Tuesday, 20 November, 2018


Paul Manafort's scalp is flipping triumph for Team Mueller

Manafort will hand over £35m in cash and property Manafort will hand over £35m in cash and propertyBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
Bennie Garza | 17 September, 2018, 18:56

The verdict also raised immediate questions of whether the president would seek to pardon Manafort, the lone American charged by Mueller to opt for trial instead of co-operate. He imagined Mueller would tell Manafort the same thing he used to tell his own cooperating witnesses: "We can deal with the truth, whatever the truth is".

On Twitter on August 22, Trump wrote: "Unlike, he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal". " Trump declared, it turns out rather prematurely. It's doomed to fail, and it's just the wrong way to go".

We still don't know the answer to that, and we won't for a while (if ever). Manafort's cooperation could mean there are more such cases involving big K Street players.

Mr Trump had praised his stance, suggesting the former aide had been treated worse than Al Capone, the gangster.

Generally, those who plead guilty sit down with prosecutors to detail what they know in a "proffer" session, so the government knows what it will get in the bargain.

Stone never was a formal part of the Trump campaign in 2016, but he is a regular adviser of Trump's and he was in with WikiLeaks, which distributed the embarrassing information about Democrats and other targets of Russian cyberattacks.

Schiff also pointed out that Manafort could conceivably open up about the joint-defence agreement he previously had with Trump, in which the two shared confidential information in a privileged setting. Nowhere does the document exclude the Trump campaign or the president from that cooperation. So Manafort seems to have calculated that since he couldn't count on Trump coming through for him, his only chance to avoid spending the rest of his days behind bars was to talk.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) brought this up Sunday in a way that is worth digesting. "You had your opportunity to come forward and you failed to do that year after year after year".

"[Manafort] knowns he gets a better deal if he can help support the narrative of the prosecutor", he continued.

Schiff has a bias here.

Papadopoulos was the first campaign aide sentenced in Mueller's investigation, and he was also the person who triggered the initial Russian Federation investigation two years ago. But the point he makes is a valid one.

Under the terms of the deal, Manafort was allowed to plead guilty to just two counts, though the crimes he admitted largely overlap with the conduct alleged in an indictment a year ago. "And that may happen [with Trump]".

In that way, Manafort's flip matters both for what he might tell Mueller and the signal it might send to others.

On Sunday, Mr Trump's lawyer Mr Rudy Giuliani tweeted: "Mueller can investigate endlessly and he will find no evidence".

Or could Manafort implicate Donald Trump Jr.?

Central to the government's case were depictions of an opulent lifestyle, including a $15,000 ostrich jacket, luxury suits and elaborate real estate that prosecutors say was funded through offshore wire transfers from shell companies in Cyprus and elsewhere. K.T. McFarland hasn't been in the news for a while, but her problematic testimony is no less problematic today than it was eight months ago.

"The pardon will only - in my view, will only hurt Trump". Or it could be someone completely off the radar.

"I would say there is no prosecutor alive who's more rigorous than Bob", Eisen said, referring to Mueller. And Manafort doesn't know about the inside workings of Trump's property, casinos, and celebrity empire, including taxes paid or not paid, tenants intimidated and contractors bilked.

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