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DETAILS: Giuliani Just Revealed Big Break Trump Is Considering Giving Manafort

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President Donald Trump’s lead attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed to Fox News earlier today that the president did not consult him nor fellow attorney Jay Sekulow on anything about pardoning his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. But Giuliani did say that Trump did bring up the subject of pardons to Sekulow and himself several weeks ago. Although he never actually mentioned Manafort by name.

Giuliani did explain to Fox News that during the conversation about pardons, Trump mentioned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn was forced to resign his position in February of 2017 and then he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about having contacts with Russian officials during the presidential transition and his Turkish lobbying work which has nothing whatsoever to do with any Russian collusion since it all happened after the President had won the 2016 election.

Here is more on the Manafort case via NPR:

“After almost four days of deliberations, a 12-member jury found Manafort guilty on two counts of bank fraud, five counts of tax fraud and one charge of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

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“The jury in U.S. federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, said it could not reach a verdict on 10 of the 18 counts with which Manafort was charged. Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on those counts.

“While the charges against Manafort mostly predate his work on President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, the guilty verdict triggered an outburst from Trump, who has repeatedly sought to distance himself from Manafort while denouncing the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt”.

“’Paul Manafort is a good man. … It doesn’t involve me, but I still feel – you know, it’s a very sad thing that happened,” Trump said before a rally in West Virginia on Tuesday night. “This has nothing to do with Russian collusion.”

“Manafort’s conviction on the eight counts came in the same hour that Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty in New York to campaign finance violations and other charges.

“Manafort stood quietly while the verdict was being read by the clerk. It represented a stunning fall for Manafort, a well-known figure in Republican politics for decades.

“Manafort’s lawyer, Kevin Downing, told reporters afterward that his client was disappointed in the verdict and was evaluating his options. “He is trying to soak it all in,” Downing told Reuters.

“Mueller’s office declined comment on the verdict.

“Prosecutors accused Manafort of hiding from U.S. tax authorities $16 million he earned as a political consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine to fund an opulent lifestyle and then lying to banks to secure $20 million in loans after his Ukrainian income dried up and he needed cash.

“The two bank fraud charges on which he was convicted each carry a potential prison term of up to 30 years. But several sentencing experts predicted Manafort, 69, would receive a prison term of about 10 years.

“Mark Warner, the senior Democrat on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, warned that any attempt by Trump to use his presidential powers to pardon Manafort or interfere in Mueller’s probe “would be a gross abuse of power and require immediate action by Congress.”

“Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said in a statement: “There have yet to be any charges or convictions for colluding with the Russian government by any member of the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.”

“Moscow has denied interfering in the 2016 election and Trump has said there was no collusion.

“David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor in Miami, said the guilty verdict on eight of 18 counts was “a significant victory” for Mueller and that “the mistrial on the remaining 10 counts is a shallow victory for the defense.”

“Manafort was convicted on all five charges of filing false tax returns. Prosecutors provided evidence he did not report $16 million in overseas income from 2010 to 2014 but used it to purchase clothes and real estate and renovate his homes.

“The jury found him guilty for failing to report his overseas bank holdings in just one of the four years cited. Manafort’s lawyers sought to portray the law as complex and raised questions about whether Manafort willfully broke it, a notion that may have given some jurors pause. They were hung on three other related counts.

“Manafort was found guilty on two counts of bank fraud, one involving a $3.4 million mortgage on a Manhattan condominium and a $1 million business loan. In both cases, the evidence showed Manafort provided false information in order to get the loans.

“The jury was hung on seven other bank fraud counts, however, including all five conspiracy charges, possibly because the jurors doubted the credibility of Rick Gates, Manafort’s former right-hand man, who pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution.

“One count on which the jury was hung was a $5.5 million loan that did not close. Ellis, who was hard on the prosecution throughout the trial, questioned in open court why the government was pursuing a charge on a loan that never materialized, a comment that drew criticism from legal experts and prompted an official complaint from Mueller’s team.

“Ellis gave the prosecution until Aug. 29 to decide whether to retry Manafort on the charges on which the jury deadlocked. As a result, the judge did not set a sentencing date for the charges on which Manafort was found guilty.

“So far, no jurors have spoken to the media and their names were not made public so it is unclear how they determined their verdict.

“Manafort now faces a second trial on Sept. 17 in Washington in which he is charged with money laundering, failing to register as a lobbyist in the United States for his work for pro-Kremlin politicians in Ukraine and obstruction of justice.

“The second trial promises to delve deeper into Manafort’s Russian connections, including his relationship with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Ukranian-Russian political consultant who was indicted along with Manafort and who Mueller says has ties to Russian intelligence.”

Manafort was convicted by a federal jury on Tuesday of eight counts of bank and tax fraud. The judge in the case declared a mistrial on 10 counts on which the jury deadlocked. Tax fraud is usually what they convict people on when they have done nothing wrong. It’s like the “broken tail light offense” of the political world.

The former mayor added he and Sekulow advised Trump that for political and public relations purposes, it would not be a good idea to consider pardoning anyone until the court cases related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation are over.

Giuliani also later confirmed that President Trump was very upset with how Manafort was being treated while in custody and the way his home was searched. He’s also upset over the harassment by an FBI that is largely operating as a third arm of the Democrat Party who is supposed to be investigating Russian collusion but all they seem to find are tax issues.

 

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Air Force Witness Of Extortion 17 Attack On SEALs Says We Were Lied To – Obama Has Hell To Pay

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The families of some of the 17 SEAL Team 6 commandos who were killed in an ambush in Afghanistan during a helicopter flight to help Army Rangers pinned down by Taliban gunmen accused the Obama administration of deliberately endangering their loved ones for political ends.

Now a highly decorated, retired Air Force officer is coming forward, breaking her silence to speak out on what she witnessed in one of the deadliest attacks on Navy SEALs in U.S. history. Her testimony details how the government covered up evidence in the 2011 downing of a Chinook helicopter gunship that killed a total of 38 military personnel in Afghanistan and how the attack that took so many lives could have been prevented if it were not for the restrictions to the military’s rules of engagement instituted under the Obama administration.

On August 6, 2011, Air Force Capt. Joni Marquez was working along with her crew in the early morning hours before sunrise while aboard an AC-130 gunship when they were summoned to a mission in what she describes as “almost like a 9-1-1 type of a situation.”

The gunship received orders to fly close-in air support above Afghanistan’s dangerous Tangi Valley, in Wardak Province. They were to assist troops with the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment who were under heavy fire by eight heavily armed Taliban insurgents. The Rangers had put in a call for assault helicopters to engage the enemy to draw them out of their hiding place in the rocky valley. They believed the insurgents were all killed after the air weapons team fired on the Taliban fighters. They were wrong.

Marquez states of the events that unfolded afterward – “I had the sensor operators immediately shift to the eight insurgents the helicopters had taken out. Two were still alive. We had seen two of them (insurgents) moving, crawling away from the area, as to not really make a whole lot of scene.”

She was the fire control officer aboard the AC-130 gunship and her job was to make sure the sensors and weapons aligned allowing the crew to hone in on targets for accuracy in firing. However, that night it did not matter because the gunship had not received permission to fire.

As she monitored the scene from above she detailed the scene to the ground force commander – “You have two enemy forces that are still alive. Permission to engage,” she asked. They were denied.

Marquez details in excruciating and painful detail how the ground commander’s refusal to grant her crew permission to engage the two enemy fighters sealed their fate. As a result, 38 people died in Extortion 17. She and her team could do little more than track the two enemy insurgents with the surveillance equipment. She and her team watched on helplessly as the two moved through an open field and made their way to a village for reinforcements.

Meanwhile, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, with the call sign Extortion 17, was called into lengthy firefight.  Marquez explained – “If we would’ve been allowed to engage that night, we would’ve taken out those two men immediately. They continued to essentially gain more and more force behind them because they just kept knocking on doors and the two personnel that initially fled ended up becoming a group of 12 people.”

Instead, a Taliban fighter shot a grenade from a rocket launcher hitting the Chinook. It sent the helicopter in a downward spin where it eventually crashed and killed everyone on board. 38 people died including thirty Americans and eight Afghans. Of those 38 dead, 17 were Navy SEALs. The tragedy took some of the glow off SEAL Team 6’s grand achievement just three months earlier: A team penetrated Pakistan airspace, infiltrated a compound in Abbottabad and killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden – long considered to be the mastermind behind the September 11, 2011 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City.

Marquez believes that had her team been allowed to engage and return fire, those 38 deaths could have been prevented. Pleas and warnings from her crew to turn the Chinook back or cancel their mission went unheeded. She explained that by the time Extortion 17 came in confusion ruled the day, stating – “Whenever we reached out to the Joint Operations Center, they would essentially just push back with, ‘Find a, a good infill location. Find a good helicopter landing zone.’”

She explained that one of the hardest things she had to do in her entire military career was to be forced to simply watch from her infrared monitor as one of the SEALs was ejected from the burning Chinook helicopter and his heat signature faded from red to blue. She stated – “We had to sit and watch that, and I think that was one of the hardest things that I had to do. That man was, you know, dying on the ground.”

Marquez describes the pain of the aftermath of living with what happened and the toll it has taken. She is in active therapy as a result and has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. She tearfully explains – “If we would’ve been allowed to engage that night, we would’ve taken out those two men immediately. I mean, it’s just one of those things where you know that it could’ve all been prevented.”

Her retelling of the events as they unfolded that night is corroborated by a previously top-secret report compiled by the Defense Department inspector general.  The report includes interviews with many of Marquez’s colleagues on the gunship, including the commander.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who served as deputy undersecretary of defense for Intelligence and was a commander in the Army’s super-secret “Delta Force,” denounced politicized rules of engagement as a “deliberate plot” within the American armed forces that he says puts political correctness above the safety of the troops. He stated – “We’ve allowed politics to become more important than the lives and safety of those men and women.”

The rules of engagement on the battlefield were tightened by Gen. Stanley McCrystal under former President Obama’s leadership in 2009. The official reason cited was an “overreliance on firepower and force protection” with the idea that this would reduce civilian casualties and win the cooperation of locals. Except according to Marquez it didn’t. The rules regarding when to engage the enemy were continuously changing depending on who was in charge and those rules prevented her crew from effectively doing what was necessary.

Marquez stated – “Ridiculous rules of engagement that basically state that you can’t shoot until being shot upon.  A weapon has to be pointed, and essentially fired at you, in order for you to shoot and you have the proper clearance so that you don’t, you know, go to jail, that you’re charged with a war crime.”

Senior legal advocate for U.S. Special Forces Jeffery Addicott is considered an expert in rules of engagement with 20 years of experience describes Marquez’s story as one of the most tragic regarding U.S. troops under enemy fire. He explains that all these unrealistic rules do is tie the hands of military personnel and endanger lives.

Addicott states – “In Afghanistan, we had rules of engagement that became more restrictive the longer we stayed. Right now, the rules of engagement are absolutely bizarre. Law of war, if you do or you suspected that someone was an enemy combatant, they had a weapon, they were carrying it openly, you could kill them before they shot at you.”

He is now pushing for congressional oversight of the Department of Defense’s rules of engagement so as to prevent a repeat of this level of tragedy. He believes placating foreign governments at the expense of American lives became a death sentence some military personnel. Overly restrictive rules of engagement do nothing to help those fighting the war win. They are simply the work of bureaucrats enforced against military personnel under political pressure from host nations.

Examples of some of the unclassified rules of engagement for Afghanistan are as follows –

  • No night or surprise searches
  • Villagers warned prior to searches
  • U.S. units on searches
  • U.S. soldiers may not fire at the enemy unless the enemy is preparing to fire first
  • Afghan National Army or Afghan National Police must accompany
  • U.S. forces cannot engage the enemy if civilians are present
  • Troops can fire at an insurgent if they catch them placing an IED, but not if they’re walking away from placing an IED.
  • Only engage an enemy fighter if you see a weapon, and they’ve fired first

Addicott states – “Under our current rules of engagement, you cannot shoot them until they shoot at you first. Now many people — of course people on the ground, the military soldiers — they know that this is a recipe for disaster and so, we basically have these rules that are made by the president.”

Marquez agrees with Addicott’s assessment and hopes her revelations of what actually occurred on the night Extortion 17 crashed will bring change that saves lives. She states – “I won’t rest until some kind of justice is served, in a manner of either, you know, the people that were responsible for that night, for making those calls, come forward and are honest about it. I know that’s kind of a lofty goal but, if that’s something that doesn’t happen, then obviously the ROE’s to change, for them to be realistic.”

Many family members of the fallen believe SEAL Team 6 had a target on its back and that persons inside the Afghan National Security Forces may have tipped off the Taliban about that fateful night in Tangi Valley. They wonder why a fighter just happened to be stationed in a turret within 150 yards of a landing zone that had never been used before. Yet the Defense Department special operations official continues to maintain there is no indication the mission was compromised by the Afghans.

Family members enlisted legal watchdog group, Freedom Watch led by attorney Larry Klayman in an effort to force new disclosures using the power of the FOIA process. Klayman speaks of how he has repeatedly been “stonewalled” by the Justice Department, the Defense Department, the CIA and the National Security Agency.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon signed an order requiring documents be released on a continual basis through the spring and summer. The Justice Department said at least 50 documents in the Pentagon have been identified as relevant, but only one has been turned over. The DOJ unilaterally set a new deadline for the release and then ignored their own deadline. Klayman also stated DOJ attorneys will not take his phone calls. He states – “They don’t even produce under their own self-imposed deadline. We’re pleading with the judge to do something, and he’s just sitting on it.”

As has become abundantly clear during the last several years the U.S. government is spending a significant amount of time and resources covering up the truth on many things from the American people. Things like the current FISA abuses, spying, Benghazi, the NSA, and a vast number of other incidents. It seems that a FOIA request no longer accomplishes what it was set up to accomplish – there is no “freedom of information” any longer. The government purposely delays or conceals documents in an effort to give time to redact and to delete things they do not want the American public to become aware of.

One wonders if the end result will be the same with current fictional witchhunt into so-called Russian collusion. As Rep. Trey Gowdy said recently when questioning FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – “Whatever you got, finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart”

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Florida’s INTENSE Governor’s Race JUST CALLED – MAJOR Upset Underway Now

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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service in the world, RWN offers the following information published by USA Today:

Andrew Gillum will have to rely on the courts if he has any chance to become Florida’s first black governor.

A recount of more than 8 million ballots that ended Thursday afternoon confirmed that Republican Ron DeSantis beat the Democratic Tallahassee mayor in the nationally watched race that galvanized progressives across the country.

The final tally, headed to certification next week, was 4,075,445 for DeSantis and 4,041,762 for Gillum.

The margin of victory was enough for DeSantis, a former congressman representing Jacksonville, to avoid a hand recount of questionable ballots set aside for further review. He had already assembled a transition team to prepare for his ascendance as Florida’s 46th governor.

But Gillum is not conceding. He and his supporters believe there is still a path to victory: lawsuits that could add more votes in support of him.

“A vote denied is justice denied — the State of Florida must count every legally cast vote,” Gillum said in a statement after the recount totals were released. “As today’s unofficial reports and recent court proceedings make clear, there are tens of thousands of votes that have yet to be counted. We plan to do all we can to ensure that every voice is heard in this process. Voters need to know that their decision to participate in this election, and every election, matters. It is not over until every legally casted vote is counted.”

The deadline for the recount was 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Thursday but Palm Beach County, a Democratic stronghold, did not complete its recount. It was the only one of Florida’s 67 counties that failed to do so. A lawsuit filed by Democrats could find more votes for Gillum there, for example.

After Election Day, DeSantis, led Gillum by fewer than 34,000 votes or a margin of .409 percent. At the time, the race was one of three under a statewide mandated recount. Margins in the Senate and state’s agriculture commissioner were also under the half-percent margin needed to automatically trigger a machine recount.

After the recount, the margin barely changed.

Gillum, 39, had attracted a national following as he sought to make history.

Potential 2020 presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., campaigned for him and he was often featured on national news shows after he scored an unexpected win in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in August.

But he was continually dogged by ethical issues, including his acceptance of tickets to the hit Broadway show “Hamilton,” a lavish trip to Costa Rica with lobbyist pals, and a fundraiser underwritten by an undercover FBI agent.

The victory by DeSantis, 40, who is an ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, keeps the governor’s mansion in GOP hands, where it has been since 1999.

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