Manafort Cryptically Noted 'Donations' & 'RNC' at Russian Meeting

BREAKING REPORT: Trump Mgr. Manafort Cryptically Noted ‘Donations’ & ‘RNC’ at Russian Meeting

Manafort has a lot to answer for

A couple days ago, it was reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had issued subpoenas to two people associated with Paul Manafort. Manafort, for those who may have forgotten, was Donald Trump’s campaign manager during the 2016 presidential election. While obviously successful in his job, Manafort was soon placed under scrutiny by numerous federal agencies for allegedly colluding with Russian officials. A month after Mueller was appointed, he took over the criminal inquiry and has since been actively investigating him, having ordered FBI agents to raid his home in early August of this year.

The two people who were subpoenaed were Melissa Laurenza and Jason Maloni. Laurenza was Manafort’s former attorney who recently resigned, while Maloni currently acts as Manafort’s spokesman. As CNN’s Evan Perez reported, the subpoena towards Laurenza was unusual as it raised “potential attorney-client privilege issues that prosecutors tend to try to avoid” in a case.”

Related: The Fix is In: GOP Lawmaker Moves to Defund Mueller Investigation

A day later, news broke out that Mueller was teaming up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in order to expand his probe into the former manager. Many outlets, including The Hill’s Julia Manchester, theorized that Mueller was doing this to bring state-specific charges against Manafort so that the President could not issue a pardon like he recently did with criminal sheriff Joe Arpaio. Speaking on “Real Time with Bill Maher” last Friday, Democratic strategist Paul Begala had noted that a possible reason behind Arpaio’s pardon could have been to symbolically show Trump officials in the Russia probe that they were under his protection, though that remains an unsubstantiated hypothesis.

Now comes another nail in the coffin: Manafort’s meeting with Kremlin lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The media has known about this meeting for some time now, but here is the catch: Manafort was taking notes on his smart phone about potential donations. Receiving foreign money, alone, would be incriminating enough, but it was the word near “donations” that has raised a lot of concerns: RNC.

RNC is, of course, short for Republican National Committee. One aspect of Trump that made him very popular among general voters was his populist appeal, and his claims of draining the Washington swamp of the establishment hacks. While he began selecting Wall Street cronies like Rex Tillerson into Cabinet, it was the decision to pick RNC Chairman Reince Priebus as the White House Chief of Staff that revealed to a lot of people that Trump had (unsurprisingly) conned them.

Priebus may have left the Trump Administration, but the fact that the RNC as a whole may have gotten Russian money will no doubt encourage even hardline Republicans to possibly abandon Trump.