Giuliani: Trump has ‘no fear’ Manafort could cooperate with Russia probe
President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani said the administration “has no fear” that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
“From our perspective, we want him to do the right thing for himself,” Mr. Giuliani told Politico on Wednesday.
Mr. Giuliani said Manafort’s attempts to secure a plea agreement ahead of his D.C. trial is about sparing himself another trial rather than having information to share with the Mueller team.
“We can see a reason why he might want to do that,” he said. “What’s the need for another trial? They’ve got enough to put him in jail. His lawyer is going to argue they shouldn’t. The judge should decide this. Not Mueller. I think it’s pretty clear if they were going to get anything from him they’d have gotten it already.”
Manafort is charged with failing to register as a foreign agent, obstruction and lying to federal investigators. His trial is scheduled to start Sept. 24, nearly one month after a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted him on eight counts of bank and tax fraud.
Reports have surfaced over the past few weeks that Manafort is seeking a plea deal. ABC News reported Wednesday that he is requesting an agreement that would keep him from cooperating with Mueller’s team.
Mr. Giuliani insisted Mueller has nothing to share, anyway.
“There’s no fear that Paul Manafort would cooperate against the president because there’s nothing to cooperate about and we long ago evaluated him as an honorable man,” the former New York City mayor told Politico.
In May, Mr. Giuliani made similar statements about Mr. Trump’s longtime fixer, Michael Cohen.
Last month, Cohen pleaded guilty to bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance laws. He told the court Mr. Trump directed him to make hush payments to an adult-film star who claimed she had affair with the president more than a decade ago.