Wednesday, August 22, 2018 by JD Heyes
Democrats and their propaganda division, the establishment media, were salivating Tuesday after one-time Trump 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort and the president’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen were ‘nabbed’ by special counsel Robert Mueller over various charges.
Manafort, at a federal trial in Virginia, was convicted on eight of 18 counts, mostly for tax evasion and fraud. He still faces an additional trial in September in Washington, D.C. over allegations of conspiracy to defraud the United States, money laundering, witness tampering, and failing to register as a foreign agent, among others.
As for Cohen, he pleaded guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence, alleging in court that a ‘candidate for federal office’ urged him to break campaign finance laws in order to pay hush money to a former porn star and a former Playboy playmate.
While legal experts differ over whether paying Stormy Daniels $130,000 or Karen McDougal $150,000 amounts to “in-kind campaign contributions” – a former deputy attorney general and a former head of the Federal Election Commission both say they don’t – the bottom line is this: Mueller was initially appointed by Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to investigate alleged nefarious and potentially illegal “collusion” between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, so why are we today talking about bank fraud, money laundering, and hush money payments?
Writing in the Washington Examiner, Byron York notes nothing that happened in federal courtrooms on Tuesday related to anything Robert Mueller is investigating relates to the central purpose (supposedly) for his entire investigation:
What does the Paul Manafort divided verdict — guilty on 8 fraud charges with a mistrial declared on the remaining 10 charges — mean for the question of whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to fix the 2016 election?
Ditto for the Cohen verdict.
What’s more, as York reminds us, Manafort’s trial, in particular, gave “outsiders…a glimpse into what Washington influence peddlers have gotten away with for decades,” noting that he “was convicted of shady dealing” going back some years – and was even investigated for them by the Obama administration but found to have done nothing wrong. Suddenly, because he was associated with the Trump campaign, now he’s ‘guilty.’ (Related: Mueller gets his first Trump scalps with Cohen, Manafort convictions while Hillary and her Deep State criminals continue to breathe free air.)
Like Cohen, Mueller has been attempting to squeeze Manafort for something – anything– having to do with Democrats’ and the Obama administration’s “Russian collusion” narrative. Mueller has even gone so far as to indict Russian nationals and Russian firms, though he wasn’t prepared to actually go to court and try the case.
But thus far nothing has emerged. Like York and many others have noted, that’s because there isn’t anything there. Never has been and never will be, lest Mueller would have already made the case and left it in the hands of a grand jury.
“There were reasons to be suspicious of the investigators from the start. First, as Manafort’s lawyers argued over and over, some key evidence in the case was simply ‘pulled off the shelf’ by Mueller’s prosecutors — that is, it was already known years ago by Justice Department lawyers who chose not to pursue it,” York writes. “That alone means it had nothing to do with the 2016 campaign.”
As House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has already noted, there is evidence of Russian “collusion” in the 2016 election, but it has nothing to do with POTUS Trump and everything to do with the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and Obama’s FBI and Justice Department.
Noting that his committee found “clear links” between Clinton’s campaign and the Russians, Nunes told Fox News in March, “The more that you look at this, the more it is pretty obvious that you have one side that plays by one set of rules, and Republicans are held to a different set of standards.”
Read more about Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt” collusion investigation at RobertMueller.news.