What’s Not Normal Today (Day 203)

Two words: “Probable Cause.”

Getting a subpoena out of a Grand Jury is child’s play, but to get a judge to issue a search warrant means the judge must be convinced that Trump’s 2016 Goat Rodeo Manager Paul Manafort would not fully comply with a subpoena, and that there must be probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime will be found.

Let’s turn to Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing in this morning’s Axios email thingie:

FBI’s pre-dawn raid on Paul Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Va., makes it look like the special counsel is trying to:

  1. Squeeze the former Trump campaign chairman to cooperate against others.
  2. Send a message to others that they better cooperate if they want to avoid humiliation.

…which sounds to me like Mueller is trying to get other subjects to flip, probably Mike Flynn.

Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) has a scoop:

Federal investigators sought cooperation from Paul Manafort’s son-in-law in an effort to increase pressure on President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, according to three people familiar with the probe. Investigators approached Jeffrey Yohai, who has partnered in business deals with Manafort, earlier this summer, setting off ‘real waves’ in Manafort’s orbit, one of these people said.

Another of these people said investigators are trying to get ‘into Manafort’s head.’ Manafort, who is a focus of the broad federal and congressional investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, is also under investigation for his business and real estate transactions, including some that involve Yohai. … It is unclear if investigators have secured cooperation from Yohai, who also hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing. … Mueller’s targeting of both Manafort and his son-in-law over potential criminal wrongdoing is a familiar tactic in white-collar cases, commonly called ‘climbing the ladder’.

So what else is not normal? Oh, I dunno. How about Comrade Stupid getting his donors to take out his enemies?

One of Donald Trump’s most generous political benefactors is providing a six-figure donation to a super PAC devoted to unseating Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who has been fiercely critical of the president. Robert Mercer, a reclusive hedge fund billionaire who was intimately involved in Trump’s rise and helped to bankroll his 2016 campaign, is contributing $300,000 to a super PAC supporting former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is challenging Flake in a Republican primary next year. It’s the latest sign that Trump’s political machine is preparing to take on Flake, whose persistent attacks have angered the president. The White House has met with Ward and two other Republicans who are mulling primary challenges to the Arizona senator, state Treasurer Jeff DeWit and former state GOP Chairman Robert Graham.

An enemies list that includes his own party? Trump is actively working to unseat a Republican? Win-Win for us!

And let’s conclude that Comrade Preznint Stupid’s twatting against amply be-chinned Mitch McConnell is not normal and, you know, not strategic:

Worst. Game. Of. Clue. Ever: Trump, on a golf course, tweeting to Mitch to get back to work…

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to attack the one (totally corrupt) person who can completely torpedo your agenda without even breaking a sweat. (And a sweaty Mitch is totally gross to think about.) You want tax reform? Infrastructure spending? A wall?

Keep eff’ing that chicken. Oh, wait.

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3 Responses to What’s Not Normal Today (Day 203)

  1. Bruce388 says:

    Trump’s “thick skin” disappeared along with his tax returns.


  2. Payola, as usual, has it wrong.

    Someone as careful as Mueller ain’t gonna execute a predawn no-knock search warrant absent rock-solid probable cause of a major felony. It’s not a coinkidink that he convened a Grand Jury at that time, either.

    The ‘pressure’ comes when he and Frank Pembleton walk into The Box and offer Manafort a one time deal….

    Ok, ok, maybe I’m fantasizing a little bit….but the image of Frank breaking a disheveled, pajamas-clad Manafort in the box is a good one in these dark times, no?


    • grs says:

      Payola, as usual, has it wrong.

      Internet lawyers told me that investigators asked/subpoenaed Manafort for docs. Investigators knew certain docs existed. When Manafort didn’t submit those certain docs, they kicked the doors in. I believe that theory more than investigators trying to lean on a guy or set an example for others.


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