Daily Check-In 11/26/2018

Monday, November 26, 2018

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Manafort Lied

Oh ho ho ho ho. This is a mini-bench-trial of the collusion facts. If the court grants it, we will see the whole show, right here, and IIRC under the clear-and-convincing standard (for violating plea) rather than reasonable doubt.

This kind of tactic only comes from Mueller’s level and caliber. I’ll leave it to the real-named ones to explain why this is so incisive.

Well, no. I won’t. Mueller has proposed a way to put Donald Trump, and the facts about Donald Trump, on trial without the slightest chance of executive privilege being asserted, successfully or unsuccessfully.

And Manafort, thug that he is, fumbled and crimed himself right into this trap. OMFG I’m glad Bobby Three Sticks is on our side.

See, here’s the genius part. In order to decide that Manafort lied, the judge will have to make “findings of fact.” These are binding against anyone who’s in privity with Manafort. As manager of Trump’s campaign, Trump and Manafort are contractually in privity.

The judge, not a jury, will make these findings. So they will be spelled out on the open public record, not hidden in the jury’s black box where they can’t be used. And you can be sure Mueller wouldn’t ask for such a hearing unless he had rock-solid evidence on each Manafort lie.

“But,” you cry. “Can’t Trump just deny everything? He lies all the time!” Ha. Ah ha ha. Oh ho ho hee hee. Sure, but that would WAIVE EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. Damn, I love ninja lawyers.

Executive privilege can only be used as a shield, not a sword. You can’t poke your head out from behind the privilege, deny that a bunch of stuff happened, then pop back behind it when subpoenaed for all the testimony and evidence and cross-examination that proves you wrong.

So basically, if the judge grants this sentencing hearing under the parameters requested, Trump has little choice but to sit on his hands while the whole case against him is tried in his absence. If he speaks up, he loses any defense to broad document and testimony subpoenas.

How do I know it’s the whole case against Trump that Manafort lied about? Well. WTF else would he lie about?

Well, I can’t say I expected THAT development.  I thought he might try to pull some shit, but I didn’t expect Paul Manafort to come out of the gate on his plea deal lying like a cheap rug.  Then again, he’s a sociopathic asshat, so should I be surprised?

Here’s the quick timeline on Paul Manafort since he was arrested:

  • Paulie gets arrested, pleads not guilty to everything.
  • His co-conspirator Rick Gates is offered a deal, and takes it.
  • Paul tries to ghostwrite an op-ed supporting himself.
  • Paulie gets smacked in court with his Word doc and the edit tracking.
  • While out on bail, Paulie and Kostya get caught tampering with witnesses.
  • Paulie loses his bail and is sent to prison.
  • Paul gets convicted on 8 out of 18 charges in EDVA, with one lone juror being the only reason it wasn’t a clean sweep.
  • Paul pleads guilty to a couple charges in DC as part of a cooperation plea deal with Mueller.
  • Violating this deal will bring the Hammer of Justice down upon him.
  • Paulie proceeds to lie, repeatedly.
  • Mueller rescinds the deal.  Hammer of Justice incoming.

I don’t think there was ever going to be leniency for Paul Manafort, but whatever chance he had at it he pissed away in early 2018 by not taking the deal offered to Gates.  Rick Gates will look at a reduced sentence in Club Fed, if he even serves any time.  Depending on how much he helps the Special Counselor, he might not serve any time.  Instead, Paul fought the first set of tax fraud charges and lost, and he’s looking at a solid ten years behind bars.  Then, he pleads guilty to avoid a FARA trial, but screws that up, too.  Now, he’s looking at… a long fucking time in Maximum Security Prison.  Probably the rest of his life.

And, if he’s banking on a pardon, he’s up shit creek on that, too.  Most of the crimes he was found guilty of have a state equivalent, or a similar charge at the state level in multiple states.  If he’s pardoned by lunch, he’ll be arrested by Virginia by dinner.

There’s still quite a bit we don’t know surrounding the specifics about what he lied about, but there are two prevailing theories.

First, he lied about meetings with Trump, or things he discussed directly with Trump.

Second, he lied to protect the Russian Mob and their assets.

The answer to that question is simple.  Who’s he more loyal to?  Personally, I think he was lying to protect the mob, but given what we know about him, he’d lie about the weather just because he could, so both are likely.

I would like to bring attention to the Emptywheel story and the Shockratees threads, as they bring up an interesting point.  Mueller has to prove that Manafort lied.  He has to prove what he lied about, and how they caught him.  He can prove it in the sentencing document that he submits to the court, and in the evidence he presents to the judge.  Since this is a sentencing hearing and not an actual trial, this finding of facts will be more like a bench trial than a jury trial.  A bench trial is one in which the judge weighs the evidence.  Think of traffic court versus a normal jury trial.  In traffic court, the judge listens to both sides, weighs the evidence, and makes a ruling.  The whole process takes a few minutes, and I walk out several hundred dollars poorer.  What they point out is that Mueller can list ANYTHING HE WANTS TO, UP TO EVERYTHING in that sentencing report, and it will be entered into the court for the judge to rule on its veracity.

Another hypothesis floating around is that Mueller used Manafort to trap him, knowing that he’d pull some shit, and let him think that he was some James Bond super villain.

Now, there’ s some rumors about how he was caught slipping answers to Trump, but I’ll address that in the Rumor Mill.

 

Corsi’s Full of Shit

THREAD: What should we make of Jerome Corsi’s statements rejecting a plea deal he claims he was offered by Mueller?

1/ This morning Corsi, an associate of Roger Stone, claimed that he has rejected a plea deal offered by Mueller’s team, in which he was asked to plead guilty to one count of perjury. Corsi claims that any false statements were due to a faulty memory.

2/ That is a standard defense raised when someone is charged with perjury or making a false statement. Typically when this is is charged, prosecutors have evidence that proves the defendant remembered the truth or that would make it implausible that the defendant forgot.

3/ That’s because they must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Corsi “knowingly and willfully” made a false statement. Corsi claims *that* is what he is unwilling to admit. The requirement that prosecutors prove a defendant knowingly lied is why perjury can be hard to prove.

4/ If Corsi is telling the truth that he was told he will be charged and that he was offered a plea deal, we can expect Mueller to indict him soon. In this context, Mueller wouldn’t tell Corsi he would be charged if that was not imminent.

5/ Contrary to Corsi’s claims, however, none of this is unusual. Federal prosecutors often pressure potential witnesses to plead guilty if they believe they can prove that the witness committed a crime. Mueller likely believes that Corsi could be a valuable witness against Stone.

6/ If Corsi believes he is not guilty, he shouldn’t plead guilty. But Mueller’s team has either already told Corsi’s attorney the evidence they believe proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, or would likely do so if asked. He is taking a big risk by daring Mueller to charge.

7/ No matter what, Corsi has made a major error by discussing all of this publicly. His words can be used against him by Mueller. Corsi should stay silent and let his lawyer negotiate with Mueller’s team privately. None of this helps him legally, but I guess it sells books. /end

I think MSW’s right on the Corsi front.  We haven’t heard shit from anyone but him about this deal he “turned down.”  Corsi has no credibility whatsoever, so anything he says that doesn’t come with “multiple sources” carries as much weight as Stephen Hawking.  And he’s dead.

If this is true, Corsi screwed himself hard.  Then again, I’m skeptical about anything that comes from the mouth of the creator of the Birther movement.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

WHITAKER

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

IMMIGRATION

 

SCOTUS 

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

TRADE WAR, HEALTH CARE, & ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

No, it’s not for child rape this time.  He’s being removed for making roofies…again.

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

RUMOR MILL

 

Mark my words: Trump witness-tampered with Manafort directly/indirectly. Manafort had nothing to lose by cooperating with Mueller—only gain—and Mueller was asking him about Trump, and Manafort lied. So he was expecting a pardon. Which means somebody let him think it could happen.

2/ When all you have to do is *tell the truth*, and if you don’t it could give you *many more years in prison*—to the point of making your sentence a *life sentence*—what would it take to get you to lie? There aren’t many possibilities beyond the promise of a presidential pardon.

3/ And let’s be clear (and I say this from experience): Manafort’s lawyers would’ve *explicitly and repeatedly* told him *not to lie* to Mueller. So Manafort had to be getting entreaties from *other sources* besides his lawyers to make him agree to lie to Mueller about collusion.

This one goes a little deep into the woods, but it’s also one of the rumors picking up steam in the last few hours.  Here’s my Not-A-Lawyer breakdown.

The hypothesis goes that that Mueller knew Manafort was a lying shit from the onset, and that as soon as Manafort signed on to cooperate, something was fishy. Like wharf at high tide fishy.

Ten days ago, Mueller asked for an extension before submitting a report on what Manafort’s done.  At the time, it was assumed that this was because he had some really good shit he was handing over.  In those ten days, Trump’s legal team submitted their answers to their Russian Collusion Take Home Test.  Mueller didn’t want to release his report until after he received the answers from Trump, because he caught Manafort lying, and likely worked with Trump to get their answers to line up.  Trump did this likely as part of a quid pro quo for a pardon.  Manafort helps Trump answer the questions on Russian Collusion, and Trump pardons Manafort.

Meanwhile, Mueller catches them both red handed.

Before I started writing this paragraph, one question vexed me.  How could Manafort and Trump communicate without the whole world knowing about it?  Manafort’s in prison, and all of his phone calls and communication are recorded.  Trump is the President.  If he called from an official line, that would leak in seconds.  If he called from his cell phone, that would leak in minutes.

So how in the fuck did Manafort communicate with Trump?  The Joint Defense Program.  Or Pact.  Or whatever the fuck it’s called.

Supposedly, Manafort never pulled out of the Joint Defense Program that those wrapped up in the Russian Investigation are using.  That’s weird, because Flynn and Gates both pulled out prior to their cooperation agreements.  The Joint Defense Program is like a supercharged Attorney-Client privilege.  However, just like ACP, the JDP has some limits, like it can’t be used to commit crimes.  If Manafort is testifying against Trump or anyone else in this agreement, they would hear about it, and then set up a defense using that information.  Like if someone was preparing for an interview or was providing written answers for the Special Counselor.

Ok, that’s an interesting hypothesis, but how would Mueller’s team know?  They have a mole.  Someone on Trump’s circle knew about Manafort talking with Trump and them sharing answers, and they coordinated this with Mueller.  Mueller then let Manafort build his own trap and snare an Orange Weasel.

 

That’s it for Monday.  Things are crazy, and there’s not enough day to go into detail about everything.  GM’s closing 5 plants because of the tariffs on Chinese Steel, a major border crossing was closed, and Ukraine was attacked by Russia, all while Paulie Walnuts looks at spending the rest of his life in the slammer.

I’m going to update Cooperating Witnesses shortly with Paulie’s info, as well as George going to prison.  He’s sentenced to two weeks, but I won’t be surprised if he gets out a couple days early.

Tuesday’s looking to be interesting.  Guess who visited Stiky Rapey in the Ecuadorian Embassy?  Find out tomorrow.  Here’s a hint.  I talked about this lying mobbed-up shit-faced shitgobbler a lot today.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

2 thoughts on “Daily Check-In 11/26/2018

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