Just weeks before his Washington D.C. trial was scheduled to begin, Paul Manafort reached a plea agreement with the special counsel. On Friday the Washington Post (@washingtonpost) reported, Manafort plead guilty to two charges in the DC case. Manafort was originally scheduled to be tried on seven charges. The plea deal Manafort agreed to with the special counsel erased the five other charges. In the end, Manafort plead guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the United States and one count of conspiring to obstruct justice. On paper, Manafort only plead to those two counts, but in the courtroom, Manafort was forced to admit to everything he’d been charged with. Including cheating the IRS out of more than $15 million and attempting to cover his tracks while doing so. Also the many years he spent acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.
With the plea deal, Manafort gives up his right to have a trial on these charges. Manafort also agreed to surrender three luxury houses and two luxury apartments, including one located in Trump Tower Manhattan. Manafort’s guilty plea deal also includes Manafort’s cooperation in “anything relevant to the special counsels investigation”, testifying in court if necessary, and working with the special counsel without the presence of his lawyer. The special counsel will now be Manafort’s representatives of sorts, because they will play a huge role in Manafort’s prison sentence now that he has agreed to an open-ended 10-year plea. Meaning, Manafort can be sentenced to anywhere between 0-10 years in prison when sentenced. It’s up to the judge, BUT the special counsels recommendation will play a huge role in influencing Manafort’s sentencing judge. If special counsel says Manafort’s cooperation was great and they could not have made their next case without him, Manafort could walk away from this with time served, being as though “the next case” could be a year or more away. Many people believe that “next case” will involve Donald Trump, his 2016 presidential campaign, and election interference. It makes perfect sense. That is what the special counsel was brought in for, and that is a subject Manafort reportedly knows tons about.
As of now, the who’s and what’s of what Paul Manafort will tell the FEDS remain unknown. Many have speculated, but no one really knows except the special counsel and Paul Manafort, and I don’t believe either one will be telling the public sh*t anytime soon. There have been reports that Manafort may have been talking to the FEDS since Monday. In that time, the interviews with Manafort reportedly took up hundreds of pages. That’s a lot! There’s really no telling who Manafort is giving up yet. Keep in mind, he has personally dealt with tons of shady characters across the globe. Russians, Turkish, Ukrainian, Americans. Mr. Manafort has personally been involved with some very shady characters in his lifetime. So I’m sure some of their names will come up during his interviews with the special counsel, BUT I find it hard to believe that the special counsel wanted Paul Manafort for any reason other than serving up Donald Trump and his organization on a silver platter. Time will tell. We will see. Tick-tock. Tick muthaf*ckin’ tock!
The first member of Donald Trump’s “inner circle” to be charged in the Russian interference investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, has been sentenced. George Papadopoulos, who served as Trump’s foreign policy adviser, was sentenced to 14-days in jail to be followed by one year of supervised release. Papadopoulos was also hit with a $9500 fine. The special counsel originally called for a sentence of between 0-6 months after Papadopoulos’ cooperation with the investigation. Papadopoulos pleaded with the sentencing judge before his sentence was handed down.
“I made a terrible mistake. I hope to have a second chance to redeem myself.” Papadopoulos told the judge before being sentenced.
NBC News(@NBCNews) reports, prosecutors said Papadopoulos was solicited by a professor with ties to Russian Intelligence named Joseph Mifsud. Mifsud reportedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians possessed incriminating information about Hilary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails”. This was before it was public knowledge that Russia had stolen Democratic emails. Papadopoulos lied to the FBI about the timing of his interactions with the professor. He told the FBI it happened before he began working for Trump, when it had actually happened well afterward.
Prosecutors say Misfud arranged a meeting between Papadopoulos and a woman who was falsely introduced to Papadopoulos as Vladimir Putin’s niece.
Pictured: Joseph Misfud
After a night of heavy drinking, Papadopoulos bragged to an Australian diplomat about the stolen emails, Russians, and how the fix was in for Trump to win, as the two drank together at an upscale bar in London in 2016. The Australian Diplomat was so alarmed by Papadopoulos’ claims that he reported the conversation to his American counterparts. The Australian Diplomats’ concern came from evidence that they had seen Russia do the exact same thing in elections in multiple other countries around the world. That was the beginning of the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election….and ultimately, Donald Trump and his camp’s role in the whole thing.
Trump, who has called the entire investigation a “hoax” and a “witch-hunt”, chimed in via Twitter after Papadopoulos’s sentencing.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 Russian Intelligence officers on Friday afternoon. The revelation that those charged in the indictment were Russian intelligence officers suggest that the group’s orders came directly from the top. The indictments come days before Trump is scheduled to meet with Russia President Vladimir Putin.
ABC News (@ABC) reports, the 12 Russian Intelligence Officers, all members of the Russian government’s official intelligence agency, GRU, are suspected of carrying on a sustained campaign to hack the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Hilary Clinton’s campaign.
The GRU allegedly began a “spearphishing” campaign in 2016 against volunteers and employees of the Hilary Clinton campaign. The spearphishing campaign by the GRU allowed them access to the DNC servers and networks, which they used to steal emails, documents, and also covertly monitor the activity on the compromised computers and employees. The spearphishing campaign also allowed GRU to implant malicious files and steal passwords and maintain access to the networks.
Some of the stolen emails were then made public by GRU posing as online personas “Gucifer 2.0” and “DCLeaks.” GRU also passed the stolen emails along to an unnamed third party online source in an effort to undermine the Clinton campaign. A source close to the Trump campaign is alleged to have been in direct contact with the third party and Gucifer 2.0.
In the press conference, Rosenstein stated that no Americans have been named in this indictment against the Russian Intelligence officers. The Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election is still ongoing.
Is this the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the end? Either way, there has finally been a sentencing in the Trump-Russia, Mueller investigation. Alex Van Der Zwaan. Who? That’s the same thing I said…. Alex Van Der Zwaan is a Dutch lawyer and son of a Russian oligarch. How it is that Van Der Zwaan found himself mixed up in this mess is beyond me. But the fact remains that Van Der Zwaan caught a charge for lying when he was interviewed by the Special Counsel. Van Der Zwaan entered a guilty plea back in February on a “lying to the FEDS” charge. Today, Van Der Zwaan was sentenced to 30-days behind bars. Seems a little light for lying to the FEDS right? Van Der Zwaan’s sentence was probably light for a reason. There’s a strong possibility that the 30-day vacation came with some sort of cooperation agreement with the special counsel.
The New York Post (NYPost) reports, Van Der Zwaan, 33, lied to Mueller’s prosecutors about his work in Ukraine with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates. Mueller’s charges allege that Van Der Zwaan and Gates talked with a businessman who was also a Russian Intelligence agent during the last months of the campaign.
Gates pleaded guilty back in February and has been cooperating in Mueller’s probe. Gates was facing five years behind bars. He is expected to be sentenced to around six months as part of his plea agreement.