NBC News national security analyst Frank Figliuzzi and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on Thursday reached the same conclusion about the “significance” of new charges filed against former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates.
Special counsel Robert Mueller unveiled “superseding indictments” against Manafort and Gates, which totaled 32 counts against the former Trump campaign aides—including charges of tax and bank fraud.
“The continued charges on Gates tell us that he’s not yet committed to cooperating and many of us thought he was on the cusp of cooperating,” Figliuzzi told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace. “That clearly is not happening. His defense is in chaos right now. His attorneys, as you know, have pulled away from him, asked to be taken off the case. He hasn’t signed up a new attorney yet.”
“With regard to Manafort, look, this is all about having Manafort flip on Trump,” Figliuzzi continued. “It’s all about showing the Russia connection. Manafort has that kind of information available. He’s not flipped yet. He’s not cooperating. And I’ll tell you what, if he doesn’t do it with these new tax charges, you’re looking at Manafort literally dying in federal prison based on the tax charges are horrific in terms of the gravity of it, the time you’ll spend in prison.”
And this takes awhile—to get the IRS to sign off on federal tax charges, you’ve got to really make your case and mueller has clearly made it here,” he added.
Figliuzzi went on to describe Mueller’s team as a “dream team,” repeating “Manafort is about getting to the Russian collusion with Trump.”
“And until Manafort gives it up, this case is not going to be over yet, and it’s a domino effect, right?” Figliuzzi said. “You get Gates, Gates flips on Manafort, you get Manafort, Manafort flips on Trump. And you’ll understand the inner workings of how the Russians were working the campaign. That’s what this is about. You’ll continue to see charges until there aren’t any left to charge on Manafort and Gates, and eventually one of them or both of them is going to break and cooperate or, as I’ve said, die in federal prison.”
Over on CNN, Toobin echoed a similar statement.
“If he’s convicted after trial … he is going to die in prison,” Toobin said later adding “the stakes couldn’t be any higher.”
MSNBC’s Frank Figliuzzi:
CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin: