Paul Manafort and Donald Trump have a business and personal bond. Even the threat of jail won’t break those bonds, according to Robert Mueller. Let’s face it. Manafort knows how to do business with the Russians. He built his fortune on his ability to color outside of the lines of international law. And Trump was one of his international business protégés back in the days when Manafort hung around Ronald Reagan. Trump would never admit he copied a few pages from the Manafort down and dirty-dealing handbook. But some people close to Trump’s quest to be the next president say that’s exactly what he did.
Manafort attended the famous Trump Tower meeting with Don Jr. and Jeff Sessions during the campaign. They didn’t know the meeting would turn into a smoking gun for the Mueller Russian collusion investigation, but it has. Don Jr. knew the meeting could be a disaster if anyone found out what the meeting was all about. Don Jr. may have called his father right before the meeting, according to some new reports, but Don Jr. blocked the number he called. The Democrats believe Donald Trump sent Don Jr. and Manafort to the meeting to make sure the Russians had Trump’s back. And according to Mueller’s investigation, the Russians didn’t disappoint them.
It wasn’t too hard for the Mueller team to discover Manafort wasn’t paying taxes and breaking other laws while he lived like royalty. Manafort was the first Trumpian to feel Mueller’s legal wrath. Paul said he would cooperate with the investigation after a jury found him guilty. But Manafort changed his mind. He lied to Mueller about his interaction with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, according to a Mueller leak. And according to the Guardian, Manafort met with Assange right about the time Trump asked him to be his campaign manager.
Mr. Manafort represents a big piece of the Mueller investigation puzzle. Not that Manafort decided to lie instead of working with Mueller more investigation details may come out in court when Mueller asks the judge to speed up Manafort’s sentencing hearing. Mueller will have to tell the court why he wants Manafort to go to jail now, according to a Washington Post article. Trump knows Mueller has enough information about his connection to the alleged Russian interference to make his life miserable in 2019. That’s why some news reports still say Trump might pardon Manafort. Trump’s keeping quiet about a pardon. He’s busy telling government climate change researchers their report isn’t believable.