The guilty plea and cooperation agreement by former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is bad news for Republican operative Roger Stone, The Atlantic magazine’s Frankline Foer explained on Friday.
Manafort’s cooperation could help answer a half dozen of “the biggest mysteries of the Russia investigation,” Foer wrote.
“What kind of threat does Paul Manafort now pose to Donald Trump? Robert Mueller’s indictment of the fallen lobbyist is a masterful portrait of a craven man and his methods,” he wrote. “But the chronology contained in the document filed this morning takes us right up to the eve of Manafort joining the Trump campaign, and then leaves the reader bursting with curiosity about what comes next.”
Foer believes Manafort will help special prosecutor Robert Mueller understand the Trump campaign connection to Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska along with the role of Konstantin Kilimnik, who is reportedly connected to Russian intelligence. Other unanswered questions include Manafort’s loans, the infamous June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, and the overall pattern of unscrupulous conduct.
Roger Stone’s role is another of the “unresolved threads of the tale.”
“Manafort might be able to fill whatever missing blanks exist in that case. Manafort’s friendship with Stone traces back to the 1970s, when Manafort managed Stone’s campaign to run the Young Republicans group,” he wrote. “During the eighties, they became business partners and created a legendary consulting firm together.”
“If Mueller does intend to pursue a case against Stone, he suddenly has his oldest confidant as a cooperating witness,” Foer added.
Read the full analysis.