The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Fake Ukrainian Ledger Angle: How the Media Colluded With the ‘Deep State’

Posted on | June 22, 2019 | Comments Off on The Fake Ukrainian Ledger Angle: How the Media Colluded With the ‘Deep State’


Look at the date on that New York Times story — how did it happen that, in August 2016, Ukraine’s “newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau” took an interest in Donald Trump’s campaign manager and these reporters had no trouble finding sources in Kiev telling them all about these “ledgers”? What that just a coincidence? Or does it seem to you more likely, as Ace of Spades suggests, that this story was about protecting the interests of the U.S. political establishment?

Remember, it was critical to Hillary Clinton that the FBI have active investigations opened into the Trump campaign, because she had a high profile investigation into her own actions, and she desperately needed to be able to play the They Do It Too Card.

Do you believe in coincidences like that? A powerful politician needs to smear her opponent and — oh, what a coincidence! — sources direct reporters for the New York Times to the Ukraine, where investigators cite a “secret ledger” that appears to prove wrongdoing by the opponent’s campaign manager. Well, guess what? Three years later, we discover that (a) the “ledger” was probably a forgery, and (b) the FBI was actively engaged in feeding this stuff to the media:

In search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.
There’s just one problem: The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources. . . .
Manafort’s Ukrainian business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, a regular informer for the State Department, told the U.S. government almost immediately after The New York Times wrote about the ledger in August 2016 that the document probably was fake.
Manafort “could not have possibly taken large amounts of cash across three borders. It was always a different arrangement — payments were in wire transfers to his companies, which is not a violation,” Kilimnik wrote in an email to a senior U.S. official on Aug. 22, 2016. . . .
[T]he FBI and Mueller’s office did not cite the actual ledger — which would require agents to discuss their assessment of the evidence — and instead cited media reports about it. The feds assisted on one of those stories as sources.
For example, agents mentioned the ledger in an affidavit supporting a July 2017 search warrant for Manafort’s house, citing it as one of the reasons the FBI resurrected the criminal case against Manafort.
“On August 19, 2016, after public reports regarding connections between Manafort, Ukraine and Russia == including an alleged ‘black ledger’ of off-the-book payments from the Party of Regions to Manafort — Manafort left his post as chairman of the Trump Campaign,” the July 25, 2017, FBI agent’s affidavit stated.
Three months later, the FBI went further in arguing probable cause for a search warrant for Manafort’s bank records, citing a specific article about the ledger as evidence Manafort was paid to perform U.S. lobbying work for the Ukrainians.
“The April 12, 2017, Associated Press article reported that DMI [Manafort’s company] records showed at least two payments were made to DMI that correspond to payments in the ‘black ledger,’ ” an FBI agent wrote in a footnote to the affidavit.
There are two glaring problems with that assertion.
First, the agent failed to disclose that both FBI officials and Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who later became Mueller’s deputy, met with those AP reporters one day before the story was published and assisted their reporting.
An FBI record of the April 11, 2017, meeting declared that the AP reporters “were advised that they appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort’s business dealings” in Ukraine.
So, essentially, the FBI cited a leak that the government had facilitated and then used it to support the black ledger evidence, even though it had been clearly warned about the document.
Secondly, the FBI was told the ledger claimed to show cash payments to Manafort when, in fact, agents had been told since 2014 that Manafort received money only by bank wires, mostly routed through the island of Cyprus, memos show.

So, Manafort was forced to resign from the campaign after someone fed this fake “secret ledger” story to the New York Times and then, in order to justify search warrants for Manafort’s bank records, the FBI leaks more “secret ledger” stories to the media, then cites those stories as “evidence” to claim probably cause on the warrant application. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me the people responsible for this need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This kind of “Deep State” stuff — government bureaucrats acting improperly to exercise a corrupt political infleunce, and exploiting the news media in the process — is why every American should be glad Hillary lost. If she had won, we never would have learned what kind of shenanigans were going on at the FBI.



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