The President had joint defense agreements in place with former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn and with his fixer Michael Cohen, before those agreements were ended when those Trump allies decided to plead guilty.
Manafort was convicted on eight counts in Virginia, where the case focused on bank fraud and tax fraud allegations, and the jury was hung on 10 other charges. He is reportedly in plea discussions with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team to avoid a second trial in D.C., where he is facing money laundering and failure to disclose foreign lobbying charges. According to ABC News, Manafort has been resisting prosecutors’ desire that a plea deal include cooperation.
Manafort’s attorneys did not respond to TPM’s email seeking confirmation of the joint defense agreement.
This is a straight-up unambiguous quid pro quo: keep your mouth shut about my criminal activities and I’ll pardon you in return. The only remedy for this in our criminal justice system is impeachment and conviction, but Congress is controlled by a political party that is committed to furthering the criminal conspiracy that is the Trump administration, so that isn’t happening.
On a tangential but related note I find this, under the circumstances, rather infuriating:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Wednesday criticized the confirmation proceedings for high court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as “a highly partisan show,” telling a Washington audience that she wished she could “wave a magic wand” and return to the days of a less-polarized process.
In conversation with California Supreme Court Associate Justice Goodwin Liu at a gathering of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Ginsburg said “the way it was was right.” She called today’s process “wrong.”
Ginsburg called her 1993 confirmation process “truly bipartisan,” noting that while her White House handlers fretted about how her 10 years of litigation work for the American Civil Liberties Union would be received, “not a single senator” grilled her about the civil liberties organization. She was confirmed on a 96-3 vote.
“That’s the way it should be instead of what it’s become: a highly partisan show with the Republicans moving lockstep. So do the Democrats,” Ginsburg said from on stage at The George Washington University Law School. “I wish I could wave a magic wand and have it go back to the way it was.”
You want it to be one way. But it’s the other way.