Paul Manafort may or may not have violated tax and banking laws in 2010. Given the twisted and arcane nature of those laws, who knows?
What we do know is that Manafort first was investigated for breaking those laws in that year by Robert Mueller’s FBI. A discretionary decision was made not to prosecute. It wasn’t a priority of the Obama Administration to indict consultants over how they reported income from foreign governments. If that were a priority, a lot of big shots in Washington would have gone down.
There is insufficient concern that what is broadly called “election tampering” really means efforts to influence voters by legitimate means. It was unnervingly Orwellian when Congress cudgeled Facebook’s founder for selling ads to the highest bidder without first assessing the worthiness of the content. Manafort’s real crime is not that he chose to book certain income as loans from offshore shell companies, because a lot of people do that.
No, Manafort’s crime is the same as Facebook’s: he failed to measure the orthodoxy of his political client’s message and, because of that, he now faces an inquisition.
In 2010, pro-Russia candidate Viktor Yanukovych was elected as president of Ukraine. Manafort provided extensive consulting services for Yanukovych’s campaign. Politico has called it “a political love connection.” Vladimir Putin was pleased. His strategic endgame has been to create a united Eurasia that is nationalistic, Christian, and steeped in local culture and history, that would compete with Europe for regional hegemony.
This was an early inkling of the zeitgeist that would later lead to Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. Manafort was one of its architects.
Ukraine’s decision to align with Putin did not sit well with globalists, though. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) flew to Kiev to stir up protestors against the democratically elected ruler, fomenting a coup d’état in 2014 that ousted Yanukovych and installed a pro-Western puppet. That’s right, the Washington establishment has shown no reluctance to topple a democratically elected government to vindicate its policy preferences.
The FBI, headed by James Comey, investigated Manafort for his work with Yanukovych but found no evidence of a crime.
In 2016, Donald Trump rode the international trend of nationalism to win the Republican nomination. On June 20 of that year, he hired a campaign manager who had experience promoting such an agenda: Manafort. Three days later, the people of the United Kingdom voted in favor of the Brexit proposal to withdraw from the European Union. Manafort appeared on Meet the Press that weekend as Trump’s campaign manager hailing the vote, in an affront to the preferences of the world’s elite.
At the time, British Intelligence was looking under mattresses for Putin connections. The British aristocracy has a condescending view of the hoi polloi who voted for Brexit, regarding them as easily manipulated Pygmalion-like by smarter people. They assumed Vladimir Putin was somehow playing Professor Henry Higgins to the flower girls who voted to reject the EU, because that’s how they see the world. Among the Cambridge class, this simple prejudice renders Russian collusion a first principle with no need for supporting evidence. George Neumayr has ferreted out the British source of the Russian collusion investigation over at The American Spectator.
Lee Smith at Tablet first noticed how this Russian stuff was imported to America by a class of aristocratic wannabees, not-quite-ivy-league enough New Jersey-ites John Brennan and James Comey. These Irish-Catholic (I can say that because I am one) Kapos and “practitioners of the beltway arts” sold the prejudices of their British betters as actual evidence, stupidly lending the CIA and FBI to this afternoon tea plot against an American political campaign. They believed Russian interference with the giddy enthusiasm of the first minority at the country club. That is why the looks on their faces say they still believe it. They must. It would be an act of crushing self-awareness to admit that they were always just Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd resolving a one-dollar bet among the Randolph and Mortimer Dukes of the British spy agencies.
The existence of this investigation is vindication for those who voted for Brexit and Trump because they believe an illuminati rules the world. The Washington establishment may not use jet contrails to control minds. But, if crossed, they will seize your lawyer’s files, put your one-time campaign manager in solitary confinement, and tell your third wife that you slept with a porn star. They even dared to appoint the same guy they once trotted out to tell everyone there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to do it.
The Washington establishment is less interested in the means used to influence voters than in the fact that the deplorables have been prompted to defy them, which cannot be allowed. As long as Facebook and Twitter perform the necessary act of genuflection and voluntarily ban dissenting voices, they will not be similarly tormented. Those who display lèse-majesté will be harshly punished, which accounts for the “Get Trump!” fervor. It is Orwellian, sure. And it is really happening.
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