Donald Trump praised his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, like a mob boss for refusing to back down during his legal fight over charges of tax and bank fraud, saying what a great man he was for not ratting out other criminals such as himself the way that Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, decided to do. He may very well be eating those words soon.
Looking back on history, who was treated worse, Alfonse Capone, legendary mob boss, killer and “Public Enemy Number One,” or Paul Manafort, political operative & Reagan/Dole darling, now serving solitary confinement – although convicted of nothing? Where is the Russian Collusion?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
On a second attempt to reach a plea agreement ahead of a second trial after being found guilty on eight counts during his first, Manafort’s attorneys have reportedly reached a “tentative plea agreement” with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
BREAKING – Tentative deal reached – Manafort and Mueller. Deal expected to be announced in court Friday- remains unclear whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate w/ prosecutors or simply conceding to a guilty plea.. @KFaulders @caphilltrish @mattmosk & me https://t.co/2TSS6EY2qd
— John Santucci (@Santucci) September 13, 2018
ABC News reports that:
‘The deal is expected to be announced in court Friday, but it remains unclear whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors or is simply conceding to a guilty plea, which would allow him to avoid the stress and expense of trial, according to three sources with knowledge of the discussions.’
The second trial, during which Manafort would face charges of “conspiracy to launder money, witness tampering, lying to the Justice Department and acting as an unregistered foreign agent,” could have proven much more disastrous than the first. Not only do those charges carry heavier sentences, Mueller had a significantly larger amount of proof than he did in the first.
This tentative guilty plea deal for Paul Manafort, if accurate, confirms again the following:
MOST SUCCESSFUL WITCH HUNT IN US HISTORY https://t.co/rjoNayAVrj
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) September 13, 2018
Manafort’s legal problems may not end with a guilty plea on these charges, however. During his first trial, ten charges remained undecided by a jury, and prosecutors could take those charges forward into yet another trial. If Manafort isn’t flipping, he’s either facing a very long combined prison sentence for each of those charges he has been convicted of and may plead guilty to, or he has the threat of yet another trial and another decision about plea agreements to make.