In the ongoing crusade against the Trump administration for alleged Russian collusion, Robert Mueller, appointed by the Justice Department to oversee the Russia investigation, has begun to show signs that the investigation is running out of steam and the team investigating is instead trying to go after those associated with Trump in the past.
One of those is Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, against whom they have brought accusations of money laundering in an effort to pressure him into assisting their investigation. Despite not appearing to have any evidence, they’re still targeting Trump’s former campaign manager, attempting to find something to charge Manafort with in order to get him to turn against Trump. This begs the question: Isn’t this supposed to be an independent investigation? (via Reuters)
Between 2006 and 2013, Manafort bought three New York properties that he paid for in full, and then took out mortgages on them later. Although such a method of purchasing homes has been used by some as a tactic to hide the origin of any shadily-acquired funds, there has been no evidence that Manafort did this.
In fact, even though one source suggested that there was no evidence as of yet, they also mentioned that finding something is critical to getting Manafort’s full cooperation in their investigation of a Trump-Russia collusion.
“If Mueller’s team can threaten criminal charges against Manafort, they could use that as leverage to convince him to cooperate,” said one anonymous source. (via Reuters)
This isn’t the first instance of Mueller overstepping the reasonable boundaries of his investigation.
The special investigator recently expanded the probe to Trump’s business transactions, a move that in the view of John Dowd, one of Trump’s lawyers, was unjustified. “Those transactions are in my view well beyond the mandate of the Special counsel; are unrelated to the election of 2016 or any alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia and most importantly, are well beyond any Statute of Limitation imposed by the United States Code,” said the lawyer in an email. (via Bloomberg)
This is investigation is looking less independent and unbiased with each passing day. Should Mueller be fired.
Regardless, what makes Manafort an especially attractive target to investigators is the previous consulting work he did for a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine, as well as some business relationships he had in the region, which was his original reason for stepping down as campaign manager in June, 2016.
Until any concrete evidence is found, Manafort is innocent until proven guilty, and judging by how quickly the Donald Trump, Jr. story regarding the Russian lawyer disappeared, it wouldn’t be surprising if the same would happen in this case. The media can only perpetuate a false narrative for so long, and if a story isn’t legitimate, sooner or later it will fall apart and they will have to switch over to the next promising narrative.
This sounds less and less like an independent investigation and more like a shakedown. It seems these investigators have an agenda: going after President Trump with any and all means necessary to match the political narrative, with no regard for the truth that the evidence, or lack thereof, is pointing toward.