June 5, 2018

So Paul Manafort will be able to take off those ankle bracelets because he'll be in jail.

Lock him up.

And yeah, for now, and I emphasize for now, Manafort is not facing any charges related to Trump-Russia, which means Trump can say nice things about him and still distance himself and also dangle pardons (a clear case of obstruction and abuse of power) all at the same time.

Transcript of Stephanie Ruhle's excellent overview:

STEPHANIE RUHLE: We begin today with the president's former campaign manager, now facing jail time for allegedly trying to get potential witnesses to lie on his behalf. So how does this fit into Mueller's investigation? I have a great team here to break all of it down. But first, let me explain why this is important to you and me. Remember, Paul Manafort is the highest ranking member from President Trump's campaign team to be indicted. And these new allegations mean he could be sent to prison even before his trial begins. It is important to note Manafort is not facing charges on anything connected to the campaign or to president trump. Instead, he was originally accused of illegally lobbying on behalf of pro-Russian political figures in Ukraine and now tampering. Manafort already faces up to 80 years behind bars on a list of charges including conspiracy, money laundering and lying to federal investigators. But now federal prosecutors are accusing Mr. Manafort of going a step further. New documents from the FBI allege over the past several months Manafort repeatedly reached out to potential witnesses. At least one of them says it appeared to them manafort was trying to get them to lie about their lobbying efforts. Now Mueller is asking a judge to revoke Manafort's bail which could land him behind bars until his trial gets underway this fall. Remember, this is a guy that the president had running his campaign during a crucial period. I'm talking about the RNC in the summer of 2016. It didn't last there. It didn't last long, excuse me. Manna port joined the campaign in March of 2016 and was the campaign chairman by the middle of May. But he was fired just three months later when his ties to Ukraine were revealed in "The New York Times." The president has been trying to distance himself from Manafort ever since.

VIDEO OF DONALD TRUMP: I know Mr. Manafort. Haven't spoken to him in a long time, but I know him. He was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time. But I've always known him to be a good man.

RUHLE: But the truth is, we do not know a lot about their relationship. They've been operating in close circles since the 1980s and share longtime mutual friends like Roger Stone. But Manafort had been largely off the president's radar at least until Sunday. That's when the president suddenly brought up his old campaign manager in new tweets, again trying to minimize his role in the campaign, but also accusing the Justice Department of, quote, doing a number on him.

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