Guest post by Joe Hoft
In August it was reported that the far left corrupt Podesta Group retroactively filed DOJ forms that they should have filed years earlier. Today we woke up to the announcement that Paul Manafort has been arrested for not filing the exact same forms. Did the corrupt Mueller investigation tip off the Podestas to get their forms filed?
In late August the Washington Examiner reported that the Podesta Group filed forms retroactively related to their dealings with Russia –
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Back in April, the powerful Washington lobbying firm run by Clinton ally Tony Podesta filed a document admitting its work for the pro-Russia European Centre for a Modern Ukraine may have principally benefited a foreign government. New disclosures revealed dozens of previously unreported interactions the firm made with influential government offices, including Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the office of former Vice President Joe Biden, while lobbying on behalf of the center. Embattled ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort failed to disclose his extensive lobbying efforts on behalf of the center at the time as well.
Anyone lobbying or doing public relations on behalf of foreign governments is required to register as a foreign agent in compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The Aug. 17 filings include short-form registration statements for six Podesta Group employees and an amendment to the firm’s registration statement that includes a list of political contributions made by relevant employees throughout 2013.
A review of those donations shows both parties received cash from Podesta Group lobbyists.
The individual employee filings appear to be uniform and lawyerly, each describing what their services were supposed to entail as, “Research and analyze issues related to principal’s organizational mission of improving ties between Ukraine and the West counsel on activities in Congress and executive branch and developments that relate to the principal’s organizational mission; and maintain contact, as needed, with legislative and executive branch officials, members of the media, and NGOs.” One of the filings is for Tony Podesta himself, who was a bundler for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Tony and his brother John–Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman–co-founded the lobbying firm in 1988.
Last August, the AP reported that Manafort oversaw the lobbying efforts on behalf of the center carried out by the Podesta Group and Mercury, another high-powered firm. As the Washington Examiner noted in May, the Podesta Group was paid more by the think tank than Mercury — the firms earned $1 million and $720,000 between 2012 and 2014, respectively.
Now today Manafort was arrested for not filing the same forms the Podestas just filed in August.
Also, it was already reported in August that Manafort had not filed these forms.
National Review reported the following today –
Do not be fooled by the “Conspiracy against the United States” heading on Count One (page 23 of the indictment). This case has nothing to do with what Democrats and the media call “the attack on our democracy” (i.e., the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 election, supposedly in “collusion” with the Trump campaign). Essentially, Manafort and his associate, Richard W. Gates, are charged with (a) conspiring to conceal from the U.S. government about $75 million they made as unregistered foreign agents for Ukraine, years before the 2016 election (mainly, from 2006 through 2014), and (b) a money-laundering conspiracy.
There are twelve counts in all, but those are the two major allegations. The so-called conspiracy against the United States mainly involves Manafort’s and Gates’s alleged failure to file Treasury Department forms required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Specifically, Americans who hold a stake in foreign bank accounts must file what’s known as an “FBAR” (foreign bank account report) in any year in which, at any point, the balance in the account exceeds $10,000. Federal law also requires disclosure of foreign accounts on annual income-tax returns. Manafort and Gates are said to have controlled foreign accounts through which their Ukrainian political-consulting income sluiced, and to have failed to file accurate FBARs and tax returns. In addition, they allegedly failed to register as foreign agents from 2008 through 2014 and made false statements when they belatedly registered.