Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Paul Manafort’s Resignation Ushers in More of the Same

Trump on the campaign trail in Charlotte, N.C., 
August 19, 2016. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
This isn’t a campaign — it’s psychotherapy.
Many journalists are frustrated novelists and screenwriters. Others are attracted to literary and cinematic writing for the expanded creative horizons and the possibility of a big payday.
Imagine pitching Trump for President to Miramax. They’d laugh you out of the office: Even for the people who brought you the oeuvre of Quentin Tarantino, From Dusk till Dawn, and Trainspotting, some stories are just too ugly and unlikely.
And, besides, they already put out The Grifters.
Trump has just fired his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who, if recently unearthed documents are to be believed, is in the pocket of pro-Moscow oligarchs in Ukraine. Reports the New York Times: “Handwritten ledgers show $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Mr. Manafort from [former president Viktor] Yanukovych’s pro-Russian political party from 2007 to 2012, according to Ukraine’s newly formed National Anti-Corruption Bureau.” Desks rose a few inches in the oubliettes of the Internal Revenue Service at that news, surely.
There is also a criminal investigation under way regarding an $18 million sale of Ukrainian cable-television operations to “a partnership put together by Mr. Manafort and a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.”
(We must be thankful to the editors of the Times for scrupulously including that middle-initial V, so as not to confuse the Russian president with all those other Vladimir Putins in the news. I am reminded of the Swedish guitarist Yngwie J. Malmsteen.)
Read the rest of Kevin D. Williamson's op-ed HERE.

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