Paul Manafort and Donald Trump just got outfoxed

“President” Donald J. Trump submitted his written responses to Special Counsel Robert Mueller just before Thanksgiving. The Friday before, Mueller had jointly requested, with Paul Manafort, a ten-day extension to update the court on the extent of Manafort’s cooperation. Many people expected additional indictments to come down against various Trump friends and family.

However, on November 26, the end of the ten-day extension, a bit of a surprise twist came out: namely, that Mueller was making allegations that Manafort had not been truthful while cooperating. The filing made on Monday night states: “After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement.”

This filing came on the heels of an announced by Jerome Corsi that he would not accept the plea deal he’s been negotiating with Mueller. Finally, George Papadopoulos was ordered to jail (what he calls a “club”) to begin serving. There are a lot of moving parts taking place today. But there is also much beauty in how Mueller appears to be playing this out.

There is speculation that Manafort’s attorneys might have been promised that a certain person might offer a pardon to Manafort if he just behaves and cooperates. If so, Mueller has outfoxed the target. As noted, Trump made his written submissions last week, while the news was that Manafort was helping out Mueller. If the rumors are true that there is a backchannel promising Manafort a good outcome, and the written responses are aligned with what nonsense Manafort was feeding the Special Counsel’s Office, then the answers will be shown to be lies, that four letter word that keeps coming up around the Trump orbit. And presuming that there is a pardon in Manafort’s future from Trump, that may very well be an additional problem legally for Trump, as it could mean additional count(s) of obstruction – and pardons don’t work that way anyway.

The simplest answer might also be true: white collar criminals who have gotten away with lies for their entire careers have no compass to guide them to truth. But if a Trump casino were still in operation and you could place a bet at it, the smart bet would be that Mueller and his team have outfoxed the targets, and justice will soon prevail