As the Mueller probe begins to hit the final curves, it’s time to do a recap of just how many times Trump has tried to skew the conversation in his own favor — in honor of his Press Secretary’s statement this morning that the newest subpoenas out of the Southern District of New York “have nothing to do with the President.”
One of Trump’s greatest hits was how committed he was to the innocence of those running his campaign.
Back in August, President Donald Trump praised his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, calling him a “very good man” as jurors continued to deliberate on his trial stemming from federal fraud charges.
Speaking to reporters on the White House lawn, Trump said that he thought that the “Manafort trial is very sad” — right before he departed for a weekend visit to his New Jersey golf course. In the same breath, Trump also attempted to distance himself from Manafort, which drew fact checks, in particular from NBC news White House correspondent Geoff Bennett.
“We saw the president say there that Paul Manafort worked for him for a very short period of time,” Bennett explained to MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi. Bennett also explained how Trump’s officials and aides helped minimize his connection to people who are associated with the Robert Mueller Russia investigation:
We’ve seen the president and White House aides do this in the past where they try to minimize and rationalize the president’s connections to people who have been ensnared by the Russia probe; remember how they called George Papadopoulos a ‘coffee boy’ when he was, in fact, a foreign policy advisor for the campaign.”
Paul Manafort could potentially spend the rest of his life in prison, with his fraud and conspiracy trial rounding the final bend. Some of the charges that he faced included submitting false income tax returns which can carry a maximum of three years.
Manafort worked for years in the 2000s as a consultant for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was also the leader of a pro-Russian party. The millions that he earned were placed into foreign accounts, and Manafort utilized that money to pad his lavish lifestyle.
He also faced four counts of failing to file foreign bank account reports, four counts of bank fraud including five counts of bank fraud conspiracy which can carry a maximum prison sentence of 30 years. Manafort is accused of defrauding the United States banks and other lenders by lying about income, debt, and the nature of his real estate properties. It’s also alleged that he forged financial documents.
Between the various charges, Manafort’s sentence, when it comes in March, could effectively lock him away for good.
Featured image via screen capture