Monday's HOT MIC
All attention is rightfully going to the indictments today, but as the Washington Examiner points out, charging an American representing a foreign nation for not filing paperwork with the government is rare and this may be a sign that things are about to change on that score.
FARA is hardly ever used to bring criminal charges, with fewer than 10 cases and one conviction since 1966 for working for foreign political interests without filing paperwork with the Justice Department. Experts see the law's use against Manafort as a sign that may change.
Tougher enforcement may be of particular concern to other subjects of Mueller’s probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election, such as former national security adviser Mike Flynn and Democratic super-lobbyist Tony Podesta, the experts said.
Flynn belatedly registered as a foreign agent of Turkey earlier this year, while Podesta reportedly became a subject of Mueller’s probe over his firm’s belated admission of work with Ukrainian interests. Podesta said Monday he's leaving the Podesta Group amid the probe.
Manafort's receipt of millions of dollars from pro-Russia interests in Ukraine is central to his indictment Friday by a grand jury. The charges were made public Monday, with Manafort and co-defendant Rick Gates alleged to have laundered the money to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
Fallout from the indictments may hit NGOs in Russia:
Although he supports more enforced disclosure, Holman expressed concern about potential blowback abroad.
“The Department of Justice has historically been a very reluctant ‘cop on the beat’ when it comes to enforcing FARA,” Holman said. “Better enforcement of FARA is long overdue. Unfortunately, it is likely to be used by Putin to further crack down on civil rights NGOs in Russia.”
Over the last decade, there has been a veritable explosion of foreign lobbyists -- and those are just the lobbyists we know about. There are almost certainly some high powered Washington lobbyists who are representing foreign governments but don't want the extra scrutiny that a FARA disclosure brings.
Manafort and Podesta got greedy and are going to pay for it. But just out of curiosity, is anyone else noticing that none of this has to do with Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election?
More Spacey news:
This is what I meant when I said that many the scandals on the Democrat side seem to be interconnected:
This is why we're seeing growing calls for Mueller to resign from the Russia investigation. He was FBI director during the Obama-era cover-up of the corrupt Uranium One deal which gave Moscow control of one-fifth of America’s uranium.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during the press briefing today that with the indictment against Manafort and his associate, Rick Gates, the White House believes the Mueller investigation is wrapping up. Others, such as National Review's David French, citing the arrest of Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, are saying that we're only seeing the end of the first phase of the Russia probe. While evidence of collusion with Russia on the part of team Trump remains scanty, things may be heating up for Democrats.
The Podesta Group was reportedly subpoenaed back in August.
In an exclusive report last Tuesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson reported that Paul Manafort had worked extensively with the Podesta Group since at least 2011 on behalf of Russia.
My report is here:
An unnamed source who used to hold a senior position at the Podesta Group told Carlson that Manafort's Russian clients wanted to influence Washington and sought the Podesta brothers because of their ties to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The source said he was coming forward out of disgust for how the media has been dishonestly reporting the Russia/Trump collusion investigations.
The source, according to Carlson, said most reporters were not only "getting it wrong -- they were getting it backward."
And now this via PJ Media's Tyler O'Neil: Clinton Bundler Tony Podesta Steps Down, Dissolves the Podesta Group.
Democrats are currently weathering a number of interconnecting scandals involving Uranium One, Fusion GPS, the Steele Dossier, and the Awan brothers IT scandal.
Next casualty of Mueller investigation? The Podesta Group.
It's official: Clinton bundler Tony Podesta is stepping down, and dissolving the Podesta Group, Politico reported.
More on this coming in Trending.
Just how deep does this rabbit hole go?
One re: Kevin Spacey (aka Spacey at the Bat). Stephen writes: "It's been Hollywood's open secret for two decades that Kevin Spacey is gay." It wasn't even a secret, open or otherwise. No more than that David Geffen is gay. He was completely out. When this woman from the lahdedah British National Theatre suddenly announced they knew of Kevin's repellent proclivities all along, all I could think of is, well, they're all corrupt.
But we all knew that and who cares about those people? On to the serious matter -- Russia. This is the most dishonest controversy ever -- or perhaps it's because I'm more awake now. Both sides wanted better relations with Russia -- why not? -- but the possibility has been destroyed by this endless partisan bloodletting, not to mention titanic greed from Manafort to the Clintons. Let's hope the Podestas get swept up too. But the real victims are us. Result: always self-interested Russia embraces Iran and Syria and the rest is history, Europe destroyed, etc. All these things are related. Our media and politicians are so disgustingly selfish.
The DNC-Media Complex isn't exactly covering itself in glory today.