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“Trump Closer Than Ever to Impeachment”, Paul Manafort Holds The Cards, Says Attorney

According to sources close to the White House, popular vote loser Donald Trump has admitted to friends that he’d be in trouble if former advisor Paul Manafort flipped on him.

Despite Trump thinks that he will “defeat” Mueller in the end, and beat any charges that may be brought against him, the reality of Trump being in trouble with a Manafort flip became a lot more likely this week.

The NBC News report says: “Donald Trump is telling friends and aides in private that things are going great — for him.”

“Some reasons: He’s decided that a key witness in the Russia probe, Paul Manafort, isn’t going to “flip” and sell him out, friends and aides say. He believes Robert Mueller, who heads the investigation, can be crushed, if necessary, without being fired. Sweeping tax and regulatory cuts will juice the economy and get him re-elected in 2020, he is predicting. He thinks he’s learned how to handle the dysfunction of Congress. And he’s even come to like the White House, the bad plumbing and drafty halls notwithstanding. “I love this place!” he told one friend.”

Did you you notice the keyword in the previous paragraph? “Flip”…that’s the word Trump used, according to friends and aides.

Seth Abramson – Attorney, Professor, and Journalist – points out in his Twitter thread:

2/ Three weeks ago, NBC all but reported that Trump has incriminated himself in private calls to friends. I’ve no idea why this reporting didn’t become major national news—frankly, I expect whoever dimed him out thought it would be. And it still should be. (NBC News Story)

3/ In common and legal parlance, to “flip” on someone is to agree to testify against them in a criminal case. A current defendant like Paul Manafort would only flip on someone if they had sufficient incriminating evidence to offer their prosecutor that they could cut a plea deal.

4/ So when NBC reported—3 weeks ago—that “Trump is telling friends and aides in private that things are going great for him [because] he’s decided a key witness in the Russia probe, Paul Manafort, isn’t going to flip and sell him out,” they were saying he’s incriminated himself.

5/ NBC put the word “flip” in quotes—meaning Trump confidants say that’s the word he’s using. That’s not a word Trump or anyone would use for the only other possible fear that Trump could have been referring to with Paul Manafort—that Manafort will make up an incriminating story.

6/ While one could use a phrase like “stab me in the back” to describe a criminal defendant who makes up a story about someone else to save themselves, to “flip” is to make a “proffer” to the prosecutor to the effect that you can offer evidence to incriminate and convict another.

7/ Keep in mind two things about Trump and Manafort: 1. They knew each other for years before Trump made Manafort his Campaign Manager. (They lived in the same building—Trump Tower—for years.) 2. The two kept speaking by phone for at least six months after Trump fired Manafort.

8/ Let’s focus on the second item. It means Trump kept up a clandestine relationship with Manafort for half a year after he publicly disavowed him. It also means that he was speaking to Manafort long after it had become clear that Manafort would be a witness in the Mueller probe.

9/ Indeed, because Manafort worked for Trump for six months (not the three Trump claims) for *free*, it’s not at all clear that his role in Trump’s life changed much after he was fired in late summer 2016: he was an unpaid advisor to Trump both before and after his sudden firing.

10/ My point is that there’s every reason to believe—as Trump has done this with *other* Mueller witnesses—that a) Trump believes Manafort can incriminate him, and b) he’s found ways to stay in contact with Manafort, so that Manafort understands he can expect a pardon from Trump.

11/ If you doubt this, look at the question via a different angle: what *public* information could Trump *possibly* be looking at to so smugly—with such certitude—be telling confidants there’s *no* chance that Manafort will flip on him? *All* the *public* evidence says otherwise.

12/ As for the public evidence in the Manafort case, here’s what we know: with the superseding indictments Mueller plans to bring soon, Manafort’s *easily* looking at spending the rest of his life in a federal prison and running out of money to pay his attorneys long before then.

13/ His main co-conspirator—his deputy, Rick Gates—will soon get a plea deal, meaning that he’s already told Mueller and his agents, in *detail*, of *every single criminal act he ever saw Manafort engage in*. Gates’ assistance appears to have led to another charge and plea today.

14/ He (Manafort) is facing the most talented team of federal criminal prosecutors assembled for the purpose a single criminal investigation in the last half-century. Also, not for nothing, Manafort is—as Manafort knows—100% and unalterably guilty of everything he’s charged with.

15/ Manafort also knows that Mueller can basically flip any witness he wants (assuming they’re Americans currently on U.S. soil; foreigners are harder for Mueller to access). So it’s not clear what in the *world* would make Trump or Manafort optimistic about Manafort’s chances.

16/ Trump has only two cards to play on Manafort: 1. Pardon him. 2. Fire Mueller (and then, likely, get impeached). Manafort has only *one* card to play, based on public information: 1. Wait for Trump to pardon him. And we know this: 1. Trump’s confident Manafort won’t flip.

17/ Add to those facts Trump’s long relationship with Manafort, prior clandestine contacts with him, and demonstrated willingness to tamper with witnesses in a federal criminal investigation, and I’m telling you anyone in Mueller’s shoes would assume Trump has contacted Manafort.

18/ But there’s another thing: if Manafort knows Trump, he knows Trump can’t be trusted. He *certainly* knows he can’t trust Trump with his *life*. And he *also* knows he’s a primary Mueller target—so he can’t “flip” for a deal unless and until he can *deliver Trump to Mueller*.

19/ So a reasonable “theory of the case” from the standpoint of a seasoned CJS professional would include these facts: 1. There’s a good chance Trump is tampering with Manafort. 2. Trump thinks Manafort can incriminate him. 3. Manafort doesn’t trust Trump. 4. Manafort will flip.

20/ If you assume—and you should—Mueller is working from these four very reasonable and basic assumptions, you can (a) understand everything Mueller is doing right now, and (b) see just how close Mueller is getting to nailing Trump and referring impeachable offenses to DOJ. {end}

NOTE/ In Tweet #8, I deliberately referred to what was at the time the “Comey probe” as the “Mueller probe”—simply not to confuse people. Trump and Manafort last spoke in February 2017, and Mueller wasn’t appointed until May 2017. But Mueller’s probe is a continuation of Comey’s.

PS/ Never forget that—after it was clear Flynn was under criminal investigation—Trump called his former advisor in April ’17 to tell him to “stay strong.” He also leaked to the press that he’d wanted to rehire him. To think Trump would work *less* to keep Manafort close is naive.

Donald Trump is completely delusional and I for one cannot wait for the total meltdown that will come when Mueller has finally put all the pieces together and brings charges against him.

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