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Manafort juror's message to Trump: Pardon would be 'big mistake'

28 August 2018

Prosecutors said its case in the second trial set for September 17 will "last approximately ten to 12 trial days", Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team of attorneys, digging into Russian interference in the 2016 president election, wrote in a filing Friday evening in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, obtained by Politico.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, which has been leading the Cohen probe, declined to comment, as did the White House.

"This is, I think, what I think some of the ethics opinions would call mere puffery, and typically that is not subject to discipline", said Lubet, of Northwestern University law school. Trump has routinely denounced the probe as a "witch hunt".

The Wall Street Journal and NBC News cited anonymous sources to report on Friday that Allen Weisselberg, Trump Organization finance chief, received immunity to speak to prosecutors in the investigation of hush money Cohen paid to two women, who claimed to have affairs with Trump. In the fall of 2016, weeks before the election, Cohen had set up a limited liability company in DE to hide the deal he made to silence the pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels about an affair she said she had with Trump. Davis now says he's not so sure.

There is also no doubt that Trump and his businesses have been targeted, said Dershowitz, but the claims of illegal campaign contributions are going nowhere.

Before the latest development, 46 percent of American voters approved of Trump's job performance.

The president defended the hush-money payments Wednesday, saying, incorrectly, that the effort outlined in Cohen's guilty plea wasn't "even a campaign violation". Trump critics seized on the report, noting that Trump and Trump Jr. have both denied that the president knew about the meeting until it was reported in the press in July 2017.

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"If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don't retain the services of Michael Cohen!".

Duffy also said conservatives think the Mueller investigation is one-sided. "And if he listened to those four things, he'd be in less trouble than he is today", Dershowitz said.

Trump has praised Manafort and recently sought his attorneys' advice on a potential pardon, according to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

"Now that Trump's personal lawyer has implicated him in a crime, not supporting impeachment feels like a dodge", Wikler said.

Manafort was convicted last week on 8 counts, including bank and tax fraud. "And to have the president then, you know, speak so well of Paul Manafort was somewhat unusual", Gonzales said.

Davis's allegations, if accurate, would have had significant ramifications for the Mueller investigation, which is probing whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election.

Manafort juror's message to Trump: Pardon would be 'big mistake'