Judge Nap: New Manafort-Mueller Hearing Could Be of 'Deep Concern' to Pres. Trump
Mueller accuses Manafort of violating plea deal by lying.
Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on "Fox & Friends" Tuesday to react to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office accusing Paul Manafort of violating his plea agreement.
Manafort, 69, was convicted on multiple counts of financial fraud over the summer in connection to work he completed in Ukraine as a political consultant. Approaching a separate trial on similar charges in September he entered into an arrangement with the government in which he was expected to answer questions on a wide variety of matters. Manafort remains jailed and is expected to face at least 10 years in prison.
“After signing the plea agreement, Manafort committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters, which constitute breaches of the agreement," Mueller's office said.
Manafort, however, according to the report, contested the claims of the special counsel.
Napolitano explained that this means that the special counsel's office will not ask the judge in the Eastern District of Virginia to "go easy" on Manafort in sentencing, which is scheduled for early February.
Napolitano said it's very uncommon for a defendant to lie to prosecutors in this context, adding Manafort is "really at their mercy."
"My prediction is that he'll be sentenced to the max, and while in jail indicted for lying to the FBI and plead guilty to that," Napolitano said. "I doubt he'll see the light of day until he's very, very old."
He also said that Manafort's plea agreement is "very, very complicated" because Mueller's team had Manafort plead guilty to state crimes in New Jersey, New York and California, in addition to federal crimes.
"So if everything falls apart, the attorneys general in those three states can indict him," Napolitano said, calling it a "very shrewd" move by Mueller that prevents a presidential pardon from being used.
He said the question now is if there is going to be a trial over what Manafort allegedly lied about, and if so, what information will be revealed in that trial.
"[Mueller's team will say], 'Here's what he told us, here's what we have to contradict him, here's why what we have to contradict him is the truth, here's what he said is a lie,'" Napolitano said. "That could take days. And we know it's probably about the president."
Later on "Shepard Smith Reporting", Napolitano said a "mini-trial" could be forthcoming between Mueller's team and Manafort's lawyers where evidence of Manafort's alleged lies would be presented publicly.
"What will come out in that hearing is probably of deep concern to the president," he explained.