After seeing his failed “Hail Mary” strategy of challenging Mueller’s authority to prosecute him on money laundering charges collapse in court, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will plead guilty, according to a former federal prosecutor.
Nelson W. Cunningham, who worked with current Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the Southern District of New York, writes in Politico that he believes that Manafort will reach a guilty plea agreement because he doesn’t want to expend the rest of his life in prison.
“Once his Hail Mary motions fail, Manafort (and Mueller) will have every incentive to quickly reach a resolution,” he writes. “Manafort, who is 69, does not want to spend the rest of his years in prison.”
The move could prove devastating for President Donald Trump, who is fighting to avoid a sit-down interview with Mueller. If Manafort decides to cooperate, Trump’s legal team will have no choice but to cut a deal with the special counsel’s office to avoid having the president being subpoenaed, Cunningham writes.
“The president’s team truly does not want to receive that subpoena. Witnesses enter the grand jury room alone, without a lawyer, and must answer the prosecutors’ questions unaided,” he writes. “While the president would be free to step outside the room to consult with counsel, it is the nightmare of Trump’s lawyers that they will be outside a room where he is being submitted to determined cross-examination.”
One thing is certain, Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is picking up steam, and we’re in for a hot and rocky summer over the next few months.