Rick Gates: I committed bank and tax fraud at Paul Manafort's direction, embezzled 'several hundred thousand' dollars


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/06/rick-gates-testifies-that-he-c.html





In all fairness, they were rich and white and male so there’s really no way they could have reasonably expected any of this to come back to haunt them.


Except… there are always exceptions, to every rule… eventually.


Based on the number of times I’ve seen rich white males who were colleagues stab each-other in the back to save their own bacon in situations not involving prison sentences these two must be particularly stupid and arrogant.


Even if they are eventually convicted, what’s the chance that the Donald is just going to pardon them shortly afterward?


Higher for Manafort than for Gates but I’m sure Mueller also has arranged for these two to spend quality time with some nice state attorneys general, too.


Manafort must be rethinking his decision not to try for a plea deal right about now. The only hope he has is a Trump pardon, and Trump’s been throwing people under the bus left and right lately (including his own son).


And again, Mueller’s no dummy; there are almost certainly state charges included.


It makes it hard to say “he knew about everything I did” when one of the things Page did was embezzle a couple hundred thousand bucks.





Looks like they found some witches on that hunt. Who’d a thunk?


Don’t forget, though, these crimes Manafort would have gotten away with if Mueller hadn’t gone looking for leverage in the Russia matter. Ditto the shenanigans Michael Cohen was up to, and probably a few hundred more collateral damage indictees before all this is said and done.

Even if somebody from the FBI or Treasury or IRS came sniffing around, they had every good reason to believe they’d get away with all this (plus or minus some fines, worst case scenario), because lots of people do.


Honor among thieves.

"Gates also said that he had cheated Manafort out of “several hundred thousand” by submitting false expense reports. -TheDailyBeast


He’s the creature of some truly horrible, dangerous people who would think nothing of murdering his whole family if he crossed them.

My guess is his best-case scenario is dying in prison in a manner of his own choosing. I’m not trying to be ghoulish, but the Putin mob is different from a lot of authoritarian regimes in that it barely even pretends to be anything other than mobsters. They’d find some way to make an example of him that would make Novichok or polonium poisoning look humane.


First time a senior Trump campaign official has confessed to a crime on the stand.

It’s true. Trump prefers to do it in tweets.

Also: as money launderers, they didn’t expect anyone to care, legally speaking. (And if Trump had lost, as they expected, that probably would have been true - they wouldn’t have gotten any scrutiny.) Apparently it’s a deliberate, long-standing strategy on the part of the US government, from the top on down to go easy on money laundering because to really crack down could cause significant impacts to the US economy…

Yeah, the Russian government right now is run by oligarchs who are also mobsters, and they’ve been killing a whole lot of Americans and Brits who were involved in business dealings with them in recent years. In particular those who might have given evidence. (And they’ve been universally getting away with it, too.) So he’s right to be worried about that.


I give it even money. On the one hand, a pardon removes 5th ammendment protections and Manafort could be compelled to testify. On the other hand, Trump is an idiot.