By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) By now nearly everyone who is well-versed in Barack Obama’s “Spygate” operation aimed at taking out POTUS Donald Trump is aware of the infamous “Steele Dossier” — an opposition research document financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and produced by former British spy Christopher Steele using Russian disinformation sources.
We also know that the dossier was a) very, very bogus; but b) nevertheless held up as legitimate intelligence by the Obama regime’s deep state; and c) used by the FBI and presented to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get a warrant to spy on 2016 Trump campaign figure Carter Page — even though the FBI knew the document was unsubstantiated allegations and trash.
But, according to intrepid investigative reporter John Solomon, there is another document that was used by special counsel Robert Mueller to indict former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort that was also highly suspect (as in very likely fake) that is far less known called the “black cash ledger.”
What’s more, Mueller and his team of Democrat-donor prosecutors knew the document was suspect when they presented it to a federal court in order to get an indictment against Manafort — itself a federal crime in some instances, as well as a violation of FBI protocols and policies.
As Solomon notes, the black cash ledger has its origins in Ukraine, where Manafort was involved as a lobbyist on behalf of government clients. But its emergency in 2016 was the primary reason why Manafort resigned from the Trump campaign, though “in search warrant affidavits, the FBI portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine,” Solomon wrote.
There’s just one problem: The FBI’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.
For example, Ukraine’s top anticorruption prosecutor, Nazar Kholodnytsky, told me he warned the U.S. State Department’s law enforcement liaison and multiple FBI agents in late summer 2016 that Ukrainian authorities who recovered the ledger believed it likely was a fraud.
“It was not to be considered a document of Manafort. It was not authenticated. And at that time it should not be used in any way to bring accusations against anybody,” Kholodnytsky noted in his interview with Solomon, recalling what he told FBI agents.
Likewise, Manafort’s Ukrainian business partner Konstantin Kilimnik, a regular informer for the State Department, told the U.S. government almost immediately after The New York Times wrote about the ledger in August 2016 that the document probably was fake.
Manafort “could not have possibly taken large amounts of cash across three borders. It was always a different arrangement — payments were in wire transfers to his companies, which is not a violation,” Kilimnik said in an email to a senior U.S. official on Aug. 22, 2016.
He added: “I have some questions about this black cash stuff, because those published records do not make sense. The timeframe doesn’t match anything related to payments made to Manafort. … It does not match my records. All fees Manafort got were wires, not cash.”
Solomon noted that three sources familiar with those documents said that Mueller and his team were given copies of Kilimnik’s warnings but they proceeded to indict Manafort anyway.
Giving federal courts knowingly false information, whether it is historical or to support a probable cause contention — is a criminal act under certain conditions.
“To establish probable cause, the affiant must demonstrate a basis for knowledge and belief that the facts are true,” the FBI operating manual states.
So, how did the Manafort miscreants get around that requirement? Easy: The didn’t mention the ledger directly, but instead cited news reports about it (now you know why, in part, the deep state leaks certain details to their Left-wing propagandist pals in the establishment media; the establishment press help deep state figures circumvent the law simply through the act of publishing details about alleged ‘evidence’).
“On August 19, 2016, after public reports regarding connections between Manafort, Ukraine and Russia — including an alleged ‘black ledger’ of off-the-book payments from the Party of Regions to Manafort — Manafort left his post as chairman of the Trump Campaign,” the July 25, 2017, FBI agent’s affidavit stated.
Then, three months later, the FBI cited, in arguing probable cause for a search warrant to obtain Manafort’s bank records, a specific article regarding the ledger as ‘evidence’ Manafort was given money to do lobbying work on behalf of the U.S. for Ukrainian clients.
“The April 12, 2017, Associated Press article reported that DMI [Manafort’s company] records showed at least two payments were made to DMI that correspond to payments in the ‘black ledger,’ ” an FBI agent wrote in a footnote to the affidavit, Solomon reported.
He notes a couple of problems with these claims:
First, the agent failed to disclose that both FBI officials and Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who later became Mueller’s deputy, met with those AP reporters one day before the story was published and assisted their reporting.
An FBI record of the April 11, 2017, meeting declared that the AP reporters “were advised that they appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort’s business dealings” in Ukraine.
So, essentially, the FBI cited a leak that the government had facilitated and then used it to support the black ledger evidence, even though it had been clearly warned about the document.
Secondly, the FBI was told the ledger claimed to show cash payments to Manafort when, in fact, agents had been told since 2014 that Manafort received money only by bank wires, mostly routed through the island of Cyprus, memos show.
One reason why the Obama regime didn’t indict Manafort and his business partner, Rick Gates, during the 2014 probe is because the two were forthcoming with the FBI. They both “voluntarily identified for FBI agents tens of millions of dollars” paid them by Ukrainian and Russian sources, as well as the shell companies that conducted the wire transfers, Solomon reported.
And, as Leftie law professor Alan Dershowitz told Solomon, FBI affidavits almost never cite news articles as evidence. “They are supposed to cite the primary evidence and not secondary evidence,” he said.
“It sounds to me like a fraud on the court, possibly a willful and deliberate fraud that should have consequences for both the court and the attorneys’ bar,” he added.
Then again, the court accepted the news source citations in place of the primary evidence.
“In the end, the best proof that the FBI knew the black ledger was a sham is that prosecutors never introduced it to jurors in Manafort’s trial,” Solomon wrote.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid for Russian disinformation via Steele and were also involved in attempts to solicit anti-Trump information from the Ukrainian government during the 2016 election — all of which somehow escaped Mueller’s attention.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10
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