September 15, 2018

Last night, Anderson Cooper and guests Maggie Haberman and Jeffrey Toobin speculated on who got what in Paul Manafort's cooperation agreement with Bob Mueller.

"Manafort has been convicted, as we know, and is facing decades in prison. What does it tell you that Mueller was willing to offer Manafort a deal? Is it simply to avoid going through hassle of a trial?" Cooper said.

"I think Mueller had all the cards here. He was convicted in Virginia, looking at a very long sentence. He was likely to be convicted in Washington and the trial was starting next week. He had really no options," Toobin said.

"Mueller gave him a cap of ten years on a sentence. Frankly, he probably was not going to get more than that anyway. And he has the opportunity now, Mueller has the opportunity to have an inside view of campaign at a very critical time when collusion, which is after all, mueller's main jurisdiction, that is the time that it may or may not have been taking place.

"So Mueller gave up very little in return for this cooperation and he is certainly going to get an inside view. He has tremendous leverage on Manafort to get him to tell the truth. Because if he doesn't tell the judge to give him a lower sentence, he won't."

"This may sound like a dumb question but to get this, does Mueller already know what Manafort knows? Has he already had the opportunity to put all the goods on the table what he would be able to talk about?" Cooper said.

"Yes. That was disclosed in court today. There have been proffer sessions and no prosecutor that I am aware of would ever give a deal to someone who hadn't given a proffer. So Mueller obviously felt that whatever Manafort told him was worth a cooperation agreement," Toobin said.

"So he already knows probably not every detail but in broad outlines, everything Manafort is gonna tell him. it is important to point out, we don't know that there is anything incriminating about the president that Manafort will tell him. All Mueller can insist on is the truth. He can't insist on incriminating evidence. If he tells the truth and it is not incriminating, that will get him a letter to the judge as well. The prosecutors are supposed to care only about the truth, not what may advance their cases."

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