Paul Manafort’s plea deal has been thrown out because he couldn’t stop lying


Paul Manafort Found Guilty In Eight Counts Of Fraud **FILE PHOTOS**

Something that’s been bugging me lately: the insistence, even from mainstream media outlets, that Robert Mueller is “wrapping up” the Trump-Russia investigation. They keep talking about the investigation like Mueller is going to have this done in a month. I fell for that line of thinking a lot last year, but looking at the tea leaves at the moment… doesn’t it feel like Methodical Mueller is still going to be investigating a year from now?

One of the first indictments Mueller ever dropped was on Paul Manafort, who was the campaign manager to the Trump campaign for several months in 2016. Manafort is guilty of so many crimes – financial crimes, lobbying crimes, treasonous crimes – and he even made it through a trial, only to take a plea deal on just some of his crimes. Well, once again, it looks like Manafort can’t keep his lies straight, especially when those lies are about his meetings with Russians during the campaign.

Paul Manafort “intentionally” lied to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, breaking the plea agreement that made him the star cooperator in the Russia probe, a federal judge found on Wednesday. Manafort “made multiple false statements to the FBI, the OSC and the grand jury concerning matters that were material to the investigation,” including his contacts with his Russian associate during the campaign and later, Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote on Wednesday.

Jackson’s ruling is another stunning turn in Mueller’s efforts to uncover Russian interference in the 2016 election, as the first man the special counsel indicted then pursued as a potential cooperator for a year sees the end of any benefits he tried to gain through a guilty plea. Manafort was convicted of various financial crimes in August, and then cut the deal to plead guilty to two charges of conspiracy and witness tampering in September.

In all, Jackson determined Manafort intentionally lied about $125,000 he received for the legal bills, about another unnamed Justice Department criminal investigation and about his interactions with his longtime Russian associate Konstantin Kilimnik while he was campaign chairman and later. Jackson noted twice in her order that two of the topics Paul Manafort lied about, Kilimnik and payments he received for his legal bills were “material to the investigation.”

Manafort is still bound by what he agreed to in the plea, so he will not be able to retract his guilty pleas. But the finding frees Mueller’s office from its contractual obligations in the plea, like asking for a reduced sentence for him because of his cooperation.

[From CNN]

Rachel Maddow has done many segments where she’s basically reinforcing these fundamental questions: isn’t it weird that ALL of these Trump associates lie all the time about their associations and conversations with Russians? Isn’t it weird that all of these Trump associates have all decided to lie about that one thing specifically? Anyway, regarding Manafort’s lies in this particular situation, apparently the meeting with Kilimnik was about a then-potential President Trump removing all of the Obama-era sanctions on Russian banks and businesses. There were so many meetings between Trump associates and Russians on that one issue.

G-20 summit in Buenos Aires

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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64 Responses to “Paul Manafort’s plea deal has been thrown out because he couldn’t stop lying”

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  1. Lightpurple says:

    We know that Flynn plead to a lesser crime in exchange for testimony against others. He hasn’t testified against anyone yet.
    We know that they seized tons of stuff from Cohen and he plead to lesser charges in exchange for testimony against others – none of that has happened yet.
    We know that one of Trump’s business associates handed over tons of stuff, none of that has seen the light of day yet.
    We know that Maria Butina has been singing like a canary, none of that has come to light yet either.
    We know that the National Enquirer turned over ‘the vault,” nothing has come of that yet either.
    We know that during last month’s arrest of Roger Stone, the FBI seized tons of materials, they’re still sorting through all that.

    Mueller has only just begun. There’s much more to come.

    • CER says:

      IIRC per court documents Flynn’s testimony has been used as part of 6 ongoing investigations. He’s been talking.

    • Tiffany says:

      But, but, but they said that the investigation will be wrapping up.

      The Senate Committee said there was no collusion between Casino and Russia.

      Who to believe? Who to believe?

      Mueller, the answer is Mueller.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        The Republican head of the Senate committee has been dragging his feet from the start. Richard Burr got Russian money through the NRA and joked about literally targeting Hillary Clinton for assassination. He said there is no *direct* evidence of collusion, and technically that may be true, but the press picked it up without explaining that a) there is ample indirect evidence of a mountain of crimes b) collusion is a term independent of crime c) indirect and direct evidence carry the same weight in court. (Lawyers: did I get this right?) Burr was being crafty and misleading, as usual giving the impression that he’s doing something when he’s not. Warner openly disagreed. To be continued. Burr’s rotten; NC’s Thom Tillis is a weasel (also NRA); the state needs better, more honest representation.

      • pottymouth pup says:

        @Tiffany the Senate didn’t say there was no collusion, they said their investigation (or, more accurately, what the republicans deemed an investigation) didn’t uncover direct evidence of collusion

  2. PhillyGal says:

    Pompous as*holes who think they are above the law and are too slick to get caught. Rot in jail, Paul!

    • boredblond says:

      And they will be pardoned, laugh all the way to the bank, and magats will love them for getting away with it all. I’m afraid I’ve grown weary of holding onto hope when I hear constantly about ‘who can beat trump’ as if they all somehow know nothing will happen to this lying conman

      • Swack says:

        Just watched a video where Chris Cuomo (on CNN) talks about all this lying and why lie. It’s an interesting video. If I can’t post this, I apologize, and it may be taken down. It’s on the CNN website.

        https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/02/14/cuomo-paul-manafort-lying-closing-argument-cpt-vpx.cnn

      • PhillyGal says:

        Trump can’t pardon state crimes, and more than one state is coming after him. He will die in jail.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        If Trump pardons Manafort, Manafort can’t take the Fifth. Between state investigations and whatever Manafort is hiding on Trump/Russia, he’s a goner.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        Is the state system incorruptible?

      • Megan says:

        The Manafort cases in NY and DC are federal cases, not state cases. At this time, he has no state indictments against him,

        If Manafort is lying in hopes of seeking a pardon, then he, too, has leverage over Trump. Does anyone else think it is alarming the dictators and sloppy criminals are basically controlling our country?

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Yes, as WATP said, the Supreme Court has ruled that accepting a pardon is an admission of guilt and considered a confession and you must testify about the crimes if called upon to do so. Sheriff Joe Arpaio was unclear about this when he accepted his pardon. The fool.

  3. Millenial says:

    My big fear is that there won’t be some big smoking gun piece of evidence showing Trump colluded with Russia. What I have considered is that Trump Sr. is just a massive idiot, and is ultimately too stupid to realize he was being used as a Russian pawn. As in, he was an asset and not an agent, if that makes any sense.

    Not that I don’t think he was involved in shady and illegal dealings, but I am beginning to doubt we are going to find some contract written in blood promising to be Vlad’s lap dog forever and ever.

    Which is too bad, because I’d love to see him impeached. I’m just not holding my breath.

    • Lightpurple says:

      Collusion is not a crime and collusion is what Trump wants us all to focus on. Election tampering, conspiracy to commit crimes, money-laundering, obstruction of justice, witness intimidation are crimes. There seems to be ample evidence of all of that.

      • Millenial says:

        That’s interesting. I see what you are saying. I hadn’t considered the point about focusing on the collusion since it’s not technically a crime. It just kind of seems like his following (and the GOP congress in particular) are fine to ignore the actual crimes (as they ignored the flagrant campaign finance shenanigans) as long as it serves their purpose.

        I think more than anything I’m just preparing myself for the idea that we may never see true justice served here, and the GOP will use all to act like martyrs for the next several decades.

        Sorry, I’m obviously have a debbie downer morning.

      • Lilly (with the double_L) says:

        So true @Lightpurple.

      • SilentStar says:

        I think 45 focuses on collusion because his understanding of, well anything, is just not that sophisticated. I really don’t think he has the wherewithal to be strategic about the misinformation he spreads. But I agree he’s an “asset” to those who do, and is easily manipulated.

        I get the lack of optimism about all of this, but hey, seeing expectations low will just make it all the more joyous when the hammer finally comes down!

    • Arpeggi says:

      There’s no need for a big smoking gun (murders are solved everyday without that after all); breadcrumbs can do the job. And all of those guys have been messy and left crumbs all over the place.

      I sometime wonder if Putin wanted all of them to be caught as a mean to humiliate the US.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        Yes. and a lot of the breadcrumbs are digital such as emails and transferring of information and money electronically. I think that in the end, the data shares between Cambridge Analytica/Trump Org/Russians will be the thread that pulls it all together.

        I honestly wonder if Russia left such an obvious trail as a way to further their attack and lead to infighting between the American people when it is all revealed. They wanted us to know they hacked our election so we would fight about it and the president’s legitimacy.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Listen to Lightpurple (specifically today, but generally is great too).

      It is highly unlikely these mobsters and thugs signed a written contract to commit all their various crimes, but crimes were committed, and crimes are what are prosecuted.

      The “no collusion!” argument is smoke and mirrors. There is no one big thing but there are many big, medium and small things. Trump is playing on our human desire to find that one big thing. The media is playing on its desire to get clicks. Only the House, Special Counsel and other investigations are trying to find out the truth.

      Can someone clarify how it works, the difference between Federal investigations conducted at the state level, and State Attorney General investigations? Is one for violations of federal law, conducted out of a state-level office, and one for violations of state law, conducted (naturally) by the state? Thanks.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        From what I gather, there are multiple levels. The Special Council can only investigate matters related to their specific mission regarding Russian interference into the election.

        I think there are federal crimes that could fall outside of that scope, and they could be handed off to other divisions of the FBI/Justice Dept. that are outside of the Special Council.

        Then you have violations of state law, which is handled by state AGs.

        So essentially, you have 3 levels of investigation. It seems Mueller has been strategically passing off investigations that fall outside of his scope to different state AGs and federal departments, creating a multi-pronged attack that will be hard to defend against.

    • notasugarhere says:

      My big fear is Barr is approved today and he refuses to release the report, even a heavily redacted version. He quietly shuts this all down because that’s why he was chosen. The Repugs have fallen in line and are letting it happen.

      • Megan says:

        If that happens we have to hope Mueller will begin speaking out. A few months ago I heard and interview with a long time colleague of Mueller’s and he did not think it was inconceivable that Mueller would speak out if it became necessary.

    • Katashae says:

      Agree with everyone here today feeling like a downer about this. I just feel like if anything were going to stick we would have heard the word “racketeering” at least once instead of this bogus collusion keyword that will ultimately serve to “vindicate” Trump (in the GOP/MSM’s rhetoric). Blah.

    • Megan says:

      I’m not sure what will come of the conspiracy and obstruction investigations, but Mueller has referred an unknown number of investigations to other parts of DoJ and to federal attorney offices. These investigations are separate from the OSC, which means they will live on for years. Mueller may not be the one who sends Trump to jail, but his investigation will be what launched the prosecution that does.

    • Good GRrrrrl says:

      Not a day goes my that I don’t ensconce myself w impeachment porn. I had zero affect for this Valentine day, cuz big O is PEAKING for resignation, impeachment and prison time.

  4. Rapunzel says:

    Now we know why the GOP led Senate Intel Committee suddenly announced that they found no evidence of collusion: they knew this was coming and were trying to get ahead of the damming news. Not a coincidence re: timing.

  5. anniefannie says:

    The hubris of these criminals is astonishing!
    What admission could be so damaging that you’d jeapordize a plea deal? Has to be treason, I hope Manafort is charged appropriately. Hopefully this judges ruling is a cautionary tale for the rest of these morons….

    • Chrissy says:

      I’m thinking that maybe Manafort or his family have been threatened in some way. That might be the only thing that “forced” him into doing such an idiotic thing. Lock him up today!

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        Given his debt load over the years, he must have been threatened multiple times. Remember he offered his services to Trump as a way to “get whole” — IE pay back his Russian masters.

      • Megan says:

        Or someone has offered him a very generous payout to keep his mouth shut.

  6. RBC says:

    I just want to find out what Putin has over 45 and other people involved in this mess. To lie, treasonous behaviour and face prison time, whatever Putin has in his possession must be so explosive to cause those involved to risk so much.

    • Tiffany says:

      When you use sex as a weapon instead of for the enjoyment that it is, well, it will be amazing what you will do to keep it quiet.

    • mycomment says:

      financial crimes that will destroy trump, inc. and Manafort is lying because he knows what the Russians will do to him/his family if he tells the truth.

      and no one knows where the mueller investigation stands. no one in that shop is talking. imagine that — integrity..

    • Chrissy says:

      I’m curious about why John McCain’s great friend and ally, Lindsay Graham has completely changed his tune. I guess those NRA funnelled rubles are more important than anything. Kompromat anyone? McCain is rolling over in his grave.

      • mycomment says:

        it’s not the money… lindsey is compromised — and not in the way anyone in south Carolina is willing to overlook. and the Russians have the tapes. remember that little golf outing with dotard with only lindsey.. whatever did they discuss while walking that course.

      • Megan says:

        Lindsey Graham is a shameless opportunist who attaches himself to the most powerful person who will allow him to do so. If anyone has dirt on him, its AMI. Lindsey isn’t powerful enough to matter to Russia.

      • NightOwl says:

        @Megan THAT makes sense! The AMI angle.

  7. Darla says:

    Some reporters are putting it out there that there may not be any more indictments from Mueller. I honestly do not know what the point of saying that is. I think it was Ken Dilanian who put that out on twitter yesterday. Almost like rubbing our faces in it. Hey we spent so much time on hillary’s email per our orders from Steve Bannon, that we let this mobbed up russian plant into the white house, and guess what libtards? Mueller isn’t going to do anything about it. now let me go play with the rape button underneath my office desk in between hit pieces on any woman candidate running for 2020.

    I know that sounds crazy, but that’s how I feel.

    • PhillyGal says:

      There are supposed to be double digit indictments under seal.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Dilanian’s tweet was the equivalent of the NY Times saying FBI finds “no clear links” between Trump and Russia, just before the election. Incredibly irresponsible.

      On the other hand … it gives Trump a little reason to relax and be off-guard, maybe make some more mistakes.

      • Darla says:

        It really was! I just find him to be a very smirking kind of dude, and it rubs me the wrong way to begin with. What’s he always smirking about?

    • Kitten says:

      Right. And according to acting AG Whitaker, Mueller’s investigation is wrapping up soon. *eyeroll*

      I feel you so much on the stupid effin hit pieces on female candidates, Darla. I am also horrified by the target that’s been placed on Ilhan Omar’s back. I called my Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley last night and asked her to please support Congresswoman Omar. She needs it as the GOp and some liberals tear her apart. I really worry for her safety…

      • Megan says:

        Repeating racist stereotypes that have been used to persecute Jews for centuries is not how you start a conversation about the rights, freedoms, and liberties of Palestinians. Ilhan Omar screwed up big time and was fairly called out by her own party. The racist on the right who are screaming about it should be ignored. They are hypocrites in all things, this is no different.

      • Kitten says:

        I’m sorry but where in her tweet did she say anything about Jewish people? I missed that part.

        The tweet I read was from a woman speaking the TRUTH about a lobbying organization that has far too much influence in Washington and has remained exempt from criticism for most of its existence. This is what the Left SHOULD be doing and I support her 100%.

        People jumped on her because she’s a Muslim woman who dared to criticize an Israeli lobbying firm, not because she was wrong. It was mostly just an excuse for bigots to chastise a WOC who wears a hijab for making a comment about a lobbying organization that happens to be Jewish.

        Did she express herself perfectly? No she certainly did not. And guess what? She quickly issued a sincere apology. She’s been on the job for less that 6 weeks and people are holding her to a higher standard that most of her senior colleagues.

        The Right has put a target on her back and wants her off of the foreign relations committee for a reason. Stop helping them perpetuate this false narrative that she’s an Anti-Semite simply because she’s Muslim.

        https://theintercept.com/2019/02/12/there-is-a-taboo-against-criticizing-aipac-and-ilhan-omar-just-destroyed-it/

      • Megan says:

        AIPAC is lobbying organization, not a PAC. They cannot and do not make any campaign contributions. Surely Ilhan Omar knew that when she tweeted “it’s all about the Benjamins,” in reference to AIPAC, so what exactly was she trying to imply? Is it possible that anti-Semitism is why so many people believe that a group that spent just $3.5 million lobbying last year is somehow controlling US foreign policy?

        FYI – the top five politicians who received money from Jewish PACs in 2018 were, in this order: Bob Menendez (D), Ted Cruz (R), Sherrod Brown (D), Tammy Baldwin (D), Beto O’Rourke (D).

        https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/02/aipac-dont-contribute-which-pro-israel-groups-do/

        ETA: I made no reference to Omar’s faith nor did I suggest in anyway that her religious beliefs drove her anti-Semitic remarks. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

  8. Kimmy says:

    The thing that gets me the most is that it’s very very clear that Russians interfered with the election. We knew this before Jan ‘18. Trump did not win the election fair and square.

    Let’s say Trump truly had no idea about any of this stuff (I 100% think he does BTW)…..why was he inaugurated? Why couldn’t there have been a re-vote? I know nothing like this has ever happened before so there are no presidents for what to do, but come on…..it’s so frustrating. And terrifying.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I don’t know much about the US constitution but is there any way to call another election before his time is up? From my understanding if he is impeached the job will just pass to Pence and Mother.

      • CER says:

        There is nothing in the constitution for a do over. There isn’t anything for a mass removal of judged or other officials, etc. I think impeachment is the current option.

      • Who ARE These People? says:

        The only clear resolution is impeachment, a political solution. And with the Senate and Court the way they are … there really needs to be foolproof direct and indirect evidence of [obstruction of justice, money laundering, conspiracy against the US, and so on] before the Senate has no choice. Indirect evidence is enough for many but given the political climate, it seems some people need direct evidence as well, and that’s one of the big sticking points. No one signs a contract on these things. We need tapes.

        Pence as president would be awful, but it doesn’t scare me. As one analogy puts it, you’ll still run through another burning room to get to the exit. The closer we get to 2020, the shorter Pence’s prospective time in office. He is not exactly a beloved and charismatic figure. There is no cult of Pence.

    • Megan says:

      @Kimmy Russia did not actually alter vote tallies. They ran influence and propaganda campaigns, but, at the end of the day, the voters went to the polls and cast their votes. Subsequently the electoral college cast their votes. The election itself was legal. The question is whether or not the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to accept what amounts to illegal campaign contributions. If that is the case, people who worked on the campaign should be prosecuted appropriately.

      • jwoolman says:

        Megan – we have seen signs of vote shifting from Democrats to Republicans since 2004, when the machines became so common. People reported seeing the shift on the screen before they left the booth, suggesting a timing glitch in the vote shifting program. Peculiar results in Ohio especially indicated malicious software with a typos that resulted in more votes for Bush than there were voters, for example. Exit polls were no longer reliable.

        Even people in Texas who voted straight Democratic in 2018 were seeing their vote for O’Rourke shifted to Cruz. Finally at least one state has confirmed this behavior although they incorrectly attributed it to the age of the machines.

        Unless those machines have paper backup and the voter can check it before leaving the voting booth, there really isn’t any way to do proper recounts. But Trump won the electoral votes by such a small margin (about 75,000 votes over a few states) that recounts should have been done. When people donated millions of dollars to get recounts in three states. Republican lawyers went to court right away to prevent it. That is not what you do when you have won legitimately.

        We need mandatory hand recounts of paper ballots that can be waived only if every candidate agrees. We simply cannot trust machine votes. And the technology available to manipulate the machines is getting more advanced every day. They do not need to be hooked up to the net for this to occur.

        It wasn’t necessarily the Russians in 2016 who fiddled with the vote tallies, since the Republicans have been doing it at least selectively for the past couple of decades. But I have not trusted the vote counts since 2004. Democrats have to win so big that they outrun the hackers, and that’s not a good way to run a democracy.

  9. Goldengirlslover34 says:

    I tend to ignore anything that says the investigation is ending soon. No one really knows. As someone who used to do criminal investigations for the government and now works in private practice where at times clients are being subpoenaed for records, sometimes we think things are ending and then something pops up that we have to investigate. The goal post can move so many times. I think he is doing his job and being very thorough. We will see if it ends soon or goes on for months.

  10. Akinkolade says:

    I think Mueller is going to conclude his investigations close to/during 2020 election cycle.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      It may unfold that way but it’s unlikely he has a formula for that. It will go as it goes and take what it takes. I’m so glad the House is investigating and even that will take too long. In the meantime, it’s been one disaster after another and setting up for more. The US is extremely vulnerable at this point. Putin has won (and won with Brexit, too).

      • Fluffy Princess says:

        I think Putin must laugh to himself every.damn.day how easy it was to up-end this country with his miscreants of misinformation, lies and enough cash to buy one political party, a “news” agency, a lobbying firm (NRA) and one greedy, grifter family of soulless morons and their equally disgusting business associates.

  11. Incredulous says:

    Well, someone’s getting an example made of them; can you tell who it is, kids?

  12. NightOwl says:

    I also find it astonishing that all of these Americans have put themselves over the country. Like, how is that even part of the equation? No conscience. No ethics. No morals. Just pure greed and self preservation.

    • Fluffy Princess says:

      Right? Even after two years of this stuff, I am still shocked that party over country is the way of the Republicans.

      Special Counsel has him on the ropes, and they should use Manafort as an example of what happens when you lie after you’ve signed a plea deal. He should be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in a federal supermax prison. The end.

    • A says:

      When there’s money on the line, of course they put themselves over the country. Why would any of these people give a fck about the average American if it were going to get in the way of lining their own pockets?

      This is why you cannot elect business people to government positions. Simply put, they cannot comprehend doing something for the public interest if it means their profits are going to take a hit.

  13. adastraperaspera says:

    Trump and his collaborators are still treasoning today. Mueller is chasing down the origin story for the 2016 election crimes, and in so doing he is collecting evidence that will expose a number of international mob organizations and shut down their nefarious activities. Once Trump is proved to be a co-conspirator, Manafort can never be pardoned. He’s a dead man walking, like they all are.

  14. A says:

    The sanctions, really, are the whole crux of the story. They are the basis on which all of this Russian collusion rests. At different points during Trump’s campaign, transition and the early stages of his presidency, multiple different people in his cabinet promised the Russians at multiple different stages that they would work to get the sanctions on Russia that were imposed under the Magnitsky act lifted. Putin and his associates were definitely not happy when the Magnitsky act passed. Their assets in US banks have been frozen, and they’ve been banned from dealing with Putin and his oligarchs, and they’ve taken a huge hit because of that. That’s why there’s been so much shady business with different European banks (some of which Trump has had association with as well). Manafort was in deep with the Ukrainians, just a few years ago. It makes perfect sense that they tried to use him, because they knew of him and knew he’d be amenable to advancing Russian interests with the current administration.

  15. Sarah B says:

    I don’t think that Trump will ever be impeached. I think that an impeachment will upturn the American public so much and cause havoc. Look at the Trump supporters and supporters of the 2nd amendment. There’s a heck of a lot of overlap there. You don’t want an angry, well-armed mob out there. I think that the investigation will conclude this summer and fall when the 2020 candidates are announced for presidency and the campaign gets serious. I think that this investigation will prohibit Trump from running again and he will broker a deal to keep the investigation outcome underwraps in turn for not running. That will be his “saving grace” and he’ll just say “Look what I’ve accomplished! I’ve done all I wanted to do! I made American great again. Not I need to go run my businesses again.” And he’ll ride away into the sunset (possibly under an undercover house arrest).