Former Trump 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort is now facing decades behind bars and his patron, President Donald Trump could be closer to impeachment than ever before as a result of Manafort invalidating his plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
But according to former U.S. Attorney for the Northern district of Alabama Joyce Vance, whatever Manafort and Trump thought they were doing, their plan backfired, and now both are in even greater legal jeopardy.
During an appearance on MSNBC Thursday morning, Vance noted:
“None of those conversations that happened after Manafort signed his plea deal are covered by the attorney-client privilege. The White House, as well as Manafort, and any other cooperators that were talking with the president could be examined by Mueller about those conversations.”
And, Vance added, Trump’s comments that he might pardon Manafort can be seen as witness tampering. Also, Trump cannot pardon Manafort on the charges he faces in the state of New York.
Even worse for the president, Vance explained, is that Mueller likely knows everything Manafort and Trump were trying to hide from the special counsel:
“They knew the answers to the questions that they were asking Manafort, if they’re able to prove that he was lying. So essentially, they were going at Manafort to see what additional details he could provide, whether he could confirm certain instances, and it may be that the actual value of Manafort’s cooperation is that they’ve seen where the pressure points are.
“They’ve now learned about the cooperation that was going on with the White House, and it may help them uncover more than it costs them at the end of day because they, of course, have Rick Gates, Manafort’s deputy, cooperating and a number of other people. I’m not certain this is a problem for the special counsel at the end of the day.”
So while Manafort and Trump thought they were outfoxing Mueller, it turns out the the special counsel is about to get the last laugh on both of them.
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