat says:

    @Major Major Major Major: OT (re: website tweaks ahead): While viewing on iPhone (via iOS 11.4.1) I thought the helpful scroll indicator on the right side has been on vacation for a while; however, I just noticed (by scrolling all the way down to the footer) that it still lives and breathes— however, it is exactly the same color as the background; thus, invisible when reading a thread.

    Admittedly, a small detail given things like the “edit” button thirsted for by the Frequent Flyers, but possibly easier to implement and ever so useful. :-)

    (Apologies if this has already been pointed out, or if this is in Alain’s wheelhouse!)

    ReplyReply
  188. 188
    Manyakitty says:

    @sukabi: Especially for a guy who makes such a point of hanging around with young girls. So gross.

    ReplyReply
  189. 189
    JPL says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That was quick work for an allegation they knew nothing about.

    ReplyReply
  190. 190
    Elizabelle says:

    Cole put up a new thread re Manafort and other witches.

    ReplyReply
  191. 191
    Corner Stone says:

    @JPL: I wonder what they asked them? “Have you ever been alone, or almost alone, with a drunk Brett Kavanaugh?” “No? Then please sign here.”

    ReplyReply
  192. 192
    Jaye says:

    @Gin & Tonic: No women went to high school with Kavanaugh. Georgetown Prep is all-boys.

    ReplyReply
  193. 193
    lurker dean says:

    as folks on twitter have pointed out, manafort was in the trump tower meeting. mahvelous!

    ReplyReply
  194. 194
    prostratedragon says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S):
    Ha-a-a-llelujah!
    Ha-a-a-llelujah!
    Hallelujah!
    Hallelujah!
    Ha-lle-elu-ujah!

    (Not often that one cheers at the opening of a can of worms.)

    ReplyReply
  195. 195
    Melusine says:

    As a Shitmas Club member I receive personally autographed Yule logs from Steve.

    ReplyReply
  196. 196
    Ruckus says:

    @Cermet:
    If humans were rational, they would be rational all the time. We are not. Many of us are capable of rational thought, some far more often than others, some seemingly never. Ergo humans are not rational.

    ReplyReply

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