Monday it was revealed Paul Manafort and his business partner Richard Gates were charged with 12 crimes including “Conspiracy Against the United States”. The charges stem from money laundering and tax evasion efforts by the two and their joint company(s). While the charges are significant in of themselves, they are not the whole story.
Part two of our story brings into light a little-known gentleman who was a major Trump campaign foreign policy advisor, George Papadopolous. Trump’s team of foreign policy advisers, led by Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, consisted of counter-terrorism expert Walid Phares, energy consultant George Papadopoulos, former Defense Department inspector general Joe Schmitz, managing partner of Global Energy Capital, Carter Page and former Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg.
Noted names on the list include:
Carter Page, who of course, has been questioned extensively over his Russian connections and was on a short list of advisors. Carter Page left after questions arose about his work with Russian Oil companies. It turned out that Carter Page was one of at least two individuals who was wiretapped by the FBI. The other being Paul Manafort.
Jeff Sessions has also had to “revise” contacts he has had with the Russians on a few occasions. But in this group, George Papadopoulos was given a chance to make a name for himself within this group of six major personalities. He was not at that point “a small fry”. He was added for some reason amongst a General, a Senator, a business mogul of extreme wealth, a counter-terrorism expert, and a longtime Government Inspector General. This is not the “B” list of personalities nor is it the people they hired. This is the top team.
Part three is General Flynn. General Flynn was not named in this indictment even though there is enough evidence to match him with a number of the same crimes as what Paul Manafort was named for. General Flynn admitted to being an agent of Turkey and evidence shows he may be an agent of Russia as well. The evidence Mueller and his team have would surely be far more detailed than what has leaked. There has been a grand jury empaneled for Mike Flynn for a while now. That they did not time them to coincide means a lot. General Flynn may have turned States Witness. If not then they are using the prosecution of Paul Manafort as a way to apply additional pressure on Mike Flynn including perhaps to put charges on his son.
Part four is Carter Page. It may be that evidence has surfaced thanks to George Papadopoulos or other sources that implicates Carter Page. Carter Page recently said he would “Plead the Fifth“. If this effort was to try to stonewall investigations by Congress and the FBI it would make sense. Given the link Page has with Gazprom and other Russian businesses it would make sense that Carter may have agreed somewhere and even carried out contacts with Russia.
Part Five is one issue that was visibly coming, due to the ties that he had with Paul Manafort and various activities… that is if you were watching. Tony Podesta stepped down from his firm The Podesta Group following the indictment of Paul Manafort and his partner Richard Gates. This is a big deal in DC. He is doing so because his company is probably Company A or Company B which is listed in the Manafort Indictment. That would mean Tony Podesta was colluding with the Russians to an extent in this money laundering scheme.
Except it was not only about money. In fact, Manafort was actively assisting the Russians in planning a revolution in Ukraine according to Ukraine Officials. That is where all of this money that he laundered came from. Podesta may be guilty of far more crimes (and Manafort as well) down the river.
Part Six, there is still a set of sealed indictments and Manafort’s was Indictment B (which means 17-200 is probably indictment A).
I close with a rejoinder for you. Robert Mueller does not need to bring up all charges at once, he just needs to make a case on a few at a time and work his way up. Picking off Manafort, Flynn, Page, and/or Papadopoulos would be the path of building an easier to digest case against a much more major figure. Or figures. There are a lot of dark horse candidates who have done unusual things, made bad decisions, and so forth in regards to Russia and the United States. Also… Has Flynn flipped? Is he also providing information? Will we see perhaps that indictment A is instead even more significant charges against Manafort, and Mueller is playing a game to try to get Trump to use his pardon power on the weaker charges and then come out after the hoopla with larger charges?
Michael Harrington is a political activist, conservative, a statistician, and an Army veteran
All views expressed by the author belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Little Bytes News.