Manafort’s guilty plea and the subsequent confirmation that he had agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the investigation into the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin-linked operatives came as quite a surprise to many, but other details of that plea agreement make much more clear just how low Manafort has been willing to stoop before he got caught.
DIRTY: MANAFORT orchestrated a scheme to have, "[O]bama jews,” as he described them, pressure the OBAMA administration to support his pro-Russian client YANUKOVYCH by "spreading stories in the US that a senior Cabinet official" was abetting antisemitism by supporting TYMOSHENKO. pic.twitter.com/u6YDhbig7v
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) September 14, 2018
Charges levied against Manafort included failing to register as a foreign agent and conspiring against the U.S., most notably due to his lobbying on behalf of the Ukrainian government to support Russian-backed candidates. In one of those efforts, Manafort pushed a fake news story about a presidential challenger to Russia’s favored candidate in order to cause trouble for him and for the Obama administration.
‘In one remarkable section of the charging document, prosecutors detailed the nature of Manafort’s work for Viktor Yanukovych, who was elected president of Ukraine in 2010 with Russia’s backing until he was removed from power as part of the country’s political revolution four years later…prosecutors said Manafort worked to undermine Tymoshenko in the U.S. by spreading stories that a senior U.S. Cabinet official was supporting anti-Semitism because the official supported Tymoshenko, who in turn had formed a political alliance with a Ukraine party that espoused anti-Semitic views.’
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) September 14, 2018
Part of his efforts included putting pressure on the U.S. government to back a candidate.
‘Manafort privately coordinated with an unnamed senior Israeli official to spread this story as part of what he called an effort to have “Obama Jews” pressure the Obama administration to disavow Tymoshenko. Manafort wrote to one associate: “I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom”…
“Manafort sought to have the [Obama] Administration understand that ‘the Jewish community will take this out on Obama on election day if he does nothing,'” the charging document said.
Shocking highlights from the downfall of Manafort, who just pleaded guilty to conspiracy:
—the "Obama jews" tactic
—his goal to "plant some stink on Tymo"
—the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, aka "the European hot dog stand for a Modern Ukraine"https://t.co/I4B1uBMURn
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) September 14, 2018
Predictably, Manafort either had help in this effort from writers and editors at Breitbart or they simply fell for the story. Whether they were duped or complicit, they turned that story into an indictment of Hillary Clinton.
‘At least one outlet — Breitbart News — took Manafort’s bait, publishing a story with the headline, “Jewish Leaders Blame Hillary Clinton For ‘Legitimizing’ Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi Party.”
NBC News: According to the criminal information Paul Manafort coordinated with an Israel official to pressure "Obama Jews" to spread a story tarnishing Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's former leader, and an opponent to Manafort's candidate.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) September 14, 2018
‘The document also describes Manafort asking lobbyists in 2013 via “written communications” to spread a story that Tymoshenko had paid for the murder of a Ukrainian official. Manafort said, “[m]y goal is to plant some stink on Tymo.”‘
Manafort said it was “very important that we have no connection” in order to distance himself from the story.
Featured image via Flickr by Mike Licht under a Creative Commons license