Robert Mueller indicts Paul Manafort a second time for things having nothing to do with Trump or Russian meddling
Unless Manafort sings about Trump, Mueller is going to make him regret ever working for Trump campaign
Paul Manafort made a tragic life decision when he agreed to serve as Trump’s campaign manager during the primaries, mostly because of his expertise in working delegates in floor fights. He just didn’t know it at the time.
Because Manafort was associated with the Trump campaign, he has come under the watch of Robert Mueller.
If that had not happened, Manafort likely would have lived his life as an ordinary civilian. Instead, Manafort’s life has come under intense prosecutorial scrutiny.
There allegedly was a dirty underside to Manafort’s business practices having nothing to do with Mueller’s charge to investigate Russian meddling in the election and alleged Trump campaign collusion.
Manafort and Richard Gates were indicted last October, and now Mueller has obtained a Superseding Indictment.
The NY Times reports:
The special counsel unsealed new charges on Thursday against President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, accusing him of hiding income and defrauding banks.
Many of the charges are similar to ones he was charged with in October. According to the new 32-count indictment, Mr. Manafort provided false information about his income to banks when he applied for mortgages. Seven of the counts relate to Mr. Manafort’s failure to properly file reports on his foreign bank accounts.
The indictment also revealed similar charges against Mr. Manafort’s longtime business associate and campaign deputy, Rick Gates. He was indicted along with Mr. Manafort in October.
The new charges were expected. The original indictment did not explicitly bring tax charges, an omission that experts predicted that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, would ultimately correct. The first indictment also relied heavily on accusations that Mr. Manafort violated foreign lobbying laws, which have not been used at trial. The new indictment gives prosecutors more options.
The charges do not involve Mr. Trump or his campaign and involve accusations that predate either man’s involvement with the president.
Why is Mueller out for Manafort’s hide? The Times writes:
Mr. Manafort’s friends have said that Mr. Mueller’s indictment is an effort to pressure him into providing information about Mr. Trump and his campaign. If so, Thursday’s indictment adds to that pressure. But White House lawyers and Mr. Manafort’s associates have been adamant that he does not have any information that could hurt Mr. Trump.
If Manafort doesn’t have any incriminating information about Trump, he’s in the worst of all positions. He can’t cut a deal to give up something he doesn’t have, and he’s being targeted by a huge and aggressive Mueller team because he was in the wrong place (the Trump campaign) at the wrong time (during part of the 2016 election cycle).
None of this should be within Mueller’s purview because none of it has anything to do with Russian meddling or alleged collusion. I made this point in an earlier post with regard to the guilty plea of Michael Flynn for lying with regard to post-election transition matters, Why is Robert Mueller even investigating the presidential transition?
That’s why Manafort has sued in an attempt to reign in Mueller.
There’s little chance of Manafort’s lawsuit actually forcing Mueller to stick to the scope of his Order of appointment. So Manafort’s life now is an open book for prosecutors to peruse in search of a crime, and so are the lives of anyone connected to the Trump campaign.
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