According to a recent report from The New York Times, Paul Manafort’s lawyers have been sharing information regarding the Mueller probe with Donald Trump’s lawyers.
A lawyer for Paul Manafort, the presidentâ€™s onetime campaign chairman, repeatedly briefed President Trumpâ€™s lawyers on his clientâ€™s discussions with federal investigators after Manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel, according to one of Trumpâ€™s lawyers and two other people familiar with the conversations.
The arrangement was highly unusual and inflamed tensions withÂ Muellerâ€™s officeÂ when prosecutors discovered it after Manafort began cooperating two months ago, the people said. Some legal specialists speculated it was a bid by Manafort for a presidential pardon even as he worked with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in hopes of a lighter sentence.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of the presidentâ€™s personal lawyers, acknowledged the arrangement on Tuesday and defended it as a source of valuable insights into the special counselâ€™s inquiry and where it was headed. Such information could help shape a legal defense strategy, and it also appeared to give Trump and his legal advisers ammunition in their public relations effort against the special counselâ€™s office. For example, Giuliani said, Manafortâ€™s lawyer Kevin M. Downing told him that prosecutors hammered away at whether the president knew about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting where Russians promised to deliver damaging information on Hillary Clinton to his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. The president has long denied knowing about the meeting in advance. â€œHe wants Manafort to incriminate Trump,â€ Giuliani declared of Mueller.
This basically debunks the narrative that Manafort was flipping on Donald Trump. It also shows us that Manafort doesn’t trust Mueller all that much. If Manafort trusted Mueller to treat him fairly he certainly wouldn’t risk any connection with the Trump Administration.