Trump insists ‘no collusion,’ calls for Mueller investigation to end following filings in Cohen, Manafort cases

President Trump called for an end to the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, a day after a series of court filings connected him with two felonies.

“AFTER TWO YEARS AND MILLIONS OF PAGES OF DOCUMENTS (and a cost of over $30,000,000), NO COLLUSION!,” Trump said on Twitter.

The Mueller probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election has been estimated by various sources to cost less than $20 million, though no official figures are available.

Trump’s defense Saturday came after court sentencing documents in separate cases against Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen were filed by federal prosecutors in New York and by Mueller. The memo for the New York case, for which Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges related to campaign finance violations and tax fraud, said Cohen made two payments during the 2016 campaign to women who had affairs with Trump “in coordination with and at the direction of” the then-candidate, now president. It called for Cohen to face substantial prison time.

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FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/trump-insists-no-collusion-calls-for-mueller-investigation-to-end-following-filings-in-cohen-manafort-cases/

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Assange Rages Against Guardian Over Manafort Report

Wikileaks fired back at a bombshell Guardian report that Paul Manafortmet with Julian Assange in Spring 2016, calling one reporter a “serial fabricator” and denying the meeting ever took place.

“Remember this day when the Guardian permitted a serial fabricator to totally destroy the paper’s reputation,” Wikileaks tweeted shortly after the publication of the report. “[Wikileaks] is willing to bet the Guardian a million dollars and its editor’s head that Manafort never met Assange.”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.mediaite.com/online/war-wikileaks-rages-against-guardian-well-bet-a-million-and-your-editors-head-manafort-meeting-never-happened/

Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy, sources say

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told.

Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and in spring 2016 – during the period when he was made a key figure in Trump’s push for the White House.

It is unclear why Manafort would have wanted to see Assange and what was discussed. But the last apparent meeting is likely to come under scrutiny and could interest Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

A well-placed source has told the Guardian that Manafort went to see Assange around March 2016. Months later WikiLeaks released a stash of Democratic emails stolen by Russian intelligence officers.

Manafort, 69, denies involvement in the hack and says the claim is “100% false”. His lawyers declined to answer the Guardian’s questions about the visits.

In a series of tweets WikiLeaks said Assange and Manafort had not met. Assange described the story as a hoax.

Manafort was jailed this year and was thought to have become a star cooperator in the Mueller inquiry. But on Monday Mueller said Manafort had repeatedly lied to the FBI, despite agreeing to cooperate two months ago in a plea deal. According to a court document, Manafort had committed “crimes and lies” on a “variety of subject matters”.

His defence team says he believes what he has told Mueller to be truthful and has not violated his deal.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/27/manafort-held-secret-talks-with-assange-in-ecuadorian-embassy

Judge in Manafort case calls extended recess

U.S. District Judge T. S. Ellis lll huddled with attorneys from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office and Manafort’s defense lawyers, as well as court security officers, for more than 20 minutes before calling the recess. The judge then exited the courtroom toward the jury room.

The recess comes as prosecutors are preparing to finish their case Friday. Manafort faces charges of bank fraud and tax evasion.

___

10:45 a.m.

Prosecutors for Special Counsel Robert Mueller are asking the judge overseeing the fraud trial of Paul Manafort to correct an earlier statement.

On Thursday, prosecutors questioned a loan officer for Citizen’s Bank of New York, asking about Manafort’s 2016 loan application that the bank rejected. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III interjected: “You might want to spend time on a loan that was granted.”

Early Friday, prosecutors said Ellis’ crack “misrepresents the law” regarding bank conspiracy and “is likely to confuse the jury.”

Ellis has yet to comment on the motion.

A day earlier, the judge acknowledged that he likely erred when he angrily confronted them a day earlier.

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12:01 a.m.

Prosecutors in Paul Manafort’s financial fraud trial say they expect to rest their case on Friday.

On Thursday, prosecutors returned to the nuts and bolts of their case against the former Trump campaign chairman as they sought to show he obtained millions of dollars in bank loans under false pretenses.

Attorneys for special counsel Robert Mueller also got a rare, and narrow, acknowledgment from U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria, Virginia, that he likely erred when he angrily confronted them over whether he had allowed a witness to watch the trial.

Thursday’s testimony was devoid of some of the drama of recent days, when star witness Rick Gates was confronted about embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Manafort and was forced to admit to an extramarital affair.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-judge-manafort-case-calls-extended-recess-151241972–politics.html

Mueller reveals tenuous link between Manafort charges and Trump

Mueller’s revelation came in an argument he is having with the Manafort defense over what subjects can and cannot be discussed in front of jurors in Manafort’s upcoming trial. (Manafort is charged in both Virginia and the District of Columbia with various counts of bank fraud, tax evasion, and failure to register as a representative of foreign interests; the Virginia trial is scheduled to begin later this month.)

Manafort doesn’t want the jurors to hear about any theories of collusion between Trump and Russia. Beyond that, Manafort doesn’t even want the jurors to hear about his connection with Donald Trump. Given the degree of anti-Trump feeling in the heavily-Democratic District of Columbia and in northern Virginia — the Manafort filing drily notes that jurors are “likely to have strong views about President Trump” — that’s an understandable feeling.

“Evidence or argument relating to Mr. Manafort’s work for then-candidate Trump’s campaign in 2016 or the Special Counsel’s investigation of the campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government,” the Manafort team wrote in a June 22 motion, “is wholly irrelevant to whether Mr. Manafort’s personal income tax returns were false, whether he willfully failed to file reports of foreign accounts, and whether he conspired to commit, or committed, bank fraud.”

Mueller’s response was two-fold. On the issue of collusion, the special counsel, in a motion filed July 6, flatly said, “The government does not intend to present at trial evidence or argument concerning collusion with the Russian government and, accordingly does not oppose the defendant’s motion in that respect.”

To those Trump opponents who had hoped Mueller would unveil evidence of Trump-Russia collusion involving Manafort, it was a sharp and stunning admission: there’s no collusion in the case against Manafort.

But Mueller did argue that the case has something to do with Trump. And this is it:

Most of the 32 counts against Manafort in the Virginia case concern alleged crimes that took place long before there was a Trump campaign. Some go back as far as 2006. But four of the counts involve a pair of loans Manafort took out between April 2016 and January 2017. For a few months during that time period, Manafort worked for the Trump campaign.

The loans totaled $16 million and came from a financial institution Mueller refers to as Lender D. According to Mueller, Manafort lied to get the loans, overstating his income and understating his debts.

Mueller says that some workers at Lender D knew there was a problem with Manafort’s application, but that one top executive there, a man who wanted a place in the Trump campaign, granted the loan anyway. From the Mueller filing:

“The government intends to present evidence that although various Lender D employees identified serious issues with the defendant’s loan application, the senior executive at Lender D interceded in the process and approved the loan. During the loan application process, the senior executive expressed interest in working on the Trump campaign, told the defendant about his interest, and eventually secured a position advising the Trump campaign. The senior executive later expressed an interest in serving in the administration of President Trump, but did not secure such a position.”

The lending company and the senior executive are not identified in the indictment, but the loans appear to fit an episode reported in the New York Times involving a small bank in Chicago, the Federal Savings Bank, and its chief executive, Stephen Calk, who was named an economic adviser to the Trump campaign in August 2016 but did not join the administration.

(MORE: Mueller’s team expected to present evidence connecting Trump’s campaign to Paul Manafort’s trial)

In May, the Wall Street Journal reportedthat Mueller is investigating whether the loans were “made as part of a quid pro quo arrangement to secure Mr. Calk a job in Mr. Trump’s administration.” Calk has denied any such arrangement.

In any event, Mueller has not suggested that Donald Trump was involved in any of the actions outlined in the Manafort charges. The two Lender D loans are, apparently, the only connection between the Trump campaign and the broad array of criminal activity, some of it more than a decade old, alleged in the Manafort indictments. And Trump himself played no role in it.

Was a special counsel needed for that?

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/byron-york-mueller-reveals-tenuous-link-between-manafort-charges-and-trump

Manafort Judge Says He Could Die In Jail

Judge Thomas Ellis III, who is presiding over the second prosecution of Paul Manafort, wrote in a new order that the deposed Trump campaign chief may well spend the rest of his life in prison.

Ellis imposed restrictive bond conditions against Manafort in the new order, concluding the severity of his alleged crimes and his considerable assets incentivize him to flee the country.

“Defendant faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison,” Ellis wrote. “In this regard, he poses a substantial risk of flight and the above-mentioned conditions are the least restrictive conditions that will reasonably assure defendant’s appearance at trial.”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

http://dailycaller.com/2018/03/13/paul-manafort-prison-sentence/

Mueller probe: Manafort hit with new charges after Gates pleads guilty

Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort was hit with new charges on Friday, including an allegation he secretly recruited and funded a group of former European politicians to lobby in the United States on behalf of Ukraine.

The superseding indictment was filed just a couple of hours after Manafort’s business partner, former campaign aide Rick Gates, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to investigators — even while he was negotiating a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Gates is now the third associate of President Donald Trump to strike a cooperation agreement with Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to the campaign.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/former-trump-campaign-aide-rick-gates-set-plead-guilty-n849256

Manafort charged with US tax fraud over Ukraine work 


The 12 charges brought against Mr Manafort and one of his business associates, Rick Gates, include conspiracy to launder money.

They stem from an inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

It has emerged that another adviser to Mr Trump admitted this month to lying about his links to Russia.

George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents about his dealings with an unnamed overseas academic who allegedly informed him that the Russians possessed “dirt” on Mr Trump’s presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41804740