Vox Sentences: Did MBS do it?

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In other news: Paul Manafort is back in the news in connection with both Robert Mueller and Julian Assange; Argentine prosecutors consider charges against the Saudi crown prince ahead of the G20 summit.


Hold the Manafort

Paul Manafort Arraigned On New Charges Of Witness TamperingMark Wilson/Getty Images
  • In a Monday court filing, special counsel Robert Mueller accused former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort of breaching his plea agreement by lying on a “variety of subject matters.” [Vox / Andrew Prokop]
  • Manafort, who had entered a plea deal after being convicted on eight counts of bank fraud in a separate trial in August, agreed to cooperate with the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The filing did not include details on what the alleged lies were. [BBC]
  • President Trump went on social media to protest Mueller and his “gang of Angry Dems,” repeating his standard line that the probe is nothing more than a “Phony Witch Hunt.” However, he made no mention of Manafort and the alleged lies in a series of tweets. [Twitter / Donald J. Trump]
  • Manafort could now face harsher sentencing or be convicted on more criminal charges. The publication of the court filing does suggest, though, that Trump could once again see his former employee as an ally — and as antagonist of Mueller — and could decide to pardon him. [CNN / Katelyn Polantz]
  • A day after news of the filing broke, the Guardian published a piece reporting that Manafort held secret talks with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the latter has taken refuge, three times before the 2016 election. [Guardian / Luke Harding and Dan Collyns]
  • A few months after their last alleged meeting in the spring of 2016, WikiLeaks published emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton stolen by Russian spies. [Washington Post / Philip Bump]
  • WikiLeaks published a series of tweets calling the piece’s writers “serial fabricator[s]” and said it was willing to bet $1 million and “its editor’s head” that Manafort never met with Assange. Manafort also refuted the claims in the Guardian story through a spokesperson, calling them “totally false” and “deliberately libelous.” The Guardian has so far stood by its reporting. [Twitter / WikiLeaks]

Will MBS take the hit?

  • Argentine prosecutors are considering filing criminal charges against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto ruler, over allegations of war crimes during a Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen and his alleged involvement in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October. [NYT / Daniel Politi and David D. Kirkpatrick]
  • The team is examining the charges ahead of the G20 summit, an international meeting among world leaders that will take place in Buenos Aires at the end of the week. [USA Today / Kim Hjelmgaard]
  • Both MBS and President Trump are planning to attend the summit. This is the first time the two men might meet since the CIA concluded that MBS was responsible for Khashoggi’s murder and dismemberment, which MBS has repeatedly denied. [Washington Post / Shane Harris, Greg Miller, and Josh Dawsey]
  • At G20, Trump is also set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and possibly revive the two nations’ broken ties, as the leaders are in disagreement over their relations to North Korea. [South China Morning Post / Lee Jeong-ho]

Miscellaneous

  • More than 1,000 Google employees signed an open letter protesting a project that would build a censored search engine for the Chinese market. [The Verge / Adi Robertson]
  • Houston residents who benefited from a malfunctioning Bank of America ATM, which mistakenly dispensed $100 bills instead of $10 ones, don’t have to return the additional money, according to the company. [Twitter Moments]
  • Knickers, an Australian steer, is gaining worldwide fame for being nearly as tall as former NBA star Michael Jordan and too wide to fit inside the slaughterhouse. [Perth Now / Liam Croy]
  • Why buy an Eiffel Tower keychain souvenir when you can have an actual piece of the landmark at home? According to CNN, a 25-step section of the original 1889 helix staircase in the tower is going up for auction and could sell for as much as $60,000. [CNN / Francesca Street]

Verbatim

“I shouldn’t say this. You’ll say I’m very conceited, ’cause I’m not. But other than the blonde hair, when I was growing up, they said I looked like Elvis. You see that? Can you believe that?” [President Trump’s remarks at a Mississippi rally ahead of the Senate runoff election / CNN]


Watch this: Why Colombia has taken in 1 million Venezuelans

Johnny Harris & Christina Thornell/Vox

The border of unity. [YouTube / Johnny Harris and Christina Thornell]


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