Judge gets impatient at Paul Manafort trial

Mar 18, 2018
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It feels like we’re in an episode of Black Mirror where we now defend those that cheat and steal from our banking system and celebrate overt sexual harrasement. Such an odd time to be alive to witness this dumpster fire.
If you accuse someone of cheating you need to explain how the cheated not what they got from cheating.
 

infinitys_7th

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The trial just started on Monday and people are like "ok that's enough nothing to see here!"


:ROFLMAO:
Oh, I'm sure there is something to see. Manafort got lots of untaxed money while he worked at the Podesta group in the mid 00s.

Just nothing to see with regards to the 2016 campaign.
 
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Crime is crime. I believe in law and order, so if Manafort is found guilty of breaking laws in the US code, then he should be penalized by whatever the relevant statutes require.
Edit: Posted link for UK by mistake

White Collar Prosecutions Fall to Lowest in 20 Years

http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/514/

Why Corrupt Bankers Avoid Jail

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/31/why-corrupt-bankers-avoid-jail

Why should the US make an example out of Paul?

Again, it looks like this is about Manafort refusing to flip on Pres. Trump rather than the principle of law and order. A lot of big shots in the US are getting paid. And no one in charge is taking action.

Dig into Deutsche Bank with some of the best and brightest minds coupled with a decent budget and see what turns up.

No one important really cares about Paul Manafort unless he has the goods on Pres. Trump.

And if he's expecting a blanket pardon on Federal stuff and/or doesn't have what prosecutors want then why waste time on a small time guy like him?
 
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phisheep

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If you accuse someone of cheating you need to explain how the cheated not what they got from cheating.
We're still early on in the trial, but you need to do both. Let's take that snakeskin jacket as an example.

It is relevant to the case that Manafort bought the jacket (because it was purchased by him, in his own name, with funds not disclosed to his accountant and therefore not included in his business accounts or tax returns); that it was for his own personal use (because otherwise it might be a legitimate business expense if he were in the business of buying and selling clothing); that it was found in his house and embroidered inside with his initials (because it demonstrates personal use).

It is a short step from that - for which there needs to be additional evidence of course - to conclude that any income into that account was Manafort's personal income and to tie it through bank records to a particular tax year and source.

But all this is the level of detail you need to go through in order to prove stuff in court.

So, why should the US make an example out of a small time white collar criminal like Paul Manafort assuming the allegations stand up in court?

Prosecutors looked the other way as he did as he pleased for decades if the allegations are accurate. Now for some reason he's being harrassed in 2018.
As you suggest, an awful lot of white collar crime doesn't get prosecuted. But that's not because of prosecutors sitting on their asses, it is mostly for lack of evidence. Without whistleblowers it's often hard to know that a crime has even been committed, and even harder to collect evidence.

Example: many years ago I had a bookkeeper arrested for fraud (she went to jail) - but even though the two of us were working in the same tiny office it took me three months to work out what was going on in sufficient detail to get the police involved. Even then, the company would probably have covered it up had she not accidentally stolen a lot more than she intended to - because having an employee tried for fraud is really really bad PR for any business.

In comparison, Manafort - if the allegations are true - is far from small-time.

What about this. Ya the source isn't great, but you can check out the interviews on (I know LOL) FOX news. Maybe its all a lie and Manafort wasn't exonorated. Would like some more follow up on this story that doesn't seem to be gaining any traction.

http://www.bizzyblog.com/2018/07/31/appalling-media-negligence-manafort-was-exonerated-8-years-ago-federal-prosecutors-led-by-rosenstein-declined-to-charge-him/
Prosecutors don't go round exonerating people. If they don't bring charges it is down to lack of evidence. New evidence can bring charges and, if these reports are true, that's what has happened here.
 
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As you suggest, an awful lot of white collar crime doesn't get prosecuted. But that's not because of prosecutors sitting on their asses, it is mostly for lack of evidence. Without whistleblowers it's often hard to know that a crime has even been committed, and even harder to collect evidence.

Example: many years ago I had a bookkeeper arrested for fraud (she went to jail) - but even though the two of us were working in the same tiny office it took me three months to work out what was going on in sufficient detail to get the police involved. Even then, the company would probably have covered it up had she not accidentally stolen a lot more than she intended to - because having an employee tried for fraud is really really bad PR for any business.

In comparison, Manafort - if the allegations are true - is far from small-time.

Prosecutors don't go round exonerating people. If they don't bring charges it is down to lack of evidence. New evidence can bring charges and, if these reports are true, that's what has happened here.
I completely disagree but appreciate your opinion.

Fraud has exploded in the US yet prosecutions and convictions aren't following suit. It suggests this isn't a top concern for US prosecutors. I don't see how it suggests that there is mostly a lack of evidence. Or if charges aren't brought it's down to a lack of evidence. A lot people are living large and above the law in the US. There's no reason to spin what's in plain sight.

When Republicans under the leadership of Reagan and Bush were in charge years ago, they did a much better job with a lot less "evidence" and were far more aggressive. It's not like that anymore.

Nowadays, whistleblowers are providing the goods on virtually every major institution in the US. Many of the biggest white collar fines in US history that you've seen in the news was because of the unglamorous legwork by whistleblowers.

The woman from the JP Morgan incident is a great example of how these people are risking it all to make a strong criminal as well as a civil case for the govt. They end up shocked because prosecutors aren't interested in taking action on everything they're telling them. The govt lets the statute of limitations run out and the whistleblower watches everyone they accused of wrongdoing walk away untouched. Maybe you can handwave that away in your mind by asserting nothing significant happened or the evidence isn't strong enough, but the truth is some people play by a different set of rules. You don't receive the same treatment because you're not seen as on the same level.

With that said, I don't see why you think Manafort is more than small time if the allegations against him are true.

If he was a big shot, he would walk away like thousands of other people. Why would he be in a US courtroom for white collar crimes? You're not a big shot because you bought an ostrich jacket. Or because you're on the lower end of multimillionaire status.

American firms are laundering billions of $s left and right for drug cartels, terrorists, and foreign nations like Russia. Guys like Paul Manafort are small clients. They're the sucker that's used and abused as institutions like Deutsche Bank for example move their small money around with a wink and a nod until they're no longer useful. To say Manafort is far from small time is naive. He's a tiny cog in a fraudulent machine worst case scenario. A lot of people are committing fraud and coming up with fraud schemes on a scale Manafort could never approach in 100 lifetimes. We can pretend Manafort is causing havoc via fraud, but that's not why he's in trouble. The gov't thinks he has something on Trump, but he's not talking for whatever reason.
 

All Hail C-Webb

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I hear it was interesting in court today.
Manafort is going to be pissed when realizes he can't take his custom ostrich jumpsuit to prison after sentencing.
 
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gates going on the stand again today:

Gates, 46, testified on Monday that he helped falsify Manafort’s tax returns and hide his foreign bank accounts used to receive income from wealthy pro-Russia Ukrainian businessmen.

Gates, who also was an official on Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty in February to lying to investigators and conspiring to defraud the United States and agreed to cooperate in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

On Monday Gates testified that he has met with prosecutors about 20 times. It is unclear what other information he may have provided to Mueller’s team.

Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty to 18 counts of bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.
Throughout the trial, they have tried to pin the blame for financial misdeeds on Gates, whom they also have accused of embezzling millions from Manafort’s consulting firm.

Gates admitted on Monday that he did steal money through inflated expense reports, but he said it was hundreds of thousands of dollars, not millions.

Manafort’s lawyers are expected to use the theft to try to undermine Gates’ credibility as a witness. They also are likely to bring up his making false statements to investigators.

Some observers who watched Gates’ testimony on Monday said they thought he was credible.

“He’s not an honest person,” said Susan Elson, 69, a retired attorney who came from Annapolis to watch the trial. “But I think he has totally folded. I don’t believe he’s holding anything back at this point.”

Later, with the jury out of earshot, Ellis raised his voice at Greg Andres, scolding him for looking down when he was speaking to him and unnecessarily dragging the wealthy Ukrainian businessmen’s names “through the mud.”

Andres told him it was crucial to be allowed explain the role that oligarchs play in Ukraine’s political system.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to not explain to the jury why these people are paying Mr. Manafort,” Andres said.




https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-manafort/star-witness-to-take-stand-for-second-day-in-manafort-trial-idUSKBN1KS10W
 

JCK75

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Starting right off with a whataboutism on the Clintons.

I can see this is going to be another unbiased political thread here on NewGAF.

Normally I'd agree with you but Manafort was with Clintons folks (The Podestas) who are guilty of the same crime, he had no ties to Trump when these crimes were committed..
Seriously if they give Tony Podesta immunity here it's going to look VERY bad for the probe, clearly showing it's about taking down Trump more than the actual crimes committed.
 
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Normally I'd agree with you but Manafort was with Clintons folks (The Podestas) who are guilty of the same crime, he had no ties to Trump when these crimes were committed..
Seriously if they give Tony Podesta immunity here it's going to look VERY bad for the probe, clearly showing it's about taking down Trump more than the actual crimes committed.
That immunity thing was more bullshit coming out of fox news (tucker in this case).

Either way it's already know that Podesta is working with the prosecutors already.

https://www.vox.com/2018/7/31/17637426/robert-mueller-ukraine-lobbyists-tony-podesta-vin-weber-greg-craig

(also it's The Podesta Group, not "the podestas" which implies that john podesta is wrapped up in this)

Both the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs said they are cooperating with the special counsel, according to the Washington Post.
 

JCK75

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That immunity thing was more bullshit coming out of fox news (tucker in this case).

Either way it's already know that Podesta is working with the prosecutors already.

https://www.vox.com/2018/7/31/17637426/robert-mueller-ukraine-lobbyists-tony-podesta-vin-weber-greg-craig

(also it's The Podesta Group, not "the podestas" which implies that john podesta is wrapped up in this)

Nobody said immunity happened, they are working with them for what? to suffer the consequences of committing the crime together with Manafort? or to have to court go easy on them.
If they were to get off without jail time it would look bad.
 
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Dude Abides

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Nobody said immunity happened, they are working with them for what? to suffer the consequences of committing the crime together with Manafort? or to have to court go easy on them.
If they were to get off without jail time it would look bad.
What crime, exactly, do you think Tony Podesta committed? What crime did John Podesta commit?
 

JCK75

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You realize this trial is much more about money laundering and tax evasion rather than FARA violations, right?

You also realize Tony and John are two different people, correct?
I realize it's not about Russian Collusion... but glad you know that too. And the Podesta group is heavily tied to the Obama administration, the Clinton Campaign and the DNC directly.. Tony is taking the bullet which would be big of him if he didn't know he'd walk away clean.
 

Dude Abides

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I realize it's not about Russian Collusion... but glad you know that too. And the Podesta group is heavily tied to the Obama administration, the Clinton Campaign and the DNC directly.. Tony is taking the bullet which would be big of him if he didn't know he'd walk away clean.
This has nothing to do with what I asked. If you’re just going to repeat The_Donald talking points we’ll just be done.
 

danielberg

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This will probably end up with Manafort not being guilty or not guilty of much, gates being guilty of stealing millions from Manafort and Mueller being embarrassed by the whole thing.
 
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Trump surges to fore of Manafort trial

Trump’s name, his 2016 campaign and his inauguration came up several times during the trial’s sixth day, the most by far in the bank- and tax-fraud case brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. While the case does not directly involve the president, on Tuesday Trump became an unmistakable presence in the background.

Documents and testimony spelled out Manafort’s myriad ties to Trump and his 2016 White House run. They showed that Manafort sought to ease his financial pressures by trading on his influence in Trump’s orbit. His longtime deputy, Rick Gates, said it was “possible” he had stolen money from Trump’s inauguration committee. And Gates described the roles that he and Manafort had played in Trump’s winning campaign.

The court even learned that Manafort’s ties to Trump extend well beyond the 2016 campaign. A 2013 document entered into evidence showed that Manafort planned to share his New York Yankee season tickets with the then-real estate mogul and reality television star.
In an interview with POLITICO Tuesday, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani dismissed the significance of the frequent references to the president, and derided Gates’s credibility. “Who can tell when he’s telling the truth?” Giuliani asked.

U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis has all but banned explicit discussion of the president and his campaign. During opening statements last week, Manafort defense attorney Tom Zehnle referred vaguely to Manafort’s role in “the candidacies of … multiple U.S. presidents,” but avoided mentioning Trump by name.
In an email with the subject line, “URGENT: INAUGURAL INVITATION LISTS – FINAL,” Manafort sent Gates an updated slate of people to be invited. “This list supercedes [sic] everything else and should be the one used,” Manafort wrote.

Another email released by prosecutors as part of the same court exhibit appears to show that Calk asked Manafort for at least 11 inauguration tickets and the former Trump campaign chairman put all the names on a lengthy list Manafort forwarded to Gates.
Trump’s name also surfaced in an unexpected way as Mueller’s prosecutors presented a March 2013 memo authored by Gates detailing a phone call with Manafort on a range of topics, from working on that year’s tax returns to offshore business accounts.

Near the very bottom: a line about Manafort’s New York Yankees season tickets, and a plan for “tickets going to Trump next week.”
Speaking to POLITICO on Tuesday afternoon, Giuliani said any efforts Manafort made for Calk didn’t have much traction with the Trump operation.

“He got no position in the government,” Giuliani said.

Asked about the position the bank executive did secure on the campaign’s economy advisory board, the president’s lawyer said: “That is a volunteer thing.”

Giuliani said it was unclear whether Gates actually defrauded Trump’s inaugural committee, suggesting that Gates can't be trusted.

Giuliani had a curt reaction to the evidence indicating Trump may have taken advantage of Manafort’s Yankees tickets at one point.

“So what?” the former New York mayor said. “I think I have better seats than him at Yankee Stadium. I’m right behind the catcher. Before he was president he sat with me.”
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/08/trump-manafort-trial-766439
 

phisheep

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This morning, Manafort's attorneys brought up the previous FBI interview in cross-examining Gates:

CourtHouseNews said:
The bulk of questions posted to Gates this morning by defense lawyer Kevin Downing focused on the interview Gates gave to the FBI in 2014 about lobbying work performed for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych by Davis Manafort Partners International.

Gates said that, at Manafort’s direction, he told the FBI in that interview about various offshore accounts Manafort controlled.

“He indicated that we should be open and provide the information about the questions that had been asked of us,” Gates said.
I'm not convinced this is a good thing for him to raise. He may well have told the FBI about these accounts, but it is clear from previous witnesses that he didn't tell his accountants and didn't tell the IRS. And that amounts to a pretty brazen level of fraud. I expect that to come up in closing argument for the prosecution.
 

Nobody_Important

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This trial is far more entertaining than what I was expecting. Watching other trump associates squirm and sweat over Rick Gates testimony was rather hilarious.
 
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This morning, Manafort's attorneys brought up the previous FBI interview in cross-examining Gates:



I'm not convinced this is a good thing for him to raise. He may well have told the FBI about these accounts, but it is clear from previous witnesses that he didn't tell his accountants and didn't tell the IRS. And that amounts to a pretty brazen level of fraud. I expect that to come up in closing argument for the prosecution.
That's exactly the angle they are going for. "Look how much he embezzled and lied, can we really trust him to not be lying? Also he did everything without manafort knowing".
 
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The federal judge overseeing the Paul Manafort trial conceded Thursday morning that he made a mistake in chastising special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors a day earlier in front of the jury.
Addressing the jurors before prosecutors called their first witness of the day, U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis said he “may well have been wrong” on Wednesday when he slammed the Mueller team for allowing an expert witness from the IRS to remain in the courtroom while other witnesses were testifying.

Typically, witnesses aren't supposed to hear anyone else's testimony in a trial so they don't influence each other, but Mueller’s team got Ellis’ permission during the trial’s opening arguments last week to have the IRS official in the court on a regular basis.
“This robe doesn’t make me anything other than human,” Ellis told the court on Thursday morning after instructing the jury to forget what he had said to the Mueller team about the IRS witness. “You’ve got to put that aside.”
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/09/paul-manafort-trial-day-8-judge-ellis-769889
 

NickFire

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Bold move.

(Remember all the stupid shit from fox news casters about calling Rosenstein to the stand? :pie_roffles:)

https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5b73023fe4b03d52e490e0c9/amp
Its not really that bold or uncommon. Its a strategic risk that at least one juror will say they are not going to convict someone when the case against them revolves around a known liar who is testifying to save themselves from the frying pan, and that giving the prosecutor the chance to cross examine defense witnesses would possibly bolster the known liar's testimony. I would also guess that part of the reasoning involves an expectation of a pardon and wanting to avoid locking in a story that may need to be retold at a state level some day.
 
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Third day of delibartions.

hill opinion(hit) piece:

Paul Manafort never believed the rules applied to him; I know — I worked with him for a decade

I saw in Manafort no evident distress about the collateral damage that unfolded, the lives that were damaged or lost. He could self-justify anything. And as time went on, it seemed to me that he became all about the money. I and my colleagues were left to defend the extravagant expenses he charged to our clients.

I watched Paul Manafort bend and break the rules, and so did everyone else, until eventually the firm’s new management asked him to leave. I left him too.