Andrew Prokop joins Dara and Matt to talk about Paul Manafort’s trial and what it means for the larger Russia investigation. References and further reading: Andrew's piece on the trials of Paul Manafort Andrew's breakdown of the opening statements at Manafort's trial Franklin Foer's profile of Manafort, mentioned by Andrew
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hello, welcome to another episode of the waves on the box media. I test at work a massive glaciers, Dara Land and joining us. Today. You have answered oh cop, our chief over allegest at the box outcome team who wanted to talk about a man afford that is asked with Jack. It is us rich vexed is weird snakeskin jack.
all kinds of things, but also like, but why do we have here, is a classic sort of news about where it's been bubbling along kind of on the back burner
months now suddenly is on the front burner. The weird closes hilarious but like who, who is path, can
I mean the short version of why we care is that he's transformer campaign chair who Robert Mahler is prosecuting as part of his larger, investigate,
but you know the longer saga of Paul manner, for he is something of a legendary figure in republican, consulting and and lobbying. Sir
his career goes back to the seventies. He worked at republican presidential convention.
presidential campaigns, all sorts of political campaigns. He had an important role,
gins nineteen eighty campaign and then after Reagan, one man afford and tat his friend at the time Roger Stone. Another big figure in these investigations at they set up a lobbying firm, which became also a legendary lobby.
for they had all sorts of foreign clients from shady regimes and were raking in tons of box, and he
They set his sites, I'm getting very rich and he was willing to represent the more
shall we say: controversial governments, opposition movements, sir? I'm in businesses
elsewhere in the world, and it will lake. You know to be clear
Definitely you know we ve seen people who are good at campaigns and who have won some campaigns in the? U S like farming their skills abroad and like working on campaigns in Mexico
or in the UK that anything like that's not what we're talking about here with men of what we're talking about like represent.
Foreign governments interests in, like lobbying in you x, Ray
There's a really good profile of man of Fort by Franklin for at the Atlantic, and it puts his history here in the appropriate historical context.
Which is like he was doing something that was sort of new at the time like lobbying was becoming bigger and he created a sort of one stop shop. For you know his
Business would do political campaigns, it would do lobbying fur
client sore and foreign governments also so he'd sort of death,
everything in and mixed. You know
his various activities in a way that wasn't so common before but turned out to be extremely profitable and look
I am it's worth understanding that shifting political contacts of the time I too, in the
Ease Ronald Reagan as President he has taken over with a sort of in
theory, like different foreign policy concept, that in the Nixon, Ford or Eisenhower one or the Democrats one might that we're gonna like take it to the communists in like a new, more robust way that has been drawn up at the pages of national or view magazine,
in an and stuff like that sort of unclear way, and then the question arises like how do you operational eyes, like a new idea of that out of the hat, takes world and and
thing that happened was like a lot of: U S. Money going to various groups around the world are armed, insurgencies in particular, and in Africa, who would like say they were like fighting for freedom and capitalism and manner for did a fair amount of work to sort of make that happen.
In Angola and and other places like that, too, like brie and various people with money to spend as heroic resistance figures who, the american government should go be backing by the time we get closer to the present day,
hey we're metaphor- is on his farm lobbying at its alignment with where the conservative movement is is, is quite a bit different,
Let this is eighties. Nineties man afford end and he's doing PR he's for these regimes. I think I am the opposition move,
by Jonas Savimbi of Angola is the main example at the time by all.
So for incumbent regimes like Guy the Marcus regime in the Philippines, who were accused of human rights abuses? Thar terrorism, his his consulting firm with Roger Stone, was, was called the torturers lobby at some point in a report by a do gooder
like just that they would lobby for all sorts of torturers around the world, and it s
oh man, afford made a lot of money doing this and.
He would essentially dabble back in american politics too, like he came back in and ran Bob dolls. Ninety ninety, so
Republican presidential convention, when he was the republican nominee, but then around the mid two thousands his career took a bit of a turn.
He's, gradually started dropping his. U S, clients at an even his various other foreign clients, to focus.
entirely on the former Soviet Union, and specifically, eventually, Ukraine like he, for
Scott this business around two thousand four, and it was a ukrainian. Oliver
at the time, and also a russian oligarch were both paying him to sort of Navid
The region's new democratic politics- and you know they were extremely wealthy figures who had gotten wretched in large part by air.
Gaining control over state resources. In the privatisation period,
now they were looking for someone who could help their preferred cannon,
when elections or to PR for them
business is or what have you so man of fort? He got a contract to do political, consulting work for the party of regions in Ukraine, and this is the pro russian Party that is there no or advocating for closer ties to Russia as compared to the more
western oriented other party and the party of regions, was in the opposition. When man afford got this job. So
He essentially laid out a plan for them to win back power in the elections and over the next decade,
Did she successfully powered him to victory in the presidential campaign, and then he served as president for four years and he made a whole lot of money during this time, Mahler has estimated sixty million dollars from the ukrainian business metaphor made, and
it makes. Sense, it's like this is a region where vast new fortunes
I've just been made where his particular,
skills in NAM Winning Election,
Mozilla or doing PR had been developed in the U S but were less common over there. So he pitched himself as the guru who could help the oligarchs essentially manipulate them.
That is all it is a widow worthy that this is a repositioning of men of fort Visa. Be american politics weight that, like the Bush administration, was very enthusiastic about the Orange revolution which had cast the party that became the party regions out of power. A like american foreign policy was meant to be on the other side of this divide and specifically like conservative american foreign policy, where where's, like old man afford foreign work, had been sort of beating back human rights types and do gooders on behalf of like a cold war alliance system like new manner, for it was getting a ton of money to work for and narrow group of clients who were pose to the light mean: U S, farm policy objectives, which you know it's not illegal, but it's a there's. A different kind of thing to do. Right,
lots of political consultants do foreign work right, but typically it'll be sort of like broadly aligned, and it's always noteworthy when, like Uno Bomb, a guy went worked for David Cameron. You know in the UK the sound like a huge like gaping void of values, but even so, to switch from the centre left and centre. Right is like a big thing and to switch from like working for pro american farm policy forces toward him for Auntie em
in foreign policy forces. Is that's a pretty big. You know people will do a lot for sixty million dollars, but people in politics tend to take their illogical commitments at least like somewhat seriously and it it seems striking to me that manifold really sort of
went out to see there. I don't know I mean I feel like theirs,
more of continuity there than your saying, because
rise of metaphor is probably one of the things that moves us out of the cold war.
or like the enemy of my enemy. As my friend mindset to the mines at the recur
We are now that lake,
fines. U S! Saudi relations, for example, where its now
not so much that a regime that maybe isn't great on democracy or human rights is being active.
We defended as being great on democracy or human rights, its more that it's just not a salient for american political
There's two like talk about human rights abuses in countries where there are
closer network ties between the people they interact with, and the ruling regime so late,
to kind of, say well, yeah, the Orange Revolution was something that the Bush administration, you know, was
speaking out about because a it was a very idiots
Google, NEO conservative administration, but also because
That was not a region where there were lake. Particular. U S
interests or straw.
ties at stake. We're like that seemed lake in an easy,
your pro democracy card to play in the same way that, like the revolution in Libya in twenty eleven, was an easy revolution for the? U S to back, because they already didn't like it off. He like the fact that men are for it, looks at that Ngos
well really it's just that there are strong enough ties there that there is an arbitrage opportunity here makes a certain amount of sun. Yes, but I mean, I think, it's important to understanding by trump
Russia's story, the Miller, investigation, etc. That like
There is a man bites dog quality to a republican political consultant, having been working for the pro russian political parties in UK
even if there was no nothing illegal about right, where's
you ve heard like ok, Donald Trump has just hired this new guy he's been out a: U S, politics for a while, but he's been working for Baby Netanyahu right. Some people would criticise the rate, but it would be banal right for, like a conservative Republicans, to have ties to a conservative israeli regime, it's not banal forever, Publican candidate to have by close ties to the russian regime. I mean it's now becoming an hour
You ve got to it for a while, but like at the time that they think this was knew. It was unusual and metaphor
also he had the russian oligarchy. Oleg dare Pasqua as one of his clients to at the time, and this became a problem in two thousand eight. When a man affords business partner back then Rick Davis actually ran John Mccain presidential campaign for awhile, and there was controversy around essentially Davis and manner. Forts.
Business with DARE Pasco like how could a republican presidential candidate higher these consultants, who are doing work aligned with Putin's interests? It seems so, but you know manner, for it was just chasing the money it seems like. You is a really good business opportunity and dead his his bet totally paid off. He became the leading outside political adviser to victory Attica, which, when he was president heat, essentially started running a lot of lobbying business
the ukrainian government in those years when he is present and then as we're seeing at this trial right now, I hee hee.
Got a lot of cash pouring in at the time and could afford and
extremely expensive and luxurious lifestyle I'll get? So it's not illegal doo doo pr for
fine government it's not illegal to even do pr for foreign government that a normal person might say is bad,
it's not per se- a crime to spend fifteen thousand dollars on an ostrich co. So what is the trial here like, but is the charge that that is being made
ok, so the trial this week is a manifest facing two trials, as is his first one, it's in Virginia and it's all about his money, basically the money he may from his Ukraine in work and then what he allegedly did after the Yanukovych regime was proposed, and he stopped
getting that ukrainian money, so the first set of charges
They are several counts of filing false income tax returns and not declaring foreign bank accounts. So the prosecution is letting here that man afford set up this complicated web of offshore accounts in place,
is like the Cayman Islands in significance Vincent and he had the money from his ukrainian work deposited in there. But then he would spend that
any directly in the United States without
mentioning it on his income tax forms or declaring, as he's legally required by filing, what's known as an F bar form that he had foreign bank accounts that were valued above
or an amount. So that's why we're hearing so much about the fancy stuff metaphor is buying because he was going to these vendors like a man,
clothing store or a landscaper, or you know really,
estate agents and he was by
stuff in the United States, but he was having paid for directly-
I wires from these offshore accounts that he owned, and this was it seems he hasn't really disputed. Anything. That's been presented at the trial about these transactions, yet it just seems to have been standard practice,
spent about thirty million dollars in this way in over two thousand nine to twenty fourteen or so, but there,
you're supposed to pay taxes on that stuff, you're supposed to declare when
had these foreign account. So those are the charges related to when
was making land so, and so do you know if so how you? How exactly you get to some of this desire? Clothing weighed. The thing is that you you supposed to declare this fine income, but obviously you can choose.
two but to get away with that right. You have did not have somebody reporting back to the government that this money came in
if you open an american bank account and try to make these kind of large deposits, and it made the bank is going to fire was called the suspicious activity report with it.
your department, it's not illegal to deposit large sum of money out of nowhere into a bank account, but it does get flagged for the government, so they can take a look rightly the basic principle that it's really employ.
To remember here is that, even though it when
people are laying out and trials like this, like here, is where the money came from an aware when that is not
information that the government has ready access to lake money, is
Google, and so you can't look at an ostrich jacket and go that far
I've come from your illegal money so lake? What the kind of
fishes transaction fly
does it makes it easier?
four investigators to go. We have probable cause that something wacky is,
He doesn't bring it to US bags cuz that would have required it and that they are also jewelers basically have to file SA ours at the same as banks to because the easiest way to launder money like this would be you by the gold bars or something, and then you can just sell them.
and then you have money you put that in a bank you file on as they are and that you say well, I gotta from selling the gold. You know I, like your Clayton Red Sea.
And someone? So dealers are precious metal and jewels have to file a say eyes, so who does it matter? Clothing. Retailers do not
file essay hours but most clothing. Retailers, as
Some of you know. Journalists who folks and retail sector have specifically called you know sort of the bigger international ban in chains. They will not accept incoming wire. Transfers of this kind are both because you have to pay fees for aid rates. Is labelling usual
and also because most big companies like big enduring brands, I think, have tried to move away from business models whose main purpose would be to cover
Was it activity rate in general, if you're a major player in an industry, your compliance costs are gonna, be much lower relative to everything else.
Then, if you're a smaller player, so in General- and this is like one-
If you now conservative critiques of regulation, it's easy.
or for the major players to say yes cooperating.
With the government? Is fine and good, because it's gonna help us more than it's gonna help our competitors. So you have these sort of odd boutiques right there, like small, not the world's most famous luxury goods company. They will take the wire transfers, they don't need to file essay hours and it is allowed
to sell a fifteen thousand dollar jacket to a guy who wants to wire you money from Ukraine
but when it came at the Cayman Islands other nowadays, it late metaphor was like the only regular client who regularly did as at this particular routine gray like this wasn't like the known came in boutique the vendor.
our testifying at the trial generally, that almost none of their other clients would pay for stuff with wires from offshore accounts,
right, because you so I mean this is the kind of thing we're like in theory.
think, like you could buy a motorcycle with a duffel bag full of twenty dollar bills.
But like nobody, does the right like there's, no
legitimate reason to be making progress
in this way so
not proof of a crime,
I'm exactly, but it is entered into evidence to suggest that Paul Manafort had a lot of money. He was not reporting the income and he was taking unusual steps right to sort of live high on the hog, with a
disclosing how much money it was really be it. The judge has essentially chided the prosecution a bit for
dwelling a little too much on the details of exactly how lavish that stuff that man afford bought, was, and
the judge is trying to do now. Keep it focused on the facts, and you know what the press,
using clearly is trying to do is make metaphor appear like an unsympathetic,
extremely rich, unreliable per se
and who thinks he's,
of the law and does all this rapid spending and doesn't feel the need to pay taxes and part of what they would like to happiness for the jury, to kind of react with disgusted horror at the wild sums of money is throwing around in the things he is buying with it. So the judge has kind of told them
to stick a little bit more closely to the facts, which is defensible lake,
I know that you know occasionally on the weeds and certainly in Ireland, that you ve taken a position that there is
serious under prosecution of white collar crime and lake,
you know on one hand it would seem like the fact that metaphor is now on trial for a bunch of stuff that has nothing.
Sensibly to do with the Trump campaign, but the king
the light as a result of this investigation would indicate.
Maybe there should have been more assiduous work done at the time, but I think, on the other hand, the kind of
weird balance that the prosecution is trying to strike here is an indication of why this is so tricky. First of all, because, like most,
cases don't go to trial the fact that the process
you should hear is clearly relying on you know: jury sympathies to like do a little bit of the work further or that that appears to be a big part of their strategy. You can't
scale that up very easily, because only five percent of cases are gonna go to trial, and if you need to have a jury in front of you, you can't prosecute as many people as if you don't, but all
so because it
really hard to figure out exactly when a prosecutor is saying look,
No reasonable person needs to spend fifteen thousand dollars on a draw string ostrich lever jacket we,
have the evidence here that this was more a way to bring income from overseas bank accounts to the? U S without having to do anything about it than that
a genuine investment like you kind of do.
I have to talk about. What's the difference between
Fifteen thousand dollar ostrich leather, draw straitjacket and fifteen
and dollar, like
burst Super nice suit or something
does that make might more reasonably cost fifteen thousand dollars, but it does also get prejudicial. Rightly there's a certain point which you're going this is,
the kind of thing that only a sketchy person does that only attack you rich person. Does that like isn't it
Take that we associate with foreign criminality in
singular russian kleptocratic Mowbray, there's like a prosecutor, your decision making framework and in those of policy making framework right
so like when I say that we systematically underpricing white collar crime. One of the things I me and is that if you put that proposition to U S attorney,
They'll say like no man like these cases are like impossible to make Bob Bob Bob. I we have no choice but to just turn a blind eye to large scale, white collar crime rate, but that itself is a
policy choice, swayed like people in the lake
see lawyer. Banking establishment
give you a lot alike, run around about like the Cayman Islands and offshore accounts, but like if the Cayman Islands government did anything at all that the powers that be in the United States of America wanted at all to put a stop to. It will be done
in five minutes Skinner mean like if they tried to legalise the retail sale of heroin like the Navy,
would be on them in an instant like inviolate, Jim anything, and so the fact that these offshore banking havens are allowed to exist at all right is just like a sign of a kind of wilful neglect of this kind of thing and the screws get tightened. Do you know like it is a lot harder in twenty eighteen to engage in some
this money laundering, then it was five or ten or twenty years ago, but like a marker, Rubio did a little thing last week where he was talking about how the Treasury department shouting about three years ago, added Miami to its list of real estate markets, where they were scrutinising cash transactions for money laundering. So went from a list of two cities.
to last it three cities and when it turned out when they started scrutinising my hammy,
There was a lot of money laundering, so Rubio point
seems valid to me as like if we
looked in New York and money laundering and then what
did allay. There is money laundering and then, when we looked at Miami there is money laundering. Maybe we should look at all the city streets
I know it's not like
you would need resources, relegate it selling the fault of the? U S attorney in Idaho that he's not like looking into this
probably there isn't a lot of money laundering and Boise real estate. He's got other things to do, but like
This is actually big Trump issued way we're. So it's a journalist who cover financial crimes will look at trumps, we'll stay portfolio and a lot of the all cash transactions, and we like hey man like this, is really fishy and like it is
fishy, but all these years, like it hasn't, been illegal to be running fishy, real estate transactions. So
at the end of the day like it may all be fine.
Another argument in favour here is that lake there's a twitter account that just posts reports of individual occasions of stoppin frisk
Twenty eleven and a lot of those are like the thing that prompted the stop and frisk was
engaging in actions like of a crime
like wearing clothing, associated with a cry like this kind of
come stands, will not to say aesthetic people
Do this often do crimes stuff. Does work
when you're dealing with populations that are not as politically enfranchised or rather like.
whether or not its legal or advisable at happens anyway. Now I mean I do take. You know one point on the other side better, so I mean to me: is that
you know sometimes people are trying to squirrel money out of foreign countries because they are living under abusive regimes abroad right and like. To what extent do we want, like the United States, to be like the world's financial,
jail keeper right like that's, not what was going on with palm and afford right
a lot of the Russians who have a lot of money abroad. It's because their worried that their assets could be seized at any time right. So when you hear like oh Russians laundering, money like that could be like Vladimir Putin's best friend is trying to illegally smuggle money into the United States to support the and our aid or something. But it could just be like a russian person who has done well in business, but is not. The best friend of the President of Russia is trying to hedges
so then, to me as the complicated part, although I mean again
I guess I'm upon metaphor steer, I think, is helpful to look at how
this man afford prosecution actually came about. You know when it comes to the question of. Are these crimes to tough to prosecute how many resources do they take? Because back
Twenty fourteen man of Fort was on the FBI's radar. They were looking into his money and his ukrainian work at the time.
and they decided not to move forward with anything then so,
and he comes up in Russia investigation.
but they, but the decision was that, like it was too small time yet I'm
I think there is our budget report that suggested that that that was the calculation. But
My point here is that he comes up in Russia. Investigation
and then you know
they start actually working it and they start looking into metaphor and they get, for instance, a source who is manner.
Its employee and the source tells him man. Afore has this storage unit where he keeps a lot of his financial records and then so the government get a warrant and gets into the storage unit in and gets these financial records about all these offshore accounts in what he spending all the money on it. So
I meant, and what he actually even owns, and then you know they use that information to help justify getting a warrant to search his house. A couple months later and like it, took some serious investigative work here and some searches
of I mean this relates to an episode from a little while ago about Thomas
It's right and it's like police tomorrow
investigate, like a large share of the murders that happen but like
in certain neighborhoods certain victims, they don't really. They may be do a cursory.
Round, but they don't like work the case that car, or they were the case exactly hard enough to realise how hard the case is. Gonna, be my work and then went, and with these four
until crimes. There has not been an emphasis on trying to work the cases hard. You now where's that with metaphor, because poor metaphor, it popped up on the rate are of the rush investigation and the rush investigation was considered a big deal right,
I was like someone gets murdered in the fancy part of town right. It was ignoring. We can only mean my guy, both both in the call me era and especially in the robber Mahler AIR right like the Russian.
investigations being pursued
very seriously, whereas like did rich,
Joe Dodge his taxes? Some
he's just like not a high priority case for the american government, but if,
Joe, was also involved with both Donald Trump and the russian government. Now suddenly, there's like a lot of like
Ok, we're going to seriously investigate this.
but it turns out. Is that, like, when you put in the work, there was a lot more evidence. Opponent afford than was obvious if you hadn't
yeah. So we should probably take a break in and get back to that. The fact that
the reason that we are talking about all this to begin with, which is things related to Donald Trump, feels like you, don't have enough hours in the day to get everything
She might because you're missing out on three where those two hours cup I we fell into a deep dark abyss that opens up when we switch between work at those three hours to all the productive time we miss out on thanks to at home, distractions, disorganization fatigue. It's no wonder the days future work should work with clear up. It does look up as a flexible productivity platform, the rings or you work at one place. That's all you chats apps docks and ass. One centralized place like Misha good from companies, like
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So, on its face, Donald Trump
campaign manager or his second out of three campaign managers was attacks, cheat and money launderers. Not great luck.
kind of embarrassing but also took it,
I made a really big, literally just spent in our, however many minutes discussing that this is not super unusual behaviour, necessarily every new away. I installed good it's it's, not a great luck, but you know
there's a lot of random stories, but like will? Why is this so important? So.
Reverend Mother appears to be extremely extremely interested in combat effort from the very beginning when Molly was appointed in the weeks after that there were these rates on metaphor properties. This focus on manner, for it has been, in contrast to other things that Malta has found out,
and opted not to investigate himself. We ve learned that he referred and Investigation of Michael Cohen out to the southern district of New York. U S attorney's office rather than continuing to investigate Cohen, for this hush money, stuff and so on, but he's cap the manifold investigation. There are a couple.
Small reasons for that. It is more closely related to Russia, because this is about man affords
finances and how he made billions of dollars from his work for the pro russian political faction in Ukraine and allegedly didn't pay tax
and so on. But you know, I think the most plot
the ball explanation for what
on here is that Mahler thinks man afford no something and that he has
right. All of these charges against man for it, eighteen in Virginia and seven other charges in in D C, which we haven't even talked about. That's for a separate trial in September, as pressure to get him to plead guilty.
Cooperate to say what he knows and so on. We ve already seen that man efforts protegee right hand, man who worked with him in Ukraine and also on the trunk campaign. Rick gates
It was charged alongside man afford by mauler last October. He was face
in a very similar broad set of charges and
as soon as he agreed to cooperate in February.
Saw those charges went away and he he's gotta pee deal pleaded guilty for to false statements. Charges and dam has in exchange for agreeing to tell what
He knew so so gates is now an important point
in the metaphor, trials itself,
because so it's alive
difficult for metaphor, to deny that the crimes occurred.
in this case, so he's sort of needs to say that he didn't do that
Yale for months, we ve been waiting to hear what manner force defence could possibly be
because this because, like he clearly head on and he didn't pay taxes on it,
has been referred to as as a paper kicks, because it's really just about filling
forms you're supposed to fill out and weather,
the money was in fact spent.
by you at these places. Jerry
It seems to be pretty cut dry. So what we are seeing a trial this week is that the prosecutions
is to just demonstrate, beyond a shadow of a doubt by interviewing all these
vendors dead Man effort made the payments to that. Yes, here
was the wine making these payments? He knew about this money. He was spending at there's, no kind of excuse their interviewing, his bookkeepers and accountants. Gas manner for it was,
during these foreign accounts from us. He should have told us, and so on metaphor,
defense. It is now clear is that he is,
to try to blame as much as possible on Rick Gates and say that my body Ricky too, who was deeply involved in man for its finances at the time
you know their gates was the one who did all the crimes and it's kind of a stretch, because gates was obviously not the person who is
the ostrich jacket and the asteroids vest and all the other stuff. But it's what he's got basically he's
Gonna try to hurt gates is credibility, may character, attacks on him and blame him essentially for as much of the charges as possible will mean hurrah. There is theoretically,
an argument that, if somewhat like someone who has the charges against them, that Manifold currently has can put together that offence that, yes, these things were reported. These forms, where unfilled,
but I didn't know that they weren't filled out, because I'm a rich, dude
do my own taxes and my own financial disclosures, my new no business partner, Rick
It was supposed to be the one who was in charge of that. He is there
he fell down on the job rightly gets not inherent
Be wrong. Did someone didn't
can argument like that. It's much more that the suspicion is that, like they, don't actually have the goods to demonstrate their gates
was the one who is responsible for this speaks to the difficulty of doing my collar prosecutions ride so like once upon a time it was really difficult to prosecute the mafia re because, like the mafia boss, doesn't should people in the House
it right. He runs and organisation and if his subordinates happened, do things, and so they like pass new laws to like make it more illegal to be at the head of a criminal,
enterprise, wait. You saw in the prosecutions coming out of the Enron case, an effort by federal prosecutors to stretch certain existing statutes. Disorder
cover the like come on man
legal argument that, like if you're the ceo of the company and the companies business was based on a year's long fraud that, like obviously
where legally culpable they one with the jury with that argument, but but this wound court like pray
that out and was like no like you do need to prove that, specifically that the guy at the top actually did the crimes
and so by yeah, like it's a valid defence to say I made six dollars, I paid no taxes on it. I bought all these asteroids
but like I had just kind of like was like rig, take care, the paperwork and and rigged, and do it and so, and so that's on
I believe this is one reason why I dislike the press
decisions- reason why you like
our delving into some of the details about the ostriches and stuff like that, because it speaks to man affords personal knowledge that there was something shady about the money right, the like yeah, if you thought
was legitimate money. What were you doing exactly making wire transfers to Ellen Couture right
It seems like he knew. This was hard cash, but you know that
they are also interviewing his bookkeepers and his accountants, and asking things like was mad, afford personally involved in their ass? Unlike their generally saying? Yes, he was extremely hands on.
like very responsive to my questions, like very involved in this, like not the type of guy who had just delegate hand off everything, to subordinate and be completely ignorant of of what was happening. But this is kind of where, like the question of like is written gates, testifying or not because they come into play
a couple of times this week away. It seems like you get things like he has as of now, but like there was a moment where it surprisingly look like he wasn't and generally the fact the prosecution has been working much more quickly than expected. Partly this,
appears to be because you know there's this aggressive judge on the bench.
Who is saying you know, I think it's time for you, that's wrap up, but also lake. I do have questions Ito. Does this look like
The prosecution, maybe doesn't have his open and shut a case as we thought
going to lake? Should we read a whole lot into the kind of momentary confusion about whether gates was going to testify? Like do we think
that they have a gets here, no
what will happen with the gates. Maybe not testifying thing is that the
so you got a little too cute in court, basically saying that you know they have a witness list of thirty five people who they could call an damn. Some comment was made about gates like that. He was going to testify in
a was like kind tiny. Actually, these envisages a list of people. We could call. It's not like
clear that we will call them and then the next day he kind of flight admitted that no yes, we are,
we are going to call them. So it's it's not it's not indicative of anything deeper here, but
I mean, I think one thing that that the Judge Ellis Assorted made clear in a number of it is willing to statements made. Is that, like
I am here on the pie, gas saying that, like white collar crime is systematically under prosecuting the United States, that, like law enforcement, doesn't have the resources to wed statutory tools etc. Till I go after all these criminals and it's our good fortune, their parliamentary for it happens to have fallen
Mothers weight are having its pretty clear. The Judge Ellis views. This do like the other end of the lens and is like he has banned. The word
oligarchy from being re end. He see is Paul. Man afford fundamentally as again
I, who was due in staff that normal people could easily get away with who is being sought
not by prosecutors, because they're trying to do this, Russian,
together and it's a meal.
Just completely agree and like what's got. I'm here
But the question is this: like, so is it good luck?
can rush investigation. We are finally prosecuting tax fraud case.
in a serious way, or is it like on
Ok, guys like you are allowed to do this, but I am very sympathetic to the defendant here also. I think what Trump is getting out with these weird Al Capone tweets, read that like based
glee. A person should be able to get away with
a little light tax evasion and right that they give to prove the case requires all these we.
sources and you wouldn't normally dedicate all these resources to that kind of case there.
That's suspicious that its kind alike man afford is getting railroaded just for his association with with Donald Trump and that keep sort of come
up in the trial, but like blaming were gates like those on a valid legal defence bricklayer. If you're a lawyer is like an argument for changing the law is not an argument for not prosecuting, and I do and appointed
judge Alice, there was this hearing that got a ton of attention a couple months ago in in pretrial hearing where he
express his opinion that
was only happening because they wanted to impeach Trump. However,
This was in arguments over whether bowlers appointment was proper and he had the proper authority to prosecute metaphor and
when Judge Alice actually had to rule on that. He said yes, he did have the authority like he has made his personal opinion clear, but he has not like really tips
the scales in in an impasse,
or wasted at least half of the prosecution, but like a lot of people, expect that he's gonna be pretty tough on the defence two minutes
their turn. Where did you get this Cotonou? I bring this up to say like it keeps colouring look,
things that happen around the case, but it just doesn't appear to be fundamentally driving it. Although I will say, wait, it's noteworthy that more post man
seems to be more inclined to hand things off
Dracula. U S attorneys! Wait like the Michael
in situations where we're on its
face. It seems similar right that, like in theory
Robert Butler would love it. If Michael Cone walked at his door and was like here's a ton of incriminating evidence about Donald Trump, I would like a p d
but instead they have evidence, uncalled for some other stuff, but the way that is all being structured is that, like
regular? U S attorney for the southern district of New York is waning, regular prosecution that officially has absolutely nothing to do with Russia and like whether some flipping event occurs or not is like
They put a lot of distance right, whereas on the metaphor case, it's it's much closer.
in part, because the metaphor, gracefully
ultimately involve Russia right and not like Trump and Russia per se. But like do the russian government and its proxies are like key figures in this case, so it.
if, at the end of the day, right like the upshot of the whole investigation, was I'd Donald Trump. Personally, didn't you
anything wrong, and there was no collusion but like his campaign manager did
What now feel like anticlimactic? But like is kind of a big to hurry?
but let's go back to man, afford an and Russia him
and why he does so?
to be such an important figure in the rush investigation, so like first of all, it's just
obvious that, if your investigating Donald Trump for
his campaign for whether they coordinated with russian government officials to interfere with the election
the guy who was his campaign manager who worked for russian oligarchy, who was in fact heavily in debt to a russian oligarch and who had worked for
pro russian interests in Ukraine for many years and made a ton of money from it. That's a guy. You look at so just on the surface, it's kind of
yes. Why they're? Looking at metaphor beyond that he's been involved, and I would say to me
serious incidents that happened in the twenty sixteen campaign. The first is, of course, the infamous Trump terror meeting, with down
you near the russian lawyer and gems. This other set of people a ties to Russia,
Don Junior brought in man afford and, commissioner to that meeting, it was set up specifically to get dirt on Hillary Clinton
as according to an email as part of Russia and its government support for Mr Trump and
since we learned of this meeting a year after it happened,
one involved has stuck to a story of what happened there, that it was really a big, nothing that,
You know nobody do too much about it in advance. They kind of took it on a lark. They sat down and then it turned out to be used.
less and then nothing came out of it afterward, and that was the end of the story.
By useless to be clear, its it turned out to be
just a lobbying meeting about actual policy, not
oh right, legged not yielded insurers. Are they didn't have any direct is that that was vastly was is, is the claim? And no,
buddy involved in this meeting, has flipped and become a cooperative with mother. No
who is actually there so if there
is more to the story of that meeting. Metaphor problem,
He knows what it is. We ve already seen that am
Don Junior said that he barely even discuss this with any one else in advance, but there's this new
allegation going around that actually, Rudy Giuliani was the person who revealed it on tv that,
Heidi claims. That Cohen has been telling people that there was a meeting beforehand to set up the strategy for this meeting and
basically, if there is more to the story metaphor would know at and like. Maybe that is what Molly looking for from him or maybe he's already got it from Rick Gates, his close associate, who worked with him on a trunk campaign and probably would have talked to manage.
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nobody. This is Jason buckling and let me welcome you back to our podcast in conversation with shop, a five plus now season, one was all but the biggest names and business Steep Maddy, Danny Reeves ship Wilson, wait till you here who are talking to now proceeding to Philip friend CEO aspect, wordsmith found or tv a heart attack. Our counter have had their hats and trainees sphere: cofounder Hosty outbreaks, Chrysophora cofounder, Lord,
and capital area K c o this he's in conversation wish of my place. So this is my question about. This is
we know that Paul metaphor has information that would probably be helpful one way or the other from mother to get and that he's not giving it to Mahler and that he is being prosecuted in
Heart, because, unlike gates, he is not flip. I would say we don't know that we could think about. Maybe man, if what really does have nothing it it's possible. But given the
be potential significance of metaphor. Is these things why, from this try
Are we either as the public going to learn from like what is being publicly discussed or
What is the theoretical upshot of this trials conclusion in like getting that information like what is this?
trial actually going to do to move the ball forward? Nothing in terms of do
four basic about what Russia Trump did and twenty. Sixteen. The only real outcome of the trial is that if man effort is convicted, he loses his.
His long shot chance that he'll be able to snooker the jury.
here whenever in and get out of it, so that is potentially more leverage on him or he could just keep holding
for our part in too so I know I mean I think I do think we should spend your eight irresponsible. Let the end game I was. I was talking recently won my sources in the in the normal community, and he said they manifest wasn't flipping, as he was afraid the Russians were getting
and I was like? No, that's not why it's because he's holding out for a Donald Trump Pardon
We're just seem like like one does not need to read that far between the lines of what
first sight, Donald Trump like weird cowboy, pardons in general, and then secondarily his like a cat,
generally timing and on twitter to not. Now do you like that.
the normal president, whose aid is embroiled in scandal thing of like sealing off the decks and me like. I don't even know that guy
like it's good that we're prosecuting. Instead, he keeps talking about how he feels opponent afford is being treated unfairly
he did a little with metaphor, satires, barely even my campaign raw. I think that back in the mustache guy era, who is he TAT Cobb
So when I was running the show, trumps approach to this investigation was a little bit more conventional. In my opinion,
and some of that included doing a little bit more man afford distancing. I think.
Now we're back Gleich Trump in the saddle, and this is
like in a normal situation. You
it's like a kind of witness tampering? What I want to be careful as anyone in red yelling at me, like
There are no limits of the President's pardon power up to and including right, like Sarah Huckabee standards could walk into Congress, shoot him kill every single
Mechanic Party, Senator, have them all be replaced with the Republicans and Trump could partner. So, like you are right, Republicans Trump can do whatever you want, but
he seems to be
saying like pretty clearly that, like if poor holds firm here- and we can maybe like get past the mid terms that this
can be a pardon well and also. We know that trumps former wire John Dowd talked to manifest lawyer about a potential pardon at some point last year that the times has reported that. So you know, this is not just a theoretical question. It's it's been talked about.
I would say that ten trump actually do it. That is a little less clear to me because
Malta has made clear that he is investigating trumps pardon power, dangling as like part of his obstruction of justice investigation, so get out. Who knows what the upshot of that?
might be. But you know on those lists of questions that mowers team says they want to ask Trump include several about what he said and done done about potential pardons and communications, Sir, that he may have had about pardons.
So it's it's not like he's totally free to do whatever I do
just mention to close a loop on Sunday, I mentioned before that, there were
two mysterious incidents in the campaign, though that metaphor was involved in so
the second one is that manner for during the campaign he got the job to be trumps campaign chair at the time he was in debt to this russian oligarchy, Oleg their Pasqua and Manifold.
held Constantine kill him neck Russian National with
ties to russian intelligence, or maybe even current ties that am basically signalled
He wanted to somehow use his work for the term campaign to get on terror Pask as radar, and help satisfied this
So there are a series of emails that man afford and kill him Nick,
change in the sum of twenty sixteen, while he's working for Trump. They use this, like vague coded language, about, DARE Pasqua, Killin Nicholson.
The guy, who gave you the biggest black caviar jar years ago and man afford, is, is saying how
It is to get whole manner for rights. If he wants private briefings, we can accommodate, kill him Nick says
I talked with him for five hours and I have important messages from him to you and
his while man afforded chairing tribes campaign
it's never been explained what this was about or what exactly happened in, and I view
as one of the biggest loose ends of the of the Trump Russia scandal. Just what exactly was going on here? I guess there are two possibilities
one is that this was entirely kind of freelancing by manner, for it had nothing to do with Trump,
himself he was just trying to you know
aid away land, some kind of financial side gig the other possibilities
like? This is kind of how that this is important to the collusion investigation that these conversations
with, DARE Pasqua, who is in all our close to Putin, who was vacationing with a top russian foreign policy, official
around that. Time like it seems like it could be imported to the investigation, but we still haven't learn the full story of what happened there. So if you like, I wanna go back to something that Matt sudden passing that I've been doing over
and which is the difference between the like mustache guy era that High Cobb era of the lake Trump response to this stuff in the rue De Giuliani AIR, because, to the extent that what we.
talking about with metaphor is stuff that is particular to the question of what did Donald Trump know? When did he know at what did he do the
opinion of Rudy Giuliani, pretty clearly and the opinion that Donald Trump appears to have held, if maybe with less knowledge of federal
criminal law than ready Giuliani has is that a sitting president
has traditionally been understood to be unindicted. Ble impeachment happens not
cause. The president is like found. You have probably cause to have committed a crime, but because Congress decides to impeach the president and the
for a kind of
doesn't matter with. The president does like tie. Cobb is doing more of a you know during
era. It was kind of assumed, or it was reported that trunk was not into
to make flan, because my plan was under investigation and then it came up
trumpet fact had been in touch with my plan that, like he'd, been telling him the buck up that kind of thing, but that was happening through a back channel now
things are happening much more in the open, because either
firewall exists or doesn't right, and if the firewall exists, unlike what happen
stupid man afore like both because in
you're either as the party in power and because it's not going to touch
from anyway Elect doesn't actually matter what happens to you know any.
Other person professionally involved in the trunk campaign matters. The only possible
and a distinction here in terms of people who are not Donald Trump, who Donald Trump
be upset. If something happened to them, because it could for reasons that aren't you
would be criminally implicated would be like Donald Trump Junior, like
it strikes me as may be a difference here, but other than that, if
Eddie Giuliani, is correct right if his theory of the case that it doesn't
Lee matter what Donald Trump did unless and until Congress decides to impeach him and com,
doesn't necessarily need any
information than they have now to do that, I
of wonder why any of this actually matters in you know. Maybe it gives us information that we didn't otherwise have, but we're not.
Getting any closer to make any kind of accountability. Quota quote if Donald Trump did something illegal. What I mean, I think
Then there is the ehler. Well, nothing matters, take that! Well, it's just up to Congress and make an impeach him were not impeachment, but you know you can have a strong impeachment case with a lot of evidence that his convincing to people or or a week impeachment caisson right now, like the impeachment case, isn't even strong enough. For most Democrats, I mean partly that's for political reasons. They don't want to get involved
the net, but if bawler has the goods on Trump doing
potentially illegal collusion and then he'd? Let that be known or rod, Rosen Stein, let that be known in a report to Congress or something like
But I think I think a lot will depend, unlike what exactly happened. Like was this
because there's collusion in the sense that like oh, they too
a meeting with some Russians to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. So that's technically collusion because they had the meeting, but also nothing really happened out of it.
like there's, there's like kind of like collusion and there's heavy collusion,
something involving the hacked email, something involving like this massive,
Shall media bought operation involving in
nation sharing cooperation, working
other something involving money Sunday involving like actual policy promises being exchanged behind the scenes, like that's the stuff
that we really haven't seen mauler hasn't
indicted. Anyone about anything like this, he hasn't Seti, has evidence like this, but that would be the meat of appeasement case. I think, in addition to like the potential,
fraction of justice stuff, but I mean this is where I do think you know that the question of a post midterms, you know Mahler Pardon saturnine, massacre type situation. We're like. I just think
a both feels like trump- has been, laying the groundwork for something like that. For a long time,
also like members of Congress have been not very clear and how they would respond to something like that.
also. There is clearly some voice of caution inside trumps, head or inside the White House. That is telling him like
Lay the groundwork, but don't actually do it. I am like metaphor being convicted, would definitely put us one step closer to like you to make.
choice about that right, although a very trompe way to handle it would be dont fire Rubinstein, don't fire Mahler do pardon manner for it.
Yeah I've been kind of put that out there right and like are Republicans really going to impeach Donald Trump over having pardon palmetto for it for a prosecution that, like even the liberal Matt Yglesias agrees, was really only brought
This bigger rush investigation, you Know- and it seems like
firing. Mauler like that, that's a tough one. You know like that creates big big big problems where you but like
we pardon scooter levy, we pardon jar Pio. You know some people call
sized some of that stuff, but it just kind of blows over
right and you can create a situation where you can't make the case, and you just keep a dragon it out
but do not drag out your exciting opportunity to share the weeds with friends, family, loved ones, etc, to join the weeds Facebook group to sharing tips and where you can get good aspirate skin apparel. Maybe even for less
ten thousand out or who is still accepting wire transfers. I've got some doesnt funds in Cyprus that they really. I do not. Please
how about that. There's no kind of Cyprus so,
thanks everybody for listening. Thanks to our engineer, Griffin, Tanner, our producer Bridget Armstrong, thanks Andrew for joining us an enlightening us and the weeds will return on Tuesday
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Lindsey you, I the creator of the outdoors Gauss Facebook group. Why did you start this facebook? I was
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Transcript generated on 2021-09-12.