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Trump advisor Manafort indicted

October 30, 2017

Well, now it’s getting interesting. The Special Counsel investigation into the 2016 election has resulted in the arrest of Paul Manafort (wiki), and a couple of his peons.


Manafort was Trump’s campaign chairman, during the latter half of the Republican Primaries, between approximately the time Trump’s nomination became the most likely outcome (in mid-late March), until the time the general election kicked off, shortly after the RNC/DNC.

Based on this timing, his activities as head of Trump’s campaign would have consisted first and foremost of negotiating a modus vivendi with the national Republican party, who as a whole did not really want Trump as the nominee (but significant factions preferred him to Cruz). In addition, Manafort’s pedigree as a Reagan-Bush era lobbyist and go-between for “difficult” clients would make him well placed to do the same for whatever other negotiations take place among various DC power brokers in preparation for a Presidential general election. As head of the campaign, Manafort’s responsibilities would also have included creation of a general election strategy, although the part specifically of interest to the investigation here, the oppo research, was reportedly the specialty of one of Manafort’s partners, Roger Stone. Manafort himself is charged with 12 counts consisting of:

  • Failing to register as a foreign agent under FARA, in connection to his lobbying on behalf of Ukraine while it was headed by Yanukovich (see WAPO article)
  • Tax evasion in connection with his income from the above, which went on for quite a long time
  • Conspiracy against the US, in connection to the previous groups of charges
  • Making false statements to investigators

This will in all likelihood will be a very successful distraction from genuine issues – I.e., ones that have potential to result in something beyond the substitution of one corrupt  Republican politician for another.

Also pleading guilty upon indictment was 30-year old Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos (wiki). After coming over from the Ben Carson campaign, he attempted to put Trump in touch with suspected agents of the Russian government, at various times between March and Sept 2016, according to the wiki. He was arrested in July and having pleaded guilty, is reportedly looking at 6 months in jail.


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