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Who’s next after Manafort? Here’s where things stand with other Trump associates facing criminal charges

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- Commentary
The week after being sentenced to almost four years in federal prison on charges of tax and bank fraud, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was sentenced a second time on Wednesday—this time, by Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C. on two other charges: witness tampering and conspiracy against the U.S., both of which he has pled guilty to. The 69-year-old Manafort received an additional 3.5 years and was subsequently indicted on 16 state felonies in New York.

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Because he was facing the possibility of around 20 years in prison when sentenced by Judge T.S. Ellis III last week, Ellis’ sentence was relatively lenient (Manafort was found guilty of eight criminal counts in August 2018, including tax and bank fraud). Even so, receiving another ten years in addition to Ellis’ sentence of almost four years could keep Manafort in prison until he is about 83.

Although Manafort’s legal problems have been receiving a great deal of attention this week, he is by no means the only Trump associate who is facing criminal charges. Veteran journalist Dan Rather has correctly used the phrase “flock of felons” to describe all the Trump associates who have had major legal problems—if not in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, with federal prosecutors for the Southern District of New York.

Here is where things stand, legally, with some other Trump associates who have faced criminal charges.

1. Michael Flynn

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Attorneys for Michael Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser in the Trump Administration, have requested another delay in his sentencing for making false statements to the FBI. Flynn has admitted that in December 2016, he met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia—and that when the FBI questioned him about that meeting, he lied to investigators. Nonetheless, Mueller has described Flynn as a cooperative witness in the Russia investigation and recommended a lenient sentence for him. 

2. Michael Cohen

Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, is due to report to federal prison in May to begin serving a three-year sentence. And in the meantime, he remains a key figure in a variety of Trump-related investigations—from Mueller’s Russia probe to Southern District of New York probes to inquiries by Democrat-led committees in the House of Representatives (including the House Oversight Committee and the House Intelligence Committee). In recent weeks, Cohen has testified at four Trump-related congressional hearings.

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In August 2018, Cohen pled guilty to eight criminal charges, including bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations—before pleading guilty, in November 2018, to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower Moscow in Russia.

3. Roger Stone

Veteran GOP operative and self-described “dirty trickster” and “Nixonite” Roger Stone was arrested by FBI agents on January 25 on charges that include witness tampering, obstruction of justice and making false statements. The 66-year-old Stone has pled not guilty to all of the charges and denied that in 2016, he collaborated with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in order to help the Trump campaign and discredit Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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In 2016, a hacker stole the e-mails of John Podesta (Clinton’s campaign manager) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and gave them to WikiLeaks, which published them online. Mueller’s team suspects that Stone had prior knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to publish the stolen DNC e-mails and that the hacker, who went by Guccifer 2.0, is a Russian intelligence official based in Moscow—although Stone has claimed there is no proof that Guccifer is Russian.

4. George Papadopoulos

George Papadopoulos is one Trump associate who need not worry about how much time he will be spending behind bars in 2019: the former foreign policy advisor for Trump’s 2016 campaign has already served his time. In October 2017, Papadopoulos pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI about his communications with agents of the Russian government during Trump’s campaign. But the Chicago native agreed to fully cooperate with Mueller’s office, which recommended a lenient sentence—and in November/December 2018, he served 12 days on a two-week sentence. Papadopoulos is presently on supervised release.


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