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paul manafort politics robert mueller Trump

Paul Manafort Agrees To Cooperate With Government, Forfeits Assets Worth Enough To Cover Cost Of Mueller Probe

"He refused to 'break' - make up stories in order to get a 'deal.'"

I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!

— Donald Trump, August 22, 2018

It looks like the President might have to reassess that claim about his one-time campaign chairman, who was convicted last month on eight counts, including five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to file a financial document with the government and two counts of bank fraud.

Manafort was facing a second trial and over the past 48 hours, the rumor mill was alive with reports that he would ultimately plead guilty in order to save himself (and the government) some money, and perhaps curry favor when it comes time for sentencing.

The only question was whether he would cooperate with the government and the answer, apparently, is yes.

At a Friday hearing in Washington, Manafort admitted to some of the crimes he was found guilty of last month, including money laundering to the tune of some $30 million. He will now hand over four properties (a house in the Hamptons, a Manhattan home, a Brooklyn apartment and a place in Virginia). He will also give up any and all money in four bank accounts.

The “best” (scare quotes there for a reason) part of the charging document (embedded below) comes courtesy of the government’s account of how Manafort went about marshaling support for Viktor Yanukovych against Yulia Tymoshenko. Have a gander at this:

BadaBing

Yes, “Bada bing, bada boom”!

And now you’re going to prison.

Womp, womp“.

Guess who published a story based on Manafort’s efforts? Here’s a hint:

breitbart

That, folks, is why you cannot trust alt-Right propaganda sites. That, folks, is what the purportedly “fake” mainstream media is trying desperately to tell you about the likes of Breitbart and its progeny. That, folks, is what “fake news” actually looks like.

But the real kicker from Friday’s hearing in Washington was Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann’s characterization of the plea deal as a “cooperation agreement.”

As Bloomberg notes, “it wasn’t immediately clear the extent of [Manafort’s] assistance, but prosecutors said the dismissal of any remaining charges would wait until his sentencing or successful cooperation.”

Yes, we’ll have to wait and see how “successful” Paul is at “cooperating.”

Now let’s all sit back with the popcorn and wait on the President to launch into an angry Twitter screed.

Oh, and remember how, back on May 20, Trump complained that the “Witch Hunt” was costing America $20 million? Well, as it turns out, Mueller has more than made up for that. Here’s NYMag:

Earlier, the Special Counsel’s office had indicated in a court filing that Manafort had reached a plea deal with Robert Mueller in which he will plead guilty to two criminal counts, allowing him to avoid the trial. The remaining five charges against Manafort will be dropped. He will also forfeit many of his assets as part of the deal, including an apartment in Trump Tower and one in downtown Manhattan; worth about $46 million, they would single-handedly cover the cost of the Mueller investigation.

Nothing further.

Full charging document

Manafort

 

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5 comments on “Paul Manafort Agrees To Cooperate With Government, Forfeits Assets Worth Enough To Cover Cost Of Mueller Probe

  1. Lance Manly

    Yeah, so if he cooperates, he probably gets five years in Club Fed. Now if he doesn’t, then he has to bet whatever his life is left on an egoistical asshole to pardon him, which Trump might not do to save his own skin. Can’t blame Manafort for not trusting the Trump

  2. Wow!

    Yea!

  3. It would be of interest to know whether the agreement is conditioned upon Manafort’s agreement to decline and refuse to accept any presidential pardon on these crimes during the next 10 years. A pardon to be valid must be 1. validly granted and 2. accepted, and the grantee has a right to refuse to accept a pardon. See the unanimous holding of the US Supreme Court in BURDICK v. UNITED STATES (1915) https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3928528117882105076

    • Lance Manly

      Manafort probably knows that the Virginia attorney general would love to pursue charges against him for violating Virginia tax laws since they flow down from US taxes paid. They won’t do it if he is spending time or making deals with the special council. But given a pardon they could go after him and put him in a state pen, which is not nearly as cushy as club fed.

      • He also “knows” that the NYAG poses a greater threat given that NY’s tax evasion statutes pose more serious felony crimes for his tax evasion and other crimes in committed in Manhattan than does VA. Yet, “knowing” the “threat” of state charges is wholly different from knowing that a Federal pardon may not be off the table or is off the table.

        Mueller knows that once he has Manafort’s “cooperation testimony,” in the can – which I’m certain he already has – Manafort is nonetheless subject to the Federal laws of perjury should he receive a pardon. Nonetheless, Mueller having an enforceable agreement preventing Manafort from legally accepting a pardon strikes at the heart of Trump’s pardoning power which serves as his ace-in-the-hole with such witnesses and neuters that aspect of his obstructing Mueller’s investigation.

        Of course, Mueller and his team are more than capable of having thought through a witness agreeing to waive and not accept a pardon. My interest is in knowing how that decision making ultimately panned out.

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