Lying has become a growth industry as the Robert S. Mueller Russia probe continues to investigate person after person in a difficult quest for some truths.
The Los Angeles Times, on Monday, published a stack of seven photos that identified that many men accused of prevarication during Mueller’s protracted investigation into illicit contacts between Americans and Russians.
Chris Megerian provided an in-depth story about the crowd of liars.
Here’s the rundown on the men in the photos:
• Michael Cohen, who served as President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer, pleaded guilty last week to lying to Congress.
• Richard Gates, Trump’s former deputy campaign chairman, pleaded guilty in February, to lying.
• Jerome Corsi, who spread the lie that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States, may be a Mueller target.
• Alex Van Der Zwann pleaded guilty to lying about his communications with a Russian agent.
• Paul Manafort, convicted of lying to the Internal Revenue Service and banks, now is accused of lying to investigators.
• George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI. He entered prison last week.
• Michael Flynn, former national security advisor, faces sentencing on Dec. 18 for lying to authorities.
Megerian wrote that after lying to the IRS to avoid paying taxes and lying to banks to obtain fraudulent mortgages, Paul Manafort was convicted in August — and then pledged to tell the truth as part of a plea deal to avert a second trial.
Prosecutors say that Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, lied about that too — and they told a federal judge, Nov. 30, they may file new charges against him.
A day earlier, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about seeking a Moscow real estate deal.
Harry Litman, a University of California law professor and former federal prosecutor, said, “It’s like an organized crime consortium where everyone is lying and obfuscating, except it’s an investigation of the president of the United States and his campaign. It’s such a hall of mirrors.”
The Washington Post said Trump has made more than 6,400 false or misleading statements publicly, since taking office and averaged 30 a day in the weeks before the Nov. 6 midterm election.
The Mueller probe, which has led to charges against 33 people so far, including Manafort and Cohen, has loaded prosecutors with huge files of falsehoods.
Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor, was the first to lose his freedom. He pleaded guilty in October 2017 to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with a Maltese professor who told him that Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, that included “thousands of emails.” He entered prison last week to serve a two-week term.
Sometimes, getting caught hasn’t chastened liars in the Russia investigation. When Papadopoulos was sentenced in September, the federal judge said he sensed “genuine remorse” from the defendant.
Papadopoulos, however, cast aspersions on the Mueller probe and accused officials of entrapping him.
He Tweeted his “Biggest regret? Pleading guilty.”
The longtime legal oath to “Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” seems to no longer be in vogue.