, 42 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
BREAKING NEWS: You can find the Manafort filing here: scribd.com/document/40033…
1/ Mueller says Manafort was still laundering money in 2016—which is interesting because it was mid-February 2016, just 6 weeks into the year that he was still money laundering, that Manafort met with Trump's good pal Thomas Barrack and told Barrack that he "had to get to Trump."
2/ In total, Trump was in contact with Manafort for 10 of the 12 months of 2016, a year in which Mueller says Manafort was still laundering money related to pro-Kremlin politicians.
3/ The pre-sentence report done on Manafort appears to be the subject of a good bit of the redaction in this filing. A PSR would look at circumstances and conduct and information outside the scope of the current charges themselves—in other words, it could consider collusive acts.
4/ I'm not sure I realized Manafort was an agent of Saudi Arabia from 1984 to 1986, and I wonder what sort of contacts he made during that period that might have carried forward into subsequent decades.
5/ No big deal—Manafort was only involved in lobbying related to *arms deals with Saudi Arabia* (which certainly wasn't a clandestine issue during the 2016 campaign, as Saudi Arabia hoped for nuclear tech from a prospective Trump administration and colluded with him to get it):
6/ Remember that Putin invaded Ukraine in February 2014, so Manafort was actively assisting politicians in Ukraine who supported Putin's invasion in 2014, 2015, and into 2016. This underscores that Manafort's work in Ukraine benefitted Putin indirectly and, eventually, directly.
7/ Was Trump the sort of "high-level champion and politically credible friend" Manafort wanted to cultivate while working on behalf of pro-Kremlin forces? Well, he was looking for such friends in mid-2012, so why not 44 months later, when he told Barrack "I have to get to Trump"?
8/ Never forget: we *know* what was in the letter Manafort and Barrack wrote—with Roger Stone in support by phone—to get Manafort his job with Trump (who he'd long known). That letter *emphasized* the work Manafort had done in Ukraine. He didn't hide *that* from *Trump* at all.
9/ Prior to this filing coming out, there were folks on Twitter and elsewhere implying Mueller would definitely use this document to lay out everything Manafort has ever done wrong. I wasn't of that view—though I acknowledged the possibility the document *could* have useful info.
10/ That Mueller doesn't want us to see the pre-sentence investigation could partly be because it contains info he doesn't want public, or partly for other reasons (e.g., to protect other parties, or withhold information that for some reason Manafort is entitled to keep private).
11/ Both those who thought this filing would be a big reveal *and* those who think that it not being a big reveal somehow tells us something are wrong. The important information would be in the PSR, and it's been sealed, likely—again—for various reasons. So the mystery continues.
12/ I'll say this: if I were Mueller and knew my work was done, and worried that dirty partisan politics could obscure my final report—and if that report were coming shortly—I'd use filings like this to get information to the public. So Mueller has made a different decision here.
13/ If I had much work yet to do; if I trusted DOJ to handle my final report (whenever it comes) responsibly; if disclosing more info on Manafort would endanger sources or methods; if I didn't want future defendants to get a jump on what's coming—I would do what Mueller did here.
14/ Am I intrigued by lines like these (below)? Yes. But we mustn't pretend Mueller is sending "signals."

"[Manafort's] deceit, which is a fundamental component of the crimes of conviction and relevant conduct, extended to members of the executive branch of the U.S. government."
15/ Attorneys aren't trained—in law school or on the job—to send signals via filings. Either an attorney wants an argument and/or information to be made public and makes the argument the best she can, or she keeps the information entirely under wraps. Attorneys don't do subtlety.
16/ For that reason, my feeling with this document was that either @KenDilanianNBC would be, if not right—he said mid-February—at least within a month of getting the date of Mueller's report release right, in which case this filing could reveal a lot, or it would reveal nothing.
17/ We don't know—due to redactions and the lack of a PSR—if this filing has nothing in it (or little in it) of use to Trump-Russia discourse, or if what's useful are pages that were sealed. But for now this filing looks like a "mulligan"—it doesn't move the ball either way much.
18/ Per usual, a mulligan will lead Trumpists—who still, two years on, know nothing more about this wildly complex and labyrinthine federal criminal investigation besides cries of "no collusion!" and "ROTFLMAO" taunts—to think that somehow nothing's coming. They're *still* wrong.
19/ The fact that we're still getting redactions means more indictments are coming (keeping in mind a few redactions could be protecting innocent parties from harassment or unfair connection to criminal conduct). If Mueller were "done" there'd be little to no need for redactions.
20/ It wouldn't be so hard for me to link the Crimea/Trump campaign timeline to Manafort's crimes to show that his entire participation in the Trump campaign was part of a criminal scheme. But that'd still take us to our origin-point: what did Trump know of it? And who else knew?
21/ The bigger issue is that *anyone*—in media, politics, or the public—who uses the fact of Mueller's redactions or us not getting much useful Trump-Russia info from this filing is (in the nonlegal sense) abetting Manafort. His lies, we know, *did* cover up Trump-Russia conduct.
22/ The very *reason* Manafort is looking at life in prison is because he *broke his agreement* with the feds by lying and withholding information from them—and what he lied and withheld had to do with a Russian agent, Kilimnik, and Manafort's contacts with him from 2016 to 2018.
23/ So if you go on TV, or come on social media, and say, "See, Mueller can't reveal to us all the ties between Manafort and Russia, because... maybe there are none!" you're both contradicting all the facts we have about Manafort-Russia contact *and* rewarding Manafort for lying.
24/ No conclusion on what *else* Mueller has on Trump-Russia—beyond the mountain of info we *know* he has (all of which is in PROOF OF COLLUSION)—can be drawn from this filing, which means either Manafort withheld nothing and Mueller is near done or...the opposite on both counts.
25/ Any journalist who wants to die on the hill of "Manafort withheld nothing" or "Manafort withheld but for no reason" or "Mueller has told us all he knows because he's probably done" or "we *don't* have a mountain of public info but *only* what a final report says" can do so.
26/ All this said, I'm reading the attachments now, and am happy to share what I find. For instance, I can confirm that EXHIBIT 434 shows the Manafort payments extended *beyond* Putin's invasion of Crimea—and why would Putin need Manafort's pro-Kremlin lobbying *less* after that?
27/ Manafort looks to have been engaged with Ukraine during Putin's annexation of Crimea, but if the money trail goes dark after that point, which is more likely: Putin/Deripaska no longer needed Manafort to fight for pro-Kremlin interests—e.g. opposing sanctions—or *really* did?
28/ Indeed, the natural continuation of Manafort's 2014 work for pro-Kremlin sources in Ukraine would've been to combat the sanctions Putin's February and March 2014 annexation eventually created. But which is better: lobbying Congress or working for an anti-sanctions candidate?
29/ *Well less than 24 months* after pro-Kremlin forces were paying Manafort for his work "on behalf of" Ukraine, Manafort was saying he "had to get to Trump"—at that point both the only candidate in America opposing the sanctions over Ukraine *and* a guy with a chance to *win*.
30/ Given that we know Manafort owed money to his bosses after 2014, it's not just a reasonable read of the facts but perhaps the *only* reasonable read of the facts that Manafort was instructed to go work for Trump *once it was clear Trump was viable*—approximately February '16.
31/ But what's not clear is *why in the world Manafort would've had to keep that secret* given Trump's opposition to the sanctions and friendliness with Putin. There'd *no reason* at all for Manafort to withhold what he was *really* doing working for Trump's campaign "for free."
32/ Manafort's daughter texted a friend saying Trump and Manafort spent all day "plotting" in Trump Tower—and in January '18 Trump was privately telling friends that Manafort could "flip" on him and hurt him badly. Does any of that sound like Trump was in the dark about Manafort?
33/ EXHIBIT 438 blacks out the name of a *Congressman*. Could that be just for the sake of not implicating a Congressman falsely in Manafort's crimes? Absolutely. Or it could be that the Congressman is Dana Rohrabacher, and that we have lots of evidence about what *he* was up to.
34/ By the way, does everyone realize that Manafort was *living in Trump Tower* for the entirety of his 10-year course of collusion with pro-Kremlin forces in Ukraine—and that he'd long known Trump before he bought an apartment from him? Why do we always assume Trump is clueless?
35/ Mueller redacts from these attachments—with *alarming* regularity—many of the people who were directing Manafort and who Manafort corresponded with, including some identified by initials (Oleg Deripaska seems a likely candidate). Why redact unless these people may be charged?
36/ Redacting the names of certain people, in or out of government, that Paul Manafort met with? Okay. They may be innocents. What about redacting the initials of the person who demanded regular briefings from Manafort on his progress? That's a very *different* sort of redaction.
37/ Per Sam Nunberg, Trump decided to run in November 2012; Roger Stone says by January 1, 2013. Mueller's redactions go *fully insane* after that point—he wants us to see basically *nothing*. This suggests that Manafort may have been working on issues relevant to the *election*.
38/ The Agalarovs arrived in the U.S. to begin luring Trump to Moscow one week after this notation regarding an email from an unknown entity to Rick Gates (just saying):
39/ My point here is simply to emphasize that Paul Manafort was working (in essence) for the Kremlin lobbying people who were already or could be powerful in Washington at a point when the Kremlin *very* much wanted to cultivate Trump as a U.S. politician who'd be in its corner.
40/ The attachments confirm it: Manafort was working for Kremlin interests lobbying the US government as that very government was putting sanctions on the Kremlin—*the* key political issue that Putin's fear of a Clinton presidency and promotion of a Trump presidency was based on.
41/ The sanctions discussed here are potential pre-annexation U.S. sanctions relating (in 2013) to an entirely different issue (stemming from the actions of pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politicians), but it's still fascinating to see Manafort working directly on fighting U.S. sanctions.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Seth Abramson
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!