Paul Manafort

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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:51 am

Mueller was given explicit direction to investigate the Trump campaign for conspiracy with the Kremlin. Sounds like if Manafort don’t flip soon, we’ll see a whole slew of new conspiracy charges.

THE MUELLER FILING

April 3, 2018/8 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe /by empty wheel

Robert Mueller’s team has submitted its response to Paul Manafort’s motion to dismiss his indictment based on a claim Mueller isn’t authorized to prosecute crimes like the money laundering he is accused of. As I predicted, this filing lays out some theory of his case — but much of it is redacted, in the form of a memo Rod Rosenstein wrote last August laying out the parameters of the investigation at that time. As the filing makes clear, that memo (and any unmentioned predecessors or successors) form the same function as the public memos Jim Comey gave Patrick Fitzgerald to memorialize any seeming expansions of his authority in the CIA leak case, which the DC Circuit relied on to determine that the Libby prosecution was clearly authorized by Fitzgerald’s mandate.

Nevertheless, midway through the legal description, the filing lays out what I have — Manafort’s Ukrainian entanglements are part of this investigation because 1) he was a key player in the campaign and 2) had long ties to Russian backed politicians and (this is a bit trickier) Russians like Oleg Deripaska.

The Appointment Order itself readily encompasses Manafort’s charged conduct. First, his conduct falls within the scope of paragraph (b)(i) of the Appointment Order, which authorizes investigation of “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” The basis for coverage of Manafort’s crimes under that authority is readily apparent. Manafort joined the Trump campaign as convention manager in March 2016 and served as campaign chairman from May 2016 until his resignation in August 2016, after reports surfaced of his financial activities in Ukraine. He thus constituted an “individual associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” Appointment Order ¶ (b) and (b)(i). He was, in addition, an individual with long ties to a Russia-backed Ukrainian politician. See Indictment, Doc. 202, ¶¶ 1-6, 9 (noting that between 2006 and 2015, Manafort acted as an unregistered agent of Ukraine, its former President, Victor Yanukovych—who fled to Russia after popular protests—and Yanukovych’s political party). Open-source reporting also has described business arrangements between Manafort and “a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.”

[snip]

The Appointment Order is not a statute, but an instrument for providing public notice of the general nature of a Special Counsel’s investigation and a framework for consultation between the Acting Attorney General and the Special Counsel. Given that Manafort’s receipt of payments from the Ukrainian government has factual links to Russian persons and Russian-associated political actors, and that exploration of those activities furthers a complete and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election and any links and/or coordination with the President’s campaign, the conduct charged in the Indictment comes within the Special Counsel’s authority to investigate “any matter that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

I’ll do a follow-up on why the Deripaska reference is a bit tricky. It’s tricky in execution, not in fact.

THE “ATTORNEYS FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”

I’ll refer to the author of this memo as Mueller for convenience sake, but because I obsess about how Mueller’s team deploys, it’s worth noting how the memo is signed.



The memo is signed by Andrew Weissman, the lead in the Manafort prosecution and (as the memo notes) a career AUSA in his own right. Greg Andres, who has also been on all the Manafort filings, includes his DC district license, making any continuity there clear. Adam Jed, an appellate specialist who has been deployed to this team in the past, is included. But before all them is Michael Dreeben, the Solicitor General’s killer attorney on appeals.

Aside from Mueller himself, Andres is the only lawyer listed who was not a DOJ employee when Jim Comey got fired, which is relevant given the memo’s argument that these attorneys could have prosecuted this with or without Mueller present.

Notably, Kyle Freeny, who has been on all the other Manafort filings, is not listed.

I’m unsure whether the filing uses the title, “Attorneys for the United States of America” because it underscores the argument of the memo — all their authority derives directly from Rosenstein — or if it signifies someone (probably Dreeben, who maintains his day job at the Solicitor General’s office) isn’t actually a formal member of Mueller’s team. But it is a departure from the norm, which since at least the roll-out of Brian Richardson as a “Assistant Special Counsel” with the Van der Zwaan plea, has used the titles “Senior” and “Assistant Special Counsel” to sign their filings.

MANAFORT IS ESPECIALLY SCREWED BECAUSE ROSENSTEIN IS SO CLOSELY INVOLVED

The memo starts by laying out what its presents as the history of the investigation. It includes the following events:

Jeff Sessions March 2, 2017 recusal

Jim Comey’s March 20, 2017 public confirmation of an investigation into “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was an coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
Rod Rosenstein’s May 17, 2017 order appointing Mueller Special Counsel “to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and related matters”
It then lays out the regulatory framework governing Mueller’s appointment. While this generally maps what Rosenstein included in his appointment order — which cites 28 USC §§ 509, 510, 515, and 600.4 through 600.10 — Mueller also cites to the basis of the Attorney General’s authority, including 28 USC §§ 503, 516, and all of 600. The latter citation is of particular interest, as it notes that the AG (Rosenstein, in this case) ” is not required to invoke the Special Counsel regulations” (which the filing backs by citing some historical examples). The filing then asserts that the Special Counsel regulations serve as ” a helpful framework for the Attorney General to use in establishing the Special Counsel’s role.”

Mueller then describes what the filing implies has been the process by which Mueller has informed Rosenstein of major actions he’s about to take. This consists of “‘providing Urgent Reports’ to Department leadership on ‘major developments.'” By doing it this way, Mueller implies a process without providing a basis to FOIA these Urgent Reports.

Then, the filing lays out how the scope of his authority has evolved. Initially, he notes, that was based on his appointing order. On August 2 — two and a half months after his appointment, almost a week after George Papadopoulos’ arrest, and the day after Andres joined Mueller’s team — Rosenstein wrote a memo describing the scope of Mueller’s investigation and authority. That memo (which is included in heavily redacted form) authorizes Mueller to investigate,

Allegations that Paul Manafort:

Committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law;
Committed a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.
In other words, by August 2 (if not before) Rosenstein had authorized Mueller to prosecute Manafort for the money laundering of his payments from Yanukovych.

Significantly, the filing notes that the August 2 memo told Mueller to come back if anything else arises.

For additional matters that otherwise may have arisen or may arise directly from the Investigation, you should consult my office for a determination of whether such matters should be within the scope of your authority. If you determine that additional jurisdiction is necessary in order to fully investigate and resolve the matters assigned, or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of your investigation, you should follow the procedures set forth in 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(b).


The filing then lays out Manafort’s DC indictments and his challenge to Mueller’s authority. The summary of that argument looks like this:

Manafort’s motion to dismiss the Indictment should be rejected for four reasons. First, the Acting Attorney General and the Special Counsel have acted fully in accordance with the relevant statutes and regulations. The Acting Attorney General properly established the Special Counsel’s jurisdiction at the outset and clarified its scope as the investigation proceeded. The Acting Attorney General and Special Counsel have engaged in the consultation envisioned by the regulations, and the Special Counsel has ensured that the Acting Attorney General was aware of and approved the Special Counsel’s investigatory and prosecutorial steps. Second, Manafort’s contrary reading of the regulations—implying rigid limits and artificial boundaries on the Acting Attorney General’s actions—misunderstands the purpose, framework, and operation of the regulations. Properly understood, the regulations provide guidance for an intra-Executive Branch determination, within the Department of Justice, of how to allocate investigatory and prosecutorial authority. They provide the foundation for an effective and independent Special Counsel investigation, while ensuring that major actions and jurisdictional issues come to the Acting Attorney General’s attention, thus permitting him to fulfill his supervisory role. Accountability exists for all phases of the Special Counsel’s actions. Third, that understanding of the regulatory scheme demonstrates why the Special Counsel regulations create no judicially enforceable rights. Unlike the former statutory scheme that authorized court-appointed independent counsels, the definition of the Special Counsel’s authority remains within the Executive Branch and is subject to ongoing dialogue based on sensitive prosecutorial considerations. A defendant cannot challenge the internal allocation of prosecutorial authority under Department of Justice regulations. Finally, Manafort’s remedial claims fail for many of the same reasons: the Special Counsel has a valid statutory appointment; this Court’s jurisdiction is secure; no violation of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure occurred; and any rule-based violation was harmless. [my emphasis]


The bolded bit is the key part: Mueller is treating Manafort’s challenge as a challenge to Article II authority, making the appointment even more sound than previous Ken Starr-type Independent Counsel appointments were, because they don’t present a constitutional appointments clause problem. Mueller returns to that argument several times later in the filing.

Under the Independent Counsel Act, constitutional concerns mandated limitations on the judiciary’s ability to assign prosecutorial jurisdiction. In the wholly Executive-Branch regime created by the Special Counsel regulations, those constitutional concerns do not exist.

[snip]

[T]he court contrasted [limitations on Independent Counsels] with the Attorney General’s “broader” authority to make referrals to the independent counsel: the Attorney General “is not similarly subject to the ‘demonstrably related’ limitation” because the Attorney General’s power “is not constrained by separation of powers concerns.” Id.; see also United States v. Tucker, 78 F.3d 1313, 1321 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 820 (1996). That is because the Attorney General’s referral decision exercises solely executive power and does not threaten to impair Executive Branch functions or impose improper duties on another branch.

[snip]

It is especially notable that Manafort, while relying on principles of political accountability, does not invoke the Appointments Clause as a basis for his challenge, despite the Clause’s “design[] to preserve political accountability relative to important Government assignments.” E

From there, the memo goes into the legal analysis which is unsurprising. The courts, including the DC Circuit in the Libby case, have approved this authority. That’s a point the filing makes explicit by comparing the August 2 memo with the two memos Jim Comey wrote to document the scope of Patrick Fitzgerald’s authority in the CIA leak investigation.

The August 2 Scope Memorandum is precisely the type of material that has previously been considered in evaluating a Special Counsel’s jurisdiction. United States v. Libby, 429 F. Supp. 2d 27 (D.D.C. 2006), involved a statutory and constitutional challenge to the authority of a Special Counsel who was appointed outside the framework of 28 C.F.R. Part 600. In rejecting that challenge, Judge Walton considered similar materials that defined the scope of the Special Counsel’s authority. See id. at 28-29, 31-32, 39 (considering the Acting Attorney General’s letter of appointment and clarification of jurisdiction as “concrete evidence * * * that delineates the Special Counsel’s authority,” and “conclud[ing] that the Special Counsel’s delegated authority is described within the four corners of the December 30, 2003 and February 6, 2004 letters”). The August 2 Scope Memorandum has the same legal significance as the original Appointment Order on the question of scope. Both documents record the Acting Attorney General’s determination on the scope of the Special Counsel’s jurisdiction. Nothing in the regulations restricts the Acting Attorney General’s authority to issue such clarifications.


Having laid out (with the Rosenstein memo) that this investigation operates in equivalent fashion to the Libby prosecution, the case is fairly well made. Effectively Manafort is all the more screwed because the Acting AG has been personally involved and approved each step.

THE OTHER AUTHORITIES COVER OTHER PROSECUTIONS MUELLER HAS LAID OUT
The filing is perhaps most interesting for the other authorities casually asserted, which are not necessarily directly relevant in this prosecution, but are for others. First, Mueller includes this footnote, making it clear his authority includes obstruction, including witness tampering.

The Special Counsel also has “the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses” and has the authority “to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a). Those authorities are not at issue here.


Those authorities are not at issue here, but they are for the Flynn, Papadopoulos, Gates, and Van der Zwaan prosecutions, and for any obstruction the White House has been engaging in. But because it is relevant for the Gates and Van der Zwaan prosecutions, that mention should preempt any Manafort attempt to discredit their pleas for the way they expose him.

The filing includes a quotation from DOJ’s discussion of special counsels making it clear that it’s normal to investigate crimes that might lead someone to flip.

[I]n deciding when additional jurisdiction is needed, the Special Counsel can draw guidance from the Department’s discussion accompanying the issuance of the Special Counsel regulations. That discussion illustrated the type of “adjustments to jurisdiction” that fall within Section 600.4(b). “For example,” the discussion stated, “a Special Counsel assigned responsibility for an alleged false statement about a government program may request additional jurisdiction to investigate allegations of misconduct with respect to the administration of that program; [or] a Special Counsel may conclude that investigating otherwise unrelated allegations against a central witness in the matter is necessary to obtain cooperation.”


That one is technically relevant here — one thing Mueller is doing with the Manafort prosecution (and successfully did with the Gates one) is to flip witnesses against Trump. But it also makes it clear that Mueller could do so more generally.

I’ll comment more on the memo tomorrow. But for now, understand this is a solid memo that puts the Manafort prosecution squarely on the same footing that the Libby one was.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/04/03/t ... er-filing/



ALSO VAN DER ZWANN IS BEING SENTENCED TODAY!

TIED TO RUSSIAN GRU INTEL

DESTROYING EVIDENCE

DO NOT LIE TO MUELLER

SON-IN-LAW OF RUSSIAN THAT OWNS ALFA GROUP

Dutch lawyer will be first sentenced in Russia probe

By Mark Moore
Dutch lawyer will be first sentenced in Russia probe

​A Dutch national who’s the son-in-law of a Russian oligarch is expected to be the first person sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ​probe into Moscow meddling in the 2016 election.

​Alex van der Zwaan, who has no known ties to the Trump campaign, entered a guilty plea in February on charges that he lied to federal agents and will be sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Washington, ABC News reported.

​Van der Zwaan, 33, lied to Mueller’s prosecutors about his work in Ukraine with former Trum​p campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates.

​Mueller’s charges allege that van der Zwaan and Gates talked with a businessman who was also a Russian intelligence agent during the last months of the campaign. ​

In court papers, Mueller referred to the officer as “Person A,” who reports later revealed was Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian business contact for Manafort and Gates.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion.

Gates pleaded guilty in February and has been cooperating in Mueller’s probe.

Van der Zwaan is married to the daughter of German Khan, a billionaire who owns Russia’s largest financial investment company, the Alfa Group.

He is expected to be sentenced to six months in prison as part of a plea agreement. He faced a five-year sentence.
https://nypost.com/2018/04/03/dutch-law ... sia-probe/
All of this misogyny is making me nostalgic for treason
#WhyIDidntReport
‘empowerment through empathy’ #metoo.”

on trump/russia
"Colluded" is only a word confused people use
The word and crime is conspiracy
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:47 am


FIRST PERSON TO BE SENTENCED IN MUELLER PROBE

Image

Van Der Zwaan gets 30 days and pays $20,000 fine


after he serves his sentence he will probably be picked up by ICE and be deported :evilgrin

message to everyone else .....DO NOT LIE TO THE FBI

TIED TO RUSSIAN GRU INTEL

DESTROYING EVIDENCE

DO NOT LIE TO MUELLER

SON-IN-LAW OF RUSSIAN OLIGARCH BILLIONAIRE THAT OWNS ALFA GROUP


United States v. Alex Van Der Zwaan: Notice - "van der Zwaan is in an unusual position of having information related to the Office's investigation that is not widely known--including information that he knows first hand due to his role in the conduct the Office is investigating."


A Lawyer Who Admitted Lying To The Special Counsel's Office Was Just Sentenced To One Month In Jail
Alex van der Zwaan is the first person sentenced in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Originally posted on April 3, 2018, at 10:46 a.m.
Updated on April 3, 2018, at 11:54 a.m.
Zoe Tillman

A lawyer who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller's office was sentenced on Tuesday to one month in jail and a $20,000 fine.

Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch citizen who lives in London, is the first person sentenced in connection with Mueller's investigation. Four other people have publicly pleaded guilty to date, but, unlike van der Zwaan, their plea deals included cooperation agreements, delaying their sentencings. Van der Zwaan's sentence sends a message that jail time is on the table even for defendants who plead guilty to relatively low-level crimes.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson was unpersuaded by van der Zwaan's pitch that a fine alone would be sufficient. She noted that he had lied to the government in the midst of an investigation — Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election — of national and international importance. He was an educated and accomplished lawyer, who had his own attorneys when he met with the special counsel's office, and he had taken several steps to deceive investigators, the judge said.

"This is not something that happened to him," Jackson said. "This was something he did."

Jackson noted that unlike many of the defendants who come before her for nonviolent crimes and face incarceration and the hardships that can cause to their families, van der Zwaan had significant financial assets and other resources at his disposal.

"This glass was dropped on a very thick carpet, and that cushioned the blow," the judge said.

Van der Zwaan's faced a recommended sentencing range of between zero to six months. Jackson said that allowing van der Zwaan to write a check and walk away would not accomplish the goal of deterring others from committing a similar crime.

"The criminal justice system isn't supposed to favor those with means," she said.

Van der Zwaan and his lawyer William Schwartz declined to speak with reporters after the hearing. Jackson will allow van der Zwaan to self-surrender to the federal Bureau of Prisons. His lawyer asked the judge to recommend to the bureau that he serve his time at FCI Allenwood, a federal prison complex in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. Jackson had said she wasn't sure if the bureau allowed DC prisoners with sentences of less than six months to serve their time anywhere other than the DC Jail.

After he finishes his prison sentence, Jackson ordered him to serve two months of supervised release, and he will be required to pay the $20,000 fine in full. However, the judge said she would permit him to voluntarily self-deport from the United States if Immigration and Customs Enforcement allowed it.

Schwartz had asked that van der Zwaan be allowed to pay a fine and serve no jail time, stressing that van der Zwaan later came back to the United States to "correct the record" after the first meeting with the special counsel's office when he lied. Schwartz said that van der Zwaan had lost his career and needed to be back in London with his pregnant wife and family as soon as possible. Van der Zwaan had been living a lonely life in Washington, with nothing to do to fill his time, Schwartz told Jackson — van der Zwaan was the first client who told him that talking to his lawyer was the highlight of his day.

Van der Zwaan briefly spoke, saying, "What I did was wrong. I apologize to the court for my conduct." He also apologized to his wife and family for the pain he had caused them.

Jackson was unmoved, questioning why van der Zwaan hadn't looked for opportunities to do community service while he was waiting for sentencing. Van der Zwaan's expression of remorse was "muted, to say the least," she said.

The special counsel's didn't advocate for a particular sentence, but argued that the judge shouldn't rule out jail time. Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told the judge that van der Zwaan had "a moral compass that was off-kilter." Weissmann refuted the idea that van der Zwaan voluntarily came back to tell the truth, saying he had been served with a grand jury subpoena after his first meeting in November 2017 and would have been required to return to the United States anyway.

"We count on people to tell us the truth," Weissmann said, arguing that the sentence should send a message that there are consequences for lying and withholding documents.

Weissmann said that in light of the fact that van der Zwaan's wife is due to give birth this summer, they offered to sign an agreement with van der Zwaan that if he did receive a sentence of jail time, that he would be removed from the country after his release within 48 to 72 hours. That offer was rejected. Schwartz told the judge it wasn't clear if the agreement would actually prevent immigration proceedings that could delay van der Zwaan's return to London.

Van der Zwaan's ties to former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Manafort's former deputy and longtime associate Rick Gates brought him into Mueller's orbit. In 2012, van der Zwaan was part of a team that worked on a report about the trial of former Ukrainian prime minster Yulia Tymoshenko — a report that put him in contact with Gates, according to court filings.

Manafort and Gates were charged with laundering money and other violations in connection with their years of work on behalf of the Ukrainian government and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who was a political rival of Tymoshenko. According to court filings, Manafort and Gates' work included lobbying Congress about the Tymoshenko report, which had been commissioned by the Ukrainian government. Van der Zwaan, according to prosecutors, helped Gates with public relations related to the Tymoshenko report.

Gates later pleaded guilty; Manafort is still fighting indictments returned by federal grand juries in Washington, DC, and Virginia.

Van der Zwaan admitted lying to the special counsel's office about his communications with Gates and an unidentified person known as "Person A" in 2016. According to court filings, in September and October of that year van der Zwaan spoke with Person A about the possibility that they might face criminal charges in Ukraine related to their work on the Tymoshenko report, and he also talked about the Ukraine investigation during that time with Gates and another partner at the law firm where van der Zwaan worked at the time, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Van der Zwaan knew that Person A was a former Russian intelligence officer because Gates told him so, according to prosecutors. The FBI determined that Person A still had ties to Russian intelligence in 2016, when he was also in touch with Gates — who was reportedly still doing work for Trump's campaign. Media reports have speculated that Person A's description matches longtime Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik, but Kilimnik has denied ties to Russian intelligence.

When van der Zwaan was asked about his discussions with Gates and Person A during a meeting with the special counsel's office on Nov. 3, he said that his last communication with Gates was an "innocuous text message" in August 2016, and that he hadn't spoken with Person A since 2014. He also deleted and failed to produce emails, including a communication with Person A, to the special counsel's office.

According to the sentencing memos filed by van der Zwaan's lawyers, he lied in order to shield the fact that he secretly recorded conversations with Gates, Person A, and another lawyer at his law firm, as well as the fact that he had been exploring the possibility of leaving his law firm to work for Manafort and Gates. Van der Zwaan later returned to the special counsel's office on Dec. 1 to "correct the record," his lawyers wrote, a notion that prosecutors disputed during Tuesday's sentencing hearing.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to pursue additional charges against van der Zwaan for making other false statements, for destroying documents, or for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act related to his work for the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice
https://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetillman/a-l ... .fkaJp0dKY

-----------------------------

redacted names means there are others out there that Mueller is investigating that are not know

The August 2 memo may not have been the first and surely is not the most recent memo authorizing Mueller's scope.


THERE ARE ALMOST CERTAINLY OTHER DAG ROSENSTEIN MEMOS

April 3, 2018/0 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, CIA Leak Case, emptywheel, Mueller Probe /by empty wheel

As I noted in this post, Robert Mueller’s team of “Attorneys for the United States of America” responded to Paul Manafort’s claim that Rod Rosenstein’s grant of authority to the Special Counsel did not extend to the money laundering he is currently being indicted for by revealing an August 2, 2017 memo from Rosenstein authorizing Mueller to investigate, along with a bunch of redacted stuff,

Allegations that Paul Manafort:

Committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law;
Committed a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.

As the filing notes, this memo has not been revealed before, neither to us nor to Manafort.

That’s all very interesting (and has the DC press corps running around claiming this is a big scoop, when it is instead predictable). More interesting, however, is the date, which strongly suggests that there are more of these memos out there.

MUELLER IS UNLIKELY TO HAVE WAITED TWO AND A HALF MONTHS TO MEMORIALIZE HIS SCOPE

I say that, first of all, because Rosenstein wrote the August 2 memo two and a half months after he appointed Mueller. Given Trump’s raging attacks on the investigation, it’d be imprudent not to get memorialization of the scope of the investigation at each step. Indeed, as I’ve noted, in the filing Mueller points to the Libby precedent, arguing that this memo “has the same legal significance” as the two memos Jim Comey used to (publicly) memorialize the scope of Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation.

The August 2 Scope Memorandum is precisely the type of material that has previously been considered in evaluating a Special Counsel’s jurisdiction. United States v. Libby, 429 F. Supp. 2d 27 (D.D.C. 2006), involved a statutory and constitutional challenge to the authority of a Special Counsel who was appointed outside the framework of 28 C.F.R. Part 600. In rejecting that challenge, Judge Walton considered similar materials that defined the scope of the Special Counsel’s authority. See id. at 28-29, 31-32, 39 (considering the Acting Attorney General’s letter of appointment and clarification of jurisdiction as “concrete evidence * * * that delineates the Special Counsel’s authority,” and “conclud[ing] that the Special Counsel’s delegated authority is described within the four corners of the December 30, 2003 and February 6, 2004 letters”). The August 2 Scope Memorandum has the same legal significance as the original Appointment Order on the question of scope.


The first of those Comey letters, dated December 30, 2003, authorized Fitz to investigate the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity. The second of those, dated February 6, 2004, memorialized that Fitz could also investigate,

federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, your investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses; to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted; and to pursue administrative remedies and civil sanctions (such as civil contempt) that are within the Attorney General’s authority to impose or pursue.

It’s the second memo that memorialized Fitz’ authority to prosecute Scooter Libby for protecting Dick Cheney’s role in outing Valerie Plame.

Mueller, then the acting FBI Director, would presumably have been in the loop of the Fitz investigation (as Wray is in Mueller’s) and would have known how these two letters proceeded. So it would stand to reason he’d ask for a memo from the start, particularly given that the investigation already included multiple known targets and that Trump is even more hostile to this investigation than George Bush and Dick Cheney were to Fitz’s.

Admittedly, unlike the Comey memo, which was designed for public release, there’s no obvious, unredacted reference to a prior memo. Though something that might imply a prior memo is redacted at the top of the released memo (though this is probably a classification marking).

Image

And, given that this memo was designed to be secret, Rosenstein may have written the memo to obscure whether there are prior ones and if so how many.

THE MEMO CLOSELY FOLLOWS TWO KEY DATES

That said, the date of the memo, August 2, is mighty curious. It is six days after the July 27 Papadopoulos arrest at Dulles airport. And seven days after the July 26 no knock search of Paul Manafort’s Alexandria home.

That timing might suggest any of several things. It’s certainly possible (though unlikely) the timing is unrelated.

It’s possible that Rosenstein wrote the memo to ensure those two recent steps were covered by his grant. That wouldn’t mean that the search and arrest wouldn’t have been authorized. The memo itself notes that Mueller would be obliged to inform Rosenstein before each major investigative step.

The Special Counsel has an explicit notification obligation to the Attorney General: he “shall notify the Attorney General of events in the course of his or her investigation in conformity with the Departmental guidelines with respect to Urgent Reports.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(b). Those reports cover “[m]ajor developments in significant investigations and litigation,” which may include commencing an investigation; filing criminal charges; executing a search warrant; interviewing an important witness; and arresting a defendant.


Both Papadopoulos’ arrest and that dramatic search would fit this criteria. So it’s virtually certain Rosenstein reviewed Urgent Memos on both these events before they happened. Plus, his memo makes it clear that the allegations included in his memo “were within the scope of the Investigation at the time of your appointment and are within the scope of the Order,” meaning that the inclusion of them in the memo would retroactively authorize any activities that had already taken place, such as the collection of evidence at Manafort’s home outside the scope of the election inquiry.

As I noted, the memo also asserts that Special Counsels’ investigative authority, generally, extends to investigating obstruction and crimes the prosecutor might use to flip witnesses.

The filing is perhaps most interesting for the other authorities casually asserted, which are not necessarily directly relevant in this prosecution, but are for others. First, Mueller includes this footnote, making it clear his authority includes obstruction, including witness tampering.

The Special Counsel also has “the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses” and has the authority “to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a). Those authorities are not at issue here.


Those authorities are not at issue here, but they are for the Flynn, Papadopoulos, Gates, and Van der Zwaan prosecutions, and for any obstruction the White House has been engaging in. But because it is relevant for the Gates and Van der Zwaan prosecutions, that mention should preempt any Manafort attempt to discredit their pleas for the way they expose him.

The filing includes a quotation from DOJ’s discussion of special counsels making it clear that it’s normal to investigate crimes that might lead someone to flip.

[I]n deciding when additional jurisdiction is needed, the Special Counsel can draw guidance from the Department’s discussion accompanying the issuance of the Special Counsel regulations. That discussion illustrated the type of “adjustments to jurisdiction” that fall within Section 600.4(b). “For example,” the discussion stated, “a Special Counsel assigned responsibility for an alleged false statement about a government program may request additional jurisdiction to investigate allegations of misconduct with respect to the administration of that program; [or] a Special Counsel may conclude that investigating otherwise unrelated allegations against a central witness in the matter is necessary to obtain cooperation.”


That one is technically relevant here — one thing Mueller is doing with the Manafort prosecution (and successfully did with the Gates one) is to flip witnesses against Trump. But it also makes it clear that Mueller could do so more generally.

Mueller used the false statements charges against Papadopoulos to flip him. He surely hopes to use the money laundering charges against Manafort to flip him, too. Both issues may have been at issue in any memo written to newly cover the events of late July.

MUELLER MAY NOT HAVE REVEALED THE SCOPE OF THE MANAFORT INVESTIGATION AT THAT TIME

Now consider this detail: the second bullet describing the extent of the investigation into Manafort has a semi-colon, not a period.

Image


It’s possible Mueller used semi-colons after all these bullets (of which Manafort’s is the second or third entry). But that, plus the resumption of the redaction without a double space suggests there may be another bulleted allegation in the Manafort allegation.

There are two other (known) things that might merit a special bullet. First, while it would seem to fall under the general election collusion bullet, Rosenstein may have included a bullet describing collusion with Aras Agalarov and friends in the wake of learning about the June 9 Trump Tower meeting with his employees. More likely, Rosenstein may have included a bullet specifically authorizing an investigation of Manafort’s ties with Oleg Deripaska and Konstantin Kilimnik.

The Mueller memo actually includes a specific reference to that, which as I’ve noted I will return to.

Open-source reporting also has described business arrangements between Manafort and “a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.”


The latter might be of particular import, given that we know a bunch of fall 2017 interviews focused on Manafort’s ties to Deripaska and the ongoing cover-up with Kilimnik regarding the Skadden Arps report on the Yulia Tymoshenko prosecution.

All of which is to say that this memo may reflect a new expansion of the Manafort investigation, perhaps pursuant to whatever the FBI discovered in that raid on Manafort’s home. If so, that should be apparent to him, as he and his lawyers know what was seized.

Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if he inquired about what authorized that July 26 raid, if for no other reason than to sustain his effort to make more information on Mueller’s investigation public.

THE REDACTIONS ALMOST CERTAINLY HIDE TWO EXPANSIONS TO THE INVESTIGATION AS IT EXISTED IN OCTOBER 2016

Now let’s turn to what else (besides another possible Manafort bullet) the redactions might show, and what may have been added since.

The unredacted description of the Manafort investigation takes up very roughly about one fifth of the section describing allegations Mueller was pursuing.

The Schiff Memo revealed that DOJ had sub-investigations into four individuals in October 2016.

Image

Endnote 7 made it clear that, in addition to Page, this included Flynn and Papadopoulos, probably not Rick Gates, and one other person, possibly Roger Stone.

Image


In August 2017, all four of those would have been included in a Rosenstein memo, possibly with a bullet dedicated to Gates alone added. That said, not all of these would require two or more bullets (and therefore as much space as the Manafort description). Papadopoulos’ description might include two, one dedicated to the collusion and one to they lying about collusion, or just one encompassing both the collusion and the lying. Flynn’s might include three, one dedicated to the collusion, one to the lying about it, and one to the unregistered foreign agent work, including with Turkey, that we know Mueller to have been investigating; or, as with Papadopoulos, the lying about the collusion might be incorporated into that bullet. Stone’s bullet would likely have only reflected the collusion, an investigation that is currently very active. Carter Page’s suspected role as a foreign agent might be one bullet or two.

That suggests, though doesn’t confirm, that there are a few other things included in those redacted bullets, things not included in the investigation in October 2016 as reflected in the Schiff memo.

Indeed, we should expect two more things to be included in the bullet points: First, the name of any suspect, including the President, associated with the obstruction of justice. Rosenstein himself had already been interviewed with respect to that aspect of the investigation by August 2, so surely Rosenstein had already authorized that aspect of the investigation.

The redactions most likely also include the names of Don Jr and Jared Kushner (and Paul Manafort), for their suspected collusion with Russia as reflected in the June 9 meeting. At least according to public reporting, Mueller may have first learned of this in June when Manafort and Kushner confirmed it in turning over evidence to Congress and Mueller. The first revelations that Mueller was obtaining subpoenas from a dedicated grand jury were on August 3, just one day after this memo. That same day, reports described Mueller issuing subpoenas related to the June 9 meeting.

Indeed, it’s quite possible Rosenstein issued this memo to memorialize the inclusion of the President’s spawn among the suspects of the investigation.

ROSENSTEIN HAS ALMOST CERTAINLY UPDATED THIS MEMO SINCE AUGUST 2
All that said, there’s not enough redacted space to include the known expanded current scope of the investigation, and given that the newly expanded scope gets closer to the President, Rosenstein has surely issued an update to this memo since then. These things are all definitively included in the current scope of the investigation and might warrant special mention in any update to Rosenstein’s authorizing memo:

The Trump Organization’s Russian ties

The efforts to establish a back channel with Russia through George Nader and the Emirates

Jared Kushner’s efforts to mix policy and personal enrichment

Jeff Sessions’ awareness of the Russian effort to deal emails

Alex Van der Zwaan’s involvement and Skadden Arp’s involvement generally

Cambridge Analytica’s efforts to reach out to Julian Assange

The actual Russian hack-and-leak

The actions of the Internet Research Agency, as reflected in the indictment

Many of these — particularly the ones that affect only Russians — might be included under a generic “collusion with Russia” bullet. The closer scrutiny on Jared, however, surely would get an update, as would any special focus on the Attorney General.

More importantly, to the extent Mueller really is investigating Trump’s business interests (whether that investigation is limited just to Russian business, or more broadly) — the red line the NYT helpfully set for the President — that would necessarily be included in the most up-to-date memo authorizing Mueller’s activities. There is no way Mueller would take actions involving the President personally without having the authorization to do so in writing.

Which is why we can be virtually certain the August 2 memo is not the last memo Rosenstein has written to authorize Mueller’s actions.

Mind you, Mueller probably wouldn’t want to release a memo with several pages of redacted allegations. Which may be why we’re looking at the redacted version of an almost certainly superseded memo.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/04/03/t ... ein-memos/
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby stillrobertpaulsen » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:48 pm

seemslikeadream » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:51 am wrote:Mueller was given explicit direction to investigate the Trump campaign for conspiracy with the Kremlin. Sounds like if Manafort don’t flip soon, we’ll see a whole slew of new conspiracy charges.

THE MUELLER FILING

April 3, 2018/8 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe /by empty wheel

Robert Mueller’s team has submitted its response to Paul Manafort’s motion to dismiss his indictment based on a claim Mueller isn’t authorized to prosecute crimes like the money laundering he is accused of. As I predicted, this filing lays out some theory of his case — but much of it is redacted, in the form of a memo Rod Rosenstein wrote last August laying out the parameters of the investigation at that time. As the filing makes clear, that memo (and any unmentioned predecessors or successors) form the same function as the public memos Jim Comey gave Patrick Fitzgerald to memorialize any seeming expansions of his authority in the CIA leak case, which the DC Circuit relied on to determine that the Libby prosecution was clearly authorized by Fitzgerald’s mandate.

Nevertheless, midway through the legal description, the filing lays out what I have — Manafort’s Ukrainian entanglements are part of this investigation because 1) he was a key player in the campaign and 2) had long ties to Russian backed politicians and (this is a bit trickier) Russians like Oleg Deripaska.

The Appointment Order itself readily encompasses Manafort’s charged conduct. First, his conduct falls within the scope of paragraph (b)(i) of the Appointment Order, which authorizes investigation of “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” The basis for coverage of Manafort’s crimes under that authority is readily apparent. Manafort joined the Trump campaign as convention manager in March 2016 and served as campaign chairman from May 2016 until his resignation in August 2016, after reports surfaced of his financial activities in Ukraine. He thus constituted an “individual associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” Appointment Order ¶ (b) and (b)(i). He was, in addition, an individual with long ties to a Russia-backed Ukrainian politician. See Indictment, Doc. 202, ¶¶ 1-6, 9 (noting that between 2006 and 2015, Manafort acted as an unregistered agent of Ukraine, its former President, Victor Yanukovych—who fled to Russia after popular protests—and Yanukovych’s political party). Open-source reporting also has described business arrangements between Manafort and “a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.”

[snip]

The Appointment Order is not a statute, but an instrument for providing public notice of the general nature of a Special Counsel’s investigation and a framework for consultation between the Acting Attorney General and the Special Counsel. Given that Manafort’s receipt of payments from the Ukrainian government has factual links to Russian persons and Russian-associated political actors, and that exploration of those activities furthers a complete and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election and any links and/or coordination with the President’s campaign, the conduct charged in the Indictment comes within the Special Counsel’s authority to investigate “any matter that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

I’ll do a follow-up on why the Deripaska reference is a bit tricky. It’s tricky in execution, not in fact.

THE “ATTORNEYS FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”

I’ll refer to the author of this memo as Mueller for convenience sake, but because I obsess about how Mueller’s team deploys, it’s worth noting how the memo is signed.



The memo is signed by Andrew Weissman, the lead in the Manafort prosecution and (as the memo notes) a career AUSA in his own right. Greg Andres, who has also been on all the Manafort filings, includes his DC district license, making any continuity there clear. Adam Jed, an appellate specialist who has been deployed to this team in the past, is included. But before all them is Michael Dreeben, the Solicitor General’s killer attorney on appeals.

Aside from Mueller himself, Andres is the only lawyer listed who was not a DOJ employee when Jim Comey got fired, which is relevant given the memo’s argument that these attorneys could have prosecuted this with or without Mueller present.

Notably, Kyle Freeny, who has been on all the other Manafort filings, is not listed.

I’m unsure whether the filing uses the title, “Attorneys for the United States of America” because it underscores the argument of the memo — all their authority derives directly from Rosenstein — or if it signifies someone (probably Dreeben, who maintains his day job at the Solicitor General’s office) isn’t actually a formal member of Mueller’s team. But it is a departure from the norm, which since at least the roll-out of Brian Richardson as a “Assistant Special Counsel” with the Van der Zwaan plea, has used the titles “Senior” and “Assistant Special Counsel” to sign their filings.

MANAFORT IS ESPECIALLY SCREWED BECAUSE ROSENSTEIN IS SO CLOSELY INVOLVED

The memo starts by laying out what its presents as the history of the investigation. It includes the following events:

Jeff Sessions March 2, 2017 recusal

Jim Comey’s March 20, 2017 public confirmation of an investigation into “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was an coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
Rod Rosenstein’s May 17, 2017 order appointing Mueller Special Counsel “to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and related matters”
It then lays out the regulatory framework governing Mueller’s appointment. While this generally maps what Rosenstein included in his appointment order — which cites 28 USC §§ 509, 510, 515, and 600.4 through 600.10 — Mueller also cites to the basis of the Attorney General’s authority, including 28 USC §§ 503, 516, and all of 600. The latter citation is of particular interest, as it notes that the AG (Rosenstein, in this case) ” is not required to invoke the Special Counsel regulations” (which the filing backs by citing some historical examples). The filing then asserts that the Special Counsel regulations serve as ” a helpful framework for the Attorney General to use in establishing the Special Counsel’s role.”

Mueller then describes what the filing implies has been the process by which Mueller has informed Rosenstein of major actions he’s about to take. This consists of “‘providing Urgent Reports’ to Department leadership on ‘major developments.'” By doing it this way, Mueller implies a process without providing a basis to FOIA these Urgent Reports.

Then, the filing lays out how the scope of his authority has evolved. Initially, he notes, that was based on his appointing order. On August 2 — two and a half months after his appointment, almost a week after George Papadopoulos’ arrest, and the day after Andres joined Mueller’s team — Rosenstein wrote a memo describing the scope of Mueller’s investigation and authority. That memo (which is included in heavily redacted form) authorizes Mueller to investigate,

Allegations that Paul Manafort:

Committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law;
Committed a crime or crimes arising out of payments he received from the Ukrainian government before and during the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych.
In other words, by August 2 (if not before) Rosenstein had authorized Mueller to prosecute Manafort for the money laundering of his payments from Yanukovych.

Significantly, the filing notes that the August 2 memo told Mueller to come back if anything else arises.

For additional matters that otherwise may have arisen or may arise directly from the Investigation, you should consult my office for a determination of whether such matters should be within the scope of your authority. If you determine that additional jurisdiction is necessary in order to fully investigate and resolve the matters assigned, or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of your investigation, you should follow the procedures set forth in 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(b).


The filing then lays out Manafort’s DC indictments and his challenge to Mueller’s authority. The summary of that argument looks like this:

Manafort’s motion to dismiss the Indictment should be rejected for four reasons. First, the Acting Attorney General and the Special Counsel have acted fully in accordance with the relevant statutes and regulations. The Acting Attorney General properly established the Special Counsel’s jurisdiction at the outset and clarified its scope as the investigation proceeded. The Acting Attorney General and Special Counsel have engaged in the consultation envisioned by the regulations, and the Special Counsel has ensured that the Acting Attorney General was aware of and approved the Special Counsel’s investigatory and prosecutorial steps. Second, Manafort’s contrary reading of the regulations—implying rigid limits and artificial boundaries on the Acting Attorney General’s actions—misunderstands the purpose, framework, and operation of the regulations. Properly understood, the regulations provide guidance for an intra-Executive Branch determination, within the Department of Justice, of how to allocate investigatory and prosecutorial authority. They provide the foundation for an effective and independent Special Counsel investigation, while ensuring that major actions and jurisdictional issues come to the Acting Attorney General’s attention, thus permitting him to fulfill his supervisory role. Accountability exists for all phases of the Special Counsel’s actions. Third, that understanding of the regulatory scheme demonstrates why the Special Counsel regulations create no judicially enforceable rights. Unlike the former statutory scheme that authorized court-appointed independent counsels, the definition of the Special Counsel’s authority remains within the Executive Branch and is subject to ongoing dialogue based on sensitive prosecutorial considerations. A defendant cannot challenge the internal allocation of prosecutorial authority under Department of Justice regulations. Finally, Manafort’s remedial claims fail for many of the same reasons: the Special Counsel has a valid statutory appointment; this Court’s jurisdiction is secure; no violation of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure occurred; and any rule-based violation was harmless. [my emphasis]


The bolded bit is the key part: Mueller is treating Manafort’s challenge as a challenge to Article II authority, making the appointment even more sound than previous Ken Starr-type Independent Counsel appointments were, because they don’t present a constitutional appointments clause problem. Mueller returns to that argument several times later in the filing.

Under the Independent Counsel Act, constitutional concerns mandated limitations on the judiciary’s ability to assign prosecutorial jurisdiction. In the wholly Executive-Branch regime created by the Special Counsel regulations, those constitutional concerns do not exist.

[snip]

[T]he court contrasted [limitations on Independent Counsels] with the Attorney General’s “broader” authority to make referrals to the independent counsel: the Attorney General “is not similarly subject to the ‘demonstrably related’ limitation” because the Attorney General’s power “is not constrained by separation of powers concerns.” Id.; see also United States v. Tucker, 78 F.3d 1313, 1321 (8th Cir.), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 820 (1996). That is because the Attorney General’s referral decision exercises solely executive power and does not threaten to impair Executive Branch functions or impose improper duties on another branch.

[snip]

It is especially notable that Manafort, while relying on principles of political accountability, does not invoke the Appointments Clause as a basis for his challenge, despite the Clause’s “design[] to preserve political accountability relative to important Government assignments.” E

From there, the memo goes into the legal analysis which is unsurprising. The courts, including the DC Circuit in the Libby case, have approved this authority. That’s a point the filing makes explicit by comparing the August 2 memo with the two memos Jim Comey wrote to document the scope of Patrick Fitzgerald’s authority in the CIA leak investigation.

The August 2 Scope Memorandum is precisely the type of material that has previously been considered in evaluating a Special Counsel’s jurisdiction. United States v. Libby, 429 F. Supp. 2d 27 (D.D.C. 2006), involved a statutory and constitutional challenge to the authority of a Special Counsel who was appointed outside the framework of 28 C.F.R. Part 600. In rejecting that challenge, Judge Walton considered similar materials that defined the scope of the Special Counsel’s authority. See id. at 28-29, 31-32, 39 (considering the Acting Attorney General’s letter of appointment and clarification of jurisdiction as “concrete evidence * * * that delineates the Special Counsel’s authority,” and “conclud[ing] that the Special Counsel’s delegated authority is described within the four corners of the December 30, 2003 and February 6, 2004 letters”). The August 2 Scope Memorandum has the same legal significance as the original Appointment Order on the question of scope. Both documents record the Acting Attorney General’s determination on the scope of the Special Counsel’s jurisdiction. Nothing in the regulations restricts the Acting Attorney General’s authority to issue such clarifications.


Having laid out (with the Rosenstein memo) that this investigation operates in equivalent fashion to the Libby prosecution, the case is fairly well made. Effectively Manafort is all the more screwed because the Acting AG has been personally involved and approved each step.

THE OTHER AUTHORITIES COVER OTHER PROSECUTIONS MUELLER HAS LAID OUT
The filing is perhaps most interesting for the other authorities casually asserted, which are not necessarily directly relevant in this prosecution, but are for others. First, Mueller includes this footnote, making it clear his authority includes obstruction, including witness tampering.

The Special Counsel also has “the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses” and has the authority “to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a). Those authorities are not at issue here.


Those authorities are not at issue here, but they are for the Flynn, Papadopoulos, Gates, and Van der Zwaan prosecutions, and for any obstruction the White House has been engaging in. But because it is relevant for the Gates and Van der Zwaan prosecutions, that mention should preempt any Manafort attempt to discredit their pleas for the way they expose him.

The filing includes a quotation from DOJ’s discussion of special counsels making it clear that it’s normal to investigate crimes that might lead someone to flip.

[I]n deciding when additional jurisdiction is needed, the Special Counsel can draw guidance from the Department’s discussion accompanying the issuance of the Special Counsel regulations. That discussion illustrated the type of “adjustments to jurisdiction” that fall within Section 600.4(b). “For example,” the discussion stated, “a Special Counsel assigned responsibility for an alleged false statement about a government program may request additional jurisdiction to investigate allegations of misconduct with respect to the administration of that program; [or] a Special Counsel may conclude that investigating otherwise unrelated allegations against a central witness in the matter is necessary to obtain cooperation.”


That one is technically relevant here — one thing Mueller is doing with the Manafort prosecution (and successfully did with the Gates one) is to flip witnesses against Trump. But it also makes it clear that Mueller could do so more generally.

I’ll comment more on the memo tomorrow. But for now, understand this is a solid memo that puts the Manafort prosecution squarely on the same footing that the Libby one was.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/04/03/t ... er-filing/


I really appreciate how emptywheel lays out the comparisons between the Manafort and the Libby prosecutions. Seems like the money laundering aspects are really secondary to Mueller compared with the collusion aspects, but I guess in time we'll all have a better understanding whether he's prioritizing one set of crimes over the other.
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:44 pm

yes Marci is must read first thing every morning


Aluminum King Oleg Deripaska

Of course, where he’s going — to this oligarch and his crony’s role in Trump’s election — is very obviously tied to the case in chief, the Russian tampering in the US election.



ABOUT THE OLEG DERIPASKA REFERENCE IN THE MUELLER MEMO

April 3, 2018/3 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe /by empty wheel

As I promised in my general summary of the Mueller memo and my assertion that there are more memos from DAG Rosenstein authorizing expanded scope on Mueller’s investigation, I want to comment on the reference to Oleg Deripaska in the memo.

The memo, remember, ostensibly only needs to lay out how Mueller’s appointment “to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and related matters” authorizes him to prosecute a bunch of money laundering used to hide the fact that Paul Manafort was lobbying for the interests of the Party of Regions, the Russian backed effort to keep its favored oligarchs in power in Ukraine, when he was pretending to represent an independent entity.

But at the end of a long paragraph explaining how Rosenstein’s appointment order alone would justify that prosecution — because Manafort played a key role in Trump’s campaign, and because Manafort resigned after his extensive ties to Yanukovych were exposed — Mueller drops in a reference to “open source reporting” tying Manafort to Deripaska.

The Appointment Order itself readily encompasses Manafort’s charged conduct. First, his conduct falls within the scope of paragraph (b)(i) of the Appointment Order, which authorizes investigation of “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” The basis for coverage of Manafort’s crimes under that authority is readily apparent. Manafort joined the Trump campaign as convention manager in March 2016 and served as campaign chairman from May 2016 until his resignation in August 2016, after reports surfaced of his financial activities in Ukraine. He thus constituted an “individual associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” Appointment Order ¶ (b) and (b)(i). He was, in addition, an individual with long ties to a Russia-backed Ukrainian politician. See Indictment, Doc. 202, ¶¶ 1-6, 9 (noting that between 2006 and 2015, Manafort acted as an unregistered agent of Ukraine, its former President, Victor Yanukovych—who fled to Russia after popular protests—and Yanukovych’s political party). Open-source reporting also has described business arrangements between Manafort and “a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.”8 [my emphasis]


There’s no explicit reference to Deripaska in Manafort’s indictment. The only public references to him in the Manafort prosecution I’m aware of are instead to Deripaska’s crony, Konstantin Kilimnik, laying out his efforts to spin the indictment in an op-ed in the Kyiv Post, which Mueller’s prosecutors argued was an attempt to skirt the gag rule in the case. There’s admittedly more detailed reference to Kilimnik — referred to as Person A — in the same team’s sentencing memo for Alex Van der Zwaan, including the assertion that,

[T]he lies and withholding of documents were material to the Special Counsel’s Office’s investigation. That Gates and Person A were directly communicating in September and October 2016 was pertinent to the investigation. Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents assisting the Special Counsel’s Office assess that Person A has ties to a Russian intelligence service and had such ties in 2016. During his first interview with the Special Counsel’s Office, van der Zwaan admitted that he knew of that connection, stating that Gates told him Person A was a former Russian Intelligence Officer with the GRU.2

2 Person A worked with Manafort and Gates in connection with their Ukraine lobbying work. Person A is a foreign national and was a close business colleague of Manafort and Gates. He worked in Ukraine at Manafort’s company Davis Manafort International, LLC (DMI). Up until mid-August 2016, Person A lived in Kiev and Moscow


But thus far, nothing specifically relating to Deripaska or Kilimnik has been charged, even while a different open source report describing Manafort’s offer to give private briefings to Deripaska via Kilimnik laid out a much closer tie between Deripaska and election tampering, and another open source report described FBI scrutiny of Kilimnik’s role in changing the GOP platform.

As noted, instead of referencing those more damning open source reports, Mueller instead points to the August 15, 2016 NYT article that prec[img]ipitated Manafort’s resignation from the Trump campaign. The report, sourced to investigators in “Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau” laid out the secret ledgers showing that Manafort may have received $12.7 million in off-the-book payments for his consulting services that tampered with Ukraine’s electoral process.

The report goes on to lay out the general logic of the money laundering prosecution at issue — how Manafort’s money laundering prevented others from understanding how much he actually made for his services to Yanukovych and the Party of Regions.

Mr. Manafort never registered as a foreign agent with the United States Justice Department — as required of those seeking to influence American policy on behalf of foreign clients — although one of his subcontractors did.

It is unclear if Mr. Manafort’s activities necessitated registering. If they were limited to advising the Party of Regions in Ukraine, he probably would not have had to. But he also worked to burnish his client’s image in the West and helped Mr. Yanukovych’s administration draft a report defending its prosecution of his chief rival, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, in 2012.

Whatever the case, absent a registration — which requires disclosure of how much the registrant is being paid and by whom — Mr. Manafort’s compensation has remained a mystery.

From there, it turns to the Pericles Open Market fund that Manafort, Gates, and others got Deripaska to fund. The story doesn’t describe any direct tie between the secret ledgers at issue in the story and the Deripaska investments. Rather,the Deripaska lawsuit against Manafort made details of the fund available to Ukraine’s special prosecutor, who cited them as an example of how Yanukovych’s cronies laundered money.

In a recent interview, Serhiy V. Gorbatyuk, Ukraine’s special prosecutor for high-level corruption cases, pointed to an open file on his desk containing paperwork for one of the shell companies, Milltown Corporate Services Ltd., which played a central role in the state’s purchase of two oil derricks for $785 million, or about double what they were said to be worth.

“This,” he said, “was an offshore used often by Mr. Yanukovych’s entourage.”

[snip]

Mr. Deripaska agreed to commit as much as $100 million to Pericles so it could buy assets in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, including a regional cable television and communications company called Black Sea Cable. But corporate records and court filings show that it was hardly a straightforward transaction.

The Black Sea Cable assets were controlled by a rotating cast of offshore companies that led back to the Yanukovych network, including, at various times, Milltown Corporate Services and two other companies well known to law enforcement officials, Monohold A.G. and Intrahold A.G. Those two companies won inflated contracts with a state-run agricultural company, and also acquired a business center in Kiev with a helicopter pad on the roof that would ease Mr. Yanukovych’s commute from his country estate to the presidential offices.


The Deripaska reference in a memo describing why Mueller was authorized to prosecute Manafort for related (but not explicitly) money laundering would otherwise be a non-sequitur. Because it appears in an article that not only lays out the basis for the underlying charges, but does so in an article that had an impact on Manafort’s role in the campaign, it doesn’t seem so obviously tangential. Plus, it has the added benefit (unlike the open source reporting deriving from leaks from Congress or law enforcement) of being an on-the-record source from someone perfectly entitled to the talk to the press about Ukraine’s investigation into Manafort. This, then, was a legally permissible way to insert Deripaska into a filing where he otherwise might not have belonged.

Plus, that same open source report lays out that Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau can’t prosecute suspects, but instead has to rely on entities like the FBI — with which it has an evidence sharing agreement — to do so.

The bureau, whose government funding is mandated under American and European Union aid programs and which has an evidence-sharing agreement with the F.B.I., has investigatory powers but cannot indict suspects. Only if it passes its findings to prosecutors — which has not happened with Mr. Manafort — does a subject of its inquiry become part of a criminal case.


During Jim Comey’s March 20, 2017 testimony (which is cited explicitly in the Mueller memo to lay out the initial unclassified scope of the investigation), Jim Himes tried to get the then FBI Director to admit that DOJ had not responded to seven requests for MLAT assistance to secure Manafort’s cooperation in their inquiry.

HIMES: And the reason I bring all this up with you is because the story also says and it appears to have been confirmed by the Department of Justice that the current Ukraine regime, hardly a friend of the Russians. And very much targeted by the Russians has made seven requests to the United States government’s — the United States government for assistance under the MLA treaty in securing the assistance of Paul Manafort as part of this on anti-corruption case. And in fact, the story says that you were presented personally with a letter asking for that assistance.

So my question Director Comey is, is that all true? Have you been asked to provide assistance to the current Ukrainian government with respect to Paul Manafort? And how do you intend to respond to that request?

COMEY: It’s not something I can comment on. I can say generally, we have a very strong relationship and cooperation in the criminal and national security areas with our Ukrainian partners, but I can’t talk about the particular matter.


Comey, while not confirming the report, instead suggested that the FBI continued to cooperate closely with Ukraine on this issue — a strong suggestion that Ukraine ultimately had asked an entity that could take prosecutorial action to do so.

To sum up thus far: this reference to Deripaska is, to the best of my knowledge, the first explicit reference to him anywhere in the Manafort docket. It has no obvious place in a memo explaining why Mueller is authorized to prosecute Manafort for money laundering tied to the Party of Regions. But there it is, in the middle of a paragraph explaining why Manafort’s prosecution follows logically even from the original grant of authority, to say nothing of any unredacted or redacted bullet points explicitly including Manafort’s alleged and documented ties to Deripaska in the scope of Mueller’s authority. By including it in the memo, Mueller effectively includes Deripaska in the ongoing discussions of the things Judge Amy Berman Jackson will likely soon agree Mueller has the authority to prosecute.

It is, then, the most telling line in the entire memo, and the most clever. It uses the opportunity of this memo to pre-authorize where Mueller is going, without having to reveal what evidence Mueller is sitting on to go there.

Of course, where he’s going — to this oligarch and his crony’s role in Trump’s election — is very obviously tied to the case in chief, the Russian tampering in the US election.
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/04/03/a ... ller-memo/
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:44 pm

Polly Sigh


MARCH 2013: A small group of bankers & lawyers gathered in Deutsche Bank offices to monitor the transfer of nearly $28B from Russia's state-owned Rosneft to 4 oligarchs: Fridman, Vekselberg, Blavatnik & Van der Zwaan's father-in-law, German Khan.
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ICYMI: Alex Van Der Zwaan, was 1 of 8 @SkaddenArps attys involved in writing a report commissioned by ex-Trump campaign mgr, Paul Manafort, that whitewashed Yanukovych's record. Manafort's daughter was an assoc at Skadden, Arps.


Manafort asked Skadden attys [including Alex Van Der Zwaan, son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan, owner of Alfa Bank → linked to RU mafia boss Mogilevich to write a report clearing Yanukovych of prosecuting his political rival Tymoshenko.
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Recall: In 2011, Tymoshenko sued Manafort, along w/ his biz partner Zackson [Fred Trump's former aide], Russian mafia boss Mogilevich, & oligarch/RU mobster Dmitry Firtash, alleging their $885M Drake Hotel project was a money laundering operation.

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Firtash & his silent partner Mogilevich had complete control over CMZ, owned by Manafort & Fred Trump's former top aide Zackson
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Manafort memo to Zackson [Fred Trump's former top aide] re his vision statement for Firtash & Russian mafia boss Mogilevich
Hi Rick Gates!

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Did someone say Solntsevskaya mafia? Hello Alfa Bank owners [recently represented by new DOJ Crime Chief

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let's read through the dossier with that theory. Alpha = Mogilevich.
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Alpha Group = Mogilevich's organization? for which Fridman, Aven, & Khan are frontmen?
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so in that case, Mogilevich (via bag man Govorun) was funneling dirty money to Poutine when Poutine was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg.
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ok so that would mean that Mogilevich's men were supplying the prostitutes for Trump's past visits to St Petersburg.
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All of this misogyny is making me nostalgic for treason
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‘empowerment through empathy’ #metoo.”

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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:09 pm

Zoe Tillman

While you (and I) were sleeping: Mueller's office filed it's opposition to Paul Manafort's motion to dismiss the DC indictment: https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... ismiss.pdf … It included a major attachment: Rosenstein's (heavily redacted) memo laying out Mueller's authority:

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https://twitter.com/ZoeTillman/status/9 ... 8307180544
All of this misogyny is making me nostalgic for treason
#WhyIDidntReport
‘empowerment through empathy’ #metoo.”

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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby BenDhyan » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:44 am

A 'slap on the wrist' for Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwann...naughty boy now on your way.... :roll:

Dutch Lawyer, To Be Jailed and Fined, Is First Sentenced In Mueller Probe

April 3, 2018

A federal judge has sentenced a Dutch lawyer to 30 days in prison and a $20,000 fine for lying to the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Alex van der Zwann, 33, is the first person to be sentenced in the ongoing probe by special counsel Robert Mueller. His lawyer argued van der Zwann deserved leniency for eventually coming clean about the wrongdoing — but U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson was unmoved.

"I've thought about it, but I just can't say,'pay a fine at the door and go,'" the judge said. "We're not talking about a traffic ticket. This is lying in a federal criminal investigation."

Van der Zwann made a brief statement of contrition.

"What I did was wrong," he said. "I apologize to the court for my conduct."

Berman Jackson concluded, however, that "the expressions of remorse here by the defendant ... have been somewhat muted to say the least."

She also declined to offer sympathy to van der Zwann after his lawyers said he has been bored in a D.C.-area hotel for months with nothing to do but converse with attorneys.

Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann did not request a specific punishment for van der Zwann but he did point out that "the defendant is an attorney who after being explicitly warned about the consequences of lying ... went ahead and repeatedly lied to the government."

People can't lie to prosecutors and get away with it, Weissmann added.

Authorities said van der Zwann misled them in a November 2017 interview about his work with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and deputy chairman Richard Gates.

https://www.npr.org/2018/04/03/599169065/dutch-lawyer-to-be-jailed-and-fined-is-first-sentenced-in-mueller-probe

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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:06 am

uh Ben I posted that yesterday morning at 8:51 am

you know that great pic I posted of him up thread??

plea deals included cooperation agreements

SON-IN-LAW OF RUSSIAN OLIGARCH BILLIONAIRE THAT OWNS ALFA GROUP
United States v. Alex Van Der Zwaan: Notice - "van der Zwaan is in an unusual position of having information related to the Office's investigation that is not widely known--including information that he knows first hand due to his role in the conduct the Office is investigating.
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an attorney ...now a FELON ...not quite a slap on the wrist

that would be right above all that stuff about his father-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan, owner of Alfa Bank → linked to RU mafia boss Mogilevich


​Mueller’s charges allege that van der Zwaan and Gates talked with a businessman who was also a Russian intelligence agent during the last months of the campaign. ​

In court papers, Mueller referred to the officer as “Person A,” who reports later revealed was Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian business contact for Manafort and Gates


seemslikeadream » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:51 am wrote:

ALSO VAN DER ZWANN IS BEING SENTENCED TODAY!

TIED TO RUSSIAN GRU INTEL

DESTROYING EVIDENCE

DO NOT LIE TO MUELLER

SON-IN-LAW OF RUSSIAN THAT OWNS ALFA GROUP

Dutch lawyer will be first sentenced in Russia probe

By Mark Moore
Dutch lawyer will be first sentenced in Russia probe

​A Dutch national who’s the son-in-law of a Russian oligarch is expected to be the first person sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ​probe into Moscow meddling in the 2016 election.

​Alex van der Zwaan, who has no known ties to the Trump campaign, entered a guilty plea in February on charges that he lied to federal agents and will be sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Washington, ABC News reported.

​Van der Zwaan, 33, lied to Mueller’s prosecutors about his work in Ukraine with former Trum​p campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates.

​Mueller’s charges allege that van der Zwaan and Gates talked with a businessman who was also a Russian intelligence agent during the last months of the campaign. ​

In court papers, Mueller referred to the officer as “Person A,” who reports later revealed was Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukrainian business contact for Manafort and Gates.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion.

Gates pleaded guilty in February and has been cooperating in Mueller’s probe.

Van der Zwaan is married to the daughter of German Khan, a billionaire who owns Russia’s largest financial investment company, the Alfa Group.

He is expected to be sentenced to six months in prison as part of a plea agreement. He faced a five-year sentence.
https://nypost.com/2018/04/03/dutch-law ... sia-probe/



Van Der Zwaan gets 30 days and pays $20,000 fine[/color][/b]

after he serves his sentence he will probably be picked up by ICE and be deported :evilgrin

message to everyone else .....DO NOT LIE TO THE FBI

TIED TO RUSSIAN GRU INTEL

DESTROYING EVIDENCE

DO NOT LIE TO MUELLER

SON-IN-LAW OF RUSSIAN OLIGARCH BILLIONAIRE THAT OWNS ALFA GROUP


United States v. Alex Van Der Zwaan: Notice - "van der Zwaan is in an unusual position of having information related to the Office's investigation that is not widely known--including information that he knows first hand due to his role in the conduct the Office is investigating."


A Lawyer Who Admitted Lying To The Special Counsel's Office Was Just Sentenced To One Month In Jail
Alex van der Zwaan is the first person sentenced in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Originally posted on April 3, 2018, at 10:46 a.m.
Updated on April 3, 2018, at 11:54 a.m.
Zoe Tillman

A lawyer who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller's office was sentenced on Tuesday to one month in jail and a $20,000 fine.

Alex van der Zwaan, a Dutch citizen who lives in London, is the first person sentenced in connection with Mueller's investigation. Four other people have publicly pleaded guilty to date, but, unlike van der Zwaan, their plea deals included cooperation agreements, delaying their sentencings. Van der Zwaan's sentence sends a message that jail time is on the table even for defendants who plead guilty to relatively low-level crimes.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson was unpersuaded by van der Zwaan's pitch that a fine alone would be sufficient. She noted that he had lied to the government in the midst of an investigation — Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election — of national and international importance. He was an educated and accomplished lawyer, who had his own attorneys when he met with the special counsel's office, and he had taken several steps to deceive investigators, the judge said.

"This is not something that happened to him," Jackson said. "This was something he did."

Jackson noted that unlike many of the defendants who come before her for nonviolent crimes and face incarceration and the hardships that can cause to their families, van der Zwaan had significant financial assets and other resources at his disposal.

"This glass was dropped on a very thick carpet, and that cushioned the blow," the judge said.

Van der Zwaan's faced a recommended sentencing range of between zero to six months. Jackson said that allowing van der Zwaan to write a check and walk away would not accomplish the goal of deterring others from committing a similar crime.

"The criminal justice system isn't supposed to favor those with means," she said.

Van der Zwaan and his lawyer William Schwartz declined to speak with reporters after the hearing. Jackson will allow van der Zwaan to self-surrender to the federal Bureau of Prisons. His lawyer asked the judge to recommend to the bureau that he serve his time at FCI Allenwood, a federal prison complex in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. Jackson had said she wasn't sure if the bureau allowed DC prisoners with sentences of less than six months to serve their time anywhere other than the DC Jail.

After he finishes his prison sentence, Jackson ordered him to serve two months of supervised release, and he will be required to pay the $20,000 fine in full. However, the judge said she would permit him to voluntarily self-deport from the United States if Immigration and Customs Enforcement allowed it.

Schwartz had asked that van der Zwaan be allowed to pay a fine and serve no jail time, stressing that van der Zwaan later came back to the United States to "correct the record" after the first meeting with the special counsel's office when he lied. Schwartz said that van der Zwaan had lost his career and needed to be back in London with his pregnant wife and family as soon as possible. Van der Zwaan had been living a lonely life in Washington, with nothing to do to fill his time, Schwartz told Jackson — van der Zwaan was the first client who told him that talking to his lawyer was the highlight of his day.

Van der Zwaan briefly spoke, saying, "What I did was wrong. I apologize to the court for my conduct." He also apologized to his wife and family for the pain he had caused them.

Jackson was unmoved, questioning why van der Zwaan hadn't looked for opportunities to do community service while he was waiting for sentencing. Van der Zwaan's expression of remorse was "muted, to say the least," she said.

The special counsel's didn't advocate for a particular sentence, but argued that the judge shouldn't rule out jail time. Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told the judge that van der Zwaan had "a moral compass that was off-kilter." Weissmann refuted the idea that van der Zwaan voluntarily came back to tell the truth, saying he had been served with a grand jury subpoena after his first meeting in November 2017 and would have been required to return to the United States anyway.

"We count on people to tell us the truth," Weissmann said, arguing that the sentence should send a message that there are consequences for lying and withholding documents.

Weissmann said that in light of the fact that van der Zwaan's wife is due to give birth this summer, they offered to sign an agreement with van der Zwaan that if he did receive a sentence of jail time, that he would be removed from the country after his release within 48 to 72 hours. That offer was rejected. Schwartz told the judge it wasn't clear if the agreement would actually prevent immigration proceedings that could delay van der Zwaan's return to London.

Van der Zwaan's ties to former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Manafort's former deputy and longtime associate Rick Gates brought him into Mueller's orbit. In 2012, van der Zwaan was part of a team that worked on a report about the trial of former Ukrainian prime minster Yulia Tymoshenko — a report that put him in contact with Gates, according to court filings.

Manafort and Gates were charged with laundering money and other violations in connection with their years of work on behalf of the Ukrainian government and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who was a political rival of Tymoshenko. According to court filings, Manafort and Gates' work included lobbying Congress about the Tymoshenko report, which had been commissioned by the Ukrainian government. Van der Zwaan, according to prosecutors, helped Gates with public relations related to the Tymoshenko report.

Gates later pleaded guilty; Manafort is still fighting indictments returned by federal grand juries in Washington, DC, and Virginia.

Van der Zwaan admitted lying to the special counsel's office about his communications with Gates and an unidentified person known as "Person A" in 2016. According to court filings, in September and October of that year van der Zwaan spoke with Person A about the possibility that they might face criminal charges in Ukraine related to their work on the Tymoshenko report, and he also talked about the Ukraine investigation during that time with Gates and another partner at the law firm where van der Zwaan worked at the time, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

Van der Zwaan knew that Person A was a former Russian intelligence officer because Gates told him so, according to prosecutors. The FBI determined that Person A still had ties to Russian intelligence in 2016, when he was also in touch with Gates — who was reportedly still doing work for Trump's campaign. Media reports have speculated that Person A's description matches longtime Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik, but Kilimnik has denied ties to Russian intelligence.

When van der Zwaan was asked about his discussions with Gates and Person A during a meeting with the special counsel's office on Nov. 3, he said that his last communication with Gates was an "innocuous text message" in August 2016, and that he hadn't spoken with Person A since 2014. He also deleted and failed to produce emails, including a communication with Person A, to the special counsel's office.

According to the sentencing memos filed by van der Zwaan's lawyers, he lied in order to shield the fact that he secretly recorded conversations with Gates, Person A, and another lawyer at his law firm, as well as the fact that he had been exploring the possibility of leaving his law firm to work for Manafort and Gates. Van der Zwaan later returned to the special counsel's office on Dec. 1 to "correct the record," his lawyers wrote, a notion that prosecutors disputed during Tuesday's sentencing hearing.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to pursue additional charges against van der Zwaan for making other false statements, for destroying documents, or for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act related to his work for the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice
https://www.buzzfeed.com/zoetillman/a-l ... .fkaJp0dKY
All of this misogyny is making me nostalgic for treason
#WhyIDidntReport
‘empowerment through empathy’ #metoo.”

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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby BenDhyan » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:09 pm

Sorry missed it slad. :oops:
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:12 pm

that's fine ...sorry I was rude .......it's slap on the wrist but with a lot of information given to Mueller.....that's what Mueller wanted..info on Russian and Gates. Flynn's deal was a slap on the wrist also but gotta know he's giving up a lot to get that light sentence

Manafort asked Skadden attys [including Alex Van Der Zwaan, son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan, owner of Alfa Bank → linked to RU mafia boss Mogilevich to write a report clearing Yanukovych of prosecuting his political rival Tymoshenko.



Just in from the special counsel's office, oppositions to Manafort's motions to dismiss the money laundering conspiracy charge: https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... ismiss.pdf … and one of the FARA-related counts: https://assets.documentcloud.org/docume ... ismiss.pdf … in the DC criminal case
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All of this misogyny is making me nostalgic for treason
#WhyIDidntReport
‘empowerment through empathy’ #metoo.”

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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:44 pm

IS MANAFORT GETTING CLOSE TO CRYING “UNCLE”?

April 4, 2018/19 Comments/in 2016 Presidential Election, Mueller Probe /by emptywheel
Even before this hilarious Zoe Tillman report on a hearing in Paul Manafort’s civil suit against Robert Mueller, I was going to point to the things Manafort has learned that we haven’t. But the report that Manafort’s lawyers are trying to “Stop Bobby Three Sticks, before he indicts again!!!” makes the details all the more interesting.

In the hearing, Manafort’s lawyers tried to rescue their desperate lawsuit arguing Mueller’s appointment is improper by arguing they’re only trying to prevent prospective actions with this lawsuit — that is, they’re trying to prevent Mueller from larding on more charges.

During arguments Wednesday about whether Manafort’s lawsuit challenging special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment could go forward, Manafort’s lawyer said the case wasn’t about getting the existing indictments tossed out — it was about stopping future prosecutions against Manafort by the special counsel’s office.

Pressed by the judge about how Manafort could sue now if he was trying to stop activity by the special counsel’s office that hadn’t happened yet, Manafort’s lead attorney Kevin Downing argued that the harm to Manafort was ongoing because the special counsel’s investigation and the grand jury were still active.

Without an order from the court stopping Mueller’s office from pursuing other charges in the future — based on an appointment order that Downing contends was unlawful — Manafort would have to “sit and wait” and keep chasing the special counsel’s office wherever they decided to prosecute him next in order to challenge Mueller’s appointment, Downing said. He didn’t specify what other types of charges he thought the special counsel might be investigating against Manafort.

Manafort’s civil lawsuit against the Justice Department and the special counsel’s office, filed in January in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, asked the court to not only declare Mueller’s original appointment in May invalid, but also to set “aside all actions taken against Mr. Manafort pursuant to the Appointment Order.”

But Downing has since walked that back, saying that they’re only asking for a forward-looking order that blocks future action.


As I noted, there are several apparently unrelated things that Mueller’s team may have shown Manafort that they haven’t shown us.

First, back on March 1, Mueller’s team moved to unseal transcripts of some sidebar conferences from the status conferences on January 16 and February 14, as well as an ex parte discussion they had with the judge on February 14 (as well as discussions about why Manafort couldn’t yet, and still can’t, make bail from February 14).

The United States of America, by and through Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III, respectfully moves to unseal the sealed portion of the transcripts of sidebar/bench conferences that occurred during the status conferences held in this matter on January 16, 2018, and February 14, 2018. The transcripts of these bench conferences were sealed at the government’s request. At the time, the government indicated that the cause for sealing was likely to be mooted in the near future and that the government had no objection to making the transcript available to the public once that happened. The government respectfully submits that unsealing is now appropriate. The government also submits that the transcript of an ex parte sidebar discussion between the government and the Court, conducted at the February 14, 2018, status conference should also be unsealed and made available to the public, the cause for sealing having been mooted. [my emphasis]


The cause for sealing that would soon be mooted might either be the larding on of new charges against Manafort related to his more recent money laundering between 2015 and 2017 (which took place on February 22), or Rick Gates’ anticipated plea (which took place on February 23).

On March 7, Gates’ team asked for more time to object to the unsealing, until five days after they got the transcripts, based on the fact that Tom Green had just joined the case and wasn’t present at those hearings. On March 9, Manafort’s team asked for the same five days after they got the transcripts. Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted both those requests. Since then, there’s been no further developments on this unsealing reflected in the unsealed docket, though there are skips in the numbering (230 and 231, and 238). While it’s possible those transcripts aren’t ready yet, the original version of the January 16 transcript was ready in 7 days (there’s no notice for the February 14 transcripts, though two hearings since that one have been docketed).

So it’s quite possible Manafort now has the transcript of that ex parte sidebar from February 14, but has decided he doesn’t want us to see it.

Then there’s the minute notice from yesterday granting the government’s request to seal an exhibit from its Monday filing.

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Berman Jackson’s approval notes that the government has already released a redacted version of the exhibit, meaning the exhibit in question must be the Rod Rosenstein memo. I suggested yesterday that the government was effectively providing Manafort an less redacted copy showing what else it was investigating Manafort for, which might well pertain to Oleg Deripaska, given that Mueller dropped an otherwise superfluous reference to Deripaska in Monday’s motion.

But who knows? There are definitely possible investigative prongs that might be even more damaging for Manafort than just his well-known relationship with Deripaska.

Whatever it is, Manafort’s team went from reading that memo to making a desperate bid to prevent Mueller from bringing any more indictments against Manafort.

That bid — as well as the bid to throw out the indictments — appears to be doomed. Based on Tillman’s report, Berman Jackson seems to have already read Monday’s filing, given that the doubts she raised in today’s hearing all were all laid out in that.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson — who is also handling Manafort’s criminal case in DC — expressed significant doubts on Wednesday about whether Manafort could pursue a civil lawsuit. She questioned whether there was a clear limit on how broad a special counsel’s authority could be from the get-go; how Manafort had standing to sue over a possible future prosecution that hadn’t yet happened; and why he should be able to bring a civil lawsuit when he could make the same arguments in the criminal cases, where he clearly had the right to challenge the indictments.

The judge noted that the Justice Department regulations Manafort cited explicitly said that they did not create rights that could be enforced in a civil lawsuit.


That she’s raising objections from that motion suggests she finds them (unsurprisingly) persuasive.

Which means, absent some action from Trump or Rosenstein, Manafort will have to just sit there trying to negotiate bail and waiting for new charges until such time as he screams “uncle.”
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/04/04/i ... ing-uncle/
All of this misogyny is making me nostalgic for treason
#WhyIDidntReport
‘empowerment through empathy’ #metoo.”

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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:37 pm

Manafort’s Ukraine strategy anticipated later efforts by the Kremlin troll factory to use Twitter & Facebook to discredit Hillary Clinton & help trump win the 2016 US election – according to material seen by the Guardian dating back to 2011-2013.


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Former Trump aide approved 'black ops' to help Ukraine president
Exclusive: Paul Manafort authorised secret media operation that sought to discredit key opponent of then Ukrainian president

by Luke Harding
Thu 5 Apr 2018 11.00 EDT Last modified on Thu 5 Apr 2018 12.55 EDT

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort authorised a secret media operation on behalf of Ukraine’s former president featuring “black ops”, “placed” articles in the Wall Street Journal and US websites and anonymous briefings against Hillary Clinton.

The project was designed to boost the reputation of Ukraine’s then leader, Viktor Yanukovych. It was part of a multimillion-dollar lobbying effort carried out by Manafort on behalf of Yanukovych’s embattled government, emails and documents reveal.

The strategies included:

• Proposing to rewrite Wikipedia entries to smear a key opponent of the then Ukrainian president.

• Setting up a fake thinktank in Vienna to disseminate viewpoints supporting Yanukovych.

• A social media blitz “aimed at targeted audiences in Europe and the US”.

• Briefing journalists from the rightwing website Breitbart to attack Clinton when she was US secretary of state.

Manafort’s Ukraine strategy anticipated later efforts by the Kremlin and its troll factory to use Twitter and Facebook to discredit Clinton and to help Trump win the 2016 US election. The material seen by the Guardian dates from 2011 to 2013.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, has indicted Manafort on multiple counts. Manafort is accused of “laundering profits” from his lobbying work in Ukraine, carried out over a period of a decade for Yanukovych and his political party.

Viktor Yanukovych greets supporters during a campaign rally in Kiev in 2010.
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Viktor Yanukovych greets supporters during a campaign rally in Kiev in 2010. Photograph: Efrem Lukatsky/AP
Mueller also accuses Manafort of hiring retired European politicians to lobby on behalf of Yanukovych, and paying them more than €2m (£1.74m, $2.45m) via offshore accounts.

The documents reveal another surreptitious operation to influence international opinion. In 2010 Yanukovych defeated his rival Yulia Tymoshenko in presidential elections. The following summer Ukrainian prosecutors arrested Tymoshenko and put her on trial. This provoked severe criticism from the Obama administration and the EU, which accused Yanukovych of locking up Tymoshenko for political reasons.


In 2011 Manafort approved a clandestine strategy to discredit Tymoshenko abroad. Alan Friedman, a former Wall Street Journal and Financial Times reporter, based in Italy, masterminded this project. Friedman has previously been accused of concealing his work as a paid lobbyist.

Also involved were Rick Gates, Manafort’s then deputy, and Konstantin Kilimnik, another senior Manafort associate who the FBI believes has links to Russian military intelligence.

In July 2011 Friedman sent Manafort a confidential six-page document titled Ukraine - A Digital Roadmap. It laid out a plan to “deconstruct” Tymoshenko via videos, articles and social media. Yanukovych deferred to Manafort, who gave the project the go-ahead, sources in Ukraine’s former government say.

Friedman’s proposed operation was ambitious. It included producing anonymous videos attacking Tymoshenko and comparing the opposition leader to a drunk Boris Yeltsin. “The social media space offers great opportunities for guilt by association,” Friedman wrote in the document.

He continued: “We know that video exists of Tymoshenko uttering some of her outrageous claims in court … The video can be floated into the social space to reinforce the impression that she is at best reckless and unstatesmanlike and at worst malicious, defamatory and antisemitic.”

An anonymous video attacking Yulia Tymoshenko.
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An anonymous video attacking Yulia Tymoshenko, produced by FBC Media. Photograph: Youtube
Twitters users, including “those ‘known’ to us”, could retweet hostile content. The “roadmap” included a website, blogposts and “blast emails”, sent out to a “targeted audience in Europe and the US”. One section was called “Black Ops”. It said: “This could include Wikipedia page modification to highlight [Tymoshenko] corruption and trial and modify the tone of the language being used.”

Friedman worked with Eckart Sager, a one-time CNN producer. Emails show they liaised closely with “Paul”, who in turn briefed Yanukovych’s chief of staff, Serhiy Lyovochkin. Lyovochkin declined to comment. He appears in correspondence as “SL”.


“He was under the radar,” one source said of Friedman. “Alan kept a low profile. Without Paul’s authorisation Alan would never have got a contract with the [Yanukovych] government.”

Friedman’s company FBC Media was retained on a “rolling contract”. It was paid around €150,000 every three months, sources in Kiev suggest. The money was deposited in an offshore account in Seychelles, they allege. Often the payments were late, prompting Friedman to complain, they add.

Contacted by the Guardian, Friedman said these earnings were “declared”. He confirmed his company worked for Ukraine from late summer 2011 on what he called “a public relations and country profiling project”. He said: “It was not a secret or covert plan. We had PR people proposing interviews and features to newspapers very openly.”

Journalist Alan Friedman, pictured in Rome.
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Journalist Alan Friedman, pictured in Rome.

Photograph: Cosima Scavolini/Splash News
He said its goal was to promote the Ukraine government’s then policy of moving closer to a partnership agreement with the EU. “Our aim was to keep a steady communication going in favour of dialogue between Brussels and Kiev. That was our message.

“We never supported a pro-Moscow stance and had already ended our relationship when the Ukrainian president abandoned closer ties with Europe.”

Asked whether he had registered with the US Department of Justice, Friedman said he had never worked as a lobbyist for Ukraine. He added: “I never registered as a foreign agent because I never was one.

“I was a communications guy, doing PR media strategy work in Europe for a client, like dozens of London PR companies that work for a variety of governments.”

The documents show Friedman reported directly to Kiev. In spring 2012 he told the foreign minister, Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, he had “generated dozens of positive op-eds/interviews/articles for print and TV” and “disseminated positive news stories” to nearly 2,000 publications.

Key to this strategy was a fake thinktank, the Center for the Studyof Former Soviet Socialist Republics (CXSSR), set up with Manafort’s backing. Friedman used it to publish dozens of positive stories about Yanukovych, many of them authored by a “Matthew Lina”.


Lina’s comment pieces criticising Tymoshenko and Obama’s state department ran on the conservative US website RedState. Friedman told Manafort his editorial team ghostwrote an article by Yanukovych published by the Wall Street Journal.

He claimed credit for a Tymoshenko profile written by the Journal’s Matthew Kaminski. Kaminski said Friedman was never a source, “or even someone that as far as I can remember I had any contact whatsoever with”.

In April 2012 Friedman sent another “highly confidential” two-page document to Manafort. It set out plans to launch a “special website” entitled The Tymoshenko Files. The site would purport to belong to Inna Bohoslovska, a Ukrainian deputy and Tymoshenko critic.

In fact, Friedman would “discreetly prepare, implement and maintain” the site, the document said. It would include “ghost-penned” blogs and “a quasi-novella serialisation”. Asked about the website, Friedman said he had never written “any content”.

Rick Gates attends a court hearing in Washington DC.
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Rick Gates attends a court hearing in Washington DC. Photograph: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty
Emails seen by the Guardian show a regular pattern of interaction between Manafort, Friedman, Gates, Kilimnik and Ukrainian officials. Gates, who went on to work with Manafort on the 2016 Trump campaign, wrote several messages. In February Gates admitted conspiracy and lying to the FBI, and agreed to cooperate with Mueller.

At the time Kilimnik was the Russian manager of Manafort’s Kiev office. Kilminik is understood to be “Person A” in Mueller’s latest indictment, filed last week. It says the FBI believes Kilimnik has ties to Moscow’s GRU spy agency, and adds that Gates was aware of this. Kilimnik denies a connection. Friedman confirmed he had met Manafort and Gates but said he had done so “because the client asked me to”.

Manafort’s media operation included attacks on Clinton. In October 2012 Gates emailed Manafort and Friedman, flagging a piece written by the journalist Ben Shapiro. The Breitbart article criticised Clinton for her public support of Tymoshenko, who had recently made an electoral pact with the far-right Svoboda party.

The article cited a Jewish “leader” who accused Clinton anonymously of creating a “neo-Nazi Frankenstein”. Gates wrote: “Gentlemen – Here is the first part of a series of articles that will be coming as we continue to build this effort. Alan, you get full credit for the Frankenstein comment.”

The alleged use of offshore accounts is likely to interest the FBI. Manafort is accused of concealing more than $75m earned from his work in Ukraine.

Yanukovych’s attempts to woo western leaders ended in October 2013 when he accepted a bailout from Moscow. He fled to Russia after anti-government protests. In 2015 Friedman wrote an authorised biography of Silvio Berlusconi. Manafort continued to work for Yanukovych’s party up until he joined Trump’s campaign. Manafort denies wrongdoing and has said he will fight Mueller’s charges.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... are_btn_tw
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:03 am

This would be the guy that picked Mike Pence for VP and worked for free as trump's campaign manager

News: Mueller's office obtained search warrants on ex-trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as recently as March "relating to ongoing investigations that are not the subject of either of the current prosecutions involving Manafort."

Mueller's investigators are *still* getting search warrants on Manafort. This year, it requested a warrant for information on five AT&T telephone numbers.

Even I didn't fully appreciate it was possible to be in as much trouble as Paul Manafort appears to be in.

Is it possible for Manafort to last 3 life sentences in prison?

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Here's a partial list of the warrants that DOJ filed as an exhibit tonight. They're all still sealed.

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If Mueller's ongoing investigation of Manafort is "not the subject of either of the current prosecutions" - which allege money laundering and other things related to his Ukraine work - what might they be? As of Aug., Mueller was authorized to investigate two Manafort issues:

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Mueller's office executed a bunch of search warrants related to Manafort. But it suggests here that only six were for searches of his stuff (things for which he had property or possessory rights)

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Based on the case number, this one, obtained this year, looks to be a Stored Communications Act warrant.

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Brad Heath
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby BenDhyan » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:24 am

^^^ Did I miss it slad....link?
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Re: Paul Manafort

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:26 am

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... -Temp.html

Mueller Reveals Search in Manafort Case, Suggesting Fresh Trail
By
April 5, 2018, 11:11 PM CDT
Prosecutors got March 9 warrant to search five AT&T phones
Court filing doesn’t say if Manafort is target of new probe

Paul Manafort Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg
Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed to lawyers for Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, that they obtained a search warrant for information about five telephone numbers, suggesting the sprawling investigation may be headed in a new direction.

Prosecutors disclosed Thursday they got the warrant on March 9, or two weeks after Manafort was indicted for a second time amid Mueller’s investigation into links between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign in the 2016 election.

The warrant involved a search of “information associated with’’ five AT&T telephone numbers, according to a filing by prosecutors in federal court in Washington. Mueller declined to provide information about the search to defense lawyers because it involves “ongoing investigations that are not the subject of current prosecutions involving Manafort,’’ according to the filing.




Mueller has charged 19, including 13 Russians. Five people have pleaded guilty. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to indictments charging him with laundering profits from the tens of millions of dollars he made as an unregistered lobbyist for Ukraine’s former president and other politicians. He also is accused of bank and tax fraud. None of the charges involved Manafort’s work on the Trump campaign.

The specter of additional charges against Manafort loomed over a hearing this week in which prosecutors urged a judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit challenging Mueller’s authority to investigate the case further.

“The government has said they have a continuing investigation,’’ Manafort attorney Kevin Downing said at the hearing.

But it’s not clear from the filing on Thursday whether the new warrant was designed to gather evidence against Manafort or others. Mueller made the filing in response to a request by Downing for more information in the pre-trial exchange of evidence. That includes various warrants the prosecutors have executed against Manafort, starting with a search of his house in Alexandria, Virginia, last summer.

Prosecutors said the judge should let them continue to withhold information from Manafort about warrants relating to a residence in Alexandria; a storage locker in Alexandria; a Manafort email account; and the five AT&T phone numbers. They said Manafort should receive all the information about the search in Washington of a hard drive, two email accounts, and three bank accounts.

Mueller’s team sought redactions for affidavits related to the names of informants and ongoing investigations. This week, prosecutors gave Manafort a redacted affidavit about the March 9 search, according to the filing.


In an April 2 filing, Mueller’s prosecutors revealed some of the reasons they initially pursued Manafort, citing business ties between Manafort and the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. They said an investigation of links between Russia and Trump’s campaign “would naturally cover ties that a former Trump campaign manager had to Russian-associated political operatives, Russian-backed politicians, and Russian oligarchs.”

Prosecutors also “would also naturally look into any interactions they may have had before and during the campaign to plumb motives and opportunities to coordinate and to expose possible channels for surreptitious communications,” they wrote. “And prosecutors would naturally follow the money trail from Manafort’s Ukrainian consulting activities.”
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... resh-trail


Mueller obtained a new search warrant against Manafort last month, and it could signal a huge shift in the Russia investigation
Sonam Sheth

The special counsel Robert Mueller obtained a search warrant against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort as recently as March 9, new court documents show.
The search warrant was related to "ongoing investigations that are not the subject of the current prosecutions involving Manafort."
The revelation indicates Mueller's focus on Manafort is now shifting from examining his Ukraine lobbying work to possible collusion with Russia while he was chairman of President Donald Trump campaign in 2016.
The special counsel Robert Mueller obtained a new search warrant against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort less than a month ago, according to court documents filed on Thursday.

Mueller's office made the revelation in an opposition it filed to Manafort's recent motion to compel the government to turn over un-redacted versions of search and seizure warrants it had obtained against him. Mueller's office said that after Manafort first raised the issue, the US government gave the defense copies of six affidavits — three of them had no redactions, and the other three had minimal redactions.

Per the court filing, the special counsel also obtained a new search warrant in the Manafort case less than one month ago, on March 9. It turned over a redacted copy of the warrant to the defense on Wednesday.

But Mueller's office also made another notable disclosure.

Four out of the seven affidavits that have been produced for the defense were redacted because they contained information regarding "ongoing investigations that are not the subject of the current prosecutions involving Manafort." The most recent warrant has more "substantial redactions" than the other three.

Manafort has been charged with dozens of counts related to financial crimes and conspiracy against the US. The charges against Manafort so far deal primarily with his lobbying work for pro-Russia interests in Ukraine and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Based on Thursday's court filing, Mueller has found evidence of wrongdoing in the Manafort case that is not limited to his consulting work in Ukraine.

According to a recently released memo deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein sent Mueller last year, the special counsel is authorized to investigate at least two threads as it relates to Manafort: allegations of criminal activity arising from his work in Ukraine, and allegations that he colluded with Russian officials as Russia was trying to meddle in the 2016 US election.

The rest of the Rosenstein memo was redacted, and legal experts have suggested it's possible Mueller was authorized to investigate additional allegations against Manafort outside of the collusion inquiry and his Ukraine lobbying.

The special counsel's office disclosed a partial list of its warrants against Manafort thus far in Thursday's court filing. In addition to searching Manafort's home, bank accounts, email, and hard drive, prosecutors also secured permission to search "information associated with five telephone numbers controlled by AT&T."

News that Mueller is broadening his focus with respect to Manafort is bolstered by recent reports that prosecutors told Manafort's longtime deputy Rick Gates they didn't need his cooperation against Manafort. Instead, they are reportedly interested in learning more from him about the Trump campaign's contacts with Russians during the 2016 US election.

Manafort and Gates are two of several Trump associates who are known to have been in touch with Russia-linked individuals during the campaign. The two men have known each other for at least the past three decades and Gates was privy to most, if not all, of Manafort's dealings during the 2016 election.

Mueller's warrant against Manafort last month came after Gates had a "Queen for a Day" interview with the special counsel in early February, in which Gates answered any questions from investigators, including those asked about his own case and other possible criminal activity he may have witnessed.

Manafort has so far mounted an aggressive defense against the special counsel, arguing that the charges against him so far should be dropped because they do not deal with Russian collusion. His lawyer has also argued that Mueller's mandate itself is "tantamount to a blank check."

Manafort was unaware of the Rosenstein memo's existence before it was publicly revealed Monday night, and the second stipulation threw a wrench into his claim that Mueller overstepped his mandate by charging him with crimes unrelated to Russian collusion.

The special counsel's office also addressed Manafort's assertion that his mandate was too broad, arguing that Manafort's objections to the scope of Mueller's mandate were "unsound."

It added that the DOJ's regulations regarding the appointment of a special counsel give Mueller "limited flexibility" while authorizing Rosenstein to amend the scope of his mandate where "necessary in order to fully investigate and resolve the matters assigned."

Mueller's office questioned Manafort's right to argue the validity of the special counsel's mandate at all, saying Manafort had "no basis" to use that reasoning to call for the case against him to be dismissed.

Specifically, Mueller's office said the DOJ regulations governing the appointment of a special counsel are meant to provide a framework for the department's internal structure. The regulations "unequivocally state" that they are not meant to "create any [enforceable] rights" in a criminal proceeding, the special counsel continued.

Read the full filing below:
Mueller Oppo to Manafort Motion to Compel Search Warrants by sonamsheth on Scribd

http://www.businessinsider.com/mueller- ... ing-2018-4


Mueller moved to seize bank accounts in Manafort probe
Special counsel also obtained search warrant for info on 5 phones in ongoing investigation just last month

By JOSH GERSTEIN 04/05/2018 11:23 PM EDT

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office moved to seize bank accounts at three different financial institutions last year just one day before former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted, prosecutors disclosed in a court filing Thursday.

The previously unknown move against the bank accounts was revealed in a list of search and seizure warrants prosecutors submitted to a federal court in Washington after Manafort's defense team complained that the government was withholding too many details about how the warrants were obtained.


The new filing also indicated that Mueller's investigators have been pressing on with their work in recent weeks despite the pair of indictments pending against Manafort and a detailed indictment in February of the Russia-based Internet Research Agency and a dozen Russian nationals for alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

On March 9, the special counsel's office obtained a search warrant for information related to "five telephone numbers controlled by AT&T," the prosecution said. It did not reveal who the numbers belonged to, although it said some information about the search was given to Manafort's defense on Wednesday, so presumably there is some connection to the veteran political consultant who held a top role in the Trump campaign for several months in 2016.

Prosecutors said some information about the various searches was withheld from Manafort because it relates to the identity of informants or "to ongoing investigations that are not the subject of either of the current prosecutions involving Manafort." POLITICO reported in January that an errant court filing by the defense indicated that at least one employee of a Manafort consulting firm was surreptitiously cooperating with the FBI and journalists.

Manafort is currently facing two separate indictments. One, in Washington, focuses on money laundering and foreign lobbying. Another, in Alexandria, Virginia, involves tax fraud, bank fraud and failure to report overseas bank accounts. The 69-year-old Manafort could potentially spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted in either case.

Neither case appears to directly relate to the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia that are at the heart of Mueller's mandate, but it was revealed this week that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein specifically authorized the special counsel's team to pursue the financial and foreign lobbying allegations against Manafort.

The new filing by Mueller's team also confirms accounts that investigators obtained a warrant to search a storage locker belonging to Manafort, apparently somewhere in northern Virginia.

All the warrants listed by prosecutors Thursday remain under seal and off limits to the public, but new details in the latest filing indicate that the storage unit search took place in late May or early June, about two months before the FBI conducted an early morning raid on Manafort's Alexandria, Va. condo.

Manafort's lawyers have suggested some mystery surrounding the search of the storage locker. They say an FBI agent appears to have gotten into the locker before the search the a federal magistrate in Virginia ordered. Some press accounts have said investigators obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to conduct a search of a storage locker belonging to Manafort at some point last year. It's possible they used that authority to enter the locker and then decided to obtain a criminal warrant to delve into whatever Manafort had inside..
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/04/ ... nts-505307
All of this misogyny is making me nostalgic for treason
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‘empowerment through empathy’ #metoo.”

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