Donald Trump’s time in office is running out now that former campaign manager Paul Manafort has flipped and is cooperating with Russia investigators, a Democratic strategist predicts.
On Friday, federal prosecutors announced that Manafort had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and a count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, and in exchange he agreed to cooperate with the Russia investigation. As CNN noted, the “cooperation agreement” means that other charges would be dropped as long as Manafort provided “successful cooperation.”
That could be potentially damaging for Donald Trump and his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., as Manafort was present at the Trump Tower meeting in 2016 where members of the campaign met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. This meeting, which was arranged by Trump Jr., has reportedly been a major plank of the Russia investigation and the question of whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.
Scott Dworkin, a Democratic strategist and MSNBC contributor, believes that Manafort’s cooperation will spell the end of Trump’s time in office. He offered his thoughts on Twitter a day before Manafort’s plea deal was announced, saying he believes Trump will resign within two weeks.
If Manafort flips, I bet @realDonaldTrump will resign within 2 weeks of a deal.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 14, 2018
Donald Trump’s team quickly issued a statement on Friday saying that Manafort’s cooperation had nothing to do with Trump, reiterating the president’s innocence. In the past, Trump had praised Manafort for holding strong and refusing to cooperate with prosecutors, unlike his former attorney, Michael Cohen.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family,” the President tweeted the week of Manafort’s conviction in his Virginia trial. “‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ — make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.’ Such respect for a brave man!”
Trump has not offered thoughts of his own, spending most of Friday re-tweeting updates and video of relief efforts from Hurricane Florence as it made landfall in North Carolina.
Scott Dworkin is not the only one to predict that Donald Trump may resign rather than face the prospect of prosecution in the Russia probe. As CNN noted, Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for Trump’s best-selling book Art of the Deal, had previously said he believes that Trump’s nature is to resign and paint himself as a victim if the investigation appears to be closing in on him.