Possible Plea Deal for Paul Manafort
We were all waiting for Paul Manafort to take a plea in his first trial.
I especially believed he would because winning a trial in federal court is not only difficult, but when it is based on money laundering or fraud, the star witness is a paper trail and like I keep saying, paper doesn’t lie.
Paper doesn’t have a political party affiliation. You can’t cross-examine paper. Paper trails make for the best witnesses and that’s why Manafort’s failed defense was he had no clue that any of this was going on.
Manafort proceeded with a trial and lost after being found guilty on eight charges. One charge is enough to put him away forever considering his age.
So, if Manafort proceeded to trial, the only other reasonable option was that he expected a pardon from President Trump who even after Manafort’s conviction, was saying what a great guy Manafort is. A message to Manafort?
However, it seems that now prosecutors and Manafort’s legal team have been negotiating for a plea deal in his second case. Why now?
Let’s say the negotiations fall apart and Manafort proceeds to trial on his second case and gets acquitted of all charges. He’s still in jail for his first trial and no doubt Mueller’s team will ask for the maximum penalties and there is no doubt that Manafort will die in jail.
Is Manafort going to accept a reduced sentence in his second trial? Fine, let’s say for arguments sake that Manafort takes a plea deal where he serves one day in jail for his second case, but because of the first trial, he will still die in prison.
Which leaves only one possible legal conclusion: Manafort will cooperate with Mueller in the second trial to greatly reduce his sentencing in the first trial, but he would have to provide the Holy Grail of information in order for Mueller’s team to consider terminating a prison sentence or reducing it significantly.
Does that mean Manafort will flip on President Trump? Depends on what he knows, but there’s no doubt that if Manafort can secure a deal to his satisfaction, a Presidential pardon would be useless at that point.
The fact is with a conviction in the first trial, Manafort is at a huge disadvantage for negotiations and considering how many plea deals Mueller has already secured without Manafort, it would have to be information Mueller doesn’t have already.
Truly, President Trump should be worried that talks of a plea deal are in the works. Manafort’s trial is scheduled to begin September 7.
Alexander Hernandez, Esq.