August 2, 2018, 8:59 p.m.
It’s Over for Paul Manafort
Why would anyone in their right mind go to trial on a financial fraud case? Financial fraud isn’t sexy. It’s boring. People and the media love “real crimes” like murder. Throw into the mix a celebrity, and you got yourself ratings. But, white collar fraud transactions? Snore……
Today, no doubt, a bomb was dropped in what is normally, a case no one cares about. Apparently, Paul Manafort had financial issues dating back to 2016. Gee, I wonder why? Well, start with a $15,000 ostrich jacket and spending $100,000 a year on maintaining a pond. That’s just the type of evidence that infuriates jurors; the flaunting of wealth and arrogance.
Manafort’s bookkeeper testified today. By the way, when you are broke, why would you volunteer to work for free on a political campaign? You already know the answer to my facetious question.
Heather Washkuhn was Manafort’s bookkeeper and when asked if Manafort had trouble paying his bills in 2016, the answer was a simple, yet a resounding “yes.” She also testified that she knew nothing about the foreign shell companies that Manafort had set up; fourteen in all. So far, the evidence fits together in a perfect money laundering jigsaw puzzle.
Of course, Manafort’s defense is that Rick Gates is responsible for everything. That argument will fail. Why? Because it has already been made clear that Manafort is meticulous, detailed, and knows about every penny coming in and going out. The “I’m gullible” approach won’t fly when you spend millions of dollars on suits and rugs. Which begs the question, why is Manafort rolling the dice with a trial? Presidential pardon maybe?
Why is it over for Manafort? Because part of the evidence produced was fraudulent financial statements and receipts which he used to obtain loans. You know who never lies in court? Paper! Paper trails make for the best witnesses. Paper has nothing to gain or lose. Paper is neutral, completely unaffiliated with any political party.
One financial statement introduced into evidence was doctored and increased Manafort’s wealth by $4 million, which he used to apply for a loan with a California bank. Rick Gates, the star witness which has already pled guilty and will assist Bob Mueller’s team, assisted in the fraud.
The only question remaining at this point is if President Trump will pardon Manafort. And if he does, my question to you is- do you see it now, or you still don’t get it?
Alexander Hernandez, Esq.
Twitter Handle- @mcatty_alex