Media feeding frenzy erupts with Manafort, Gates indictments

 

The media is engaging in a feeding frenzy with the allegations against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. (Screen capture, YouTube, CNN)

With Monday’s charges announced against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates, a media feeding frenzy has erupted as virtually every story either leading with, or quickly reminding people of the link between Manafort and President Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, last week’s reminder from the New York Post about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee’s involvement in funding research for the now-infamous Trump Dossier has quickly disappeared from the headlines.

However, Politico did report that Tony Podesta, described as founder of the Podesta Group and a “Democratic power lobbyist,” did step down from the firm “after coming under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.” It was not until near the end of the story that Politico noted that Tony Podesta’s brother, John, was Clinton’s campaign manager.

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Manafort and Gates surrendered Monday to federal authorities in Washington, D.C. as the indictment was made public. Fox News reports tried to keep things in perspective, but competing media are all over the story as if to taint the White House with whatever can be attached to Manafort.

Add to this the revelation that George Papadoupolous, a former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, pleaded guilty to lying to federal authorities about Russian connections.

President Trump went on Twitter Monday morning to declare these allegations come from time period before Manafort worked on the campaign. The president also again insisted that “there is no collusion.”

The BBC reported that charges against Manafort and Gates “do not relate to Mr Trump’s campaign but to the alleged concealment of payments from the pair’s Ukrainian business dealings up to 2016.”

The allegations include money laundering, conspiracy and tax fraud, and the Associated Press reported that Manafort and Gates could face decades in prison if convicted.

On the other hand, reporting about Podesta seemed almost sympathetic. Politico noted that the Podesta Group “has struggled in the wake of the Mueller investigation. More than a dozen of its lobbying clients have cut ties with the firm this year, according to lobbying filings. Revenues have also declined: The firm brought in an estimated $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $5.2 million in the second quarter of 2017 and from $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2016.”

Fox News senior legal analyst Andrew Napolitano said Monday that “the government has amassed a very sophisticated legal case against” Manafort. Napolitano reminded the audience quickly that the charges are allegations only. Nothing has been proven in court.

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