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Ex-federal prosecutor breaks down the stunning implications of Manafort’s 2016 meeting with WikiLeaks’ Assange

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After digesting the stunning new revelations that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2016 mere days before joining the campaign, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti has written a lengthy Twitter thread breaking down the implications.

What is most important here, writes Mariotti, is whether Assange told Manafort during the meeting of plans to hack into the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems or to steal emails from Clinton campaign officials.

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If Manafort had foreknowledge of the hacks and then lied about it to investigators, Mariotti writes, it could potentially make him an accessory to a crime.

“Anyone who knew about hacking a U.S. server and helped to make it succeed is guilty of aiding and abetting,” he writes. “So pre-knowledge of a hacking is legally relevant because it is part of the evidence Mueller would need to prosecute someone for conspiracy or aiding and abetting.”

That said, Mariotti writes that Mueller would likely need to prove that Manafort actively did something with his foreknowledge of the hacks that either helped the hackers directly or that promised the hackers rewards in the future.

“Mueller could argue that there was an understanding that the emails would be distributed and ‘weaponized’ by Trump associates after they were released by the Russians via WikiLeaks, but it can be hard to prove an agreement without a cooperator, tapes, or emails/texts,” he writes. “In any event, while being able to prove that Manafort (or Stone or others) knew in advance of the release of hacked emails would be important legally–and no doubt important politically–it would not itself be the basis of criminal charges. But it would be a big step.”

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Read the whole thread below.


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‘Trump literally just confessed to the crime’: Pennsylvania Democrat

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Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) believes President Donald Trump confessed to bribing or extorting Ukraine in an effort to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

The president told reporters Monday morning at the United Nations that he had withheld foreign aid from Ukraine as he discussed alleged corruption involving Biden, the Democratic presidential frontrunner.

"It's very important to talk about corruption," Trump. "If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?...It's very important that on occasion you speak to somebody about corruption."

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Trump’s jumbled response to Ukraine scandal is a strong signal of what’s to come: columnist

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On Monday, President Donald Trump denied allegations that he extorted the president of Ukraine for information about Joe Biden. “It’s a ridiculous story,” Trump said during an appearance at the United Nations.

The controversy emerged after an anonymous whistleblower in the intelligence community logged a complaint with their agency about improper behavior by the president on a phone call with a foreign leader. “It’s a partisan whistleblower,” the president added.

Previously, the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani had traveled to Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden. Critics worry that during a conversation with the president of Ukraine about rooting out corruption in his country, Trump suggested he offer information about Biden in exchange for funding.

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FBI arrests far-right extremist who talked about ‘bombing a major U.S. news network’: report

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The FBI has arrested a member of the United States Army who allegedly talked about plans to carry out acts of violence in the U.S.

According to ABC News' Mike Levine, the arrested man "allegedly discussed plans to bomb a major U.S. news network, discussed traveling to Ukraine to fight with violent far-right group, and allegedly distributed info online on how to build bombs."

Levine also reports that the arrested man also made mention of Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, who made headlines during a recent primary debate by saying he wanted to confiscate AR-15s and AK-47s. It is not known at this time if the man made a direct threat to O'Rourke, however.

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