Don't sleep on the Giuliani-Manafort news. Trump has told friends that Manafort is the only man who could take him down, and that remains true even post-conviction because Manafort never told the full truth to the feds. And now we learn Trump and Manafort's attorneys are talking?
1/ In speaking to Manafort's lawyer, Giuliani gives Manafort a chance to offer value to Trump and make his case for a pardon (and Trump's continued assistance in quashing Manafort's corruption probes in Ukraine). *Trump* gets Manafort's continued silence. It's a *quid pro quo*.
2/ The Mueller Report is clear on the fact that Trump repeatedly tampered with Manafort as a witness, and did so through his lawyers and Manafort's lawyers. This is a *continuation* of that tampering, and would be significant even separate from the growing Trump-Ukraine scandal.
3/ I maintain that the January 2018 NBC report by Howard Fineman confirms thar Trump has some joint course of conduct with Manafort he is *terrified* will be revealed, and that Manafort is willing to go to prison for *many* years to hide. To me that's *always* been the big story.
4/ In view of this, Trump's fixer Giuliani engaging in a secret course of intel exchange with Manafort must be seen as not merely conventional resource acquisition but a two-way exchange of value with a federal convict Trump tampered with successfully to keep silent, per Mueller.
You can follow @SethAbramson.
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