Looks Like DOJ Illegally Leaked Manafort Case to Media

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Joe Scudder
Written by Joe Scudder

New evidence indicates DOJ prosecutor met with journalists to talk about the Manafort case.

How would you feel if the government broke it’s own “laws” (which I guess are just suggestions because the government breaks them at will) and revealed details of an ongoing prosecutorial investigation against you—leaving you ignorant of both those details and of the fact they were leaking them to hostile media?

Remember that the government can use media reports as the basis of a warrant to put you under surveillance when that media story is based on questionable information leaked by government agents.

Remember how information from the Steele dossier was used for a Yahoo News story making false accusations against Carter Page. Then, the government used that media story, as additional evidence to the dossier, to get a warrant.

So this story about how the DOJ might have leaked the Paul Manafort case to the media is very important.

Politico reports, “Details emerge on Justice Department meeting with reporters on Manafort.

Lawyers for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are crying foul over a meeting Justice Department prosecutors held with four Associated Press reporters last year as news organizations and the FBI bore down on the longtime lobbyist and political consultant.

Manafort’s defense has argued for months that the off-the-record session on April 11, 2017, was a potential conduit for improper leaks to the press about the probe that led to two criminal cases against the former Trump campaign chief.

Now, Manafort’s attorneys have fresh evidence they say bolsters their claims: two memos written by FBI agents who attended the meeting and documented their version of what transpired.

Manafort’s legal team paints the evidence as confirmation that journalists were given inside information about the investigation in violation of Justice Department policies and, perhaps, legal prohibitions on disclosure of grand jury secrets.

[…]

One of the FBI memos indicates that the AP did get some information at the meeting. At the conclusion of the session, reporters got a vague assurance that they “appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort’s business dealings,” one memo says. The same memo says the meeting was “arranged” by Andrew Weissmann, then the chief of the fraud section of Justice’s Criminal Division and now the top prosecutor on the Manafort case.

Weissmann responded to an AP query about Cyprus’ cooperation in the probe by urging the reporters to ask Cypriot officials whether they had given the U.S. all the information it sought about Manafort’s bank dealings there or just a portion of it, one of the memos says.

However, the memos indicate that the bulk of the information flow at the meeting went the other way, with the AP journalists providing the FBI with a bevy of facts the news organization uncovered during its inquiries into Manafort’s work and finances. The meeting took place a day before the AP published a story saying that Manafort received at least some payments ascribed to him or his companies in a so-called black ledger of off-the-books spending by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Read the full story.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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