IS THIS COLLUSION? BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE F*CKING COLLUSION
On Tuesday, we laughed and laughed when Paul Manafort's lawyers filed their response to Robert Mueller's claim that Manafort had breached his plea agreement by lying to them constantly, but they totally boned the redacting process, by not actually redacting any of the parts that were supposed to be redacted. Instead of doing it on computers, they used what they thought was invisible Russian spy ink, we guess. The details we learned, which were supposed to be concealed, were illluminating! But we want to sort or restate and put a finer point on some of what we learned, because IS THIS FUCKING COLLUSION? BECAUSE WE THINK IT LOOKS LIKE FUCKING COLLUSION.
As we stated before, we learned that Manafort:
1. Shared internal polling data during the campaign with Konstantin Kilimnik, his business partner who has been linked to Russian intelligence, by which we mean he's a RUSSIAN SPY. Kilimnik, you will remember, has also been indicted by Robert Mueller for helping Manafort tamper with witnesses, but he's hiding in Russia.
2. Discussed a "peace plan" for Ukraine with Kilimnik during the campaign, which was all the rage for Trump people in those days.
3. Lied about other stuff also too, like about meeting with Kilimnik in Madrid. The way the filing read, we thought that happened during the campaign, because Manafort's lawyers are as bad at writing as they are at redacting. They later "clarified" that the Madrid thing was in January or February of 2017.
Joe Walsh, who is a total skeeve but seems to have a growing understanding of what's going on these days, at least sometimes, thinks it's collusion:
The New York Times did some further reporting on the Manafort filing, which gives us a little bit more detail on this NO COLLUSION, and we want to add a couple of our own points. First of all, we need to underline and put in bold print that ANY TIME YOU HEAR ABOUT TRUMP PEOPLE AND RUSSIANS TALKING ABOUT A "PEACE PLAN" FOR UKRAINE, THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT LIFTING SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA. This is important because pretty much everything we know about Trump people's coordination with Russia -- and the quid pro quo that developed regarding what Trump might do for Russia to thank Russia for helping him become president -- is about lifting the sanctions. The Trump Tower meeting where Russian lady lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya offered what Donald Trump Jr. thought was going to be sweet delicious Hillary Clinton dirt, but then they ended up talking about letting Americans adopt BOUNCY RUSSIAN BABIES again? That was a discussion about lifting sanctions, as we have explained multiple times. Michael Flynn lied to the FBI -- but he didn't know that was a bad thing to do! -- about telling the Russian ambassador, and by extension Vladimir Putin, to cool their jets about the sanctions President Obama had just placed on them, because Trump would fix that once he was inaugurated. What was Jared Kushner secretly meeting with representatives of sanctioned Russian banks about? And why did he ask for secret back channels so he could talk to the Russians without the Deep State listening? Oh fiddlesticks, we couldn't even begin to guess.
And speaking of "peace plans" for Ukraine, Michael Cohen passed on a plan, written by his Russian-American buddy Felix Sater and Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Artemenko, to Michael Flynn, to basically hand Crimea to the Russians and also lift sanctions imposed on Russia for its illegal invasion of Crimea. Weird, right? For the record, Felix Sater says his plan to lift sanctions on Russia and give it wet blowjobs is different from whatever Paul Manafort talked about during the campaign WITH HIS RUSSIAN SPY FRIEND. If that's the case, we guess Paul Manafort was in the "Let's lift sanctions on Russia in exchange for Russia ratfucking the election for Trump" game too. As we restated for the eleventeenth time yesterday, All Paul Manafort Work Are For Russia.
And speaking of that! The Times talked to a source who provided more details about the Manafort filing's accidental disclosure that Manafort was passing Trump campaign polling data TO HIS RUSSIAN SPY BUDDY:
Both Mr. Manafort and Rick Gates, the deputy campaign manager, transferred the data to Mr. Kilimnik in the spring of 2016 as Mr. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination, according to a person knowledgeable about the situation. Most of the data was public, but some of it was developed by a private polling firm working for the campaign, according to the person.
Mr. Manafort asked Mr. Gates to tell Mr. Kilimnik to pass the data to Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to the Kremlin and who has claimed that Mr. Manafort owed him money from a failed business venture, the person said.
Oh golly, when Wonkette calls it, Wonkette calls it! Here is what we typed yesterday:
Also, remember when Paul Manafort talked about giving secret briefings on the 2016 election to "Putin's favorite oligarch," Manafort's former boss Oleg Deripaska, as a way to "get whole" with Deripaska, because he was massively in debt to him? We are just wondering if that internal polling data was part of that!
(BRIEF INTERRUPTION FOR CORRECTION! The Times has corrected its reporting right here. While we still do not doubt that Deripaska's dirty paws are somewhere in this -- see below as this story continues -- the Times says actually Manafort and Gates wanted Kilimnik to give their polling data/voter files or WHATEVER IT WAS to two pro-Russia Ukrainian oligarchs named SERHIY LYOVOCHKIN and RINAT AKHMETOV. So watch for those names to appear in future reporting!)
Now back to our regularly scheduled post, because like we said, Oleg Deripaska is still an important figure here:
Remember that Oleg Deripaska is very tightly woven into Putin's inner circle, and he is connected to Joel Zamel, the Australian-Israeli "social media" guy who offered Donald Trump Jr. a plan to ratfuck the election for Trump in the second (and we think more important) Trump Tower meeting on August 3, 2016, a plan that was to be bankrolled by the Saudis and the Emiratis but supposedly never came to fruition. (Supposedly. And it definitely wasn't paid for when Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi got into a secret bidding war over an obscure da Vinci that might be fake, and MBS "won" and ended up overpaying Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev by about $300 million for the painting.)
Deripaska LYOVOCHKIN and AKHMETOV used that polling data for! Here's an interesting Maggie Haberman tweet from November 9, 2016:
Hey, know what Paul Manafort was doing the day before that second Trump Tower meeting, which was ARRANGED BY BETSY DEVOS'S SADIST BLACKWATER LI'L BROTHER ERIK PRINCE? Oh, just meeting with Kilimnik in Manhattan. This was just weeks after Manafort had offered to give Deripaska secret briefings on the Trump campaign. Just three days before their meeting, Kilimnik had emailed to say he had some secret messages from Deripaska to give to Manafort. As Business Insider reports, Manafort says he and the RUSSIAN SPY talked about the DNC hack and the Trump campaign that day, and the Times reports they discussed their "peace plan" for Ukraine in August 2016, so we're guessing they're talking about that same August 3 meet-up.
This all sounds a lot more incriminating than it used to, now that we know what we know, does it not? And it didn't sound not-incriminating before!
Anyway, after the meeting, Kilimnik went home and bragged that he had been a good little helper in removing language from the Republican platform that was mean to Russia. Weird, right?
Also weird? Oleg Deripaska's jet landed in Newark, New Jersey, a little after midnight on August 3, just after Manafort and Kilimnik met, and just hours before the second Trump Tower meeting. Huh! (Told you he was still important in this story, despite the correction above.) Deripaska had said his thing had nothing to do with Manafort's thing, which might be true. Maybe he was involved in Junior's Trump Tower meeting, or maybe there's just a Ryan's Family Steakhouse outside of Newark that the Deripaskas were craving really hard that day.
Back where we started, with the fucked up Manafort filing, we should note that the stuff his lawyers tried and failed to redact are just a tiny bit of information we weren't supposed to see, and they absolutely scream "FOUND THE COLLUSION, HERE IT IS!" Can you imagine what Mueller has found that we haven't seen yet?
For a counterpoint to all our liberal bellyaching about how it's kinda bad if the Trump campaign conspired with hostile foreign powers to steal the presidential election, we now go to Oklahoma GOP Senator James Lankford, who explains that it's not bad for Manafort to be communicating with his buddy Konstantin Kilimnik and through him his former boss, Oleg Deripaska, about the Trump campaign, because hey, he and Kilimnik had known each other for a very long time:
See? It's not collusion if you were already BFFs with the spy! That's not collusion, THAT'S JUST BRUNCH.
We didn't start this post calling James Lankford a fucking moron who is an embarrassment to the Senate Intelligence Committee, but we'll sure as hell end it there.
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