Special counsel Robert Mueller left out one key charge of lying by Paul Manafort — which directly involves President Donald Trump.
Former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne explained the legal dynamics of the revelation during a Saturday appearance on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” with guest host Jonathan Capehart.
Capehart read the defense to the Manafort filings offered by the White House.
“The government’s filing in Mr. Manafort’s case says nothing about the president. It says even less about collusion and is devoted almost entirely to lobbying-related issues. Once again the media is trying to create a story where there isn’t one,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders argued.
“Cynthia, there’s a story here, isn’t there?” Capehart asked.
“I believe there’s a rather large story here,” she replied.
“The document is interesting, because it’s, of course, not complete. It says right in the first paragraph all the good stuff is being filed under seal,” Alksne replied. “So the reason why Sarah Huckabee Sanders doesn’t get to read it is because Bob Mueller is not ready to give it to her.”
“There are also other things are missing here that might not be under seal. For example, there was a whole issue with Manafort double-dealing and spying and violating joint defense agreements — it’s just not mentioned here,” she noted.
“That was a big deal when it was revealed that he was back-channeling to the White House,” Capehart reminded. “Explain the significance of that.”
“Double dealing — being a fink and a spy,” she argued. “It’s very bad to be a fink and a spy.”
“What’s interesting about it is when did the Mueller people find out? And if they found out in time, did they do anything about it?” she asked. “Since they knew he was feeding information to other people, did they feed him some information that affected Trump’s answers to his questions?”
“How exactly did that work?” Alksne wondered. “It’s just a big gaping hole here — and it’s fascinating.”