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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Defendants don't accept more prison to save "stress and expense." It requires one of these things:

1) a sentence concurrent with prior ones
2) a cooperation deal for a lesser sentence
3) a life sentence that's already been imposed
4) a sentence far less than you'd get post-trial
2/ Mueller has the time, resources and evidence to nail Manafort in DC and a Virginia retrial. So he's not going to offer a concurrent sentence, or even a consecutive sentence that's far less than Manafort would get post-trial. And Manafort doesn't currently have a life sentence.
3/ I'm not saying Manafort gave up Trump. I'm saying either there's a fifth option in addition to those I cited—Manafort expects a pardon—or Mueller is getting something of value. And Mueller isn't going to play to Manafort's pardon strategy by helping him end his cases quicker.
4/ Manafort's lawyers put out the story they were seeking a plea deal without offering cooperation. Any defense lawyer could tell you that story was hogwash: there was no reason for Mueller to accept such a deal. So the lawyers weren't being forthcoming—and the reason is obvious.
5/ Whatever Manafort offered Mueller—maybe it was small, maybe it was big, no sense in speculating—was something at least for now the parties do *not* want public. But media saying that the basis for the plea deal was to save Manafort "stress and expense"... no. Just no. Stop it.
6/ In theory, if Manafort is confident he'll get a pardon because Trump has committed obstruction, he could offer Mueller a large prison sentence consecutive to any time he gets in Virginia. But that's a huge risk for him, and Mueller wouldn't want to make things so easy for him.
7/ What you'd rather do as Mueller is a) re-try the 10 charges in Virginia, b) get a sentence on the 8 convictions in Virginia, c) drag out the DC case as long as possible. That way Trump must wait on a pardon, Manafort sits in jail, and maybe Trump is gone before he can pardon.
8/ So Mueller giving Manafort a quick resolution in D.C., *especially* if he's not going to re-try the remaining ten charges in Virginia, has to be something done for some consideration—there has to be a benefit to the feds. But Manafort's "stress and expense" won't factor in it.
10/ Mueller has the power in the Mueller-Manafort negotiations—in every way. Convictions, pending charges, opportunities for retrial, sentencing guidelines. Manafort has 2 hopes in cutting a deal: pardon or cooperation. And the first is such a risky play... unless Trump tampered.
CONCLUSION/ 3 possibilities:

1) Manafort is cooperating, giving up Trump/someone else.
2) Trump illegally promised Manafort a pardon.
3) Mueller offered Manafort a long consecutive sentence—which Manafort took because he thinks if the facts come out at trial he'll get far worse.
NOTE/ Possibility #3—in the tweet prior—is unlikely because Mueller has Manafort dead-to-rights and Manafort is a top target, so Mueller would demand a long sentence from Manafort consecutive to his Virginia sentence. Hard to imagine Manafort thinks he'd do even worse post-trial.
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