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Paul Manafort’s family received a $1 million loan in 2017 — and the lender’s identify remains a mystery

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Legally, things are looking incredibly bleak for President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort. On January 8, CNN and others reported that, according to special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, Manafort shared polling data with Russian operative Konstantin Kilimnik when they met in 2016. This is on top of all the federal tax evasion and bank fraud charges Manafort was convicted on August 22, 2018. Yet despite his legal peril, Manafort’s family received a $1 million loan during the Summer of 2017—and Bloomberg News has reported that the loan came a few weeks after his home had been raided by the FBI.

In a January 9 post on Twitter, journalist Jeff Grocott (known for his Bloomberg articles) wrote, “This is wacky. Paul Manafort’s family got a $1 million loan in his moment of legal peril—just after FBI raided his home in summer 2017. So who loaned the money?”

Grocott has posted an entire Twitter thread about the loan, stressing that the identity of the lender remains a mystery.

The lender, Grocott explains, called itself Woodlawn LLC. It’s unclear exactly who Woodlawn LLC is, although the lender is connected to Hollywood producer Joey Rappa—whose name appears on a November 2018 filing that was made when Mueller moved to seize Manafort’s properties. In the filing, Rappa (who was a production associate on the 1996 film “The Nutty Professor”) is described as a “managing member” of the Nevada-based company that made the $1 million loan and is making a claim on the Manhattan condominium that Manafort’s family offered as collateral.

Bloomberg has reported that according to Rapp’s lawyer, he had nothing to do with making the loan. However, Rapp is, through his film work, linked to Andrew Intrater—an American financier and cousin of Ukraine-born oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, who Mueller’s team questioned in 2018 about his connection to Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Intrater, Bloomberg reports, has been working on a film with Rapp.

According to California-based attorney Keith Berglund—who represents Woodland, LLC—Intrater had nothing to do with the loan either. Berglund told Bloomberg that Rappa agreed to be the public face of the loan because of the lender’s desire for secrecy.

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On Twitter, Grocott posted, “But who’s behind Woodlawn? For four months, its ‘managing member,’ for legal purposes, was a guy named Joey Rappa. He’s worked in Hollywood and has had legal troubles over debt. Doesn’t look like his money.”

Grocott also noted, “The money behind the Manafort loan isn’t Intrater’s, the lawyers say. Rappa’s appearance on the court docs, according to Woodlawn’s lawyer, is the result of ‘some extremely unfortunate and unforeseeable coincidences.’….. Now, Rappa’s name is back off the court documents. Whose money went to Manafort remains a mystery.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Republican lawmakers ask judge to destroy smoking gun documents proving GOP’s white supremacy

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Republicans on Monday sought a court order to block damning documents from being used against them in a lawsuit.

"North Carolina Republican lawmakers on Monday asked a court to make sure the files of the now-deceased GOP strategist Tom Hofeller are destroyed, or at least kept secret, instead of being used in a high-profile gerrymandering lawsuit," the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

"The filing comes after the groups behind the lawsuit, including Common Cause, accused Republican lawmakers of making false statements in court in a previous gerrymandering case, when the state’s 2011 maps were ruled unconstitutional," the newspaper noted. "That blockbuster accusation made national headlines and was, it said, based on Hofeller’s files which had been secret until recently."

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Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy

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President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.

"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.

"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.

"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140804748423118848

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Trump seethes and calls Fox ‘fake news’ after seeing a story that made him mad

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Trouble appears to be brewing between President Donald Trump and the cable news station he loves: Fox News.

In a tweet Monday night, the president lashed out at the network over its polling and called it “fake news’ — an epithet he usually reserves for mainstream outlets:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140768516288782336?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Media Matters for America Senior Fellow Matthew Gertz, who has previously noted that Trump appears to record news segments and watch them a few hours later, suggested that the president appeared to be reacting to an earlier segment from Special Report with Bret Baier. The segment showed that, even according to Fox News’ polling, Trump trails every single leading candidate in the Democratic field in head-to-head matchups.

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