Hey, Paul Manafort! Remember All That Shit You Pulled To Sell The World On The Ukrainian Dictator? Robert Mueller Remembers!
IT IS ALWAYS INDICTMENT O'CLOCK! Bob Mueller, PBUH, dropped another set of charges on Paul Manafort's ass at 4:30 yesterday. Hey, Pauly, in case you didn't get the message from Thursday's 32-count indictment, now's the time when you tell Uncle Bob everything you know!
Manafort concern trolling Rick Gates after he flipped yesterday was a nice touch.
Before we dive into the indictments, though, here's the backstory. In 2010, there was a power struggle in Ukraine between the pro-Western Fatherland Party, led by Yuliya Timoshenko,
and the pro-Russian Party of Regions, led by Putin figurehead Victor Yanukovych.
In 2011, Yanukovych seized power and threw Timoshenko in jail. But then he had an optics problem on his hands, so he summoned his favorite Western lobbyist and ratfucker Paul Manafort.
"Pauly," he said, "take $30 or $40 million of those billions we looted from the Ukrainian treasury and go tell the world that we are NOT a repressive dictatorship that unjustly jails our political opponents."
"Sure thing, Vik," Pauly replied. "I'll get right on it!"
So Manafort went back home and established The European Centre for a Modern Ukraine as a cutout company for Ukraine's influence operations. Then "the Centre" went out and hired lawfirms and lobbyists to sell the story of The Great Victor Yanukovych, vanquishing his evil nemesis Yuliya Timoshenko. Only there was no Centre -- there was just Manafort and Gates with their dozens of offshore bank accounts wiring money in and meeting with congressmen to try and persuade them to treat Yanukovych as the legitimate leader. And they paid "Company A," presumably either prestigious law firm Skadden Arps, which produced a report declaring Timoshenko a criminal who deserved to be jailed, or the Podesta Group, which lobbied for the Centre and that is enough for Sean Hannity.
Neither Manafort nor Gates registered as foreign agents or lobbyists while this was going on. They and the law firms working for them maintained the creative fiction that The Centre was the real client, at least on their federal filings. But everyone involved knew it was bullshit. Yanukovych was in charge, and Manafort was the middleman.
And Manafort, being a thorough guy, hired a group of former European political leaders to flog his pro-Yanukovych BS. Only they didn't want to look like they were bought, so they just went on television and wrote articles saying it was their personal opinion that Viktor Yanukovych was absolutely right to throw his political opponent in jail and deny her medical treatment. Nice, huh?
All the while, Manafort was wiring cash in from those offshore accounts. Making "loans" to himself -- as opposed to paying himself for services, which would require payment of taxes -- and making direct payments of tens of millions of dollars for clothes, rugs, and home improvements. He had to get creative with the real estate financing in 2014 when Yanukovych was overthrown and the Ukrainian money dried up, but that's the "story" of the last indictment.
The "story" of this indictment is Ukraine. It's about Manafort laundering Ukrainian money through offshore accounts, lying on his tax returns about the existence of those accounts, failing to register as a foreign agent of Ukraine, and lying to federal investigators about it.
And it's about MONEY. Specifically, all the money and property that Bob Mueller is going to seize from Paul Manafort on behalf of the United States Government.
So if Paul Manafort doesn't want to die in jail and leave his wife destitute, he needs to play ball with Bob Mueller.
And, oh by the way! To all the law firms and lobby shops that were happy to take Manafort's cash and pretend you didn't know where it came from, the FBI knows what you did. And they'll get around to you eventually.
Can't wait for next week!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.