Robert Mueller thought Paul Manafort pleading guilty was the final piece to his case against Donald Trump.
Everyone thought Manafort – because of his business ties to Russia – could prove Trump colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election.
But then Mueller got this nasty surprise.
Muller’s team is complaining that Manafort is being a cooperative witness.
Critics believe what Mueller’s prosecutors really mean is Manafort is refusing to lie about Trump.
ABC News reports:
Talks between Special Counsel Robert Mueller and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort have grown increasingly tense over Manafort’s apparent lack of cooperation with the investigation, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
Prosecutors from Mueller’s office have been asking Manafort about a wide range of topics in nearly a dozen meetings since Manafort agreed to cooperate in September, sources said, but the Mueller team is “not getting what they want,” said one source with knowledge of the discussions.
The consequences of failing to fully cooperate could be dire when it comes time for Manafort to be sentenced.
“Should it be judged…that the defendant has failed to cooperate fully, has intentionally given false, misleading or incomplete information or testimony…the defendant will not be released from his pleas of guilty but the Government will be released from its obligations…” his plea agreement reads.
When prosecutors force a defendant to plead guilty, a defendant will sometimes tell the prosecutor whatever it is they want to hear.
Mueller clearly expected Manafort to give false testimony about Trump and the Russians.
That does not appear to be the case. And this could be Mueller’s last chance to frame Trump.
We will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.