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Political Editors / Oct. 30, 2017

Mueller Charges Manafort, but Not Because of Trump ‘Collusion’

Manafort, well connected with Democrats, is indicted on 12 charges including conspiracy against the U.S.

Rumors swirled over the weekend that special counsel Robert Mueller would charge someone in connection with his investigation into Russian election interference. News broke this morning that, not surprisingly, Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort is the man charged. Manafort, along with his business partner Rick Gates, were ordered to turn themselves in to federal authorities to be indicted on 12 charges including conspiracy against the United States, failure to register as working for a foreign agent, money laundering, false and misleading statements and seven counts for failure to register foreign-held bank and financial accounts.

Leftmedia reports of course focus on the fact that Manafort was Donald Trump’s campaign manager for four months. Yet while Trump arguably showed poor judgment in hiring Manafort, he fired him after revelations surfaced of Manafort’s connections to Russian business dealings. And what’s interesting about these new charges is that they relate to Manafort’s actions well before he was connected to Trump’s campaign.

Specifically, Manafort had a long history of working for Democrat players John and Tony Podesta on Russia-related business interests. The Podesta Group was tied to significant donations to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. It’s also important to note that John Podesta was Hillary’s campaign manager. Manafort’s connections to Democrats run much deeper than do any of his connections to Trump.

Another interesting factor, courtesy of National Review’s Andrew McCarthy: “And how’s this for Clintonian flair: During Senate Intelligence Committee testimony last month, Clinton campaign manager John Podesta insisted that he was unaware of any funding connection between the campaign, Fusion GPS, and the dossier. At that moment, sitting in silence next to Podesta was his lawyer, Marc Elias. If that name rings a bell, it is because Elias just happens to be the Perkins Coie lawyer who got the dossier rolling by hiring Fusion GPS in April 2016.”

What seems clear is that it’s not Trump who should be concerned but Democrats and especially the Podesta brothers.

> Update: Tony Podesta is stepping down from the Podesta Group in yet another sign of trouble for Democrats.

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