Donald Trump will be in serious trouble when his former campaign manager sits down with Russia investigators, the former ethics chief for Barack Obama claims.
Appearing on ABC’s This Week, former Obama ethics chief Norm Eisen said that Paul Manafort’s decision to accept a plea deal and work with investigators could be a game changer for the Russia investigation, The Hill reported. Trump had previously praised Manafort’s decision to stay strong and not cooperate with investigators, especially after Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen decided to work with investigators.
But Manafort has reversed course after being convicted of eight federal fraud charges in his first trial. Facing a second trial in weeks on a new set of charges related to his work in Ukraine, Manafort decided to accept a guilty plea that also requires him to work with investigators.
Eisen, a frequent critic of Trump, believes that Manafort has information that could be incredibly damaging for the president. Eisen noted that Trump is likely the only target that Manafort could offer information to investigators, he noted.
“He’s not going to survive Manafort’s testimony,” Eisen said.
“I think there’s a substantial possibility that this evidence that Manafort is offering will implicate somebody up the chain,” Eisen added. “Who is up the chain from Paul Manafort, who was the chair of the Trump campaign?”
Though Donald Trump has repeatedly denied that he colluded with Russia, Paul Manafort could have information about one of the most damaging incidents during the 2016 presidential campaign — a meeting at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-connected lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton that had been stolen by Russian hackers. That meeting is reportedly a major piece of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Eisen is joined by a number of others who are predicting that Manafort’s turn could be disastrous for Donald Trump. Scott Dworkin, a Democratic strategist and MSNBC contributor, said he believes that Trump will resign within two weeks now that Manafort has turned.
Others who know Donald Trump personally are making similar predictions. As CNN noted, Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for Trump’s best-selling book Art of the Deal, has also said he believes that Trump will ultimately resign when the pressure from the Russia investigation gets too hard for him.
Though many have speculated that Donald Trump could pardon Paul Manafort, Norm Eisen said that would not make the problem go away, and that Manafort’s testimony will be just as damaging.