Paul Manafort Sold Out Donald Trump — and His Anonymous Leakers Are Lying about It Publicly

Back when Paul Manafort’s lawyers redaction fail first revealed that Manafort lied about sharing polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, someone made the following claim to the NYT:

Both Mr. Manafort and Rick Gates, the deputy campaign manager, transferred the data to Mr. Kilimnik in the spring of 2016 as Mr. Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination, according to a person knowledgeable about the situation. Most of the data was public, but some of it was developed by a private polling firm working for the campaign, according to the person.

Given what appears in the breach hearing transcript, that appears to be a totally blatant lie. And Manafort’s lawyers appear to have made similar cynical lies in that hearing to deny what Manafort had actually done.

For reference, here are the other filings on Manafort’s breach:

The data was incredibly detailed

The discussion of the polling data starts on page 82. Judge Amy Berman Jackson starts by noting that Manafort tried to deny the data had been shared and claimed at one point that it was just public data.

He said it just was public information.

Later in the hearing, when Manafort’s lawyers suggest that this was mostly public data — part of the claim that someone leaked to the NYT — ABJ asked then why the pollster (this is probably a reference to Tony Fabrizio, whom Mueller met with in the weeks before Rick Gates flipped and after Gates first revealed that they had shared the data) was making so much money.

In response, Richard Westling, from the same defense team working so hard to claim this was public data, then wildly shifted, arguing that the data was so detailed it would be meaningless to someone like him. In response, ABJ notes that that’s what makes the sharing of it so important.

But, as Weissmann lays out, not only had Kilimnik worked for Manafort (and therefore with this pollster, Fabrizio) for many years — so would know how to read the data — Manafort walked him through the data at the August 2 meeting.

Later in this exchange, ABJ has an ex parte discussion with the prosecutors, to see if something she’s been made aware of can be shared with Manafort’s lawyers. Remember: she is also presiding over Sam Patten’s case. Patten worked with both Gates and Manafort, and was working with Kilimnik in this period. He not only might be able to corroborate the data-sharing story, but he would be able to help Kilimnik use it, even if the years of working with Manafort hadn’t already prepared Kilimnik to do so himself. When Patten submitted a status report on December 31, it was filed under seal; his next status report is due on Monday.

The data was shared with multiple people, which Manafort considered a win-win

Andrew Weissmann lays out that Manafort ultimately admitted that the data would be shared both with a named individual and with some other entity. And he describes Manafort considering the sharing of that data to be a win-win, perhaps suggesting that it might help Donald Trump, but even if it didn’t, it would get him work in Ukraine and Russia down the road.

Weissmann returns to that — sharing this data, for Manafort, was a win-win, unless the fact that he shared the data subsequently became public.

Mr. Manafort had said there was no downside to Mr. Manafort doing it.


MR. WEISSMANN: And meaning all of this is a benefit. The negative, as I said, was it coming out that he did this.

Of course, now it’s public and Manafort is willing to lie himself into further prison time to try to downplay that he shared detailed polling data with someone the FBI maintains has ties to the same Russian agency that hacked the DNC right in the middle of the campaign.

Update: JL notes that neither of the two Ukrainian oligarchs identified by NYT’s leakers, Lyovochkin and Akhmetov, fit the 9-character redaction after “Mr.” in the last screen cap. But “Deripaska” does. And we know this meeting was specifically focused on Kilimnik reporting back to Deripaska. In addition, Deripaska’s plane was in NY just after the meeting.

Manafort and Gates shared the data on August 2, not in the spring

At least according to ABJ’s understanding, Gates and Manafort shared the data not in the spring (as claimed to the NYT) but at the August 2, 2016 meeting at the Havana Club, to which — discussion elsewhere made clear — the two men came and left separately, emphasizing the clandestine nature of this hand-off.

ABJ’s understanding is backed by several Gates’ 302s, which must also correlate with emails that, per ABJ, corroborate Gates’ account.

Even before ABJ made that point, Westling appears to suggest that what Gates shared with Kilimnik was the most recent data.

One other reason this is important — but which didn’t get mentioned in this hearing: Manafort shared incredibly detailed polling information with someone who has ties to GRU a month before GRU went back to hack Hillary’s analytics. So they had very detailed data from both sides.

Kevin Downing twice attempts to render a jury verdict against Gates

Manafort’s team, generally, tries to claim that the sharing of polling data is just a matter of Gates’ word against Manafort’s, in spite of there being emails involving Manafort himself on sharing the data (and, apparently, emails showing whom Kilimnik shared them with).

But when ABJ notes that the poll data hand-off happened at the August 2 Havana Club meeting, in a fit of desperation, Kevin Downing claims that this all depended on Gates’ testimony and ABJ shouldn’t take anything he said as true because the jury found he totally lacked credibility. ABJ warns him twice not to go there.

MR. DOWNING: Your Honor, one other point. I know this Court hasn’t had the opportunity to review the testimony, probably, of Mr. Gates from Eastern District of Virginia, but he was found so incredible by the jury that a juror said to the press that they completely disregarded his entire testimony. So to the extent that this Court would cite Mr. Gates as any evidence, I think a review of the findings of the jurors in EDVA should be undertaken because if he is not corroborated —

THE COURT: Don’t. Don’t.

MR. DOWNING: Your Honor, it’s a fact.

THE COURT: I’m not going to base anything on what one juror said to the press.

In spite of having been warned once, Downing again returns to what the juror in EDVA said later in the hearing.

MR. DOWNING: And I will admit, on my end I won’t take it as a failure on my part because I did not think this Court wouldn’t take into consideration the fact how he was found to have no credibility at all by the jury over there.

THE COURT: You cannot keep saying that.

MR. DOWNING: I can keep saying it, Your Honor, because it’s true

THE COURT: First of all, you’re asking me to make a determination about what 12 jurors concluded because of what one juror was quoted in the paper as saying, which right now I don’t even have in front of me. But I believe she said we decided to vote on whether or not we could find him beyond a reasonable doubt, putting his testimony aside, which is different than saying we agreed, as 12 people, that nothing he said was true.

MR. DOWNING: That’s — that’s —

THE COURT: That’s totally different.

MR. DOWNING: I disagree with you. But I could go and get the press account of that.

THE COURT: I don’t know. I don’t have the press account. The press account is not evidence.

Downing floats bringing ABJ the press account himself, but then suggests he could provide the transcript. ABJ even offers to call Gates before her to testify.

Over lunch, ABJ goes on her own to find that press account. And, as she explains immediately after lunch, she doesn’t agree with Downing’s reading of it. Indeed, she calls it hyperbolic.

I went back and read the article that I believe I read at the time and, indeed, there was a juror who spoke publicly. She spoke publicly because she said she wanted the public to know that while she wanted Mr. Manafort to be not guilty, the evidence was overwhelming.

She indicated that the only reason he was not convicted on all counts was because of a lone holdout in the jury. She did not attribute that to Mr. Gates’s credibility. And reportedly, she did say, as I thought I recalled, some of us had a problem accepting his testimony because he took the plea. So we agreed to throw out his testimony and look at the paperwork. And then she added, I think he would have done anything to preserve himself, that’s just obvious in the fact that he flipped on Manafort.

So, I don’t believe — there’s certainly not anything in this record for these proceedings, or the public record, for that matter, that supports your argument that I should consider the fact that the jury unanimously concluded he was a liar, as was reported in the press by a juror, and threw out his testimony. I don’t believe that that is what the newspaper articles reported. Not that I would have relied on the newspaper article or what happened in the Eastern District of Virginia anyway, but I believe your argument was a little hyperbolic.

Manafort’s lawyers knew about this allegation because they tried to air it during the EDVA trial

In addition to trying to claim that this matter just pits Gates against Manafort, Manafort’s lawyers try to claim that Gates only made the claim about sharing polling data last fall, late in the process of his cooperation, meaning that they didn’t have an opportunity to prep their client on it.

I may be wrong about this, but we have a note — a September 27th, 2018 interview which we did not see until this submission was made, where Mr. Gates makes that statement.

Mr. Weissmann has suggested we had all of Mr. Gates’s 302s where he said this previously. I don’t think he said it before that interview. And so as far as we know, that’s new testimony from Mr. Gates compared to what he said in prior proffer sessions, where I think he said something more like it was more what was publicly available.

Weissmann corrects that by noting that at a proffer on January 30, 2018, Gates laid all that out.

Mr. Weissmann, with respect to the specific argument that they just made that this was a new twist by Mr. Gates, only in the 302 that they most recently received, do you have anything you want to add to that, respond to that?

MR. WEISSMANN: Yes, I do. So, I would direct the Court’s attention to Exhibit 236, which is a 302 with respect to Mr. Gates, and the date of that is January 30th, 2018.

He later notes the two 302s from early in Gates’ cooperation where that came up (it was actually January 31, not January 30).

In any case, after first raising Gates’ proffer from January mentioning Manafort sharing this polling data, Weissmann notes that Kevin Downing called attention to this during the EDVA trial.

Back in September, I suggested that Greg Andres’ success at getting this sidebar sealed probably had something to do with Manafort’s willingness to take a fairly shitty plea deal. It was a big fucking deal at the time. And the notion that Kevin Downing — who tried to get the information in the public record at the trial — is now claiming he didn’t know about it is simply contemptuous.

Manafort lied about sharing data with a Russian asset in hopes of getting a pardon

And this is where what appears to be at least the second reference in the hearing to Manafort’s hopes of getting a pardon appears (by context, this is almost certainly Weissmann, though the transcript labels it as Westling).

Manafort knows well what he did in August 2016. But he — and his lawyers, and whoever lied anonymously to the NYT — continue to lie about it in hopes that, by refusing to confirm that he conspired with Russia to get Trump elected, Trump will pay him off with a pardon.

The truth appears to be that Manafort walked Konstantin Kilimnik through recent, highly detailed polling data at a clandestine meeting in NYC on August 2, 2016, in part because even if it didn’t help Trump, it might help his own fortunes down the way. And he’s willing to bet that lying about that fact is his best chance for a pardon.

Update, from the comments: Eureka notes that the same night Manafort shared campaign data, probably with Oleg Deripaska, Stone defended him, insisting he was doing “everything humanly possible to help” Trump.

Aug 2, 2016 09:59:24 PM The idea that @PaulManafort is not doing everything humanly possible to help @realDonaldTrump win is patently false [Twitter for iPhone]

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. 

147 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    At this point, I’d be willing to lose the key to Manafort’s cell door for, oh, ten or twenty years.

  2. Kevin says:

    What’s the evidence he “sold out” Trump, though? I don’t think it’s clear he ever came around to telling the truth, with the dispute about Gates’ credibility as evidence of that. I read that as if it came out that he had shared detailed, non-public polling data with Kilimnik, it would be politically more difficult for Trump to pardon him. Though I admit that doesn’t quite gel with what happened at the EDVA trial.

  3. Scout says:

    My god.

    This scheme is so complex and complicated that my head just spins faster with each new post.  I don’t know how Marcy or anyone can keep up with all of it.

    It does seem that we are now unveiling links within the innermost circle.  Redacted to Bannon to Stone.  And seeing threads of actual exchanges between the Trump Team and Russian  reps.

    Thank you Marcy and commenters for helping me get a (bit of a ) grasp on this critical issue.

    • Diane says:

      That’s exactly what Don’s Cronies are counting on: all this will appear so convoluted that no prosecution is able to untangle and present logically enough to convince judge/jury beyond a ‘reasonable’ doubt.

    • Anna Keesey says:

      What strikes me is how complex a problem it is to reconstitute the points of connection and action of all these people, because of the way they made decisions.  They were predators on the trail of money, always moving, always shifting a little this way or that way according to the likelihood of finding money, and sometimes making short little strikes, but always moving in the direction of the bigger money, crossing paths, hunting money together and separately.  When you try to trace it back, it’s hard to pin down.

  4. cw says:

    What I am interested in is why did Trump, in the last couple weeks of the election, have better polling date about the northern mid-west than Hilary did? Is Brad Parscle, a guy with no campaign experience, a genius. Did they get it from Cambridge Analytica? The Israeli company?

    Because, as we have seen over and over, Trump and everyone around him are dumb and incompetent. How come they were uber-competent just at that one time?

    • P J Evans says:

      Parscale and Cambridge Analytica were hooked into Facebook, which is close to everywhere. The Dems were not – and they couldn’t have gotten access to that data.

      • MZtech says:

        Donald Trump somehow got elected and his power allows him to have smart people around him. Yes, the original guys in his campaign show ties from Trump campaign to Russia…but look at when these guys were fired from his campaign. What if Trump was dumb enough to surround himself with idiots…Stone, Manafort, etc., and those idiots helped Democrats and loyalists in their (dems) attempt to take down Trump?

        Trump figured out Manafort was crooked…late in his campaign:       from Wikipedia

        On August 17, 2016, Donald Trump received his first security briefing…two days later, Trump announced his acceptance of Manafort’s resignation from the campaign 

        Trump got woke up August 17, 2016….nothing has been the same ever since.Then he SOMEHOW got elected…and an investigation is STILL ongoing…and many people involved in dem’s coup attempt and subsequent cover-up will be exposed soon.  I give it 2 to 3 weeks. I see “regular joes” (like me) connecting dots all over social media now.

        Deripaska, John Kerry, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Henry Kissinger, the U.K., Australia, Bill Browder, Bill Clinton, McCabe (maybe flipped), Comey (maybe flipped), Lisa Page, Strzok, and many more…maybe EVEN Obama himself.

        This is what happened. Watch. And follow @emptywheel but also @stranahan on twitter too. Not biased, just factual. If you believe MSM, you’re already F_cked

  5. Jenny says:

    Thanks Marcy for all the information you dissect.  I had to read this two times because there are so many players, schemes and lies.  Manafort has really created a life steeped in greed.

    “Things money can’t buy:  manners, morals, respect, character, common sense, trust, patience, class, integrity and love.”

  6. BobCon says:

    Not surprisingly, the NY Times article conveys a ridiculously naive and cursory sense of what polling data might be.

    It’s possible it was nothing more than a simple state by state breakdown of Trump supporters by gender, race and age. But the Times should have done due dilligence in explaining how specific it can get and how much it can be integrated with messaging strategy.

    And if the Trump campaign had already handed over other data — voter databases, identifications, and messages, then this so-called polling data becomes much more — it is potentially a guide to which specific messages to use, who to target, and when to reach them. It is more like the blueprints and detailed instructions an architect hands off to a builder, not a simple drawing of a new addition.

    “Polling data” may be the latest version of “adoption policy.”

  7. MattyG says:

    Great piece. One question though: Gates and Manafort are bascially co-equal partners in this scene correct? When Manaford walks Kilimnik through the data Gates is present. Gates spills the beans on this encounter (along with the whole caper most likely) leaving Manafort high and dry. Manafort can’t rat out Gates since Gates beat him to it. Since apparently he and his counsel don’t think ratting out someone higher on the food chain is viable, his goal is (a) a pardon, (b) what? Avoiding the firing squad? Avoiding whatever is the Russian for a fate worse than death? Unless Gates isn’t in nearly as deep as Manafort, wouldn’t his calculus have been the same? Does Gates status tell us anything about the legal jockying going on here?

    • Kevin says:

      My suspicion is that he tried to do the best he could to walk a fine line and only lie about things he thought he could get away with lying about. He tried to minimize the damage his cooperation caused to the president while still getting credit for cooperation. He failed because he prioritized the former over the latter a little too much at times. So now his lawyers argue in vain that he didn’t lie, and his two remaining options are a pardon and a long sentence.

  8. orionATL says:

    emptywheel –

    boy! i am really confused now – by the title of this post if nothing else. are you saying mr. m. never shared data with kilimnik? apparently not. or is it just that the date of the sharing was aug not “spring”? or is it that the data was “public”, i.e., publicly known because published and discussed for any and all to know?

    as for the trump campaign manager’s  “selling out” his candidate, do you mean that that manager was free lancing with no thought the campaign would benefit? is it that this was m’s way of paying deripaksa back? i would never be surprised if manafort (or trump) sold someone put, i just don’t see it here yet from the extant text.

    paul manafort was the trump campaign’s manager thru august 19, 2016. is it your belief that he was not working for the benefit of the campaign when he shared the polling data with kilimnick on aug 2? do you believe that manafort had no suspicion or knowledge at the time of the russian social media campaign? i realize i sound like an attorney but it is important to get the details of this meeting right and i am confused at the moment. what is the “totally blatant lie”? “public” when not.

  9. John Rogers says:

    Kevin Downing’s a real piece of work.

    Check out Lucifer’s Banker by Bradley Birkenfeld for how duplicitous he’s always been. People like him, Trump and Manafort do seem to be birds of a feather sharing a narcissistic sense of entitlement and a casual disregard of facts and the truth.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There is that thing in Switzerland that outing corporate secrets is deemed equivalent to state treason.  I’m still surprised he did over three years in prison for blowing the whistle on UBS, which yielded a compromise fine of $780 million.  The $104 million share of the fine might have softened the blow somewhat, but still. It was a W era prosecution; perhaps the administration’s patrons weren’t really in favor of losing longstanding money laundering outlets to whistleblowing.

      • Howamart says:

        Was he prosecuted in retribution for whistleblowing, or for his part in facilitating fraud prior to turning?

  10. orionATL says:

    orion 2/19@4:15p

    i will say i am really impressed by the diligence and determination of judge jackson. she seems to have a pretty good bullshit detector working, is willing to test that detector in the moment, rather than waiting for her clerk, and then to challenge the bulkshitter, but ever so courteously, leaving only doubt hanging in the air :)

  11. orionATL says:

    orion 2/9@4:15p

    now i can ask a question i’ve been wanting to ask since the previous post yesterday on this matter. does paul manafort qualify as a spy for sharing this polling data with a russian military officer? if he were sharing say, manufacturing details of a boeing passenger liner with, say, a chinese gov’t “dep’t of commerce” employee he might well be. but what about the campaign manager for a newly certified u.s. presidential candidate?

    i’m a believer in the patrick fitzgerald approach of finding the simplest, most unambiguosly culpable, easiest to understand charge and sticking with that for conviction. 2-3 years in prison is a sufficient instructor. i’m satisfied with sco’s charges, but manafort’s breech of faith with the american people tempts me toward at least talking about far more serious charges.

    • Rayne says:

      does paul manafort qualify as a spy

      So are you asking if Manafort should be charged under 22 USC 618 – Agent of a Foreign Principal (which he was) or under 18 USC 951 – Agent of Foreign Government (which is what Maria Butina was charged with)?

      If you’re asking about 951 I wonder if we wouldn’t see an indictment of Konstantin Kilimnik at the same time to solidify the link — and we’d have to see something more specific in the indictment about Kilimnik’s relationship to Russia as an agent.

      The counterintelligence investigation may not be helped by a criminal charge now.

  12. Democritus says:

    I still think Trump and Rudy are the NYT sources for a lot of these stories. I think they use a slightly less bad version of the story that they expect to come out to sort of inoculate the base?

    Remember Schmidt’s big “anti trump” story that referenced a senior former federal law enforcement official?

    Rudy fits that.

    I think it was this one, sorry for typos getting ready for a nap and on tablet

  13. I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

    To John Rogers @4:16

    Indeed. He developed an interesting reputation when working at DOJ Tax. He was involved in the KPMG prosecution which resulted in the 2nd Circuit’s opinion in US v. Stein, 541 F. 3rd 130. You can read any number of blog posts in which he is mentioned by going to Jack Townsend’s criminal tax blog and doing a search under his name.

  14. Doug R says:

    Yeah, I worry as well that “Polling Data”=the usual polling data+all the personal details in Facebook harvested by Cambridge Analytica.

  15. CD54 says:

    @orionATL at 4:15 pm

    Either of the win-win Manafort motives is against Trump’s interest (self-dealing for M vs. Russian compromise for Trump). But might this also be one of his “corrected when shown the evidence” damning testimonies?

  16. orionATL says:

    rayne 2/9@5:29p

    thanks. i’m really just asking out of curiosity without knowing which law might apply. what does it take to qualify as a spy in the situation of a campaign manager?

  17. Mulder says:

    Since a couple commenters asked, here’s my take on…The sell out was Manafort testifying to the Grand Jury that he gave the Trump campaign data to Kilimnik/GRU by way of the Ukrainian Oligarchs.

    Mueller’s team called it a win-win from Paulie’s perspective. A win if it helps Trump because he would get the genius points and/or points for playing ball giving the data to his handler and the Russians so they could bash HRC good and proper in all the low places.

    Anyway, that’s what I think.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I think it’s highly unlikely that anyone in the campaign okayed (or was even aware of) the handover of the campaign data, so the initial “selling out” would have been Manafort handing over the campaign data in the first place.  And the person close to Trump who is most likely to understand this would be Kellyanne Conway, who is a pollster herself, and who replaced Paul Manafort as campaign manager when he was fired.  And she’s still in the White House.  She probably knows exactly what data Manafort had available to him, as well as how much the campaign paid in order to obtain that data.  The antics of Manafort’s lawyers may have an audience of one, and most of Trump’s advisers may not know how significant the “campaign data” was, but Kellyanne Conway sure as hell does, and I can’t see any reason for her to keep quiet about it.  Manafort pulled the kind of stunt that pretty much any campaign pollster would totally lose their shit over.  I don’t see her keeping quiet about this type of thing.

      • MattyG says:

        hmmm… even if close election coordination with Russia was already in the place? Sure, there won’t be a letter from DT directing Manafort to do it, but unless M was rogue and self-dealing it must have been part of a strategy team principals had signed off on.

        • P J Evans says:

          It was probably arranged in either a face-to-face meeting or a phone call, if Tr*mp was involved personally – we know he doesn’t do e-mails (he isn’t computer-literate).

  18. Frank Probst says:

    Were Manafort’s lawyers always this bad? I can’t tell if they were bad to begin with, they’re just getting worn out with this case (because their client is already in jail, has already been convicted of multiple felonies by what appears to have been a sympathetic jury and a sympathetic judge, has already taken what most people agree is a lousy plea agreement, and is now accused of breaching the terms of his plea agreement–seriously, how many lawyers get stuck with a client who is this far in the hole?), or they’re having trouble keeping up with both their client’s line of bullshit as well as their own.

    And are we still in the dark about who’s footing the bill for Manafort’s lawyers?

    At this point, I don’t understand why they’re even bothering. He’s either going to prison for most (if not all) of the rest of his life, or he’s getting pardoned and then immediately getting hit with state charges. All his legal team is doing right now is reducing the chances of a pardon. He’d be better off getting his lawyers to take the maximum prison sentence in exchange for his choice of the prison he wants to potentially spend the rest of his life at. That would at least have the benefit of getting him out of the Alexandria jail and into a nicer facility. What makes Manafort’s case different from everyone else’s is that Manafort is already in jail. There’s not much benefit for him to drag out all of his legal maneuvers.

  19. orionATL says:

    cd54 2/9@5:44p

    thanks. those seem like reasonable answers to my question. i just couldn’t understand why anyone who had agreed to cooperate with the prosecution on any crime would be expected to do anything but sell out his gang members. what’s he there for otherwise?

    i think ew’s current write up suggests that there may be no reason now to expect a pardon. i would think trump might issue a pardon even under these circumstances because so long as manafort challenges gates’ recollection and does not give a reaffirmation of his testimony in open court of the polling data exchange with russia, there is a hole in the collusion story that allows for uncertainty, ambiguous interpretation, and cries of “fake news” from the loyal until hell freezes over, but once pardoned one assumes manafort’s lips are sealed forever. however crippled a nag, legitimacy and history ride on this issue.

  20. Avattoir says:

    Even tho I suspect – okay, more like, it’s my knee-jerk supposition – that the data that Paulie figured his passing it on created something of a “win-win” for him, was of a nature that could facilitate Rus intel rat-fuckers to mess around with American voters more-or-less directly, possibly completely outside any given American political election campaign, I think it might be helpful – maybe even enlightening – to have the input of some really top, highly creative pollster, to discuss what all types of data a third party org would be interested in acquiring in pursuit of such a program.

    • Peterr says:

      He’s not a pollster, but he is a highly creative political strategist and extremely experienced (and effective) lobbyist who would know exactly what type of data might be useful in such a situation.

      His name: Roger Stone.

      • Avattoir says:

        I was thinking more along the lines of something like this:

        plus the locations of pockets of such folks which are key to swinging a close election, how to manipulate those so vulnerable to actually turn out if ‘for’ the party you want to boost, or decline to vote if ‘for’ the party you want to suppress, as well potential factors available to exploit within those locations (which, of course, being able to view of their Facebook pages could assist in identifying).

        There are places in the country where conservatives will vote D if they identify that same preference with their local D candidate (e.g. ‘respectfully’ or institutionally conservative, say in support for The Troops or farmers or fiscal restraint versus identifying the local R candidate as a fire-breathing radical white supremacist crazy person – there’s no shortage of R candidates who fit that or encourage or at least allow voters to assume that’s who they are). Such voters would seem to me vulnerable to being at least moved off or ‘de-incentivized’ any enthusiasm of voting for a moderate mainstream candidate, even conservative or at least traditionally institutionalist in her policies, if her opponent were to spend several weeks of rallies pointing to at her showing up a little late for a candidates’ debate because she’d had to go the washroom.

    • errant aesthete says:

      I’m well acquainted with the work of both Jamieson and Mayer. Two unimpeachable sources. And yet, somehow, this got past me confirming your conclusion that it’s attracting “little notice.” Thank you.

  21. orionATL says:

    rayne 2/9@6:31p

    thanks. i was actually thinking of keith gartenlaub’s case in as much as he was an employee of an american corporation who was suspected of spying for the chinese (though he ended up getting nailed by doj on questionable childporn charges).

    a political campaign is not a corporation, but it is a formal, legal american organization and manafort was its chairman, its CEO, at the time of the data “transfer”.

    • Rayne says:

      But while Manafort may have operated within the campaign under a title, he was not compensated by the campaign. He may have been compensated by some other entity/ies — in which case, appropriating any campaign material without the express consent of the candidate for use by some other entity sure looks illegal.

      Unless the candidate had given Manafort to act carte blanche on half of the campaign…which means the candidate has exposure, too.

      Mmm. Messy.

      EDIT — shouldn’t have hit my mouse. Anyhow, I think the question is at what point does Trump try to pardon Manafort? If he doesn’t attempt it will Manafort rat him out (because Manafort surely knows, being partner to King Ratfucker for as long as he was)? Or will Trump try to blame Manafort for any conspiracy and leave him in the can and hope Manafort can’t rat him out?

      I want to know where Pence is in all of this. Could Pence flip on Trump, offer a conditional pardon after X number of years served if Manafort offers to rat on Trump and helps get Trump impeached+removed? Very soap opera-y but here we are, tinfoil is back in fashion.

      • BobCon says:

        I’ve puzzled over the question of the timing of pardons. I have thoughts but no conclusions, of course.

        One puzzle is why is Trump waiting? He’s not a patient man, nor is he a trusting one. He must know the longer he waits, the odds increase that someone cracks.

        There is the issue of pardons being part of an obstruction case, but it’s unclear to me if they’re a make or break issue, and it also seems like obstruction is an issue pretty far down the list of worries for him.

        There is potentially some political fallout, but if there was a time to get it over with, December would have been the time to do it.

        I wonder a bit if Trump is holding off because he wants to keep his conspirators sweating longer out of pure curdled spite. Trump may also hate the idea of Manafort getting out if he is still in danger.

        I’ve also wondered if he doubts pardons will matter — he may have a sense that his goose is cooked even if every Russia related charge falls short. A slam dunk paper trail case may have fallen into SDNY’s laps when they seized Cohen’s records, for example.

        Trump may also know that Mueller has broken the Russia case far enough that Manafort doesn’t really matter, and now Trump is just dangling a pardon insincerely as a damage control exercise.

        It’s also possible Manafort has been playing coy with Trump about what information he still holds, and the two of them are locked in a stalemate. Manafort may be saying “pardon first, then I’ll tell you what I have” and Trump may be insisting Manafort tell him what he’s been keeping from Mueller before he decides if it’s pardon worthy Neither side may trust the other enough to go first. I wouldn’t trust Trump if I was Manafort, or vice versa.

        It’s also possible Manafort wants more than just a pardon that Trump can’t or won’t deliver. He may want Trump to talk to Russia to get all of his overseas obligations taken care of as soon as he gets out of prison. He may be haggling over a payoff.

        I’m sure there are other ways to go in the garden of forking paths that I haven’t considered.

        • Rayne says:

          Keep in mind IANAL, but I think there are several reasons:

          — May not poll well ahead of 2020;
          — Looks obstructive (because it is, of course);
          — Issue of legality – can president’s pardon power overcome his own status as an unindicted co-conspirator in at least one case? (Cohen’s not getting a pardon for campaign finance law violation, IOW);
          — President can’t pardon crimes in advance or in progress.

          That last one’s a kicker because I think the conspiracy is still under way and Manafort in particular may still be working on crimes related to the campaign.

          I’m sure others will have more input and suggestions.

        • BobCon says:

          The last one is definitely an interesting one.

          I’d love to find out some day if this is something simple, like Manafort has millions squirreled away in illegal accounts and there is no way to bring them home in the future without committing a crime — or if it is something more complicated that is connected to ongoing Russian interference.

        • Rayne says:

          I feel confident there’s more money out there squirreled away in fronts. But I don’t know what good it’ll do for a guy wearing a jumpsuit.

        • Stephen says:

          Aside from being politically dangerous, presidential pardons of co-conspirators at this time would not even achieve their purpose. As the joint defense team of shills keeps dribbling to the credible press, none of the charges to date have been related to the matter in chief (i.e., conspiracy with agents of a foreign power to subvert the US election process in exchange for favorable policy positions and disruption of the US government itself). They’re all about variations on obstruction, perjury, or at most financial misfeasance. But odds are there’s lots of evidence for the original conspiracy; it’s just (as MT has pointed out before) that once those charges are filed, the defense lawyers will have access to said evidence & be able to start crafting joint lies, threatening witnesses, etc. So premature pardons for minor offenses could trigger bigger charges, making the pardons themselves more obviously guilty. Gotta save the risky pardons for when they matter!

  22. Badger Robert says:

    Thanks for the article. Knowing that data was shared can be corroborated by how the influence campaign was conducted. Knowing what types of voters were targeted, and where they were located, and who did the targeting would confirm the sharing of data.
    The final step would be compute the likely number of voters who did not vote, or switched preferences, and that affects whether the results of the election were legitimate.
    I don’t see a way to get that data to the public with an order from the judge presiding over the grand jury to disclose the evidence.
    To me, Congress seems to be a branch of government, and a disclosure seems consistent with Rule 6(e), but apparently there is a difference of opinion on that question.
    Thanks again.

  23. orionATL says:

    frank probst 2/9@6:43p

    frank writes:

    “I think it’s highly unlikely that anyone in the campaign okayed (or was even aware of) the handover of the campaign data, so the initial “selling out” would have been Manafort handing over the campaign data in the first place…”

    that statement is probably formally true if for no other reason than i would never expect an experienced operative like manafort to go to his principle and tell him or ask him about doing something so highly improper.

    but that does not mean manafort did not have clear approval from candidate trump to work with the russians in any way helpful to the trump campaign. it is the case that the campaign had already, on june 9, 2016, effectively exchanged a letter of intent with the russian federation for a deal involving russian help in trump’s presidential campaign in exchange for relief from american economic sanctions. trump was unquestionably aware of this agreement as he was of the trump tower moscow bribery effort.

    manafort could easily have seen his polling data exchange as a reasonable request to the russians for specific assistance in the upcoming 2 month (labor day until election day) battle for the presidency knowing that trump would repay the russians if he won, which trump did in fact proceed to do working thru general flynn.

  24. Hops says:

    Re Frank @ 6:27: You are assuming people are acting rationally. But really, greed and now fear have prevailed in all of this.

  25. Marinela says:

    @ Democritus says:
    February 9, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Well, if the leakers to NYT are Trump administration (Trump, Rudy, etc) then why reporters whould write such articles?

    NYT reporters know who their sources are, so they knowly help Trump to advance his naratives. But why would they do it?
    If Trump/Pecker can blackmail/extort Jeff B., anybody potentially is exposed.

    Maybe Jeff B. investigation and the other investigations will uncover some of these shenanigans.

    Every single time I see somebody defending Trump with hyperbolic naratives I ask myself if they are trying to cover their own corruption acts, or they were extorted, forced based on dirt on them or family.

    There has not been one inocent person so far that defended Trump.

    The inocent ones are standing up to Trump.

  26. Semanticleo says:

    Just try to capture eels and snakes covered in Crisco…

    I double-secret probation dare ya!

    Truly.  Does anyone honestly think the punishment will fit the Crime?

  27. anaphoristand says:

    Update: JL notes that neither of the two Ukrainian oligarchs identified by NYT’s leakers, Lyovochkin and Akhmetov, fit the 9-character redaction after “Mr.” in the last screen cap. But “Deripaska” does. And we know this meeting was specifically focused on Kilimnik reporting back to Deripaska.

    This strikes me as being pretty significant. If Manafort’s camp was intentionally leaking an incorrect date for the polling data meetup (information which itself became public via his lawyers’ redaction ‘fail’) to NYT and trying to obfuscate on Deripaska’s acquiring it (by keying in on the two Ukrainian oligarchs instead), that looks like a pretty direct signaling to the White House that Manafort has the collusion evidence and will be expecting to be “made whole” if he’s to continue sitting on it. Then within a week, the White House forces through the lifting of sanctions on Rusal (and other Deripaska companies), despite congressional opposition, and having misrepresented both Mnuchin’s own conflict of interest and the actual financial effect on Deripaska. Sounds awfully quid pro quo.

  28. orionATL says:

    manafort and gates gave polling data to long-time manafort confidant and russian military agent kilimnik on august 2, 2016. manafort was removed from the trump campaign on august 19 (though his long-time sidekick rick gates was retained by the campaign right on thru the election).

    manafort was removed because questions were being raised in public about his connections with russian-backed ukrainian political factions which presumably might lead to questions anout russia and the campaign.

    one can ask oneself how it is that a person like trump who is notorious for continuing to support questionable people who he has nominated and needs, e.g., flynn and kavanaugh and whitfield, despite public criticism, would so easily cast manafort aside. an answer i will provide is that trump violated his “support and be damned with critics” inclination because he wanted to take all precautions to insure that during the upcoming campaign, the public did not learn of his agreement with putin.

  29. Eureka says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how this relates to the Corsi/Stone correspondence August 2nd (It’s time to let more than Podesta to be exposed…/Hillary sick), and the publicly-issued Manafort kill switch August 2 evening. Was Manafort’s handing off of the polling data the trigger for the press complaint/staging by a ‘longtime ally’ of his– i.e. this job complete, time to move on?

    I’ve commented on this article before, in the context of an (apparent/possible) operation to extract Manafort and replace him with Bannon/Conway:
    Ally of Trump staffer Paul Manafort: The staff is suicidal, he’s mailing it in
    Published 10:24 PM ET Tue, 2 Aug 2016
    but later noticed something interesting in the tweet about it (830pm ET)- or rather the replies.

    John Harwood: “longtime ally of Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager: “Manafort not challenging Trump anymore. Mailing it in. Staff suicidal.””

    at 633am ET August 4th, distinct from the other replies, is this from Texans for Trump @ TrumpResults/status/761148088329183232:
    “Americans concerned about Hillary’s health issues.” (followed by an url that reads radaronline . com /videos/hillary-clinton-coughs-health-concerns-video )

    It makes me think of a linked theory of mind as to why that reply would go to that post, though other explanations are of course possible.

    • Eureka says:

      For kicks, I just dropped the ‘radaronline…coughs…’ string into ddg (so not an incisive search or anything), and it looks like the RU/RWNJ-spheres were talking promoting the HRC- coughs-angle in early 2016 (e.g. Jan, Feb, May) throughout the spring already, and ‘mainstream’ press like CNN/NBC/Atlantic-type results are from September 6th, 12th, etc.

    • Eureka says:

      Who (or rather why) is Stone subtweeting?  Timestamp unconverted from the archive:

      Aug 2, 2016 09:59:24 PM The idea that @PaulManafort is not doing everything humanly possible to help @realDonaldTrump win is patently false [Twitter for iPhone]

        • Eureka says:

          This is the part of the book/mini-series that I am most anticipating– can you tell, lol?  Not to neglect the before and after, but invert Ulysses’ premise and August 2, 2016 could be its own character.

  30. Laura says:

    Reading the final paragraph of this post, I keep going back to that quick exchange yesterday between Rep. Escobar and BDTS, about pardons:

    I thought her question about his having seen documents related to pardons was pretty canny, but maybe I’m reading too much into it?  You guys would know better than I do.

    Also, these people are all terrible.

    • Rayne says:

      I’ve looked for a transcript of that bit just because it’s given me so much pause. Whitaker’s face doesn’t read like he had already been coached to say that and yet I can’t help thinking this bit about pardons was deliberate as hell, a communication intended to tell those operating under plea agreements or indicted or soon-to-be-indicted that Trump has already prepared pardons.

      Did we watch more of the obstruction and conspiracy even while we thought we were watching an oversight hearing?

      • SC says:

        I can’t find a full transcript for the Whitaker hearing but the HJC video is here:

        Ms Escobar asks her question about pardons at 5:58:45.

        Yes, his answer does seem oddly, um, happy, I guess. I’d guess, his long pause and almost-smiling response happened because her question is worded in such a way that he can answer it without stumbling or lying. Maybe.

        (Unless I missed an earlier exchange,) Whitaker’s very brief answer to Escobar’s question “Did you ever create, direct the creation of, see or become aware of the existence of any documents relating to pardons of any individual?” is, in full: “I am aware of documents relating to the pardons of individuals, yes.” The thing that struck me at the time was: She asked about “any individual” and he volunteered “individuals” when he didn’t have to to affirmatively answer the question. After watching it again, it’s unclear to me if it means anything. I guess it might.

        (Just an aside but: Watching a slice of the hearing again was not an uplifting experience. I get that members have diverse concerns and I know they don’t all have legal experience but there were many loosely worded questions by the Dems and little apparent coordination, at least compared to similar hearings run by the GOP. There was little follow up and fine-tuning of questions as Whitaker stumbled and showed weaknesses. The pardon question is a good example of a missed opportunity. Why didn’t Nadler follow up, given Whitaker’s response? I know that time was running out but but even just “Tell me more! How many? Have any of the pardons been related in any way to the administration?” would have been useful. If he lies, he’s on record lying. Why did Escobar and Nadler waste time on questions that, very soon, Whitaker will have no involvement in?  Sadly, the Dems let Whitaker get away with a lot. And while the GOP clearly had no interest in pursuing serious questions, Collins and Jordan were sadly effective in using their time to coach Whitaker through dissembling and distracting.)

  31. Laura says:

    @Rayne – Right??? The clip I posted from CSPAN captures the deer-in-headlights ‘OH SHIT’ expression on his face. Escobar was smart enough to ask about documents, not conversations, and you can see from the look on her face that she knew she’d nailed him.

    Why no one in the MSM picked up on this is… well. Just disappointing.

    (Also, the popcorn discussion yesterday got me thinking about sriracha butter & we made sriracha butter roasted cauliflower tonight and goddamn.)

    • Rayne says:

      This was such a near thing, the very last question just as Rep. Escobar’s time was finished. What if Nadler hadn’t let her ask this last question?




      (source: uncorrected caption transcript via CSPAN)

      I just don’t know what to make of it.

      (p.s. if you want to kick that sriracha butter up yet another notch, try using chili oil instead of the olive oil. OMG)

  32. Eureka says:

    By August 11th, Trump was talking like an owned, passive object as regards the campaign.  I read this as a sign he had been ‘read-in’ enough to know that he and the campaign were in others’ hands.  He was questioned by friendlies (e.g. Bolling at Fox) about his lack of GOTV apparatus.  TPM and WaPo wrote up some of the details re Trump’s relative campaign deficiencies, more details at links.

    Trump On Election Strategy: ‘I Don’t Know That We Need To Get Out The Vote’ – Talking Points Memo

    “One of the big things about the RNC is they have this whole infrastructure of data and information and contacts and email lists and mailing lists and phone numbers. That is something that is important to your campaign,” Bolling said. “That’s not at risk. Is that in jeopardy at all?”

    “I don’t know. I will let you know on the ninth, on November 9th,” Trump replied.

    “We are gonna have tremendous turnout from the evangelicals, from the miners, from the people that make our steel, from people that are getting killed by trade deals, from people that have been just decimated, from the military who are with Trump 100 percent,” he went on. “From our vets because I’m going to take care of the vets.”

    “I don’t know that we need to get out the vote,” the Republican nominee concluded. “I think people that really want to vote, they’re gonna just get up and vote for Trump. And we’re going to make America great again.”

    (emphasis added)

    Yes, Mr. Trump, you do need a get-out-the-vote effort – The Washington Post

    In an interview with Fox News noted by Talking Points Memo, Trump dismissed the idea of having a get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operation like the one described above.

    The network’s Eric Bolling asked if the ongoing tension between Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party put at risk Trump’s access to the party’s turnout systems and data.

    But it’s also clear that Trump’s campaign is far behind past campaigns (and his opponent) when it comes to setting up GOTV operations. There is one campaign office in Florida, a tenth of what one former head of the party in the state told Politico he would expect to see. There is no field office in southwest Ohio; Mitt Romney had four by early June 2012. As of June, Trump had just over 70 paid staff. Hillary Clinton’s campaign had over 600, many dispersed to battleground states.

    (internal links removed)

    His owned-man chill sounds like someone who is relying on the work of others to get him elected, and meh – if not, no skin or hard work off his nose.  Unlike how he normally speaks of himself publicly, he talks like the passive object of others:  what TPM, e.g., called ~ ‘a newly conciliatory approach towards a potential loss.’
    Then on August 12th, Trump gives his Altoona stump speech, which I refer to as the Altoona Looney Tunes speech where he goes ‘full Manafort Ukraine’ on the tactics, asking for police-type officials to monitor polling places as opposed to just ordinary citizens.  Shortly thereafter, he talks to the Mercers et al. at a Hamptons party, with a story ‘per sources’ throwing Manafort under the bus as trying to constrain him and his style as the given reasons why Bannon and Conway come on later that week.

  33. Laura says:

    @Rayne -Also, I hadn’t read the exchange quite the way you did – about BDTS using the question to send a message to Paulie et al. Which is even worse than what I’d been thinking.

    Instead, I read the exchange as Escobar getting BDTS to publicly admit that yes indeed, he’d seen pardon paperwork, which is a red flag that Trump is preparing to pardon his loyalists, which in my mind should have everyone going ‘WAIT WHAT THE FUCK?’

    Instead, resounding silence from the media. AAAARGGHHH.

  34. P J Evans says:

    @Rayne February 9, 2019 at 9:54 pm
    “(p.s. if you want to kick that sriracha butter up yet another notch, try using chili oil instead of the olive oil. OMG)”

    You can find a really thorough recipe, with additional stuff, if you search on “Listening to habaneros” – it will light up whatever you put it in. (I used four habaneros in a quarter-liter of good-but-not-high-end olive oil. It’s definitely hot.)

    • Rayne says:

      LOL I make my own sriracha. It’s hotter than store-bought so I use my Asian market’s OTC chili oil. Maybe next year I’ll make chili oil but I don’t like the idea it may go rancid before I finish it.

  35. P J Evans says:

    @Rayne February 9, 2019 at 10:22 pm
    I have mine in the fridge – I can get enough for my purposes by sticking in a chopstick (or a spoon, if I needed a lot, like a teaspoon). It’s a lovely yellow-green color.

      • P J Evans says:

        I could use a bigger one – but it’s because I have flour and sugar in the fridge (no bugs). And my jar of sourdough starter.

  36. pseudonymous in nc says:

    Avattoir: Parscale described his digital strategy to Bloomberg as “three major voter suppression operations.” If the internals were being used by Russians to amplify those operations, that’s a big deal. If voter details were being fed back to Parscale as Custom Audiences — or even if the IRA shared its Facebook metrics — then that closes the loop. And my gut sense is that the loop was closed.

    • P J Evans says:

      I think so, too. He’d want to know if they were succeeding, and that’s the only metric available before the election.

    • SND says:

      i keep thinking about the data sharing and Cambridge analytica (also Israeli company Psy Group) – together with the odd database traffic between Alfa Bank, Spectrum Health, and the Trump campaign. Spectrum health is headquartered in Grand Rapids Michigan and has close ties to the DeVos family. They have healthcare facilities in Wisconsin, Michigan and PA. So: health records likely have names, street addresses and email addresses. Look at it all together and you know where people vote (name and home address) and what their likely hot-button issues are (FB account tied to email address, issue analysis from CA or Psy Group).

      Where did bannon insist trump go in the final weeks? MI, WI, and PA.

  37. rex says:

    Political consulting group Cambridge Analytica used Russian researchers and shared data with companies linked to Russian intelligence, a whistleblower told a congressional hearing on interference in the 2016 US election Wednesday (May 16).

    Christopher Wylie, who leaked information on the British-based firm’s hijacking of data on millions of Facebook users, told a Senate panel he believes Russian intelligence services had access to data harvested by the consultancy.

  38. RandoCaller says:

    First post after several months of lurking. I’ve been curious about something ever since first learning Paul Manafort was advising trumpster-fire, just before he was named as chairman of the campaign: isn’t it obvious that his time in Ukraine, helping Yanukovych get elected, was directly related to the sudden shift in GOP’s Russia stance? The parallels between these two campaigns just got stronger and stronger over the 2 1/2 years since those pre-2016 election days.

    I’m constantly confused and surprised that MSM do not draw those lines with more clarity. Please forgive my lack of detail, but wasn’t Yanukovych’s election won with help from Putin? Didn’t Manafort help craft their ethno-devisive rhetoric? Didn’t Yanukovych immediately threaten NATO withdrawal and then borrow a ton of cash from Russia? Doesn’t it now seem even more likely that his election was a trial run for our election? Is it not likely that Paulie gave Putin polling data to help him ‘engineer’ Yanukovych’s election?

    I wish this wasn’t my first post, and I do sincerely apologize for jumping in with conspiracy theory blather on a site that has so effectively told the the story with facts and established sourcing, but why do we not hear about this on a daily basis in the MSM?

    Is it that I have been fooled by poorly sourced articles or is it that such theories are so basically at the core of the story that they are no longer necessary to discuss? Please forgive my unsourced questions. Thank you all for being here and holding your journalistic standards so high. I will now go back to holding my breath/tongue/blather.

  39. Laura says:

    @PJ Evans

    Since you’re into the spicy, Kenji Alt-Lopez of Serious Eats has a great barbacoa recipe. We make it with grass fed beef we buy from a local ranch. Killer in tacos, over a baked potato, in empanadas. I have thought of vegan-izing as a bean-based stew but haven’t tried yet.

  40. Eskimo says:

    Long been an admirer, first time comment, many thanks to EW et al. Maybe the polling data exchange was an update, a kind of tracking evidence of operations that had been set in motion much earlier. That is, turf feedback on the social media germination, winding its way (through gangster bagmen who diversify plausible deniability) to IRA for fine tuning, so WI and, weirdly, PA, would turn … by just enough. While smart shoppers were scratching their heads, bombastic insult comedy with weird hair and make up could colonize the mediascape, long enough to sign the papers. Gopus delendus est …

  41. Willis Warren says:

    The reason this is all so confusing is that we’re all assuming that the Russians had Trumpy from the beginning.  Now, that may be still be true.

    If that’s true, then all of this Manfort reveal is the crucial point when the Russians started figuring out that trump could actually win.  That would have changed the nature of the Moscow deal in interesting ways.

    If trump wasn’t always on board, then this is a backdoor attempt from Manafort above and beyond what the campaign was willing to do.  He’s lying about it because he doesn’t want to piss trump off (keep his pardon in play).

    If trump is mad at manafort in this scenario, then it gets interesting.  How will a newly scorned Manafort cooperate?  is it too late?

    I hope this helps, guys.

    • Willis Warren says:

      Also, it’s still possible that Manafort saw this as a side grift, where he could earn additional favors and work off debts and Trump didn’t know he was doing this… but, they were still knee deep in other scams.

      I personally have a hard time believing that trump is clean or will come out clean.  He was “sold out” by a fellow crook who didn’t cut him in, most likely.

  42. OrionATL says:

    Pseudonymous in nc 2/9@11:34p

    Yeah, vote suppression, strategically employed, was the essential strategy since clinton was unambiguously favored  nationwide. This would have been obvious to the russians who knew american politics well enough to manipulate voters as well as to american political practitioners.

    But where to employ the strategy? That would be where understanding the peculiarity of the electoral college, together with up-to-date polling data would have been important in deploying the emotional vote suppression tactics that social media like facebook make possible. Mass coverage was unnecessary; targeted messages would have been the weapon of choice, as trump’s media guy perscale and the russians both clearly understood.

    Afer the election i believe it was discovered that dem voting, compared to 2012, was off by 12,000 votes in milwaukee and by about 50,000 in the suburbs around philadelphia. I don’t recall a similar summary for michigan, the third state that put trump over the top in the electoral college (but i know of some folks here who almost certainly do :) ).

    The peculiarity of the 2016 near-philadelphia results is highlighted by the fact that two years later in the 2018 election the congressional seats around philly changed from republican to dem, as did numerous local offices – a near revolution for that area.

    It is important to keep in mind that the russians had a lot riding on this election if trump won – economic sanctions relief. Finding a some means to help trump get elected would have had very high priority.

    Getouttahear @7:11 above cites the jane mayer study of the 2016 election.

    Another useful look at the successful russian effort to swing an american presidential election is kathleen hall jamieson’s Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President:


    • Jack Assels says:

      Sam Penrose: Slip of the keyboard, perhaps: “contemptuous” -> “contemptible”.

      Nothing wrong in the original.  contemptuous = showing contempt, contemptible = deserving contempt.  Both are good adjectives describing Kevin Downey’s behaviour, but in ew’s context above — trying to pull the wool over ABJ’s eyes despite her clear warnings — contemptuous is more directly apropos.

  43. Leila512 says:

    @pseudonymous in nc

    @P J Evans

    Re: Parscale, I’ve been wondering how much he’s been in Mueller’s spotlight/cross hairs? Wouldn’t he be a critical witness/subject in the investigation? Doesn’t seem like there’s been much focus and coverage on him…Meanwhile, he’s Chairman (I think) of D’s 2020 campaign. Unless I’ve missed something (which is highly possible), it seems to me that he should be under indictment, not running a re-election campaign??

  44. OrionATL says:

    Orion @11:42am

    I’m jinxed on cites this morning.

    Here is the cite on a review of jamieson’s study of russian interference from the science journal “nature”. The link i cited doesn’t work.


     09 OCTOBER 2018

    Trolling, hacking and the 2016 US presidential election

    Alexander Klimburg lauds a study on the impact of the Russian disinformation campaign.

    Alexander Klimburg

    [Link to Klimburg’s review in Nature. /~Rayne]

  45. IANAL on UWS says:

    If someone could clarify on redactions, please:

    On page 138 of the breach hearing transcript, discussing redactions, ABJ mentioned items “completely redacted at every point prior to this and will continue to be.”

    Let’s say we have two individuals, A and B. The decision is that A should remain redacted but B can appear in the public [redacted] transcript.

    Does that mean B’s identification relates only to this transcript, or B will be named in some/all documents going forward?

    Is there any consideration to revising documents previously released to publicly name B when previously redacted on these specific discussion points?

    Let’s say A and B were part of the same event (meeting, email, etc.). Is it possible B would be redacted in the portion of the transcript dealing with A, but named everywhere else mentioned? Or if you’re publicly named, you’re named everywhere?

    Thanks to everyone for your continued enlightenment.

  46. Semanticleo says:

    “If the special counsel hasn’t subpoenaed Deutsche Bank, he can’t be doing much of a money-laundering investigation,” Schiff said.

    Good point. I pray we aren’t being doped on the ropes.

  47. bmaz says:

    Um, Mueller subpoenaed Deutsch Bank for Trump records in December 2017. Actually, the subpoena appears too have been issue in early November 2017 and the return thereon by Deutsch made in early December 2017.

      • bmaz says:

        Because of the reportage on it at the time. Schiff does not know what Mueller has, and I will trust Mueller’s competence on this irrespective of any stupid sound bite from Schiff.

      • Rayne says:

        Deutsche Bank hands bank records of Trump affiliates to Robert Mueller
        Stephanie Kirchgaessner | Tue 5 Dec 2017 06.23 EST | The Guardian

        There are some fuzzy points in this report but Trump wanted to fire Mueller after this news surfaced, suggesting strongly that Mueller did indeed get documents germane to Trump in this request SCO made to Deutsche Bank. Some of the fuzzy points may also have to do with concerns about retaliation and risk of damage to an ongoing investigation.

        Questions remaining:
        — what documents did SCO get, did SCO hand them over yet to Schiff’s committee,
        — are they all the documents Schiff wants,
        — are there documents Schiff can’t readily have because they are related to an ongoing counterintelligence investigation and not a criminal investigation,
        — is Schiff providing cover by fulminating out loud in public about this when Schiff may already know all of the above?

        • Rayne says:

          I’m not certain what Schiff’s aim is because the last time the DB document request hit the news, Trump had a fucking tizzy and there’s nobody in the White House now who can restrain him if he goes off again. I don’t know if Schiff is hoping Barr’s near-term approval will put him in a position to push back but it’s a pretty stupid gamble since Barr could do little more than be fired or quit to stop Trump’s likely tantrum.

          Unless Schiff is trying to goad an expedited approach to impeachment by poking Trump. I don’t think the House Dems are ready to work together as cohesively as they should to that end based on their performance in the House Oversight Committee hearing with Whitaker.

        • bmaz says:

          Agree with that, and it is crystal clear that Mueller and/or SDNY is still actively working on money laundering and Trump finances. But Schiff, for a pretty bright guy, has a real problem gabbing to cameras without thinking things through. My guess is this is just another example. If you want Mueller’s records, this is not a helpful way to go about it.

        • BroD says:

          I’m not tremendously sophisticated about such things but it appears to be a dance of sorts between the SOC and the Congressional investigations, with the SOC doing the hard-core legal side and the Congressional Committee doing more of a political narrative.  It’s choreography on the fly though and, as such, there are awkward moments.  Schiff is no Fred Astaire, I guess.

        • errant aesthete says:


          “I don’t think the House Dems are ready to work together as cohesively as they should to that end based on their performance in the House Oversight Committee hearing with Whitaker.”

          I am so with you on that.

        • Rayne says:

          New team with a bunch of very new players. It’s an unfortunate hazard of our democracy’s format that this team doesn’t get any time to practice together before they have to play for the highest stakes.

  48. pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Leila512: there’s still ambiguity over whether Parscale has been interviewed by Mueller’s team.

    We know that he had an Assange poster (“Dear Hillary, I Miss Reading Your Classified Emails”) on the wall of his campaign “bunker”, that he described his digital strategy as “voter suppression” (i.e. aimed at potential Clinton voters), that he spent a shitload of money on Facebook ads (with Facebook employees embedded in the team), and that he had the credentials for his boss’s Twitter account, which points to “Twitter for iPhone” tweets in 2016 coming from him or Scavino (or others).
    (Note that the iPhone tweets spell “Wikileaks” correctly, when the Android tweets spell it “Wikileakes”.)

    So there’s very good reason for Mueller to talk to Parscale and Scavino… unless they are targets.

    • bmaz says:

      The is a shitty article, and I don’t give a damn about what Sonny Barger says, and I have had him in my office.

        • bmaz says:

          Listen, you are pushing complete garbage here, and I responded. If you don’t like that, tough.

          Seriously, you are citing Sonny Fucking Barger on the quality of Mueller and his capacity to lead the Special Counsel investigation? That is insane. And the “personal anecdote” was on the veracity of the man you were citing, You cited bullshit, and got a response noting just that.

    • Rayne says:

      A pointer on grabbing links after browsing with Google or Google News: Do NOT copy the link from Google or Google News’ results page. Open the link on that page and then grab the URL from the page once opened.

      The links on the Google/Google News page contain a lot of extraneous material, some of which is related to YOUR identity and your machine, and some of it is related to tracking whomever opens that link.

      I can’t stress enough that you use non-tracking URLs here. Respect the community here by sparing them additional tracking.

  49. pseudonymous in nc says:

    One thing I can’t quite square from the transcript: Paulie’s lawyers thought there was value in raising the Kilimnik meeting in Gates’s EDVA cross-examination based on discovery of his 302s, but Weissmann is probably right to argue that putting it in the public record would have “negative consequences” on a pardon, assuming that the campaign was unaware that its internals were being shipped to Deripaska.

    So: was it that Paulie and his lawyers had already prepared the backstory they supplied to the NYT and wanted to make it Gates’s word against his unless Mueller’s team were willing to introduce other evidence?

    • anaphoristand says:

      To me, this is the crux of the point I tried to make above. Independent of whether Trump knew at the time of Manafort’s sharing the internals with Deripaska, his leaking said occurrence via redaction error and then proceeding to publicly obfuscate via NYT the timing, sophistication, and recipient of the leak functions as a message to the White House: I have the actual collusion receipts (again, independent of whether or not Trump knew of the activity at the time), and am sitting on them… for now.

  50. Semanticleo says:


    Really? You’ve met him personally? And that Trumps everyone’s assessment of Mueller? You are quite self confident and I suspect just as gruff and glowering as Mueller himself.

    • bmaz says:

      And that Trumps everyone’s assessment of Mueller?

      What does that ungrammatical sentence even mean?

      Well, my my, aren’t you full of shit in addition to disinformation.

    • Rayne says:

      Look, when bmaz says he’s met Barger, he has. He’s giving you his opinion based on his experience and his professional background. If you don’t like his opinion, agree to disagree and move on.

      You’re on my nerves as it is with the sloppy link posting.

  51. Semanticleo says:

    Bmaz doesnt respond, he attacks without virtue of reason.  He just percolates his peevish prerogatives like he was somebody ..

    And you are….?

    [Dude. I am a moderator as is bmaz and I’m telling you to knock this off. You’re cluttering up a deep comment thread with this head butting. /~Rayne]

    • bmaz says:

      For all those here, Semanticleo has been questioning our work here and pushing the Mueller is a black op plant garbage for quite a while now.

      Here is an effort on January 16, 2019 arguing Mueller would pull a “chicken switch”.

      Here is another effort on January 18 denigrating our work and saying the country was shutting down on Mueller (it is not, it is still popular in polls).

      Here is yet another effort on January 18 contemplating Mueller being a “Trojan Horse”. (He is not).

      Here is Semanticleo on January 25 cravenly arguing that Roger Stone should have “been taken down hard” and abused at his arrest, even though he was a peaceful, compliant white collar criminal. This is a sick and inappropriate view.

      Those are just a few examples of the same kind of garbage this commenter has brought here today. Semanticleo has issued 44 comments since first landing here barely more than a month ago, and an awful lot of them are garbage.

  52. OrionATL says:

    Psuedonymous in nc 2/10@1:38

    Thanks for keeping parscale (and scavino) in your sights – and many other helpful insights.

    I have always wondered if either of these were behind some of the harassment campaigns that trump critics encounter and, more seriously, if they somehow signal and instigate some of the more vicious, mob-like rightwing soc media harassment campaigns not directly related related to white house politics-cum-trump.

  53. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    IMO Parscale is gunna go down in the larger conspiracy case which is moving deliberately and relentlessly. I wonder if his position in the re-elect operation won’t bring that entire thing down even before the election.

  54. Eureka says:

    @ orion 1017a re “The peculiarity of the 2016 near-philadelphia results is highlighted by the fact that two years later in the 2018 election the congressional seats around philly changed from republican to dem, as did numerous local offices – a near revolution for that area.”

    Not to under-value the role of fuckery in PA in 2016- there was plenty- but to be fair I must add that we were un-gerrymandered for 2018:

    Why Pa. sends too many Republicans to Washington – and why that could change
    Pennsylvania, gerrymandered: A guide to Pa.’s congressional map redistricting fight

    And there were lots of pissed off, betrayed voters:

    Philadelphia’s suburbs roar in another post-Trump election

    In 2018, we also went from zero of 18 reps as women to four of 18. Two of those new reps are on HJC and questioned Whitaker: Mary Gay Scanlon (Vice-Chair) and Madeleine Dean.

    Aside: And the new Sixers just pounded the Lakers!

    • anaphoristand says:

      Glad to hear there’s a fellow Pennsylvanian/Philadelphian amongst this fine community. As with the majority of the freshmen, the Friday performance of both Dean and Scanlon was a thing of beauty. As was this afternoon’s Lebron drubbing.

      • Eureka says:

        Cheers! Seeing our new reps in action renews the pride I felt on election day when the whole metro area really GOTV. And that particular game & the 2-0 record rival Chrissy Teigen’s ‘Lebron chose LA’ twitter-reveal for sure.

  55. OrionATL says:

    Eureka 2/10@6:19pm

    Thanks. That made a big difference i’m sure. And thanks for the interesting cites.

    I understand also (from friends and family doing dem work there) that some republican congressional reps in the area thru in the towel. Whether due to de-gerrymandering or from a sense that that population had had enough of trump republicanism i’m not sure, most likely a combination.

    Women are finally forcing themselves a place in american politics – the better for the nation to be sure.

    • Eureka says:

      Yes, there were some who threw in the towel.  Funny (ish) story re one exception- Brian Fitzpatrick (R), who got re-elected to his seat (that he had won by ‘name inheriting’ it from his brother in the first place).  He still might have lost had the dems gotten the candidate that folks like Ed Rendell supported (Rachel Reddick).  But back in the primaries, a millionaire (Scott Wallace) self-funded his campaign (2 mil at a crucial time, IIRC), so Ed’s pick lost.  Pretty sure she could have beat Fitzpatrick, too, had Wallace not paid his campaign flush (cf. the abilities of coffee man Schultz).

      I bet your friends & fam have *lots* of stories and notes-to-self re what went wrong around here 2016. ;)

  56. OrionATL says:

    Well my goodness. It seems that the august 2, 2016 meeting between trump campaign manager paul manafort and russian intelligence agent konstantin kilimnik was not just about polling data. It may have included talk of arranging a ukranian future agreeable to the russian federation with the ukraine possibly split into two “states”, one whose leaders would favor russia. If so, this came after the republicans had adopted a pro-russian ukrainian policy at their recent convention? No wonder trump felt he had to get rid of manafort after mid-august media disclosures of the fact that mr. M had worked for the russian side in the ukraine.

    Polling data, ukaine “solutions”, sanctions. It appears paul manafort had become candidate trump’s special ambasador to the russian federation immediately after trump was nominated as the republican party’s presidential candidate.

    Read up:

    Having trouble with cites printing completely, article is in 2/10/19 nytimes and is by lafraniere, vogel, and shane.

  57. badger says:

    It appears the NYT has tired of Trump. It claims there is an answer to the who did it question, and how they did it is also explained.

    The 2018 results present strong circumstantial evidence that in key states it worked in 2016, because the effect was not permanent in most states.  The effect may be permanent in Florida.

    Will Democrats learn anything from 2018?

  58. Cal says:

    So Manafort provided Kilimnick, whom the FBI assesses has ties to Russian intelligence, with detailed polling data on August 2nd at the Havana Room in NYC at 53rd and Fifth Avenue.  The timing is very interesting – let’s not forget what happens the next day at Trump Tower – Don Jr meets Erik Prince, George Nader and Joel Zamel at Trump Tower to discuss proposals to help the Trump campaign win the election (Jr reportedly rebuffs Zamel’s written proposal, per NYT).  Sorry in advance for the long post – this thought has hit me like a bolt of lightening after vociferously tracking this corrupt story for 2+ years now.

    Writing this in the middle of the night because I just thought of this and can’t get this out of my head: Trump does not seriously believe he will win the GOP nomination or the presidency (more focused on making money / branding), until early June.  Up and through end of June, the illicit focus of the campaign has been Hillary’s emails.  By end of June, Trump campaign must get all of their ducks in a row for the GOP convention in mid-July.  Democratic convention occurs a week later, Wikileaks releases emails on convention eve, etc.

    By the end of July, the Trump campaign could reasonably conclude that (1) there will be more leaks of embarrassing Democratic emails by the third-party holders of said emails and that some actors hostile to Hillary would proceed on this basis (I don’t recall, when did Rebekah Mercer tell Alexander Nix to have Cambridge Analytica index the stolen emails for Assange?), and (2) Trump, now with the GOP establishment behind him, desperately needed to bolster its ground game and its digital operation to stand a change against Hillary on Election Day.  I.e. By the end of July, procuring votes and data (or suppressing votes, saying nothing of the Democratic voter analytics stolen by Russia which Roger Stone called “pretty standard”) became just as, if not more important, than finding Hilary’s emails…indeed, the Trump campaign needed to be more active with the latter, and could be passive with the former.

    Below is a timeline threading some of these points together.  Two questions for the board in case anyone has educated guesses on these two points: (1) when would the Trump campaign data operation have obtained access to the RNC/GOP data files? and (2) when precisely was Cambridge Analytica brought-in to assist the Trump campaign (surely, the answer to this second question is no later than mid-August when Bannon comes aboard).  As we all know, Jared Kushner and Brad Parscale were running point for Trump on their own data operation.

    May 26, 2016. Trump officially wins the GOP primary.

    June 3, 2016.  Rob Goldstone first emails Don Jr. with the offer of Hillary dirt as part of “Russia and its government support of Mr. Trump.”

    June 7, 2016. Trump promises to give a speech the following week on all the terrible things the Clintons have done.  The speech never occurs.

    June 9, 2016.  Trump Tower meeting occurs.

    Sometime in June, 2016.  Kushner begins overseeing all Trump campaign data efforts.  “Within three weeks” from this time, Brad Parscale’s team running “Project Alamo” is in the triple digits.

    Also sometime in June 2016.  Cambridge Analytica and Brad Parscale/Trump data team have an initial meeting.

    July 27, 2017.  Trump delivers the infamous, “Russia, if you’re listening…” speech.

    August 2, 2016.  Manafort (with Gates) provides Kilimnick with polling data at Havana Club.

    August 3, 2016.  Don Jr, Erik Prince, Stephen Miller, George Nader and Joel Zamel meet at Trump Tower to discuss efforts to assist the campaign.

    By mid-to-late August 2016, NYT is still describing Trump’s get-out-the-vote and digital operation as “bare bones”.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post.  Hope readers here found this as interesting as I did thinking it over.  This thought / timeline hit me when I thought about the whole election interference “the other way around” for the first time — i.e., as evidenced by the Trump Tower meeting, the Trumps clearly first looked to Russia for illicit election interference.  Shortly after that meeting, they became frustrated that Russia would not deliver them the actual “goods” around the same time that they realized they actually needed to field a competitive general election campaign and mature data operation.  They therefore sought alternative (non-Russian) means of assistance but were pleasantly surprised once Wikileaks started releasing DNC emails on the eve of the Democratic convention.  The Trump campaign realized they could turn their “active” assistance solicitation away from Hillary/DNC emails towards something else, hence a flurry of data operations activity from mid-June to early August.

  59. orionATL says:

    on july 19, 2016 donald trump received the republican party’s nomination for president.

    exactly 2 weeks later, on august 2, 2016 trump campaign manager paul manafort was in new york having a meeting with russian intelligence agent konstantin kilimnik. the topics included at least discussion on settling the russian-ukranian conflict that had been bubbling for several years, on economic sanctions the u.s. had imposed on russia, and on detailed gop polling data.

    on aug 19, manafort was fired as trump campaign chair and nominally left the campaign after news reports appeared about his long history of working for pro-russian ukrainian politicians. manafort’s assistant rick gates stayed with the campaign thru election day.

    it seems reasonable to assume that by removing manafort quickly trump was trying to insure that questions would not arise about any associations his campaign might have with russia.

  60. Badger Robert says:

    The President’s behavior is evidence that their internal polling data shows that they cannot admit that Trump had pre-existing personal interests in Russia which conflict with the national interest. Such an admission must be related to a 5-7% decline in his approval rating, which is not reversible. If Trump goes down, Kushner and the sons go down with him.

    However fast the Twitterscape reacts to such revelations, the old fashioned person to person formation of opinion is working differently. Eventually family conversation will conclude Trump had permanent COI.

  61. SND says:

    I keep thinking about the data analytics operation Pascale and Kushner spoke so openly about before the election. They said they knew how to target messages at the micro/voting precinct level. How did they tie the voter records (street addresses) to the FB records/psychographics to analyze hot-button issues? Enter Erik Prince and Betsy DeVos.
    The DeVos family has close ties to Spectrum Health. Health records include name, street address AND email addresses. FB uses email addresses. Voila! If you combine that data and feed it to Cambridge Analytica or Zamel’s Psy Group you now know who to target and what messages to use. Spectrum Health had that very odd database activity with Alfa Bank and the Trump Campaign.
    Oh – my fave part of this? Spectrum has facilities in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

    • Rayne says:

      Oh, the health care database — that’s an interesting angle. Thanks for sharing that!

      EDIT — afterthought…wonder if it would be worth mapping all the health care insurance breaches across the country to see if there’s a pattern based on Congressional races. Hmm.

  62. Vinnie Gambone says:

    There’s been little mention of the facebook data Alexandra Kogan was handed which was then accessed by Russians. There is little doubt Facebook was the weapon of choice for Russia to influence the election. Makes sense the russians would triangulate the FB psychometrics with the data manafort gave to Kilimic, no ? The FB aspects of the mind f*cking that took place seems to have slid off the investigative table .

    • Rayne says:

      STG this is like the fourth comment asking about Facebook/Cambridge Analytica/SCL/user data in the last 12-18 hours.

      I doubt these issues have “slid off the investigative table” since the Russian Internet Researcy Agency’s troll farm has already been indicted.

      It’s important to think of Facebook data as social MEDIA. There will be First Amendment issues complicating investigation into Facebook even if they say they aren’t a news provider. It’s also important to think about the scope under which the Special Counsel’s Office is authorized. What people may want to have happen to Facebook/Cambridge Analytica/SCL may not happen through SCO; should we trade off hammering the entities which hacked and manipulated data or should we hammer on the witting/unwitting distribution system?

      And frankly, the public needs to do a better job of creating a theory by which social MEDIA can be regulated without infringing on First Amendment rights. There hasn’t yet been a solid theory of data privacy and personal data as commodity legislators can use to beat back the likes of Facebook/Cambridge Analytica/SCL short of cloning EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

      That said, I think this House of Representatives needs to look at Facebook’s testimony to Congress and punish him if he made false statements. This is low hanging fruit.

  63. harpie says:

    Patten update:

    Later in this exchange, ABJ has an ex parte discussion with the prosecutors, to see if something she’s been made aware of can be shared with Manafort’s lawyers. Remember: she is also presiding over Sam Patten’s case. Patten worked with both Gates and Manafort, and was working with Kilimnik in this period. He not only might be able to corroborate the data-sharing story, but he would be able to help Kilimnik use it, even if the years of working with Manafort hadn’t already prepared Kilimnik to do so himself. When Patten submitteda status report on December 31, it was filed under seal; his next status report is due on Monday.

    Chris Geidner 1:15 PM – 11 Feb 2019 [Twitter time]

    Further sealed filings — a joint status report — in Sam Patten’s case, per a gov’t filing this afternoon. // Background: …

  64. CaliLawyer says:

    The “consciousness of guilt” evidence is through the roof with this whole cadre of grifters. If Trump didn’t know about the handoff when it happened, Manafort could simply claim to have been freelancing as a cover for Trump – just like his side grifts. He keeps trying to recast everything as a failure of memory, but if he can’t even tell that central lie with a straight face, there must be an evidentiary trail he’s trying to slither out of. The game theory at work with all of the co-conspirators here is really something to behold.

  65. Eureka says:

    @ anaphoristand 1232a: Cheers! Seeing our new reps in action renews the pride I felt on election day when the whole metro area really GOTV. And that particular game & the 2-0 record rival Chrissy Teigen’s ‘Lebron chose LA’ twitter-reveal for sure.

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