Just based on what’s publicly available, Special Counsel Robert Mueller already has enough evidence to get Paul Manafort convicted on crimes that’ll send him to prison for life. Yesterday, however, we learned that Mueller has executed fifteen additional warrants on Manafort for more than a hundred thousand pages of financial records. We know that Mueller is thorough, but there’s more to this – and it has everything to do with nailing Donald Trump.
Manafort has signaled that he has no intention of cutting a deal any time soon. He has money, and he believes his high priced lawyers might somehow get him out of this mess. That’s delusional, but it’s nonetheless the stance he’s taking. Mueller may be able to break him in the end, but he won’t be able to get Manafort to cut a deal today or tomorrow. So why bother busting Manafort first, when he wasn’t going to be useful anyway? Because his cooperation isn’t necessary.
Busting Manafort helped spook Michael Flynn into cutting a deal, because Flynn is broke and can’t hire fancy lawyers. He knew he’d be hosed if he and his son got arrested, so he did what he had to do in order to prevent it. But that’s only half the reason Mueller started with Manafort. This latest treasure trove of subpoenaed financial documents reveals how Mueller is truly using Manafort to get to Trump. The two of them have decades of overlapping financial records. Manafort has a residence in Trump Tower. Manafort’s mountain of financial records surely include clues to how to unravel Trump’s own twisted finances.
The deeper Robert Mueller digs into Paul Manafort’s finances, the more he’ll be able to expose Donald Trump’s lifetime of financial crimes. Manafort is unwittingly helping without lifting a finger. And that’s before getting to the fact that Trump has probably been caught on the FISA eavesdropping warrant against Manafort as well.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report