Why am I dwelling on this past history, when the Russia Hoax is unraveling before our eyes--so it certainly seems--with the revelation of the absurd opening EC for the Crossfire Hurricane case? I think it's worthwhile to take another look at the appalling "legal" tactics that the Left leveled at innocent people in order to take out the President the country had elected. The cynicism and corruption is beyond what most of us could imagine.
Here's the short version regarding Manafort--follow the link for the rest.
Team Mueller decided that if they were ever going to force Manafort to lie about President Trump (NB: he never did) they would need to somehow drag Manafort's attorney in front of their grand jury and force the attorney to testify against his client, Manafort. You read that right. That's exactly what they did, and they used similar tactics in the other cases, as well.
That's a tough trick to pull off, and so they decided that they needed to create a media buzz to play up the idea of Russian "collusion" and what a threat to National Security Paul Manafort was--right before the secret hearing before Judge Beryl Howell. How to do it?
The way Team Mueller seized upon was to leak a fake news story to CNN the day before the first hearing before Judge Howell. How fake was the story? Totally fake. They had CNN publish a story stating that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant--no, wait, it was actually TWO FISA warrants, because Manafort was that bad of a dude. Here's the bombshell part of the article:
Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is leading the investigation into Russia's involvement in the election, has been provided details of these communications.
See how well sourced the story was? Not just one source--three sources! And since it came from a FISA that would mean that the FBI had recorded conversations (or perhaps other communications) of Trump's former campaign manager encourage the Russians--God help us, THE RUSSIANS!--take down our democracy and destroy our way of life, inflicting the Orange Man on an unsuspecting nation.
But it was all BS. Totally BS. But that's the great thing about FISA warrants--they're secret. So how was Judge Howell to know whether any of this was true? But it sure sounded like Team Mueller was hot on the trail of the second most dangerous man in the world. Second only to Numero Uno, the Orange Man, Donald J. Trump, now ensconced in the White House thanks only to that Evil Genius, Vlad "The Impaler of Democracies" Putin. And, of course, the inbred idiots in Flyover Country.
But, to repeat: It was all BS.
Nevertheless, Team Mueller got what they wanted--an order allowing them to force Manafort's lawyer to testify against Manafort. Judge Howell's opinion sounded a bit like the CNN article, beginning with this pompous twaddle:
This is a matter of national importance. The United States, through the Special Counsel's Office ("SCO"), is investigating foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion in those efforts by American citizens.
A nation under siege by interfering foreign powers, with only the intrepid prosecutors of Team Mueller standing between America as we love it and enslavement to the hated Russians!
But of course the charges that were eventually brought against Manafort weren't even remotely related to "Russian collusion." So much for "national importance" and all that jazz.
Did I say that was going to be the short version? Well, my outrage carried me away.
Anyway, here are some excerpts from Undercover Huber's thread that lay out just some of the Manafort related material. I've edited them lightly to fit in here, but nothing of substance has been changed:
Over two and a half years ago, on Sep 18, 2017, CNN ran a "bombshell” article alleging that the FBI team investigating Russian "Collusion" had a FISA warrant on Paul Manafort.
The core of the story - that the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane team sought and obtained an FISA warrant on Manafort - isn’t just wrong, or false. It's totally fake. 100% made up.
IG Horowitz emphatically stating in his report that not only did the FBI's Crossfire team not seek a FISA on Manafort, they never even “seriously considered” FISA surveillance of Manafort.
Aug 18, 2017: The SCO issued a subpoena to Manafort's lawyer to testify against him to the Grand Jury. Manafort's lawyer refused, and the Special Counsel filed a motion to compel the Attorney to testify as a witness.
The Chief Judge in D.C. overseeing the case (Beryl Howell) then held a hearing on Sep 19, 2017 (and two others on Sep 20 & 26).
These hearings were crucial to the SCO’s case: they needed Manafort’s own lawyer to testify against him, to ensure they could get the charges about FARA violations to stick.
Sep 18, 2017: one day before those court hearings, this CNN story exploded all over the media. The takeaway - Manafort was considered such a Russian "Collusion" threat, that the FBI even got a FISA warrant, and the SCO has copies of the communications obtained under the FISA!
Oct 2, 2017: Judge Howell ruled against Manafort (in a non-public sealed opinion), ultimately piercing Attorney/Client privilege and forcing his lawyer to testify against him about the preparation of those FARA filings. Big win for the SCO.
The Grand Jury testimony of Manafort's lawyer sought by the SCO helped secure Manafort's indictment on Oct 27, which was made public on Oct 31, 2017 following his arrest.
Now it's admittedly speculative that the CNN story influenced Judge Howell, but the introduction to her order justifying forcing the lawyers testimony looks ridiculous in retrospect drawn right from the CNN narrative: a case of "national importance" about Manafort's "Collusion”!
Despite Judge Howell's solemn tone about "national importance" and "Collusion" involving Manafort, in reality, Manafort eventually stood trial for crimes like tax evasion, bank fraud and false FARA filings, committed long before he was ever associated with the Trump campaign.
And prior to Manafort's trial, the SCO even admitted in response to Brady motions to his trial lawyers that the US government had *no surveillance intercepts* of Manafort AT ALL. Zip. (CNN didn’t report this, or update/retract their original story either)