Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is already facing a jail sentence. He was found guilty in August of bank and tax fraud. And according to several media reports, he could spend up to ten years in jail. But Manafort is facing two more charges. And now that he is between a rock and hard time, he is willing to plead guilty to avoid another trial, time according to his attorney. According to Reuters, Manafort is willing to cooperate with Mueller’s Russian interference investigation. His attorney said Mr. Manafort is willing to help the Mueller investigation by answering all questions “truthfully.” Manafort also agreed to cooperate “completely, forthrightly, and faithfully.”
According to George Washington University law professor, and former federal prosecutor Randall Eliason, Manafort’s cooperation deal with federal prosecutors could be a major breakthrough in the Mueller investigation. The Manafort deal signals the fact that Mueller values Manafort’s testimony in the Russian investigation.
The reason the Mueller team is quietly jumping up and down with joy over Mueller’s decision to cooperate is, he was one of the main characters in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Russian representatives and Trump’s top campaign officials. Trump’s son, Donald Jr., and his son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended the meeting. According to Donald Jr. and Kushner, they attended the meeting to receive derogatory information about Hillary Clinton.
But according to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lead attorney in the Mueller investigation, Manafort has no information that could hurt the president. The White House put out a statement that reinforces Giuliani’s comments.
But several legal experts believe Manafort’s plea is going to put additional pressure on the president. In fact, Mueller’s cooperation could be the breakthrough the Mueller team needs to put all the pieces of this complex investigation together. After all, Manafort has deep connections with the Russian government, according to several news reports. Other media reports say the Russians didn’t have any dirt on Clinton. Putin doesn’t like Clinton, and he didn’t want her to be president, but he didn’t have any information about her that would change the minds of Clinton supporters.
Legal experts say Manafort’s testimony could be the missing link in the Mueller investigation because his testimony will prompt others who are subjects in the investigation to come clean and tell the truth about Trump’s Russian connections. Some people believe Manafort will be the main flipper in Trump’s herd of flippers.