Amy Berman Jackson Rules that Manafort Lied about Possible Criminal Activity Related to Donald Trump’s Campaign

Amy Berman Jackson has issued her ruling on whether Paul Manafort breached his plea agreement. She ruled that, for the purposes of acceptance of responsibility, Mueller’s team proved he had lied on three of the five topics they laid out: about his kickback scheme with a SuperPAC that was probably illegally coordinating with Trump’s campaign, about another investigation pertaining to someone’s efforts to save Trump’s candidacy, and when Manafort claimed he didn’t hand Konstantin Kilimnik polling data on the same day they talked about sanctions relief.

I. OSC has established by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant intentionally made false statements to the FBI, the OSC, and the grand jury concerning the payment by Firm A to the law firm, a matter that was material to the investigation. See United States v. Moore, 612 F.3d 698, 701 (D.C. Cir. 2010).

II. OSC has failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that on October 16, 2018, defendant intentionally made false statements concerning Kilimnik’s role in the obstruction of justice conspiracy.

III. OSC has established by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant intentionally made multiple false statements to the FBI, the OSC, and the grand jury concerning matters that were material to the investigation: his interactions and communications with Kilimnik.

IV. OSC has established by a preponderance of the evidence that on October 5, 2018, the defendant intentionally made false statements that were material to another DOJ investigation.

V. OSC has failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that on October 16, 2018, defendant intentionally made a false statement concerning his contacts with the administration.

That she didn’t rule that he had lied on the other two doesn’t help him much. While he tried to walk back his admission that he conspired with suspected GRU-asset Konstantin Kilimnik on witness tampering last year, ABJ effectively just ruled his efforts to walk back that guilty plea were only half-hearted.

And while prosecutors didn’t prove he lied about ongoing communications with Trump, they also didn’t show all their cards there, withholding some of the other communications they know about. Effectively, though, ABJ has just ruled that Manafort breached his plea agreement because he continues to lie about possible criminal activity related to Trump’s campaign.

Mind you, Manafort may not mind this outcome, much. After all, according to Andrew Weissmann, he lied (especially about sharing polling data) because he figured it was his best hope for a pardon. Admitting to the full details about the polling data he shared with the intent it be passed on to his Ukrainian and Russian paymasters, according to Weissman, “would have, I think, negative consequences in terms of the other motive that Mr. Manafort could have, which is to at least augment his chances for a pardon.”

So he may be sentenced to 20 years next month, but so long as he continues to lie about the crimes committed during Trump’s campaign, he might get a pardon.

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88 replies
  1. 5corners says:

    “So he may be pardoned to 20 years next month, but so long as he continues to lie about the crimes committed during Trump’s campaign, he might get a pardon.”

    I think you meant “Sentenced to 20 years”?

    • A. Non says:

      Manafort’s behavior shows that he was more interested in advancing his own self-interest and the interests of his Russian paymasters than in advancing Trump’s interests.  Much of his lying was an attempt to cover that up from Trump in hopes of getting a pardon.  But at this point it’s so obvious that Manafort wasn’t acting in Trump’s best interest that Trump and his entire team see that, which means Manafort has no chance of getting a pardon.

  2. Leu2500 says:

    Pardoned to 20 years might be right. I think Manafort, Stone et all are foolish to believe that Trump will pardon them. I’m not saying that Trump doesn’t want them to think he’ll pardon them; he has to dangle pardons to keep them quiet. But (1) he has demonstrated plenty of times that loyalty is a one way street with him. And (2) if they are pardoned then they can’t plead the 5th before a grand jury or Congress.

    • I Never Lie and am Always Right says:

      Trump can Commute their sentences, a la Scooter Libby. Obama could have pardoned Libby and Libby then could have been forced to testify under oath about what happened.  Any false testimony could have resulted in another prosecution. Any refusal to testify could have been punished by contempt.

      The 5th Amendment would have been available with respect to state crimes, but I don’t think that Libby faced prosecution under state law. Paulie might still have exposure for violating state  criminal statutes after a federal pardon. There is probably less risk for Trump if he commutes Paulie’s Sentence.

  3. Kim Kaufman says:

    I’m confused. If “After all, according to Andrew Weissmann, he lied (especially about sharing polling data) because he figured it was his best hope for a pardon.” then why is pardon still a possibility?

      • A. Non says:

        Except the lying was in the service of Paul Manafort and his Russian paymasters.  How did Trump benefit from any of Manafort’s lies?

    • Avattoir says:

      Trump doesn’t read nor does he listen closely and goes largely if not entirely off fee-fees and impulsion, certainly entirely off dominance & fee-fees.

      If Trump figures A Pardon To Paulie gives him some edge or even dominance, all the nuance Team Mueller proved to the standard here won’t deter Trump from grabbing for those.

      What MIGHT give him pause is if the sentence is so high and so tied to stuff Paulie did for Trump, him seeing torrents of sweat running off his attorneys might induce fear. Fear doesn’t work rationally; there’s little to no need for a factually connected nexus or assessment of proportionality. Reacting out of fear is definitively irrational.

    • Maestro says:

      I believe the theory is that he believes as long as he continues to protect Trump a pardon is on the table.

    • bbleh says:

      why is pardon still a possibility?

      I have to agree.  He’s given away what he’s given away, and he’s got LESS than nothing for it.  And it’s now been found that he LIED about multiple matters under a plea agreement.

      Consider Trump’s alternatives.  If he pardons Manafort, there’s a big political blowback.  But if he does nothing, Manafort just … goes away, to prison, more or less for life.  What’s he gonna do, make a phone call and say he has dirt?  Who’s gonna believe him?

      Anyone who thinks Trump manifests any loyalty downward, or backward, is a fool.

    • JKSF says:

      Manafort handed off polling data to the Russians at the August 2 meeting. It has not yet been publicly nailed down whether Manafort was acting on his own or coordinated with Trump and the Trump Campaign.

      If Manafort fingers Trump then he can kiss a pardon goodbye.

    • milton wiltmellow says:

      One explanation isn’t necessarily the only explanation.

      It’s been said before.  Maybe the Russians present a greater threat than prison.

      Maybe he has been promised a boatload of money and permanent residence in Russia.

      Maybe he has already told the OSC everything they wanted, but for national security reasons, they must maintain a pretense of non-cooperation.

      Maybe Mercer has offered him a deal he cannot refuse.

      Just because the OSC knows more than everyone else doesn’t mean they know everything.

      Or that they’re telling the truth.

        • milton wiltmellow says:

          Conventional “wisdom” always relies upon assumptions that — if seen in a slightly different light — changes the meaning and context of the original assumptions.

          I don’t think it is trolling to point out the lack of conclusive evidence is, itself, inconclusive.

          Trolling, as I understand it, simply attempts to discredit other posters with superficial accusations.

          I think it’s fairly important to acknowledge we don’t have all the facts … and we especially lack the facts of what transpires within in Manafort’s skull.

          I apologize if I’ve harshed your buzz.

  4. Rick says:

    “Has anyone ever been treated so unfairly?”

    Although I don’t want Manafort to be pardoned, I would be very interested to see everyone’s response if it happened.

    • Silence Hand says:

      I’m skeptical it’ll happen, unless as noted it’d be a low cost way for Trump to show dominance.  He’s notoriously bad about rendering payment for services rendered.  If he’s perceived as “owing” Paulie iPods a pardon, fugittaboudit

  5. Jim_46 says:

    As an aside, it’s interesting to me that CNN makes it very clear in its story on this ruling that the key word is “intentionally.” That Manafort made false statements with respect to II and IV is undoubtedly a simple fact. That his false statements were intentional is presumably what the OSC did not establish, in the view of the judge, by a preponderance of the evidence. The New York Times, in contrast, uses “had deceived” and “had lied” as synonyms for “intentionally made false statements.” I think that’s a mistake and sloppy: people can disagree on exactly what constitutes a lie or deception, and so the effect of the Times story is, at least potentially, to create confusion when it could easily have been avoided.

  6. Ken Haylock says:

    Hmm…   but if he gets pardoned, and the FBI know he lied, do they not just catch him outside the prison & ask him the same questions again, wait for him to lie again, & convict him of that? Alternatively, if he tells the truth, he walks free but Donald goes under the bus…

  7. MattyG says:

    Slightly O/T: How do we know that only Manafort, Gates and Kilimnik were at the cigar “polling data” meeting? Is it based on Gates cooperation or other sources? I usually have this question anytime talk of clandestine meetings comes up. Like the Trump Tower meeting – was there a legit paper trail, wire taps or corrobarating sources (other than the cons present)?

    • Maestro says:

      The parties at the hearing seem to have taken it as a given that the meeting was just the three men. For example, at one point Weissmann refers to the three of them leaving separately and doesn’t mention anyone else.

        • Drew says:

          Given the way that this was discussed in the hearing, it appears that Manafort admitted this point, at least after being confronted by the prosecutors with what they knew and what he had said previously.  It was Gates’ characterization of the data that was passed and whether Manafort had ordered him to print it out that was argued by Manafort’s attorney.

          Given how aggressive Downing was in the hearing, I doubt that he would have acquiesced on such a major point if it wasn’t established & agreed upon.

  8. Frank Probst says:

    I’m curious as to why he thinks he’s hurting his chances of a pardon by lying about giving the polling data to Kilimnik. The obvious reason is that he would be too toxic to pardon if this came out. But I don’t think that’s what’s driving him. I think his big fear is that Trump will turn on him if he finds out that Manafort was doing shady things for his own financial gain. THAT’s the kind of thing that would enrage Trump. Nobody in Trumpworld is supposed to do anything for their own gain. They can only do things for the sole purpose of benefiting Trump himself.

  9. Frank Probst says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t want to see him sentenced yet?  I want him to rot in the Alexandria jail for as long as possible.

  10. KG says:

    Marcy, if the overarching Mueller investigation eventually shows that he was doing this in coordination with Trump, would a pardon still be legal at that point? I find it hard to believe that the law and Constitution would allow a president to pardon someone committing crimes for the president’s own benefit

  11. Anvil Leucippus says:

    I will admit there, that I was worried that this wouldn’t play out this way. I have been burned by optimism and common-sense before!

    I worried that ABJ would rule that the OSC hadn’t done quite enough to show that Paul had lied, or we would get mired in the asinine argument of “he lied but he didn’t mean to”, or some such nonsense.

  12. Rita says:

    Doesn’t this finding make Manafort a not credible witness – thereby lowering his value fr the prosecution but, perhaps more importantly, also to Trump. And wouldn’t that then lower the possibility of pardon? (The pardon of Manafort could be the tipping point for impeachment).

  13. Pete says:

    What might be the “best”  strategic/tactical time for Trump to pardon him (if at all) which, I assume, would be post sentencing?

    How much of a game of chess can be played by the SCO (got it right Marcy) in terms of influencing the sentencing date?  I imagine that is almost exclusively in the hands of ABJ though.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      I think EW suggested that the best time to pardon Paulie the Rug would have been before the EDVA case went to trial, and I agree with her.

      • BobCon says:

        At this point it would be a balancing act, right? Trump probably wants the latest possible date, probably after the election, and Manafort wants out right now. The longer Manafort waits, the more likely he is to let something slip, though, either intentionally or by accident.

        I can’t help but wonder, though, if Manafort wants more than just a pardon. He needs a lot of cheddar to live the life he was accustomed to, and to make up for everything that was seized. He’s not getting all that back from a contract with Regnery Publishing. Is he pushing for hush money? And what impact does that have on cheapskate Trump? Does he end up breaking promises and let Manafort rot?

        • pseudonymous in nc says:

          One way to think of it might be that King Stupid’s lawyers, faced with a compulsive liar as a client, settled upon a strategy that extracted as much information from other sources as possible. That explains the extensive JDAs and a desire to see discovery from Gates in both the EDVA trial and the DC trial before Paulie took his plea.

          With a max disclosure strategy, even this batch of hearings has value to King Stupid’s lawyers because Weissmann had to show ABJ how Mueller’s team knew Manafort was lying without revealing too much. That doesn’t account for the Kilimnik meeting lies being a way to protect a pardon, but we don’t know the implications behind that. For instance, if the truth behind that meeting — or at least what Gates has said — is enough to take down King Stupid, then bang goes the pardon.

          (I assume there have been ongoing communications between Paulie and the White House through lawyerly middlement about the possibility of a pardon and what to lie about to investigators, as well as the “staying strong” morning tweets from the shitter.)

    • Joe says:

      I think that if Trump doesn’t pardon someone when the issues are occluded to the public and to the press, (perhaps because the press’s members are willing to go along with the serialized installments of the historical saga while negotiating book deals), he is screwed, for several reasons.

      That being said, Trump doesn’t pardon, and will not pardon.  We will look back and ask “when could a pardon have broken the investigation and allowed Trump to mumble ‘witch hunt, witch hunt’ to his grave and allowed historians to argue over the veracity of his dying words?”    But I think Trump’s gut feeling is that the endgame is saving his pardon for Don Jr., Ivanka, Jared, and himself.   In for a dime, in for a dollar. In for a false election, in for the fate of the world, or at least the Republican Party’s viability.

      There is no sign that the Republican Party wants to call in his chips, so he will keep rolling the dice until its too late.  A gambler such as Trump being President of the United States is “winning.”  The taste of it must be great to someone like Trump who has faked “winning” for so long.  Any gambler would be happy to be Trump.  He keeps on rolling the dice.  He’s playing with the Republican party’s reputation and America’s reputation.  He will not pay for the bankruptcy of either.  If he loses, he still wins by abiding by Rodger Stone’s dictate that infamy is better than neglect.  So, this gamble is all being played on America’s tab.  Have you noticed?

  14. Drusilla Brown says:

    So if Manafort lied to protect a pardon, he lied to protect Trump. And Mueller knows what the lie is. So doesn’t that mean Mueller has the smoking gun?

  15. pseudonymous in nc says:

    @KG: the pardon power is a plenary power. (Hamilton wondered about vesting it jointly in the president and Congress for cases of treason, but that didn’t go anywhere.) The remedy for misuse of that power is impeachment and removal. If that doesn’t happen, well, wave bye-bye to the republic.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Traditional theory, but not much precedent to base it on.  There’s an argument that a president can use his plenary pardon powers for an unlawful purpose and thereby commit a prosecutable crime.  If Trump were to pardon Manafort, for example, because the prospect of his dying in prison loosens his lips about crimes he alleges Trump committed, Trump would be obstructing justice.  Same goes for Stone and a cast of characters.

      In Paulie’s case, Trump seems more likely to do a Bush and commute Manafort’s sentence.  Gets him out of jail, but leaves him with legal jeopardy, which might effectively seal his lips.  Not that Trump understands nuance or gives a shit about Manafort.  But if he, rather, his advisers, thought it was a way to reward Manafort and persuade him and others to STFU, while limiting his own exposure to claims of misusing his own powers, he might well do it.

    • Drew says:

      If I’m wrong and the Republicans don’t throw DT under the bus later this year for the sake of salvaging their party, the other alternative is that Trump serves out his term. In that case, while any pardons that he issues would be still binding, I doubt that a self-pardon would. AND Mueller’s investigation would not be moot, but rather it would be time for indictments on Trump himself to drop, including corruptly using his presidential powers, including the pardons, to obstruct justice, obstruct investigations, to conspire with foreign states against the U.S.

  16. Willis Warren says:

    If trump pardons him, that’s a de facto admission that he knew Manafort was sharing data, though.

    If he doesn’t, Paul dies in prison.  I don’t think a pardon solves any issues unless trump does it before he resigns and gets his own pardons

  17. chuck says:

    Manafort, et al, still have massive state-level legal exposure, no?  Here’s to hoping there’s a huge pile of pardon proof points that state prosecutors can use on team Trump, still remaining as Mueller’s closely guarded evidence.

  18. anaphoristand says:

    The public narrative has never properly stressed the extremely shady circumstances under which the Ukrainian government stopped cooperating with Mueller, releasing Kilimnik from custody to return to Russia at the exact same time that Donald Trump, for perhaps the lone time in his entire presidency (not forced on him by Congress) took meaningful Russia-related action not in Putin’s personal interest.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/02/world/europe/ukraine-mueller-manafort-missiles.html

  19. hitchhiker says:

    Ironically, it might be the case that trump doesn’t pardon Manafort because what he’s learning from his Fox News Cabinet is that this isn’t a big deal at all. Just a process crime. Nothing to be concerned about.

  20. Badger Robert says:

    He can pardon Manafort. But the optics of the deal, New York, elite private club, Russian operative, will roll westward and leave extensive wreckage.

    Trump has inherited Clinton’s personal problems, and that has no cure. He has a tax cut which isn’t noticeable for most people. The wall helps his core, but most people in the Southwest are accustomed to Latin Americans from experience.  If the rest of his record was super clean, he could survive this.

    Legally he may survive, but in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas the stink is going to last. Trying to minimize or quash the Mueller report only makes it worse, because it allows the public to assume the worst.

  21. P J Evans says:

    @JKSF February 13, 2019 at 11:02 pm
    If you think Paulie was doing that on his own, you need to re-think it. Tr*mp won’t have issued written orders – that’s the kind of thing he’d do by phone or a trusted third party.
    Of course it isn’t public – yet – but most of us following this mess can see where that one came from. (Handy hint: ask who benefited?)

  22. Vinnie Gambone says:

    We don’t know what Trump may know about the guilt of his kids, including Jarret.  He’s not going to give Manafort or anyone else a  pardon if he thinks he might need the pardons later for the kids.

  23. AirportCat says:

    I think this whole situation cries out for a new verb: manaforked. As in “Paulie got well and truly manaforked by ABJ’s decision today.”

  24. Lee H Carroll says:

    Great article! But is “pardoned” really “sentenced” in the following?: “So he may be pardoned to 20 years next month, but so long as he continues to lie about the crimes committed during Trump’s campaign, he might get a pardon.”

  25. harpie says:

    Marcy retweeted MsEnergyHealer, 6:30 PM – 13 Feb 2019 under a photo with this caption:  “Presidents of Russia and Turkey meet for talks in St. Petersburg; St. Petersburg, Russia August 9, 2016: Rusal president Oleg Deripaska (L) and Concord Catering general director Yevgeny Prigozhin at a meeting of Russian and Turkish government officials and business leaders.” 

    A week after Manafort passed Trump’s internal poll data to a Russian military intelligence trained guy [Kilimnik] who’d been passing messages from Manafort to another GRU guy [Victor Boyarkin] who worked for Deripaska , Deripaska met with the indicted head of the troll farm [Prigozhin] and Putin. / Kilimnik’s ties to the GRU during the 2016 campaign aren’t just “assessed.” We have emails where Kilimnik is passing messages between Manafort & Victor Boyarkin, who is now sanctioned for interfering in Western elections & who was is a “former” GRU agent once stationed in the US. / Trump’s campaign manager had a guy trained by Russia’s GRU, who had been passing messages to another GRU agent, fly to NY on Aug 2 to give him messages in person & he gave him the campaign’s internal data AS the GRU was hacking our voter rolls and the DNC’s data analytics.

    She responds to a question in the thread from J Matthew Smith, that it’s “my theory”, that:, “the data Manafort gave to Kilimnik was used by the Troll farms that Mueller indicted specifically and that it can be linked (by the OSC) directly to their efforts.”  

    That’s my theory. It was strengthened when Boyarkin was sanctioned in December. // But just from work on campaigns, I doubt this only happened 1 time. Wouldn’t surprise me if Manafort stepped down to facilitate this. Fabrizio, his pollster, stayed on. Both said go to MI in Oct

    • harpie says:

      One of the exchanges of “emails where Kilimnik is passing messages between Manafort and Victor Boyarkin”:

      4/11/16 Manafort emails Konstantin Kilimnik. He asks Kilimnik if his “friends” have seen coverage of his new position. Kilimnik says that they have. // “How do we use to get whole,” “Has OVD [Oleg Deripaska] “operation seen?” 

      Kilimnik: “Yes, I have been sending everything to Victor, who has been forwarding the coverage directly to OVD,” (“Victor” is a Deripaska aide, the source close to Manafort confirmed.) “Frankly, the coverage has been much better than Trump’s. [] In any case it will hugely enhance your reputation no matter what happens.” 

      • Eureka says:

        perfect timing, harpie, as I had recently been wondering the date of the “How do we use to get whole” email.

      • harpie says:

        That’s my theory. It was strengthened when Boyarkin was sanctioned in December.” 

        This is what she wrote then, 11:03 PM – 19 Dec 2018:

        Whoa, whoa, whoa. Could this Victor from the GRU that we just sanctioned today be the “V” that Manafort communicated to Deripaska through during the 2016 elections??? Where he emails Kiliminik to tell V that he could offer Deripaska private briefings?! [link to Treasury Department sanctions notice for Victor Alekseyevich Boyarkin

        Then on 7:54 PM – 29 Dec 2018 [same thread] 

        Turns out Boyarkin, “former” GRU officer we just sanctioned 10 days ago, WAS the “V” whom Manafort communicated to Deripaska through during the GRU attack on our election. [links to TIME] :

        In his only interview with the media about those connections, Boyarkin told TIME this fall [2018] that he was in touch with Trump’s then-campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in the heat of the presidential race on behalf of the Russian oligarch. “He owed us a lot of money, “Boyarkin says. “And he was offering ways to pay it back.” 

    • Eureka says:

      Repeating myself, but adding to the context of the additional angles you’ve given here:  It would seem Manafort would also have to step down for WL to use the Podesta attack (Aug 2 Corsi to Stone: ~  ‘It’s time for more than Podesta to be exposed as in bed with the enemy’); plus the August 2 pm “longtime ally” of Manafort complaining about him to the press (Manafort ~ dialing it in, staff suicidal), like a public kill-switch/ start the exit process.

    • harpie says:

      MEH: “Wouldn’t surprise me if Manafort stepped down to facilitate this.”

      Marcy had an interesting discussion with GOP strategist John Weaver
      JW:

      I suspect Manafort shared more than top line polling data with his GRU comrade. Imagine a roadmap of sorts: polling cross tabs in key states, along with targeting psychological profiles of not only prospective Trump voters, but those who could be directed to Stein or abstain? / […] / What is Manafort willing to spend the rest of his life in prison for? What was so valuable that he was willing to put his family in the poor house & add time to his sentence? […] / It could only be this traitorous bastard gave the Crown Jewels of targeting/polling information to the Russians, who used it to guide their activities in the coming months. Putin needed a sophisticated roadmap to do what they did. 

      Marcy:

      Did you see Westling’s argument that the data was meaningless bc he couldn’t make sense of it? // To which ABJ pointed out that that’s what made it so unusual? / Precisely. I keep harping on that passage of the transcript but no one is getting to where you are. But then you get this, I’m sure. / […] / And what people often miss is this data sharing took place a month before the Russians spent most of September hacking Hillary’s analytics

      JW:

      Exactly. It would take a good two to three weeks to take this data and develop a plan to use it effectively. / It’s not so much the rallies….they are overrated. More the direct targeting of certain voter types to either support Trump — and why — and to cause other more traditional democrats to take a walk or vote for Stein. 

      • Eureka says:

        Thank you, harpie, once again, for putting all of these strands together.

        EW post re Stone/G2 and DNC-talk:

        EW excerpted the GRU indictment:

        The Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, also communicated with U.S. persons about the release of stolen documents. On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, “thank u for writing back . . . do u find anyt[h]ing interesting in the docs i posted?” On or about August 17, 2016, the Conspirators added, “please tell me if i can help u anyhow . . . it would be a great pleasure to me.” On or about September 9, 2016, the Conspirators, again posing as Guccifer 2.0, referred to a stolen DCCC document posted online and asked the person, “what do u think of the info on the turnout model for the democrats entire presidential campaign.” The person responded, “[p]retty standard.”

        EW:

        Sometime in September — the indictment is coy about whether it happened before or after September 9 — Russian hackers accessed the DNC’s analytics on an AWS server and made a copy, thereby stealing it.

        …It would be far more damning, too, if that theft came after a close associate of the candidate (and the recently departed campaign manager) had poo-pooed the dated targeting data as standard fare, suggesting Trump’s team wanted something more valuable.

        • Eureka says:

          And this MW post re the Amended DNC lawsuit, extending the dates:

          Quoting the suit with her emphasis added:

          On September 20, 2016, CrowdStrike’s monitoring service discovered that unauthorized users had breached DNC AWS servers that contained testing clusters. Further forensic analysis showed that the unauthorized users had stolen the contents of these DNC AWS servers by taking snapshots of the virtual servers, and had moved those replicas to other AWS accounts they controlled. The GRU stole multiple snapshots of these servers between September 5, 2016 and September 22, 2016. The U.S. later concluded that this cyberattack had been executed by the GRU as part of its broader campaign to damage to the Democratic party. The GRU could have derived significant economic value from the theft of the DNC’s data by, among other possibilities, selling the data to the highest bidder.

          EW:

          In other words, at least one of those snapshots was stolen after Stone suggested he would like better analytics data than what GRU had publicly released via HelloFL. So he can no longer say that his communications with Guccifer 2.0 preceded all the hacking. Which the nifty timeline Stone’s attorney submitted in conjunction with his motion to dismiss doesn’t account for at all.

          (internal link removed)

        • harpie says:

          Thanks, Eureka. I was working on some of that as well.
          *
          8/2/16 Havana Club meeting
          *
          8/9/16 “Rusal president Oleg Deripaska (L) and Concord Catering general director Yevgeny Prigozhin at a meeting of Russian and Turkish government officials and business leaders”
          *
          8/12/16 Guccifer 2.0 releases Democrats’ records it says were taken from a breach of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) 
          *
          8/12/16 “Florida political operative named Aaron Nevins […] essentially cold-emailed Guccifer 2.0 and asked if he had any material to share on Florida. […] It turns out he did. A lot.” [TPM see below]
          *
          8/13/16 WikLeaks: “@Guccifer_2 has account completely censored by Twitter after publishing some files from Democratic campaign #DCCC
          *
          8/13/16[responding to WL] Roger Stone [12:15 PM – 13 AUG 2016]: “@wikileaks @GUCCIFER_2 Outrageous ! Clintonistas now nned [sic] to censor their critics to rig the upcoming election.”
          *
          8/15/16 the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, “thank u for writing back . . . do u find anyt[h]ing interesting in the docs i posted?” 
          *
          8/17/16 On or about August 17, 2016, the Conspirators added, “please tell me if i can help u anyhow . . . it would be a great pleasure to me.” 
          *
          8/19/16 Paul Manafort formally resigns from the Trump campaign following a New York Times report on his receiving secret cash payments from Ukrainian political groups.
          *
          9/9/16 the Conspirators, again posing as Guccifer 2.0, referred to a stolen DCCC document posted online [see 8/12/16] and asked the person [Stone], “what do u think of the info on the turnout model for the democrats [DCCCanalytics] entire presidential campaign.” The person responded, “[p]retty standard.” [GRU indictment]
          *
          9/9/16 Laura Rozen and Ryan Goodman: [Note: If that type of information being disclosed is not pretty standard, then Stone’s reply is incriminating. Analysis by Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo suggests it was not pretty standard. The Direct Message exchange between Stone and Guccifer then ends abruptly.]
          *
          TPM 9/20/17: Over recent weeks we’ve learned much more about how Russian operatives used Facebook to support Donald Trump, attack Hillary Clinton and spread conspiracy theories pumped up the heat of the 2016 campaign. One big question has been: how effectively did they target those messages, given Facebook’s vast ability to target messages? And if they did target their messages to areas of particular Democratic weakness in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, how were they able to do that? Where did they get the data to drive the effort? // One possibility is obvious: Maybe the Trump campaign gave the Russians access to their data and voter files. To date, there’s at least no public evidence that this happened. // [Talks about Aaron Nevins 8/12/16]

          • harpie says:

            9/5/16-9/22/16 CrowdStrike’s monitoring service discovered that unauthorized users had breached DNC AWS servers that contained testing clusters. [MW post] The GRU stole multiple snapshots of these servers between September 5, 2016 and September 22, 2016.

          • harpie says:

            Also:
            7/28/16 Rudy Giuliani: “the Russians have those emails, they have had them for some time.”  [VIDEO] 
            7/31/16 FBI initiated its counterintelligence investigation

            And add to 8/17/16 “Conspirators” messages to Stone:

            8/17/16 GUCCIFER2.0 @RogerJStoneJr 3:36 PM – 17 Aug 2016 “paying u back “ 

      • Rayne says:

        …cause other more traditional democrats to take a walk or vote for Stein. …

        There was a third option which was undervotes. Michigan had a record number of undervotes — no vote at the top of the ticket but votes downticket for other candidates. 80K undervotes in a state where the margin was only 10K.

      • Eureka says:

        And the other thing I keep thinking of is the Fox/Hannity et al. angle re suppressing votes.  I know of some people so-impacted.  FB + lots of Fox = Stay Home for some who would otherwise have voted HRC.

      • harpie says:

        From the DNC complaint [from Marcy’s post in Eureka’s comment above]: “The GRU could have derived significant economic value from the theft of the DNC’s data by, among other possibilities, selling the data to the highest bidder.”
        This reminded me of this 11/26/18 Emma Best post: Technical report shows Russian hacking began hours after WikiLeaks mentioned a reward

        Hours before Russian hacking operations targeted Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the spring of 2016, WikiLeaks discussed offering a monetary reward for transcripts of her speeches at Goldman Sachs. Soon after, Russian hackers launched a spear phishing campaign that resulted in John Podesta’s email account being compromised. Emails containing excerpts from the speeches were included in the first day of the Podesta email releases. A week later, emails containing the transcripts themselves were released. WikiLeaks heralded these transcripts as their “holy grail.” […] 

        3/9/16 [email protected] tweets 9:16 AM – 9 Mar 2016:

        POLL: Should we add Hillary Clinton’s secret “Golman Sachs speech” to our Most Wanted list? Wikileaks . org / pledge / 93% Yes 7% No 6,074 votes Final results

        3/16/16 First WikiLeaks drop (in reality, indexing of documents obtained via FOIA) [<<<Marcy]
        8/27/16 [email protected] tweets 2:37 PM – 27 Aug 2016:

        We will soon issue a reward for additional US election related documents. Vote or reply with suggestions. 22% Trump Tax Returns 72% Clinton Goldman Sachs 6% See my reply tweet! 46, 933 votes Final results 

        10/7/16 WikiLeaks tweets 1:32 PM – 7 Oct 2016:

        RELEASE: The Podesta Emails #HillaryClinton #Podesta #imWithHer

        10/7/16 [email protected] 4:18 PM – 7 Oct 2018:

        RELEASE: Hillary Clinton Goldman Sachs paid speech transcript excerpts 2013 & 2014 #PodestaEmails

        10/15/16 WikiLeaks released transcripts of three of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches. [Emma Best post] 

        • Eureka says:

          Wow, look at the order of magnitude difference in the # of votes between those two polls. Had to be sure ‘Trump Tax Returns’ didn’t win while they reified the HRC-hate and pretexted to ‘truth’ and ‘all sides’ bullshit.

        • P J Evans says:

          I wondered why there was so damned much screaming about that speech – it isn’t like politicians don’t make paid speeches all the time to various groups, and it isn’t like she’d have been making them promises or giving them state secrets.

      • Ewan says:

        Is this the reason for Jill Stein’s invitation for this famous dinner?
        It did not make much sense to have her there, I would assume, as she isn’t the most visible American politician, except for two things:

        A. Provide a good reason for Flynn to be there

        or

        B. Since the idea/plan to tinker with the election was already there, if somehow the thing was blown (someone caught some operative doing something, say) the maskirovka was ready to explain that JS was the actual beneficiary…

        Too tinfoiled?

        • Stormcrow says:

          I’ve always assumed Jill Stein being there was an indication of Russia having multiple lines of attack. They supported her (either directly or indirectly – I’d love to know which) in the idea that she’d take some votes from Clinton. Multiple lines of attack, not all being aware of the others, all pulling in roughly the same direction as opposed to some kind of grand, clockwork conspiracy. Not meaning there is no conspiracy, just that there were lots of conspiracies of varying sizes and degrees, and some of them are not intertwined.

          • Rayne says:

            In retrospect the invitation of Flynn and Stein together, representing opposite ends of U.S. political spectrum, should have been read as a sign the Russians were engaging in destabilization using horseshoe politics. We’re seeing similar efforts within France’s Gilets Jaunes, both ends of the political spectrum manipulated to sow the most chaos.

    • harpie says:

      Some Trump quotes, etc, I’d like to add to the TL. 
      7/27/16 Trump: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the candidate says in a press conference. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” At the same news conference, he says: “I never met Putin. I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius. I said thank you very much to the newspaper and that was the end of it. I never met Putin.” He added that he would rather have a “friendly Russia” under a Trump administration. At a rally later in Scranton, Pennsylvania, he says “wouldn’t it be a great thing if we could get along with Russia.” He also tells a local Miami CBS affiliate: “I have nothing to do with Russia, nothing to do, I never met Putin, I have nothing to do with Russia whatsoever.”
      *

      7/27/16 [T]he [Russian] Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a thirdparty provider and used by Clinton’s personal office. […] At or around the same time, they also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton Campaign.” [GRU indictment]

      *
      7/29/16 Kilimnik emails Manafort wrt: “Black Caviar” “I met today with the guy who gave you your biggest black caviar jar several years ago,” Kilimnik wrote. “We spent about 5 hours talking about his story, and I have several important messages from him to you. He asked me to go and brief you on our conversation. I said I have to run it by you first, but in principle I am prepared to do it, provided that he buys me a ticket. It has to do about the future of his country, and is quite interesting. So, if you are not absolutely against the concept, please let me know which dates/places will work, even next week, and I could come and see you.https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/10/emails-suggest-manafort-sought-approval-from-putin-ally-deripaska/541677/ 
       *
      7/31/16 Trump [to ABC] […] Putin, who had already invaded the Crimea, was “not going into Ukraine.”
      *
      7/31/16 Kilimnik emails ManafortI need about two hours,” [for 8/2/16 meeting] “because it is a long caviar story to tell.” […] “several important messagesfrom his contact [Victor Boyarkin?] about the “future of his country.”
      *
      8/1/16 Trump tweets 7:50 AM – Aug 1, 2016: When I said in an interview that Putin is “not going into Ukraine, you can mark it down,” I am saying if I am President. Already in Crimea! …and…8:03 AM – Aug 1, 2016 So with all of the Obama tough talk on Russia and the Ukraine, they have already taken Crimea and continue to push. That’s what I said!
      *
      8/1/16 Trump: “I’m afraid the election’s going to be rigged. I have to be honest,” [in OHIO] Trump added that he has heard “more and more” that the November election will be rigged — suggesting to his supporters that the outcome of the election is out of the hands of voters. […] [On Hannity:] “I’ve been hearing about it for a long time,” Trump said. “And I know last time [2012], there were — you had precincts where there was practically nobody voting for the Republican. And I think that’s wrong. I think that was unfair, frankly” [ ] “I’m telling you, November 8, we’d better be careful, because that election is going to be rigged,” [] “And I hope the Republicans are watching closely or it’s going to be taken away from us.” https://www.cnn.com/2016/08/01/politics/donald-trump-election-2016-rigged/index.html 
      *
      8/2/16 Stone tweets: 09:59:24 PM The idea that @PaulManafort is not doing everything humanly possible to help @realDonaldTrump win is patently false [Twitter for iPhone] https://www.emptywheel.net/2019/02/09/paul-manafort-sold-out-donald-trump-and-his-anonymous-leakers-are-lying-about-it-publicly/ 
      *

      8/3/16 Stone says he spoke with Trump https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/04/politics/roger-stone-julian-assange-email-wikileaks/index.html

      *
      8/4/16 Stone sends an email to Sam Nunberg saying, “I dined with my new pal Julian Assange last nite.” 

  26. Rusharuse says:

    Dear Mr Whitaker, can we have another five minutes of your time?

    Jerry Nadler invites acting AG to come sit down – again.

    [FYI: we don’t post Google Drive links. Could you take a screen shot of Nadler’s letter and host it some other way, perhaps in a tweet? Or perhaps reply with a non-Google Drive link to the letter. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  27. Rollo T says:

    Question:  What access does Mueller have, if any, to the top secret intercepts that the NSA (and other alphabets) have?

  28. Hops says:

    @Rollo, I have heard that after 9/11 there was an effort to better integrate the various intelligence agencies.

  29. orionATL says:

    harpie 2/[email protected]:35am

    thanks harpie. you’re up late up doing some superb internet sleuthing and analysis. not to mention chronology-constructing.

    now the nation can stop this implicit trump-protecting crap that campaign manager paul manafort was acting solely in his own interest when he and his sidekick rick gates had their discussion with long-time confidant and russian intelligence agent konstantin kilimnik two weeks to the day after trump was nominated as the republican candidate for president.

    now we can place putin, deripaksa, and prigozhin in the same place at the same time a week after the  aug 2 meeting. were they discussing yachts? or maybe american election strategy – their resolve happily fortified by the trump campaign’s willingness to discuss sanction issues with kilimnik and give him some polling data to boot?

    “win-win” indeed! the trump campaign overtly solicits some russian help and manafort gets some payback to deripaksa. sweet!

    is this the super-secret counter-intelligence investigation whose name no american official dare pronounce :) ?

  30. harpie says:

    So, Andrew McCabe is selling his book.

    Applause to Sarah Kendzior:

    You should be concerned that 1) McCabe was surprised Trump behaved as a corrupt mobster 2) McCabe is selling you this info in a book instead of presenting it as public testimony. This is not only info he should have known, but actions he should have helped stop — not marketed. /  Can someone get the FBI, like, a Lexis-Nexus subscription and a library card? There are books on Trump and his circle’s illicit acts going back to the 1980s, Wayne Barrett’s work in particular. Would be super exciting if they could catch up and do their jobs before another purge. / And the FBI did nothing. OK not nothing — Comey ignored Harry Reid’s pleas to share Trump’s illicit ties to Russia with the public then broke protocol to smear HRC. The FBI behaved so disturbingly Christopher Steele stopped talking to them out of fear something was deeply wrong.

  31. Savage Librarian says:

    This is the age of cyber mercenaries.

    Looks like Zamel may have had a bigger influence on the primaries than first thought. So, he very well could have been in play before the meeting on 8/3/16.

    “The problem is when you combine that with the fact of all the other allegations against Mr. Zamel, including the allegations that he received payment from George Nader, that Psy Group was allegedly involved with a social media manipulation campaign first during the primary and then during the general—you combine all of that with the fact that at another company he owns, Wikistrat, his analysts came up with a scenario that’s eerily similar to what wound up happening,” that person said. “It’s circumstantial, certainly, but it is very concerning.”

    From: The Daily Beast

    READY PLAYER ONE
    Mueller Witness’ Team Gamed Out Russian Meddling … in 2015
    Betsy Woodruff,
    Erin Banco
    01.30.19 5:05 AM ET

  32. Mark Ospeck says:

    harpie, terrific great detailed sleuthing.

    A. Non, your conclusions don’t appear to be warranted.

    ” you cracked out of turn.”

    Watch “House of Games”

  33. orionATL says:

    rayne 2/[email protected]:15am

    thanks. michigan undervotes – turned off dems – brad parscales’ discourag’em-with-lies-about-clinton strategy.

    jeez. what a bunch of night owls yall are!

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