The Paul Manafort trial is set to begin on July 25, and special counsel Robert Mueller has now shown us how he will use the trial not only to put Trump’s former campaign manager in prison for the rest of his life but also to prove corruption in the Trump campaign.
The indictments against Manafort issued last year listed over 20 serious financial crimes, including bank fraud, and if Mueller can prove just one of these Manafort will do serious jail time.
In a court filing on Friday Mueller revealed how he is connecting the dots between Manafort’s crimes and Donald Trump’s corruption.
“Prosecutors for special counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing Friday that they intend to present evidence at the trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort that a banking executive allegedly helped Manafort obtain bank loans of more than $6 million while the banker sought a role in the Trump campaign.”
Mueller is now saying explicitly that there is a connection between Manafort’s fraud case and Donald Trump. The filing makes clear that Mueller’s team has evidence it will present in court to prove that there is a link between Manafort’s crimes and Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign.
So even though the Manafort trial is not about Trump’s collusion, it will be about Trump’s corruption which Mueller can prove in court.
Mueller will show that a bank executive was given a position as a Trump campaign adviser in exchange for massive loans to Paul Manafort which should never have been made.
By showing that the loans were made in exchange for a Trump campaign position Mueller can go into court and provide evidence that Trump and his campaign team were involved in Manafort’s fraudulent dealings.
Although Trump won’t be directly on trial, Mueller can use the Manafort trial to prove that Trump’s campaign was for sale, and possible doling out campaign positions in exchange for financial considerations such as loans. By convicting Manafort in court Mueller will be able to convict Donald Trump in the court of public opinion.
Until now, there had been no indication that Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign would be part of his criminal trial. He has previously requested that the judge keep details about his ties to Trump out of the trial.
Prosecutors have made clear that proof of any alleged collusion with the Russian government won’t come up at the trial, and they have told that to the judge.
Everybody knows that Donald Trump micromanaged his presidential campaign, so if his campaign chairman brought a banker into the campaign then Donald Trump knew about it. By proving Manafort committed crimes, Mueller will also prove that Donald Trump was (indirectly) involved in them.