This evening we learned that Paul Manafort has agreed to a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. This means Manafort is seeking the shortest prison sentence possible, which in turn means that he’ll cooperate against Donald Trump whether his plea agreement formally requires it or not. Just as this stunning development was playing out, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani was busy blowing the Manafort thing for Trump.
Yesterday, Rudy Giuliani revealed that all along, Donald Trump and Paul Manafort have had a joint defense agreement in place which allowed them to share confidential information. This isn’t surprising, as Trump had similar deals with other Trump-Russia players before they cut their plea deals. But now that Mueller knows for certain that a deal has been in place between Trump and Manafort, he can immediately go to work on trying to get shared evidence from that agreement thrown out.
To an extent, he may also be able to rely on Manafort to find out specifically what has been shared with Trump’s legal team. Rudy has recklessly handed his team’s playbook to the other team, and it means Robert Mueller’s life may have just gotten a lot easier.
It’s not clear if Rudy Giuliani was confirming this because he was trying to brag about what Trump and Manafort had together, or if he was just trying to impress Donald Trump with his bluster. But either way, this was a big mistake on Rudy’s part. It’s not as big of a deal as the fact that Manafort has cut a deal, but it does add insult to injury on what is turning out to be a horrible day for Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report