[ this post has updates below—Banner image credit: Jonathan Ernst for Reuters as noted in the below tweet (h/t Business Insider)

Back in March I wondered aloud:

Paul Manafort’s similarities to a “Sopranos” mobster means he fits Donald Trump like a glove. How did Manafort even get in to the Trump campaign in the first place? Did Manafort have a hand in changing the pro-Russian GOP platform language? What was Trump’s role, if any, in Manafort’s shady business dealings? All of these questions are relevant to the process that stuck us with an inept radical as president.

From my post last month “Manafort is money again,” I gave some bullets on what former Trump campaign CEO was facing:

  • Manafort offered to give a Putin-linked billionaire campaign briefings—and who knows what else (WaPo)
  • “How do we use [this] to get whole?” was top of mind for Manafort when he joined the campaign (WaPo)
  • Paulie Walnuts is currently working on a referendum for Kurdish independence in Iraq that the United States opposes (Slate)
  • Manafort should “plan on being indicted” investigators reportedly told him (NYTimes)

As of today, Monday, Mueller has made good on that promise—and we can call his indictments the “Treason Dozen.” As previewed by CNN on Friday and actualized this morning, Paul Manafort has been charged with 12 counts—some of them felonies—including conspiracy and acting against the United States, among others. Manafort turned himself in along with his longtime confidant and business partner Rick Gates.

As the always exceptional Pete Williams of NBC News states, further charges could be in the offing for Paulie Walnuts.

With this news breaking, it’s important to remember where you get your news and why. In the lead up to the election last year, pretty much all mainstream media outlets normalized Manafort by inviting him on without pressing him on his already reported shady dealings. Here’s a sampling:

• The one where Manafort scolds Tapper about unfair media coverage

• The one when Paulie claims Hillary’s e-mail server was a greater risk to national security than the DNC hack

• The one where Chuck Todd doesn’t ask about Paulie’s Russia connections

• The one where GMA reports on campaign chaos and doesn’t question P-Wal on his shady past


I’m including these clips to show how the media epically failed on how to treat what they should have seen as a hostile witness. For context I wrote a sweeping post last year “The Fourth Estate is dead. 7 ways the media failed and how to fix it,” dealing with the media’s obsession with celebrity and how they could maintain access to the temperamental Trump. They were all deeply uncurious and uninterested in what this person represented, and we’re all living in the aftermath.


Also important about your news consumption: independent and non-mainstream journalists doing great and courageous reporting. I’ve highlighted that reporting many times on this blog, but also keep in mind that I’ve been questioning Manafort since the GOP convention last year. Entered into evidence:


And so. Manafort lied to Chuck Todd when he said “Donald Trump is my only client.” If we had actual journalism back in 2016 instead of access-driven slumber parties we might’ve gotten to the bottom of this ratfucking shithole sooner.

Today, all news outlets are reporting on the Manafort revelations—save for State TV Fox News, which was airing an exposé on Halloween Candy.

I’ll update this post with more nuggets as they become available. Watch this space. 🔵

UPDATE: Paul Manafort was indicted on multiple felony charges and was granted conditional bail. But he recently violated those bail stipulations by allegedly committing another crime: witness tampering. Yesterday, Friday, the judge ordered him to priz pending his trial in September.

Writer’s note: if you have information on this or any other case related to the Trump-Russia scandal, please be in touch with me. I can help you get your story told either on background, deep background or anonymously. My Twitter DMs are open are open and I have many secure methods of contact.


Will Pollocksideways is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on pop-culture, politics, journalism & media, retail, real estate, travel, politics, and human interest. 

He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.

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