President Trump is keeping the option of pardoning Paul Manafort on the table. While he never discussed it with his former campaign chairman, the president told the New York Post there is no reason he would take the option off the table and expressed his displeasure with special counsel Robert Mueller. Anyone who tells Mueller the truth gets thrown in jail, while those who lie in plea deals are rewarded, Trump complained. He compared the Mueller probe with the McCarthy witchhunts.
—QUOTABLE: “It was never discussed, but I wouldn’t take it off the table. Why would I take it off the table?” -Trump to the New York Post
—QUOTABLE: “While the disgusting Fake News is doing everything within their power not to report it that way, at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief. This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!” -Trump tweet
Robert Mueller is a “conflicted prosecutor gone rogue,” President Trump said Monday in a Twitter storm. Mueller’s horrible treatment of people will eventually come out, Trump said. The comments were apparently in response to Mueller’s team accusing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort of violating his plea agreement by lying to investigators—an accusation that could terminate the plea deal and worsen the charges against him. Jerome Corsi, a right wing conspiracy theorist with ties to former Trump adviser Roger Stone, also claims Mueller has been trying to get him to sign onto a plea deal containing lies.
—QUOTABLE: “Wait until it comes out how horribly & viciously they are treating people, ruining lives for them refusing to lie…He is doing TREMENDOUS damage to our Criminal Justice System, where he is only looking at one side and not the other.” -Trump tweet
Robert Mueller could kick his probe into high gear after the midterms. The special counsel, investigating alleged Russian conspiracies to alter the 2016 election, has stayed quiet in the run-up to today’s elections. But he’s also been working behind the scenes, grilling a slate of confidantes of President Trump—some of whom, like Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, are helping the investigation. While Mueller has honored an unwritten code that investigators like him shouldn’t make any major moves within 60 days of an election, all the signals are that if he has new indictments to hand down, he will do it within days or weeks.
A senior Treasury employee has been caught red-handed. Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior adviser in the U.S. Treasury’s financial crimes division, was caught with a flash drive that appeared to contain so-called suspicious activity reports that Mayflower Sours Edwards is suspected of having disclosed unlawfully. Prosecutors say she leaked “numerous” reports detailing financial transactions by Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and alleged Russian agent Maria Butina. Those aren’t public records and are regarded as highly sensitive documents.
—QUOTABLE: “Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards, a senior level FinCEN employee, betrayed her position of trust by repeatedly disclosing highly sensitive information contained in Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) to an individual not authorized to receive them.” -U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman