Are there any clear winners and losers now that Paul Manafort and Robert Mueller have reached a plea agreement? Constitutional law expert and George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley was of the opinion that President Donald Trump is one person who comes out of this situation a winner.
Turley joined Hill.TV’s show Rising on Tuesday morning to say that the president will be thankful that a second high-profile trial won’t be happening. Manafort’s trial had been on track to begin on September 24 and may very well have carried on for a couple of weeks. Now that he’s cut a deal, that is out of the picture.
Turley opined that it “would have been a bad thing to have the midterm elections coming, and have a daily account of this stuff coming out about Paul Manafort, about working for pro-Russian interests.”
“So, in some ways, Trump comes out a little ahead with the plea bargain because it takes those optics out,” he said.
Turley also said that Manafort comes out a bit of a winner, even though he has agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Mueller. He said that pleading guilty now will actually help Manafort’s chances of a pardon because he’s avoided damaging courtroom testimony.
“The big problem is if [Manafort] had gone through that big trial in D.C., he might have had a hard time getting a pardon. He was going to come out of there very damaged goods if people heard all of those witnesses,” Turley said.
Manafort’s cooperation agreement says that he will “cooperate fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly with the Government and other law enforcement authorities identified by the Government in any and all matters to which the Government deems the cooperation relevant.”
Rudy Giuliani claimed that this agreement “does not involve the Trump campaign.”
“Another road travelled by Mueller. Same conclusion: no evidence of collusion President did nothing wrong,” he said.
[Image via Alexandria Detention Center]