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Paul Manafort Tag

The Special Council investigation led by James Comey friend and ally and former FBI head Robert Mueller has been in search of a crime since its questionable inception.  In fact, so intent is he on digging up some kind of crime, any kind, that he's amassed a legal team that rivals in size the entire U. S. Attorneys Office for the state of Rhode Island.  Courtesy of your tax dollars. Reports suggest that he's bagging his first head on Monday.  Reports do not, however, state who will be arrested or on what charges.

Be careful for what you wish for because it may go your way, but it may also come back to bite you. The left has pressured for an investigation to find collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia, but now that investigation has brought in one of their own. Mueller's investigation now includes the Podesta Group, headed by Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta...the brother of John Podesta, failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman. The inclusion came after Mueller looked into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's finances.

It has been relatively quiet lately on the Russian-collusion Democrat-Media leak and rumor mill. "Relatively" is the key word. What once was a sustained campaign of leaks timed to hit every 2-3 days to create a permanent Russia-collusion news cycle, now barely makes a sound. Of course, some Russian collusion is more newsworthy to the media than others, with the Uranium One scandal receiving a tiny fraction of the coverage as completely speculative Trump campaign rumors did.

Roger Stone, an ally of and unofficial campaign adviser of President Trump, testified Tuesday in a closed hearing of the House Intelligence Committee.  Though Stone requested an open hearing, it was at the Committee's insistence that the interview be closed. This is the latest in the efforts of Congress to root out alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign and/or Trump associates. Stone was called to testify because he had a private Twitter conversation with infamous hacker Guccifer 2.0.

WiretapGate keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. A couple of days ago there were reports that Team Mueller told Paul Manafort he likely would be indicted, and that Manafort was wiretapped before and after the 2016 election. Today brings a report from CBS News that those wiretaps took place during the campaign. The media reaction focuses heavily on Manafort having spoken with Russians, but there is no indication about what. What is lost in translation in the headlines is that, according to CBS, conversations between Manafort and Trump may have been scooped up in the surveillance:

It has been a short while since we checked in on how the Prosecutors In Search of a Crime, aka Mueller Special Prosecutor, was doing. A 17th attorney was added, inching Team Mueller closer to the size of the entire U.S. Attorney's Office for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Tonight CNN dropped a bombshell. Of course, CNN bombshell's have been duds in the past, so take that into account.

I woke up to numerous alerts on my phone about an FBI raid on Paul Manafort's home in connection to the investigation into possible Russian interference in our election. At first, it appeared that the raid happened this morning, but a deeper reading showed it occurred on July 26. An even deeper reading showed that authorities didn't make any huge discoveries. But the media can't help itself when it comes RUSSIA. From The Washington Post:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News and CNN that the Senate Judiciary Committee learned from Bill Browder, the CEO and co-founder of Hermitage Capital, that Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier that contained false information about President Donald Trump, also worked for the Russians. He said:
"What we learned today is that the Russians were behind the organization that tried to get dirt on Trump. The dossier against Donald Trump was created by Fusion GPS and their organization and, guess what, the Russians were helping them. This man said the Russians were behind Fusion GPS.

Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, is taking the 5th and will not testify to his or his firm's role in the compilation of the discredited Trump-Russia "Dossier." Meanwhile, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump, Jr. have agreed to a closed Q&A with the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Jared Kushner will testify in a closed session before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The last post I wrote about the Donald Trump Jr. meeting was last Thursday, Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer: “there’s something very unusual about this whole thing”. Subsequent to that post, NBC News broke the story that there were additional people at the meeting than had been disclosed previously. Nonetheless, I think my Newsmax interview that was the subject of the post has held up pretty well:

Joy Reid has done it again, shutting down on her MSNBC show this morning yet another conservative guest who tried to get in a word edgewise. This time it was former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz in the unenviable position of trying to make the case that the meeting between Trump campaign aides and Russians wasn't the horror the left is making it out to be. Reid first asked him for his comments, but before he could get started, proceeded to cut him off, launching into her own monologue. When Fleitz asked if he could respond, Reid replied "No. No you cannot, until I'm finished answering the question." Rightly retorted Fleitz: "you asked me a question and now you're responding for me."

The NY Times has an article today about email exchanges between Donald Trump Jr. and a person setting up a meeting with a Russian lawyer promising damaging documents and information about Hillary Clinton's connections to Russia. In a preemptive move, Trump Jr. published the email exchange on Twitter (here and here) just before the Times published its story. The emails are highly embarrassing and politically damaging, but as usual, the media and other Trump opponents are overstating the case. The media overstating the case and popping the champagne corks are probably the best things Trump Jr. and the Trump administration have going for them.

On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough stared into the camera and invited people to contact him if they're aware of a presidential campaign that accepted "oppo research or support" from a foreign power. The question was based on a quote, shown on the screen, from former Romney campaign strategist Stuart Stevens asking whether any other campaign in history had received "oppo from foreign interests." Joe's invitation came in the context of a discussion of a meeting of senior Trump-campaign people with a Russian purportedly offering oppo info on Hillary Clinton. Of course, based on what's now known, Trump's campaign people didn't actually receive oppo research, just an offer of such in order to get a meeting.

Richard Painter is the Vice Chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a left-wing activist group. In December 2016, Painter replaced in the position of Vice Chair ... wait for it ... David Brock. Yes, that David Brock, the consummate Democratic oppo-research attack dog, leader of Media Matters, and now American Bridge. That David Brock was Vice Chair of CREW tells you everything you need to know about the group. But you will almost never hear this part of Painter's resume when he appears on TV, which he does quite often. You might hear that he's a professor at U. Minnesota Law School. But most of all, you will hear that he is a former George W. Bush administration Chief Ethics Lawyer (2005-2007).

The NY Times breathlessly reported yesterday that Donald Trump, Jr. and others involved in the Trump campaign met with a Russian lawyer who got the meeting by claiming she had damaging information on Hillary Clinton. So the Trump people did what any campaign would do when promised damaging oppo research - they took the meeting. Does anyone in their right mind think the Clinton campaign (and the media) would not have taken the meeting with such a tease of information? There is no indication that the promised information related to hacking or anything illegal. The media has been pushing the mostly (if not entirely) bogus "Dossier" on Trump, which reportedly was based on Russian sources, so the feigned outrage is hardly credible.
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