WTF Community

Day 574

Updated 8/16/2018 2:21 PM PDT

1/ Rudy Giuliani said Trump's legal team are prepared to fight a subpoena all the way to the Supreme Court. "We would move to quash the subpoena," Giuliani said on Wednesday. "And we're pretty much finished with our memorandum opposing a subpoena." Giuliani continued, adding that Trump's attorney's are ready to "argue it before the Supreme Court, if it ever got there." Trump's team plans to argue that a sitting president cannot be indicted by citing Article II of the Constitution and a 2000 memo from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel following Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. (Washington Post / Business Insider)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Curious which questions that the Jurors need to get clearer on. If they do have ‘reasonable doubt,’ then they decide in favor of Manafort.

Jurors in Paul Manafort trial send judge four questions, including asking him to redefine reasonable doubt

BREAKING: Jurors in Paul Manafort’s trial sent the judge four questions, including asking him to redefine reasonable doubt. They also asked about foreign bank accounts. They will resume deliberations Friday.

This story will be updated.

Jurors began deliberations Thursday in the trial of President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who faces 18 counts of bank fraud and lying — and the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III sent jurors to begin their deliberations at 9:55 a.m., though he instructed them not to begin talking until all exhibits were brought to them, and all 12 members were present.

The jurors had requested to deliberate in their break room — which is slightly larger than the normal jury room — and Ellis said that would be fine.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys presented their closing arguments Wednesday.

“When you follow the trail of Mr. Manafort’s money, it is littered with lies,” prosecutor Greg Andres said during closing arguments to the six-woman, six-man jury in Alexandria, Va. “Mr. Manafort lied to keep more money when he had it, and he lied to get more money when he didn’t.”

As Andres spoke, slowly and dispassionately, jurors looked at him, occasionally scribbling notes in the black notebooks they have used throughout the trial. Manafort, wearing a blue suit, did not look at Andres or the jury while the prosecutor spoke.

In their final appeal to the jury, Manafort’s lawyers said it defied common sense for Manafort to cheat the IRS or banks when his net worth exceeded $21 million.

“Given this evidence, how can we say he didn’t have money?” asked Manafort lawyer Richard Westling, who also said it did not make sense for Manafort to involve so many people — bankers, accountants and a former business partner — in a scheme to hide more than $15 million in income from the IRS.

The world is watching” the trial’s outcome, said Ilene Jaroslaw, a former federal prosecutor, because the special counsel’s office “doesn’t speak, except in court.”

An acquittal, she said, would embolden Mueller’s critics “and could put the existence of that office at risk.”

A conviction would show the special counsel has the tools to find out the truth and bring it to light,” said Jaroslaw, now a partner at the law firm Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney. “It would be enormously important to everyone seeing the threats to the Justice Department and the special counsel to know we can get a measure of justice in the United States.”



Military is raining on his parade. :cloud_with_rain:


Just a note about the FiveThirtyEight prediction that the Democrats have a 75.4% chance of taking over the house in the midterms…I think it should be stressed that this is the same group that predicted a big win for Clinton over Trump:


I was a little frustrated by some of the reporting on this. I couldn’t find a complete written transcript so I put one together below. There are actually four separate recordings – they are brief excerpts that Omarosa asserts came from a longer conversation. She says she played the entire conversation for MSNBC producers so they could put them in context. I’m confident that if there was anything in these excerpts that misrepresented the overall tone and content of the conversation, MSNBC would not have released them on their network. MSNBC did not distinguish the starting point of each excerpt, but I believe I’ve been able to do that just by carefully parsing the conversation.

You can listen to the four excerpts here (they are edited together as a single recording):

A complete transcript:

Excerpt 1

Lara Trump: Listen, obviously, with like The New York Times article and stuff, you know, it’s, it’s –

Omarosa Manigault Newman: What’s The New York Time [sic] article?

Lara Trump: The one that, the one that, um. It was in The New York Times today, I guess you didn’t – with Maggie Haberman, or they wrote about you.

Excerpt 2

Lara Trump: It sounds a little like, obviously, that there are some things you’ve got in the back pocket to pull out. Clearly, if you come on board the campaign, like, we can’t have – we got to –

Omarosa Manigault Newman: Oh, God no.

Lara Trump: – everything, everybody, positive, right?

Excerpt 3

Lara Trump: So the only thing that we have to consider, where we’re talking salary as far as the compaign is concerned, is that, as you know, everything is public. Um. And that all the money that we raise and that pays salaries is directly from donors, small-dollar donors for the most part. So, I know you, you were making 179 at the White House. And I think we can work something out where we keep you right along those lines. Um. Specifically, let me see, I haven’t even added up the numbers. But we were talking about, like, 15K a month. Um. Let me see what that adds up to. Times 12. Yeah. So that’s $180,000. Does that sound like, uh, a fair deal to you?

Excerpt 4

Lara Trump: In terms of your position, specifically, I really feel like your position would require, you know, you to be able to be flexible in terms of where you are. Sometimes, you know, come to New York for occasional meetings, but I would love if you could, you know, occasionally go do speaking engagements and that sort of thing for us – I think you’d be awesome doing that. So it doesn’t really matter where you are. If you’re comfortable staying in D.C., then, you know, you’re, we’re more than happy to have you . . . [recording cuts off]

I believe it’s obvious that Omarosa is not actually being made a legitimate job offer, but is being offered hush money. However, I think, based on this recording alone, it would be difficult to make the charge stick in a court of law because Lara Trump does a good job of couching the hush money offer within a “wink, wink, nod, nod” conversation. You need to read between the lines, but it’s pretty easy to do so:

Excerpts 1 and 2: Without actually saying it in so many words, Lara Trump makes it clear that she is offering hush money. She talks about a New York Times article that came out that morning in which an outspoken Omarosa is quoted as saying, “I have seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people. It is a profound story that I know the world will want to hear.” However, Omarosa is left with no doubt that if she does take this offer, she will not be allowed to tell her story. As Lara puts it, Omarosa cannot pull something out of her back pocket – "everything, everybody, positive, right?"

Excerpt 3: Here, Lara Trump lets Omarosa know that she can’t expect a huge pay out because the money will be coming from “small-dollar donors.” But, lo and behold, Omarosa will be receiving a payment every month that is almost exactly the same as the salary she received in the White House. So getting fired was really no harm, no foul. (BTW, how shameful is it to siphon off the hard-earned dollars of rank-and-file campaign donors and use it as hush money to cover up the crimes of a wealthy, corrupt politician?)

Expert 4: And here’s where it becomes abundantly clear that this is not a job offer, but a flat out hush money payment because Omarosa is expected to do very little in return for the cash. She doesn’t need to move and, for the most part, it sounds like she won’t even need to leave her home – she just may need to show up for an occasional meeting and deliver an occasional talk. Now that’s one sweet $180K/yr gig.

Footnote: The offer required Omarosa to sign a nondisclosure/nondisparagement agreement (copies of the agreements are here). She refused the offer and so, of course, did not sign the agreement. I’m not sure if she previously signed a nondisclosure/nondisparagement agreement when she was hired by the White House.



@mkraju (cnn)

Eleven former CIA chiefs and one former DNI head - who have served under GOP and Democratic presidents - issue joint statement tonight raising alarms at Trump’s move to strip Brennan of his security clearance, calling it “an attempt to stifle free speech.”


Aimed at the base…letter from Sen Graham to FBI Christopher Wray. Fox, Washington Times is covering it.

From @ MKraju (Manu Raju CNN)

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