Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Paul Manafort Named in Ukraine anti-Corruption Probe

Trump's refusal to release his tax returns makes him less transparent than Richard Nixon. And Nixon waited till after he got in office to commit impeachable offenses. Trump has already straddled that line-like when he asked Putin to hack her emails.

Meanwhile his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is already named in a probe in Ukraine. Not an auspicious development to say the least.

"Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has been named in a corruption investigation in Ukraine, where officials are trying to track illegal payments from a pro-Russian political party that once hired the Washington-based political consultant."

"More than $12 million in undisclosed cash payments were earmarked for Manafort by the party of Ukraine’s former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who fled Ukraine for Moscow after being ousted in 2014, according to a statement released Monday by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine."

"Manafort denied receiving any improper payments, saying in a prepared statement Monday that he has “never received a single ‘off-the-books’ cash payment.”

“The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical,” Manafort said, adding that he never worked for the governments of Ukraine or Russia and that he stopped working in Ukraine after the October 2014 elections there."

“The simplest answer is the truth: I am a campaign professional,” Manafort said in the statement. “It is well-known that I do work in the United States and have done work on overseas campaigns as well.”

The suggestion may be false or it may be true. Manafort hasn't proven it's nonsense however.

"Manafort’s role in the Ukraine inquiry, first reported by the New York Times, serves as a reminder that Trump, who has faced bipartisan criticism for unusually friendly views toward Russia and has sought real estate deals there, has relied on advisers with personal and financial ties to Moscow and the former Soviet Union."

"Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, a former military officer whom Trump briefly considered naming as a running mate, was paid to give a speech and attend a lavish party with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin honoring the Kremlin-funded media company, RT Television. Another foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, has said he holds stock in Gazprom, the Russian energy firm, whose stock price has stumbled since the imposition of U.S. sanctions following the Russian invasion of Crimea."

The General has also disgraced himself by leading 'Lock her up!' chants at the RNC.

"Manafort’s Ukraine connections drew scrutiny during last month’s Republican convention, when the party platform committee weakened language that would have called for U.S. military support of Ukraine. Manafort has denied that the campaign played a role, but committee members told The Washington Post that Trump aides were involved."

"The Ukraine investigation is the latest example of international intrigue that has followed Manafort, , 67, a longtime lobbyist, Republican strategist and global dealmaker. He was hired by Trump earlier this year and has gained enormous clout inside the campaign."

"His lobbying clientele included two corrupt dictators, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, both of whom stole billions of dollars from their countries."

Now we need to see Manafort's tax returns too.

More chutzpah from the Trump team:


Trump actually does this a lot. He'll literally repeat her attack and try to use it on her.
Like she's been-rightly suggesting he's unhinged-so he tried a few days of claiming she's unbalanced. 
He tried saying 'When she wins, you lose.'
As far as predictions in this election, I've for a long time thought Hillary could finally win about a 12 point landslide win which would get her close to 400 electoral votes. 
Here was Nate Cohn yesterday:

"If Mr. Trump can’t reunify Republican-leaning voters, Mrs. Clinton really could win in a landslide. Perhaps many Republicans would skip the presidential race on the ballot, vote for a third-party candidate, or even stay home. A small but important number would vote for Mrs. Clinton. Maybe she could win by something like 54 to 42, and squeak out a win in South Carolina."

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