Paul Manafort made millions as a Washington lobbyist. Manafort lobbied for a Ukraine political party who has close ties with the Russian government. Mr. Manafort and Donald Trump’s relationship is still somewhat of a mystery before the 2016 campaign got underway. But according to several news reports, the sixty-nine-year-old Manafort was Trump’s ace in the hole when it came to allegedly working a deal that involved Paul’s Ukraine connections and Russia.
Thanks to the Mueller investigation, Manafort is guilty of eight felonies. He could face up to 24 years in prison if the judge feels his crimes deserve that amount of punishment. Mr. Trump didn’t rule out pardoning Manafort when the judge reveals Paul’s sentence. In fact, some Democrats and the prosecutors in New York believe Mr. Trump will pardon Manafort. Trump claims Mueller’s treatment of Manafort was unjust.
New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. expects Trump to pardon Manafort. Vance has enough evidence to charge Manafort with tax violations as well as other issues that don’t conflict with the double-jeopardy law. But finding evidence that avoids the double-jeopardy law is Vance’s biggest challenge. But according to Bloomberg, Mr. Vance and his New York investigators are pros when it comes to digging up the illegal dirt. The Vance team started investigating Mr. Manafort in 2017.
Vance can’t revisit Manafort’s failure to report foreign bank accounts or his failure to register as an agent for a foreign government, as well as filing phony tax returns and bank fraud. Mueller’s indictments covered those illegal activities. But Mr. Vance can charge Manafort with New York state tax evasion. And Manafort can also face charges that include not keeping accurate company records and books for years after Trump pardons him, according to a Bloomberg article.
Manafort violated the law to secure bank loans, according to Vance’s office. If Trump pardon’s Manafort and Vance steps in and wins his case against Mr. Manafort, Paul would spend time in the prisons no felon wants to see, according to the Bloomberg article.
Some Washington insiders say a Trump pardon is a big political risk. But according to former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, pardon papers exist. But Whitaker didn’t say if Trump would use them on Manafort when Congresswoman Veronica Escobar asked him about the existence of pardon papers. Whitaker answered that question when he sat before a Congressional committee and acted like a true Trumpian, according to the Democrats on the committee.