Mueller marches on

I just happened to surf through the cable news networks this evening (on the way to Fox’s coverage of Trump’s arrival in Hawaii) and all they seemed to be discussing – like a broken record – was Russia-Trump-Russia-Trump-Russia…. To CNN and MSNBC there’s apparently nothing newsworthy in the president’s Pacific trip, in the scandalous Uranium One story – or even in the latest blockbuster: Hillary Clinton robbed Bernie Sanders of the Democratic nomination, according to Donna Brazile. Instead, loyal partisans that they are, the mainstreams are desperately clinging to the hope that Mueller will pull a Trump-is-guilty-of-Russian-collusion rabbit out of his hat.
The current round of their frantic speculation is fueled by the recent announcements from the Justice Department. David French explains the latest chapter of Robert Mueller’s “investigation,” at National Review Online ~ A Guide to Understanding the Manafort Indictment ~

(On Monday) Manafort and his business partner, Richard Gates, surrendered to federal authorities, and the special counsel’s office released its indictment.
Hours later the special counsel’s office released a “statement of the offense” indicating that former Trump-campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos pled guilty to providing material false statements to the FBI.


Essentially, Manafort and Gates are accused of money-laundering in connection with contracts they had with pro-Russian Ukrainians. Papadopoulos was a fringe player on the foreign policy advisor team who the Russians apparently attempted to bait with “dirt” on Hillary.
Now I don’t doubt that Mueller has Manafort and his partner on something. The political consultant is no girl scout. Far from it. He’s not particularly discerning when it comes to selecting clients. In fact he seems to be the kind of guy you’d hire to apply very expensive lipstick to an especially ugly pig. The UK Telegraph reported on his controversial associations back in April 2016 ~

Mr Manafort, who was hired by the Republican front-runner last month, knows a thing or two about rebranding strongmen.
The Washington operative has an extraordinary past roster of clients, including Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator of the Philippines, Unita rebels in Angola and Siad Barre, the military ruler of Somalia until his downfall in 1991.[…]
One Republican strategist described the selling point of his firm, Black Manafort Stone & Kelly: “If you needed a gunslinger they knew how to shoot.”
Mobutu Sese Seko, the brutal and corrupt dictator of Congo, paid Mr Manafort’s firm $1 million (£600,000) for representation in Washington in 1989.
Last week (April 2016) it emerged that Mr Manafort lobbied for the Kashmiri American Council, which was later revealed as a front for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI), an agency with a long record of collusion with Islamist terrorists.
So controversial were his associations that in 2008 John McCain vetoed a plan for Mr Manafort to join his presidential campaign as convention manager.


The indictments that Manafort is currently facing are related to his consulting work for former Ukrainian Prime Minister, and Putin pal, Viktor Yanukovych. In 2014, another former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, brought a federal lawsuit against Manafort accusing him of complicity in a complex scheme of retaliation against Tymoshenko and her political allies for impeding the business interests of Ukrainian gas tycoon Dmitry Firtash. (According to the Washington Free Beacon)

Tymoshenko’s suit was dismissed. Not exactly for lack of evidence, but because the racketeering allegations involved conduct in foreign countries that was outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. It’s these implications of shady dealings in Ukraine that seem to be the basis of Mueller’s indictment. (Incidentally, Firtash, the Ukrainian industrial magnate, was arrested over corruption/bribery allegations earlier this year and was supposed to extradited to the U.S., but Spain wants him too… Not sure where he is at present.)

Now the fact that Manafort is an unscrupulous image polisher doesn’t make President Trump guilty by association – which is how the Left is trying to spin this. According to Andrew C. McCarthy, these recent indictments are ~ Much Ado about Nothing ~

To be clear, I am not saying the case is unserious for Manafort and Richard Gates. I am saying it is “much ado about nothing” in the greater scheme of things — meaning: Mueller’s (highly elastic) mandate is to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 election and any possible Trump-campaign collusion therein; yet the Manafort case is utterly unrelated to that.

If you want a better understanding of what’s going on with this circus, McCarthy provides a detailed explanation for his position that’s a worthwhile read ~

The cynic in me cannot help but think they are pushing the “Russia attacked our democracy” mood music that has accompanied the “Trump collusion” investigation, even though the Manafort indictment has nothing to do with the Putin regime’s interference in the 2016 election.



Still, as David French summed up, “when it comes to Manafort, Trump didn’t drain the swamp. He hired the swamp.” In the end however, this continues to be what it’s always been, a dog and pony show to distract the sheeple, and hearten the dejected Democrats.

RussiaGate? Don’t get sucked into the MSM’s reality-free zone
Top Trump aide lobbied for Pakistani spy front
The Papadopoulos Case ~ The longer this whole Russian fiasco drags on, the more it looks to be that Putin and his comrades were trying to rope both parties into some sort of intrigue with the goal of destabilizing our entire political system ~

(W)hile it seems clear that the Trump campaign would have been delighted to get dirt on Clinton from Moscow (just as the Clinton campaign was delighted to get dirt on Trump from Moscow), it appears — at least in the context of Papadopoulos’s case — that they were taking pains not to make express or implied deals with the Kremlin.

Speaking of Russian collusion…
Oops – it was the OTHER candidate colluding with the Russians…


Updated 11-4-17:
Forgot about this one :)

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