Robert Mueller’s witch hunt against Trump continues to spiral out of control.
He’s rummaging through matters that have nothing to do with the 2016 election.
And now he’s made a hire that is bad news for one of Trump’s top advisors.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is squarely within the special counsel’s cross hairs.
Despite the fact he has denied colluding with Russia and no evidence has emerged that indicates he coordinated with the Russian government during the election, he is a top target in the investigation.
Reports indicate the special counsel is digging into his past work as a consultant for political work in the Ukraine.
Rumors that Manafort could be charged with money laundering heated up when it was reported that Mueller brought on a former Department of Justice prosecutor who specialized in money laundering cases.
Business Insider reports:
“Before joining Mueller’s team, attorney Kyle Freeny was leading the Department of Justice’s charge to seize profits from the movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” amidst allegations that Riza Aziz, a co-founder of the film’s production company, Red Granite Pictures, used $64 million worth of stolen funds from the Malaysian government to bankroll the movie. Aziz is the stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, according to Law360…
… Politico noted in its report that there appear to be some similarities between Freeny’s work on the Malaysian money-laundering case and certain aspects of Mueller’s investigation…
… In addition to the Malaysian money-laundering case, the program is also looking into overseas asset transfers made by Ukrainian officials, including former President Viktor Yanukovych.
Yanukovych is a prominent member of Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions and is closely tied to the Kremlin. Yanukovych also used to be allied with former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, when Manafort served as his consultant. Manafort is widely credited with helping Yanukovych win the presidency in 2010. After being ousted in 2014 following widespread protests against his Russia-friendly positions, Yanukovych fled to Russia and is now living under the protection of the Kremlin.
Mueller’s investigation into Manafort’s work focuses primarily on his ties to the Party of Regions, which reportedly designated Manafort $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments. Manafort’s firm belatedly disclosed in a June filing that it had received about $17 million from the Party of Regions between 2012 and 2014. “
Some pundits believe Mueller is pursuing this line of inquiry to squeeze Manafort and entice him to flip on Trump and spill his guts about collusion with Russia.
Others contend that the collusion angle is turning into a bust.
Since the original rationale for the investigation is collapsing, Mueller is desperate to discover any crime he can charge Trump officials with in order to justify his work and create political embarrassment for the President.
Critics of Mueller expect him to drop his report – or announce indictments – just in time for the 2018 midterms.
The hope is that the resulting media firestorm is enough to boost Democrats to victory so they can begin impeachment proceedings.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this story.