Robert Mueller thought he was riding high.
His office successfully pressured multiple Trump associates to plead guilty to crimes in order to create the impression Mueller was closing in on Donald Trump.
But this Supreme Court decision is about to ruin Mueller’s life.
Mueller stunned observers when Paul Manafort pled guilty to federal financial crimes in the District of Columbia after being found guilty by a Virginia jury on eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud and hiding a bank account.
Anti-Trump journalists praised Mueller for making Manafort’s deal “pardon proof” by forcing Manafort to plead guilty to crimes at the state level that he had not been yet been charged for.
State level crimes fall outside the President’s pardon authority.
However, Mueller’s “full proof” plan is unraveling.
Manafort refused to lie to investigators.
They squeezed him to provide fabricated testimony about the Trump campaign colluding with Russia.
So now Mueller and his gang of 17 angry Democrats filed a motion in court to have the judge in his case move right to sentencing.
An enraged Mueller could lock Manafort away – possibly for the rest of his life – out of vengeance.
However, the second gut punch in this one-two combo could come from the Supreme Court.
Fox News legal expert Judge Andrew Napolitano explained how a case making its way to the Supreme Court could demolish Mueller’s carefully laid plans.
Napolitano described on Fox and Friends how the Constitutional protection against double jeopardy could save Manafort.
“The framers wanted this in there because British kings would try you — you were found not guilty. They’d try you again before another jury and again before another jury. The Constitution prohibits it,” Napolitano stated. “The Supreme Court has looked and said it only prohibits the same government from trying you again. So if you commit a crime that is both a state and a federal crime, you can be tried twice.”
Napolitano explained that an Alabama case – Gamble v. U.S. – could free up Manafort for a pardon.
In that case, a man was sentenced to a year in prison on drug and weapons charges at the state level.
He was then indicted on those same charges in federal court.
The case – which the Supreme Court expects to hear in April – will determine if prosecutors filing the same charges in state and federal court violate the Constitution’s due process clause.
“He says, wait a minute, the double jeopardy clause prohibits this second prosecution,” Napolitano continued. “But we now have a Supreme Court that is willing to interpret the double jeopardy clause as the framers intended it. We have [Justices] Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas agreeing on this principle.”
Napolitano argues this was the original intent of the framers and that could be good news for Manafort.
“When Manafort pleaded guilty in September, his guilty plea was 175 pages long. I’ve never seen one like it. He not only pleaded guilty to federal crimes for which he was charged, he pleaded guilty to state crimes for which he has not yet been charged,” he said. “Why did they do that? Because they fear that the president might pardon Paul Manafort. The day of the pardon he’ll be indicted by the states — unless those prosecutions would be prohibited by a new double jeopardy interpretation.”
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this ongoing story.