Hack Suggests Paul Manafort Faced Blackmail Attempt
According to both the US intel agencies-and Russia-a number of members of the Trump campaign spoke to the Russian government during the campaign. The partial list is: Carter Page, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn-and Paul Manafort.
Then there’s Michael Cohen.
To paraphrase Roger Stone, this morning, ‘it’s Manafort’s turn in the barrel.’
Currently I’m reading: yes, about Richard Nixon and Watergate. I’m reading a very interesting book by Anthony Lukas ‘Nightmare: the Underside of the Nixon Years.’
After I’m done with this next on my reading list are two books by: you guessed it, Roger Stone.
If you doubt that this is Watergate 2.0, Roger Stone’s central role in all this should quell those doubts.
And what we’re now hearing about Manafort is right out of the story I’m reading about Watergate:
“A purported cyber hack of the daughter of political consultant Paul Manafort suggests that he was the victim of a blackmail attempt while he was serving as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign chairman last summer.”
“The undated communications, which are allegedly from the iPhone of Manafort’s daughter, include a text that appears to come from a Ukrainian parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko, seeking to reach her father, in which he claims to have politically damaging information about both Manafort and Trump.”
“Attached to the text is a note to Paul Manafort referring to “bulletproof” evidence related to Manafort’s financial arrangement with Ukraine’s former president, the pro-Russian strongman Viktor Yanukovych, as well as an alleged 2012 meeting between Trump and a close Yanukovych associate named Serhiy Tulub.”
“Considering all the facts and evidence that are in my possession, and before possible decision whether to pass this to [the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine] or FBI I would like to get your opinion on this and maybe your way to work things out that will persuade me to do otherwise,” reads the note. It is signed “Sergii” — an alternative transliteration of Leshchenko’s given name — and it urges Manafort to respond to an email address that reporters have used to reach Leshchenko.”
“In the text to Manafort’s daughter to which the note was attached, the sender writes from a different address, “I need to get in touch with Paul i need to share some important information with him regarding ukraine investigation.” The sender adds “as soon as he comes back to me i will pass you documents,” but also warns: “if I don’t get any reply from you iam gonaa pass it on to the fbi and ukrainian authorities inducing media.”
Leschenko does deny this is him.
Leshchenko disavowed the texts in question, telling POLITICO on Tuesday “I’ve never written any emails or messages to … Manafort or his family. I don’t know their contact details.” He added he said “I have nothing to do with” the email address from which the texts were sent.
“And in a Facebook post, he wrote that the “correspondence with Manafort’s daughter is obviously fake.”
“The White House did not respond to a question about whether Trump had met with Tulub, a hunting buddy of Yanukovych’s who had served as part of government when Yanukovych was prime minister. But a White House official questioned the chronology supporting the claim, explaining that Trump had not worked with Manafort before the 2016 campaign.”
However, here is Manafort:
“In a Tuesday interview, Manafort denied brokering a 2012 meeting between Trump and Tulub, also pointing out that he wasn’t working for Trump at the time.”
“However, Manafort did confirm the authenticity of the texts hacked from his daughter’s phone. And he added that, before the texts were sent to his daughter, he had received similar texts to his own phone number from the same address appearing to be affiliated with Leshchenko.”
“He said he did not respond directly to any of the texts, and instead passed them along to his lawyer. He declined to provide the texts to POLITICO.”
And Roger Stone wants a Special Prosecutor and Congressional hearings
Talk about history repeating itself first as tragedy and again as farce.
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