Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti on Friday laid out the legal machinations behind former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller -- and none of it seems like good news for President Donald Trump.
Among other things, Mariotti noted that agreeing to cooperate with investigators in a plea deal means you must tell them everything they want to know -- in other words, Manafort couldn't agree to cooperate in a case against Jared Kushner, but then not cooperate in a case against the president.
More ominously for the White House, Mariotti says that there's no way Mueller would have struck a plea deal with Manafort unless he'd already given him useful information up front before the deal was accepted in court on Friday morning.
"Manafort is not cooperating against one person in particular," Mariotti wrote. "He has agreed to say everything he knows, and in order to receive a deal, he had to already begin doing so. Prosecutors don’t give deals until after the defendant provides useful info."
Mariotti cautioned that Mueller may not have accepted the Manafort plea deal specifically to get to Trump -- although he does say that Manafort will now have to cough up everything he knows about the president if he is asked.
Read the whole thread below.
1/ Today prosecutors with Mueller’s office announced that Manafort’s plea agreement in the D.C. case was a “coopera… https://t.co/iWRLUCiKj4— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1536941572.0
3/ For that reason, Manafort is not cooperating against one person in particular—he has agreed to say everything he… https://t.co/L8F6HuatNg— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1536941785.0
5/ Until we see the plea agreement, we won’t know exactly what Manafort is receiving in return. But aside from bein… https://t.co/yZqBsbrecF— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1536941949.0
7/ Trump recently praised Manafort for refusing to “break.” His reaction to this this deal will be worth watching.… https://t.co/f6pwK03mgI— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1536942328.0
8/ That said, today’s cooperation deal does not necessarily mean that Manafort is getting the deal to flip on Trump… https://t.co/5nfBhbpalf— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti)1536942481.0