Special Counsel Robert Mueller has filed a new 32-count indictment Read the Special Counsel’s indictment (.pdf) against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates. The Washington Post reports, Special counsel Mueller files new charges in Manafort, Gates case:
The indictment ratchets up pressure on Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates, who were already preparing for a trial that could come later this year on fraud and money laundering charges.
The additional charges had been expected in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s prosecution of Manafort and Gates. Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016, and served as the campaign chairman from June to August of that year. Gates also served as a top official on Trump’s campaign [and the transition].
Mueller accused the men of lying on their income tax returns and conspiring to commit bank fraud to get loans. The indictment was filed in federal court in Virginia — a technical requirement because that was where the suspects filed their tax returns.
A court filing indicates that prosecutors initially sought to combine the new charges with the preexisting indictment in federal court in Washington, but Manafort declined to agree, leading to the possibility of two separate trials in two neighboring jurisdictions.
The new indictment offers a more detailed portrait of what prosecutors say was a multi-year scheme by Manafort and Gates to use their income from working for a Ukrainian political party to buy properties, evade taxes and support a lavish lifestyle even after their business connections in Kiev evaporated.
“Manafort and Gates generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work. From approximately 2006 through the present, Manafort and Gates engaged in a scheme to hide income from United States authorities, while enjoying the use of the money,” the indictment charges.
From 2006 to 2015, Manafort, with help from Gates, allegedly failed to pay taxes on this money by disguising it as loans from offshore corporate entities, and by using foreign bank accounts to make payments to businesses in the United States on Manafort’s behalf.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Corruption, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Scandals, Taxes
Tagged bank fraud, Department of Justice, FBI, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, money laundering, Special Counsel, Tax Evasion
The lobbyist organization for the merchants of death, the National Rifle Association, is under investigation by the FBI to determine whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the NRA to help Donald Trump win the presidency. McClatchy News reports, FBI investigating whether Russian money went to NRA to help Trump:
The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.
FBI counterintelligence investigators have focused on the activities of Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA, the sources said.
It is illegal to use foreign money to influence federal elections.
It’s unclear how long the Torshin inquiry has been ongoing, but the news comes as Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sweeping investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including whether the Kremlin colluded with Trump’s campaign, has been heating up.
* * *
Disclosure of the Torshin investigation signals a new dimension in the 18-month-old FBI probe of Russia’s interference. McClatchy reported a year ago that a multi-agency U.S. law enforcement and counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s intervention, begun even before the start of the 2016 general election campaign, initially included a focus on whether the Kremlin secretly helped fund efforts to boost Trump, but little has been said about that possibility in recent months.
The extent to which the FBI has evidence of money flowing from Torshin to the NRA, or of the NRA’s participation in the transfer of funds, could not be learned.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Corruption, Crime, Elections, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Scandals, War
Tagged conspiracy, Cyber Crime, Cyber War, Department of Justice, FBI, Federal Elections Commission, Foreign Policy, money laundering, National Security, NRA, Russia, Special Counsel
If you spent your New Year’s weekend binge watching football games like I did, you may have missed some important reporting in the New York Times regarding the Russia investigation that blew away Dear Leader’s false narrative (fake news) and conspiracy theory that the Russia investigation is a “phony democratic excuse for losing the election” that began with the Steele dossier “funded by some combination of Russia, the Democratic Party and the FBI.”
It turns out that the Russia investigation actually began with Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos — now a cooperating witness in the Special Counsel’s investigation — getting drunk one night and telling the Australian ambassador to Britain that the Russians “have dirt on Hillary Clinton” before the DNC knew that it had been hacked by the Russians. After the DNC learned of the leaks and Wikileaks began publishing the emails from the DNC, the Australians contacted the FBI about the earlier statement of George Papadopoulos, which triggered the FBI investigation.
The opposition research into Donald Trump by Fusion GPS was originally funded by the Washington Free Beacon before Christopher Steele was hired, and later was funded by the DNC and Clinton campaign after Christopher Steele was brought on. Based upon what Christopher Steele, a well-respected former British MI-6 agent specializing in Russia, was learning from his contacts it was Steele who alerted the FBI to the Russian attack on the election. The Steele “dossier” confirmed much of what the already opened FBI investigation into the Trump campaign was finding.
Fusion GPS provided all of its information to the Senate Judiciary Committee in more than 10 hours of testimony months ago, but the committee has failed to release the transcript of testimony, despite assurances from committee chairman Senator Chuck Grassley that the transcript will be released. This is where things stand today.
Posted in Activism, AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Congress, Conspiracy Theory, Corruption, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., International, Justice, Law Enforcement, McCain, Party Politics, President, Scandals, War
Tagged conspiracy, Cyber Crime, Cyber War, Department of Justice, FBI, Foreign Policy, Intelligence Agencies, money laundering, National Security, obstruction of justice, propaganda, Russia, Special Counsel
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Special Counsel Mueller Subpoenas Deutsche Bank Records Related to Trump:
Deutsche Bank received a subpoena earlier in the fall from U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s office concerning people or entities affiliated with President Donald Trump, according to a person briefed on the matter.
The subpoena requested documents and data about accounts and other dealings tied to relationships with Mr. Trump and people close to him, the person said. The bank has lent more than $300 million to entities affiliated with Mr. Trump, according to public disclosures.
Ty Cobb, the White House’s chief lawyer handling the Russia investigation, said bank records of Mr. Trump and his family weren’t subpoenaed. “Previous reports today about subpoenas for financial records relating to the president and his family are false,” Mr. Cobb said.
A Deutsche Bank spokesman said Tuesday that the bank “takes its legal obligations seriously and remains committed to cooperating with authorized investigations into this matter.” The subpoena was earlier reported by German newspaper Handelsblatt.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Congress, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Media, Party Politics, President, Scandals, War
Tagged CIA, Cyber Crime, Cyber War, Department of Justice, FBI, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Foreign Policy, Intelligence Agencies, money laundering, National Security, propaganda, Russia, Special Counsel