Who’s Getting Frog-Marched Tomorrow?

MONDAY UPDATE: It’s Paul Manafort, reports CNN:

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is turning himself in Monday to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.

Manafort was indicted under seal on Friday and is planning to turn himself in, the source said…

The indictment of a top official from President Donald Trump’s campaign signals a dramatic new phase of Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump’s team as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes.


UPDATE: President Donald Trump, on the other hand, doesn’t know when to be quiet.

Any of Trump’s attorneys in reach of that cell phone, now’s the time to just grab it already.


The political chattering class is quieter than usual this weekend, as CNN reports, awaiting what’s expected to be very big news as early as tomorrow morning:

A federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter.

The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are.

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment. The White House also had no comment, a senior administration official said Saturday morning.

In the absence of firm information about who is getting hit with the first criminal charges from the Trump/Russia collusion scandal, surrogates for the President are more or less freaking out–pointing fingers wildly in any direction to distract from the real headlines:

The White House has been anticipating for months that special counsel Robert Mueller would eventually file criminal charges in his Russia investigation. But President Donald Trump, his lawyers and senior administration officials were all caught off guard by the news…

The lack of information, on a case that could have major ramifications for the president, left many current and former Trump advisers livid, focusing their rage on how the information leaked and on a forever target: Hillary Clinton.

Whatever happens tomorrow, don’t get caught watching FOX News or you’ll liable to miss it. With that, we’ll turn 2017’s favorite guessing game over to our readers: who among President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign operatives gets the first criminal charges? Who’s next? Who will turn state’s evidence? How will Sean Hannity control his blood pressure? How will Colorado Republicans’ facial expressions change?

It’s going to be a big week, folks. Stay tuned.

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Paul Manafort will be indicted for money laundering, I think. Mike Flynn will turn state's evidence. But they are both probably targets, along with Carter Page and Roger Stone.

    Jared Kushner and Donnie Jr, indicted for conspiracy? Probably just a daydream. But a sweet one.

    Meanwhile, Trump wants us all to look at the "Squirrel!" of  a 7 year old debunked "Clinton uranium transfer. "


    • DavieDavie says:

      I completely agree with your assessment, MJ.  Manafort is the guy most likely to be serving time next year.  I think while there are/were plenty of crimes committed by the Trump Clan, the only ones likely to stick will be financial in nature (hey, it worked for getting Capone off the streets).

      If Mueller does decide to crack open the books and pursue all the potential leads, Trump has much to be very, very afraid of.  Of course don't underestimate Trump and his minions ability to dig themselves even deeper into trouble by trying to derail the investigations and organize a futile cover-up.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Donnie Jr. lacks the mental capacity to form any criminal intent . . . 

      . . . score another point in the biological lottery!

    • Negev says:

      Looks like the Indictment links Manafort to crimes in 2006-2015, during which time he was working for the Podesta Group, which appears to be directly tied to the crimes committed by Manafort.


      • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

        The Podesta Group has its own problems, but can you point to somewhere documenting that Manafort worked for them between 2006-2015?  There are stories documenting Manafort's partner. Rick Gates, directing activities of the Podesta Group, but those appear to say that the firm was working for Gates, or his employers, not that Manafort was employed by them.

        • Negev says:

          I'm just reading your link and see:

          "The emails do not describe details about the role of Manafort, who was Gates’ boss at the firm, DMP International LLC. Current and former employees at Mercury and the Podesta Group, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they are subject to non-disclosure agreements, told the AP that Manafort oversaw the lobbying efforts and spoke by phone about them. Gates was directing actions and seeking information during the project using an email address at DMP International, which he still uses."



          • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

            None of which says:

            crimes in 2006-2015, during which time he was working for the Podesta Group

            In fact, it says the opposite, or roughly that, that the Podesta Group worked for Manafort. And, only between 2012 and 2014, not 2006-2015, as you state.

            • Diogenesdemar says:

              “the opposite” = rounding error . . .

            • Negev says:

              Uh,  chronologically speaking 2012 and 2014 fall within the time boundaries of 2006-2015. During that time, not the full duration, nor before or after, but during that time, Mr Manafort, by your own link, oversaw the lobbying efforts of the Podesta Group. 

              The Indictment, not me, states the crimes were committed between 2006-2015. 



              • Negev says:

                Looks like Tony Podesta just stepped down from the Podesta group today. That must just be a coincidence. 

                • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

                  I never said the two weren't involved– in fact, I provided links pointing it out– just that their relationship wasn't what you said it was.  I never said Tony Podesta wasn’t corrupt. As a matter of fact, I posted about the Podesta resignation story in another diary.

                  You said Manafort worked for Podesta.  As far as I can tell, that's completely untrue.  Post something here that demonstrates otherwise.  I'm fine with being proven wrong, unlike you.

                  • Negev says:

                    Ok my apologies my wording is off, however I did not say, please see my original post, that Manafort worked for Podesta. I said Manafort worked for the Podesta GROUP. You proceeded to provide support to that statement by your link confirming that Manafort oversaw the lobbying efforts of the Podesta Group.

                    Whether Manafort worked for, with, in conjunction to, as a representative of, or hired the Podesta Group the point I was trying to make was that the indictment clearly identifies crimes committed by Manafort during, not before, after and not completely, but during this the time in which his affairs were affiliated with the Podesta Group.

                    I too am fine being proven wrong. You just have not done that yet. 


                    • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

                      Manafort didn't work for them, he, or someone his company worked for, hired the Podesta Group.  He wasn't an employee.  If anything, he was the employer, meaning the Podesta Group worked for him, for a couple of years.  I used to be a contractor– it would be silly to say that the folks who paid me "worked for me."

                      Your post stated a relationship that didn't exist, and implied that it existed for longer than it did.  Whether that was poor wording, or a desire to make people think that they had a long-term relationship, where Podesta directed Manafort's illegal actions, I can't know.  They may both be corrupt, and may have been corrupt together for a time, but Manafort ran his own ship, and so did Podesta.

                    • Negev says:

                      I can live with that answer and your definition of the relationship that did exist does not dilute the point I was intending to make – The crimes identified in the indictment come from a time where Mr. Manafort was more closely associated with the Clinton operatives than her opposition. 

                      It's a tough sell for me to hear that Trump colluded with the Russians because his campaign manager colluded with the Russians while working with the Clinton campaign manager. Ewe.

                      I feel they are both corrupt and should face the consequences however it makes it difficult me to pin collusion exclusively to one party or the other. 


                    • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

                      You see, this is my problem.

                      John Podesta, who I assume you're referring to with "while working with the Clinton campaign manager." left the Podesta Group in 1993— well before any of this happened.

                      Also, the crimes Paul Manafort was indicted for include a number of offenses that have nothing to do with the Podesta Group failing to register as foreign lobbyists, as required under the law (FARA), and span 10 years, only three of which he was reported to have been associated with the Podesta Group.

                      These things are both corruption, but they're not the same corruption.

                    • Negev says:

                      It appears we may have the same problem as Mr Manafort has been indicted for crimes committed well before the Trump campaign. 

                      Where is the collusion? I'm sure this is the strong arm to get him to flip, but can't there be at least something relevant to the election collusion allegations? 

                      I sure hope it gets juicier because all this hoopla over Russia has taken up too much airspace to conclude with fraud and tax evasion. 


                  • PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

                    Manafort was indicted for crimes committed before, during, and after the Trump campaign, including money laundering activities that continued while he worked on the campaign, and false statements to the DOJ that occurred after he left it.

                    So, no, not the same problem.

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        That's why it's called an "investigation". Prior to indictment, research is done, gathering evidence, putting cases together. Kudos to Mueller for not being partisan, and for going where the evidence led him, even to a big Democratic donor, and the brother of HRC's campaign manager.

        You're obviously working that "Look over there! Dems are just as corrupt as Repubs!" angle. And some are.

        For sheer numeric dominance, though, there are many more people in Trump organizations or his cabinet with strong monetary connections to Russia, than there are Democratic connections:

  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    I suspect any one of them would throw all of the others under the bus to save his or her own ass so expect a lot of proffers to be offered. But at the end of the day, DJT holds the trump card (bad pun, I know). He can pardon everyone, and I suspect, he'll even try issuing one to himself.

    I don't know how Paul Ryan's pollsters would frame the question without setting off alarm bells, but he's got to wondering how folks would answer the $64,000 question:

    "If the president shut down Mueller's investigation and pardoned everyone involved, would that make you: (a) more likely, (b) less likely, or (c) have no effect on you voting for the Republican House candidate in 2018?"

  3. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    The irony is delicious…

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Speaking of game show memes, how about Trump Cabinet in Jeopardy BINGO?

    "I'll take Manafort for 500, Frankly."

    h/t to JohninDenver for the link.

  5. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    Among other items, I expect Manafort to be nailed for failure to register as a foreign agent.

  6. Nasty WomanNasty Woman says:

    Picture a grape, or a handful of grapes. Press on one end and see what pops out. That is Monday's treat. Squished grapes. It is the pair of grapefruits I want, but it has to be done so trumpf and pence are not made into martyrs.

  7. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    In case anyone is interested in keeping score: 

  8. Gilpin Guy says:

    The real teaser is whether this is the main course or just an appetizer.  Will more follow after this one or is this it.

  9. unnamed says:

    I'm betting on Manafort.

  10. RepealAndReplace says:

    And the winner is ……. Paul Manafort!

    They should deny bail. He is a serious flight risk. His friends in Russia have probably already got a plane fueled and waiting to take him home.

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