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Monday, October 30, 2017

Manafort indicted, National Review says impeach Trump

Robert Mueller indicted Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, an associate, for money-laundering. The charges seem reasonable, and a prosecution worth pursuing. If guilty, Manafort and Gates deserve prison and a seven- or eight-figure fine (including restitution).

The opposite of reasonable is the response by National Review, "What The Paul Manafort Indictment Means."



The publication went all in on the crazy:
The good news, for those hoping that the legal process will draw a net around the president, is threefold. 
First, the simple fact that Trump’s former campaign manager has been indicted is a blow to his “drain the swamp” rhetoric, particularly when that campaign manager is a longtime lobbyist who was just indicted for his role as an agent for a foreign government, and specifically, a foreign regime that is a tool of Vladimir Putin. 
Second, there’s the hope that Manafort and/or Gates know something that could implicate Trump or other high-value targets, and the indictment creates leverage to get them to talk (then again, if that something is dirt related to Putin, Manafort might rationally prefer to take his chances going to jail. Honestly, given Manafort’s ugly background working for Putin’s Ukrainian puppets, it never made sense to expose himself to the glare of a presidential campaign unless he had more to gain – or lose – with his foreign patrons than the risk of legal jeopardy). 
Third, there’s always the distinct possibility that Trump will badly overreact to the news and do something (as with his firing of Jim Comey) that blows up in his face and gets him into more trouble. (For now, no state charges have been brought – Trump can’t pardon Manafort from those – so we don’t have a crisis yet over the need of New York’s Attorney General to recuse himself from the probe). 
If Trump is tempted to fire Mueller over this indictment, which looks well-founded and not especially political, there will be a political firestorm, and Congress should seriously consider impeachment.
It was published as one big glob in a 274-word paragraph that read like a third grader running in from outside to tell mommy what happened all in one breath.

The I-word -- impeachment -- should not be used by writers, not because it is offensive but because calling for impeachment informs readers of how desperately and rabidly partisan you are. Jennifer Rubin is a good example.

Let us put impeachment over there next to the Third Amendment. They are constitutional relics -- flintlocks in am age of AR 15s. Oh, no, keep them in the Constitution. They may serve some useful purpose in some future century.

In this case, National Review wants to impeach President Trump for something he has shown no inkling of doing.

Unlike the Joe Arpaio pardon for contempt of court, these charges are for an actual crime, and not the result of a judge's spite.

And while Mueller may use the charges to lean on Manafort to dump on Trump, a pardon would plug the drain Trump built to drain the swamp.

The plea bargain with George Papadopolous, who worked in the Trump campaign, looks like he rolled over on Manafort.

The charges against Manafort seem pretty valid.

From the New York Times:
“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States without paying taxes on that income,” the indictment reads.
Mr. Gates is accused of transferring more than $3 million from offshore accounts. The two are also charged with making false statements.
“As part of the scheme, Manafort and Gates repeatedly provided false information to financial bookkeepers, tax accountants and legal counsel, among others,” the indictment read.
Mr. Gates is a longtime protégé and junior partner of Mr. Manafort. His name appears on documents linked to companies that Mr. Manafort’s firm set up in Cyprus to receive payments from politicians and businesspeople in Eastern Europe, records reviewed by The New York Times show.
This all happened before Trump hired Manafort as campaign manager.

Trump should have known before he hired Manafort? Maybe. But the federal government did not seem to know at the time, and it has the FBI, Secret Service, and a whole bunch of other investigators.

Finally, from the Washington Post: "Ohio Democrats say talking about Mueller's probe is not the way to win in 2018."

***

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31 comments:

  1. National Reviews article was extremely predictable, if the indictment was for J Walking they would have called for Trump impeachment. There hate is very open and the bias is obvious.

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  2. National Review is a goat rodeo. It is not a serious publication. They are hysterics.

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  3. Not that I needed another reason to tell NR to eat sh-- and die, but this is another reason to tell NR to eat sh-- and die.

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    1. National Review is not quite Jen Rubin level of Trump Derangement Syndrome (yet), but it should be careful not to morph into the Nation.

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    2. The Nation published several articles about how the DNC Hack was an inside job.

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    3. Good point! Andy McCarthy also had a decent article on how Mueller's Indictment of Manafort is really a nothing burger as it applies to Trump.

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    4. Andy McCarthy is excellent here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453244/manafort-indictment-no-signs-trump-russia-collusion

      Kevin Williamson unfortunately has gone completely Kristol Koo-Koo (it is not that we are so into Trump as we are just not at all into you): http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453216/mitt-romney-senate-run-donald-trump-republicans

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  5. One would think they could read their own damn magazine:

    Interestingly, as the plea agreement shows, the Obama DOJ’s Fraud Section was then run by Andrew Weissmann, who is now one of the top prosecutors in Robert Mueller’s ongoing special-counsel investigation of suspected Trump collusion with Russia. There was still one other problem to tamp down. That was the informant — the lobbyist who alerted the FBI to the Russian racketeering enterprise back in 2009. He wanted to talk.

    Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/452972/uranium-one-deal-obama-administration-doj-hillary-clinton-racketeering"

    Who was running the FBI during all of this? Robert Mueller, who could have brought indictments against Manafort then... only then he was working for Podesta.

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    1. And that is why Mueller's Inquisition is so questionable now.

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    2. We could make quite a tapestry, with all this weaving in-and-out, couldn't we!

      I do hope the Podestas get woven in, along with the Clintons. Oh, what a lovely tapestry that would make!

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    3. Better than my wife's quilts, Esky! Fingers crossed.

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  6. The only thing in this post that I'm nervous about would be those unnamed Ohio Democrats having a flash of insight as to what is, and what isn't, a winnable issue in 2018.

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  7. Tucker Carlson revealed that Manafort was working closely with the Podestas during the dates this indictment specifies with the objective of getting Russia closer to the Obama Administration and Clinton.

    What happened during those years? Uranium 1 & Skolkovo which poured tens of millions into the Clinton Foundation and Tony Podesta's spot on Joule - an American subsidiary of a Russian energy company that netted Podesta $35 million (to hide it he put it in his daughter's name).

    Oh, yeah. There was also the little matter of the FBI investigation into Russian racketeering, money laundering and attempting to infiltrate Clinton's inner network.

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    1. So suppose that when he is squeezed by Müeller he grasses on the Podesta Group instead of Trump?

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  8. But this means that Clintin still gets t skate, right? Only Republicans get charged with stuff like this?

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  9. Just after 1:00 PM today we learned that Tony Podesta has stepped down from the Podesta Group which is under federal scrutiny as a result of the Manafort indictment. The fire is rising.

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  10. Muller the old Bluetick, far past his prime, couldn't tree the lion, so to justify his existence, treed a Wweasel and a polecat-the Podestas...
    Much fun will ensue...
    TG (former runner of hounds.)

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    1. "Muller the old Bluetick"
      Surely you jest. He aint even at poodle level.... OK, even poodles have a use.

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  11. They'll be screaming "Impeach!" until January 20, 2025.

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    1. No, they'll be screaming it until the end of Trump's 2nd term.

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  12. Don:

    The NRO article in question was written in The Corner by Dan McLaughlin as opinion and strikingly, Andy McCarthy said the indictment was a nothing-burger in a featured article.

    But the magazine continues to show vital conservative leanings in the article by Katherine Timpf:

    Here’s a radical idea: It’s bad that the Clinton campaign changed stories about the dossier and it’s bad that Team Trump change stories about the meeting. If you’re upset about one and not the other, then you’re not really upset about the issue itself — you’re just a partisan pawn spouting propaganda for someone who didn’t care enough about you to tell you the truth in the first place. It’s amazing how many of the same people who would be mad at their friends for lying to them will willingly defend the lies of a total stranger just because of “party allegiance.” It’s disgusting, it’s dangerous, and it’s time to do better.

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    1. Timpf is a Lib, loony as hell, as all Libs are. ISO is a communist publication.

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    2. "A partisan pawn." Hey, thanks, Kat, you get your ass handed to you on GG, you double down with the crazies. Thanks, Kat. Thanks a bunch.

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  13. Seems to me the NR people are approaching the speed where sanity can no longer follow, and they're waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out in front.

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  14. National Review no longer relevant or credible...shameless.

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  15. Who lends credence to a 'sensationalist' rag like National Revue? We called them names like "national enquirer" and such when I was young. The names change but the outrageous sensationalism is the same. Weak opinions from weak minds FOR weaker minds......... Did any of them mention having an outer space 'alien's' baby by chance?

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  16. The Never Trumpers hope that Trump hired Manafort to make connections with Russians. My guess is to the contrary that Manafort hoped to use his connection to Trump to plump for clients.

    I expect someone to argue that the very fact that Trump hired Manafort, an indicted money launderer and unregistered foreign agent, should alone be grounds for impeachment.

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