Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano tells Shep Smith that Robert Mueller can prove in court without Paul Manafort’s testimony that the Trump campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence.
Editor’s Note: Samuel Warde is the editor-in-chief of Liberals Unite (recently re-branded as The Art of Living) as well as a contributor to Mindy Fischer, Writer. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. You can view a list of his articles here.
Paul Manafort’s attorneys accidentally revealed the “clearest evidence to date” that the Trump campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence in a Tuesday court filing.
As a top official in President Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort shared political polling data with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence, according to a court filing unsealed on Tuesday. The document provided the clearest evidence to date that the Trump campaign may have tried to coordinate with Russians during the 2016 presidential race.
Manafort’s lawyers made the disclosure by accident, through a formatting error in a document filed to respond to charges that he had lied to prosecutors working for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.”
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith discussed these accidental disclosures with Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, who told him that this is a big deal.
- SMITH: We now know that the prosecutors are saying that they have evidence that Paul Manafort gave some stuff to the Russians. Explain it.
- NAPOLITANO: The government, the prosecutors accused Paul Manafort of lying to FBI agents in violation of his guilty plea to cooperate with them and they filed their allegations of the lies under seal. We don’t know what they were. Paul Manafort’s lawyers filed their answer and they forgot to seal part of it. And the part they forgot to seal was that the FBI accused Paul Manafort of lying about whether or not he gave confidential campaign polling data, at the height of the campaign, to a Russian oligarch who the FBI has identified as a source for Russian intelligence.
- SMITH: So, a Putin man?
- JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: Yes. This shows that Bob Mueller can demonstrate to a court, without the testimony of Paul Manafort, that the campaign had a connection to Russian intelligence and the connection involved information going from the campaign to the Russians. The question is, was this in return for a promise of something from the Russians, and did the candidate, now the president, know about it. [emphasis added]
- SMITH: And would that be a conspiracy?
- NAPOLITANO: Yes. Conspiracy is an agreement to commit a crime. The crime would be to receive something of value from the foreign person or government during a campaign. Whether or not the thing of value arrives, the agreement is what is the crime. There was apparently an agreement between the campaign manager and this Russian oligarch. What the oligarch did with the material we gave him, who the campaign manager, Manafort, spoke to in the campaign, Bob Mueller has yet to reveal…
- SHEP SMITH: If this is collusion, though collusion isn’t a crime, this would be collusion.
- NAPOLITANO: The crime is the conspiracy, the agreement. Collusion is a nonlegal term.
- SMITH: Oh, I know, but if there’s collusion, giving stuff to the Russians about polling data
- NAPOLITANO: That would probably fit into that kind of a category.
You can watch the discussion, below:
Fox News’ Shep Smith and Andrew Napolitano agree: The Trump campaign “colluded” (18 U.S.C. § 371) with Russia.
[Offical offense: 18 U.S.C. § 371 “conspiracy against the United States” or “conspiracy to defraud the United States”.] pic.twitter.com/b5Acl90l8v
— Brenna Simon (@BrennaSimonSays) January 10, 2019