Zoe Tillman Profile picture
Aug 13, 2018 18 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Week 3 of Paul Manafort's trial kicks off at 1pm. Want to catch up on Week 2?
Rick Gates: buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Rick Gates II: buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Following the $: buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Judge v. prosecutors: buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Quid pro quo?: buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
This a.m., prosecutors filed a brief arguing that even if the CEO of Federal Savings Bank had personal reasons for approving $16M in loans to Paul Manafort (as the govt has argued) that's not a defense to the charge that Manafort defrauded the bank assets.documentcloud.org/documents/4754…
And we're back at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, where Paul Manafort's trial is set to resume at 1pm. Known as the "rocket docket," the courthouse has a statue out front that reads, "Justice Delayed Justice Denied" (note the animals...)
Up next: The government is expected to finish its case in chief. We'll hear from another Federal Savings Bank witness, James Brennan (who received immunity to testify), and possibly another witness to talk about foreign bank account reporting to the feds
Once the government finishes, the judge will ask Manafort's lawyers if they plan to put on evidence, and if so, an estimate for how long that'll take. Then we'll go to closing arguments and jury instructions, and then the jury will deliberate. Stay tuned.
Quick p.m. break. We've heard from James Brennan, a VP at Federal Savings Bank, re: $16M in loans the bank approved. Brennan received immunity to testify. He was involved in underwriting the loans
Brennan talked about issues and "red flags" that came up while the bank was reviewing Manafort's applications for these loans, including inconsistencies in the income Manafort was reporting. Jury also saw again that certain existing mortgages weren't incl. in the applications
Re: the $9.5M loan Manafort got on a property in Bridgehampton, NY, Brennan testified that one bank exec had rejected it, but it ended up being approved. "It closed becuase Mr. Calk wanted it to close," he said — jury heard last week about Steve Calk seeking Trump admin posts
We saw a Sept. 2016 memo that a bank employee prepared outlining the concerns with Manafort's loan app, incl. $2.4M in income Manafort said he'd *earned* but there was no documentation that money was *received*; delinquent NY Yankees season tickets debt; other mortgages
We're in cross right now by Manafort's lawyer. He asked if it's against any rules for a borrower to prep a sheet listing profits and losses — Brennan said no. Prosecutors say Manafort submitted false info (different #s than his bookkeeper had) about his income to defraud the bank
Re: mortgages that weren't listed, Manafort lawyer Richard Westling asked how a borrower would know to include a mortgage taken out by an LLC. Brennan said an individual would need to list it if they were a guarantor. Westling asked him to show where that was in the application
Brennan said that in that section of the loan app, there was a reference to including loan guarantees. Westling then asked if Brennan knew who exactly checked the boxes that were filled out in Manafort's loan app. Brennan said he didn't know.
Last week, we heard Qs from Manafort's lawyer about whether loans were "overcollateralized" — backed up by assets worth more than the loan. There were ~15.3M in assets for a $9.5M loan. Was that a "healthy" ratio, Westling asked? Brennan said it would be considered standard
When we return: Finishing up cross examination and any redirect by the government. Then we'll hear from the judge about whether he'll allow in add'l govt testimony about whether Manafort's business reported foreign bank accounts (versus Manafort individually)
We are done for the day. The judge allowed the govt to introduce evidence that Manafort's businesses didn't file foreign bank account reports, over defense objection (they argued it wasn't relevant to whether Manafort individually willfully failed to file required FBARs)
The govt then rested its case. Manafort's lawyers moved for a full judgment of acquittal on the indictment — we'll hear full arguments tomorrow, but one arg is the govt failed to show Federal Savings Bank relied on any allegedly false info Manafort submitted. More on that soon
The judge is finishing the day with arguments on a sealed motion that Manafort's lawers filed — they closed the courtroom for that, so I don't have any details on what that's about as of now
Day 10: The prosecution rests, and Paul Manafort's lawyers ask for a full acquittal buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…

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More from @ZoeTillman

Oct 1, 2018
A deep dive: How #SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh's partisan jabs last week raise ethics questions that could follow him to the Supreme Court (or back to the DC Circuit, if his nomination fails) buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Kavanaugh attacked Senate Dems, the Clintons, and "left-wing" groups, raising Qs going forward about whether and when he'll face recusal requests — a number of groups suing the Trump admin have opposed him (ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, etc.) buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
We're aware of at least two ethics complaints against Kavanaugh, one about his response to the sexual assault allegations. Chief Judge Merrick Garland would typically handle those — we're waiting to see if Garland asks to have them sent to another circuit buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Read 5 tweets
Sep 27, 2018
Today's hearing for #SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford is set to start at 10am. You can watch live here: judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/nomin…
Senators will get five minutes to question each witness, which they can cede to staff counsel. From the committee on logistics:
Make sure to follow @pdmcleod, who is in the hearing room this morning. And check in here: buzzfeednews.com/article/buzzfe… for updates
Senate Republicans have brought in Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to handle Qs from their side for Kavanaugh and Ford: buzzfeednews.com/article/claudi… Notwithstanding Mitchell's role and the rhetoric about everyone having their "day in court," I can assure you this nothing like court
Read 49 tweets
Sep 25, 2018
Remember when the owners of a DC wine bar sued Trump's DC hotel, claiming it had an unfair and unlawful advantage in the market once Trump became president? buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil… A judge is hearing arguments soon on Trump's motion to dismiss the case. Stay tuned.
Arguments just finished on Trump and his hotel's motions to dismiss an unfair competition lawsuit filed by the owners of a DC wine bar. The main argument was that Trump should be immune against private lawsuits like this that are related to his duties as president
Lawyer for the plaintiffs (Cork Wine Bar) argued that this isn't about Trump's official actions — it's just about the unfair advantage his hotel got by virtue of him *becoming* president, which is separate from litigation over what he *does* as president
Read 9 tweets
Sep 18, 2018
A brief digression from all the Kavanaugh news to talk about a report released today by the DOJ inspector general's office about how the Bureau of Prisons manages female inmates. Here's the report: oig.justice.gov/reports/2018/e…
The conclusion: "Overall, we concluded that BOP has not been strategic in its management of female inmates." BOP only recently took steps to review its own progress following a manual for how to manage female inmates, and didn't require special training for national exec staff
Getting into the details, the report focused on issues with trauma treatment (long wait lists at some prisons), underuse of programs for pregnant inmates, and lack of clear policies re: how prisons should handle the distribution of feminine hygiene products
Read 6 tweets
Sep 17, 2018
Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements on 12/1/17: buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil… He agreed to delay sentencing while he cooperated with Mueller's office. More than nine months later-->
Earlier in the summer, there were signs we were getting closer to sentencing in Flynn's case. In early July, the lawyers said they weren't ready yet, but asked if the court could start the process of getting a presentence report ready
That's not normally how things work, so the judge, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan held a hearing on July 10 to get more info. Sullivan wasn't the judge who did Flynn's plea hearing, so he explained he also wanted a chance to get to know the parties before sentencing
Read 4 tweets
Sep 14, 2018
BREAKING: Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort is expected to enter a guilty plea. Special counsel Mueller's office just filed a new criminal information, a type of charging document that usually means there's a plea deal buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
NEW: The court just changed Manafort's upcoming 11 a.m. hearing from a "pretrial conference" to an "arraignment and plea agreement hearing." Story: buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Waiting in the hall to go in for Manafort's 11 a.m. plea agreement hearing, and a whole crew from Mueller's office just showed up: Weissmann, Andres, Rhee, Prelogar, Dreeben, Jed, Van Grack, and EDVA AUSA Asonye. Check back for updates, story here: buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetil…
Read 12 tweets

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