Were the Podesta brothers tipped off?

As President Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, goes down in the first indictment from the Mueller special prosecution, on charges of failing to file as a registered foreign agent, there's been speculation about why Tony Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager's brother, didn't get indicted, too. He was involved with the same pro-Russia Ukrainian think tank as Manafort.

Joe Hoft at GatewayPundit found an old piece from the Washington Examiner dating from last August that likely explains why:

The Podesta Group belatedly filed several new disclosures with the Justice Department on Aug. 17 related to work the firm completed between 2012 and 2014 on behalf of a pro-Russia Ukrainian think tank.

Back in April, the powerful Washington lobbying firm run by Clinton ally Tony Podesta filed a document admitting its work for the pro-Russia European Centre for a Modern Ukraine may have principally benefited a foreign government. New disclosures revealed dozens of previously unreported interactions the firm made with influential government offices, including Hillary Clinton's State Department and the office of former Vice President Joe Biden, while lobbying on behalf of the center. Embattled ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort failed to disclose his extensive lobbying efforts on behalf of the center at the time as well.

So around the time Mueller was being appointed Special Counsel, on May 17, 2017, the Podestas were getting their papers in order.  The first filing came in April, so there was probably less tipoff than writing on the wall as the political turmoil intensified. But other filings came in August, which GatewayPundit thinks could signal a tipoff.

Did such a tipoff come from Mueller's office to protect these lawbreakers while taking down Manafort? Two things say yes: that Mueller's office consists almost exclusively of hired leftists, with a curious absence of conservatives, meaning there are probably some loyalties among that crew to the Democrats the Podestas representes, and that Mueller's office is leak-prone, as this past week's CNN scoop on the coming indictments Monday showed. A leak to CNN could just as easily be a leak to the Podestas, meaning, tipoff.

What's perhaps an even larger issue is why the Podestas could go for years without filing under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and then somehow make it all right by retroactively filing the papers. Can Manafort do that too, now that he's been indicted? The Podestas got away with it. It's just astonishing that the law could work this way and Manafort could be headed for prison all because the Special Counsel got to him before he could get his retroactive papers filed (for the exact same activity with the exact same think tank). This doesn't sound like justice.

Here's another aspect of the case that casts aspersions on the whole process.

Writing in Politico magazine, Ken Silverstein notes that failing to register as a foreign agent is rarely ever enforced. His headline sums it up well:

I've covered Foreign Lobbying for 20 Years and I'm Amazed Manafort Got Busted

He explains:

The real news in the indictment of Paul Manafort on charges of laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent is that someone has actually been prosecuted under a foreign lobbying law that has existed for decades but has almost never been enforced. The indictment may or may not prove that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government, but it has already proved how flawed the foreign lobbying rules have always been and how easily they are flouted.

I’m not going to weigh in on whether Manafort or his associate, Rick Gates, did in fact launder more than $18 million dollars, largely gathered as fees from Ukrainian strongman and Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych, but I can say with certainty that the law, which Manafort is accused of violating, known as the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, is a complete joke. The law was enacted in 1938, but it's been under-enforced or not enforced at all for ages.

Silverstein, it should be noted, is an open lefty, so he's not writing this because he likes Manafort. It's just the way things are.

The retroactive FARA registration and the rarity of any enforcement of the FARA laws, as well as the possibility of a tipoff to the the Podestas suggest that this Special Counsel investigation has always been a witch hunt, not a quest for justice. Every one of these faultlines gives Manafort a case for the dismissal of the charges against him on technicalities. If it's found that the Podestas were tipped off by Mueller's office, they most certainly should be. And whoever did the tipping off is the one who ought to be in the dock.

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