October 30, 2017 Last Updated 8:32 am

First charges filed in Mueller probe against Manafort; Spanish prosecutor to file charges against Catalan officials for ‘rebellion’

Morning Brief: Another independence movement, that of the Iraqi Kurds, looks to be crumbling as the Kurdish president Massoud Barzani resigned today, blaming ‘treason by fellow Kurds and the fickleness of his American allies’ for the failure of the movement

There will be charges but no arrests. Now which constitutional crisis are we talking about, right?

We began the new work week wondering what will happen in the Mueller investigation, with the report from CNN over the weekend claiming that charges have been filed, and an arrest was to happen on Monday. But, it turns out, no arrest will becoming. Instead, Paul Manafort and a former business associate Rick Gates are being asked to voluntarily surrender this morning.

In Catalunya, there is confirmation that the general prosecutor of the State, José Manuel Maza, is filing charges of rebellion against Catalan government officials, but no arrests are to happen there, either. At least for now.

The New York Times, Matt Appuzo:

Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Indicted on Money Laundering and Tax Charges

Paul Manafort and his former business associate Rick Gates were told to surrender to federal authorities Monday morning, the first charges in a special counsel investigation, according to a person involved in the case…

…Mr. Gates is a longtime protégé and junior partner of Mr. Manafort. His name appears on documents linked to companies that Mr. Manafort’s firm set up in Cyprus to receive payments from politicians and businesspeople in Eastern Europe, records reviewed by The New York Times show.

The Washington Post, Rosalind S. Helderman and Matt Zapotosky:

Manafort surrenders to FBI in Mueller probe

Prosecutors have been probing Manafort’s work as a political consultant in Ukraine, where he advised a Russia-friendly political party for years before his work with Trump. They have also been examining Manafort’s personal finances, and exploring possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, possible failure to register foreign bank accounts and related tax violations, according to a person familiar with the case.

While Mueller’s probe has focused acutely on Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, investigators have shown interest in a broad array of other topics.



While no one expects Paul Manafort to resist arrest and urge resistance to Robert Mueller’s charges, the same might nt be true in Spain, where Catalan officials are about to be charged with rebellion, and could resist calls for their arrest and efforts to take over the Catalan government by Spanish authorities.

But so far this Monday, reports are that people reported to work as usual and no signs of the police or armed forces are seen yet in the streets of Barcelona. Instead, it is quite possible that the movement for independence will simply melt away in the face of Spanish government opposition and the lack of support being seen from the rest of Europe. Or… we may see resistance.

We begin expecting to see what phase two of Catalan independence will look like.

ARA, Ot Serra:

Maza files lawsuit for rebellion against the entire government and members of parliament, but there will be no arrests

The crime attributed to them involves a “public uprising and violence” with the aim of “repealing, suspending or modifying the Constitution in whole or in part,” or “declaring the independence of a part of the national territory”. According to the general prosecutor of the State, Puigdemont and the rest of the defendants, who have not used violence, have “induced” such acts to take place, which is why they justify their request. According to his point of view, at the concentration of September 20 on Rambla Catalunya there was violence and all those leaders are responsible.

Catalan News, ACN:

Public prosecutor expected to file rebellion charges against Puigdemont

The Catalan executive members are expected to go back to work on Monday in a day of uncertainty after the Spanish government triggered Article 155 of the Constitution and moved to suspend self-rule and seize control of the government in Barcelona. Some Catalan officials turned up to work while others obeyed and resigned from their posts.

The Spanish government has ordered the Catalan police to escort Catalan ministers to their offices in order to remove their belongings. If they fail to do so, police officers have been instructed to report them.



Another independence movement appears to be crumbing today.

A week before the Catalan referendum, Kurds in Iraq voted for independence from Iraq. That vote also did not receive outside support, and the subsequent response from Iraq has led to a loss of autonomy, just as it might in Catalunya.

Today, the leader of the Iraqi Kurds, Massoud Barzani, resigned.

The New York Times, Margaret Corker:

Kurdish Leader Quits, Latest Fallout From Much-Criticized Independence Vote

The man who led an independence push for the Kurdish region of Iraq for more than a decade announced on Sunday that he would quit as president. The move is the latest fallout from an independence vote that many Iraqi Kurdish leaders now see as a catastrophic blunder costing them their economic and political self-reliance.

Massoud Barzani, the region’s president since 2005, made the announcement in a bitter speech, his first public response to the sustained retaliation from the Baghdad government after the Sept. 25 referendum.

Mr. Barzani did not apologize for the vote, which was opposed by Washington and most international leaders. He blamed what he called treason by fellow Kurds and the fickleness of his American allies who helped train and equip his security forces for the downturn of Kurdish fortunes. He said that despite leaving the presidency, he was not resigning from politics, and he vowed to stay active in pushing for Kurdish statehood.

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