Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is accused of withholding fees last week from the team of lawyers defending him from bank and tax fraud charges so he could buy a $2.1 million home in McLean, Va.
The charges, filed today by Kevin Downing, Manafort’s lead defense lawyer, says he and six other lawyers were due to be paid $57,000 for their legal work on Manafort’s behalf for the last two weeks but the money instead went to American Title Company as an earnest money deposit on the 2,000-square-foot house, which would be Manafort’s 14th.
Downing says he hopes to settle the dispute amicably outside of court, but he’s filing the charges to put Manafort on notice that the long-time political operative and international campaign consultant must pay his legal bills.
“I am confident we can work this out in a timely manner, and the charges we filed today are part of our good-faith effort to find a resolution quickly,” said Downing in a statement.
The lawyer couldn’t be reached for further comment because he’s preparing for the third week of Manafort’s trial, which starts on Monday. Manafort has been accused of bank and tax fraud involving tens of millions of dollars he received in the past decade, much of it from Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs who are close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The charges were filed by Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to look at collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
Manafort is known for his lavish lifestyle. In addition to spending on his many houses, he has spent more than $1 million on clothes, including jackets made out of ostrich and python skins.
The fraud trial has transfixed official Washington and the nation as a whole. Prosecutors have painted a picture of a man who created a complicated web of offshore bank accounts to move money from one part of his operation to another while he tried to stave off bankruptcy. Manafort faces life in prison should he be found guilty of all charges.
April Dixby, the real estate agent representing Manafort on the purchase of the McLean house, says her client is hoping to obtain a purchase-rehab loan for $2.7 million so he can expand the kitchen and add a family room. He also wants to add a stand-alone garage, replace the paving stones in the front yard, and put in a wood-fired pizza oven in the backyard.
“$2.1 million is actually a very good price for the home,” says Dixby. “The previous owner bought it for $1.2 million, but he really fixed up the bathrooms and put in granite countertops in the kitchen. Plus it has a new roof.”
Dixby says she hopes Manafort’s trial will be over by the August 30 closing date because the process always goes smoother when the buyer can be there in person to sign the papers. The alternative is to get his signatures in prison, which is a challenge because a notary has to be present.
A spokesperson for Manafort said he’s not worried about coming up with the $225,000 down payment, ]because he has plenty of money in a Cyprus account the government hasn’t learned about yet.
This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: pd and cc. Creative Commons and public domain. Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
White Power Can’t Be Stopped Unless It’s Raining and There are Counter-Protesters, Jason Kessler Says
The Unite the Right rally in front of the White House on Aug. 12, the one-year anniversary of the Charlottesville rally that resulted in the death of a counter-protester, shows how far the white nationalist movement has pushed into the mainstream, says the event’s organizer, Jason Kessler. “What we were able to show today, until the rain kicked in, is that the time has come for white Americans to act boldly and reassert their place at the top of western society,” Kessler said while he and the 23 other rally-goers rode in a police van back to the subway after concluding their rally. Kessler said white people have always been the dominate race because of their natural superiority and that dynamic would have been evident at the rally today except that too many counter-protesters were there. More.
President Trump has asked his legal team to settle on terms for him to sit down with special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is leading a rigged witch hunt to discredit the Trump presidency and make Democrats feel better about Hillary Clinton losing the presidency. The New York Times and The Washington Post this weekend reported that Trump asked his lawyers to agree on terms for an interview with Mueller and the 17 other witch hunters. “Jay and Rudy don’t want the president to sit down for an interview with Mueller, because they’re concerned he could wander into legal jeopardy,” a White House source is quoted in The Washington Post as saying. More.
Thousands of supporters of President Trump say the investigation of Russia-Trump collusion by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is actually a sophisticated cover-up for a secret investigation into a global conspiracy led by Mueller to make people believe Trump never released his taxes, went bankrupt in the 1990s, and appeared on TV saying he thinks his daughter Ivanka is a piece of ass that he’d like to date. The theory has been circulating on what’s known as the dark web for months but has only recently come to light now that Mueller’s team is prosecuting former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. More.
Several Americans rose from the dead after the tragic shooting in Toronto last week to urge Canadians to “get some mojo” and replace their “lame” gun laws with the kind of laws that give the United States the bragging rights of a true gunslinger. “Nothing will get the testosterone flowing like a few ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws in Ontario, Alberta, or British Columbia,” said Tucker Hawley, a Dallas lawyer who became a dead American last year when he was shot at a shopping mall. Hawley said he was a little freaked out after he was killed, along with several others, by a man whose social media posts suggests he had trouble talking to women. But once he got over the shock of being shot, he found his new life as a dead man not that bad. He never really liked to work anyway. More.
In an explosive development, President Trump’s long-time lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen can be heard in a secretly recorded phone conversation asking then-candidate Trump for his PIN so he can make a $150,000 payment to former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal, who was about to publish an account of her year-long affair with the real estate mogul in the National Enquirer. “Is it 1457 or 1754?” Cohen can be heard asking Trump in the 2016 recording, one of several Cohen made of his conversations with Trump and which were seized by the FBI in a raid of his properties earlier this year. “I had it written down but I can’t find my cheat sheet.” More.
President Trump in a late-night tweet threatened to unleash the full might of his words and sentences against Iran after that country’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said that the United States was playing with “the lion’s tail” in its handling of relations between the two countries. “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES,” Trump tweeted late Sunday night, “OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.” Trump went on to say he hasn’t even begun to tap into the words he has at his disposal to use against hostile foreign countries.” More.
Three years after Donald Trump burst onto the political scene with his ride down the gilded escalator at Trump Tower, the well of ideas for stories about him is running dry, fake-news writers complain. “I’ve made up stories about affairs he’s had with porn stars and Playboy models, following beauty contest contestants into their dressing rooms, and grabbing women without their consent, and now I’m just depleted,” says Tucker Gretz, senior fake-news writer for The New York Times. Terry Carter, a fake-news writer for The Washington Post, says she thought she had the ultimate fake-news story with Trump . . . . More.
Alphonse Jackson, an impoverished American in Brooklyn, N.Y., says he almost cried when he heard the Trump administration announcement this morning the War on Poverty, after some 50 years, has been won. “I honestly thought I’d be poor forever,” said Jackson, 59. “This is one of those moments, like, ‘Where were you when Bobby Kennedy was shot?’ at least for me.” Under the White House announcement, the War on Poverty is “largely over and a success” thanks to billions of dollars in federal assistance that have been given to poor Americans through a number of welfare programs, including Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Supplemental Income Assistance, which has reduced poverty 90 percent since the late 1960s. More.
Senior White House advisors say the media is missing the big picture of what President Trump is trying to do with regard to his foreign policy, because it’s not the haphazard approach it appears to be. Instead, everything is tied to the idea that the United States leads best when it leads from Putin’s behind. “If you want to give it a name, you can call it ‘Leading from Putin’s Behind,” says National Security Advisor John Bolton. “Are we leading? Absolutely. We’re leading in Europe. We’re leading in the Middle East. But we want to be subtle about it. We don’t want to be perceived as throwing our weight around. Thus, we’re leading from behind. It’s not a new concept. But we’re not just leading from behind. It’s more strategic than that. We’re leading from Putin’s behind.” More.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said on Twitter today “DO SOMETHING!” The president, citing “GUILT by Democrats/Clinton,” pointed to the “Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more.” In other news, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was indicted by a federal grand jury this morning and faces possible criminal charges for money laundering in connection to the investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is looking into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Manafort business associate Rick Gates was also indicted in connection with the matter. White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee-Sanders says Trump stands by his call for someone somewhere to do something. “The president is clear that he wants something to be done and he wants it done now,” Huckabee-Sanders said. More.
President Donald Trump said today he wants to be the only thing people think about each and every moment of their lives, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “I only exist if people are thinking about me and only me from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep,” he told reporters at a briefing in the Oval Office. “There are still people in parts of Africa, Antarctica, and maybe a few other places that don’t think about me and what I’m doing to the United States and even to the world. But with my success ratcheting up tensions with North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, and other countries around the globe, I believe I will reach my mark soon.”More.
President Donald Trump this morning says hell probably lie about it, although he’s not sure if he’ll use the lie he’s been planning to use or a different lie, including one he hasn’t thought of yet. “We’ll see how it goes when we get to that point,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “One thing I think I’ve made clear is, I don’t like to give away my plan. I like to keep people guessing.” Trump said he will probably lie later this week given the decision he made last week. “You know, we have to deal with the fake news like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “I’m just going to see what the expedient thing to say is, and, frankly, I don’t know what that will be yet—or maybe I do. Maybe I don’t want to tell you.” He said part of what he says might be truthful. “Maybe there’s an expectation I’ll lie completely,” he said. “We just don’t know, but there could be some truth to what I say. More.
A confidential memo prepared by White House lawyers has found that the president of the United States is in fact above the law and that the American people are in fact out of luck. “After exhaustive research into the Constitution of the United States and applicable legal precedents,” the memo says, “we have concluded that the president of the United States is actually above the law notwithstanding the idea that no one is above the law.” The memo goes on to explain that the president can shoot people, including former heads of the FBI, and fabricate reasons for meeting with enemies of the state while a candidate for president without consequences. More.
The bible of the journalism profession, the AP Stylebook, is no longer referring to the 45th president of the United States as Donald Trump or Donald J. Trump but as the criminal enterprise that’s taken over the White House. The change is significant because the Stylebook is the authoritative source on usage for newspaper reporters and editors as well as writers in broadcast, magazine publishing, marketing, and public relations. Charles Danbury, the style guide’s executive editor, says the change was necessary because of the importance of accurately reporting on the federal government. “As the resource that’s looked to by journalists throughout the United States, we take our responsibilities with the utmost seriousness,” Danbury said in a statement released today. “What we have in the White House is a criminal enterprise, funded by Russian oligarchs using money laundered through New York real estate, that is systematically assaulting the institutions that have made the United States a beacon for people around the world. Accuracy demands that we call the criminal operation what it is.” More.
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Deja Vu was bustling on Monday night but many of the men at the strip club weren’t enjoying the star attraction’s dance routine. The club was featuring Stormy Daniels, the newly famous stripper who allegedly was paid $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election to keep quiet about an affair she had with Donald Trump after his youngest son was born. But instead of being treated to a dance routine involving booty shakes, the men got what looked like a complex interpretive dance routine. “I’m not sure, but I think she was trying to tell a story or something,” said Jake Snyder, a regular at the club. More.
In a move to further push right-wing ideas into mainstream culture, a company is using funds from the conservative billionaire Koch brothers to buy a portfolio of storied magazines that no one under 50 reads! The magazines, Time and Sports Illustrated, among others, have played pivotal roles in the evolution of American journalism, but will now be used to inject a radical right-wing ideology directly into the blood stream of two million Americans who don’t realize they still receive the magazines in their mailbox each month except for when the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue comes out. “I am disgusted and concerned that magazines I didn’t know I still get will become nothing more than delivery vehicles for the detested ideology of the Koch brothers,” says Tom Blantner, 72, a long-time subscriber of the magazines who thought he discontinued them 10 years ago. More.