Mueller Sentencing Memo For Manafort

I have no idea where everyone is and I’m probably the least qualified person to be posting about this, but here you go:

Just a reminder. Mike Pence was Manafort’s handpicked choice for VP. Wonder why??


87 replies
  1. 1
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Hello? Helloooooo?

    Fine. I’ll just sit here and play with myself then.

  2. 2
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    “Knock, knock.”

    “Who’s there?”


    “With who?”

    “With whom.

  3. 3
    WaterGirl says:

    I have no idea where everyone is and I’m probably the least qualified person to be posting about this, but here you go:


    Thank you, TaMara. Nearly 12 hours without a thread… we must have been very bad.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    JPL says:

    @WaterGirl: Betty is still celebrating her birthday. I assume that a good time was had by all. I’m still bitching about the weather and such. Also I didn’t see my grandchild today, and he probably grew another ounce.

  6. 6
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Okay… I’ll do the news. (clears throat) Our top story tonight…

    Rally Against Apathy Draws Small Crowd.

    Fruit Truck Jackknifes, Causes Jam.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Kent says:

    Yes. I’ve been wondering about the Pence link. Manafort didn’t swim in the same heartland fundie circles as Pence. So what is the connection that he was so insistent about? What does he have on Pence?

  9. 9
    Yarrow says:

    I’m here!

    Just a reminder. Mike Pence was Manafort’s handpicked choice for VP. Wonder why??

    Because he was told to make it happen. He even had the pilot of Trump’s plane fake engine trouble so Trump would have to stay over another night in Indianapolis and spend more time with Pence.

    As for why Pence, well, Pence is compromised so he’s also controllable. Kompromat is a helluva thing.

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    Twitter tells me that there is most likely a sealed indictment for Rohrabacher, which is long overdue, but no other smoking guns. Of course, 775 pages were redacted so there is still hope.

  11. 11
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: Cold and rainy here today. And I was wrong when I said Cole’s dad’s surgery was today.

    They change so fast when they are young!

  12. 12
    Yarrow says:


    What does he have on Pence?

    Kompromat of a sexual nature.

  13. 13

    There were a bunch of draft threads up so I assumed somebody was going to post one, otherwise I’d have done a Samwise open thread. This is better!

  14. 14
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yarrow: That would imply that Pence has had sex, which would be very surprising because he surely thinks it’s icky. Unless Mother had him castrated after he strayed? Or do we think he secretly likes me men, which freaks him out? It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

    edit! edit! edit! just so you know, the “me” was accidental, and not freudian.

  15. 15
    SFAW says:

    I’m probably the least qualified person to be posting about this

    Not sure I see how that is a problem — or unusual — in this joint

  16. 16
    Kent says:


    Kompromat of a sexual nature.


  17. 17
    MomSense says:


    The Russians have been making the mo$t of their shared homophobia, Christianity, racism, anti abortion, and pro Uber wealthy economic connections with politicians like Pence for some time now. There’s also the kink factor with pence. I have zero information and not even gossip but I get the vibe that Pence is into some kinds of sex that definitely do not have Mother’s approval.

  18. 18
  19. 19
    Wag says:

    Mike Pence was Manafort’s handpicked choice for VP. Wonder why??

    So Pence too could be indicted, leaving Pelosi as President

  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    @WaterGirl: The rumors are that he likes younger men. Most of them are 18 or over but some of them may be underage, which puts him in greater jeopardy.

  21. 21
    eclare says:

    @MomSense: “Pence is into some kinds of sex that definitely do not have Mother’s approval”.

    They always, always are. Chickenshit hypocrites.

  22. 22
    StringOnAStick says:

    OK, off to the gym to do my knee replacement pre-hab. Will look into this fascinating topic when I return!

  23. 23
    MomSense says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    C’mon you know it’s true.



  24. 24
    Yarrow says:

    @MomSense: You are correct. The whole “Pence won’t be alone in a room with women out of respect for my wife” thing is so dumb. It’s a complete smoke screen for what’s actually going on.

  25. 25
    FelonyGovt says:

    I would love for Pence to prove to be irreparably compromised.

  26. 26

    @MomSense: Yes, but you made me think about Pence doing it…with anybody. Just ewwww.

  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    @Yarrow: If that’s the case, then why would he be forbidden to be alone with women instead of young boys?

    edit: I see you spoke to that issue at #24.

  28. 28
    oatler. says:

    They’re Knee Deep in the Hoopla now.

  29. 29

    Via TPM

    Manafort poses a significant threat for recidivism, Mueller’s office argues, given that his deceit extended to misleading “tax preparers, bookkeepers, banks, the Treasury Department, the Department of Justice National Security Division, the FBI, the Special Counsel’s Office, the grand jury, his own legal counsel, Members of Congress, and members of the executive branch of the United States government.”

  30. 30
    Tim C. says:

    @Kent: I’m not saying that it’s likely, but it’s possible. Pence might simply be the most useful idiot in Washington. Not that I believe that, but I’ve heard no specific information yet that makes Pence anything other than just a loyal, if dim, right wing religious nut-ball along for the ride.

  31. 31
    MomSense says:

    @TaMara (HFG):


  32. 32
    trollhattan says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    We’ll have none of those shenanigans on this Family Blog!

  33. 33
    trollhattan says:

    @Tim C.:
    He’s basically a more-presentable Louie Gohmert. Sterny McSternface.

  34. 34
    debbie says:


    It will be even more enjoyable watching the evangelicals turn themselves into pretzels defending Pence. Like they haven’t slipped innumerable discs defending Trump.

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:


    OK, off to the gym to do my knee replacement pre-hab.

    That’s a lot packed into one sentence.

  36. 36
    Martin says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    Fine. I’ll just sit here and play with myself then.

    TMI, dude.

  37. 37
    eclare says:

    @Yarrow: Wonder if he also has a “wide stance”?

  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    @WaterGirl: I did mention it but to elaborate, Pence has a brand as a committed evangelical Christian. He could not possibly like men and still keep that brand. Wouldn’t work. So he needs to hype his Christian credentials. As part of that he focuses on the “sanctity of marriage” by promoting this dumb idea that he can’t be in the same room as a woman who is not his wife. It’s very popular with the evangelical set, everyone talks about what an amazing Christian he is. Meanwhile, his activities outside his marriage don’t get scrutiny.

  39. 39
    trollhattan says:

    Trump wrung out the last drop of whatever shame they once possessed.

  40. 40
    Another Scott says:

    Jane Mayer:

    Trump handily won the Indiana primary. Pence, who had tepidly endorsed Ted Cruz, switched to Trump. Pence’s history with Trump, however, was strained. In 2011, Pence had gone to Trump Tower in Manhattan, seeking a campaign donation. Trump brought up some gossip—the wife of Mitch Daniels, the outgoing governor of Indiana, had reportedly left him for another man, then reunited with her husband. According to the Times, Trump announced that he’d never take back a wife who had been unfaithful. Pence reacted stiffly, and their conversation grew awkward. Trump gave Pence a small contribution, but the coarse New York billionaire and the prim Indiana evangelical appeared to be on different wavelengths.

    Nevertheless, in 2016, political insiders in Indiana began hearing that Pence would welcome a spot on the Trump ticket. “There was no doubt he’d say yes,” Tony Samuel, the vice-chair of the Trump campaign in the state, who was a lobbyist for Centaur and other companies, told me. Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chairman at that point, arranged for Trump to meet Pence, and urged Trump to pick him. Pence was seen as a bridge to Christian conservatives, an asset in the Midwest, and a connection to the powerful Koch network. Kellyanne Conway, who had done polling work for the Kochs, pushed for Pence, too, as did Stephen Bannon, although private e-mails recently obtained by BuzzFeed indicate that he considered the choice a Faustian bargain—“an unfortunate necessity.”

    Still, Trump remained wary. According to a former campaign aide, he was disapproving when he learned how little money Pence had. In 2004, the oil firm that Pence’s father had partly owned had filed for bankruptcy. Mike Pence’s shares of the company’s stock, which he had valued at up to a quarter of a million dollars, became worthless. In 2016, according to a campaign-finance disclosure form, Pence had one bank account, which held less than fifteen thousand dollars.

    But in July Pence found a way to please Trump when he played golf with him at Trump’s club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Recognizing that Trump was susceptible to flattery, he told the media that Trump “beat me like a drum.”

    Yet, in a phone conversation that I had with Trump during this period, he told me that he was torn about the choice. He noted repeatedly that Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, had been “loyal” to him. When I asked Trump if he shared Pence’s deeply conservative social views, he became uncharacteristically silent.

    Trump came closer to picking Christie than is generally known. On July 11th, Christie appeared at a campaign event with Trump. Afterward, the Trump campaign informed him that the choice was down to him or Pence, so he needed to “get ready.” The next day, Trump flew to Indiana to do a campaign event with Pence. A tire on Trump’s plane developed a flat, so he and his son Eric, who had accompanied him, decided to stay the night. They joined the Pences for dinner at an Indianapolis restaurant. The foursome emerged looking happy. (Samuel, who was at the restaurant, told me that Trump tipped the chef a couple hundred dollars.)


    Hoping to break the tie, Christie’s detractors made the case that he was politically toxic because of the Bridgegate scandal, in which officials had caused traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge in an act of reprisal against the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey. Trump began leaning toward Pence. “I wouldn’t say Trump was pushed into it,” a top Trump campaign aide told me. “He was led into it. Pence was made the most palatable choice by those around him.

    Before Pence’s trip to Bedminster, he had asked his brother Gregory to meet him at a Burger King. “He said, ‘Donald Trump wants to talk to me,’ ” Gregory recalled. They both knew what it was about. “I told him, ‘You have to go, you have no choice,’ ” Gregory said. As he saw it, his brother also had no choice about saying yes, if picked: “When your party’s nominee asks you to be the running mate, you have to do it.” But it was a gamble. As Gregory put it to me, “If he lost, he had no money, and he had three kids in college. He took out student loans for the kids. He’s got a retirement account, but I was afraid he’d run out of money in just a couple of weeks. He’d have to get a job. He was rolling the dice.” Some politicians in Indiana were surprised that Trump wanted to pick Pence, who was flailing as governor, and that Pence wanted to run with Trump. “The one thing you could count on with Pence was interpersonal decency, which made it strange that he joined the Trump ticket, the most indecent ticket any party’s ever put together,” Pete Buttigieg said. “But, really, he had nowhere else to go. His chances of getting reëlected were fifty-fifty at best.”

    By July 14th, Trump’s aides had leaked that he was about to pick Pence, who had flown to New York for the announcement. But that night, as CNN reported, Trump called his aides to see if he could back out of his decision. The next morning, Trump called Christie and said, “They’re telling me I have to pick him. It’s central casting. He looks like a Vice-President.” A few hours later, Trump announced Pence as his running mate.

    Several days later, at the Republican National Convention, Newt Gingrich, who had also been passed over for the Vice-Presidency, found himself backstage next to Trump while Pence was giving his acceptance speech. “Isn’t he just perfect?” Trump asked Gingrich. “Straight from central casting.”

    It’s a plausible story, but note the bolded stuff… And note that Pence was asking Donnie for money in 2011. There are connections among these people that go back longer than 2016.

    Cui bono?


  41. 41
    debbie says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    My years of editing would have had me tell the writer to break that sentence up, but for Manafort, the longer, the better!

  42. 42
    debbie says:


    Remember that first logo the campaign had, where the T was penetrating the loop of the P? It may have actually been a cry for help…

  43. 43
    MomSense says:


    It’s just gross. It has my mom and my kids saying disparaging things about Christianity generally so I remind them that Rev. Dr. William Barber is a Christian.

  44. 44
    debbie says:


    Remember the days when loose women were said to be giving Christianity a bad name? Someone here loves Pogo, so I apologize if I don’t get the paraphrase exactly correct, but it turns out the enemy they have met is themselves.

  45. 45
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @jeffreyw: Yes!!! I got mine this week, too – I have the Tabby Cat. It’s really nice quality and a good-looking mug. All y’all get over to jacy’s shop!

  46. 46
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    inclduing misleading… members of the executive branch of the United States government.

    Has me a little worried. Is Mueller going to say that Manafort just misled Trump about what he was doing? Ugh.

  47. 47
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    You people make me sick. It’s nothing but sex, sex, sex!


    Sign outside the Orchids of Asia Massage Parlor in Jupiter, FloriDUH:

    “We’re closed! Beat it!”

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    @Another Scott:

    Appears Jane Mayer has not had a New Yorker story since November 2018. Last article was on Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica. Here is link to her author page from The New Yorker.

    I wonder if I’ve just missed them (not reading the magazine closely lately) or what she is up to. I have been on a bit of a news break …

  49. 49
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @WaterGirl: A neighbor of mine firmly believes that if the police were to raid Pence’s house they’d find evidence of unimaginable perversions. She bases this on the fact that his wife has to keep him from meeting women alone which is admittedly pretty strange.

  50. 50
    trollhattan says:

    @Gelfling 545:
    A certain pizza parlor comes to mind. What’s in that basement?

  51. 51
    trollhattan says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    Heh. Kraft is dreaming if he thinks this story is going away any time soon. 🌸

  52. 52
    JPL says:

    @MisterForkbeard: That’s a possibility.

  53. 53
    Chris Johnson says:

    @debbie: That’s Walt Kelly environmentalism, from waaaay back in the Seventies. “We have met the enemy and he is us”.

    Pence being too lusty for women so he can’t be alone with them, could be a beard. Meaning he’s really into little boys, or jello pudding, or ducks, or God knows what. It doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing about him that it’d mean about Joe Biden :D

  54. 54
    J R in WV says:

    My shoulder replacement procedures took longer than anticipated, and were more arduous for both the doctors and me — I was too strong, and they had trouble retracting all those manly muscles. I had marks from the BIG clamps they used post op. Surgeon’s PA was a young strong-looking guy, too. Ouch.

    This is not a brag, just telling you not to overdo pre-op conditioning. But knees are certainly different, so who knows? Not I ~!!~

  55. 55
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @JPL: yuck weather day on the island, so no need to cuss me out today!

  56. 56
    mad citizen says:

    As a lifelong Hoosier the Jane Mayer clip seems the most plausible explanation to me: Pence was chosen from “central casting”, to tick the evangelical box. I have never heard as much as a peep about the dude having an alternate lifestyle, etc. I really think he is just plain dull and average, and by Trump’s standards, poor. The one thing I find odd is why Pence flew to Trump in 2011 to ask for money, but maybe they go to whoever can fund them, hoping for something substantial.

  57. 57

    @Another Scott: The idea that Pence had to struggle with the decision to run for VP is absurd. His approval numbers in IN were in the 20s. He was going down. If Trump lost, well, at least Pence is a national figure now instead of a schmuck loser form Podunk.

  58. 58
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Another Scott: the only thing that doesn’t make sense to me is that a sitting governor and former congressman, even a generally acknowledged mediocrity from a smallish state, who wanted to graze in the tall grass would choose to join what was believed until the polls closed to be a losing campaign.

    Then you start to wonder about the Mercer connection, or at least I do.

  59. 59
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Yarrow: Loosing track. Pence is probably compromised, I agree, bit are there any sources exploring this?

  60. 60
    JanieM says:

    @John Revolta:

    If Trump lost, well, at least Pence is a national figure now instead of a schmuck loser form Podunk.

    Just like what’s her name, the former governor of Alaska. ;-)

  61. 61
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @WaterGirl: Was a Pence daughter interviewed by M McCain on the View recently?

  62. 62
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Yarrow: Where are these rumors posted/discussed?

  63. 63
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: I haven’t seen/heard those rumors, but if there turned out to be true I’d be about as surprised as if I flipped a coin and it came up heads instead of tails. Like I said earlier, he gives me the same vague “I don’t know what ain’t right about that boy, but that boy ain’t right” spidey-sense as Santorum and– in the context it came up in earlier– Jared.

  64. 64

    @JanieM: Well, exactly. He probably ends up with a sweet wingnut welfare gig somewhere, lecture circuit, maybe his own cable TV show.

  65. 65
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @MomSense: For some reason this reminds me of the “Milestones” section of the Harvard Lampoon’s 1968 parody issue of Time, in which was reported something like** this:

    DIVORCED: Ozzie Nelson, 62, by Harriet Nelson, 61, both stars of TV’s long-running “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” On grounds of frequent & unusual infidelity, including sadism, masochism, bestiality, pedophilia, hydrophilia, coprophilia, onanism, troilism, and “the keeping of several large lizards for immoral and unnatural purposes”.

    (** Paraphrased, from memory across 51 years, having long since lost my copy & inadequate with the google-fu to dredge it up from the Net. But I would bet the mortgage that the quote about the lizards is accurate, except that “in the basement” may have been inserted after “lizards.” ETA – I also suspect there were a couple more scholarly terms for perversions in the original. The Lampoon’s motto often seemed to be “nothing succeeds like excess.”)

  66. 66
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @John Revolta: also, Pence is/was much better connected in DC than Palin, and if his pappy was an oil man (I did not know that) I can’t imagine money was really a concern, unless he’s even dumber than I give him credit for and A) couldn’t figure that out and/or B) he’s so damn dumb that his dumbness wouldn’t be an asset to the Exxon or Chevron or Roseneft (sp?)

    Wiki says his father “ran a chain of gas stations”, from the context in the Mayer report, that must mean “owned”, but not quite the oil business?

  67. 67
    JPL says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Sweet! Supposedly once the thunder storms move through the are tonight, our weather is going to clear.

  68. 68
    Uncle Cosmo says:


    So Pence too could be indicted, leaving Pelosi as President

    More likely agnewed, i.e., willing (even eager), once confronted with the Feds’ possession of such ironclad evidence of his having committed a felony, enter into a plea arrangement to resign the Vice Presidency in exchange for some level of leniency (the then-USAG, Eliot Richardson, deeming it more important to get Spiro out of the line of succession to the Presidency than to measure him for an orange jumpsuit [which may be an anachronism for 1973].)

  69. 69
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @trollhattan: Read there’s another Boston white billionaire in his 70s involved with the FL prostitution/trafficking ring.

  70. 70

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He’s notorious in DC for being dumb. His nickname in Congress was “Mike Dense”. His father’s firm went bankrupt and the article says he had 15 thousand dollars in the bank in 2016.

  71. 71
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: I saw what you did there.

    Harry Palmer & his 4 Stubby Sisters

  72. 72
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @John Revolta: Mikey was known in his Congressional daze as the Stupidest Member Of The House Of Reprehensibles Representatives. Which I have acronymed into SMOTHOR. And if they could say that while he shared a chamber with Louis “Gomer” Gohmert => boy howdy!

  73. 73
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @John Revolta: I saw that about the bankruptcy, I was thinking of the connection he might have from his father’s business, and even without those, it strains credulity that even the dumbest hack couldn’t parlay his connections and resume into a quick fortune. “The Michael and Karen Pence Institute for Traditional American Values” could probably bring in six figures for its president and vice-president with a handful of strategic emails to baited Bubbas and ten-toothed rubes.

  74. 74
    trollhattan says:

    Let’s collect the whole set! How about the Bruins owners? They’re douches too.

  75. 75
    J R in WV says:

    In what world will Mike Pence cease being a nobody from Podunk, ever???

    I noticed that Paulie’s fine is about $25,000,000, plus restitution of about $25,000,000… gonna be a poor boy in the slam, Paulie!!

    Also; off topic: In what world is a one million dollar bond anything but peanuts for R Kelly? Did he post bail with a check or pocket change? Absurd!

  76. 76
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    just so you know, the “me” was accidental, and not freudian.

    There are no accidents. — Freud

  77. 77
    Mainmata says:

    This is really one of the most interesting (and funny) threads I’ve read in a long time. Is it because the subject is Pence? I dunno but this is great. Manafort was trying to pay back Oleg Deripaska, of course, for his enormous debts after Yanukovich had to flee to Moscow so he volunteered to work for free as campaign chair, which El Cheapo Trump loved. Also, I’m sure he was already told by his Russian buddies that Trump was a de facto (if not active) Russian asset. The rest is history.

    As for Pence, I had always assumed he was picked as impeachment insurance since only the fundies like him. And he is as dull as a brick. The alternative was Chris Crisco who’s nasty but also smart and politically adept. (Of course, he comes from the same regional demographic as Trump but I really wonder how much that matters any longer in the age of the internet.) I hadn’t even thought of the kinky stuff but Dog knows so many prominent fundies have been compromised sexually.

  78. 78
    trollhattan says:

    “There are no Freuds.”


  79. 79

    @J R in WV: Did he post bail with a check or pocket change?


  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Another Scott:

    By July 14th, Trump’s aides had leaked that he was about to pick Pence, who had flown to New York for the announcement. But that night, as CNN reported, Trump called his aides to see if he could back out of his decision. The next morning, Trump called Christie and said, “They’re telling me I have to pick him. It’s central casting. He looks like a Vice-President.” A few hours later, Trump announced Pence as his running mate.

    Going by memory here — have not double-checked this — but I seem to recall that at the VP announcement Trump went on stage solo, talked about himself for 10-15 minutes, finally introduced Pence and then walked off stage and left his VP pick alone.

    Might have been one of his early Cabinet picks, though. Really can’t remember now.

  81. 81
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    “There are no foxes in atheist holes.”

  82. 82
    mad citizen says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I know the thread is almost done, but yes, your memory is correct about the Trump/Pence announcement–classic narcissist Trump!

  83. 83
    wvng says:

    It’s obvious why he chose Pence. Pence won the presidency for Trump because of his rock star status with fundies. He is why fundies voted for Trump.

  84. 84
    Yarrow says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: A lot of different places. One was on a gossip site, but take that with a grain of salt. The others I’ve seen in a variety of places, not like one main post or anything. I pieced a lot of it together in 2017 so I’d have to hunt to find it again.

  85. 85
    CraigM says:

    Let’s come up with the strangest story tying all of February’s news together. Why did Manafort pick Pence? Maybe Pence appeared in blackface in a semi-private role in Manafort’s abusive marriage… sorry, tasteless…

    An interesting read raising interesting questions. Brad DeLong’s econ blog pointed to the article

  86. 86
    r€nato says:

    ABC – Always Be Criming

  87. 87
    akryan says:

    @Kent: As much as I hate to chalk this up to just normal politics, I’ll play Devil’s Advocate. Pence was a decent pick for Trump. He had all the Christian conservative cred that Trump clearly lacked. He had a good resume as a senator and gov. He was also known to be really dumb. His nickname in congress was Mike Dense. He was also in a good position to take the job when a lot of other guys didn’t want it because he was way underwater in the polls in his own state as a Gov. He wouldn’t have won re-election there; no way was he going to ask any tough questions. So, he’s a Jesus freak, really dumb, looked good on paper, and he needed a job. Sounds like the perfect VP for Trump.

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