Hey Look, A Bunch Of Fucked Up Paul Manafort News!

normal guy

They really should open up a foreign agent registration kiosk on the White House lawn. Maybe it could double as a food truck for when Bannon's blood sugar gets low! Because now, one day after we learned that former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page has been the subject of FISA warrants over how he's most likely been working as a Russian spy, we are learning that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, one of Donald Trump's oldest foreign agent friends, from back in the heady days of the 1970s when foreign agents would don their finest clothes and go puss-grabbing together at Studio 54, is offering to go ahead and register as a foreign agent, retroactively, for all the work he's done on behalf of Foreign:

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for lobbying work he did on behalf of political interests in Ukraine, led at the time by a pro-Russian political party, his spokesman said Wednesday.

Manafort is the second Trump campaign adviser to have to register as a foreign agent since the election. The confirmation that he intends to register comes as the Trump administration has been facing heavy scrutiny over the foreign ties of former campaign advisers and other Trump associates.

By registering retroactively, Manafort will be acknowledging that he failed to properly disclose his work to the Justice Department as required by federal law.

Michael Flynn, former national security adviser, had to register as a foreign agent, specifically for his work on behalf of the Turkish government, and now Manafort is doing this, and meanwhile poor Carter Page is just the dumbest little Russian spy ever. Manafort and Page, notably, have offered to testify before the House Intelligence Committee in its investigation of the Trump Russia scandal, as has Roger Stone, who would probably go ahead and register as a foreign agent, if he weren't too busy getting assassinated by the Deep State. Flynn is meanwhile begging for immunity in exchange for his testimony, and everybody is telling him to fuck right off.

Of course, this Manafort news comes on the heels of OTHER Manafort news, about how he took a bunch of money from a pro-Russian political party and proceeded to lie about it. (This is different from how he was making $10 million per year at one point to do work "for Putin's benefit." That was a contract with a Russian oligarch. Today's thing involves a pro-Russia Ukrainian dictator.)

In August, the New York Times reported there was a secret ledger in Ukraine showing $12.7 million in payments for Manafort from the pro-Russian Ukrainian ruling party of former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych. At the time of the Times report, Manafort's lawyer was like "Nah, bro, that didn't happen" and said such accusations were political smears. But now the Associated Press reports that Manafort was lying about all that, because he definitely got paid Russia Bucks by those pro-Russia fucks:

... [F]inancial records newly obtained by The Associated Press confirm that at least $1.2 million in payments listed in the ledger next to Manafort's name were actually received by his consulting firm in the United States. They include payments in 2007 and 2009, providing the first evidence that Manafort's firm received at least some money listed in the so-called Black Ledger.

The two payments came years before Manafort became involved in Trump's campaign, but for the first time bolster the credibility of the ledger. They also put the ledger in a new light, as federal prosecutors in the U.S. have been investigating Manafort's work in Eastern Europe as part of a larger anti-corruption probe.

Yeah? What say you now about this, Paul Manafort?

In a statement to the AP on Tuesday, Manafort did not deny that his firm received the money but said "any wire transactions received by my company are legitimate payments for political consulting work that was provided. I invoiced my clients and they paid via wire transfer, which I received through a U.S. bank."

Manafort noted that he agreed to be paid according to his "clients' preferred financial institutions and instructions."

OH, you mean THOSE payments? Paul Manafort didn't know you were talking about THOSE payments.

And furthermore!

The two payments in 2007 and 2009, totaling $1.2 million, were routed through shell companies in Belize to a bank account in Virginia belonging to Mr. Manafort’s consulting firm. [...]

Mr. Manafort has previously claimed the ledger is a fake. On Wednesday, he issued a statement that did not dispute the ledger entries, but suggested that any payments he received were legal because they were not made in cash.

If you'd like to go down a rabbit hole of weird and murky Manafort financial dealings, the Associated Press has you covered, so we won't get too far in the weeds with it. Basically it's just a bunch of weird, skeevy money being laundered all over the place (ALLEGEDLY), and a metric fuckton of it ended up in Paul Manafort's pocket. The AP also reminds us that Manafort is being investigated for his financial dealings in Cyprus, which, if you'll remember, is the island nation where Russians like to do a lot of their money laundering.

Hey, any more Paul Manafort news, or are we ready to say fuck this guy? Trick question, the answer is both "fuck this guy" and also there is other news, namely that just after Donald Trump canned Manafort from his campaign in August of 2016, Manafort immediately created a shell company that took out a total of $13 million in loans from Trump-affiliated lenders, "including one that partners with a Ukrainian­-born billionaire and another led by a Trump economic adviser." Oh, that all sounds totally normal. The name of the shell company? Summerbreeze.

Anyway, we're sure he needed the money for very important and legal reasons, but it's weird how that all happened after he worked on the Trump campaign, since all the work he did there was "for free." Also, the $9.5 million loan from the "Trump economic adviser" came from a bank that "focuses on affordable mortgages for military veterans," so maybe he was just getting an affordable $9.5 million house for a military veteran.

What say you about THESE weird financial things, Paul Manafort?

“There is nothing out of the ordinary about [the loans],” Mr. Manafort said, “and I am confident anyone who isn’t afflicted with scandal fever will come to the same conclusion.”

OK, we will let the FBI decide that.

Again, if you want to dive into the murky details, head to the New York Times. If you want to say fuck it, play hooky from reading all the things and just assume Paul Manafort needs to go to jail, we're OK with that too.

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[Politico / AP / New York Times]

Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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