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Trump lawyer - Manafort said nothing damaging in Mueller interviews


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Trump lawyer - Manafort said nothing damaging in Mueller interviews

By Karen Freifeld and Nathan Layne

 

2018-10-22T212543Z_1_LYNXNPEE9L1UM_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRUMP-GIULIANI.JPG

FILE PHOTO: President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani arrives with his guest Jennifer Leblanc at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

 

(Reuters) - Under an unusual arrangement, Paul Manafort's attorney has kept Donald Trump informed about the former campaign chairman's meetings with prosecutors investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and, according to Trump's lawyer, Manafort has not said anything damaging about the president.

 

Rudy Giuliani, who represents Trump in the Russia probe, told Reuters that he had spoken with Manafort's lawyer, Kevin Downing, as recently as last week. Manafort pleaded guilty on Sept. 14 to violating foreign lobbying laws and trying to obstruct justice. He was convicted at trial in another case in August.

 

Giuliani said the conversations were occurring under a so-called joint defence agreement, which allows lawyers who represent different clients to exchange information without violating attorney-client privilege.

 

Legal experts said it was unusual for such an agreement to remain in effect after a person pleads guilty and agrees to cooperate with prosecutors as Manafort has done.

 

Manafort is talking to Special Counsel Robert Mueller "about a lot of things, none of which are incriminating with regard to the president," Giuliani said in one of several conversations with Reuters this month.

 

Giuliani said he was told by Downing that Manafort had met with Mueller's team roughly a half dozen times.

 

Downing did not respond to requests for comment.

 

Giuliani's account of his communications with Downing comes at what may be a critical point in Mueller's investigation of election meddling and any possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, which the president denies.

 

Mueller has started drafting a report outlining his findings that will be submitted to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller's team, and could ultimately be made public, a person familiar with the matter said.

 

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment.

 

New York lawyer Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor, said that there are some cases in which a joint defence agreement can survive a cooperation agreement, such as if Manafort is providing information about people other than Trump.

 

"In general, you can only have a joint defence agreement where there is a common interest between two people in defeating a prosecution," Sandick said.

 

He said lawyers can have unprivileged conversations with their clients' approval.

 

Giuliani said his conversations with Downing had been limited to areas that affect Trump.

 

"If he wants to communicate information, Manafort, he's allowed to do that. There's nothing that stops him from doing that," Giuliani said. "All I'm interested in is: Is there anything we need to know with regard to us?"

 

Giuliani said Downing had not shared specific facts with him regarding Manafort's discussions with prosecutors.

 

"He's just telling me the conclusion that he's not in a conflicted position with us," said Giuliani, who has been very public in his defence of Trump, appearing regularly on TV disputing aspects of the investigation and calling it a political witch hunt just as the president has.

 

Moscow rejects the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies that state-supported operatives interfered in the election.

 

Legal experts said Manafort's lawyer may be trying to remain on good terms with the Trump camp in the hopes that Manafort will ultimately receive a presidential pardon.

 

"Maybe he is thinking he can sort of have it both ways -cooperate and draw less ire from Mueller and hopefully still get a pardon from Trump," said Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor.

 

Giuliani said he did not know why Manafort's lawyer is sharing information with him.

 

Manafort, who made tens of millions of dollars working for pro-Kremlin politicians in Ukraine, was among Trump campaign aides who attended a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a group of Russians offering damaging information on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

 

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Nathan Layne; Editing by Paritosh Bansal, Noeleen Walder and Grant McCool)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-10-23
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Maybe he did say something damaging, maybe he didn't. I would take a lawyer's word of a possible suspect for that, let alone Rudy Giuliani's word.

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

Legal experts said Manafort's lawyer may be trying to remain on good terms with the Trump camp in the hopes that Manafort will ultimately receive a presidential pardon.

presidential pardons are a blight on the USA version of democracy; they undermine the judicial process in favor of favors and shady backroom deals

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Okay, for the sake of argument, let's give Rudy the benefit of the doubt about Don, Sr.

 

What about Don, Jr., Kushner, and anyone else from the inner circle?

 

And, maybe they haven't gotten to more incriminating evidence on Don, Sr....so far.  

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Just lying Donald’s lackey trying to spin bs the only thing protecting Donald is the office he presently occupies be afaraid Donald very afaraid

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Why is Giuliani bringing this up now? Is it to fill up the airways while the Dear Leader Trump is tearing up that nuclear deal signed by Ronald Reagan on medium range nuclear missiles? Does anyone remember what it was like to live under nuclear proliferation? Remember this when the next fear of Russian nuclear weapons is being wheeled in by Trump or whoever takes over from him and that Trump started it.

 

A more sane and intelligent leader might take a different tack. Like Reagan who put the Soviet Union under pressure, getting them to spend a huge amount on weapons and ultimately causing them to go broke. That was a strategy that culminated in the arms treaty with Gorbachev and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

 

But here there is no sane and intelligent leader and no strategy except to create fear among the American people for selfish political and personal reasons.

 

And by the way, on another very topical issue, does anyone remember what Ronald Reagan said about people coming across the border? "They call them illegal aliens," he said. "I call them willing workers."

 

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican nor even a US citizen and I also think that Reagan had his deep faults too (remember the air traffic controllers standoff where he fired them all and created a huge problem?). But the USA and the world is really in it now with Trump.

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8 hours ago, Chomper Higgot said:

And we all know Giuliani is telling the truth.

An american republican politican telling the truth?!? :cheesy::cheesy:
You have to be a special kind of stupid to believe that 🤣

 

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10 hours ago, JulesMad said:

An american republican politican telling the truth?!? :cheesy::cheesy:
You have to be a special kind of stupid to believe that 🤣

 

As would someone that believes all Democrats are truthful.

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On 10/23/2018 at 7:09 AM, stevenl said:

Maybe he did say something damaging, maybe he didn't. I would take a lawyer's word of a possible suspect for that, let alone Rudy Giuliani's word.

Oops, 'wouldn't', not 'would'.

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23 hours ago, Proboscis said:

Why is Giuliani bringing this up now? Is it to fill up the airways while the Dear Leader Trump is tearing up that nuclear deal signed by Ronald Reagan on medium range nuclear missiles? Does anyone remember what it was like to live under nuclear proliferation? Remember this when the next fear of Russian nuclear weapons is being wheeled in by Trump or whoever takes over from him and that Trump started it.

 

A more sane and intelligent leader might take a different tack. Like Reagan who put the Soviet Union under pressure, getting them to spend a huge amount on weapons and ultimately causing them to go broke. That was a strategy that culminated in the arms treaty with Gorbachev and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

 

But here there is no sane and intelligent leader and no strategy except to create fear among the American people for selfish political and personal reasons.

 

And by the way, on another very topical issue, does anyone remember what Ronald Reagan said about people coming across the border? "They call them illegal aliens," he said. "I call them willing workers."

 

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican nor even a US citizen and I also think that Reagan had his deep faults too (remember the air traffic controllers standoff where he fired them all and created a huge problem?). But the USA and the world is really in it now with Trump.

It could be that the mid term elections are getting closer and the panic has notched up another degree.

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21 hours ago, JulesMad said:

An american republican politican telling the truth?!? :cheesy::cheesy:
You have to be a special kind of stupid to believe that 🤣

 

You have to be a special kind of stupid to believe a word that Donald Trump says.  Trump is the biggest liar I've ever seen in my life.  Heck, just this past week alone....

 

[If last week was about keeping up with the dizzying pace President Trump's campaign and media appearances, this week is about keeping up with all the false statements and empty promises.]

 

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-unleashes-flurry-false-statements-run-midterm-elections/story?id=58688458

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