David S. Weinstein on Manafort Convictions, Cohen's Guilty Plea
On Tuesday, August 21, after nearly four days of deliberations, a jury found former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty on eight counts—two counts of bank fraud, five counts of tax fraud and one charge of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts. In the same hour Manafort was found guilty, Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, plead guilty to charges of tax and bank fraud, as well as campaign finance violations.
Hinshaw's Miami-based partner David S. Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor, spoke with many media outlets—both national and international—regarding the developments. A highlight of his commentary follows.
USA Today: Why Michael Cohen doesn't (yet) have a deal with Robert Mueller
Reporters Kevin Johnson and John Fritze of USA Today discussed Michael Cohen's guilty plea and whether or not he'll be able to cut a deal. Weinstein noted that if prosecutors have already taken the position, in keeping with Justice Department guidelines, that a sitting president cannot be indicted, there is no real need for Cohen's testimony. "Why give him something [a possible chance at a sentence reduction] when they don't need to," he said.
Read "Why Michael Cohen doesn't (yet) have a deal with Robert Mueller," on the USA Today website
RN Breakfast, an Australian Broadcasting Corporation Podcast: Michael Cohen Surrenders to the FBI, reportedly reaches plea deal
Talking extensively about Michael Cohen shortly after news broke about his guilty plea, Weinstein joins Fran Kelly on the RN Breakfast podcast to discuss what the plea means for Trump and the Russia investigation. "He [Cohen] has a lot of information," Weinstein said. It's really a matter of "how many bridges is he willing to burn."
Listen to "Michael Cohen Surrenders to the FBI, reportedly reaches plea deal," on the ABC website
Associated Press: Back-to-back legal blows in Trump circle jolt presidency
Zeke Miller, Jonathan Lemire and Darlene Superville combined to discuss the "jarring back-to-back blows" the Trump Administration is facing since two former members of his inner circle were "labeled guilty of criminal charges." Weinstein believes that "it's going to be hard for the president to try to discredit all this." Addressing the Manafort conviction, Weinstein opined "what matters is that a jury found that the facts presented to them by the special prosecutor warranted a conviction of someone who surrounds the president."
Read "Back-to-back legal blows in Trump circle jolt presidency," on the AP News website. The Associated Press article, along with Weinstein's commentary, was picked up by many news outlets, including Business Insider, the Huffington Post, Chicago's Daily Herald, Miami Herald and CTV News.
CBS Miami: Former US Attorney David Weinstein Speaks About Cohen, Manafort
Speaking to both events, and the potential impact on Trump's presidency, Weinstein noted that, the circumstances are starting to get "tighter and tighter around the person who's in the middle of this." Adding, "it isn't just the word of one person anymore … it's multiple people and documents."
Watch "Former US Attorney David Weinstein Speaks About Cohen, Manafort," on the CBS Local website
WIOD Radio's First News with Jimmy Cefalo: Details on Manafort and Cohen Plea Deals
Manny Munoz, a co-host of the show who was sitting in for Jimmy Cefalo, primarily discusses the developments associated with Cohen—namely the charges of unlawful contributions to a campaign and excessive campaign contributions—and what it means for President Trump. Although Trump is not named specifically in Cohen's plea, Weinstein notes that someone is named "who sounds a lot like our current president." Adding that, beyond the finance issue, the question remains whether these things were "done to influence the outcome of the election, which has different implications."
Listen to "Details on Manafort and Cohen Plea Deals," on WIOD Radio's First News with Jimmy Cefalo on iHeartRADIO
Reuters: Former Trump campaign chairman Manafort found guilty of tax and bank fraud
In an article that focuses on the Manafort convictions, Weinstein said that the guilty verdict on eight of 18 counts was "a significant victory" for Mueller. On the other hand, "the mistrial on the remaining 10 counts is a shallow victory for the defense," he said.
Read "Former Trump campaign chairman Manafort found guilty of tax and bank fraud," on the Reuters website. The Reuters article, along with Weinstein's commentary, was featured by other news outlets, including Your News and The Wire.
Law360: After His Conviction, Prosecutors Aren't Done With Manafort
Reporter Bryan Koenig of Law360 discussed what's next for Manafort, including the upcoming September trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia where he'll face charges of money laundering, conspiracy and acting as an unregistered foreign agent. "It just gets worse for him from here," Weinstein said.
Read "After His Conviction, Prosecutors Aren't Done With Manafort," on the Law360 website (subscription required)