A lawyer for President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort spoke with Trump’s legal team about Manafort’s discussions with special counsel Robert Mueller after Manafort agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
According to one of Trump’s lawyers and two people familiar with the discussions who spoke to the Times, the briefings strained relations between Manafort’s team and the special counsel’s office. Legal experts told the Times that the arrangement was likely part of efforts to get Manafort a presidential pardon for his tax fraud crimes.
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed to the Times that the discussions took place and said the briefings were valuable for Trump’s legal game plan.
Mueller’s team filed court documents earlier this week alleging that Manafort lied to the special counsel after he’d agreed to cooperate with the investigation. Manafort will now face repercussions for two conspiracy charges and eight counts of financial fraud, which, in addition to his current jail time for other tax fraud related crimes, could put him behind bars for the rest of his life.