Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern, Slate: "Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Paul Manafort indictment is what it doesn't say: the name Donald Trump. The indictment is a perfectly clean, amply substantiated case against two people -- Manafort and his former business partner Rick Gates -- accused of money laundering and tax evasion. By nowhere intimating that these charges have anything to do with the Trump campaign, or collusion between the campaign and Russia, the indictment denies Trump and his apologists the argument that the Mueller probe is a politically motivated witch hunt against the president. Still, so much of this document that is not about Trump is, in many ways, all about Trump.

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The charges against Manafort and Gates, for instance, mirror what many financial experts have long claimed about the Trump Organization: that they have been at pains to hide money from the IRS, including money from foreign sources; that they have engaged in conspiracies to launder foreign money; that they have made false statements and conspired to hide foreign funds.

This is an indictment that should terrify Trump in that it shadows and hints at his own unlawful conduct and nabs two players who might be willing to cooperate to get out of their mess. And Trump can't claim any of it is a direct attack on him.

The Papadopoulos plea may wind up being far more consequential for Trump than the Manafort indictment.

It indicates that Mueller might already have proof of collusion -- or at least evidence of an attempt by Trump's campaign staff to collude with Russian officials.

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"The two cases together signal the breadth of the investigation -- in time, and subject matter, small fish and big fish," Gupta said.

"The Manafort/Gates indictment deliberately omits anything related to the Trump campaign, which suggests that the play here is to force cooperation among these big fish who have no ideological interests."

Juliette Kayyem, former U.S. assistant secretary of homeland security for intergovernmental affairs, agreed, telling us in an email: "Manafort may very well end up being a bit of a distraction. If I'm the White House, it's Papadopoulos that I'd be worried about. It is the ones we don't know about, the defendants far from the limelight, that often bring the whole house down."

Mueller does not need to go after Manafort for crimes that might implicate Trump -- not yet, at least.

On Monday, he moved to take down two crooks for predictable financial crimes unrelated to Trump and followed that up with a shocking revelation that the investigation has uncovered evidence of attempted collusion between a member of the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

In other words, he already has a lead on collusion; now he needs to flip the most flippable major players to get at the big fish -- including, perhaps, the biggest fish of all."

Trumpfish!

www.gerryrasmussen.ca

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2017-10-31 01:05 AM | Reply

I live in fear of the day they kick in my door looking for my Putinmon. I hand fed him since he was an egg, I taught him to sing the Red Army Song, I bought him his first copy of the Communist Manifesto, and I scrimped and saved to send him to college to get a degree in social studies.

It can't end like this.....

#2 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-10-31 01:26 AM | Reply

Don't quit your day job. Stand up comedy is tough, even when you are just typing it. Even when it's just meant as obfuscation.

#3 | Posted by Corky at 2017-10-31 01:33 AM | Reply

Stand up comedy is tough

So is spelling, apparently.

#4 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-10-31 08:03 AM | Reply

Robert Mueller should dress up as Negan:

youtu.be

#5 | Posted by MrSilenceDogood at 2017-10-31 10:06 AM | Reply

- what it doesn't say: the name Donald Trump.

I love this angle. Whenever an indictment doesn't specifically mention Trump?

It means, Trump. haha. There's tons of yardage to gain on this one.

Let the claims begin! *caution - no citation necessary zone ahead.

#6 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-10-31 11:55 AM | Reply

Let the claims begin! *caution - no citation necessary zone ahead.

#6 | Posted by SheepleSchism at

You do understand that there's a 90% probability Papandopulous was wearing a wire, right?

#7 | Posted by Zed at 2017-10-31 12:30 PM | Reply

You're wasting your time, #7.

They believe, with all of their heart, that pretending to be a bit more stupid than they actually are is going to stop the investigation.

#8 | Posted by MrSilenceDogood at 2017-10-31 12:58 PM | Reply

pretending to be a bit more stupid than they actually are

"Wipe? You mean with a cloth?" - Hillary, trying to stop an investigation.

#9 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-10-31 01:24 PM | Reply

Robert Mueller is about to hold a press conference any moment.

He was just no match for dip ***** like #9.

#10 | Posted by MrSilenceDogood at 2017-10-31 01:32 PM | Reply

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"Trump abruptly ends press conference after being asked if he'll pardon Manafort"

theweek.com

Pardon me, boy
Is that the Chattanooga choo choo?
Track twenty-nine
Boy, you can gimme a shine

#11 | Posted by Corky at 2017-10-31 01:36 PM | Reply

You do understand that there's a 90% probability Papandopulous was wearing a wire, right?
#7 | POSTED BY ZED

These indictments are like Dem crack. That first hit is so good, and you get so, so high.

The rest is just a big crashing downer trip, no matter how much rock you melt in your little glass pipe.

#12 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-10-31 01:38 PM | Reply

"These indictments are like Dem crack. That first hit is so good, and you get so, so high.
The rest is just a big crashing downer trip, no matter how much rock you melt in your little glass pipe.

POSTED BY SHEEPLESCHISM AT 2017-10-31 01:38 PM | RE"

Says the guy who screamed "nothing burger" for six months + everytime russia came up. You've lost your bridge, troll.

#13 | Posted by Alexandrite at 2017-10-31 01:46 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

- Says the guy who screamed "nothing burger"

I say Trump-Russia collusion to win election is a "nothing burger".

I believe Trump had every intention of repairing US-Russia relations, and attempted to take steps in advance to secure that.

The way he went about that was dumb. Using the people and channels was dumb-dumb.

Criminal? I seriously doubt it. There's a better chance that HRC/DNC actions were criminal.

#14 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-10-31 01:56 PM | Reply

Criminal? I seriously doubt it.

#14 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-10

I wonder at your doubt. Donald is a criminal of long-standing. It would be just one more thing for him.

#15 | Posted by Zed at 2017-10-31 02:05 PM | Reply

- Donald is a criminal of long-standing.

I have no doubt. Just one reason of many why I didn't vote for him.

#16 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-10-31 04:56 PM | Reply

Donald is a criminal of long-standing.
I have no doubt. Just one reason of many why I didn't vote for him.
#16 | POSTED BY SHEEPLESCHISM
+++++++++++

Out of all of the lies spewed by you Teajadists/Nazi sympathizer's, THAT has to be among the biggest whoppers told!

Next thing you'll tell us that you never watch Fox News, never visit Breitbart, WorldNetDaily, or any of the other alt-right Anti-American sites.

#17 | Posted by aborted_monson at 2017-11-02 01:58 AM | Reply

I doubt if Trump has it in him to pardon anybody except Jared and Junior ~ should it come to that.

Lest we forget ~ Trump doesn't like people who get "caught."

#18 | Posted by Twinpac at 2017-11-02 04:53 AM | Reply

"Criminal? I seriously doubt it. There's a better chance that HRC/DNC actions were criminal."

She's been investigated every way her enemies could think to investigate her but they got nothing on her. One thing we all know for sure, though some like you are too dishonest to admit it, Hillary Clinton is absolutely not a criminal. Donald Trump on the other hand is and has been a criminal for years. Why do you think his taxes are kept secret? What we don't know exactly is the extent of his criminal activities and how much they have affected his presidency.

#19 | Posted by danni at 2017-11-02 07:52 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Trump is scared. Why else would he be shilling for reelection funds? Of course, by asking already he is quickly identifying a new political class--the greater fools. Trump knows he will not get re-elected, and is concerned that he may not complete his current term, thus the money grab. Make Trump liquid again!

#20 | Posted by catdog at 2017-11-02 08:18 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

SheepleSchism , MUSTANG, etc., so how are things in Moscow these days? Are they still paying you guys good?

#21 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2017-11-02 09:42 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I think Trump should have gone to jail for Trump U and there is nothing bad that could happen to him that would bother me.

But this angle that the indictment is especially bad for Trump because he's not mentioned at all is absurd. The author obviously knows there is an audience out there that is willing to eat up anything that slants a certain way. Or this could be a troll.

#22 | Posted by Sully at 2017-11-02 10:18 AM | Reply

SULLY

Manafort's indictment IS epecially bad for Trump but only because Mueller can use it as leverage against Manafort who is looking down the barrel at about 40 years. Manafort will probably squeal his brains out for a lesser sentence. That's the whole idea, isn't it? Use smaller bait to catch a bigger fish?

#23 | Posted by Twinpac at 2017-11-02 10:52 AM | Reply

#22 | POSTED BY SULLY

One interpretation is that Trump is being set up to hang himself. He already tweeted "Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign." Distancing himself from Manafort. And destroying any political cover he would have to pardon Manafort. If the Manafort indictment were tied to Trump, then Trump could (not saying it is a good idea) pardon Manafort saying that Manafort unfairly got caught up as a pawn in the Trump Russia investigation. But, by Trump basically acknowledging Manafort's crimes, it is obvious to everyone that a pardon is much less likely which means Mueller is in a better position to get Manafort to roll over on Trump.

Or, Mueller could have nothing and be throwing things at the wall to see if they stick. The question you have to ask yourself is how smart you think Mueller is. Do you think this is part of a carefully laid out strategy? Or is he like Trump and just reacting day by day. I am going to go with the former, and most people out there who have met or worked with him seem to feel the same way. Which leads to this speculation on what Mueller's strategy actually is. No one actually knows, so it is all speculation (which is another point in Mueller's favor... there have been almost no leaks so there is very little information; how is Trump doing in that arena?).

So, you can stick your head in the sand if you want and pretend that Mueller is as dumb as Trump. But don't say I didn't warn you.

But for people who want to actually follow the events, it is fair to speculate and try to determine the strategy. For those who are just praying it will all go away... I guess obfuscation is the plan.

#24 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2017-11-02 11:06 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#23 - yes that makes sense. I was specifically referring to the "this bad for Trump because he is not mentioned" angle, which is silly

#25 | Posted by Sully at 2017-11-02 11:23 AM | Reply

#25 yes this could be very bad for Trump if this expands to the point where he is implicated. But the idea that his not being implicated so far is really bad for him is still absurd. Are you worried that you were named either?

Also not sure why you are talking about obfuscating.

#26 | Posted by Sully at 2017-11-02 11:28 AM | Reply

We know he's scared. You can't be a republican unless you are crippled by fear.

#27 | Posted by IndianaJones at 2017-11-02 04:57 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Manafort was indicted for PAST criminal activity, unrelated to Trump, which was uncovered during the raid on Manafort's home. It is well within Mueller's authority to prosecute any criminal activity he finds ~ related or unrelated. In this case, Manafort's money laundering charge, for which he was indicted, was PRE-Trump.

Maybe Trump is fooling himself but I'm sure his attorneys are well aware of a prosecutor's time honored strategy of using one indictment to leverage another. So the question is, will Manafort flip for a lighter sentence on the money laundering charge?

What would you do if you were in his shoes and facing 40 years in prison?

#28 | Posted by Twinpac at 2017-11-03 02:47 AM | Reply

Would you rather live the rest of your life in a hopefully minimum security Federal prison, or cross the Russian Mob, is that the question?

#29 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-11-03 02:54 AM | Reply

SNOOFY

"or cross the Russian Mob, is that the question"

That question crossed my mind as well. I was thinking that perhaps Mueller might not be Manafort's biggest worry. His far-flung business enterprises appears to have crossed paths with some of Russia's most notorious organized crime kingpins.

I guess we'll find out if Manafort starts wearing a bullet proof vest, won't we. Of course then, there ARE other "ways" if you get my drift. If I was Manafort I'd want to be far removed from anything associated with the words "minimum security." ~ LOL

#30 | Posted by Twinpac at 2017-11-03 03:51 AM | Reply

The only factor working in Trump's favor regarding the author's supposition is that Trump might be too dumb to be scared. He's lived a privileged, sheltered life, in which sycophants bow down before him and cater to his whims and business people fold under the weight of the lawyers and money men who do his bidding. He seems to truly believe that, outside of a few malcontents, everyone is either on his side or will be with enough strong-arm pressure.

#31 | Posted by cbob at 2017-11-03 02:15 PM | Reply

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