Chuck Ross on October 22, 2018
Rudy Giuliani claims that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has not provided incriminating information on President Trump during his many hours of interviews with the special counsel’s office.
Trump has maintained a joint defense agreement with Manafort, even after the longtime Republican operative entered a plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller last month.
Giuliani, who is serving as one of Trump’s lawyers in the Russia probe, told Reuters that he spoke last week with Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing, who said that his client did not provide damaging information on Trump.
“He’s just telling me the conclusion that he’s not in a conflicted position with us,” Giuliani said.
“If he wants to communicate information, Manafort, he’s allowed to do that. There’s nothing that stops him from doing that,” added Giuliani. “All I’m interested in is: Is there anything we need to know with regard to us?”
Manafort has met at least a half dozen times with the special counsel’s office since entering a plea deal on Sept. 14.
Manafort was convicted in Virginia on Aug. 21 on money laundering and bank fraud charges related to his work for a Ukrainian political party. He entered a cooperation agreement with Mueller just before he was set to go to trial in Washington, D.C. on illegal lobbying charges for the Ukraine work.
The question looming over Manafort’s plea agreement has been whether he was providing investigators with information on Trump, the campaign, or other matters.
Manafort joined the Trump team in April 2016 and left that August, after news reports detailed his work in Ukraine. Rick Gates, a former Manafort business partner who was his deputy on the campaign, entered a plea agreement in February. He testified against Manafort in the Virginia trial.