My, my, my, things are getting very interesting in Robert Mueller’s world. He is burning the candle at both ends and the indictments are coming fast and furiously. First, there were the 13 Russians involved in trying to influence our election, then the guilty plea of Alex Van der Zwaan, a lawyer from the mega firm, Skadden Arps, who mislead investigators about his communications related to the firm’s work for the Russia-aligned former president of Ukraine, Viktor F. Yanukovych, done in conjunction with Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.
Then came the bigly amount of indictments against Manafort and Gates. (This is the second round of indictments against Manafort. My favorite is “conspiracy to defraud the United States.”) Gates decided to plead guilty to one count with the hope of a lighter sentence in exchange for “giving up the goods.”
Gates was Manafort’s second in command while he was campaign director, a consultant on the transition team. In the months after the inauguration, he worked with America First Policies, the main outside group supporting the Trump presidency; he rode on the plane until election day and had continual access to The Don; but like everyone else who is in the claws of Mueller, he is just another coffee boy who they barely knew.
But the reality is that Gates knows so much about Manfort’s shenanigans that he could write his biography: The Wannabe Oligarch; he knows a lot about the Don as well. He is a real and present danger to Manafort and Mueller expects him to tell all.
It’s like Mueller is playing Bingo with every possible combination of numbers and letters on his card. I must say for the first time since this nightmare of a presidency began, I am sleeping better and some colleagues are noting that I am smiling again. Who ain’t smiling is Robert Gates and Paul Manafort, who must be shitting in their pants. They’re like: How the hell did he get all those combos? He’s not playing fair? Sorry guys, you mugs are the cheats and soon your next Bingo game will be the Saturday night activity in prison. I just can’t stop smiling.
The Don and Paulie are two peas in a pod. They are conniving morally bankrupt sheisters that will do anything for money. They are grandiose, self-serving opportunists who believe they are above the law and that they can get away with anything.
Manafort is exactly the type of snake who would work with a murderous Putin puppet autocrat to line his pockets. And that is exactly what Paulie did from 2006-2014, when he worked as a campaign consultant and public relations man for Ukrainian Prime Minister Victor Yanukovich. Yanukovich is now facing charges for treason in the Ukraine for colluding with Russia to send in troops to Eastern Ukraine to support a separatist movement. What’s with these Russians that everyone wants to collude with them and be their puppet?
Among Yanukovich’s great accomplishments:
- Using a controversial police force, Berkut, to threaten, attack and torture Ukrainian protesters.
- Blocking voters from polls and attacking election officials.
- Prosecutors claim that in March 2014 Mr Yanukovich appealed to the Kremlin to send troops to Ukraine, just as Russian forces were seizing control of Crimea and starting covert efforts to spark a separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine. That war has since killed some 10,000 people and displaced about 1.5 million.
- Jailed the opposition leader. What’s with the “lock her up,” thing?
- Spent $5.7 million on monitoring the media just for the month of December 2010.
- Spent 42 million dollars on light fixtures. I guess he needed a lot of light to offset the darkness of his regime.
- His residence contained a private zoo, underground shooting range, 18-hole golf course, tennis, and bowling. Golf course? Where did I hear that before?
Sounds like a wholesome gig for Manafort-sure it made for some cozy dinner conversation with the family.
Rumor has it when The Don heard about the zoo and shooting range, he went in to a fit of envy. Supposedly, his main squeezes at The NRA have promised to build him the shooting range. As for the zoo, just look around at the people in the West Wing.
Mueller’s indictment delineates a scheme between Gates and Manafort from 2006 to 2015 in which they funneled millions of dollars they earned from their work as political consultants in Ukraine into shell companies and foreign bank accounts.
The indictment also includes charges that in 2012, Manafort and Rick Gates secretly retained a group of former senior European politicians to take positions favorable to Ukraine, including by lobbying in the United States. Manafort used at least four offshore accounts to wire more than 2 million Euros to pay the group of former politicians, according to the indictment.
When Yanukovich had to flee the Ukraine because of a populist uprising, Manafort skedaddled as well. Coincidently, the flow of money dried up.
From 2015 to 2017, Manafort and Gates made a mad scramble for cash and fraudulently secured more than $20 million in bank loans by lying about their finances. The most notable haul came a few months after Manafort joined the campaign, a job he took for free! Do you think Manafort does things for free? Please!
Three months after joining the campaign he received a 16 million dollar loan from a Savings and Loan bank in Chicago (that by the way represented 25% of the banks holdings!) Turns out, that the owner of the bank was promised the job Secretary of the Army. Call me crazy but that sounds like the stuff you do in Russia, not in the U.S., niet?
Turns out that one of Manafort’s oligarch business buddies, Oleg Deripaska, is pretty pissed at him. When he left the Ukraine, Manafort owed him millions of dollars for a business investment Deripaska made with Manafort.
Deripaska actually filed a petition in the Cayman Islands claiming that Manafort and Gates couldn’t account for almost $19 million that a company controlled by Deripaska had given them to invest. Deripaska, who is reportedly very close to President Vladimir Putin, has been denied entry to the United States because of his suspected ties to Russian organized crime. Pretty damn brazen of Manafort to stiff a Russian mobster. Pretty damn funny to have a Russian mobster take out a petition, as usually, you just disappear or wind up in a big pot of Chicken Kiev!
During his tenure as campaign manager, Manafort also reportedly offered to give private briefings to Deripaska. Perhaps this is how the conversation went:
Manfort: How’s the weather in Moscow, D?
Deripaska: Where’s my 19 million dollars, you thief.
Manfort: It’s so great to be back home.
Deripaska: If I don’t get my money soon you will never see your family again.
Manafort: No biggie.
Deripaska: I will cut you up and make chicken Kiev out of you.
Manafort: You know I don’t like Chicken Kiev, D. Anyway, you are banned from this country so you will never get me. Ha!
Deripaska: My good friend Michael Flynn owes me and all I have to do is make the call and he will put you in a box and ship you to me like he was planning to do with that Turkish gut Gullen.
Manafort: No worries D, I am just playing with you. Now that I am campaign manager we can use my position “to get whole.”
Deripaska: You better. Start with watering down the Republican platform regarding the U.S.’s response to Russia’s interference in the Ukraine.
Manafort: Done! What else?
Deripaska: I want my money or I will have you killed.
Manafort: Who knows, maybe I will get found out and have to go to prison for the rest of my life, then you won’t be able to get me.
Deripaska: Ha, Ha, Paulie. Good one!
Yes, that is a good one. The only way that doesn’t happen is if Manafort gives up the top of the food chain. So Jared, Don Jr. and Don I’m hoping Deripaska gets his moment with Manafort! Umm, Chicken Kiev anyone?
Details I didn’t know…