Nothing about this has any relationship to President Trump; however, the DOJ cronies under Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Greg Andres and Andrew Weissmann, made a slick move today by unsealing indictments in Virginia against Paul Manafort opening up two legal fronts in an effort to wear down Manafort’s financial ability to defend his interests.
The maneuver comes after Team Mueller lost DC District Judge Contreras, who was replaced by a far more critical Emmet Sullivan, and who is forcing Mueller’s team to show all exculpatory evidence (Flynn case). The new indictments against Manafort were not in DC where they filed the first set but in Northern Virginia District Court.
If the new indictments were filed in DC it is likely they would have been consolidated under the current judge. Filing in Virginia makes Manafort fight in 2 separate courts. We’ll have to wait and see if Mueller moves to have the entire case transferred to Northern Virginia or if Mueller drops the initial DC case. Of course Manafort can, likely will, petition the court to move both cases against him into the DC circuit.
Greg Andres and Andrew Weissmann squeezed Paul Manafort’s prior business partner, Rick Gates to gain a guilty plea in Virginia. Mr. Gates admitted to taking part in a conspiracy to hide tens of millions of dollars that he and Paul Manafort obtained for their lobbying and consulting work related to Ukraine.
[…] U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson released two new indictments against Manafort, one returned last week and the other returned earlier Friday, removing some foreign-account-reporting charges that prosecutors have effectively transferred to Virginia as part of another indictment, unveiled on Thursday, that is focused on tax and bank fraud.
Gates’ plea agreement requires him to cooperate with Mueller’s various lines of investigation, including his prosecution of Manafort, Gates’ former business partner and mentor, who served as Trump’s campaign chairman in the summer of 2016.
Jackson accepted Gates’ guilty plea Friday afternoon but set no immediate date for sentencing. The plea agreement says that if prosecutors deem Gates to have provided “substantial assistance” to the government, they’ll file a motion that could increase Gates’ chances of getting a more lenient sentence than the roughly four and a half to six years likely to be called for by federal sentencing guidelines.
The rest of the charges Gates faces in Washington and Virginia would be dismissed at or after sentencing if he abides by the deal. (read more)