Since the news broke on Friday that Robert Mueller’s investigation was preparing to indict someone, most of us waited with baited breath to find out who it was, and as many people correctly guessed, it was Paul Manafort. I actually delayed the release of this week’s show so that I would be able to write about it for the sermon this week, and others went further. Manafort’s Wikipedia page was edited to reflect the new information less than 10 minutes after the indictment was unsealed, and several people I actually know held “indictment parties” staying up all night until the news broke in the morning.
All of this does seem like fun, we’ve known it was coming for a long time, but now that we know the details of the indictment, here’s a few of the more important things we’ve learned.
First, Both Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates have been indicted for charges mainly related to Manafort’s lobbying on behalf of a Ukrainian Oligarch and a number of financial crimes related to hiding the money they were paid for it.
Second, we also learned today that one of Trump’s former advisors, George Papadopoulos pled guilty to lying to investigators regarding his contacts with Kremlin connected Russians.
Of the two major developments, the second is the far more damning for the Trump campaign. While we all correctly assumed that the Trump campaign and administration are full of financial criminals, including the President himself, the Papadopoulos court documents show clearly that trump campaign officials knew about, and encouraged him to set up meetings with Russians for the purpose of getting information about Hillary Clinton.
Papadopoulos exchanged emails with one person who knew about the thousands of Clinton emails Russia had, long before it became widely known that the DNC was hacked. And was trying to set up a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
But the best little tidbit we learned from all of this, is that Papadopoulos is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation, and that there are definitely more indictments on the way. The docket for the District court of Columbia shows several other sealed indictments with case numbers immediately before and after the one against Manafort and Gates.
So even though all of this is really great news, we do after all want these corrupt cretins removed from our political sphere, the end is still not in sight. It will be many more months before Mueller’s investigation is finished, and hopefully we have some closure to the disastrous election of 2016.
If nothing else, today’s events provided some great entertainment, from Trump tweeting another objective falsehood about when Manafort’s crimes were committed, to Sarah Sanders trying to downplay Papadopoulos’ role in the campaign, while TV networks were showing pictures of him in meetings with Trump. It is, all-in-all, a good day, and a starting point for reclaiming the U.S. from fat sack of leftover gristle who thinks he owns it.