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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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Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race

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Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.

Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721257353076737

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721448168710151

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2020 Election

New 2020 poll shows Trump trailing all Democrats — some by double-digits

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President Donald Trump trails all of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups of the 2020 presidential race, according to the result of a new poll released Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Salon.

The survey, conducted by Emerson Polling, found that the president lags behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by 10 points nationally — 45 percent to 55 percent. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by six points — 47 percent to 53 percent —and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg by four points — 48 percent to 52 percent.

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Beto O’Rourke’s ‘war tax’ policy proposal is straight out of ‘Starship Troopers’

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Amid an overcrowded Democratic presidential candidate field, it's hard to distinguish yourself from the pack if you don't slot easily into the scale that runs from "pro-corporate centrist" to "left-populist." If you're former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke —  who falls somewhere in the middle, politically, and somewhere towards the top, looks-wise — you pull a militaristic policy proposal out of your hat that recalls some of the most campy pseudo-fascist sci-fi ever written.

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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