In a shocking turn of events this week, it was reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has offered immunity to Tony Podesta in exchange for his testimony against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
Podesta, who ran the now-defunct Podesta Group and is the brother of Hillary Clinton’s ex-campaign chair John Podesta, has been caught committing some of the very same crimes for which Manafort is being charged and prosecuted in federal court. It is the latest indication that the case against Manafort has little or nothing to do with his crimes and everything to do with Mueller’s witch hunt against the President of the United States. He wants Manafort to flip on Trump, and that’s ALL this is about.
On his show Thursday, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson blasted the immunity offer as rank partisanship masquerading as justice.
“For a near identical crime,” he said, “Bill and Hillary’s friend could escape and emerge completely unscathed while Paul Manafort may rot in jail. Only one of them made the mistake of chairing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.”
According to an NBC report from October, Manafort worked hand in hand with the Podesta Group in sponsoring a public relations campaign for a nonprofit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. This outfit is believed to have been funded and backed by the Party of Regions, an organization known for its pro-Russian, oligarch connections and funding. The Podesta Group came to the attention of the Special Counsel when Mueller uncovered evidence that they may have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Meaning, essentially, that Tony Podesta and friends forgot to tell the Justice Department that they were acting on behalf of Russia.
Manafort is being charged with a slate of crimes that exceeds those Podesta is on the hook for; we’re not trying to say the two cases are exactly identical. Manafort has a bevy of tax fraud-related charges he’s staring at; there’s no indication that the Podesta Group tried to defraud the IRS. Yet, anyway.
Alas, that brings us back to our point. What business does Robert Mueller have prosecuting Manafort for financial crimes that are only tangentially related to Russia, have nothing to do with Russia’s activities in the 2016 election, and have ZERO to do with any supposed collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign? We understand Mueller has been granted a “broad mandate,” but come on. This is beyond anything with ANY precedent in our politics.
Ultimately, this is just one more example of how partisan and un-connected to anything relevant this special counsel witch hunt has become. Now we’re granting immunity to Democrat partisans with familial ties to the Clinton campaign, just so we can put maximum pressure on Manafort. Rosenstein needs to step in, and if he’s not willing to do it, than Jeff Sessions needs to un-recuse himself and take charge of this investigation. We’ve seen enough.