Today is officially liberal Christmas, aka the first official legal action in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump and Russia. Last night, we all left out cookies and documents for Indictment Claus, and today he delivered the ultimate gift: indictments against former Trump campaign chairman Paul “I’m So Fucking Guilting It’s Insane” Manafort and Manafort’s longtime associate Rick “I’m The Longtime Associate Of A Fucking Guilty Person” Gates. Obviously, those of us who celebrate this sacred holiday will be taking the day off work to spend time with our families counting Christ’s many blessings, but for anyone who needs a crash course in exactly how much of a BFD this is, here’s a breakdown:
Who TF Is Paul Manafort Again?: Paul Manafort was one of Trump’s ten thousand campaign managers during the 2016 race. He came after Corey Lewandowski, but before Kellyanne Conway. Of all the Trump campaign managers, Manafort is def the shadiest, which is kind of like being the stupidest person at a Taylor Swift concert. It’s a hard thing to be, and honestly kind of impressive if you are.
WTF Did Manafort Do?: Much like with your most recent ex, a better question here would be: WTF didn’t he do? I mean, homeboy was literally a lobbyist for a pro-Putin political party in the Ukraine which is the legal equivalent of getting caught texting Putin while America was in the bathroom. Mueller’s indictment is focused on charges that Manafort funneled millions through overseas companies, using his lobbying work in the Ukraine as a “scheme to hide money from tax collectors and the public.” Mueller says that Manafort laundered a v. casual $18 million, and Gates is accused of transferring more than $3 million from offshore accounts. The two are also charged with making “false statements” which is like, the understatement of the century.
So WTF Does This Mean?: First of all, this is the biggest movement we’ve seen in Mueller’s investigation and is def just the tip of the iceberg. According to this Twitter thread (aka the scholarly journal of 2017), an indictment is a BFD because it means that a grand jury – aka a group of jurors who met regularly to look at evidence – thinks there’s a fucking problem. Indictments only come when federal prosecutors feel confident enough that they could win their case at trial, so basically this can only mean one thing, and it’s that Paul Manafort is in a shitload of trouble.
WTF Happens Next?: Paul Manafort turned himself over to authorities this morning, so basically the investigation has just popped the fuck off. An indictment can mean one of many things, but the juiciest is speculation that Mueller is indicting Manafort in hopes that he will flip and turn in his other, orange-er, associates. Fingers fucking crossed. Read more.