October 25, 2017

This news from the Wall St. Journal kind of slipped under the radar last night: Paul Manafort is now under investigation not just by Robert Mueller, but by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, and the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office, led by acting U.S. attorney Joon Kim.

Bloomberg reports:

The investigation was launched by the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and subsequently handed off to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The issuance of the subpoenas in recent weeks by the Manhattan prosecutor indicates that the office has rejoined the inquiry and moved beyond the initial stage.

Manafort's being investigated for possible money-laundering related to his real estate transactions.

What are the odds that at least one of these investigations will result in an indictment?

Did I mention that Trump's pardon power doesn't extend to state charges?

Politico recently reported that Trump personally interviewed at least two candidates for the U.S. Attorney positions in Manhattan and Brooklyn, which raised some eyebrows. Because the Brooklyn U.S. attorney's office is investigating Kushner Cos, owned by the family of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, according to the Wall St. Journal.

The Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Trump has the right to talk with potential nominees, Politico said. And that's true, under normal circumstances.

But if Trump nominates someone to quash the investigations, well, that's obstruction of justice. (Assuming he can get the Senate to approve his choices.)

Will Manafort turn on Trump to save his own neck? Stay tuned.

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