Special counsel Robert Mueller’s witch hunt against President Trump is reaching a fever pitch.
Mueller is desperate to produce evidence against the President that Congress can use for impeachment.
So the special counsel went nuclear with a brand new indictment against this Trump aide.
Mueller stunned observers when he announced a new indictment against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Manafort was already set to stand trial in September on a series of charges relating to financial crimes for his lobbying work.
The charges against him are unrelated to the 2016 campaign and the indictment does not mention any collusion with Russia.
So Mueller is pulling out all the stops to turn Manafort into a cooperating witness against the President by threatening him with charges that, should Manafort be convicted, send him to prison for the rest of his life.
Mueller’s office ramped up the pressure on Manafort by announcing that the former Trump campaign chairman, as well as Konstantin Kilimnik – a longtime Manafort aide – were being indicted on charges of witness tampering.
The indictment alleges Manafort and Kilimnik concocted a scheme to encourage Manafort associates to produce false testimony in Manafort’s upcoming trial.
Mueller had already filed a motion with the judge in the case to revoke Manafort’s release on bail because of these allegations.
When Mueller petitioned the judge to end Manafort’s home confinement, he claimed Manafort violated the terms of his bail by using an encrypted messenger application to send a series of communications to potential witnesses.
But the filing produced no direct evidence that Manafort actually asked anyone to lie.
Mueller’s motion merely stated that Manafort made a series of phone calls that were never returned and sent one message to a former associate asking that they speak with him.
In response to Mueller’s accusations, Manafort’s legal team pointed out the thin evidence in a court filing, writing: “Indeed, the majority of the communications—which are identified in only one exhibit to the motion—are irrelevant, innocuous and unsupportive of the conjured witness tampering claim. For example, the first text message identified by the Special Counsel stated simply:
“This is paul.” (Doc. 315-2, ¶ 14.) Another communication—a telephone call between Mr. Manafort and the recipient of the aforementioned text message—lasted only 84 seconds, and the Special Counsel does not even identify (with a sworn affidavit or otherwise) the substance of what was discussed. 2 See id. The Special Counsel further points to four attempted phone calls in which Mr. Manafort did not connect with anyone. (Doc. 315-2, Ex. N.) And, regarding Person A, the Special Counsel relies on 13 text messages, only a handful of which contain something more than a greeting or a request that the recipient help arrange further contact.”
If Mueller is using these charges to pressure Manafort into pleading guilty and admitting to colluding with Russia, he will once again strike out.
A Manafort associate told Politico ““Paul’s problem is he doesn’t actually have anything to trade,” the source added. “Cooperating isn’t an option because he really didn’t collude with the Russians at the Trump campaign’s request.””
Mueller’s collusion investigation is collapsing.
But instead of admitting he has no case, Mueller is employing scorched earth tactics in a desperate bid to prop up his flailing investigation.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this story.