In an op-ed for the New York Times, President Barack Obama's former ethics czar Norm Eisen predicted what's next for Paul Manafort now that he's "surrendered" to Robert Mueller.
Practicing lawyers have "long predicted" Manafort would capitulate to the special counsel, Eisen wrote in the editorial co-written by Noah Bookbinder and Barry Berke, his colleagues at the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
"His surrender is complete," the CREW lawyers wrote. "We will soon see what it means for the president."
The writers, like other pundits, pointed out that Manafort's plea deal and cooperation with Mueller is an "enormous pivot" from his former strategies — "trying to persuade a jury to ignore the strong evidence against him based on personal sympathies or, if that failed, to obtain a pardon from President Trump."
The former Trump campaign chairman "now has the ability to trade all of the valuable information he has regarding the president and those close to him for a significantly reduced prison sentence" — and is also the first person who attended the infamous Trump Tower meeting in 2016 to flip on Donald Trump.
"Mysteries around that meeting abound," Eisen and company wrote. "They include whether then-candidate Trump knew about the meeting in advance and why Mr. Trump announced after the meeting had been scheduled that he would soon be giving a major speech on 'the things that have taken place with the Clintons.'"
"Now that Mr. Manafort is cooperating," they added, "we may soon have answers."
Along with the Trump Tower meeting, Manafort "may also be able to shed light on other episodes during his tenure at the helm of the Trump campaign."
"Those include the 80-plus contacts between the campaign and other associates and Russia-linked individuals; the campaign’s possible collaboration with WikiLeaks; and the amendment of the Republican National Committee platform on arming Ukraine," the CREW team wrote.
Read the entire analysis via the Times.