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Kevin Downing, you got some 'splainin' to do! Superfans will remember Kevin Downing as Paul Manafort's lawyer who hilariously botched the redactions because PDFs are haaaard, revealing to the world that his client had handed over internal Trump polling data to his Russian buddy six weeks before the election. Less hilariously, he also botched the legal ethics by continuing to spill deets on the Mueller investigation to Trump after his own client Manafort had theoretically "flipped." But it turns out that Downing almost got himself pounded by Judge Amy Berman Jackson's contempt gavel for violating the court's gag order and talking to ...

MANAFORT: Sean
Per our conversation this morning, my attorney -- Kevin Downing -- will call you at 11:30am tomorrow. He will update you on what we are doing and how it connects to your reporting. What number should I give him to call you?

HANNITY: Awesome.

Client Number Three himself, the most respected journalist of them all, Sean Hannity! Someone should give that guy a Pulitzer.


MANAFORT: In a fair world you would get a Pulitzer for your incredible reporting

HANNITY:
Lol. I'll take those assholes going to jail.

This dipshit is like Forrest Gump and Walter Winchell all rolled into one. As Marcy Wheeler points out, it appears that Judge Jackson did not find Downing in contempt for violating the gag order imposed on Manafort. But on Friday she did release this tranche of texts between noted Fair and Balanced straight newsman Sean Hannity and Trump's old campaign manager. And HOOBOY are these assholes ever high on their own supply!

From what I'm seeing Today, there are so many obvious crimes that are NOT being investigated. Clear felonies committed. Conflicts of interest. A deep state LEAK A DAY and little to nothing being done. Conversations with the Potus and other Presidents and Prime Ministers leaked?Unmasking political opponents, leaking Intel? And now we have criminalized political differences. HRC NOTHING? And NOTHING IS getting done for the great people of this country.

I am truly frightened the constitution is being shredded, (no 4 th Amendment protections) no equal justice under the law.

I am truly frightened for the future of this country we love. God help us and the world if we don't get this straightened out.

I pray that God give you grace and peace in this difficult moment, I sadly know from experience that in times like these friends will abandon you. (The apostles, Peter, Jesus showed us this).

If you just ever want to talk, grab dinner, vent, strategize-- whatever, I am here. I know this is very hard. Stand tall and strong.

In my prayers.
Sean

Today's homily, Lock Her Up for Jesus, will be delivered by Pastor Sean of the Church of Murdoch.

The texts unsealed Friday show Hannity and Manafort yanking each other's little magas between July of 2017, just before the FBI raided Manafort's house, and July of 2018 when he got thrown in jail for witness tampering. Want to watch a couple of overpaid MAGA chuds give each other wet kisses for a year?

MANAFORT: You life story, and mine, are the reasons this country was created.

HANNITY:
I would be embarrassed at myself as a son and grandson of people far greater than me not to try my best to fight hard to end corruption in this country.

VO. MIT.

But it's not all blowies and paeans to the ancestors. Manafort spends a lot of time urging Hannity to attack Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissman and dumping gobbledygook conspiracy theories on the teevee rube.

MANAFORT: Sean
This article does a good job making the point that Fusion , Clinton's oppo research team, lobbied for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act while the Trump campaign, in the June 9 meeting, rejected the appeal to do the same

HANNITY: Send.

MANAFORT: https://nypost.com/2017/10/25/clintons-collusion-w...

HANNITY: Perfect. I'm certain now that fake dossier was used to get warrants that were used To surveil, unmask.

(Hey, who owns the NYPost again? Oh, right.)

And Hannity is constantly trying to get Manafort and/or his lawyer Kevin Downing to appear on his show for all the ratings.

MANAFORT: Sean
You are on fire tonight. Finally, all of the lies are becoming exposed. Thank you for fighting for our country!
Paul

HANNITY:
I'm sick of these lies. COME ON WITH ME WITH YOUR ATTY BEFORE THEY TRY AND ATTACK U MORE

MANAFORT: Let's talk tomorrow

HANNITY: Deal. YOU MUST PREEMPT

Hannity never did manage to get Kevin Downing on -- guess there are some limits to that guy's bad judgment. But he did get something out of him.

MANAFORT: How did call go today?

HANNITY:
Good. I asked him to feed me everyday. Things exploding tonight. Watch tonight. He has to SEND ME STUFF

MANAFORT:
He will

HANNITY:
Every day

That's nice. Hannity is going on television every night to accuse Mueller's team of leaking, while he himself is in constant communication with a guy who has been ordered by a judge to quit talking to the media. Cool cool.

And Downing wasn't the only one feeding Hannity info. He claims to have been in contact with Michael Flynn.

MANAFORT: I know they are scared because they have been pressing me and I told them to fuck off

HANNITY:
Got a message from gmf
*DONT STOP*
Fuck then

And likely Michael Cohen.

HANNITY: It's horrible. Michael is a total mess.

Meanwhile he's hooking Manafort up with every other kook at his "news" network. There's Gregg Jarrett.

Sara Carter, who will still be trying to make Carter Page happen in 2040.

And likely Catherine Herridge, who has been flogging this investigate the investigators angle since the earth cooled.

Now, at first blush, this might appear to fall slightly short of the mark for ethical journalistic standards. But Sean Hannity has a perfectly good explanation for that. And that is, HELLO, HE'S ALLOWED TO HAVE OPINIONS BECAUSE FIRST AMENDMENT. DOY!

ALRIGHTY THEN.

For his part, Manafort appears to have been spinning Hannity the way he spins everyone else. He wasn't colluding with a Russian operative linked to that country's intelligence service to plant a story about his work in Ukraine. He was just doing a little freelance copyediting for a pal.

OSC is claiming my edits of someone else' article in a foreign country (Ukraine) violates the gag order

He didn't commit bank fraud. That's just some shit cooked up by mean Andrew Weissman.

These charges are totally bogus. The docs they are using discredit the allegations. They are threatening because their primary case is falling apart.

Rick Gates is never going to flip on Trump, he's just changing the lineup.

Gates new lawyer is going to be fine. Gates is in for ling haul

And Manafort never did do no witness tampering, HE WUZ FRAMED by his nemesis Andrew Weissman.

The big break was always just around the corner. Until it wasn't. But don't worry, Pauly, because the man upstairs loves you. Especially if you promise never to flip on him or Jared.

HANNITY: Why don't u get a sweetheart deal like Gates

MANAFORT:
They would want me to give up DT or family. esp JK. I would never do that

HANNITY:
Understand. There is nothing to give up on DT. What did JK do?

MANAFORT:
Nothing, just like I did nothing. They will want me to make shit up on both. I will never do that

That's all Sean needed to hear. But remember, kids, NO COLLUSION.


[Hannity-Manafort Texts / Order to Unseal / Emptywheel]

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Liz Dye

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.

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