Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on my project: Inconvenient Truths which I’ll unveil in a few days. In doing the research for the project I’ve come across some facts that have left my head spinning as to how incestuous politics have become. Many believe that Paul Manafort is an island unto himself with a minor connection to Donald Trump. It is not.
During my research I came across an article by Martin Longman published in the Washington Monthly on February 23, 2018. It is titled; “The Story of Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump”. I, along with many of you know some of the characters but not in the context of all being tied together.
We’ve all heard about Roger Stone. Some of us have heard of his reputation for political trickery and maybe his connections to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Stone is the “youngest person to testify before the Watergate grand jury.” According to Longman’s article, Stone wanted to meet Donald Trump, so he did that by reaching out to Trump’s lawyer, Roy Cohn.
As I do with all my research, I looked to further understand who Cohn is to understand the context of what was happening and how each person fit into the scheme. It turns out that Cohn is a notorious lawyer who represented serious mobsters like Carlo Gambino and Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno. But what stood out for me the most is Cohn’s involvement in Joseph McCarthy’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations investigating communists in America in the 1950’s.
I’m sure the irony of the notoriety between the current Russian interference allegations and the 1950’s communist infiltration of America isn’t lost among you.
But Cohn wasn’t some “johnny-come-lately” in American politics. As many readers know, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed by the United States government for spying for the Russians in the 1950’s. Roy Cohn was one of the key prosecutors in the Rosenberg trial.
Ultimately Roy Cohn was disbarred in 1986 after fighting criminal cases against him for obstruction of justice among others. However, before his disbarment, Cohn is credited by Trump for teaching Donald Trump how to deal with litigation. According to Longman’s article, who quotes Sam Roberts, Donald Trump learned to fight litigation by:
“1. Never settle, never surrender. 2. Counter-attack, counter sue immediately. 3. No matter what happens, no matter how deep into the muck you get, claim victory and never admit defeat.”
Thus, Trump’s actions to date make more sense now.
However, the tentacles continue to reveal themselves in the article. Roy Cohn had a secretary, Christine Seymour who was tasked with recording phone calls between Cohn and his clients and others. Most of you already know that Trump’s recent lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen also recorded calls with his client, Donald Trump.
For his part, Roger Stone started working with Trump, in 1999, according to the Netflix documentary “Get Me Roger Stone” and repeated by the Washington Monthly. Stone convinced Pat Buchanan to run for the Reform Party nomination and then used Donald Trump to destroy the Reform Party to protect the GOP.
Readers may note that although Roger Stone has been mentioned numerous times, he has yet to be interviewed by the Mueller investigation for his part in the Russian imbroglio.
It is known that targets of federal investigations seldom know they are being investigated until search warrants are served or they are arrested. It is likely that Roger Stone will be arrested by the time the Mueller investigation is concluded.
Let’s continue down the road of linkages that Manafort leads us to.
In 1980, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone created a lobbying firm known as Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly. The lobbying firm represented despots such as Ferdinand Marcos and well-known GOP candidates; Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
When Ross Perot was screaming about the “sucking sound” that NAFTA would create, he was also complaining about firms like Manafort’s that was “like having Russian spies in the middle of a presidential campaign during the Cold War.”
Perot pointed out that Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly had a $600,000 annual contract with the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) which was an American conservative favorite rebel group opposing Soviet expansion in the 1980’s. Perot also complained of other firm clients like Kenya, Nigeria and the Philippines. The American conservatives supported UNITA, the Afghan mujahideen that evolved into the terrorists that launched the 9/11 attacks and the Nicaraguan Contras that almost caused the impeachment of Ronald Reagan.
The Bill Clinton connection.
In 1996, there was some controversy involving Dick Morris, a Bill Clinton political strategist, and Paul Manafort’s firm. Bill Clinton was angry with Dick Morris after financial disclosure forms showed that Morris was paid $18,500 for sending political consulting business to Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly in 1995. Thus, a key member of Clinton’s inner-sanctum was being paid by Manafort’s team.
Hmm, Hillary Clinton and her battles with Trump come to mind.
But the political incetiousness gets worse.
The “Kelly” in the firm’s name was Peter G. Kelly. Kelly, a founder of Manafort’s firm, worked for Al Gore’s campaign, Bill Clinton and John Kerry. Kelly was also the finance chair for the Democratic National Committee in the early 1980’s.
See how incestuous he whole thing is?
Manafort’s firm is taking money from the two cookie jars in American politics, the Democrats and the Republicans. Do not forget about John Podesta, one of the Clinton’s closest allies. Podesta’s emails figured significantly in the email controversies involving Wikileaks and the 2016 elections.
It was recently revealed that Podesta’s brother, Tony was referred by the Mueller investigators to the Southern District of New York for possible prosecution involving failure to register as foreign agents for their lobbying work. So much for the “witch hunt” of focusing on Trump’s inner circle at the behest of Hillary Clinton.
Now let’s get back to Manafort’s partner, Roger Stone. As discussed earlier, Roger Stone, although a cog in the Russian interference allegations has not being charged or interviewed by the Mueller investigators. Readers may also know that Stone is known for his flamboyance in “trickery” in politics.
As we saw earlier, not only is Roger Stone connected to Paul Manafort, but Stone is also connected to former-Trump attorney, Roy Cohn. There is an allegation that has been making the rounds for several years about a suitcase of cash – $125,000 – that was delivered by Stone, on behalf of Roy Cohn to John Anderson. Anderson was a Liberal Party candidate in New York, and according to the rumor, was paid by Cohn-Stone to run a third-party candidacy to hurt Jimmy Cater and help Ronald Reagan.
Remember the Pat Buchanan saga? I also have questions about Ross Perot’s candidacy which seems to me to have been more about anti-NAFTA rhetoric than a serious run for office.
Whether true or not the allegations of bribing Anderson adds to the pattern of political trickery Stone, Paul Manafort and the others related to Trump seem to relish in. It also shows why it is likely that Roger Stone will be indicted by the Mueller investigation further exposing the dirty politics that were had during the 2016 elections that put Donald Trump into office.
Keep in mind, that as much as I would like for Trump to be indicted by the Mueller investigation, the probe is about uncovering wrong doing in the 2016 elections and not about focusing on Trump – as the “witch hunt” mantra suggests.
The dirty politics are allowed because although most know about it few are held to account.