Guilty Verdict: Kendall Coffey on What it Means for Trump and Mueller
White House allies have been vocal about Manafort’s criminal trial in Alexandria, Va. having nothing to do with his involvement in the president’s 2016 campaign and potential ties between Trump associates and Kremlin officials. Instead, the 18-count indictment prosecutors filed against Manafort focus on financial crimes and tax evasion he allegedly committed prior to joining efforts to elect Trump.
However, some legal experts say a direct connection to the president wouldn’t be necessary for a guilty verdict to undermine his months-long effort to characterize the special counsel probe as a “hoax.”
“It doesn’t affect the argument that this has nothing to do with Russia collusion because the trial, if anything, has verified that at least with Manafort, the case was not connected to allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia,” former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey told the Washington Examiner. “But what it does do in a very broad sense is provide vindication for Mueller’s team.”