Today, Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was indicted on 9 charges by the US government. But as you will see, the facts and the timeline about Manafort’s crimes raises the classic Watergate question: what did they know, and when did they know it? When exactly did the US government know that Manafort had committed serious crimes? If they knew for a good long while, then why did they wait until now to take action?
Indicted along with Manafort was his long-time business associate Rick Gates. The charges against Manafort and Gates are very serious and they face decades in prison if convicted. Both Manafort and Gates have denied the charges.
The indictment states that Manafort and Gates “generated tens of millions of dollars of income as a result of their Ukraine work” (§1) and that “in total, more than $75 million flowed through [their] offshore accounts” (§6). But when did agents of the US government have knowledge of these transactions? They occurred from 2008 to 2014. If they had information of crimes earlier, why did they not take action earlier? Let’s explore.
Consider this time-line:
2014, February – the “Ukrainian revolution of 2014” results in the ouster of the democratically elected and extremely corrupt pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. In his place, the extremely corrupt pro-US president Petro Poroshenko in “elected” president the following June and remains president to this day.
2014, March – as the new corrupt government gets their hands on documents from their sworn enemies, namely the previous corrupt government, information about Manafort’s involvement with the previous government starts surfacing. One example is this Politico article, authored by Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman (both are now employed by the New York Times since early 2015). The article reported on Manafort’s deep connections with foreign principals. Manafort’s work on behalf of various people and entities in the Ukraine was thus well-known long before he joined the Trump campaign two years later.
It would take too long to catalogue Haberman’s loyalty to the establishment, but suffice it to say: information leaked by a pro-US foreign government is not just leaked to anyone. Only a presstitute can be trusted with such information!
2015, May 9 – the Panama Papers are released, which are 11.5 million documents hacked from a Panamanian law firm. The documents give details on 214,000 offshore entities worldwide, entities that are set up mainly for tax evasion and other illicit purposes. It is difficult to determine who was behind this data dump because, as sleuths pore over the documents, they find is plenty of embarrassment for the rich and powerful in opposing camps around the world.
2016, March 29 – Manafort joins the Trump campaign to help him corral delegates at a time when it is unclear whether Trump delegates would actually vote for Trump at the party convention the following July. Manafort had helped Ford with exactly that in 1976, fending off a challenge from Reagan. Manafort’s connections with pro-Russian Ukrainians surface anew, with Politifact referring to them in May as Manafort’s “long and deep reported ties to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.”
2016, April 4 – the British newspaper The Guardian reports that the corrupt pro-US president Ukraininian president Poroshenko “set up a secret offshore company in the British Virgin Islands at a time when his troops were being wiped out in a bloody battle with Russian troops and pro-Moscow rebels.” Despite this, Poroshenko retains the support of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and the US deep state in general.
Before his election, Poroshenko vowed to divest himself of his extensive business interests. He promised to “wipe the slate clean” by selling his chocolate factory, saying “I will and want to only focus on the well-being of the nation.” Within just a few months of that statement, Poroshenko was creating a corporation in a tax haven with himself as the only shareholder.
2016, June 20 – Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is fired and replaced by Manafort. “Paul Manafort has been in operational control of the campaign since April 7,” Lewandowski told the AP on the day he was fired. “That’s a fact.”
2016, July 19 to 21 – Republican convention, Trump becomes the GOP’s nominee.
2016, August 14 – the NYT reports that Manafort’s name appears on a list of so-called black ledger payments made by Yanukovich totalling $12.7 million from 2007 to 2012.
2016, August 19 – Manafort resigns as campaign manager.
2017, March 21 – Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker and journalist, releases a copy of an invoice on letterhead from Manafort’s consulting company dated Oct. 14, 2009, to a Belize-based company for $750,000 for the sale of 501 computers. The date of the invoice and the amount match the details logged in the aforementioned black ledger, reported on by the NYT the previous August.
Leshchenko known as an anti-corruption crusader, hitting both sides. However, he is also affiliated with the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, named after the president, and claims that the document was found in a safe in Kiev. Did I already mention that president Poroshenko is extremely corrupt and pro-US? Why yes I did, and I did it twice above 🙂
2017, May 7 – James Comey is fired as FBI director.
2017, May 17 – Robert Mueller, a long-time ally of James Comey, is appointed special prosecutor to investigate “any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation”.
2017, October 30 – Manafort is indicted on those other matters that “may arise directly from the investigation.” No “Trump Russia Collusion” smoking gun, more like tawdry tax evasion and the related crimes necessary to carry out the tax evasion.
END OF TIMELINE
As I worked on this timeline, ABC News produced their own timeline. But they don’t ask what I ask, which is:
1/ What did the US know about Manafort’s crimes and when did they know it? The above timeline suggests an information war between various governments and intelligence agencies, but it is hard to believe that the US didn’t know about Dirty Paul Manafort before Leshchenko delivered him to them gift-wrapped this past May. It is hard to believe that someone suddenly “found a document in a safe”, three years after the US essentially made Ukraine a vassal state.
2/ Was Manafort a sophisticated and unwitting plant in the Trump campaign? Picture yourself as a deep state operative and that your “organization” has dirt on various people. Once Trump started looking like he just might become the GOP nominee, you would understandably be throwing up at the back of your mouth. After all, you’ve had control of both parties for decades and you don’t want Trump or Sanders or anybody else to upset the gravy train. So with Trump – what to do?
It’s time to reach into your files and you find….ah, yes – Manafort! You bring him in, show some of the dirt you have on him (but just some) and promise him that you’ll play ball if he’ll play ball. Manafort’s job is to go tie Trump closer to the Russians so that the deep state and their two parties can yell “Trump works for Russia!”
Manafort, with his balls now in a vise, volunteers (for no pay) to help Trump corral delegates. This occurred in March of 2016, as shown in the above timeline. In time, Trump and his inner circle decide that “changes made to the GOP platform” were “seen as beneficial to Russia”, and they felt Manafort played a role in those changes.
Once Manafort fell out of favor with Trump, Manafort’s deep state masters would logically decide that he was no longer useful to them. That’s when you leak the other shoe through the Ukrainian lawmaker with solid anti-corruption creds, and your “Trump works for Russia” narrative still holds water. Manafort gets fired as a result, but who cares when you have “Mission Accomplished”.
Then one evening in November of 2016, a small problem arises: Trump wins the election. But there’s no reason to panic, which is why it’s a “small” problem. All the deep state now has to do is renege on their “understanding”with Paul Manafort (because law and order, you know), expose his illegal dealings on behalf of Russia, pull a few more levers and the “Trump works for Russia” narrative will still stick.
So what were those additional levers? On January 6th, 2017, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a report which claimed that “Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.” Such strong claims require strong evidence, but none was provided due to an alleged risk that doing so in this case would compromise “sources and methods”. It is worth noting that Clapper lied under oath in March, 2013, and we would not have known about his lie had it not been for the Snowden revelations.
FBI director James Comey used this report and other “evidence” to start an investigation of “Russian interference” in the 2016 U.S. elections. This then turned into an investigation of “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” Cheering Comey on was Hillary Clinton, who he refused to indict the previous summer, most Democrats, many “Republicans” and of course: CNN.
When the Manafort indictment was announced, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski asked in a TV interview why the FBI never came to the campaign to let them know that Manafort had been under a FISA warrant. Of course the FBI can’t disclose such FISA warrants, but maybe this was just Lewandowski’s way of asking: what did our government know about Manafort and when did they know it?
Did it go down exactly like this? Probably not. But the fact that news of the impending indictment was leaked to that friend of the deep state CNN, the facts in the above timeline, the misdirection by Hillary Clinton and the DNC on collusion with foreign government, all this should give you pause. In the end, your life and limb and of all those you care about could be at risk, as explained below. So please pay attention and stay involved as events unfold.
EXPANDING FURTHER ON MY “LIFE AND LIMB” COMMENT – most people have heard of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, and her selfless work during the Crimean war, which lasted from 1853 to 1856. But most people have forgotten what the Crimean War was about.
Just forget the stated causes (a.k.a. “lies”) for that war because historians today agree that it really was about the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power as the Ottoman Empire declined. That very same Ottoman Empire would become a casualty of World War I, and it was only through the overthrow of the Russian tsar that the secret Sykes-Picot agreement came to light. World War I for Britain wasn’t so much about protecting themselves against the Evil Hun, it was more about denying German ambition, just as Russian ambition had been denied 60 years earlier. Oh, and about colonially carving up the Ottoman empire, which is what the secret Sykes-Picot agreement revealed.
If our ideals are “competition” and “free enterprise” and a “marketplace of ideas”, but the game is rigged and the unelected deep state always wins, then don’t expect people in “losing” nations to love the US, its inhabitants or its allies. And I’m not even talking about muslim terrorists.
As you analyze the actions taken by your government in your name, think about whether those actions make us stronger or weaker as a nation, whether they increase or decrease the risk of war, and whether you think clean government or dirty government achieves those goals. I hope that there are more indictments – many more. The time to drain the swamp is well past due, and I don’t care if Mueller or Trump or somebody else drains it.