Feb 20

Van der Zwaan

Sorry to revisit this so soon but when I started writing my last piece he hadn’t pled guilty yet and accepted a deal to testify.

I see a lot of commentary on how this is just “deterrence”, you better not lie to Mueller and his FBI interrogators or we’ll send you to prison (though it does that of course). I think it has a deeper implications.

Attorney/Client privilege does not apply to criminal conspiracies. Attorneys are not allowed to advise their clients how to commit crimes without getting caught. Van der Zwaan is going to be forced to disclose everything he talked about with Manafort and Gates (if he hasn’t already). Gates has flipped already (probably) and he was a part of the campaign from beginning to end and the transition too, in fact it’s Gates’ testimony that most likely convicted Van der Zwaan.

Manafort seems reluctant to turn but this makes his position almost untenable. He’ll roll or he’ll rot in jail and his testimony probably doesn’t matter anyway at this point. Mueller has it all.

Manafort’s daughter, Andrea, was also an Associate at Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom, hired 1 month after they produced a report called the “Tymoshenko Report” (as in Yulia, a pro-Western and duly elected Prime Minister of Ukraine who was also spectacularly corrupt, as are they all). This “independent” report was supposedly produced for a mere $15,000 which put it below the level of expenditure that required Parliamentary approval. Later Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom was forced to return $500,000 to the Ukrainian Government and reliable reports indicate that they actually billed $4 Million.

The Ukrainian Government and Skadden Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom have both filed lawsuits for libel against Buzzfeed and Christopher Steele over the infamous “Steele Dossier” and Buzzfeed at least has countersued both of them and also the Democratic National Committee (to turn over documents that relate to the Dossier).

Manafort is cooked at this point. He’s 70 years old and will die in prison. The point is it will be interesting to see if he’s as willing to throw his daughter under the bus as Trump evidently is to throw Don Jr., Eric, and Javanka.

“Deterrence”? “Signalling”? Make no mistake, this is a direct attack of devastating proportions and anyone at the White House who’s not pissing their pants tonight is an idiot.

Of course they are idiots too. Think this will be on Maddow?