Paul Manafort, Robert Muller, Donald Trump discussed on Politics, Policy, Power and Law
ETF Jim, thank you. Greg former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is set to. Go on. Trial tomorrow, in. Virginia on banking and tax fraud charges President Trump was. Sympathetic toward Manafort when speaking with Sean Hannity on Fox News earlier this month Paul Manafort who's who really is a nice man you look at what's going on with him It's like Al Capone. Two thousand and five tax case or case It just a say thing it's a very sad thing for our country to say this joining us is. Robert Mensah former federal prosecutor and a partner at mccarter and English Bob during a. Storm. Of tweets on Sunday Trump went on the offensive against Muller personally he said in part is Robert Muller ever, going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump including. The fact that we had a very nasty and contentious business relationship the only thing we know just a side note about the allegations which, Muller has denied is that at Trump National Golf Club, in Virginia there was a dispute. In fees according to Trump's people but not according to Muller's people so why this pretrial flutter Well it's. Hard to say exactly what's behind the motivation for going after Muller at this point although obviously there's been a steady drumbeat of criticism of, a special prosecutor both by the president and by his, legal team I think one thing. We can say for sure Judge alice Josh and we'll be hearing this case has made clear to both prosecutors and the defense that he is not going to tolerate the injection of any political issues into, this trial and he's not to allow lawyers to stray into areas that he believes could prejudice, the jury, for example he's told the defense today cannot attack the motive. Of prosecutors for bringing. This case. He's admonished prosecutors not to tie this case to Russian collusion because it's really not about Russian collusion and prosecutors in fact have said that they will barely mention the word Russia if they mentioned it at all during, this, trial Bob given what you just said that that this case really isn't. About Russia can you put it in context with the rest of the? Muller probe what difference does this trial make for the purposes of that probe and for, Donald Trump that's a great question greg i mean i think the answer is first of all that manafort supporters what our case has absolutely nothing to do with muller's inquiry and in fact they filed a motion with the court dismissed the case on that very basis saying that the special prosecutor had exceeded his mandate in bringing these charges at the end of the day this case is about money that mr manafort allegedly earned in connection with the work he had done over in politics in ukraine and the government's cases that he failed to disclose many millions of dollars on income taxes and then later committed bank fraud in connection with certain loans the value of the case to the muller investigation is whether or not they can put enough pressure on mr manafort to have him cooperate with them because he did serve as the head of the trump campaign during a key moment during the election And there's no question that Muller and. His team believes that he's got valuable information should they get. Him to agree to cooperate but we already know a lot about what the prosecutors are going to present they have thirty five witnesses at five hundred exhibits do you see any holes in the prosecution's case that manafort's attorneys might be able to use Well so far manafort's defense team has done more of. A job attacking the process rather than the substance of these allegations so as I mentioned a minute ago they attack prosecutors were overstepping their. Bounds by bringing his prosecution in the first, place but they've really not gone after the substance of this case so it's a bit of an open question at this point as to what their, strategy will be it. Would seem that this is a very well documented case based upon the evidence that we've seen so far. That's been released and discovery but obviously at the end of the day prosecutors are. Going to have to prove that Mr. Manafort, intended to invade his taxes and that he's specifically lie to Bank officials in. Getting a loan either specific intent crimes prosecutors intend. To do that through these voluminous records and three the assistance of the testimony of Rick gates Who was matter for its right hand man and he pled guilty last February and is. Now cooperating with the government against his former, boss Bob this is potentially one of two criminal trials against Manafort there's another one in federal court in in DC how would you compare the two, cases is are they. Totally separate is is this one address rehearsal for the second, one how do they interact with each other Well. There is a fair amount of overlap this case as I mentioned is really about tax evasion. And Bank fraud Virginia, case which will start in September after this case is concluded involves thank fraud as. Well, but also involves hidden failing to matter for failing to file f. bars which are declaring money he has earned overseas and failing to. Identify himself as a foreign agent so they are similar but they're different and, one of the real questions is why affords team has elected to try these cases separately prosecutors. Had, no choice but to bring certain charges in Virginia and. Certain charges in the district of Columbia typically defense. Lawyers will want to consolidate those cases as, as I can in? Order, to give the government only one shot at their? Client here we're seeing manafort's team allow The government to go after him twice and there's a question. As to why they're doing that That's always. Been my question but I don't think we have any, answers yet maybe we will later on thanks. So much Bob as always, that's, former federal prosecutor. Robert Menzies.