August 22, 2018
It was a dark and stormy night in Moscow when Paul Manafort knocked on Putin’s Golden Door in a brand new ostrich jacket. He was wearing a $20,000 watch and rattlesnake skin cowboy boots.
“Putin, my dear friend,” said Manafort. “I’ve just purchased these items. I need you to help me avoid paying taxes on them.”
“Enter, comrade,” Putin said as he ushered him into the dark room, where top agents for the FSB (formerly KGB) were waiting to help Manafort with his devious plot.
A federal jury in Virginia convicted Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, on eight felony counts on Tuesday, but the judge declared a mistrial on the 10 other charges he faced.
Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts and two counts of bank fraud. A mistrial was declared in three counts of failing to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, and seven counts of bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy.
The trial was the first public test of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and while the special counsel was vindicated, the victory wasn’t total.
While the jury was in the court room and the verdict was being read, Manafort showed no reaction and stared straight ahead, not looking at the jury. Members of his defense team often turned their heads to look at the jury.
Manafort was asked to step to the podium after the jury left the room. Judge T.S. Ellis told Manafort that he has been found guilty on a variety of counts, and that Manafort would have a role to play in the pre-sentence investigation report that the judge relies on to help determined sentencing.
As Manafort was led out of the room, he whispered into defense attorney Thomas Zehnle’s ear and nodded at his wife, Kathleen Manafort, sitting in the front row of the courtroom.
Now it’s time to figure out just how exactly Vladimir Putin helped Trump’s Jewish lawyer misrepresent the value of his New York yellow cab business.