Manafort the Miscreant


By Madison Barr

Former Trump campaign henchman Paul Manafort is most well-known for his August 2017 criminal charges.

Five counts of tax fraud, two of bank fraud, one of failing to disclose a hidden foreign bank account, and two counts of conspiracy.

And he’s only upping the ante now in late 2018 as he’s been accused of lying in regard to a meeting he may or may not have had with Lenin Moreno, Ecuadorian president, in 2017.

Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team have been investigating this meeting and have specifically asked if anything relating to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, or WikiLeaks itself, were discussed in the meeting held in Ecuador’s embassy located in London.

This supposed meeting between Manafort and Moreno is a direct break of Manafort’s cooperation agreement with the special counsel. And without surprise, this claim has been disputed by Manafort himself and his legal team.

Following suit, President Trump took to Twitter to name call like a juvenile and denounce the “phony witch hunt” constructed by “Mueller and his gang of angry Dems.”

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders denies any knowledge of conversations regarding the potential pardon of Manafort even though Trump hasn’t ruled out that possibility and constantly gives his sympathies to Manafort for his legal troubles.

And this whole Ecuador thing isn’t coming out of anywhere, either. In early 2017, Manafort had discussed potential Chinese investment sources with Lenin Moreno for Ecuador.

Manafort has also had multiple visits with Moreno, dating back to 2015 and repeating in the spring of 2016, which was later to be followed by the meeting in 2017.

However, the push to know if WikiLeaks was discussed in any of these meetings comes from the very coincidental timing of these supposed meetings between Moreno and Manafort and the release of Democratic emails which were stolen by Russian intelligence officers.

Manafort, up until this point, was believed to be cooperative in the special counsel investigation. The tables turned on Nov. 26 when Mueller said that Manafort had repeatedly lied to the FBI even though he had agreed to cooperate in a plea deal two months ago.

Following Mueller’s statement, the special counsel has moved to set a date in which Manafort is to be sentenced.

The neverending untangling of the Russia investigation seems to continue on with more loose ends coming up. At this point, we can only hope that those involved can be held accountable.