What The Jury Heard
Manaforts trial, held during August in Northern Virginia, stuck to financial crimes. The prosecution introduced the Ukrainian politician Viktor Yanukovych as a cash spigot who showered Manafort with money for electoral advice. While Yanukovych was in power from 2010 to 2014, Manafort hid from the United States Treasury Department 31 offshore bank accounts holding more than $60m and dodged income tax on $16.5m. Documents show that Manafort used his shell company accounts to buy three homes worth $7.75m in one year. He spent $400,000 landscaping a fourth home with a flowering M decorated by a waterfall and became a top-five customer at the luxury mens shop Alan Couture , where his taste ran to jeans made of cashmere and jackets made of ostrich or python skin.
Ostentation isnt a crime, as the judge tartly noted, but the prosecutors sought to establish that Manafort was hooked on it. When Yanukovych left office, they argued, Manafort resorted to bank fraud because his cash spigot dried up and he needed to summon cash out of thin air. In or around 2016, Manafort repeatedly doctored his profit statements and vastly exaggerated his earnings in order to obtain four loans from three banks worth more than $20m. As the government summed up its case at closing: Manafort lied to keep more money when he had it, and lied to get more money when he didnt.
What would be the motivation ? he asked the jurors at closing. Ill leave you to determine what was behind that.
Trumps Tweets And Statements Since Manafort Was Convicted Are Designed To Encourage Manafort To Stay Quiet And Not Cooperate With The Promise Of Being Pardoned After I Think It Is Obstruction Of Justice
Professor Alex WhitingHarvard Law School
This was a major change in the way Washington worked, recalls the campaign finance reformer Fred Wertheimer. People whod been involved in electing candidates now turned their relationships into cash. And where that cash came from was of no concern to Manaforts firms. Over time their client list became a whos who of the worlds kleptocrats: Sani Abacha, Ferdinand Marcos, Daniel arap Moi, Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Jonas Savimbi and Mobutu Sese Seko.
If kleptocrats made great clients, why not service all their needs? Manaforts next insight was that ruthless foreign politicians could use his dark arts not only in Washington, but also in their own capitals. Enter Yanukovych.
Muellers team did not share with the jury an astonishing correspondence between Manafort and his longtime Kiev office head, Konstantin Kilimnik. It was common knowledge that Kilimnik studied at a language school for Soviet spies. Mueller openly concluded that he was tied to Russian intelligence through the Trump campaign.
The jury knew none of this. It knew of Kilimnik as a translator, whereas Manafort called him my Russian brain, and Mueller whose grand jury indicted Kilimnik in June on charges of witness tampering on behalf of Manafort calls him a Russian spy. The jurors learned of Manaforts ostrich jacket, but not the ostrich herd kept by Yanukovych at his Mobutu-style estate. Their heads have, so to speak, been buried in the sand.
Trump’s Use Of Executive Clemency
For 125 years, the key adviser to the president on clemency has been the Department of Justice’s Office of the Pardon Attorney which normally reviews all requests for pardons. Trump often bypassed the OPA, and, unlike previous presidents, made the majority of his grants to executive clemency to “well-connected offenders who had not filed petitions with the pardon office or did not meet its requirements.” Ultimately, of the 237 grants of clemency by Trump, only 25 came through the Office of the Pardon Attorney’s process the other clemency recipients came to Trump’s attention through an ad hoc process at the Trump White House that benefited clemency applicants with money or connections to Trump allies, friends, and family members. Most of Trump’s pardons and commutations were granted to people with personal or political connections to him.
Compared to other presidents, Trump granted clemency at low rates, with the bulk coming later in his term. Of Trump’s grants of clemency, 84% were made in his last fiscal year in office, with 144 out of his 237 grants of clemency being granted on his last night in office the list was “assembled so hastily that it contained inaccurate information about some cases.”
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Prosecution Says Bannon Ignored Deadlines
In closing arguments Friday morning, both sides re-emphasized their primary positions from the trial. The prosecution maintained that Bannon willfully ignored clear and explicit deadlines, and the defence claimed Bannon believed those deadlines were flexible and subject to negotiation.
Bannon was served with a subpoena on Sept. 23 last year ordering him to provide requested documents to the committee by Oct. 7 and appear in person by Oct. 14. Bannon was indicted in November on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress, a month after the Justice Department received the House panel’s referral.
Bannon’s attorney, Evan Corcoran, told jurors Friday in his closing arguments that those deadlines were mere “placeholders” while lawyers on each side negotiated terms.
Corcoran said the committee “rushed to judgment” because it “wanted to make an example of Steve Bannon.”
He also hinted that the government’s main witness, Jan. 6 committee chief counsel Kristin Amerling, was personally biased. Amerling admitted on the stand that she is a lifelong Democrat and has been friends with one of the prosecutors for years.
Corcoran also vaguely hinted that the signature of Jan. 6 committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, looked different on the subpoena than on other letters but dropped that topic when the prosecution objected.
What The Trial Was Really About
At the courthouse in Richmond, the government steered clear of Russia as much as it could. The prosecution made a strategic choice to lower the bar for themselves by proving straightforward financial crimes, says Waxman. Why should they out themselves and risk providing discovery into the entire Mueller investigation?
But a larger game was afoot, and everyone knew it. You dont really care about Manaforts bank fraud, said the Virginia Federal Judge
T S Ellis, , as he addressed the prosecutors in a moment of pretrial frankness. What you really care about is what information Manafort could give that would reflect on Trump and lead to his prosecution and impeachment.
President Trump offered a similar take, but went considerably further. He impugned the legitimacy of the governments approach while perhaps sending a signal to the accused. The day after the Manafort verdict , the President told the hosts of Fox & Friends: This whole thing about flipping and flipping almost ought to be outlawed. That same day, the President praised Manafort on Twitter, because unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to break Such respect for a brave man!
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Whats Been Learned So Far
For a generation after the Berlin Wall fell, the naïve belief prevailed that globalisation would mainly help to spread the best practices of Western corporate governance. In reality, the flow of norms was two-way and it wasnt benign. Manafort manifestly exported to the former Soviet Union the worst of US political practices. And he was only in the vanguard.
Manafort certainly deserves his share of blame, says Kramer. But he had other players involved, and not just in America. You could describe it as a failure of Western culture If you offer enough money, people are willing to do things they know they probably shouldnt. These kinds of regimes pay top dollar for good advocacy. And its not unique to Ukraine. Look at Manaforts previous client list. Its all over the globe.
Dc Civil Suit Over Misuse Of 2017 Inauguration Funds
District of Columbia v. 58th Presidential Inauguration Comm., No. 2020-CA-00488-B
Prosecuting Office: DC Attorney General
Case Summary: In the run-up to Trumps 2017 swearing-in, his inaugural committeeraised a record $107 million to spend on inauguration festivities. As a nonprofit, the inaugural committee was bound to use these charitable funds for the public good, namely by organizing events to celebrate the 2017 presidential inauguration.
But as the DC AGalleges, the inaugural committee used over $1 million of those funds in an improper bid to enrich the Trump familys private businesses. DCs attorneys are nowsuing the inaugural committee, the Trump International Hotel, and the Trump Organization over that alleged misspending. Chief among the allegations, the DC AG claims that the committee paid exorbitant rates to rent space in the Trump International Hotel in downtown DC. The committee, for instance, allegedly paid $175,000 to rent the main ballroom on the same day that another nonprofit paid only $5,000a rate 35 times higher. On top of that, the committee allegedly ignored much better deals available at other upscale locations, settling instead on overpaying for space at the Trump location.
Update-1: The DC AG moved for summary judgment on Mar. 24, 2021. All three defendants responded by filing their own motions for summary judgment on Apr. 8, 2021.
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All Of The Trumpworld Figures Whove Been Arrested Indicted Or Jailed
At least 18 people connected to President Trump have been locked up, indicted, or arrested since the real-estate mogul announced his candidacy in 2015.
About a year before Donald Trumps shocking presidential victory, the real-estate mogul made a promise: If elected, he would surround himself only with the best people.
Im going to surround myself only with the best and most serious people, Trump told The Washington Post in August 2015. We want top of the line professionals.
Since then, its become clear Trump has a dubious understanding of best. At least 18 shady figures in the presidents orbit have either been arrested or gone to jail since he took office, on charges from fraud to battery to child pornography. While many of those charges stem from former Special Counsel Robert Muellers investigation into Russian election interference in 2016, several other politicians and donors have been convicted of crimes unrelated to the president.
Here are all the Trumpworld figures who have been arrested, indicted, or locked up:
Courtesy Alexandria Sheriff’s Office
Why Did Congress Subpoena Bannon
Congress had reason to believe that Bannon, who was serving in an unofficial capacity at the time, had been involved in the planning and fundraising to help Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.
The committee issued a subpoena for any documents or communications that were related to Trump or his allies such as Rudy Giuliani, or extremist far-right groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who also showed up to the Capitol on January 6.
Bannon initially tried to claim that he was under the protection of Trump’s executive privilege as his excuse for not showing up for the hearing, but the committee rejected this as Bannon was not employed by Trump at the time of the riot and Trump was no longer president.
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Second Capitol Police Suit Over The Jan 6 Riots
Smith v. Trump, No. 21-cv-02265
Plaintiff: Seven Capitol Police officers
Case Summary: On Aug. 26, 2021, a second group of Capitol Police officers filed suit over injuries they suffered while defending the Capitol on Jan. 6. The officers allege that Trump and his co-defendantsincluding the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepersconspired to incite a riot and attack the Capitol, leaving the officers physically and emotionally injured.
Like the other Jan. 6 lawsuits against Trump, the complaint asserts that Trump violated the KKK Act by conspiring to instigate the riots. The complaint also alleges that unnamed defendantslisted as John Does who carried out the attackphysically assaulted the officers at Trumps provocation, which could make Trump liable for the officers injuries.
The plaintiffs also add in a unique claim not found in other Jan. 6 lawsuits against Trump: that the defendants violated the DC Bias-Related Crimes Act, a local hate-crime statute. According to the complaint, the defendants were motivated by political bias against the Democratic Party when they instigated and executed the Capitol attack.
Case Status: The officers filed their suit in DC federal court on Aug 26, 2021.
Update-1: Donald Trump filed a motion to dismiss on Nov. 12, 2021. Much like in the other Jan. 6 suits, Trump argued that his speech was constitutionally protected by presidential immunity, the First Amendment, and preclusion as a result of the impeachment acquittal.
What Really Care About Is What Information Manafort Could Give That Would Reflect On Trump And Lead To His Prosecution And Impeachment
T S EllisSenior Judge, US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Even more troubling, some lawyers believed that the President intended his comments to dangle a pardon before Manafort. The President calls someone who flips a rat, and says that people who dont flip are doing the right thing, says Waxman. That juxtaposition is virtually the same as saying, Ill pardon you if you dont testify against me.
Whiting agrees. It could not be more clear, he says. Trumps tweets and statements since Manafort was convicted are designed to encourage Manafort to stay quiet and not cooperate, with the promise of being pardoned after. I think it is obstruction of justice. Dangling a pardon can certainly form part of a pattern of obstruction, and I think it does. Waxman, however, suggests Manafort was willing to roll the dice at trial because he knew Mueller would be willing to take his plea later.
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List Of Trump Administration Dismissals And Resignations
|This article is part of a series about
Many political appointees of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, resigned or were dismissed. The record-setting turnover rate in the first year of the Trump Administration has been noted in various publications. Several Trump appointees, including National Security AdvisorMichael Flynn, White House Chief of StaffReince Priebus, White House Communications DirectorAnthony Scaramucci, and Secretary of Health and Human ServicesTom Price have had the shortest service tenures in the history of their respective offices.
Trump justified the instability, saying: “We have acting people. The reason they are acting is because I’m seeing how I like them, and I’m liking a lot of them very, very much. There are people who have done a bad job, and I let them go. If you call that turmoil, I don’t call that turmoil. I say that is being smart. That’s what we do.”
Also listed are the officials who resigned in the aftermath of the 2021 United States Capitol attack, well into the presidential transition, when their term would have ended soon anyway.
How Many Of Donald Trumps Advisers Have Been Convictedonline 2021
Looking for How Many Of Donald Trumps Advisers Have Been Convicted?
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The Manafort Trial Again Shows How Integral The Us Legal System Is To Facilitating Global Corruption
Senior Advisor, Global Witness
The Democratic political consultant Tad Devine testified at the trial that international lobbying is not a partisan endeavour. As someone who left Yanukovychs payroll to become chief strategist for Bernie Sanders in 2016, he ought to know. To complete the embarrassment of all three leading 2016 campaigns, Manafort also funnelled Ukrainian cash of dubious origin to the brother of Hillary Clintons campaign chair, the Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta. To help sanitise Yanukovych, Manafort even recruited the former Obama White House Counsel Gregory Craig, then of Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom. CNN, followed by other major news outlets, reported in August that Mueller has referred the foreign lobbying activities of Podesta and Craig for investigation in the Southern District of New York, along with those of the former Newt Gingrich lieutenant Vin Weber of Mercury Public Affairs. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Manafort found it just as easy to buy up members of the centre-left political establishment for an unacknowledged PR push. Among Manaforts biggest purchases in Europe were the former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer and the EUs first High Representative for Foreign Policy, Javier Solana.
At the trial, Judge Ellis intriguingly asked the prosecution to stop using the term oligarch, because if oligarch just refers to a billionaire involved in politics, then both Soros and the Koch brothers would qualify.
President Trumps A Team Turnover Is 92% As Of January 20 2021
The following chart and table reflect turnover among the most influential positions within the executive office of the president. This data is compiled and tracked by Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, who refers to this group of advisers as the presidents A Team. The list of positions that make up the A Team is based on National Journal Decision Makers editions, and Dunn Tenpass methodology is described in detail in a report she published in January 2018. The chart and table below will be updated as additional members of the A Team depart their positions. It is important to note the following:
- Because the A Team is made up of members of the executive office of the president, it does not include Cabinet secretaries.
- Each position on the A Team is only counted once. If multiple people hold and depart from the same position , only the initial departure is tracked/affects the turnover rate. For more information on these instances, see the serial turnover section below.
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