If you’re trying to figure out how the upcoming trial in Virginia involving a minor player within the Trump campaign charged with fraud long before he associated with the president gets us to Russian collusion you’re not alone.
The “show-trial” of Paul Manafort, thus far is the culmination of almost 2-years worth of investigations at an estimated cost to the taxpayer between $4 and 5 million dollars, according to Justice Department records.
The charges against Manafort are perhaps justification by the Mueller team that something has been accomplished in their Russian collusion probe, even though the trial has nothing to do with Russians meddling within the 2016 election.
Moreover, the high-stakes drama will in actuality have both Manafort and Mueller on trial in Virginia if Manafort is somehow found “not guilty” of bank and tax fraud — although the charges against him have been well documented.
Mueller’s initial mandate of Russian collusion by the Trump Administration regardless of the outcome is falling apart. In fact, unless there’s an 11th-hour “smoking-gun” the so-called Mueller investigation simply proves that the probe began with fraudulent information gathered by corrupt political operatives looking to destroy the Trump candidacy at all costs. Not to mention, both Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein suffer from massive “conflicts-of-interest.”
The trial, which is scheduled to begin with jury selection Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, will pit Special Counsel Robert Mueller against former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.
Manafort stands accused of living a lavish lifestyle that includes expensive cars, a 3-million dollar brownstone in Brooklyn and more than 1-million dollars worth of clothing and accessories.
Mueller and his cronies will attempt to extrapolate Manafort’s criminal bank and tax fraud from his luxurious lifestyle and if convicted Manafort could face decades of prison time.
Which once again begs the question, “what about Russian collusion”? The apparent real reason for the Mueller “dog and pony” show, is to “flip” Manafort so that he will testify against President Trump.
Perhaps the best explanation as to why Mueller decided to throw everything at Manafort came from presiding Judge T.S. Ellis III. In May, Judge Ellis harshly criticized the Mueller team in a preliminary hearing suggesting the motive behind pursuing the case against the 69-year-old ex-Trump aid was only a means to get to the president.
Stating to the Mueller team, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort, you really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever.”
Mueller Prosecutor Greg Andres acknowledged during the preliminary hearing to Judge Ellis, “I don’t anticipate that a government witness will utter the word ‘Russia.'”
However, Ellis ultimately allowed the case to continue, stating that the prosecution of Manafort fell within Mueller’s broad authority to investigate Russian meddling within the 2016 election and beyond.
The trial is expected to last (after jury selection), about 3-weeks, focusing on Manafort’s alleged laundering of funds, and hiding millions of dollars from his lobbyist activities while working in behalf of the Ukrainian government and his alleged ties of deposed pro-Russian leader Viktor Yanukovych.
Yet, whether Manafort is found innocent or guilty of the charges seems a moot point for the Trump team, in that Manafort’s questionable activities were many years before Donald Trump ran for the presidency.