Robert Mueller Letting Paul Manafort Plead Guilty To Jaywalking Just To Be Nice, OBVIOUSLY
About the time you read this, Paul Manafort will be in a DC courtroom pleading GUILTY, because he is a GUILTY MAN with a GUILTY FACE. As Wonkette explained on Thursday, Manafort had been in negotiations to work out a plea deal, probably to save millions in lawyers' fees for his next trial in DC, and probably to try to avoid dying in prison. But was he going to cooperate with Robert Mueller? (UPDATE: YES.) Was he going to give up juicy dirts on everything he knows about the Trumpo-Russian conspiracy to steal American democracy and give it to this one autocratic shitheel with the best brain? (UPDATE: Sounds like he'll have to give up everything he knows!)
Manafort is pleading guilty to two counts, one on conspiracy against the United States and one on witness tampering, counts that were listed in the last superseding indictment against him. He will also have to forfeit assets worth $46 million ameros, so that sucks for him but makes Wonkette laugh.
As Zoe Tillman notes at BuzzFeed, though, the "one count" of conspiracy against the United States actually includes a fuckton of charges, including "conspiring to commit money laundering, tax fraud, failing to report foreign bank accounts, violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and lying to the Justice Department." In his hearing, Manafort is expected to admit to literally everything he's been charged with, even as he is only officially pleading guilty to two counts. (Known law person Renato Mariotti explains that judges have to take everything into account, both what Manafort pleads to and what he admits, when it's time for LOCK HER UP. Mariotti also explains that Manafort will probably be going away for ten years or so on these charges. Will that run concurrently or consecutively with whatever he's sentenced to in Virginia? DUNNO!)
The criminal information filed by Mueller's office this morning is LONG and DETAILED. Indeed, much of it restates the charges of the last superseding indictment, including stuff he was tried for in Virginia that made the jury there very well-hung, and not just the eight felony counts he was convicted of. (Shut up, "made the jury very well-hung" is a LAW TERM, you perverts.)
Of course, as we said, what's left for us to wonder about is whether this is just a straight up plea deal and Robert Mueller has decided to let Manafort off with a slap on the wrist just to be nice, or whether there's some kind of cooperation going on. (UPDATE: There is some kind of cooperation going on.) And will we find that out in the hearing? We don't know yet, though in a normal world we would find that out in the hearing. (UPDATE: We did.) And if Manafort is somehow cooperating, will that lead to his swift and efficient removal from this earth, via Russia's use of some of its leftover poloniums? We don't know that either!
And if Mueller really is letting Manafort plead without cooperating could that possibly mean Mueller has developed such a case against everybody else at this point that he is THROUGH WITH THIS FOOL MANAFORT and doesn't even need his cooperation anymore? OOOOOOH MAYBE! (UPDATE: No, he's cooperating.)
And what of the joint defense agreement Rudy Giuliani said this week that Manafort is in with Trump? Is he still in that? Rudy Giuliani told BuzzFeed today that yes, he's still in it, and no, Trump and Manafort haven't been discussing pardons. This is Rudy Giuliani, so take that all with an entire salt lick, you know, the kind horses like to lick.
By the way, a LOT of people showed up to court today, so maybe there will be more drama than we expect:
Waiting in the hall to go in for Manafort's 11 a.m. plea agreement hearing, and a whole crew from Mueller's office… https://t.co/UMfcwi0Wk0— Zoe Tillman (@Zoe Tillman)1536935953.0
That is a LOT of Mueller's dream team for a simple plea hearing. Have they prepared a musical number for the hearing? Are they all going to admit that golly gee those "conspiracy theorists" were right and they really are Q?
Anyway, this is kind of weird and we won't really know a lot more until we find out what happens at this hearing, and even then we might not know the whole story today. For more information on how this is all kinda weird, please read this thread from Popehat, which explains that this is all kinda weird. (UPDATE: Please see all updates above this one!)
Regardless, rejoice in the Lord always, because Robert Mueller's witch hunt is healthy and happy and continues to bag very many witches.
(UPDATE: OMG OMG OMG OMG, this is the big one. We are to be having palpitations right now!)
Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT NOW, DO IT RIGHT NOW!
Help Wonkette LIVE FOREVER! Seriously, if you can, please hit the nifty donation widget below! Didn't that feel so good?