Manafort’s Redaction Fail Tells Trump that Mueller Caught Him Lying about His Russian Handler, Konstantin Kilimnik

Boy do I look stupid! This morning, I suggested that Robert Mueller had finally found a way to shut Paul Manafort up. Then I went away for a few hours, and come back to discover Manafort’s filing on the lies he got caught telling about the information he shared with Konstantin Kilimnik. The redactions covering up details of that information-sharing are easily reversible, showing the following:

Manafort lied about three communications with Kilimnik

Two redactions in a section on Manafort’s interactions with Kilimnik hide that he went to Madrid and listened to a Kilimnik pitch on a peace plan for Ukraine.

(See, e.g., Doc. 460 at 5 (After being shown documents, Mr. Manafort “conceded” that he discussed or may have discussed a Ukraine peace plan with Mr. Kilimnik on more than one occasion); id. at 6 (After being told that Mr. Kilimnik had traveled to Madrid on the same day that Mr. Manafort was in Madrid, Mr. Manafort “acknowledged” that he and Mr. Kilimnik met while they were both in Madrid)).


In fact, during a proffer meeting held with the Special Counsel on September 11, 2018, Mr. Manafort explained to the Government attorneys and investigators that he would have given the Ukrainian peace plan more thought, had the issue not been raised during the period he was engaged with work related to the presidential campaign. Issues and communications related to Ukrainian political events simply were not at the forefront of Mr. Manafort’s mind during the period at issue and it is not surprising at all that Mr. Manafort was unable to recall specific details prior to having his recollection refreshed. The same is true with regard to the Government’s allegation that Mr. Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign. (See Doc. 460 at 6).

He excuses this lie by saying that he was just so busy with the campaign that he didn’t pay attention to the requests his Russian handler was making of him during the campaign.

Perhaps more damning still — given that the Russians were stealing Hillary’s analytics well into September — is the revelation that Manafort shared polling data with Kilimnik, a lie about which Manafort offers no real excuse.

Update: I believe the filing means to say Manafort lied about three things:

  • Sharing polling data from the campaign
  • Discussing a Ukraine peace deal multiple times
  • Meeting in Madrid

Only the first definitively happened in 2016; the confusion regarding the rest stems from Manafort’s excuse that he forgot about it all because he was running a campaign. But a number of his other excuses are stupid so it wouldn’t be surprising if this was.

Manafort claims his pattern of covering for Kilimnik doesn’t amount to a pattern of covering for Kilimnik

Most remarkable, in a brief that addresses three lies about Konstantin Kilimnik and one about Tom Barrack (who is believed to have been in the loop on at least one of their meetings), Manafort’s lawyers claim there’s no pattern here.

Notably, there is no identifiable pattern to Mr. Manafort’s purported misrepresentations – no specific individual or potential crime is identified in the Government’s submission.

I guess, sure, you could say there’s no pattern to the many other people he attempted to protect with his obstruction.

But it’s clear that Kilimnik is a key one, especially given Manafort’s embarrassing lawyer that in spite of Kilimnik’s agreement to help him tamper with witnesses, he can’t say that Kilimnik entered into a conspiracy with him.

Mr. Manafort was asked to agree that Mr. Kilimnik, too, possessed the requisite state of mind to legally establish his guilt. Mr. Manafort balked at this characterization, because he did not believe he could confirm what another person’s internal thoughts or understandings were, i.e., another individual’s state of mind.

Manafort doesn’t much care that Mueller caught him lying

Manafort’s lawyers don’t offer much by way of explanation for his lies. They note he was being held in solitary, suffered from gout, and did not have an opportunity to review documents before telling these lies. But they concede that given the “good faith” standard on breaching the plea agreement they consented to, there’s not much to argue about. So long as Mueller doesn’t charge Manafort further, they won’t contest the finding he breached the agreement, even while claiming the breach was not intentional.

Despite Mr. Manafort’s position that he has not made intentional misstatements, he is not requesting a hearing on the breach issue. As discussed further below – given the highly deferential standard that applies to the Government’s determination of a breach and the Government’s stated intention to limit the effect of the breach determination to its advocacy at sentencing in this case1 – Mr. Manafort suggests that any necessary factual determinations are better addressed as part of the presentencing report (“PSR”) process.

1 Based upon discussions occurring after the November 30 and December 11 hearings, the OSC has advised that the only remedies it currently plans to seek related to the alleged breach relate to its position regarding sentencing in this matter. Should the Government seek to bring additional charges or take any other adverse action beyond its sentencing position, the defendant reserves his right to challenge the Government’s breach determination at that time.

Manafort demands to have more witness testimony before he’ll respond to other details on his lies

In a section on how Tom Barrack paid him via a third party contractor — for what is not yet clear — Manafort suggests he can’t respond because the government hasn’t shared the witness statements of others alleging to the fact.

The Government has indicated that Mr. Manafort’s statements about this payment are inconsistent with those of others, but the defense has not received any witness statements to support this contention.

Then, in a section rebutting his lies about whether or not he had contacts with the Trump Administration, he claims the two instances that Mueller raised don’t really count. He again demands more witness statements.

The first alleged misstatement identified in the Special Counsel’s submission (regarding a text exchange on May 26, 2018) related to a text message from a third-party asking permission to use Mr. Manafort’s name as an introduction in the event the third-party met the President. This does not constitute outreach by Mr. Manafort to the President. The second example identified by the Special Counsel is hearsay purportedly offered by an undisclosed third party and the defense has not been provided with the statement (or any witness statements that form the basis for alleging intentional falsehoods).

Then, even as agreeing there’s no need to have a breach hearing, Manafort asks for more witness statements again.

While a hearing regarding the Government’s “good faith” in declaring a breach of the plea agreement is not necessary, to the extent that there are witness statements that the OSC contends demonstrate Mr. Manafort’s intentional falsehoods, these should be produced to the defense. After having an opportunity to review such statements and any other documentary evidence, the defendant would then suggest that the issues be narrowed during the usual sentencing process in the parties’ submissions to the U.S. Probation Office in the preparation of the PSR.

This mistaken non-redaction conveniently lets co-conspirators know what Mueller shared

I have no idea whether this non-redaction was a colossal mistake or whether this was a cute way to disclose what evidence Mueller has shared with Manafort (remember: these five lies were not the only ones that Manafort told; just the only ones that Mueller wanted to describe).

But even ignoring the redaction fail, the filing feels very contemptuous, as if they’re still playing for a pardon.

Effectively, they’re admitting their client maybe lied or just conveniently forgot to minimize his ongoing conspiracy with someone even Rick Gates has said has ties to Russian intelligence — the same Russian intelligence agency that hacked Democrats. But they don’t think that’s a big deal. They’re just going to double down on obtaining more information on the evidence Mueller has while they wait for the pardon.

Update: Per CNN, Manafort says this Madrid meeting was after the campaign. Okay. That makes the explanation all the more ridiculous. Took out references to the campaign accordingly.

As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

95 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    But even ignoring the redaction fail, the filing feels very contemptuous . . .

    Contemptuousness is apparently a feature, not a bug, of the lawyering on behalf of those involved with the Russian interference in the 2016 US election. See, for example, the latest contemptuous filing by the lawyers for Concord Management & Consulting as they double down on the court after getting their hands slapped for trolling the court the day before.

    ETA: But at least they didn’t quote any profanity-laced lines from movies in this filing.

      • Peterr says:

        See “Jackson, Samuel L.”

        From Anne Branigan at The Root:

        Before we dig into this story, I would first like to apologize to my dad, who once kindly suggested that I maybe, just maybe, give some thought to cussing less in my posts.

        Dad, my condolences, but this will not be one of those posts. . . .

        That line to her dad is a masterful understatement.

        I’ll let you click through to read Anne’s epic introduction leading up to what the world’s foremost expert in MF-ery had to say.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yup. Was gonna hit that next, to talk about how many MSM outlets covered his fucking nude selfie.

    • Rapier says:

      Evidently the white shoes lawyers of old Washington are being superseded by a new generation. The old generation was hushed and oh so proper and there was gentlemanly air about it all.  When circumstances demanded that a political player meet justice the proceedings were done as much as possible with an air of resigned regret that a good person had made one or two bad choices.  Implicit was agreement that the courts legitimately were the highest authority.

      No longer.  Now hard charging Beltway lawyers and  firms gleefully thumb their noses at the courts and explicitly denigrate their authority.  Ultimately the confidence to do this must be based upon some signaling and or reading of the zeitgeist that the days of the rule of law and independent courts are numbered.

      Smart judges vetted by the Federalist Society should get a clue.  The word Judge in front of a name doesn’t make one some kind of demigod. The Party put you in those robes to do a job.

  2. Wajim says:

    Um,I think Trump’s Campaign Chairman meeting with a known GRU officer to pass 2016 campaign data to said officer while discussing a “peace plan” for Ukraine (read: how we can lift sanctions) pretty well establishes “collusion” (that is, conspiracy).

    • Troutwaxer says:

      I must confess to some ignorance here: Is it illegal to pass the Democratic campaign plans to a foreign agent? Is the plan classified or otherwise restricted? Is it only illegal because the foreigners were seeking to influence the election? Or is the only issue here one of perjury? Can one of our legal eagles enlighten me?

      • Avattoir says:

        Shouldn’t you be off somewhere formally registering your status? Oh, wait: yeah, Hair Plug’s lock-out. Well, you weren’t about to comply anyway, at least not til the target letter.

        IAE, a little reminder: over the time since I’ve been involved in such things, many of a criminal conspiracy both properly and successfully prosecuted thru trial and maintained thru the appeal process, has consisted of a number – often a large number, indeed, in more than one case, the vast majority – of acts that are, considered in isolation, range from beyond any argument legal on their face, thru innocuous to at the absolute worst still arguably ambiguous enough to pass for not scream-out-loud illegal.

        But again: when considered in isolation.

        One route to criminal conspiracy is agreeing to do something that’s legally defined as a crime (such as one might find by perusing the U.S. Code).

        Another route to the same place is agreeing to do something that’s at least legal to do – indeed may be among the things you were hired to do in the day job you’ve occupied for years before the conspiracy was formed, or are among your official duties in a position with the government you’ve maintained for decades before the conspiracy was formed, but that in the particular case you’re doing it fully well intending, and expecting or at least hoping, that in the doing of it you know you’re doing your bit in contributing to an illegal goal, outcome or result.

    • Vinnie Gambone says:

      If GRU hacked DNC data analytics, meaning their election models and projections, what of value did Manafort have to give them over and above what they  already had? The data he handed over was presumably GOP product.  So they utilized both sets of data to coordinate targeting? Plus they had the facebook psycho -demographics? The result is micro targeting on a scale  scary to contemplate.  Infuriating  that MSM insist on describing this as “interference”. It’s sabotage.  They didn’t blow up a ship. They blew up an election.

      • roberts robot double says:

        My guess is that (a) their data had on-the-fence metrics that would give the Russians targets to ‘persuade’ via their disinformation campaign, and (b) the staunch RNC people would be more than willing accomplices in forwarding on the propaganda, kindof like an unsecured computer in a doctor’s office being ripe for becoming a cog in a botnet.

      • w says:

        If GRU hacked DNC data analytics, meaning their election models and projections, what of value did Manafort have to give them over and above what they  already had?

        Great question because if you’re right it shifts the focus to the meta-value, so to speak—the value of the act of passing that particular information, as opposed to the substance of it. Said information in itself being of no particular use to them, then the value to them (whatever he thought it was) was as “receipts.” Pretty potent evidence of a quid-pro-quo, made particularly leverage-worthy for being so manifestly election-related.

        • William Bennett says:

          Sorry for posting as “W”–something screwy with autofill, cut off everything but the initial.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      And yet we’ve reached a point where that feels insufficient: that an asymmetric quid pro quo — the call and response that EW has described here — is still somehow not definitive. I think it’s  enough, given the lies upon lies upon lies that have been told from the outset. But “all of this criminal stuff is not a crime” has been the drumbeat.

      It’s as if we’re waiting for the loop to close at the other end of the campaign: a heads-up on hacked documents and stolen analytics, or even a laundering of online active measures data back to the campaign HQ. I suspect we might get that, via Stone or perhaps Parscale.

      • bmaz says:

        If the “all this criminal stuff is not a crime” drumbeat is true, it will come as a great relief to many of my clients.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Manafort’s lawyers write as if the heavily indebted Paul Manafort distinguished between his unpaid work for Trump and his paid/unpaid work with Kilimnik, such that the former distracted from the latter.

    The more likely circumstance is the reverse, or that the work was all part of the same game plan.

    • rip says:

      Of course. we’ve never taken an unpaid consulting arrangement without expecting to be well-rewarded in the end. Of course, some large percentage of these leave me with holding just an IOU but given the rates charged cash-flow was adequate.

    • BobCon says:

      Do they not have the ability to pass this info on to Trump’s side in a different way that is legal?

      I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know whether the redactions are officially just supposed to be for the public, or for everyone outside of the judge and prosecutors.

    • Tech Support says:

      Marcy insinuates that this could have been a deliberate act:

      I have no idea whether this non-redaction was a colossal mistake or whether this was a cute way to disclose what evidence Mueller has shared with Manafort (remember: these five lies were not the only ones that Manafort told; just the only ones that Mueller wanted to describe).

      If I could apply a bit of Occam’s Razor here, I’d like to ask the room for a rationale about why someone might make this move rather than just make the filing unredacted? If there is strategic value here, then IANAL enough to see it.

      Barring motivation for the subterfuge, it’s just as likely that a paralegal got fired today.

      • Peterr says:

        If you are quoting a sealed filing by your opposition (Mueller) or a sealed ruling by the court, you are required to redact it unless you’ve been given permission to reveal it by either the judge or the opposing side.

        Marcy’s right that there are only two ways of looking at this – either it was a mistake or it was deliberate but given the fig leaf of being a mistake. If Manafort’s team did this deliberately and the prosecution can prove it, Team Manafort is going to be in a world of hurt.

      • Avattoir says:

        Yeah, sure: handling the legal affairs of this client “Manafort, P.”  with all the care and standards as any damages claim for a slip & fall in a big box store.

        • Tech Support says:

          I totally understand that analysis, and yet I’d argue it’s foolish to assume that people are somehow less prone to error because of the importance or severity of a situation.

          Once upon a time, NASA tried to put a lander on Mars. (2000 or 2001 IIRC). Lockheed Martin sent the telemetry data to NASA in imperial units. NASA mistakenly assumed the data was in metric. The result was the 100M spacecraft became bug splatter on Mars’s windshield.

          Oops. The capacity for human error is infinite.

          @Peterr’s explanation about the motivation for faking an error makes sense, but it begs a follow-up question: Who would the Manafort camp be trying to leak/disclose to? As far as I’m aware there’s nothing to stop them from continuing to exercise the JDA that is in place with Trump’s representation. If that is true, what third party needed to know the information that was left exposed?

  4. Semanticleo says:

    The high- level arrogance displayed by this Crew is much like those who have never before been held accountable.

    My hope is that WhiteCollar criminals will eventually receive similar justice that street criminals enjoy.  Let us prey…

    • Hops says:

      The Lawfare podcast from 7/18/2018 is interesting. They say the indictment shows the Russian computers were hacked by U.S. Intelligence to the point they knew which GRU officer was on which computer and what they were doing. And consider Corsi’s statement that it was as if Mueller knew what he was typing. Maybe, as Cohen said “Mueller knows everything” or at least, more than one might think possible, due to ongoing surveillance and NSA malware.

      • BobCon says:

        It’s been floated here and there (I think by MW as well) that a lot of the deliberate pace of Mueller may be driven by the effort to develop alternative methods of proving what is already known from intelligence sources and methods that prosecutors (understandably) want to avoid exposing.

      • Erica says:

        If I recall correctly it was the Turkish Intelligence Agency that passed that to the US. They were the one’s who hacked the Russians.

  5. errant aesthete says:

    Reminded of the number one truth re: lying popularized by Pamela Meyer:

    “Lying is a cooperative act. A lie has no power whatsoever by its mere utterance. Its power emerges when someone else agrees to believe the lie.”

    • Tech Support says:

      Yeah I’ve heard that one before. Help me understand why that’s not a smug, intellectual form of victim-blaming?

      • errant aesthete says:

        I work for the organization that trains those “Speech-Act(s)” and “theories,” better known as TED, and apart from your opinion, there is nothing to suggest they are either shallow or dead.

  6. Stephen says:

    Certainly looks intentional. One hopes, however, that Team Mueller anticipated the likelihood of further attempts by Team Manafort to share information with his co-conspirators, and therefore included only a sample of Manafort’s lies – those that do not reflect directly on anyone except Manafort himself.

    That said, the revelation that Trump’s campaign manager was discussing, with Russian intelligence officers, ways to negotiate a peace deal (presumably one that would leave Russia in control of the Crimea but relieve the Putin regime of sanctions) while sharing polling data with those Russians is still quite a bombshell. Not unexpected, but big.

  7. Ewan says:

    I never thought I would say this, but I am rooting for Kelyanne Conway. Yes, she is a ruthless conservative (add more here) who came up with alternative facts, but I hope she is not a traitor. She is the only one who can stop Trump from doing something irreparable that would mean that whoever comes after him only has her/his eyes to cry.

    • Frank Probst says:

      My quick skim makes it seem like the company and the foreign government in question are both redacted.  Did I miss it?

      • Drew says:

        They indeed have carefully redacted out the country & company names. The clearest clue is that the exception to sovereign immunity that the government is asserting is that it concerns an action outside the territory of the United States that has an effect in the United States.

        That could be election tampering, hacking of emails, or something else.

    • Alan says:

      IMO, the claim of “violating foreign law” and the “declaration of a regulator” makes this sound like a banking institution, something similar to a Swiss bank being asked to turn over account info and claiming it is shielded by the Swiss bank privacy laws.

      • Ewan says:

        The Swiss government wouldn’t do what is described in the last part, submit an 11th hour supporting statement hastily written ad hoc.

  8. Rusharuse says:

    Manafort stinks too much now to pardon, time for Don to call up that Greyhound!

    A little bus music please . .

    “I thought Paul was a nice guy, turns out he was a liar, a rogue operator doing all kind of bad stuff behind my back (that I knew nothing about). Sad!”

    • Avattoir says:

      Treating him the same as throwing off Mickey Medallions? Really?

      Plugs & Rugs go back most of 4 decades, maybe more. As genius as Trump ‘knows’ Trump to be (so genius, he needs to hear himself saying it out loud), by the most reliable witness among the ratfuckingest firm ever, Charlie Black said they all – him, Stone, Atwater, everyone of those rodents – considered Rugs their star player, and that’s not something that Trump would have missed, noting especially that Plugs & Rugs were neighbors for years (thus the perceived need for the device of the phony introduction letter supposedly fed thru Tom Barack). And finally, the Trump campaign ran on the Viktor Yanukovych Model, the architect of which was Paul Manafort.

      And to whom was Viktor answerable? Also starts with V … my, my, what friends Rugs has.

      If Plugs were to dismiss Rugs as he did Cohen, that’d go way beyond causing him trouble getting to REM sleep: Plugs’d never be able to close his eyes again.

  9. Eureka says:

    Seems like the extraneous-ish requests for witness statements could be tip-offs to other conspirators about other cooperators or to the identities of witnesses.

    Also, is there a timeframe or number of instances given on the sharing of polling data?

  10. Frank Probst says:

    If we concede that sometimes people make really basic mistakes, how likely is it for this to be a mistake versus intentional?  This is for the lawyers, I guess, because I don’t know how routine paperwork is done in law offices.  Is there specialized software that’s used, or is everyone using Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat like the rest of us?  Specialized software presumably wouldn’t let you make a mistake like this, whereas it would be quite easy to screw this up with Word/Acrobat, especially if you aren’t routinely filing court documents with redactions in them.  And even more narrowly, court documents with redactions that someone will make an effort to unmask.

    • Insert Name Here says:

      At our law office, we find it inconceivable that this could have been a mistake.  Redaction is so commonplace that it is performed at some point in almost every court proceeding.  It would likely be easy to find other instances in this case and others of the same firm where redactions were performed properly.

      The document that was filed appeared to be an MS Word document with the extension “.docx.”  Adobe has a reliable redaction tool, and any competent law firm uses it or another equally reliable program.  I checked several of our own redacted PDF documents and confirmed that the redacted text properly remains hidden.  Adobe’s redaction tool works both with documents scanned to PDF and PDFs that were converted from text documents.

      I’m not a lawyer, but this verges on santionable.

  11. chromiumbook0000 says:

    I don’t mean to keep harping on the fact that ROC, for the most part, has been mysteriously absent from all un-redacted components of the filings…BUT:), if we remove the fallacy that S!ter & C0hen were minor players in Trump’s universe (they were major players and I will gladly provide detailed info to anyone who challenged that), and if Sater, Cohen & Artamenko discussed a Ukraine peace deal and presented it to Flynn…And if Manafort & Kilimnik discussed a Ukraine peace deal…And since it’s highly likely that the S!ter & C0hen channel had a Ukrainian/ROC (ie Solnt/Brava or other) connection and since we know that both (i) Manafort’s Ukrainian political connections are closely tied to Ukrainian/ROC connections; and (ii) that any Ukrainian/ROC members who are powerful enough to even be a player in this game would know that they could not be involved in the game, never mind present an actual plan, without Put1n’s approval…..I don’t know, I just keep on struggling with the dots with this aspect

  12. MattyG says:

    Are his lawyers looking to put their client in a “better light” by directing attention to our most esteemed president?

  13. Zinsky says:

    This is almost the smoking, or at least simmering, gun that will put away Trump and most of his creepy, soulless family.  Good riddance – it can’t come fast enough!

  14. Niveah says:

    Doesn’t the fact that Mueller accused Manafort of lying about giving Kilimnik data mean Mueller has *other* proof Manfort gave the data to Kilimnik?

    And isn’t that a huge deal, suggesting that Mueller already has evidence of the quid pro quo that does *not* depend on Manafort’s testimony?

    What could such evidence be? How much of the quid pro quo does it prove?

  15. oldoilfieldhand says:

    It’s okay Marcy, I’m still a believer in your ability to see through redactions!

    O/T until 9:00 E.T.     Trump’s “edifice complex”* is starting to crumble. Trump lied about the living former Presidents and they have called him on his transparent duplicity, denying any discussions on the benefit and lost opportunity of building a border wall. The Presindebt is losing it, big time, and the multiple manifestations of his insanity are glaringly evident. Liars, even brilliant ones (and Trump is not one), eventually get caught. Mueller is holding all the cards and Trump is too narcissistic and delusional to realize that his bluff is no longer effective; he is raising the stakes, drawing to an inside straight. Preoccupation with anything Trump says is the pastime of an idle media! Time for the corporate media to find a new shiny object, Trump is toast.

    * H/T to Paul Krugman: gifted writer, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics and music lover who is unafraid to call a fraud by name.

    • roberts robot double says:

      And it looks like he understands that if the government is shut down, a lot of the cases he is embroiled in slow way, way down. Whitaker has already used it as an excuse to delay his appearance in front of the House.

      • P J Evans says:

        Neither Congress nor the cabinet officers have been shut down, so I’d tell him that the date stands and to get his ass to the Capitol.

    • Diviz says:

      Does anyone know someone who is live-blogging or live-tweeting the what-have-you at 9pm tonight? I can’t bear to hear his voice or see his vile mannerisms.

  16. Jharp says:

    How does one get gout in jail?

    One, it is easily prevented with medication.

    Secondly, gout flare ups are from excessive alcohol, too much red meat or shellfish, organ meats, sardines…

    • Frank Probst says:

      I think the claim is that he HAS gout, not that he’s DEVELOPED gout.  It’s entirely plausible that he had it when he initially landed in jail.  As for “easily prevented”, well, it’s not so easy in some cases.  And with many diseases that have “flare-ups” with asymptomatic periods in between them, a lot of people choose to only take meds when they’re having flare-ups rather than taking them all the time.  If that’s the case, I wouldn’t consider it to be an unreasonable course of action.

        • Frank Probst says:

          I doubt it.  I’m not familiar with the criteria for a medical release from jail/prison, so I’m essentially a layperson on this topic, but the cases I’ve read about in the media have usually involved some sort of terminal diagnosis (i.e., you’re going to die fairly soon).  Gout wouldn’t qualify.  He may truly be in significant pain, though.  The CDC’s most recent criteria for pain management in non-cancer patients (which I am not a fan of) are very stingy about the use of narcotics for chronic pain.  The doctors who see prison patients are probably even stingier than the guidelines recommend.  I would imagine that many patients exaggerate the severity of their pain to try to obtain meds that can be traded with other patients.  Manafort’s in solitary, so I doubt he’s doing this.  He may be exaggerating his pain levels in order to garner sympathy from anyone and everyone involved in his case, which would be totally in character for him, but I’m not seeing anything to suggest that his symptoms are unusual for someone with moderate-to-severe gout, so I’d err on the side of believing him and treating him accordingly.

          • Tech Support says:

            Right. This strikes me as just part of a standard effort to build sympathy for the defendent.

            “He’s old and sick and won’t get far on foot. Don’t treat him like he’s Darth Vader or something.”

            FWIW, even if he’s taking his medication (most likely Allopurinol) regularly to address his Gout (the accumulation of Uric Acid Crystals in the lower extremities due to overproduction and/or under-elimination or Uric Acid in the bloodstream), solitary confinement would certainly have the potential to exacerbate symptoms either because of being extremely sedentary or because of mild-to-moderate dehydration.

  17. Jharp says:

    Not a lawyer but was wondering.

    If Mueller does indeed think the failed redaction was done purposely in order to share information with Trump and others what is to keep Mueller from subpoenaing the preparer of the documents and forcing them to testify under oath that it wasn’t intentional?

    Thanks in advance for shedding any light on this.

  18. Eureka says:

    Corsi is on Ari Melber right now- yes, again, not a rerun (took me a minute to figure this out)

    ADD: yup, definitely different episode- this time a story about Little Jerome and Daddy, last time was about his Mommy.

    • Eureka says:

      Gist caveats:  I caught just part of it, am not sure how much is ‘news,’ and absent a transcript, likely missed qualifiers that could (be intended to) change the story entirely:
      •He was interviewed for ~ 40 hours (aside:  my sympathies to his interlocutors)
      •~’certainly’ the last 20 of those hours were spent on the Stone (Corsi) Assange/WL connection
      •He has a new righteous book out
      •Ari called him on his Aug. 2 email to Stone, said Corsi’s ‘Word is…’-phrasing is not so compatible with how someone would speak had they actually deduced WikiLeaks’ dumping plans. 
      •When pressed- as last time when Ari pressed on an implausible point- Corsi goes to the essence of ‘Jerry’ (sp.), this time as reflected by his father.  Something about young Jerry making lots of deductions which are ~ usually right and having trouble getting people to believe him.  Another prescient parental parable.  Shoulda listened to Mom and Dad, Jerry! 
      •A reference he made to scrubbing a computer was re an old desktop belonging to his wife
      •He deleted the pre-Oct 2016 emails because (sigh) he had a 17-inch laptop that was dying and he needed to make space (sigh, sigh).  But the emails were on some ~ backup device he also handed over.
      •They talk about Stone trashing him in public; pretty sure Corsi said ~’I don’t mind being disparaged in public’
      •~ “Roger may have a different perception’ and ‘that’s ok’ re their respective testimonies
      •Ari, at end, cites Corsi’s 40 hours before the “grand jury”- Corsi doesn’t correct him, though earlier said the 40 hours were ~ ‘interrogation and discussion’

  19. Jharp says:


    Read the entire piece and thank you.

    But took note of this sentence.

    “Even before Manafort was spotted in a wheelchair with a bandaged foot prompting gout speculation”

    As a sufferer of gout who has shared many stories with other victims I do not recall even one instance of bandaging a foot affected by gout.

    I do recall gout hurting so bad that one couldn’t even have a bedsheet covering it at bedtime.

  20. Jenny says:

    Manafort might considering firing his lawyers. 
    He is alleged to have met Kilimnik in Madrid sharing polling data and discussed Ukraine peace plan.
    Is this collusion, corruption or obstruction by a campaign manager for Trump?

  21. ac says:

    i don’t see a reason manafort’s attorney’s would expose themselves to liability like this. it just makes no sense for them to risk doing such a thing purposely.

  22. Sam Penrose says:

    “especially given Manafort’s embarrassing lawyer that in spite of Kilimnik’s agreement to help him tamper with witnesses, he can’t say that Kilimnik entered into a conspiracy with him.”

    -> embarrassing admission? embarrassing statement?

  23. Bet Mulligan says:

    The first think I thought when I heard the news about the redaction fail was that this is a message to Trump and maybe Pence.  And that made me wonder why Manafort would still be feeding the White House Mueller info?  It can’t be to solidify a pardon or change the take home exam.  I wonder if there are other people he’s talking to?

  24. JAAG says:

    Did Veselitskaya get a Visa after the MSNBC story on the Prevezon case demonstrated she faked evidence with the russian government to help her client?

  25. Trip says:

    I’m not watching Trump, but Marcy’s coverage on her twitter feed is both informative and entertaining. 4 stars.

    • Eureka says:

      I lost track of time- I meant to tune in when Pelosi (Schumer) came on.  Guess I missed it all.  AOC is on Maddow now.

  26. skua says:


    The Trump-circle “push-back” game plan may include using “as the innocent are punished for crimes they didn’t commit” to explain away appearance of wrong-doing and arouse righteous indignation in the base. (Phrase from Tucker Carlsen’s “How we got here” performance of ~4 Jan ’19.)

    The contemptuousness in filings designed for public consumption is consistent with this model.

    It is an expression of openly faux anger by the defendants who pretend to see themselves as being so mistreated. The “faux” part of this is interesting, why aren’t they trying for the appearance of “genuine anger”?

  27. David Sanger says:

    as to redactions, who is normally responsible for them, when are they allowed and who decides?

    I can see Mueller requesting certain reductions to protect his case(s) but does the defendant also get to choose what to reveal or not? or the court?

  28. Troutwaxer says:

    @ Avattoir “Shouldn’t you be off somewhere formally registering your status? Oh, wait: yeah, Hair Plug’s lock-out. Well, you weren’t about to comply anyway, at least not til the target letter.”

    There’s no need for that level of rudeness. I’m not a Trump fan in any way, shape, or form. I’m just legally ignorant and wanted to know the details, for which I thank you.

  29. Alan says:

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave his role in the coming weeks, multiple sources familiar with his plans told ABC News.

    Rosenstein has communicated to President Donald Trump and White House officials his plan to depart the administration around the time William Barr, Trump’s nominee for attorney general, would take office following a Senate confirmation.

    Sources told ABC News Rosenstein wants to ensure a smooth transition to his successor and would accommodate the needs of Barr, should he be confirmed.

  30. Trip says:

    Christopher Miller‏Verified account @ChristopherJM

    While Kilimnik told me that Manafort wasn’t involved in drafting the plan, he said: “If there’s a serious project that is pro-Ukrainian and can bring peace to this country, then [Manafort] will be back.” Yday’s US court filing undermine’s Kilimnik’s claim Manafort wasn’t involved…Interesting that Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni has told media the Manafort-Kilimnik Madrid meeting took place in January or February 2017, after presidential campaign. When I met Kilimnik in Kyiv in Feb 2017, he said that he hadn’t seen Manafort in months (though still spoke.)

    Here’s Kilimnik’s first reference to a Ukraine “peace plan,” which he discussed with me in February 2017 for the below story. Dubbed the “Mariupol plan,” it would bring Yanukovych back to Ukraine as a regional leader in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

  31. Thomas says:

    It’s possible that we will get previously undisclosed details now that the House will pursue things that the House Republicans decided to cover up.
    The backflips that Nunes and others did in order to cover up for Carter Page and turn him into a wrongfully accused hero, will almost certainly be exposed.
    The timeline of Page’s Moscow visit in 2016 and his subsequent communications with the Trump campaign will fill in some of the quid pro quo, I predict.
    In a previous post I argued that a form of communication was used by the Trump campaign to obscure any direct connections:
    Person A communicates with messenger A1, and messenger A1 communicates with messenger B1. Messenger B1 communicates with Person B, WHO THEN ANSWERS by communicating with messenger B2, who then communicates with messenger A2, who then communicates with Person A.
    Use of different intermediaries (and even, different networks of intermediaries) is designed to obscure the communications of Person A and Person B as unrelated, incidental or happenstance contacts between various associates of each.
    If Mueller has cracked even one of these (Manafort/Kilimnick) he is likely to scrutinize other possible networks.
    My hypotheses is that Page and Papadapoulos are two such messengers.
    In addition, the effort to create a “back channel” during the transition was likely an effort to discard the previous intermediaries (who were being monitored, Page eg) and establish a new, more efficient communication process.
    Later, Trump sought to create an independent intelligence network, and this is related to the sanctioned Russian spy chiefs being waivered in to meet with their counterparts in the US.
    Finally, Trump himself may have engaged in espionage in Helsinki, and remember the desire to question Trump’s interpreter, the only American person besides Trump in the room ?
    One account: CIA claims their Russian contacts went dark. I’m not accurate with regard to timing on this one. It may be related to espionage by Trump or his intermediaries, but perhaps not related to Helsinki.
    Not just bribery, racketeering and obstruction, but perhaps espionage and sabatoge as well.

  32. Thomas says:

    As I noted above, Kremlin sources were reported, on Aug 24 2018 to have gone silent.

    I wasn’t sure if I read this account after the Helsinki meeting with Trump and Putin took place in July 2018, but I did.
    If Trump compromised those sources by divulging them to Putin, we can add espionage and sabatoge to his other impeachable crimes. Trump’s Helsinki interpreter needs to be questioned.
    Two other events that need scrutiny are 1) Trumps invitation to Russian officials to the oval office after firing Comey and 2) The inexplicable waiver of sanctioned Russian spy chiefs to meet in the US with Trump’s intel appointees.

    Another inexplicable event from Jan 2018: Trump getting billions for unspecified “intelligence purposes.”
    This too possibly points to another evolution of his clandestine campaign communications with Russia.

    If I am correct about this, then Democrats on the House Intel Committee were certainly left out of the loop on this program, but they won’t be any longer.

    While presidents have wide latitude to conduct intelligence operations, an intelligence operation used to circumvent intelligence operations by our spy agencies for the purpose of undermining US interests in favor of a foreign adversary is certainly a violation of the constitution.
    Going beyond conspiracy during the campaign to acting as a Russian agent while in office:
    1) firing the officials in the sanctions office
    2) not enforcing sanctions
    3) attempting to close the sanctions office
    4) extortion of our allies (NATO)
    5) undermining our treaties with allies (North Korea)
    6) Adopting Russian propaganda instead of our own Intel (Poland will invade Belarus, Montenegro will start WW3, Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was justified etc)
    7) and, perhaps, compromising our spies.
    One last thought. Konstantin Kilimnick was being held by Ukrainian authorities. Mueller was negotiating his extradition.
    Trump pressured Ukraine to let him go, and then bribed them with missiles. They let him go. He is now in Russia. Ukraine has ceased all cooperation with Mueller.
    Any statement from Putin on selling missiles to Ukraine? Nope. It was more important to get Kilimnick to Russia.
    Ironically, Trump’s “good faith pledge” on the quid pro quo was to strip the “sell missiles to Ukraine” language out of the GOP platform.

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