According to multiple sources at CNN, the IRS has been cooperating with the requests of special counsel Robert Mueller to allow his team access to information regarding President Donald Trump, as well as his campaign and transitional staffers. This is in direct response to contentious issues that have been exposed during the investigation regarding ties that may exist between Trump, his staff, and Russia.
One of the major targets of Mueller’s investigation has always been Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. According to journalist Natalie Dickinson, “Manafort was promoted to Trump’s presidential campaign manager in April 2016 and resigned in August after it was discovered that Manafort received some $12.7 million dollars for his lobbying work for Ukrainian dictator and Putinist puppet Viktor Yanukovych…“
Manafort’s ties to “questionable” figures in Russia and Ukraine have been scrutinized in recent months with many new discoveries being made as to the reach of his influence, or the influence of his associates, when it came to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Trump’s former campaign chairman was one of the first prominent members of President Trump’s staff to be indicted by Mueller, and he currently faces 12 counts. Among those: conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy against the United States, being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements and several other charges.
While the extent to which Paul Manafort cooperated with the Special Counsel prior to being indicted is unknown, the interesting part of this situation is that a deal for personal information was reached — between Mueller’s team and Manafort’s counsel. This agreement may have been agreed upon because Manafort had nothing to hide — at least nothing that is in the accessible by the IRS. Perhaps Manafort cooperated because he was aware of the mountain of evidence Mueller already had on him, and was trying to make inroads.
In August 2016, it was reported that payments to Manafort were found recorded in a ledger in Ukraine. These payments were conspicuous as they were apparently made in cash. Therefore, the IRS would most likely not have any record of this. So why would Manafort worry – he can deny the ledger, he can deny the cash payment, and no one will be the wiser as to whether he was involved or not. Though it is possible some evidence of that Ukranian monkey business could have been found during the now notorious pre-dawn raid on Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia by the FBI back in July 2017.
Mueller now has extraordinary reach. Will his access to the IRS, the indictments, and the deals that have already been made encourage others in Trump’s inner circle to flip on him in order to mitigate damage to themselves?
[Story originally appeared on our sister site, theproudliberal.org]