Manafort's deal with Mueller puts Trump's inner circle in danger

Cristina Cross
September 17, 2018

The agreement makes Manafort the latest associate of Trump, a president known to place a premium on loyalty among subordinates, to admit guilt and work with investigators in hopes of leniency.

"So the George Washington study looked at what happened six months after the fact - and what happens is. you might see more deaths indirectly occur as time goes on because people have heart attacks due to stress, they fall off their house trying to fix the roof, they die in vehicle crashes because they went through an intersection where the stop lights weren't working".

The tweet repeats a claim Giuliani made Saturday about "sources close to Manafort defense" who telling him that the plea deal "does not involve the Trump campaign" that there "was no collusion with Russian Federation".

"This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement.

As Trump associates folded one by one over the a year ago under the pressure of federal investigators, there was always Paul Manafort. Legal analysts say Manafort must have something valuable to share with Mueller's team, which agreed to drop five of the seven charges he faced and potentially urge leniency at his sentencing, if his cooperation is helpful. "It is totally unrelated". He may have information that would help prosecutors bring cases against other figures from that world, and perhaps help American intelligence officials understand it better in ways that assist American national security. "And that may happen [with Trump]". Those included Michael Flynn, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Jeff Sessions.

"The expectations around Manafort's co-operation are likely at a level beyond anyone else to date who has agreed to co-operate", said Jacob Frenkel, a Washington lawyer not involved in the case.

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- He has information about Trump himself.

Manafort was at a key meeting in June 2016, ostensibly to get information damaging to Mr Trump's erstwhile opponent, Mrs Hillary Clinton, which was coming from sources linked to the Russian government. Trump had saluted that stance, publicly praising him and suggesting Manafort had been treated worse than gangster Al Capone.

After Manafort was convicted in the August case, Trump said he had "such respect for a courageous man: because "he refused to "break" - make up stories in order to get a 'deal'".

Right now we have no way of knowing which one of those three possibilities is the right one.

According to Dershowitz, however, Mueller still "has a tremendous advantage" with the plea deal. "When you don't know what a cooperator is saying, then it's a bad day for you because you're vulnerable and exposed". And it isn't done yet.

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