Criminal defense attorney explains how Mueller just outsmarted Trump and Rudy Giuliani

Criminal defense attorney explains how Mueller just outsmarted Trump and Rudy Giuliani

Lawyers working for special counsel Robert Mueller told a federal judge Monday that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had "breached the plea agreement" he reached with the government and that the judge should prepare to sentence him.

But on Monday, Mueller's office said in a new court filing that Manafort had breached his plea deal by lying to investigators. Manafort's legal team will have to convince Judge Berman Jackson that Manafort offered an honest effort to comply with Mueller's team just to get a sentence within the original deal's parameters, which is now their best-case scenario.

Manafort pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy and agreed to "broad" cooperation with the special counsel as part of his agreement. The former Trump campaign chairman was present for two key meetings that connect him to Russian interference in the 2016 election and has met with investigators several times to report on his involvement.

As part of his plea deal, Manafort admitted to committing a host of money laundering and foreign lobbying crimes and fraud, giving the federal prosecutors leverage over him.

Manafort has been held in a Virginia jail since June, after he and Kilimnik were accused of attempting to tamper with possible witnesses before his trial.

In some of his strongest language yet against the investigation he has long labelled a "witch hunt, ' the United States president called Mueller "a conflicted prosecutor gone rogue". The white house has continued to highlight the fact that the indictment has nothing to do with Trump himself.

In the same filing, they said that Manafort "believes he has provided truthful information".

Manafort was found guilty in August on eight-counts of tax and bank fraud.

Robert Mueller

His long-standing relationship with an oligarch close to Russian President Vladimir Putin was another reason Manafort's cooperation was seen as important to Mueller's probe.

"On balance, I think this is a much bigger blow to Manafort than the prosecution", Wu said.

The Monday filing also indicated that prosecutors do not consider Manafort a reliable witness.

"It is absolutely not normal for a convicted felon and now cooperator to continue to loop in a potential target's attorneys on the relationship with the prosecutor", said one former DOJ career attorney.

In morning tweets, Trump employed some of his harshest language to date in a continuing attempt to discredit Mueller as he probes possible coordination between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 campaign and whether Trump has obstructed the investigation.

Another Mueller case charged that Russians working for and associated with a St. Petersburg troll farm, the Internet Research Agency, ran a social-media disinformation campaign during the election that was aimed at stoking divisions between USA voters on controversial issues such as immigration, race, and gun control.

Celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has frequently provided Trump with advice, said on ABC News on Sunday that Trump could take a heavy hit when Mueller completes his probe. He faces multiple years in prison.

Though prosecutors can vacate Manafort's plea agreement, they may not want to do that yet because it would result in another lengthy trial.

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