Betrayed! Here’s who might provide Mueller with fresh evidence against Trump
First up: his former West Wing lieutenants!
A former Trump adviser has accused the US President of hanging him and other ex-staffers out to dry over their spiralling legal costs because of the investigation into the Republican campaign’s alleged links to Russia.
Another ex-campaign aide also revealed he had been forced to use his children’s college fund to pay for a lawyer to represent him during probes by special counsel Robert Mueller and Congress. …
Speaking to the Washington Examiner, one former Trump campaign adviser, Michael Caputo, said he was paying a substantial amount in legal costs.
“It’s very expensive and nobody’s called me and offered to help,” he said.
It’s because you’ve been thrown to the wolves, Michael. You’re now an ex-deplorablium non grata.
“The problem is, it’s very specialised representation, so it takes a certain type of attorney, and they’re quite competent. And you’ll pay for competency.”
Mr Caputo added that he had cashed in his children’s college fund to help pay the lawyer and also provide extra security for his family following “death threats”.
For the sake of the article, Caputo maintained his loyalty to the “fake news” trope…
“I have the associate costs of being in the spotlight of a bogus investigation, so I have security costs now,” he said.
… which does not detract from the fact that he has been forced into a corner to such an extent that he may well give investigators an earful and then some.
Next up, also from The Independent:
Another aide, who spoke anonymously to the Examiner, strongly attacked the President for having “hung us out to dry”.
“Multi-billionaire Donald Trump has a moral obligation to pay the mounting legal bills of his advisers who are facing four-, five- and six-figure costs just for doing their jobs,” the ex-staffer said.
“After all, the reason Trump advisers have any legal bills at all is because Trump and key spokespersons like Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway repeatedly misled the public over Russia contacts, no matter how benign.
“Such lies gave congressional and federal investigators, let alone the media, probable cause to destroy our lives at will. Some reward for loyal service to President Trump.”
Translation: “Russiagate is not ‘fake news’, and Trump’s disloyalty is going to come at a cost.”
Which brings us to another colorful character. Guess who is coming to Chicgao? If you said “A Russian oligarch with a Manafort tale to tell,” you’d be correct!
The U.S. government has “thousands of intercepts” that can be used as evidence against Ukrainian billionaire oligarch Dmitry Firtash, federal prosecutors told a judge Friday as the fight over his extradition to Chicago rumbled on.
But lawyers for Firtash — who has ties to President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort — walked back their recent claim that Firtash could be brought from Austria to the U.S. “within weeks.”
Firtash, who has links to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin, has been fighting extradition from Vienna since 2014. Accused of masterminding an international titanium mining racket involving Chicago-based Boeing, he wants U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer to throw out his case before Austrian authorities put him on a plane to Chicago.
His lawyer, former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb, on Friday said Firtash’s long battle in the Austrian courts should wrap up “within two to four months,” an apparent downgrade from the “great risk” of imminent extradition he had previously warned of.
Webb said Firtash preferred to remain in Austria while the case is being argued because he couldn’t run his business if he were “in shackles in the MCC” — a reference to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.
For those of you catching up on Firtash, there is a terrific backgrounder on “Paulie Walnuts” Manafort, “Dmitry Two-Eyes” Firtash, and Russia-centric organized crime at The Daily Beast.
Once Firtash is in Chicago, it’s a slam-dunk that Manfort’s team will be having a friendly chat with him. They’re good at that sort of thing.