Something new is afoot between Paul Manafort and the FBI in Trump-Russia scandal

After a mountain of evidence was publicly rolled out confirming that Paul Manafort had been on the payroll of a pro-Kremlin oligarch, he announced through a spokesman last week that he was taking appropriate steps to resolve the matter. That was a very clear hint that he was going to follow in the footsteps of Michael Flynn and retroactively register as a foreign agent. But that still hasn’t happened. And it’s a sign that something new is afoot between Manafort and the Feds.

Back when Michael Flynn retroactively registered as a foreign agent in early March, it was a rather obvious sign that he was looking to put himself on the right side of the law, and in turn it strongly hinted that he was looking to cut a deal with the FBI in the Trump-Russia scandal. Why formally admit to a past crime, unless you’re planning to take the necessary steps to get leniency for that crime? Sure enough, a few weeks later, Flynn publicly announced he was seeking an immunity deal.

So last week, when Paul Manafort made it sound like he was also registering as a foreign agent, it seemed a clear sign that he was ready to come in and cut a deal. But as NBC News is reporting today (link), Manafort still hasn’t registered. These things are a matter of public record, and if he’d done so, we’d know it immediately. So there’s a new twist in the tale.

Manafort, who seems to be no fool, is way too far down the road of being demonstrably guilty of money laundering and other crimes to suddenly decide he’s going to try to fight this. He’s going to cut a deal, it’s just a matter of when and how. So why’s he suddenly holding out from taking his promised first step? Perhaps Manafort saw Flynn’s request for a deal get summarily rejected after he’d already registered.

It’s entirely possible Paul Manafort is trying to make sure he has a leniency deal in place before he registers, because at that point he’d be admitting guilt. But any such deal would require Manafort to provide evidence and testimony that incriminates a bigger fish in the Trump-Russia scandal, and the only bigger fish than Manafort is Donald Trump himself. The fact that Manafort has gone this far with it means he’s willing and able to take Trump down to try to save himself in the process. Contribute to Palmer Report

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  1. Claudia Groh on April 19, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Thank you again for your writing!
    Oh do hope you are right again! But what about the Tex messages his daughters wrote or even mails basically saying there dad did horrible things to people.
    I don’t follow these people, and I don’t tweet, but was told this, and I won’t repeat the full Tex message between the sisters.
    But I recall thinking why would these girls speak of this on social media?
    So yes I hope lesser charges or time in jail but bring the proof. No lip service!
    I would love to see the whole Trump lineage done broke and really learn how to “work” for a living!
    Of course that’s my pipe dream.
    But I would like them to seize all his monies and theirs as I’m certain they are just one big Bernie Madoff
    Who just couldn’t stop! Big league! Just another type of addiction.

  2. Carla Le Mieux on April 19, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I want them all to go down in a ball of flames.

  3. Andrew on April 19, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    Don’t let Boris leave the country. He’s all in with this. Wasn’t he brought on board by Eric Trump as a classmate? HMMM.

  4. Sharon Dorsey on April 19, 2017 at 11:56 pm

    Hi, Bill. Certain this wll be traced; can only offer this as a suggestion…
    Lt. Col. Ralph Peters, often considered a provocateur or RWNJ on Faux News, recently, publicly, took on dear, departed O’Reilly for failing to recognize Russian meddling in US affairs for threat it is. Unlike BillO and his 101st Chairborne Brigade, Peters is actually a retired military intelligence analyst, with a college degreea, a lifetime of experience. and an allegiance, it appears, to something beyond party or ideology. Perhaps, in the interest of our democracy, you might approach him and determine what has turned him (against his own well-paid interest) to the other side of TeamTrump.

  5. TomR on April 20, 2017 at 4:20 am

    Maybe Putin threatened Manfort?

  6. John Scharff on April 20, 2017 at 11:11 am

    While it may seem that t-RUMP is the big fish, I am inclined to think Wilbur Ross may be a bigger catch the Feds are trying to set the hook in. He has banked for oligarchs and international money launderers more than t-RUMP could dream about. With all the Russians dropping I’m sure Ross is not sleeping well.

  7. Tim Grills on April 20, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Manafort has been trying to broker a deal with China on some of trumps trillion dollar infrastructure jobs. If he’s headed to prison, which I believe he is, what’s up with that?

    • Bill Palmer on April 21, 2017 at 3:58 am

      Good question. Maybe one last score. Maybe he’s trying to extract useful information from China that he can use to cut a deal with. Or perhaps, after a lifetime of grifting, he just can’t help himself even when he knows the end is near.

  8. greg on April 20, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    As always, excellent reporting! Thank you Bill for being so vigilant and keeping us, all of your followers up to date with the latest! You’re the best!

    • Raymond on April 21, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Greg you’re sure right about Bill and in addition – Brave- I’m sure Bill these crooks are unhappy with you. Be careful

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