As President Donald Trump heads overseas he leaves behind him multiple investigations into former aides and business partners that may be deep into negotiations for plea deals in return for testimony against the president which could lead to either resignation or impeachment.
According to AlterNet, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort have strong cases against them that could result in federal indictments which would make them open to a plea bargain.
“It’s a more than reasonable question, whether Paul Manafort, who was on Moscow’s payroll and that of the pro-Moscow Ukrainian government before it was overthrown, is cooperating with federal investigators,” explained Trump biographer David Cay Johnston. “Because he has not registered as a foreign agent, a law that has incredibly tough tools that could strip him of every dollar he has—as well as prison. And it’s significant that Michael Flynn has asked for immunity in return for telling his story.”
Saying, “A lot of stuff could have already happened,” public defender Miles Gerety — who has an extensive background in negotiating pleas deals with federal prosecutors — said, “They could already have a plea.”
Gerety added that Flynn’s request for immunity from Congress in return for his testimony — which was rejected — likely put his attorneys in the unenviable position of looking for a federal plea deal before an indictment is handed down.
“What did Flynn’s lawyers do after Congress dismissed his offer?” Gerety asked. “You try to lock it up. You try to beat an indictment. You do a proffer agreement. You do that to minimize your client’s exposure. You try to get a 5K letter [from prosecutors] for meaningful cooperation. Any lawyer will do this.”
“You pass around an agreement [describing what you will tell the government],” Gerety continued. “You sign in exchange for a lesser charge. Your deal is off if you lie. They decide if you are lying. You better be ready to spill your guts. Then they start asking questions. You are shocked by what they know. They know a lot.”
According to former corporate attorney James Henry, who has been following ex-FBI director James Comey’s public testimony, there is much to indicate that grand juries are actively looking into Flynn, Manafort and other confederates of Trump.
“Comey testified a lot,” Henry explained. “He mentioned in response to the senator from Hawaii that he was in touch with two prosecutorial units, one was in the FBI, internal security. They don’t have the power to empanel a grand jury directly. They need to work through a U.S. attorney. And he reported that he was in touch with the U.S. prosecutor in the Eastern District of Virginia.”
According to Trump biographer Johnston, Manafort is likely already talking because the case against him is so strong.
“Under the Foreign Agents Registration Act will see if the government wants to go after you, they can strip you naked,” Johnston stated. “If you think about it, the underlying theory is if you are trouble to the government under the FARA, you are a traitor or you’re an enemy of the state. They can take every dollar they can show Manafort got, even if he gave it to his children.”