President Donald Trump’s legal team has continuously said that special counsel Robert Mueller is wasting his time and taxpayer dollars investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. According to legal experts, it could lose its impact if Paul Manafort is convicted.
Kendall Coffey stated, “If he gets a number of guilty counts, he may plea out the second trial because it’s possible the prison time already prompts him to seriously reconsider whether it’s worth going through the expense of another trial,”. He also noted that Mueller’s team might agree “to just add another five years to a 10-year sentence.”
A spokesperson for Manafort declined to say whether his defense lawyers, who have received “well over 1,000” pieces of evidence ahead of his next trial, had discussed a plea bargain with their client.
Both trials are happening just months before the November midterm elections, where Democrats expect the president’s routine criticism of Mueller to drive their supporters to the polls in droves.
But Mueller could potentially wrap up his investigation by then and deliver a report that clears the president of any wrongdoing.