Trump Russia Stuff: BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

Paul Manafort's in deep shit, y'all! Last night, CNN published a BREAKING DRUDGE SIRENS story about the FBI tapping Manafort's wires before and after the election. Your fine Editrix hopped right back on the computer to tell you all about it, because she cares.

At the same time, the New York Times was publishing its own no-sirens-but-still-BREAKING story about Paul Manafort and his Mueller problems. Because the Times cares, too! (But not as much as Yr Wonkette!) They describe Mueller and the Justice League moving with unprecedented speed and aggression. They're talking to everyone Manafort and Mike Flynn ever did business with, and they're not asking nicely.

But associates of both Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn have received more peremptory treatment. Instead of invitations to the prosecutor’s office, they have been presented with grand jury subpoenas, forcing them to either testify or take the Fifth Amendment and raise suspicions that they had something to hide.

On July 26, Manafort was scheduled to give his second day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. At 5 a.m., Mueller's agents executed a no-knock warrant to search Manafort's home in Virginia.

They took binders stuffed with documents and copied his computer files, looking for evidence that Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, set up secret offshore bank accounts. They even photographed the expensive suits in his closet.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, then followed the house search with a warning: His prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him, said two people close to the investigation.

To get a no-knock warrant, prosecutors had to show a judge probable cause that Manafort's home contained evidence of a crime, and that he was likely to destroy the evidence given half a chance. And we wouldn't trust the guy further than we could throw him, either. But prosecutors rarely execute this kind of search on a suspect when they have been in extensive negotiations with his lawyers.

It is unusual for a prosecutor to seek a search warrant against someone who, like Mr. Manafort, had already put his lawyer in contact with the Justice Department. No search warrants were executed during the investigations by Mr. Starr or Patrick J. Fitzgerald, a special counsel appointed during the George W. Bush administration to investigate the leak of the name of a C.I.A. officer.

If Mueller was trying to scare the shit out of Manafort, it looks to have worked: Manafort never made it to testify for the Senate that day.

And speaking of scaring people, the word of the day is "vicarious cooperation." That's a fancy legal term where you say, "Hey, Michael Flynn! Remember when you took your moron son what has the same name as you to Russia in 2015 and let him help you with all your illegal lobbying? It would be a damn shame if we had to throw the little punk in jail. You should probably cooperate with us!"

Could Bob Mueller leverage Paul Manafort's kids like that? Here, check out this Business Insider article titled Hacked text messages allegedly sent by Paul Manafort's daughter discuss 'blood money' and killings.

In a series of texts reviewed by Business Insider that appear to have been sent by Andrea to her sister, Jessica, in March 2015, Andrea said their father had "no moral or legal compass."

"Don't fool yourself," Andrea wrote to her sister, according to the texts. "That money we have is blood money."

"You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly," she continued, according to the reviewed texts. "As a tactic to outrage the world and get focus on Ukraine. Remember when there were all those deaths taking place. A while back. About a year ago. Revolts and what not. Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered."

Knock, knock, girls!

So, yay! NICETIMES! This investigation is going like a house on fire. Per the NYTimes,

Dispensing with the plodding pace typical of many white-collar investigations, Mr. Mueller’s team has used what some describe as shock-and-awe tactics to intimidate witnesses and potential targets of the inquiry.

But why is Mueller moving so fast? Is Manafort just extra-guilty, or is something else going on here?

To a degree, Mr. Mueller is in a race against three congressional committees that are interviewing some of the same people who are of interest to the special prosecutor’s team. Even if the committees refuse to grant them immunity, congressional testimony that becomes public can give other witnesses a chance to line up their stories.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said committee staff members were going to great lengths not to get in Mr. Mueller’s way. But Senator Charles E. Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, indicated last week that his committee might subpoena witnesses to testify about the circumstances of Mr. Comey’s firing even over Mr. Mueller’s objections.

Chuck Grassley, you old goat! You've been trying to bury this shit for months by shouting, THE BROWN LADY UNMASKED BENGHAZI EMAILS!!!!1!!! And now you're going to compromise this investigation by screwing with the witnesses?

Okay, we just included that last one because, OMG what the hell is he saying? But seriously, was that raid the day of Manafort's Judiciary Committee testimony a message for Manafort? OR WAS IT A MESSAGE TO SENATOR GRASSLEY?


CNN / NYTimes / Business Insider]

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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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