Teri Kanefield @Teri_Kanefield Author, lawyer (U.C. Berkeley). I tweet about the law, books, politics, and history. All my threads are here as blog entries: t.co/vdLoEAoLvv Feb. 24, 2019 4 min read

(Thread) The Manafort Sentencing Memo & Iron Triangles

Trump & pals have positioned the goalposts: If Mueller doesn't produce evidence of Trump crimes in each filing, it's all a hoax.

I suspect Team Trump invented the nonsense that Mueller is ready to submit a report.

1/ Look how clever that was. It set up the expectation that the sentencing memo would contain Mueller's endgame.

A sentencing memo is about the defendant: It gives a picture of the defendant beyond the crimes so the court can pass a sentence taking into account all factors👇

2/ In looking to the Manafort sentencing report for evidence of Trump crimes, we’re allowing Trump & pals to frame—and simplify—the inquiry.

I suggest the sentencing memo IS about the big picture—but much bigger than Trump's complicity in Russia's attempt to sway the election.

3/ The memo is about Manafort’s “brazen” lawbreaking that continued while he was Trump’s campaign manager, and even while he was under indictment.

The picture is of a man who habitually breaks laws, and lived his entirely life as if he’s above them.
 https://www.lawfareblog.com/document-special-counsel-files-manafort-sentencing-memo-0 

4/ I suggest that, in searching the sentencing memo for a particular tree (Trump’s personal complicity) we're missing the forest.

The forest is called an "iron triangle," and it's bigger than Russia’s attempt to sway the election.

5/ In a lecture Mueller delivered in Jan 2011, while FBI director, he talked about a new kind of organized crime threatening the US: Today’s mobsters have gone international.
 https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/speeches/the-evolving-organized-crime-threat 
He used the phrase "iron triangles" to describe an association of. . .

6/ . . . which consist of (1) organized criminals (2) corrupt government officials, and (3) business leaders.
They pose a signifiant security threat.

[They’re also cornering the international market on natural gas & oil. Aside: This explains climate change denial]

7/ This detail from the sentencing memo struck me: Manafort engaged in his elaborate schemes for “no other reason than greed.”

It reminded me of this phrase from Mueller’s 2011 talk 👇 the members of the iron triangles are motivated by “greed.”

8/ The other parts of the sentencing memo and attachments that made me think of Mueller's "iron triangles" were all of Manafort's association and allegiances to such governments as Saudi Arabia, and the pro-Russian party in the Ukraine.
(Viktor Yanukovych)

9/ From the sentencing memo: Manafort’s lawbreaking goes all the way back to 1984-1986 when he was an agent for the Saudi government. Seems he just sort of forgot to tell people in Congress he was working for the Saudis. One example👇
(I hope I'm uploading the right page!)

10/ Also from the exhibits to the sentencing memo: He also neglected to tell people he was secretly working for the pro-Russian party in Ukraine. His money laundering “promoted” his FARA (foreign agents) crimes.
 https://www.lawfareblog.com/document-special-counsel-files-manafort-sentencing-memo-0 

11/ A striking thing about Manafort’s list of crimes (tax fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, hiding dirty money) is that they mirror those of the Russian oligarchs.

This is not a coincidence.

These are the crimes the oligarchs engaged in when they took control of Russia.

12/ The Soviet government owned all resources and industries.

When the SU broke up, the Russian Federation was established as a constitutional republic with president and parliament chosen by free elections.

But democracy never took hold. Before rule of law was in place . .

13/ .. . there was a wild rush to control the nation’s industries and resources. A few people became billionaires (by stealing what belonged to the people). Leaders were picked by the new billionaires.

Thus Russia went from communism to oligarchy.

(sources pictured👇)

14/ What Trump, Manafort, Papadopolous, Carter Page, Rand Paul, and all their friends are trying to do is make the US like Russia—ruled by oligarchs.

That's why they like “privatize," which means private citizens control of the nation’s resources and industries.

15/ I suggest that Russian interference in the election was a means to that end, which is why the Trump-Fox-Libertarian-GOP are okay with Russian meddling. They like goal.

16/ I suggest Manafort brazenly broke the law because he believed oligarchy would defeat liberal democracy (I’m using that phrase on purpose) in the U.S.👇

Then he’d be rich and powerful, and not behind bars—like his oligarch friends.

17/ On 2-15-2019, Special Counsel wrote, “Given the breadth of Manafort’s criminal activity, the government has not located a comparable case with the unique array of crimes and aggravating factors.”
 https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/15/politics/manafort-sentencing-memo/index.html 

18/ How does Trump respond to evidence that his long-time pal and campaign manager is a habitual criminal working for foreign governments?

By shouting “no collusion,” kicking up dust, and trying to misdirect the inquiry.

19/ The inquiry should be about how the Trump-Fox-GOP is partnering with Russia to undermine our democratic institutions and create a Russian style oligarchy in the U.S.

Evidence of this is in the sentencing memo, in the nature of Manafort’s crimes and his foreign allegiances.

20/ When you add the Trump Org to the mix, the iron triangle becomes complete. Yes, there were Trump Org crimes, and yes, there are links between the Trump Org and Russia.

Given Mueller's mandate👇 I suspect prosecution of the Trump Org will happen in NY.

21/ If you’re new to my feed, and you want some background on why the American right wing is carrying on a love affair with Russia, go to my blog, and read the entries categorized under Russia-GOP-love, here:

 https://terikanefield-blog.com/category/political-parties-groups-and-psychology/gop-russia-love/ 
(Hint: It's a lot more than kompromat)


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