Friday, November 30, 2018

Random Barking Friday

Pardonne Moi 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will tentatively face sentencing on March 5, a federal judge ruled on Friday, after the U.S. special counsel investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia said the former top aide had breached his plea deal.
Common Wisdom: Lying to a Federal agent, United States' Attorney, or Assistant U.S. Attorney after having negotiated a plea bargain with the selfsame Feds guarantees they will (metaphorically speaking) double-team rubber-hose you and then piss on your head from a great height. They will do this to make an example of you, and impress upon everyone that you are a lowlife  loser scumbag who tried to hustle the System. They will do it to prove that you aren't the smart, special human you believe yourself to be, but an idiot primate, not wearing pants.

At sentencing, a judge will take interest in the Feds' recommendations -- and, something to keep in mind: when making arguments for sentencing, prosecutors can literally throw everything against the wall at you which is legally supportable and which will stick. They are not limited solely to physical evidence or testimony presented at trial. They will attempt to paint you as the guy who, if presented with an opportunity to make serious money selling Opioids to fifth-graders, would take a whole thirty seconds before saying yes.

And, because you violated your plea bargain and wasted the court's time, chances are good a Federal judge will hand down a sentence closer to whatever maximum term the U.S. Attorney has requested -- and where you do that time may be in a Medium-security facility, not a white-collar country club, you stupid, bare-assed monkey.

But, that may only pertain to idiot primates, Little People like you or me, and not World-Class Playahs with the chance for a Get Outta Jail Free card provided by The Leader.

Manfort is currently segregated in population at a local jail facility. He had been under house arrest on a $10M bond, awaiting trial on tax evasion and money laundering charges, but attempted to suborn perjury from potential witnesses while at home. The Federal judge in his case Had a Sad, revoked Manafort's bail and ordered him jailed. Initially, Paulie received 'VIP treatment' in custody, until the Feds complained he was continuing to conduct business and do who knows what in jail (hint: they probably did know).

Then, on August 21, Manafort was convicted, and by September, struck a plea bargain with the U.S. Attorney's office promising to cooperate fully with the Special Counsel and his team's investigation.

Having negotiated that plea bargain through his own Counsel, Paulie  a) Had to know anything he said would be analyzed with an electron microscope, but also  b) He had no idea what Mueller's team already knew. So what Manafort did initially appears stupid in the extreme.

Some have suggested he may have lied to the Special Counsel's team, or was not completely forthcoming, because he was trying to conceal something which made the risk of lying to the Feds worth it. Others have suggested that, if Paulie did cooperate with Mueller and roll over on The Leader, he might also give up a bunch of Russians; after that, his life wouldn't be worth a thimble of cold spit.

A third possibility is, Paulie is acting like a mob Bag Man, flipping off Bob Mueller and pissing on the criminal justice system, because that's his personal style -- he wants to show these button-down losers what a livin' large Playah, what an important primate, he is. Remember, this is a guy who, at a home purchased with laundered money, had a garden planted with flowers in the shape of a giant 'M'.

But Paulie's hijinks are all about impressing The Leader to obtain a Pardon. Before he was convicted, Manafort's attorneys and the legal team of The Leader had a 'joint defense agreement', which remained in place even after Manafort's conviction and the announcement that he had signed a plea bargain.

While allegedly 'cooperating' with the Special Prosecutor, Paulie was a double agent. The groundwork for such a move may have been planned early on; there's no way to know. The Leader's legal team have been putting together a mosaic of the questions asked of other Trump witnesses before Grand Juries, or by federal agents, and what Manafort was asked would be a key piece in reverse-engineering the case Mueller was building -- and help shape the strategy of protecting The Capo Di Tutti Frutti.

You can imagine how Mueller -- a blue-blood elite; button-down straight arrow, and a Marine -- reacted when he learned what Paulie was doing.  My money's on Manafort, having been convicted and facing ten years (a probable 48 months, then a probable parole) in prison, deciding to be a mole because he knew that would be discovered.

Like Bret Kavanaugh's manufactured outrage in front of the cameras, Manafort's behavior was strictly for an audience of one: The Leader. A Commedia del arte piece, honoring The Leader with a simple soldato's loyalty -- and at the same time putting Trump on notice: I been loyal to you, boss; now you gotta come through for me. Remember the things what I know, boss. So you get that Pardon Pen ready.... 

Plus, if Manafort had cooperated with the Special Counsel, in the not-too distant future someone might send a couple of GRU 'tourists' to drop by his house with a perfume bottle. Or that, struck with remorse or [fill in blank], he "jumps" from a window. A Russian saying has it that anyone can commit a murder, but it takes an artist to arrange a suicide.

In screwing Mueller, Paulie may think he's smart, leveraging silence about what he knows to obtain a Pardon. But The Leader's business involved others, and perhaps Paulie believes that having dealt with them for decades, he knows how they think and behave -- or that he has protectors among them who will make him untouchable. If there honestly is any reason he should be concerned in this way, then I hope for his sake that he's right.

There is one other possibility:  What if The Leader suddenly wasn't leader no more? And can't Pardone lil' Paulie, or any other resource of the familia?

And the sideshow continues: The UK Guardian reported that Manafort apparently met several times at the Ecuadorian embassy in London with Julian Assange between 2014 and 2016 (WikiLeaks figuring prominently in the story of the 2016 elections), and travelling to Ecuador during the same period to talk with the country's President about... business.

This is an interesting sideshow. It's already been reported that there was a Russian effort to arrange for Assange 's escape from the Ecuadorian embassy, and from the UK. Was Manafort involved? Were connections with state-sponsored Russian hacking part of some odd quid pro quo with Assange's WikiLeaks? Was Elvis the real gunman who killed JFK?

"A Little Travelling Music, Sammy"

MEHR, Mit Das Prelude Aus Götterdämmerung:

From Daily Kos:  
... here’s an interesting thing to ponder: Why hasn’t Mueller indicted Donald Trump Jr at this point? Trump Jr not only had communication with Russian operatives in scheduling the Trump Tower meeting, he was also communicating with Michael Cohen concerning the Moscow real estate deal...  why hasn’t he been visited by the jolly 4AM raid squad?
Well here’s a funny thing — Robert Mueller doesn’t know that Donald Trump Jr lied in his congressional testimony. That is, he knows... but [he] does not officially know.. because Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Trump’s nether regions) has so far refused to hand over copies of Junior’s testimony [closed-door, before the House Intelligence Committee] to the special counsel’s office.
But as soon as the new Congress is seated in January, Adam Schiff has already stated that he will turn over Junior’s testimony to the special counsel. If you were wondering why Trump chose to direct his excellent third grade potty talk toward the incoming head of the House Intelligence Committee … that’s a pretty good candidate for the primary reason. And once Schiff hands him the paperwork, then Mueller will officially know, what he already knows. 

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