As former President Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort reportedly engages in talks with prosecutors about a possible plea deal, Trump’s legal team isn’t worried about it.
Rudy Giuliani told Politico Wednesday that Trump and his lawyers want Manafort to do “the right thing for himself,” and are unconcerned with the prospects of the former campaign chairman reaching a plea deal or even potentially cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller. To be sure, both Bloomberg and The Washington Post have reported that Manafort is in talks about a possible plea deal, but there has been no indication that Manafort is interested in cooperating with the government or flipping on Trump.
The Post reported Wednesday that discussions are still preliminary and it’s possible a deal won’t be reached. Bloomberg reported Friday that Manafort is interested in avoiding a second trial, set to begin in Washington, D.C later this month.
“We can see a reason why he might want to do that. What’s the need for another trial?” Giuliani told Politico. “They’ve got enough to put him in jail. His lawyer is going to argue they shouldn’t. The judge should decide this. Not Mueller. I think it’s pretty clear if they were going to get anything from him they’d have gotten it already. What’s the point of further harassing him?”
“There’s no fear that Paul Manafort would cooperate against the President because there’s nothing to cooperate about and we long ago evaluated him as an honorable man,” he later added.
Trump has heaped praise on Manafort in recent weeks, calling him a “brave man!” for refusing to “break” or “make up stories in order to get a ‘deal,’” a swipe at his former lawyer Michael Cohen.
Manafort was found guilty of eight counts of bank and tax fraud crimes in a Virginia court and the jury was deadlocked on 10 other counts. In the D.C. court, Manafort will face money laundering, witness tampering and failure to disclose foreign lobbying charges.