Paul Manafort To Be Visited By Five Spooooky Witnesses Of Christmas Past!
Paul Manafort is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! And Wonkers, we are HERE FOR IT!
First, his plan to stick it to Robert Mueller by insisting that his DC and Virginia cases be tried separately backfired; it's not for nothing they call the Eastern District of Virginia the "rocket docket." So Lil Paulie found himself barreling toward a July 23 court date -- hey! that's NEXT WEEK! -- and saddled with a second set of expensive lawyers. KA-CHING!
Then his bellyaching about having to prepare for trial while locked up in the VIP wing of the Northern Neck Regional facility with his own private bath, laptop, and workspace blew up in his face. Last Wednesday, Judge Ellis ordered Manafort transferred to the crappy jail in Alexandria, 100 miles closer to his lawyers. (He'd been hoping for a postponement, and also to be released back into the wild, since that mean lady judge in DC revoked his bail after a wee spot of alleged witness tampering.)
What's that charming expression Paul's buddy Corey Lewandowski likes to use? Oh, right!
But wait, there's more!
Because yesterday the Special Counsel's Office (SCO) requested to file under seal -- that is, not publicly -- motions to grant "use immunity" to five witnesses in Manafort's case. Which means there are five people who want immunity from criminal prosecution before they tell the jury about all the dirty, filthy things they saw Paul Manafort do. ALLEGEDLY. And just in case they don't wind up having to testify -- if, say, Manafort decides to flip and avoid a trial -- filing under seal protects their identities from being sullied by association with noted scoundrel Paul Manafort.
Sounds confusing? Let's see what THE STUPIDEST MAN ON THE INTERNET has to say about it.
Well, that's just LAZY! Trix would fire us for stringing together five tweets and pretending it was an "article." Besides which, Manafort's being tried in Virginia for allllll the money laundering and bank fraud. Which has nothing to do with either of the Podestas.
JIM HOFT, you remain undefeated!
Under Use Immunity, a witness's testimony cannot be used to convict him in a court of law. But if prosecutors find alternative evidence of the crime, they can use that to convict the witness.
Example: Cletus testifies [...] that he robbed the Piggly Wiggly and hid the $427 in a bag of Funyuns. The prosecutors cannot go find the Funyun bag in his garage and use it as evidence against him. BUT, if Cletus's accomplice Jebediah has an attack of the guilts and tells the PoPo that he and Cletus done robbed the Piggly Wiggly and the money's in Cletus's garage, then the police can use it as evidence in court to convict Cletus for the robbery.
Did Manafort rob the Piggly Wiggly? Did the witnesses hide his stolen rubles in a bag of Funyuns? Well, knowing Paul Manafort, MAYBE!!!!
But probably not. Let's look at the actual indictment (Jim!) and make an educated guess who these witnesses might be.
Pro Tip: Start with people referred to in the indictment as "conspirators!"
Remember getting the giggles reading about Manafort and Gates's inside guy at the bank, who took one look at their bullshit profit and loss statement and said, TOO PHONY, DUMMY UP SOMETHING BETTER?
In addition, another conspirator on MANAFORT's behalf submitted a falsified 2016 DMI P&L. The falsified 2016 DMI P&L overstated DMI's income by more than $2 million, which was the amount that Lender B told MANAFORT he needed to qualify for the loan. When the document was first submitted to Lender B, a conspirator working at Lender B replied: "Looks Dr'd. Can't someone just do a clean excel doc and pdf to me??" A subsequent version was submitted to the bank.
Yes, we can imagine that the "conspirator" might want to be immunized before testifying about that hilarious time she/he coached a client on how to commit bank fraud!
Same goes for the insurance broker who lied to the bank and said that Manafort and Gates owned a New York brownstone free and clear.
To cover up the falsity of the loan application, GATES, on MANAFORT's behalf, caused an insurance broker to provide Lender B false information, namely, an outdated insurance report that did not list the Union Street loan. MANAFORT and GATES knew such a representation was fraudulent. After GATES contacted the insurance broker and asked her to provide Lender B with false information, he updated MANAFORT by email on February 24, 2016. MANAFORT replied to GATES, on the same day: "good job on the insurance issues."
And remember that "antique rug store" in Alexandria where Manafort "bought" $934,350 of merchandise, paid for with eight wire transfers from Cyprus? We're just spitballing here, but if by some chance money was laundered in those transactions, the rug vendor might well want immunity from prosecution before testifying about it. Ditto Manafort's daughter and ex-son-in-law, who are probably not excited to tell the judge that they conned the bank into giving Poppy a lower mortgage rate by claiming they lived in the house he was using as an AirBnB.
In an email on January 6, 2016, MANAFORT noted: "[i]n order to have the maximum benefit, I am claiming Howard St. as a second home. Not an investment property." Later, on January 26, 2016, MANAFORT wrote to his son-in-law to advise him that when the bank appraiser came to assess the condominium, his son-in-law should "[r]emember, he believes that you and [MANAFORT's daughter] are living there."
Or it could be the Podestas, who are finally going down, dude for stealing Funyuns from the Piggly Wiggly in Roanoke! Who you gonna believe, Yr Wonkette or THE STUPIDEST MAN ON THE INTERNET?
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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.