Our man Paul Manafort is at it again. He originally agreed to snitch on Trump but turns out he’s been lying to special counsel Robert Mueller all along. There’s an interesting plot twist to this, though. Peep game.

Why would he lie?
Two scenarios – Manafort expects Trump to pardon him (and Trump did say pardon’s not off the table yesterday) or he fears he or his fam might get that Russian polonium tea treatment. What’s funny is Mueller left out some of the crimes Pauly committed so even after Trump pardons him, he could still get charged again for those other crimes and face more than a decade of jail time. Maybe he’s really scared of Russian assassins.

Here’s the plot twist
We’re no legal experts but renowned journalist Marcy Wheeler came up with a pretty crazy interpretation of this situation. Let us break it down with bullet points

  • Manafort, former Trump camp chairman, facing football numbers in jail, agrees to turn snitch on Trump
  • Team Mueller sends questions to Trump, Trump takes his time getting the answers ready
  • Throughout, Manafort maintains shared defense with Trump (meaning their lawyers’ve been talking) and could have been leaking info about Mueller investigation to Trump via his lawyers
  • Mueller saw this coming but decides to play dumb and chooses (he could’ve put a gag order on Manafort but did not) to let Manafort leak info to Trump – essentially setting the trap by letting Trump and Manafort match their lies up.
  • Manafort flips back and tell lies to Mueller believing he’s playing Mueller while Trump prepares his answers based on info fed to him via Manafort
  • Trump submits the sworn answer to Mueller thinking shit’s sweet
  • A few days later, Mueller breaks the plea deal with Manafort for his lies.
  • Mueller’s confident he can prove that Manafort has lied – which means, if Trump’s answers are based on Manafort’s lies, it can be proved Trump has lied, too.

Basically, Mueller’s been playing some 4D chess while Trump and Manafort were playing checkers.

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