by WorldTribune Staff, October 2, 2017
A ferocious government prosecutor and Obama donor has onetime Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in his sights.
Andrew Weissmann, who has been reunited with special counsel Robert Mueller, his old boss at the FBI, “has an operational history of going after the relatively small to snare the big,” Rowan Scarborough wrote for The Washington Times on Oct. 1.
“I would bet the indictment (of Manafort) will be right before Thanksgiving,” said Sidney Powell, an appeals lawyer in Dallas who battled Weissmann’s Justice Department task force during the Enron prosecutions of the early 2000s. “Weissmann will want to maximize the trauma to his family.”
Manafort “will be looking at several counts to begin with,” said Powell, who wrote the book “Licensed to Lie,” about what she considers Justice Department corruption. “If he doesn’t cooperate, in response to that, they’ll indict him for many more counts, which will ratchet up his cost of defense significantly, and he’ll be looking at a lifetime in prison.”
One source put Manafort’s unpaid legal bills at $3 million.
In July, the FBI conducted a predawn raid of Manafort’s condo in Alexandria, Virginia.
A source familiar with Mueller’s investigation told The Washington Times that nothing incriminating was found in the computer files and other documents that the FBI seized from the Alexandria condo.
Some close to Manafort believe Weissman and Mueller are turning up the heat because “the trail to finding Russia-Trump collusion has become so cold that Mr. Mueller’s game of hardball led by Mr. Weissmann is a last-ditch effort to scare Mr. Manafort into becoming a prosecution witness,” Scarborough wrote.
Scarborough noted that “before Mueller’s investigation, the Justice Department had been looking at Mr. Manafort for years. No indictments have been handed up.”
Jason Maloni, whose public relations firm JadeRoq was hired by Manafort’s attorney, issued a statement in response to a CNN report that Manafort had been wiretapped at one point.
“Mr. Manafort requests that the Department of Justice release any intercepts involving him and any non-Americans so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ: There is nothing there,” Maloni said.
“Paul Manafort had nothing to do with any attempt to undermine the 2016 election or the hacking of the DNC or John Podesta’s emails,” Maloni said. “He has said so since this nonsense emerged. He will gladly tell Congress and investigators the same thing. No evidence exists to support this fiction.”