What can Manafort tell Mueller? Adam Schiff offers some suggestions

Adjust Comment Print

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department, including in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Suspicion also arose from the fact that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson pushed back the pretrial hearing from Wednesday to Friday with no explanation-I guess now we have our reason.

Manafort, 69, also pleaded guilty to two criminal counts, becoming the most prominent former Trump campaign official to plead guilty in Mueller's investigation.

Jury selection was due to begin on Monday in a second Manafort trial on charges including conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the United States, failing to register as a foreign agent and witness tampering.

He was convicted last month of eight financial crimes in a separate trial in Virginia and faces seven to 10 years in prison in that case.

"Once again an investigation has concluded with a plea having nothing to do with President Trump or the Trump campaign".

More news: Nintendo to sell NES-style Switch wireless controllers to online service subscribers

In this photo taken July 21, 2016, then-Trump Campaign manager Paul Manafort stands between the then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump during a walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

"It's not going to hurt him if he pleads guilty". But Manafort, whom we can safely assume is one of "the young and attractive lives (and others)" the president once lamented were being destroyed by the investigation, can nearly certainly expect to soon be the subject of a presidential tweetstorm that in no way demeans the highest office in the land.

In a statement Friday, the President's attorney Rudy Giuliani reiterated that confidence.

First, Schiff noted, Mueller would likely want to know from Manafort as much as possible about the infamous Trump Tower meeting of June 2016, which Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Manafort attended in the full expectation of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton supplied by the Russian government.

Earlier this year, Manafort derided Gates, his former business partner, for striking a deal with prosecutors that provided him leniency in exchange for testimony against his former partner. It shows that "Manafort has something of value to offer Mueller", tweeted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti.

More news: Rohingya crisis 'could have handled better better'

Both cases brought against Manafort by the special counsel stem from his work in Ukraine.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the Manafort case was unrelated to Trump.

Ahead of the hearing, Mueller's office filed superseding criminal information, which spelled out the two counts to which Manafort has pleaded guilty: conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Gates testified against Manafort in the Virginia trial, saying his former boss had directed him to commit the fraud.

According to the charging document, "Manafort sought to have the (Barack Obama) Administration understand that 'the Jewish community will take this out on Obama on Election Day if he does nothing'".

The jury in that case deadlocked on 10 counts that on Friday were dropped as part of the plea deal.

More news: David Wright Will Return to Mets for One Final Time and Retire

"I had hoped and expected my business colleague would have had the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence", Manafort said in February.

Comments