The Manafort indictment has nothing to do with Trump. So now what? And who is Papadopoulos?

So the much-anticipated Manafort indictment (which I’ve read, and you can, too, by click here) pertains entirely to events before the Trump Presidency and Election 2016, Save JerseyansThe charges are 100% contained to Manafort and business partner Richard Gates’s alleged money laundering activities, and related criminal activities/allegations, which transpired PRIOR to Clinton vs. Trump.

In fact, the 12-count indictment is 31-pages long and doesn’t mention the President, Hillary Clinton, or election tampering at any point… even is passing.

Yes, there are going to be a lot of disappointed people out there in #resist land after the initial euphoria from a result to the meandering Mueller probe wears off.

There are also plenty of people who are fairly asking today “Hey! Wasn’t this special prosecution supposed to investigation election tampering?” And that’s a totally fair way to look at it.

So what now?

Partisans will do what they do. So will the media, left and right-leaning respectively. That’s how news works in 2017: both side’s respective outlets will somehow twist today’s events to align with their previously decided upon narratives. If you’re a Leftie? “Trump’s former campaign chairman is a crook!” If you’re a Trumpie? “He’s exonerated!”

The President has natrually already weighed in….

From a legal POV: No one knows what’s next.

With indictments now working their way through the legal system, Mueller and his cohorts will work with Manafort’s and Gates’s attorneys and try to entice/threaten/cajole  the co-defendants into diming out someone higher in the United State political/governmental complex food chain. Federal prosecutors tried something similar in the Bridgegate/NY-NJ Port Authority investigations but the line stopped with David Samson.

Mueller is hoping Manafort or Gates can name someone closer to Trump, and/or illicit activities from the time line relevant to the actual 2016 election. That hasn’t happened yet since there isn’t a guilty plea. 

The more promising lead? The contemporaneous guilty plea of former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos (who reportedly admitted lying to the FBI about contact with Russia) IS germane. NBC posted some decent background on Papadopoulos here; he was supposedly told about Russian contacts possessing “dirt” on Hilldawg, via e-mails, back around April 2016 but subsequently failed to disclose any of these interactions to the authorities. Remember: there is no “collusion” crime. Lying to federal investigators, i.e. making false statements, is most definitely a crime.

This guy presumably had direct contact with Trump during the time in question (Election 2016).

Did he finger anyone else?

Did his interactions go any further than the knowledge of “dirt” and the failure to disclose it?

Will Dossier or Uranium Gate figure into any of this?

And what about the Podesta brothers?

That’s what everyone will be watching for now. Until then, as before, there remains zero direct evidence of candidate, President-elect or President Trump of complicity in any wrongdoing.

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