Trump Tower meeting with Russians 'treasonous', Bannon says in explosive book | US news | The Guardian
When Special Council Robert Mueller's 12 count grand jury indictment of Paul Manafort (and friend and associate Rick Gates) was unsealed on October 30th Hannity, Rush, Savage, Levin, Tucker and others (myself included) were quick to point out that none of the charges pertained to the Trump-Russia collusion narrative; and that the President was vindicated once again when he said that Russiagate was a slanderous partisan political witch hunt and hoax; that the 15 month Comey/Mueller probe was maliciously designed to delegitimize his defeat of Hillary Clinton - who, ironically, as Obama's Secretary of State, was the greatest, most dangerous enabler of post-Soviet Russian power since the fall of the Soviet Union (see).
But Trump hating conspiracy nuts like Senator Sid "Vicious" Blumenthal and shifty Adam Schiff said not so fast. Mueller, they claimed, was far from completing his probe of Manafort (and Gates). They and others pointed out that Manafort (then Trump's campaign manager) was present with Don Jr. and Jared Kushner at the infamous Trump Tower meeting in June 2016; this is where Russian attorney and anti-sanctions lobbyist Natalia Veselnitskaya allegedly offered them damaging info from the Russian government's so-called "Crown Prosecutor" on Hillary Clinton - a file of secret documents (like the dirty Russian Steele dossier) that could wreak havoc on Clinton's campaign and benefit Trump.
Indeed, Blumenthal, Schiff and a legion of former prosecutors, defense attorneys and legal experts on MSM surmised that the probe into Manafort wasn't over; that Mueller was just warming up; and that evidence of collusion (so they hoped) might surface and be included in a future indictment. And as it turned out they were partly right: despite the 12 count indictment for money laundering, tax fraud, conspiracy, etc. Mueller's probe into Manafort was continuing and not yet complete. For on October 30th when Manafort (and Gates) pled not guilty to Mueller's charges the presiding judge, Amy Jackson, didn't set a trial date. Why? Because (as we now know) Mueller informed the judge that he wasn't ready to go to trial; that the investigation was still in progress; and a superseding indictment was in the works.
And in the works it was. For 16 weeks later on February 28th Mueller hit Manafort (and Gates) with another 20 charges bringing the total to a whopping 32 - enough to put Manafort in jail for up to 20 years. But once again, glaringly absent from the new, larger, more damning indictment (just like the old) was any mention of treasonous, Russian-collusion election crimes - especially as related to the Trump Tower event. Indeed, what the destroy Trump media were hoping would be the SMOKING GUN proving collusion to bring down Trump (the Trump Tower meeting) was nothing but a dud - a gun loaded with blanks fired by partisan hacks.
Indeed, it is now perfectly and irrefutably clear, as it wasn't on October 30th, that Paul Manafort (despite his extensive Russian political and business connections developed from his work as a lobbyist for the pro-Russian government of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych) isn't guilty of colluding with Russia to benefit the Trump campaign; and that the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian lawyer to get dirt on Hillary (that never materialized) though perhaps improper wasn't an act of treason, or a prosecutable crime, to undermine our election system and democracy.
Judge Jackson and Mueller
But overarching Manafort's innocence in this respect is what happened when he pled not guilty for a second time: Judge Jackson set a trial date - September 17th. This was because Mueller told Jackson that he'd completed his investigation of Manafort; that the 32 charges were as much as his team could find; and that he was ready to go to trial. In other words, after investigating Manafort for seven months and raiding his home (and building perhaps on three years of federal probes) Mueller was confident that he could put him away for quite a long time - but not for Trump Tower, or any collusion crime.
In short, the Trump Tower meeting probe is dying on the vine. In early August after Mueller sent out grand jury subpoenas for documents and interviews about the June 2016 meeting and investigated it for months, he has given up trying to find evidence of treason and a smoking collusion gun. If the meeting was illegal as Trump haters stupidly believe Mueller would have charged Manafort with 33 plus, not 32 crimes. And if the probe on the meeting is not yet complete Mueller would have waited till that happened before indicting Manafort a second time and wanting to go to trial.
Russiagate = Watergate with treason is a form of mental illness.
Clearly, Manafort's 32 count indictment and trial date is an ominous sign for toxic, impeach Trump Democrats that the Trump Tower meeting probe for Mueller is over; and that they have little or nothing left on which to hang their hopes that Mueller will pull through for them and prove that Russiagate is another Watergate; and that Donald Trump is Richard Nixon with treason.
HOW CAN WE BE SURE
that Manafort, Kushner and Don Jr. received nothing incriminating from Veselnitskaya (given to them or paid for) on Hillary Clinton at Trump Tower, or in subsequent meetings we don't know about?
Let me answer the question with a question: What new, shocking scandals about Hillary came out of the Trump campaign that the public didn't know about, and could have had a secret Russian origin? Answer: ZERO. In the 16 months of his "lock her up" campaign Trump disclosed no new scandals about Hillary; nor was anything new secretly leaked by the campaign (or anyone else) to the press.
Indeed, all of Trump's negative attacks on Hillary were taken from scandals known to everyone: Bill's infidelities and sexual misconduct, Benghazi, Uranium One, 33,000 missing subpoenaed emails, smashed BlackBerrys, etc. - nothing new that could have come from Russia or any foreign source. PERIOD!
BARACK OBAMA THE GREAT ENABLER OF POST-SOVIET RUSSIAN POWER-OR THE STAGGERING STUPIDITY OF OBAMA, HILLARY CLINTON AND JOE BIDEN