A Newfound Obsession with Paul Manafort’s iCloud Account

There was an interesting filing last week in the case of Stephen Calk, the banker charged with giving Paul Manafort a loan in exchange for a position in the Trump Administration. It is probably totally innocent, but it reveals certain things about referrals from the Mueller investigation. And given my past obsession with Manafort’s OpSec (or, more commonly, lack thereof) dealing with Apple products, I’m intrigued that the contents of one imaging of Manafort’s iCloud account remained outside normal evidentiary filing systems.

Calk’s lawyers have long pushed prosecutors in SDNY for more expansive discovery relating to Manafort and his son-in-law. In a filing in April, they described that the investigations of Manafort and Calk proceeded in close parallel, and so there might be Mueller files that were pertinent to Calk.

Beginning in or about March 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Special Counsel’s Office (“SCO”), commenced a joint investigation that ultimately led to the indictment of Mr. Calk in this case. The SCO, which was investigating former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, and Southern District (including the prosecutors on this case) worked closely together, conducted joint proffer sessions with employees of Mr. Calk’s bank (The Federal Savings Bank (“TFSB”)), and from early on shared evidence and information. Indeed, the investigation of Mr. Calk was totally intertwined with the SCO’s investigation of Manafort; the two investigations even shared the same FBI case agent. Manafort was charged in February 2018 with defrauding TFSB (among other banks) by providing the bank with false information about his finances in connection with the two loans at the heart of the case against Mr. Calk (loans that, in this case, the government now claims were obtained through bribery rather than deception). At Manafort’s trial in August 2018, two TFSB employees testified for the government pursuant to immunity orders regarding those loans. Those same witnesses, as well as potentially others from the Manafort trial, are expected to testify at Mr. Calk’s trial. There will also be substantial overlap of documentary evidence.

From the outset of this case, the government was thus well aware that it would need to review the files of the Special Counsel’s Office for relevant Rule 16 materials.


On July 29, 2019, the defense sent a discovery letter to the government seeking discovery pursuant to Rule 16 and Brady/Giglio, and specifically reminding the government of its obligation to review the files of the SCO for responsive material. Prior to the August 26 deadline, the government made six productions to the defense totaling approximately 90,000 documents (approximately 1,265,000 pages). 1 Yet, according to the government’s index accompanying the discovery, none of the six sets appears to have included materials from the files of the Special Counsel’s Office.

On August 26, 2019, the government sought permission of the Court to extend the discovery deadline to October 15, 2019. (ECF No. 28). The government explained that it had “completed its production of discoverable materials from [its own] investigative files,” but that it had “been obtaining materials from the files of investigations conducted by the Central District of California and the Special Counsel’s Office . . . , and ha[d] begun reviewing and producing such materials.” (Id.). The government noted that, while it believed “its production of core Rule 16 discovery material [was] substantially complete, . . . there [was] a significant volume of additional material from the files of the Special Counsel’s Office—some of which [was] not yet in [the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York’s] possession—that the Government intend[ed] to review for production to the defense” and therefore required an “extension of the discovery deadline by several weeks.”

In response to that filing the government described what sounded like a kind of graymail on the part of Calk’s lawyers, discovery requests that had nothing to do with the case against Calk, but which might elicit sensitive files about the Mueller investigation, including details of anything the government ever considered charging Manafort with.

For example, notwithstanding the fact that Manafort is not a named defendant in this case and is not a likely trial witness for the Government, the defense has asked broadly for the entire contents of all email accounts used by Manafort (without any restrictions based on, for example, time period or who Manafort used these accounts to correspond with), Ex. B at 5; all documents and communications “concerning any entities controlled directly or indirectly by, or associated with, Mr. Manafort or Mr. Yohai or their family members,” Ex. B at 4 (which would appear on its face to call broadly for every record concerning any of Manafort’s lobbying or consulting businesses throughout his entire career and concerning every activity he conducted as part of any such business during his career—as well as the same for, among others, Manafort’s adult children); and all documents concerning any offense by Manafort “investigated or considered” by the Government (which would would seem to encompass virtually any document in the SCO’s file if not narrowed, as Calk’s counsel never agreed to do), Ex. A. at 2, even though that material was not gathered by this Office as part of this investigation and virtually none of that material has anything to do with (or was ever known to or sought by) Calk or the Federal Savings Bank. [my emphasis]

The government’s filing actually makes it clear that the two investigations proceeded with totally separate sets of evidence, with the Mueller evidence inaccessible to the Calk team.

Last Friday, the government informed the court that they were still finding Mueller-related files and providing them to Calk.

Last week, in the process for searching for additional material requested by the defendant, the Government discovered that it had inadvertently failed to previously identify and produce a limited universe of additional materials from SCO’s Manafort files. Although a very limited number of these materials may be of some relevance to this case, the vast majority of these materials appear upon the Government’s limited initial inspection to be either duplicative of prior productions or of minimal relevance. Nonetheless, the Government is producing these materials immediately out of an abundance of caution and undertaking efforts to minimize delay and disruption to the defense by (i) identifying the documents within the new production that are most likely to be relevant; and (ii) undertaking a substantial technical effort, at the Government’s expense, to de-duplicate the new materials against prior productions so as to help defense counsel quickly identify any documents that are truly new. As also described below, in light of our discovery of this new material, the Government is also undertaking a broader re-review of the Manafort Materials to ensure that nothing else in the Manafort Materials has been overlooked. As also detailed herein, we expect that process to be completed well in advance of the current December 2020 trial date.

The files include documents from Calk’s bank that the bank did not turn over in response to subpoenas from SDNY (but did turn over to Mueller’s team).

Specifically, in its review of this subset of the material thus far, the Government has identified fewer than 100 documents that appear to be potentially relevant and non-duplicative, including certain files that were apparently produced by The Federal Savings Bank (“TFSB”) to the USAO CDCA and the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (“MLARS”) as part of their investigations3 but not to the Government in this case. 4

3 MLARS had been conducting an investigation of Manafort prior to the formation of SCO.

4 Certain of these files, which would have already been available to the defendant due to his control and majority ownership of TFSB, appear responsive to the Government’s subpoenas to TFSB, and it is not clear why they were not produced to the Government as part of this investigation.

The more interesting detail is that some of the Manafort files — including recordings of his jail conversations and the contents of his iCloud account — were not uploaded to the FBI system.

The discovery of the 30,000 uncategorized Manafort-related files described above also led the Government to further review SCO’s discovery productions to Manafort to ensure that no additional materials had been inadvertently overlooked. The Government had previously understood, based on extensive communications with members of the SCO team and its own review of the SCO’s file storage system, that, with several immaterial exceptions, the SCO discovery productions to Manafort were drawn from the sources that the Government had independently searched, including the FBI’s files as described above. However, after further reviewing the SCO’s discovery transmittal letters and copies of certain of the SCO’s productions, the Government has realized that certain discovery that had been produced to Manafort was apparently not contained within the sources the Government had searched in this case.7 Included within this set of additional material is certain material that appears to be potentially relevant (in particular, a small set of TFSB documents that, again, would already be available to the defendant but that were not produced to the Government in this case) and a much more substantial universe of material that appears unlikely to be relevant (such as Manafort’s recorded jail calls, and documents associated with depositions, including of Manafort, in a 2015 civil lawsuit). Again, as with the 30,000 documents described above, the Government will be producing virtually all of these materials to the defense consistent with the broad approach it has taken to the Manafort Materials to date. We currently expect to transmit these materials to the defense within the next week.8

7 The Government is very grateful to the former SCO personnel for their extensive assistance in the Government’s efforts to locate and produce the Manafort Materials in this case, and while noting these communications to put the Government’s efforts to date in context, the Government certainly does not intend to suggest fault or blame for what may well have been the Government’s misunderstanding or mistake.

8 The volume of these materials is under 20 gigabytes, consisting of 53 recorded jail calls, one iCloud account extraction that the Government believes contains negligible information related to Calk, three video depositions, and several thousand pages of documents. The Government believes they are likely largely non-duplicative of its previous productions, but will attempt to deduplicate these documents as described herein and inform the defense of the results of this process. [my emphasis]

We know from his plea breach proceedings that Manafort continued to be investigated long after he was jailed, and we know from filings about his conduct in jail that he attempted to communicate in ways that evaded monitoring systems.

Yet some of that information, it appears, remained (and remains) segregated from generally accessible filing systems at DOJ.

That has implications for any FOIA responses — but it also has implications for any effort by Billy Barr to assess what the universe of evidence against Manafort is. For over a year after the end of the Mueller investigation, this material has been somewhere else, inaccessible to normal searches on DOJ systems.

If the Government Obtains the Full Manafort Forfeiture, the Mueller Investigation Will Have Netted Almost $21 Million

The Special Counsel’s Office has released their latest expenditures report.

Thus far, here’s how the SCO spending breaks down (as the reports make clear, SCO is not legally obligated to track the indirect expenses that DOJ would spend otherwise, but they have been asked to do so).





May 17, 2017 to September 30, 2017




October 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018




April 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018









As a reminder, as part of his plea deal, Paul Manafort has to forfeit as much of the $46 million he can scrape together of the ill-gotten gains he earned from his crimes.

Unsurprisingly, there are a number of entities — most amazingly Steven Calk’s bank — contesting Manafort’s claims to actually own a number of the financial and real estate holdings that he said he did.

Still, if the US government can find enough assets to squeeze out of Manafort, the Mueller investigation will have — through October 1 — netted $20,784,148 million for the US Treasury. And that’s before the $500,000 Michael Cohen will have to pay, as well as any forfeiture Sam Patten will pay when he is sentenced for his sleazy influence peddling, in cases referred by Mueller to other US Attorney’s offices.

The Manafort Election Season Lying Bonanza Stall

I’d like to look at the timing laid out in Mueller’s filing arguing that Paul Manafort breached his plea agreement.

Manafort lied about his handler and his bankers

As the government lays out, Manafort lied about several things.

  • His communications with Konstantin Kilimnik: He appears to have denied his ongoing reporting to Kilimnik during the campaign, and (as WSJ reported), he appears to have hidden details about a boat trip he made with Tom Barrack after being fired from the campaign. There’s one more instance of a Kilimnik contact he’s lying about.
  • Kilimnik’s role in witness tampering: This one is frankly remarkable. As part of Manafort’s plea, he agreed that Kilimnik helped him attempt to witness tamper. Then, after that plea, he denied that very thing. Then, “when asked whether his prior plea and sworn admissions were truthful, Manafort conceded that Kilimnik had conspired with him.”
  • Payment to a firm working for him: Manafort lied about someone — it doesn’t say whom — paying off a $125,000 debt for him. Maybe this explains who is paying his spox, or maybe it even pertains to legal fees (though the amounts don’t come close to the fees covering the latter he must have incurred).
  • Another DOJ investigation: After proffering information that would help another investigation before his plea, Manafort told an exculpatory story after he signed his plea agreement. I suspect @liberty_42 is correct that this investigation pertains to the mortgage Manafort got from Steve Calk, especially given that his bank is (remarkably) contesting the forfeiture and the charges pertaining to him are among those Mueller seems to be considering retrying.
  • Contact with the Administration: I said in this post that if Mueller has evidence that Manafort discussed pardons with the Administration, now would be a good time to show it. In the passage describing Manafort’s lies about contacts with the Administration, it records him making a blanket denial; he had “no direct or indirect communications with anyone in the Administration while they were in the Administration” [my emphasis], but then goes on to suggest that Mueller had interest in “certain individuals.” Manafort claimed he had only spoken with those “certain individuals” before or after they worked for the Administration. This is kind of a dumb lie by Manafort to begin with, as there’s reporting of him talking to people like Reince Priebus. But Mueller’s invocation of a text from a specific date — May 26, 2018 — as well as what appears to be Rick Gates’ testimony that Manafort remained in communication with a senior Administration official up until February 2018 (when Gates flipped), suggests Mueller not only knows that Manafort had these discussions, but knows what was discussed. And I’m betting that involves pardons. If I’m right, then it would mean that Amy Berman Jackson will soon review whether Manafort lied about asking for a pardon.

June 9 lies are not alleged

There are a few things to conclude about the substance of Manafort’s claimed lies — aside from the fact that he really doesn’t want to tell the truth about Konstantin Kilimnik, whom the government alleges has ties to GRU.

First, the government notes that “at four of the post-plea meetings, prosecutors from other Department of Justice components attended.” If Manafort lied about Calk, that makes sense, because Calk would be prosecuted in NDIL or SDNY (where Mueller referred everything else). Konstantin Kilmnik’s other business partner, Sam Patten, is being managed out of DC, so prosecutors from there may have sat in. It may just be that National Security Division lawyers attended because all this involves counterintelligence. But the presence of outsiders at almost half of the post-plea meetings suggests that the Mueller investigation was not the prime focus.

And in spite of CNN’s scoop today that the June 9, 2016 meeting did come up with Manafort, it’s not mentioned here. That seems to suggest that while Mueller did get Manafort on the record on certain subjects relating to the election, aside from lies about his handler Kilimnik, Mueller is not including those lies here.

But Mueller did put Manafort before a grand jury on two occasions, after what must be weeks of lying, but right before the election, on October 26 and November. Significantly, that was a key time for Mueller’s Roger Stone investigation, especially November 2, when other Stone witnesses testified. We know that Mueller did ask Manafort for information about his lifelong buddy Roger Stone even in the time period leading up to Manafort’s grand jury testimony.

Still, aside from lying about his handler, Mueller doesn’t lay out any of Manafort’s lies on these subjects, if he did tell lies.

Immediately after the election Mueller started to deal with their liar

Here’s the timeline of what all this lays out.

Prior to September 14: Three proffers that presumably matched what prosecutors knew

September 14: Manafort pleads guilty

October 14: Based on CNN’s accurate count, end date for regular meetings between Manafort and Mueller

October 22: Rudy mouths off about continuing to get reports from Manafort

October 26: Manafort testifies to the grand jury

November 2: Manafort testifies to the grand jury

November 8: The government informs Manafort he has breached his plea agreement; Trump’s people work the press suggesting he may not respond to Mueller’s questions

November 13 [one day after return from France]: Trump initially promised to turn in open book test

November 15: Blaming leaked Corsi plea, Trump balks on submitting his open book test

November 13-16: Manafort’s lawyers argue he didn’t lie

November 20: Trump turns in his open book test, having refused to answer questions on the transition

November 26: Manafort’s lawyers argue he didn’t lie; Mueller refuses another extension to continue that effort

Thanks to CNN’s stakeout journalism, which accurately reported 9 meetings in the post-plea four weeks, we know that it’s not like Mueller suddenly realized at the end of all this that Manafort was lying. Because all the meetings they counted predated Manafort’s two grand jury appearances, we can be virtually certain that Mueller knew by that point Manafort was lying, and lying about silly stuff to which he had just pled guilty. Mueller gave Manafort nine post-plea changes to tell the truth, put him before the grand jury twice after that, and then less than a week later (the day after Sessions got fired and the first day that Matt Whitaker would have been Acting Attorney General, and on the very day Trump publicly balked on whether he was really going to turn in his open book test), Mueller for the first time told Manafort he had failed to meet the terms of the plea agreement.

Then starting again on the day when Trump said he maybe kind of would turn in his answers after taking a day to recover after his Paris trip, Manafort’s lawyers started to argue that their client hadn’t lied. That argument continued until the day after Trump balked again and the government got a 10-day extension on the status report on Manafort. Finally, after using that 10 day extension to … apparently do nothing, Manafort’s lawyers made one more try to argue their client didn’t lie.

In the interim period, Trump turned in his open book test.

Throughout this period, at least according to the government, Manafort’s lawyers didn’t advance any argument to refute the government claim their client lied. “In none of the communications with Manafort’s counsel was any factual or legal argument made as to why the government’s assessment was erroneous or made without good faith.”

Who was stalling whom?

I have argued that by entering a pardon-proof plea deal with a known liar while Trump pondered how to answer Mueller’s open book test, Mueller may have lulled Trump into answering those questions. The record doesn’t entirely support that case (though it is not incompatible with it), as Trump knew before he handed in his open book test that Mueller had branded Manafort a liar. Plus, because Mueller doesn’t allege that Manafort lied about some of the big questions — and because Mueller seems to have been tending other investigative priorities, like Steve Calk — we can’t tell (aside from the public report that Manafort got asked about his buddy Roger and Rudy’s claim Mueller’s prosecutors told Manafort Trump was lying about June 9) whether Mueller asked questions about key events like the June 9 meeting and Manafort lied, whether he just didn’t pose them, or whether he doesn’t have the other credible sources to present to Amy Berman Jackson.

So it’s unclear how Mueller approached the aborted election season plea deal.

But if Mueller’s claims that Manafort lied hold up — and his lies look really contemptuous — then it appears clear that Manafort is either hopelessly pathological and/or he used the plea deal just to buy time, presumably for Trump.

As I disclosed in 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. 

Mueller Juggles Plea Agreement Housekeeping

In the last two days, both Rick Gates’ and Paul Manafort’s plea deals have made news.

In Gates’ case, his lawyers have filed an unopposed motion to liberate him from his GPS device and curfew, arguing that the leverage of the plea deal itself is enough to keep him on the straight and narrow.

The plea agreement contains very serious consequences for Mr. Gates should he violate any of its terms or conditions. The advantages that attach to strict compliance with that agreement, and the extraordinary disincentives to violating that agreement, alone guarantee Mr. Gates’s appearance at any scheduled Court proceeding. Over a substantial period of time, now approaching one year, Mr. Gates has demonstrated his resolve to comply with all conditions of his release. Removing the GPS monitor and allowing Mr. Gates to travel within the Eastern District of Virginia and District of Columbia without restriction will surely not increase the risk of flight or make it less likely that Mr. Gates will appear in Court when required to do so.

The more interesting bit comes when, in a bid to talk up Gates’ cooperation, his attorneys reveal he’s been meeting with other prosecutors.

Both before the entry of the plea, and for many weeks thereafter, Mr. Gates, whenever requested, traveled to Washington, D.C., to appear at the Office of Special Counsel to be interviewed as part of his cooperation agreement. Those sessions have been numerous and they continue to this day.


These meetings with the Office of Special Counsel continued during the weeks preceding the trial of co-defendant Paul Manafort in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.


Following that trial, Mr. Gates has continued to cooperate with the Special Counsel and with other federal investigators by attending current meetings at which he provides additional information. [my emphasis]

Rick Gates met in March and he met in July and he met in September, Thomas Green says. It’s the “other federal investigators” that’s of interest, as it suggests his cooperation extends beyond Mueller’s case in chief.

But that may not mean all that much. After all, Gates’ cooperation would be useful for the three cases Mueller referred to SDNY (involving Tony Podesta, Vin Weber, and Greg Craig), as well as for Stephen Calk, the Chicago banker who gave Manafort a loan in hopes of getting an appointment with the Trump Administration. Gates would surely also have information that might corroborate Sam Patten’s cooperation.

Still, it’s possible those “other federal investigators” include some of the “garden variety” Trump corruption I keep suggesting might also get spun off, such as the non-Russian Inauguration pay-to-play.

Meanwhile, in EDVA, TS Ellis is being TS Ellis. Yesterday, he filed an order saying that the parties in Manafort’s EDVA prosecution can’t just defer resolution of the ten hung counts against him until after Mueller is done with his cooperation. He scheduled a hearing for a week from Friday, on October 19, so the process of sentencing can begin. At that hearing, Ellis expects the parties to “address dismissal of the outstanding counts on which the jury deadlocked.”

Dismissing the charges may be no big deal. Manafort is on the hook for 210 – 262 months if he breaches his plea agreement in DC, before any state charges, and some of the charges that Ellis would dismiss could be charged in VA, aided by Manafort’s admission of guilt in them in the plea. As Popehat notes, cleaning up these charges is consistent with good docket management.

The push for the government to move forward on cooperation is more interesting as it may require the government to weigh in on the value of Manafort’s cooperation while he’s still discussing things with Mueller’s team. Of particular interest, any discussion on cooperation may reveal how much Manafort has cooperated against the President.

I’m also interested in timing. Manafort’s lawyers submitted their notice that they won’t challenge anything that happened in that trial right on schedule, on September 20. The government filed their response just under the week later that they had under Ellis’ schedule, on September 26. But Ellis took two weeks before he issued this hurry up and wait order, setting a hearing for October 19, at which any sentencing schedule is likely to be after Manafort’s next status hearing in DC.

In any case, it’s not clear that Ellis’ haste will help Manafort much. Even if Ellis is perturbed that Mueller used his courtroom to flip a witness against Trump, the PSR will show that Manafort is an admitted criminal in the DC charges, meaning his sentence should be harsher than it would with any kind of cooperation assistance. And prosecutors can just defer any 5K statement, and instead account for cooperation with a Rule 35 motion submitted after the fact. In any case, the plea envisions concurrent sentencing, and if Manafort does’t cooperate willingly, he’ll face 10 years in the DC plea, which is longer than Ellis is likely to have sentenced him on anyway.

So it seems like Mueller can still retain the breathtaking upper hand they have with Manafort, and defer any public statement on cooperation until later.

The $30 Million Leverage Mueller Has to Force Paul Manafort’s Cooperation

Yesterday, Amy Berman Jackson moved a pre-trial hearing that had been scheduled for this morning to Friday morning. That has led to further reports that Paul Manafort is seeking a plea deal. But, as ABC reported, one sticking point is whether Mueller is willing to offer a plea deal without cooperation along with it.

Sources tell ABC News that Mueller’s office is seeking cooperation from Manafort for information related to President Donald Trump and the 2016 campaign. Manafort, however, is resisting and his team is pushing prosecutors for a plea agreement that does not include cooperation, at least as related to the president, sources said.

To be clear, both sides have an incentive to find a way to avoid the trial. Mueller already has Manafort on the hook for an 8 year sentence or so, and if that’s not going to make him cooperate in the case in chief, it’s not clear that another 8 years will. And Manafort’s legal bills have to be sky high already, without another trial where he’s facing overwhelming evidence.

But the reason why Mueller isn’t just going to let Manafort plead to some of the DC charges without cooperating is because that would mean giving up the considerable leverage — $30 million worth — that Mueller built into this case a year ago.

While it hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, both Manafort indictments include forfeiture provisions, meaning the government will seize his ill-gotten gains. And because Manafort had a shit-ton of ill-gotten gains, there’s a whole lot of stuff that the government can now seize, starting with his ostrich skin suits.

Having been found guilty of charges 25 and 27 in his EDVA trial, for example, the government will seize the funds from the $16 million loan Manafort got by lying to Federal Savings Bank.

Upon conviction of the offenses charged in Counts Twenty-Four through Thirty-Two, defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., and RICHARD W. GATES III shall forfeit to the United States any property constituting, or derived from, proceeds 36 obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of such violation(s). Notice is further given that, upon conviction, the United States intends to seek a judgment against each defendant for a sum of money representing the property described in this paragraph, as applicable to each defendant (to be offset by the forfeiture of any specific property).

76. The grand jury finds probable cause to believe that the property subject to forfeiture by PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., includes, but is not limited to, the following listed assets: a. All funds held in account number XXXXXX0969 at Lender D, and any property traceable thereto.

Update: Andrew Prokop noted that the prosecutors had at least proposed a jury verdict form that tied forfeiture of these funds to just charges 29 and 30, which are both charges the jury hung on. That seems to suggest that these funds are not subject to seizure (which of course increases the stakes of retrial).

Update: SCO has confirmed that “forfeiture was limited at trial to convictions on counts 29 or 30.”

In the DC case, even more ill-gotten gains are at stake. Manafort stands to lose the proceeds of his influence peddling, the laundered proceeds of which the indictment says amount to $30 million. Manafort might lose, among other things, four of his homes.

Upon conviction of the offenses charged in Counts One [ConFraudUS tied to FARA], Three [FARA], Four [False Statements pertaining to FARA], Six [Obstruction], and Seven [Conspiracy to Obstruct], the defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., and KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK (as to Counts Six and Seven) shall forfeit to the United States any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the offense(s) of conviction. Notice is further given that, upon conviction, the United States intends to seek a judgment against the defendants for a sum of money representing the property described in this paragraph (to be offset by the forfeiture of any specific property).

53. The grand jury finds probable cause to believe that the property subject to forfeiture by PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., includes, but is not limited to, the following listed assets:

a. The real property and premises commonly known as 377 Union Street, Brooklyn, New York 11231 (Block 429, Lot 65), including all appurtenances, improvements, and attachments thereon, and any property traceable thereto;

b. The real property and premises commonly known as 29 Howard Street, #4D, New York, New York 10013 (Block 209, Lot 1104), including all appurtenances, improvements, and attachments thereon, and any property traceable thereto;

c. The real property and premises commonly known as 1046 N. Edgewood Street, Arlington, Virginia 22201, including all appurtenances, improvements, and attachments thereon, and any property traceable thereto;

d. The real property and premises commonly known as 174 Jobs Lane, Water Mill, New York 11976, including all appurtenances, improvements, and attachments thereon, and any property traceable thereto;

e. Northwestern Mutual Universal Life Insurance Policy 18268327, and any property traceable thereto;

f. All funds held in account number XXXX7988 at Charles A. Schwab & Co. Inc., and any property traceable thereto; and

g. All funds held in account number XXXXXX0969 at The Federal Savings Bank, and any property traceable thereto.

The question of how much of his ill-gotten gains is subject to forfeiture was a big deal in the Rick Gates plea (and likely was a big deal to Sam Patten when he pled guilty to earning $1 million as an unregistered sleazy influence peddler). While Manafort doesn’t have young kids to raise, as Gates does, the sheer scale of his possible forfeiture no doubt makes such discussions even more fraught.

Up until now, it has always seemed that the most logical explanation for Manafort’s actions was a calculus that the evidence against him was so overwhelming and the prison sentence he faced so substantial that his best bet was to do anything he could to get a presidential pardon.

But now, he already faces losing around $16 million and stands to lose $30 million more. He’s been effectively broke since 2016 anyway. And it’s not clear that a presidential pardon prevents that from happening.

So on top of calculating whether he trusts Trump enough to rely on that pardon, Manafort (and the lawyers he likely still has to pay) also have to be wondering how many houses his freedom is worth.

That certainly strengthens Mueller’s hand in these negotiations.

As I disclosed 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.