Manafort has flipped! BOOM (the sound of broomsticks breaking the sound barrier crashing to earth - NO witches). The entire Trump family now in jeopardy. No pardon for Paul from Trump. No nice things to say about Mansfort by Rudy. Nightmares at the White House will be unending.— John Dean (@JohnWDean) September 14, 2018
Things just keep getting worse for President Donald Trump.
With many of his former allies, like Michael Cohen, “flipping” on him, Trump has never hidden his disdain for those who side against him but the latest name to be added on that the list of “flips” is a big one and could spell immense trouble for the POTUS.
Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort has reportedly pleaded guilty to two charges as part of a plea deal in which he has agreed to lend his full support to special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russian investigation.
Trump, who has previously lamented “good man” Manafort’s trial, was reportedly looking to pardon his former campaign chair — he even discussed the possibility with his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in early June. However, with report of his deal with the Mueller team, it is highly unlikely the president will now go ahead with it.
While Trump’s former campaign chairman could provide a plethora of information regarding possible Russian interference in the United States — considering his foreign ties — Giuliani played it cool when asked of the damning plea deal. He insisted Manafort’s co-operation with Mueller would not affect Trump in anyway, whatsoever.
“I can guarantee you he has no information harmful to the president,” he told HuffPost. “I know because we have a joint defense agreement. He’s not going to lie to make them happy.”
“This has nothing to do with the president, nothing to do with obstruction, nothing to do with anything that they were charged to go after,” Giuliani added. “They’re obviously winding down.”
The two charges, to which Manafort pleaded guilty, cover various criminal activities.
The first charge is conspiracy against the United States, which covers money laundering, tax fraud, failing to file reports about his foreign bank accounts, failing to register as a foreign agent and lying to the government, while the second charge is conspiracy to obstruct justice.
Before pleading guilty to the aforementioned charges, Manafort was convicted on two counts of bank fraud, five counts of tax fraud and one charge of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts in a separate federal trial.
He still faced an additional 10 charges, which will be dropped as a part of the plea deal.
According to the plea deal, Manafort “shall cooperate fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly with the Government and other law enforcement authorities identified by the Government in any and all matters as to which the Government deems the cooperation relevant.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also echoed Giuliani’s stance on the plea deal, claiming it was “totally unrelated” to the president.
“This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign,” she said.
On the other hand, Manafort will remain in custody and his sentencing date hasn’t been set.
While it’s not clear what information he might have on the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections, he has had close ties with the country and served as Trumps’ campaign manager in crucial part, with many often attributing him with tremendous credit in the POTUS’ victory.
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