Trump Slams ‘Corrupt’ NY Times, Wash. Post for Underplayed Coverage on Obama Lawyer Charged … in Connection to Manafort


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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President Donald Trump is attacking New York Times and Washington Post again — this time because their coverage on a former Obama administration figure’s legal troubles isn’t exactly as he wants it to be: Let’s get some context. The Times and WaPo have covered the news that Gregory Craig, a lawyer who previously worked in President Barack Obama‘s administration, was indicted for lying to federal officials and attempting to conceal his work as a foreign lobbyist. The charge pertains to the legal services Craig performed on behalf of the Ukrainian government in Continue reading "Trump Slams ‘Corrupt’ NY Times, Wash. Post for Underplayed Coverage on Obama Lawyer Charged … in Connection to Manafort"

Fmr Russian Spy Reportedly Pressured Manafort Over His Debts to Oligarch


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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As the Mueller investigation continues, a new report reveals a connection between Paul Manafort and a former Russian spy concerning debts Manafort owed. Time Magazine dropped an in-depth report this morning on how Victor Boyarkin was in contact with Manafort during the 2016 campaign. Boyarkin told Time that he was trying to get Manafort to pay back his debts to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. One interesting facet of this story is that it was apparently not easy to track him down to speak with him:
Only in early October was a TIME reporter able to track Boyarkin down. In the company of a senior Russian diplomat and two young assistants from Moscow, he attended a conference in Greece that was organized by one of Putin’s oldest friends, the former KGB agent and state railway boss Vladimir Yakunin. “How did you find me here,” was the question Boyarkin asked, repeatedly, when Continue reading "Fmr Russian Spy Reportedly Pressured Manafort Over His Debts to Oligarch"

Louie Gohmert Rips Mueller For ‘Family Separation’ at Nielsen Hearing: ‘He Did it to Manafort’


This post is by Joe DePaolo from Mediaite


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Department of Homeland Security Secrtary Kirstjen Nielsen testified before the House Judiciary Committee in a hearing which, at times, got contentious. But one of the less heated moments of the session made news in its own right — because it produced a take which can be classified as nothing short of a head-scratcher. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) defended the DHS practice of migrant family separation at the border by invoking — of all people — former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and special counsel Robert Mueller. What do Manafort and Mueller have to do with family separation at the border? We’ll let Gohmert tell you. “Parents are separated from children every single day of every year, year after year, when there’s probable cause to believe a parent has committed a crime,” Gohmert said. He added, “Mueller did it — and I know he’s a hero to some folks Continue reading "Louie Gohmert Rips Mueller For ‘Family Separation’ at Nielsen Hearing: ‘He Did it to Manafort’"

Paul Manafort Shows Up for Court in Prison Jumpsuit and Confined to a Wheelchair


This post is by Tamar Auber from Mediaite


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Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort showed up for court on Friday in Alexandria prison wear and confined to a wheelchair. On Thursday it was announced a judge ruled Manafort —  who was convicted of 8 counts of bank and tax fraud in August — would not be permitted to wear one of his signature, custom suits for the hearing. Manafort’s appearance in a wheelchair, however, came as a surprise. Kara Scannell, from a live shot outside the Virginia courtroom, reported the news for CNN. “It was a surprise that silenced the courtroom when Manafort entered in a wheelchair wearing a green jumpsuit,” she said. “[He] has some sort of inflammation in his right foot. It was bandaged in a sock, slightly elevated when he was in the wheelchair.” Scannell also noted his condition had something to do with his diet. The reporter added: “It’s one issue that his Continue reading "Paul Manafort Shows Up for Court in Prison Jumpsuit and Confined to a Wheelchair"

Ex-Trump Lawyer Reportedly Wanted to Help Pay Manafort, Gates Legal Fees With Money from WH Legal Defense Fund


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Former Trump lawyer John Dowd was trying to help pay the legal fees of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates earlier this year. The Wall Street Journal reports today that not only was Dowd––who left POTUS’ legal team in March––putting up his own money and trying to get people to donate, he was also attempting to “divert money from the White House legal defense fund”:
John Dowd, who at the time was heading Mr. Trump’s legal team, at the start of the year told associates of the president he wanted to direct money from the legal defense fund set up for White House officials and campaign aides to the lawyers for Messrs. Manafort and Gates, according to people familiar with the matter… On Feb. 22, Mr. Dowd told associates of the president in an email that Messrs. Manafort and Gates needed funds immediately, according to people familiar with the Continue reading "Ex-Trump Lawyer Reportedly Wanted to Help Pay Manafort, Gates Legal Fees With Money from WH Legal Defense Fund"

Comey Hints Mueller Probe is Wrapping Up: He May Be ‘In the Fourth Quarter’


This post is by Joe DePaolo from Mediaite


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Former FBI Director James Comey thinks Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s probe may be headed for the finish line. In an interview with St. Louis Public Radio (via the Daily Caller), Comey said that Paul Manafort flipping could signal that Mueller is wrapping up his work. “[There’s] an argument to be made that the conviction – the plea and cooperation by Paul Manafort – may represent that we’re in the fourth quarter,” Comey said. Mueller, Comey notes, is getting ever closer to President Donald Trump. And that, according to the former FBI Director, could be a sign the probe is drawing to a close. “The way you normally do investigations is you work from the bottom up, and so they’re getting pretty high,” he said. Comey did add, “I’m hesitant to even say that is Bob Mueller’s conducted his investigation like a pro – you know nothing about it Continue reading "Comey Hints Mueller Probe is Wrapping Up: He May Be ‘In the Fourth Quarter’"

Trump Downplays Manafort’s Campaign Role, Not Worried ‘As Long as He Tells The Truth’


This post is by Aidan McLaughlin from Mediaite


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President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House Wednesday that he isn’t worried about Paul Manafort’s cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The former Trump campaign chair reached a plea deal with Mueller last week, who is investigating the 2016 campaign’s ties to Russia, and agreed to cooperate so as to avoid a second trial. Per the New York Times:
It is not clear what information Mr. Manafort offered prosecutors in three days of negotiations that led to the plea deal. But in court on Friday, Mr. Manafort agreed to an open-ended arrangement that requires him to answer “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly” questions about “any and all matters” the government wants to ask about.
Trump expressed his faith in Manafort when asked about the plea deal by reporters on Wednesday. “If he is honest, and I think he is… as long as he tells the truth it’s Continue reading "Trump Downplays Manafort’s Campaign Role, Not Worried ‘As Long as He Tells The Truth’"

Rudy Giuliani Swipes at Mueller and the ‘Biased’ Media Over Manafort Deal


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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President Donald Trump has not directly commented on Paul Manafort‘s deal on Twitter yet, but his lawyer Rudy Giuliani has been tweeting a lot about it this weekend. Yesterday Giuliani cited an anonymous source who told Politico, “The cooperation agreement does not involve the Trump campaign… There was no collusion with Russia.” This morning Giuliani accused all the morning shows of ignoring a “clear statement from Manafort team”:

Trump Goes After ‘Illegal Mueller Witch Hunt’ Again Following Manafort Deal: ‘Continues in Search of a Crime’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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President Donald Trump went after Robert Mueller and the special counsel investigation this morning two days after the Paul Manafort deal was announced. Trump didn’t tweet about Manafort specifically, but instead attacked the Mueller probe again as “illegal” and grasping at straws: Yesterday Trump invoked the Mueller probe to claim that if it wasn’t for the “Rigged” investigation his poll numbers would be higher:

Ken Starr: ‘Given the Seriousness of the Charges,’ Manafort ‘Did the Right Thing’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Ken Starr, the former independent counsel who investigated former President Bill Clinton, said this morning that Paul Manafort did the right thing by making the deal with Robert Mueller. On ABC’s This Week, Jon Karl asked Starr if he was surprised to see Manafort “agree to this full cooperation.” “No, he was under tremendous pressure,” Starr said. “Given the seriousness of the charges… he did the right thing. He did the smart thing.” When Karl asked about what Manafort must have to get this deal, Starr said we don’t know for sure, but that it’s “very likely that Paul Manafort has indicated through his counsel and directly that he can provide very helpful information, useful information, to get to the bottom of what Bob Mueller and his team have been charged to do. So it is a very significant breakthrough.” You can watch the Continue reading "Ken Starr: ‘Given the Seriousness of the Charges,’ Manafort ‘Did the Right Thing’"

Alan Dershowitz: Manafort Taking Deal Was ‘Very Bad Day for the Trump Administration’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Alan Dershowitz said on Meet the Press today that Rudy Giuliani can downplay the Paul Manafort deal, but there’s no question Friday was a “very bad day for the Trump administration.” He told Chuck Todd that both Manafort and President Donald Trump “acted too late,” explaining that Manafort could’ve gotten a better deal before being convicted and that if Trump was going to pardon his former campaign chairman he should’ve done it already. Todd brought up the immediate response from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani downplaying this news and claiming the deal is limited and not about the Trump campaign. Dershowitz said the deal doesn’t Continue reading "Alan Dershowitz: Manafort Taking Deal Was ‘Very Bad Day for the Trump Administration’"

CNN’s Toobin: Trump ‘Has More Convicted Felons Around Him Than a Lot of Mafia Dons’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin broke down the Paul Manafort cooperation deal with Robert Mueller on The Situation Room tonight and the question of “what does Paul Manafort know and about whom.” He told Wolf Blitzer Manafort “was basically a one-man crime wave” when you consider all the crimes he committed, saying the question now is who else is involved. President Donald Trump has, as of this writing, not yet weighed in on the matter. Blitzer noted that in addition to Manafort, “all these individuals who have decided to plead guilty––they now work for Robert Mueller.” He continued:
“That’s how it works with top prosecutors. They work from the bottom up. But here––you know, think about how prominent these people are. And they’re all now convicted felons! I mean, Donald Trump has more convicted felons around him than a lot of mafia dons! It’s just an extraordinary number of people! Continue reading "CNN’s Toobin: Trump ‘Has More Convicted Felons Around Him Than a Lot of Mafia Dons’"

Alan Dershowitz Says Manafort Plea a ‘Big Win’ For Mueller: White House Should Be Alarmed


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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Alan Dershowitz said on MSNBC Friday that Paul Manafort‘s plea deal with the special counsel should alarm the White House. MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki asked the Harvard Law professor on Friday about the news that the former Trump campaign chairman is pleading guilty to the charges against him as part of a cooperation agreement with Robert Mueller. “Is that something the White House be alarmed about right now?” Kornacki asked. “Well of course they should be,” Dershowitz said, though he noted that Manafort is “not a credible witness” and might not be able to prove Trump’s guilt on an impeachable offense. “There’s nothing he can testify to that would probably lend weight to impeachment because he didn’t have close contact with President Trump while he was president,” said Dershowitz. “What they are looking for is self-corroborating information that can be used against Trump… if they can make him sing and Continue reading "Alan Dershowitz Says Manafort Plea a ‘Big Win’ For Mueller: White House Should Be Alarmed"

NBC News Legal Analyst: Manafort Plea ‘Puts Another Nail in the Coffin’ of Trump’s ‘Witch Hunt Argument’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle this morning broke down the Paul Manafort plea deal with guests who explained the potential implications. Ahead of a second trial set for this month, Manafort has reached a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller‘s office and has reportedly given information to the government already. NBC News legal analyst Glenn Kirschner spoke to Ruhle about the counts that Manafort is pleading guilty to before making this point:
“Here’s what I think is really important about today’s plea, whether it’s with or without cooperation. This, to my way of thinking, puts another nail in the coffin of the witch hunt argument, because what Manafort is announcing by his guilty plea is that ‘Bob Mueller was spot-on with respect to each and every criminal charge he brought against me, I did it all, this is not a witch hunt, you can take this investigation to the bank.’ Continue reading "NBC News Legal Analyst: Manafort Plea ‘Puts Another Nail in the Coffin’ of Trump’s ‘Witch Hunt Argument’"

White House, Rudy Giuliani React to Manafort Plea Deal: Absolutely ‘Nothing to Do’ With Trump


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Paul Manafort is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his plea deal. It is not yet clear what the cooperation concerns, but just weeks ago President Donald Trump praised Manafort for not making a deal like Michael Cohen did: The first reaction from the White House today to the plea deal came from Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who said this has “absolutely nothing to do” with the President:

Report: Manafort Tried to Get ‘Obama Jews’ to Advance Support For His Ukrainian Client


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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As Paul Manafort is about to plead guilty to the charges against him as part of a deal with Robert Mueller, court filings suggest that he made some…questionable comments about Jews in the past. Federal prosecutors allege in their charging documents that Manafort spoke with a senior Israeli official about ways to smear Ukranian political Yulia Tymoshenko while building support for Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian ex-president of Ukraine who Manafort used to work for. To this end, Manafort allegedly tried to spread stories that would get “Obama Jews” to put pressure on the Obama Administration to condemn Tymoshenko under the presumption that not doing so would’ve been anti-semitic. He also tried to advance these stories through the media as well. “I have someone pushing it on NY Post. Bada bing bada boom,” Manafort allegedly wrote.

Paul Manafort Has Reportedly Agreed ‘Tentatively’ to Deal with Mueller’s Office


This post is by Tamar Auber from Mediaite


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A tentative deal has been reached between Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and special counsel Robert Mueller according to a new ABC News report. ABC News reports on Thursday evening on what is known about the potential deal:
The deal is expected to be announced in court Friday, but it remains unclear whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors or is simply conceding to a guilty plea, which would allow him to avoid the stress and expense of trial, according to three sources with knowledge of the discussions. Manafort and his most senior defense attorneys spent more than four hours Thursday in discussions with a team of special prosecutors who are involved in the ongoing investigation into whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
News of the agreement comes the same month as Manafort’s second trial is set to begin. ABC reached out to a spokesperson Continue reading "Paul Manafort Has Reportedly Agreed ‘Tentatively’ to Deal with Mueller’s Office"

Paul Manafort’s Daughter Changes Last Name: ‘I Am a Passionate Liberal’


This post is by Amy Russo from Mediaite


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Following a flurry of scandal that culminated in her father’s criminal conviction last month, Jessica Manafort is changing her name. The 36-year-old filmmaker and daughter of President Donald Trump‘s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, filed court papers in Manhattan last Friday to make it official, The New York Post reported. She’ll now go by the name Jesssica Anne Bond, according to the outlet. For Bond, it’s a way to “to separate myself and my work from a public perception that has nothing to do with the person that I am,” she told the Post. But the name isn’t new — she used it in July after wrapping up her new film Rosy, which was released under Jess Bond. Explaining the decision to The Los Angeles Times that month, Bond said it was about standing by her views and being her own person. “I am a Continue reading "Paul Manafort’s Daughter Changes Last Name: ‘I Am a Passionate Liberal’"

Manafort Juror: Would Be ‘Grave Mistake’ for Trump to Pardon Him


This post is by Tamar Auber from Mediaite


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Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper Friday night, a juror from the Manafort trial — who is also a Trump supporter — said that she thinks it would be a “grave mistake” for Trump to pardon Paul Manafort. “How would you feel if the president pardoned Paul Manafort?” Cooper asked juror Paula Duncan. She replied:  “I feel it would be a grave mistake for President Trump to pardon Paul Manafort.” Cooper then asked her why she felt that way. “Justice was done, the evidence was there and that’s where it should stop,” she replied. Then after suggesting that maybe Manafort is part of the swamp, she had a novel idea for a new Trump hat. Noting that she gets a lot of flak for her MAGA support, Duncan said, “When peaceful Americans’ views are silenced from fear, then America is certainly not a great country. So maybe what we Continue reading "Manafort Juror: Would Be ‘Grave Mistake’ for Trump to Pardon Him"