, 23 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
The first party, which includes Neal Katyal, is interesting, particularly because Katyal brings up the point about Manafort’s angling for a pardon. tinyurl.com/y4xos9fh
The clear insinuation in previous Mueller court filings, that Manafort has been angling for a pardon, is very significant. But there was no reason to expect Mueller to address that in yesterday’s sentencing memo. 1/6
Trump isn’t going to pardon Manafort b/c he feels his pain. Trump has no such feelings. He will only pardon Manafort to reward him if he doesn’t spill the beans on Trump’s campaign collusion with the Russians. 2/6
Mueller hasn’t played his collusion cards yet, but that is coming (in the report). And once the Mueller report is out, Trump will be between a rock and a hard place. 3/6
It will be so damaging that there will be outrage if Trump pardons Manafort then. (It’s one thing to pardon someone who is going to get a life sentence when he is old and sick over financial crimes; and another thing to pardon crimes that involve betraying the country.) 4/6
On the other hand, if Trump doesn’t pardon Manafort pretty soon after the Mueller report is issued and things have headed south for Trump, Manafort may feel at that point that he has no choice 5/6
--if he doesn’t want to die in prison--but to give Mueller what he has always wanted: campaign collusion goods on Trump.

I expect a pardon, but that Trump will have to pay a horrendously high political price for it when he finally has to give it to Manafort. 6/6
Typo: The first part, which includes Neal Katyal, is interesting, particularly because Katyal brings up the point about Manafort’s angling for a pardon. tinyurl.com/y4xos9fh
More needs to be said about a possible pardon for Manafort. (Start of a new, follow-up thread) 7/21
Once Manafort is sentenced, his sentence will fall under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1987, which mandates that all federal prisoners, regardless of offense type, must serve a minimum of 85% of their sentences behind bars before becoming eligible for release. 8/21
(This is sometimes called “truth in sentencing.” The recently enacted First Step Act, which relaxed mandatory sentencing for some crimes, will not, apparently, have any impact on the white collar crimes for which Manafort was convicted.) 9/21
Manafort will soon be in the hands of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and will not be able to negotiate or renegotiate then any plea agreement with federal prosecutors or appeal to a federal judge for a reduced sentence. 10/21
So the only hope Manafort has of not dying in prison is a presidential pardon. And here things get quite interesting and complicated. 11/21
As I argued in yesterday’s thread (of which this is a continuation), Trump and therefore Manafort are between a rock and hard place when it comes to a pardon. 12/21
A pardon now would immediately spring Manafort from prison, but it would also strip him of his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. As soon as that happened, 13/21
the feds would be in a position to question Manafort under oath about any crimes he might have committed during the campaign (like violation of 18 USC § 371, conspiracy to defraud the U.S.) which are not mentioned or covered in his existing plea agreement. 14/21
This might be a pretty good deal for Manafort--not great, because he would either have to incriminate himself for campaign conspiracy or risk going to jail again--but it would be devastating for Trump. 15/21
On the other hand, Trump doesn’t have forever to pardon Manafort. Trump and Manafort must consider that Trump might be removed from office, in which case he could (and undoubtedly will) be indicted for federal crimes committed during the campaign and while in office. 16/21
Or Trump might decide it is not in his interest to even run for reelection; and he certainly can’t be sure that he would be re-elected if he did run. 17/21
This is where it really gets interesting: because if Manafort flipped now, before he is sentenced, and turned state’s evidence on campaign collusion, he might be able to negotiate a new and quite favorable plea agreement with Mueller. 18/21
But even if #Manafort were to wait beyond that point, he might calculate
he has better odds of getting a pardon from a Democratic president if one is elected in in 2020 than from Trump anytime before Jan 20, 2021. #mueller 19/21
Trump will be in great peril if Manafort is stripped of his Fifth Amendment rights, whenever that might happen, but of course that would be of no concern to a Democratic president in 2021! 20/21
Trump would never pardon #Manafort if he snitched on him; but a Democratic president *might* pardon him in 2021 if he or she thought that Manafort’s turning state’s evidence on Trump’s campaign collusion was helpful enough in bringing down the Trump presidency. #mueller 21/21
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