Conspiracy is a Gates-way drug (New flip+guilty plea +++WOW+++): Investigation v. 14

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Quipling, Feb 23, 2018.

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  1. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    Mod note excerpted from previous thread:
    Mod note: Please post in here with regards to the subject at hand. Any general chat can go in the WR OT thread.

    Just to be clear, going forward, these type of posts also count of derailing:
    1. Talking about how the thread is derailed/ how mods should handle a situation (report and continue on topic discussions)
    2. Joking about posters who are reply banned from the thread
    3. Posts with only flaming that do not have any other information about the topic
    4. A reply to any of the above

    Stop doing these. This isn't some game of getting each other reply bans and infractions. Just stay on topic, report when needed. We have the WR OT for posts like the ones above but they have no place in a normal thread.

    Update of the thread:

    Gates has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and conspiracy to defraud the United States. The lying to the FBI charge is because Gates lied to the FBI earlier this month about a 2013 meeting with a congressman. The conspiracy charge is with respect to Gates and Manafort conspiring to the following: tax fraud/money laundering, failing to register as a foreign agent, and lying to the FBI and DOJ. It incorporates 9 charges from the original indictment and a bunch of relevant information, discussed later in the thread. Gates agreed to cooperate fully with the investigation.

    Here is the guilty plea agreement - 57 to 71 months
    Here is the statement of the offense
    Here is the information.

    Several hours after Gates pleaded guilty, Mueller released a new superceding indictment against Manafort. It alleged that Manafort:
    • illegally lobbied on behalf of Yanukovych, the Party of Regions, and the government of Ukraine from 2006 until 2014 without registering under FARA
    • contracted with two firms, including the Podesta group, in 2012 to conduct specific lobbying operations and mislead them into believing that they did not have to register under FARA (see pgs 15-17)
    • concealed the income received in connection with the lobbying
    • contracted Skadden to write reports favorable to Ukraine, and a third lobbying group to assist - specifically with respect to Tymeshenko's imprisonment
    • secretly paid former senior European politicians more than 2 million euros to support Ukraine in various ways, including lobbying in the United States. (pages 20-21). One was a former chancellor, not yet identified (guesses are Gusenbauer, Helmut Scmidt, or Gerhard Schroeder
    Charged with 5 counts: Conspiracy against the United States, Conspiracy to launder money, Unregistered agent of a foreign principle, False and Misleading FARA statements, False Statements to the FBI

    notes:
    The indictment and plea do not discuss Russia, (except insofar as the Ukrainian government was closely tied to and supported by the Russian government).

    That said, this episode is useful to point out that indictments are not an exclusive statement of all criminal activity, and plea agreements are even less so. That someone has only pleaded to one crime does not establish that only one crime was committed.

    Last thread's big items:
    Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, bank fraud, and identity theft, in connection with their interference in national elections. One of the operations ran to a cost of more than 73 million rubles (1.25 million USD) per month. Full text: https://www.politico.com/story/2018...er-indictment-on-russian-election-case-415670

    A US citizen also pleaded guilty to knowingly aiding them.
    https://www.justice.gov/file/1035547/download

    Mueller filed a superceding indictment alleging new claims v. Gates and Manafort. 23 new claims v. Gates, 13 v. Manafort.
    http://thehill.com/policy/national-...-files-new-charges-against-manafort-and-gates

    Major events so far:
    • Manafort, Trump's campaign manager and transition committee member on eleven counts arising from misconduct reaching into 2017 related to payments received through 2014 from the pro-russia faction of Ukraine's pre-war government. He has pleaded not guilty. The indictment has since been expanded by 13 claims. Manafort is currently confined to house arrest due to bank and tax fraud uncovered when he tried to secure his bond.
    • Gates has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and conspiring (with Manafort) to commiting tax fraud, failing to register as a foreign agent, and lying to the FBI
    • George Papadopolous pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators in 2017 about activities occuring 2016-17. Admits to meeting with various Russian officials regarding setting up meetings and "dirt" on Hillary while acting on behalf of the Trump campaign, something he previously denied.
    • Mike Flynn, Trump's National Security Advisor, has also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI with respect to several meetings that he had with the Russian ambassador. Flynn was allegedly involved in other business involving Turkey, but has not yet been charged with respect to that behavior.
    • Steve Bannon was interviewed for roughly 20 hours by Mueller's team. Bannon has refused to answer congressional inquiries
    • Sessions was privately interviewed by Mueller's team. Sessions is currently head of the DoJ.
    • 13 Russian indictment for activity starting in 2014 and continuing through 2017. US citizen pleaded guilty for agreeing to help them.
    • An attorney linked to Manafort, Gates, and a Russian oligarch has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI
    Dumb Talking Points:
    No. He said there was nothing about that in the indictment. There has already been a guilty plea with respect to at least one American outside of the Trump campaign, and at least one trump campaign staffer admitted to meeting with representatives of the russian government in his guilty plea and information, and lying about it.

    "Now, there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."

    Wrong. Read the indictment.

    The office of special counsel is a separate section. The FBI has literally thousands of employees and lots of different offices and departments

    Previous thread
    http://forums.sherdog.com/threads/b...an-burgers-russia-investigation-v-13.3712727/
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  2. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    Here are the allegations and charges incorporated into the criminal information.

    9. In 2005, MANAFORT and another partner created Davis Manafort Partners, Inc. (DMP) to engage principally in political consulting. DMP had staff in the United States, Ukraine, and Russia. In 2011, MANAFORT created DMP International, LLC (DMI) to engage in work for foreign clients, in particular political consulting, lobbying, and public relations for the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions, and members of the Party of Regions. DMI was a partnership solely owned by MANAFORT and his spouse. GATES worked for both DMP and DMI and served as MANAFORT's right-hand man.

    16. From 2008 to 2014, MANAFORT caused the following wires, totaling over $12,000,000, to be sent to the vendors listed below for personal items. MANAFORT did not pay taxes on this income, which was used to make the purchases.

    17. In 2012, MANAFORT caused the following wires to be sent to the entities listed below to purchase the real estate also listed below. MANAFORT did not report the money used to make these purchases on his 2012 tax return.

    20. As part of the scheme, in February 2012, MANAFORT and GATES solicited two Washington, D.C., firms (Company A and Company B) to lobby in the United States on behalf of Yanukovych, the Party of Regions, and the Government of Ukraine. For instance, GATES wrote to Company A that it would be “representing the Government of Ukraine in [Washington,] DC.”

    21. MANAFORT repeatedly communicated in person and in writing with Yanukovych, and GATES passed on directions to Company A and Company B. For instance, MANAFORT wrote Yanukovych a memorandum dated April 8, 2012, in which he provided Yanukovych an update on the lobbying firms' activities “since the inception of the project a few weeks ago. It is my intention to provide you with a weekly update moving forward.” Toward the end of that first year, in November 2012, GATES wrote to Company A and Company B that the firms needed to prepare an assessment of their past and prospective lobbying efforts so the “President” could be briefed by “Paul” “on what Ukraine has done well and what it can do better as we move into 2013.”

    22. At the direction of MANAFORT and GATES, Company A and Company B engaged in extensive lobbying. Among other things, they lobbied multiple Members of Congress and their staffs about Ukraine sanctions, the validity of Ukraine elections, and the propriety of Yanukovych's imprisoning his presidential rival, Yulia Tymoshenko (who had served as Ukraine President prior to Yanukovych). MANAFORT and GATES also lobbied in connection with the roll out of a report concerning the Tymoshenko trial commissioned by the Government of Ukraine. MANAFORT and GATES used one of their offshore accounts to funnel $4 million to pay secretly for the report.

    23. To minimize public disclosure of their lobbying campaign, MANAFORT and GATES arranged for the Centre to be the nominal client of Company A and Company B, even though in fact the Centre was under the ultimate direction of the Government of Ukraine, Yanukovych, and the Party of Regions. For instance, MANAFORT and GATES selected Company A and Company B, and only thereafter did the Centre sign contracts with the lobbying firms without ever meeting either company. Company A and Company B were paid for their services not by their nominal client, the Centre, but solely through off-shore accounts associated with the MANAFORT-GATES entities, namely Bletilla Ventures Limited (in Cyprus) and Jeunet Ltd. and Global Endeavour Inc. (in Grenadines). In total, Company A and Company B were paid more than $2 million from these accounts between 2012 and 2014.

    24. To conceal the scheme, MANAFORT and GATES developed a false and misleading cover story that would distance themselves and the Government of Ukraine, Yanukovych, and the Party of Regions from the Centre, Company A, and Company B. For instance, in the wake of extensive press reports on MANAFORT and his connections with Ukraine, on August 16, 2016, GATES communicated false talking points to Company B in writing, including:

    Q: “Can you describe your initial contact with [Company B] and the lobbying goals he discussed with them?”

    A: “We provided an introduction between the [Centre] and [Company B/Company A] in 2012. The [Centre] was seeking to retain representation in Washington, DC to support the mission of the NGO.”

    A: “Our [MANAFORT and GATES'j task was to assist the [Centre] find representation in Washington, but at no time did our firm or members provide any direct lobbying support.”

    A: “The structure of the arrangement between the [Centre] and [Company A and Company B] was worked out by the two parties.”

    Q: “Can you say where the funding from for [sic] the [Centre] came from? (this amounted to well over a million dollars between 2012 and 2014)," A: “This is a question better asked of the [Centre] who contracted with the two firms.”

    Q: “Can you describe the lobbying work specifically undertaken by [Company B] on behalf of the Party of Regions/the [Centre]?" A: “This is a question better asked to Company B and/or the [Centre] as the agreement was between the parties. Our firm did not play a role in the structure, nor were we registered lobbyists.”

    Company B through a principal replied to GATES the same day that “there's a lot of email traffic that has you much more involved than this suggests [.] We will not disclose that but heaven knows what former employees of [Company B] or [Company A] might say.”

    25. In September 2016, after numerous recent press reports concerning MANAFORT, the Department of Justice informed MANAFORT, GATES, and DMI that it sought to determine whether they had acted as agents of a foreign principal under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), without registering. In November 2016 and February 2017, MANAFORT, GATES, and DMI caused false and misleading letters to be submitted to the Department of Justice, which mirrored the false cover story set out above. The letters, both of which were approved by MANAFORT and GATES before they were submitted, represented, among other things, that:

    ·DMI's “efforts on behalf of the Party of Regions” “did not include meetings or outreach within the U.S.";

    ·MANAFORT and GATES did not “recall meeting with or conducting outreach to U.S. government officials or U.S. media outlets on behalf of the [Centre], nor do they recall being party to, arranging, or facilitating any such communications. Rather, it is the recollection and understanding of Messrs. Gates and Manafort that such communications would have been facilitated and conducted by the [Centre's] U.S. consultants, as directed by the [Centre]....";

    ·MANAFORT and GATES had merely served as a means of introduction of Company A and Company B to the Centre and provided the Centre with a list of “potential U.S.-based consultants — including [Company A] and [Company B] — for the [Centre's] reference and further consideration.”

    ·DMI “does not retain communications beyond thirty days” and as a result of this policy, a “search has returned no responsive documents.” The November 2016 letter attached a one-page, undated document that purported to be a DMI “Email Retention Policy.”

    32. Furthermore, in each of MANAFORT's tax filings for 2008 through 2014, MANAFORT represented falsely that he did not have authority over any foreign bank accounts. MANAFORT and GATES had repeatedly and falsely represented in writing to MANAFORT's tax preparer that MANAFORT had no authority over foreign bank accounts, knowing that such false representations would result in false MANAPORT tax filings. For instance, on October 4, 2011, MANAFORT's tax preparer asked MANAFORT in writing: “At any time during 2010, did you [or your wife or children] have an interest in or a signature or other authority over a financial account in a foreign country, such as a bank account, securities account or other financial account?” On the same day, MANAFORT falsely responded “NO.” MANAPORT responded the same way as recently as October 3, 2016, when MANAFORT's tax preparer again emailed the question in connection with the preparation of MANAFORT's tax returns: “Foreign bank accounts etc.?" MANAPORT responded on or about the same day: “NONE.”

    34. In 2012, MANAFORT, through a corporate vehicle called “MC Soho Holdings, LLC” owned by him and his family, bought a condominium on Howard Street in the Soho neighborhood in Manhattan, New York. He paid approximately $2,850,000. All the money used to purchase the condominium came from MANAFORT entities in Cyprus. MANAFORT used the property from at least January 2015 through 2016 as an income-generating rental property, charging thousands of dollars a week on Airbnb, among other places. In his tax returns, MANAFORT took advantage of the beneficial tax consequences of owning this rental property.

    35. In late 2015 through early 2016, MANAFORT applied for a mortgage on the condominium. Because the bank would permit a greater loan amount if the property were owner-occupied, MANAFORT falsely represented to the bank and its agents that it was a secondary home used as such by his daughter and son-in-law and was not a property held as a rental property. For instance, on January 26, 2016, MANAFORT wrote to his son-in-law to advise him that when the bank appraiser came to assess the condominium his son-in-law should "[r]emember, he believes that you and [MANAFORT's daughter] are living there.” Based on a request from MANAFORT, GATES caused a document to be created which listed the Howard Street property as the second home of MANAFORT's daughter and son-in-law, when GATES knew this fact to be false. As a result of his false representations, in March 2016 the bank provided MANAFORT a loan for approximately $3,185,000.

    36. Also in 2012, MANAFORT — through a corporate vehicle called “MC Brooklyn Holdings, LLC” similarly owned by him and his family — bought a brownstone on Union Street in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn, New York. He paid approximately $3,000,000 in cash for the property. All of that money carne from a MANAFORT entity in Cyprus. After purchase of the property, MANAFORT began renovations to transform it from a multi-family dwelling into a single family home. In late 2015 through early 2016, MANAFORT sought to borrow cash against the property. The institution MANAFORT went to for the loan provided greater loan amounts for “construction loans” — that is, loans that required the loan amounts to be used to pay solely for construction of the property and thus increase the value of the property serving as the loan's collateral. The institution would thus loan money against the expected completed value of the property, which in. the case of the Union Street property was estimated to be $8,000,000. In early 2016, MANAFORT was able to obtain a loan of approximately $5,000,000, after promising the bank that approximately $1,400,000 of the loan would be used solely for construction of the Union Street property. However, MANAFORT never intended to limit use of the proceeds to construction as required by the loan contracts. In December 2015, before the loan was made, MANAFORT wrote his tax preparer, among others, that the construction loan “will allow me to pay back the [another Manafort apartment] mortgage in full...." Further, when the construction loan closed, MANAFORT used hundreds of thousands of dollars from the construction loan to make a down payment on another property in California.
    Here are the charges describing the conduct to which Gates has pleaded guilty.

    COUNTS THREE THROUGH SIX

    (Failure To File Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial

    Accounts For Calendar Years 2011-2014)



    COUNT TEN

    (Unregistered Agent Of A Foreign Principal)

    47. From in or about and between 2008 and 2014, both dates being approximate and inclusive, within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., and RICHARD W. GATES III knowingly and willfully, without registering with the Attorney General as required by law, acted as agents of a foreign principal, to wit, the Government of Ukraine, the Party of Regions, and Yanukovych.

    COUNT ELEVEN

    (False and Misleading FARA Statements)

    49. On or about November 23, 2016 and February 10, 2017, within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, the defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., and RICHARD W. GATES III knowingly and willfully caused to be made a false statement of a material fact, and omitted a material fact necessary to make the statements therein not misleading, in a document filed with and furnished to the Attorney General under the provisions of PARA, to wit the underlined statements:

    "[DMI]'s efforts on behalf of the Party of Regions and Opposition Bloc did not include meetings or outreach within the U.S.”

    "[N]either [DMI] nor Messrs. Manafort or Gates had an agreement with the [Centre] to provide services.”

    "[DMI] did provide the [Centre], at the request of members of the Party of Regions, with a list of potential U.S.-based consultants — including [Company A and Company B] — for the [Centre]'s reference and further consideration. The [Centre] then contracted directly with [Company A and Company B] to provide services within the United States for which these entities registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act.”

    “To Gates' recollection these efforts included providing policy briefings to the [Centre] and its consultants on key initiatives and political developments in Ukraine including participation in and/or coordination of related conference calls and meetings. Although Gates recalls interacting with the [Centre]'s consultants regarding efforts in the Ukraine and Europe neither Gates nor Mr. Manafort recall meeting with or conducting outreach to U.S. government officials or U.S. media outlets on behalf of the [Centre] nor do the recall being party to, arranging, or facilitating any such communications. Rather it is the recollection and understanding of Messrs. Gates and Manafort that such communications would have been facilitated and conducted by the [Centre]'s U.S. consultants as directed by the [Centre] pursuant to the a reement reached between those parties (to which [DMI] was not a party).”

    "[A] search has been conducted for correspondence containing additional information related to the matters described in the government's Letters. However as a result of [DMI]'s Email Retention Policy, which does not retain communications beyond thirty days, the search has returned no responsive communications.”

    COUNT TWELVE

    (False Statements)

    51. On or about November 23, 2016, and February 10, 2017, within the District of Columbia and elsewhere, in a matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the Government of the United States, the defendants PAUL J. MANAFORT, JR., and RICHARD W. GATES III knowingly and willfully did cause another: to falsify, conceal, and cover up by a scheme and device a material fact; to make a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement and representation, and to make and use a false writing and document knowing the same to contain a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement, to wit, the statements in the November 23, 2016 and February 10, 2017, submissions to the Department of Justice quoted in paragraph 49.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
  3. Staph infection

    Staph infection Conor bless

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    Only Democrats can meet secretly and then lie about it.
     
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  4. Diamond Jim

    Diamond Jim Silver Belt

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    Gates was probably thinking he’d rather not do 20yrs in jail.
     
  5. Falsedawn

    Falsedawn destroy Platinum Member

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    So judging by how much time Manafort is staring down, think there's any validity to the speculation that he wanted his bail altered to dip the fuck out of the country?

    Because from where i'm sitting, it sure looks like dude's nuts are in a vise. I just don't see him as someone who is gonna sit back and die in jail for anyone. Almost has to flip at this point.
     
  6. Strychnine

    Strychnine Gold Belt

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    Isn't Manfort in his sixties???

    Yeah, he needs to start talking or he's going to spend the rest of his life in prison.
     
  7. Falsedawn

    Falsedawn destroy Platinum Member

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    68. Dude needs to loosen his lips, not even Johnnie Cochran could save his ass at this point. Bob Muller doesn't play any games.
     
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  8. Prime Rib

    Prime Rib Au jus Belt. Double Yellow Card Yellow Card Banned

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    Drain dat swamp bitch!!!!!
     
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  9. Strychnine

    Strychnine Gold Belt

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    Is he thinking that Pres. Trump will pardon him? If the President does that, it'll be a Blue blood-tide in the midterms.
     
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  10. Prime Rib

    Prime Rib Au jus Belt. Double Yellow Card Yellow Card Banned

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    Go Henry Hill on some bitches.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. HomerThompson

    HomerThompson President of the War Room Platinum Member

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    Gates was Manafort's right-hand man for a decade, was privy to most, if not all, of Manafort's activities during the campaign and stayed in the Trump orbit after Manafort's exit. Manafort has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

    In Friday's hearing, Gates told a federal judge that he understood his potential sentence depended on his cooperation with prosecutors on the charges: conspiracy to commit to defraud the United States and making false statements.

    Gates, bearded and wearing a blue suit, tie and cuff links, listened to the judge read the offenses he is agreeing to plead guilty to and the possibility of being sentenced to up to 57 to 71 months in prison. He said "Yes, your honor" repeatedly as Judge Amy Berman Jackson read the court documents.

    Thursday, prosecutors described a "scheme" in which the two longtime business partners allegedly laundered $30 million, failed to pay taxes for almost 10 years and used real estate they owned to fraudulently secure more than $20 million in loans.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/23/politics/gates-guilty-plea-mueller-russia/index.html

    <{you!}>
     
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  12. PolishHeadlock

    PolishHeadlock Putin Belt Platinum Member

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  13. Jack V Savage

    Jack V Savage Secretary of Keepin' It Real/Nicest Guy on Sherdog

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    Putin also doesn't play any games. Manafort might prefer to die of old age in jail than by plutonium poisoning.
     
  14. Falsedawn

    Falsedawn destroy Platinum Member

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    Oh yeah, Trump shouldn't even acknowledge Manafort until it's clear he's no longer going to be in office. You know Mueller has contingencies for that situation, it would be hilarious for Manafort to be compelled to testify after a pardon. I'd shit myself with laughter.
     
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  15. Madmick

    Madmick Scholar of Taghaza Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Feel like I already read this headline a year ago in my crystal ball.

    Seriously, anyone who didn't have their head up their ass, deliberately, saw the writing on the wall with the Russian interference.

    *Edit* Shit, 2 years ago. Time flies.
     
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  16. PolishHeadlock

    PolishHeadlock Putin Belt Platinum Member

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  17. Falsedawn

    Falsedawn destroy Platinum Member

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    ALSO true. With how tied into Ukraine Manafort was, I bet he's a loose end for a Putin scheme or two. I didn't even consider that, good thinking.

    Man, what a fucking choice to make. Die in jail or from poisioning via radioactive isotope. That's how you know you fucked up.
     
  18. Quipling

    Quipling Red Belt

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    Kudos to @Diamond Jim for this July 2016 post, before Manafort had even resigned from Trump's campaign.

    Search engine only brings up 200 responses so I couldn't go further back.
    http://forums.sherdog.com/posts/119371453/
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  19. computer fogie

    computer fogie Senior Moderator Senior Moderator

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  20. HomerThompson

    HomerThompson President of the War Room Platinum Member

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    Just read Quipling's OP.
     
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