Elder Patriot – Paul Manafort was arrested yesterday and charged with failing to properly declare offshore banking accounts that may have been used to hide his income from the IRS. That income is believed to have been derived from his involvement with Russian operatives a number of years ago when he was employed as a consultant to a Russian-backed Ukrainian politician.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller obtained the indictment based on Manafort’s failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).
This is what’s known as a process crime. That means there may not have been any underlying violations of federal law other than failing to properly register with the federal government. If Manafort committed no other crimes you can think of it as failing to get a building permit for work that was properly completed.
If Mueller has more than this on Manafort it’s likely he’s using it as leverage to “flip” Trump’s former campaign chairman while still leaving himself to pardon Manafort for violating FARA. In the history of FARA only one person has ever been convicted of violation it.
Fair enough, FARA is a 79-year old law that must be obeyed.
It’s unlikely, given the fact that we haven’t heard leaks of incriminating conversations gleaned from the Obama Justice Department’s surveillance of Trump and members of his campaign, that Mueller has anything else.
That brings us to the recent discovery that the DNC, the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and the Obama administration, can all be said to have colluded with Russia when they combined to ante up upwards of $12 million to pay Russian operatives and a corrupt British go-between for a phony dossier that was used to discredit Donald Trump.
The DNC, the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration’s coordination in unlawfully spying on and unmasking Trump’s associates based on false FISA testimony goes well beyond anything that Manafort may have done years before he became involved with Donald Trump.
Their collective failure to properly disclose the expenditure to the Federal Election Commission, as required under federal campaign finance law, cannot be similarly excused as only a process crime because the dossier that the money was used to procure was later used to justify the issuance of a FISA warrant that Obama’s Justice Department used to illegally spy on members of the Trump campaign.
The unreported $12 million has members of the DNC, Clinton and her associates, and members of the Obama administration – including those still working at the Department of Justice – claiming ignorance.
The fact is that ample evidence exists, bolstered by the entire Democratic Party’s governing elites’ collective amnesia, that they used a law firm to obscure the Clinton campaign’s coordination with a foreign entity in violation of federal campaign law.
Yet, to date there has been scant evidence that anyone in the swamp – Democrat or Republican – wants to look into the crimes of the DNC, Clinton, and Obama.
Trey Gowdy painted a clear picture for Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday morning:
“I am interested in who paid for the dossier because that helps you understand motive and intent and whether or not you can rely on the document. I am much more interested in whether the Department of Justice and the FBI relied on that dossier in initiating a counter-intelligence investigation or in court filings.
“I don’t expect the DNC to be objective. Almost by definition opposition research is not objective. I do expect an entity represented by a blindfolded woman to be objective and if they relied on that dossier and they didn’t corroborate it, or vet it then we have a serious issue and that’s the next thing that House intel is trying to find out is whether the U.S. government relied on it.”
Then Gowdy dropped the hammer on the never-changing swamp’s determination to obscure the facts from the American people:
“People don’t like it when I say this but it’s actually true, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between the Obama Department of Justice and the current Department of Justice in terms of transparency and their willingness to share information with Congress.
“This is a really simple request. Did you rely on the dossier and if so did you vet it before you relied upon it? You can answer that in 30 seconds. But, it’s taken three months for the Department of Justice, and only recently have they agreed to give us the information.
“The battle is not just with House Democrats. Unfortunately it’s also with the Department of Justice in getting the information we need to wrap up this investigation.
“I’m not an election law expert but the good news is you don’t have to be to understand the absurdity of believing that you can launder all of your campaign money by hiring a law firm.”