Paul Manafort found guilty on 8 counts

The president's former campaign chairmen was on trial for tax fraud.
29:58 | 08/21/18

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Transcript for Paul Manafort found guilty on 8 counts
This is an ABC news. George Stephanopoulos. Afternoon we're coming on the air again and any day of bombshell developments in legal situation facing president trumpet his presidential campaign word just in. That is former campaign chair Paul Mann a port has been found guilty. On eight counts of tax evasion and bank fraud. He's facing eighteen counts in that trial when a go straight to our senior justice correspondent at the courthouse Pierre Thomas what's the latest. Doors of dramatic verdict it's just kind of men. Eight counts palm out of what has been convicted on eight counts. Five regarding tax evasion charges he's also convicted on a failure to file foreign bank accounts and financial assets count. And also have break bank fraud account as well. So George which you're seeing here is the power of the federal prosecutors eighteen counts the judge decided that on the ten counts that they could not get. A jury be unanimous vote. Those are declared as of mr. Strauss but he had been convicted on eight counts stores again to power a federal. Prosecutor in that there were eighteen counts of this man face he's now going to. Have jail time when at least eight of those counselors. Casing several years correction jail one of turnaround in covering the trial as wealthy Pierre Thomas talks with the power federal prosecutor not. A complete Grand Slam home run here for the prosecutors but guilty on eight counts significant blow to Paul man a Ford and president try. It is a significant development obviously for. Special counsel Robert Mueller this is the first test before a jury of his investigation and it is a partial. Success on those tax crimes that he that palm and a Fortis has been found guilty of and a bank fraud and the failure to file ownership of a foreign bank account or foreign assets but this is also the power the jury system. They were given a very dense very different goal document driven case they sorted through it they came to an agreement. On the prosecution's strongest case have talked to defense lawyers who did think that those tax crimes. They weren't they were pretty strong a strong case for the prosecution. These otherwise though that the jury throughout so how much of an impact this has politically it probably does strengthen. Special counsel Robert Mueller hand he does have a Victor but it also shows that that the jury just in this case shut all that out. And they went methodically through the evidence. They came to the agreements they could and punted on the rest. And of course Paul Manfred also now faces a second trial in Washington DC. I'm several charges including lying to the FBI conspiracy to defraud the United States witness tampering so he is facing even more. Legal trouble going forward agreeing Chris Christie. Who also worked with president trump on that campaigns and an outside advisor. After all metaphor was chairman. Chris Christie none of these charges have anything to do with his campaign work. For president trump Paul metaphors campaign work for president trump the president joked as recently as Friday. Called out this investigation called out this trial called home and afford a good man. The outlook and torture victim wonders if there is part of it never involved campaign. But but I think the important thing is it's a mixed bag from a special counsel. Theater if you look at the celts releases for the orchestra white male bit welcome to be guilty Burton had very little to do with Robert Gates. And the ones that the jury hung not to be responsible much more dependent upon deep distrust. We can't explain it lubricates is he is the former deputy campaign chair. Worked a long time colleague of Paul man a Ford who was originally charged with Paul man a fort but then took a plea and was cooperating witness against. He was the main Global Witness not talking equipment. You know this has real implications for the next trial. We have the mixture Arctic will be much more dependent. Upon Ricky Stevens pushed trial was Georgian so the Arctic if you're in the mower team you're happy this is a win. This is a wintry men just aren't your prosecution. But I figure out. We couldn't let it be true Chris but let me interrupt you're there because the men and the Muller's team is saying they have far more documents for that second trial and even after this first trial. They made toward Bradley you look at the allegations in the second trial. It will also brief to really build up to a jury. We're going to be key to be a narrow reader we call the business to narrate them through that in addition the FBI agents so. I just think that it's it's gonna be far more mowers and look back. I'm on how they chart this case. How well they're prepared gates and what kind of witness gate did he get ready we're still are a member of true. And we're seeing Rick gates are behind home enforced there on the screen he's the man encircle regularly another question on this day Chris Christie. You know that one of the big questions is who's this all an attempt to pressure. Paul man afford to give information. Our president trump he's with stood that so far does this give another opening to prosecutors or is that just gone. You know there's always the do so is an opportunity to when you've got a second trial. Which are getting ready for more charter schools are pretty familiar with certainty appreciate some jail time. And so now all the good to give me evade even more complete contextual Rappaport. What I would or you George are peculiar to cooperated at this point he's probably not going to American meet one of two friends. Ivory or to cure to cooperate we've got nothing to cooperate where. And Pierre Thomas senior just correspond before we go ten counts of mistrial on ten counts prosecutors will also now face the choice whether to try to retry. On those charges. George I think one of the things we have to factor in this aside from the politics there's a human nature of this problem and a fourth is currently in jail. On allegations a witness tampering with these eight convictions he's facing years in jail. Years in jail. That's what the situation is for him he won't be out in the public for any time soon. And again he's got another child to ahead of him but he's now looking at convictions that would land him in jail for years. And Cecilia Vega at the white as I said Sicily the president called Forman afford a good man. On Friday as he was speaking out against the Muller investigation. But the White House has had conflicting things to say about Paul man afford. As well at first they tried to push him off as someone who didn't have a great deal to do with the campaign even though he was a campaign chair. Yet they try to play him pay him as a two bit player small player in the campaign in your right he rose to the rank of campaign manager and really. With the person who court date of the Republican National Convention for this team he was not a two bit player. And as we've been saying that Russia investigation. Trump himself was not a part of this trial. But make no mistake about this George indirectly this White House is very much linked to Paul Mann a port in this trial is just taking place right now. Surprisingly are perhaps not we have not heard any comment. For president trump himself we have not heard a comment from the White House we had yet to hear comment. Directly from anyone affiliated with the campaign we were going to attempt to ask the president questions about this about the Michael Cohen deal. Today and instead they canceled his departure on the South Lawn here at the White House the only opportunity where reporters like myself would have been allowed to ask the president. Questions today they they said that there was bad weather I don't know if you can see behind your your George the skies are pretty sunny at this point so I had no questions for the president on this one just yet. As they set a day of bombshell developments in legal matters surrounding president trump and his campaign is former campaign chair Paul manna for found guilty on eight counts of tax evasion. Failing to file for bank accounts and bank fraud and bank conspiracy miss trial. On ten other counts open question whether prosecutors are going to continue to pursue that course Paul metaphor does face a second trial on Washington DC. On a host of charges as well and is a so this comes on the day. When the president's former personal attorney Michael Cohen has pled guilty is in a courthouse now. In the southern district of New York pleading guilty. Two charges of campaign finance violations dealing with a 2016 campaign also tax evasion and bank fraud we're expecting to hear. From the assistant US attorney who's prosecuting that case Robert whose army shortly will be back on there when that comes in of course a full report tonight on world news tonight with David Muir. We are continuing this special report on this verdict in the Paul man a fort trial the jury finding him guilty on eight counts vary in. Forms of tax evasion bank fraud illegal use of foreign bank accounts but hung jury on ten counts he was facing AT and total the jury could not reach. A verdict on ten of those counts of the judge will be declaring. A mistrial. On those ten counts it will be up to prosecutors if they want to retry him again. Paul man a fort president trumps former campaign chair found guilty. On eight counts in this case Devin Dwyer coordinating producer is standing by for us in DC a and DeVon how significant is this. Given there was no actual relation between this and the trump campaign or the rush to probe but this. In Robert Muller's first case. Well as you heard from our team over the courthouse that this was a sick very significant moment for Robert Mueller the first test this sort of a vindication. Of his legal efforts to go after. President trumps team here corruption if you will around the campaign. The president trumps his his supporters the White House though though they haven't weighed in officially yet. I would say look this is a sign that they have nothing on the president. That the fact that they have now. I convicted palm and a fort on these tax charges fraud charges none of that as you had happened you know connected to the campaign as you say. But what was fascinating in this trial was that it was taking place. During that time he was leading the trump campaign arm and a fort did not file tax returns. He did not I report these accounts while he was there in the next in the late days of 2016. So. Very close to the president here or service or real afternoon. Diane in addition to what's going Alan Michael Cohen that this is hits so close to president from. And quite a big day in terms of court proceedings related to the president DeVon I want to bring in here Thomas he's there. At the courthouse and hear what we know so far about these counts on which metaphor was then he'll. Well again and eight counts if found guilty spacing likely leaders years in jail. Tax evasion charges there were five counts of that there was a failure to foreign policy when bank account on another charge in it was a bank fraud charge in a bank. Conspiracy giving a conspiracy charge so. Again yup it that in perspective of these already in jail being held in connection would witness tampering alleged allegations of witness tampering. So this was while it was a mixed verdict. If Ku is a very difficult day for men were and it's been the man is going to face again years in jail and he's another foul coming up. In that regard to whether he was acting illegally as a foreign agent on behalf of the Ukrainian officials so again typical day for the man afford. Team and his family blatt. It says the politics. There were ten counts which a jury could not come to a unanimous verdict on and the judge declared a mistrial on those ten counts. And it here any sort of inclination of how this case might affect. That other case that amount of port has ahead of him. Well again. They're separate cases. But they're also being held and tried by the special counsel so. From their standpoint the fact that they got convictions. In which this man will be facing. Jail time he's now a convicted felon. If you will so from that standpoint it gives legitimacy to the investigation. But again there will be politics involved where some people will say we didn't get a slam dunk because you didn't get off. The charges. Convictions on all charges but again. In practical terms for the man who was facing eighteen counts is now looking at jail time in the course of years. Comments or if there in Alexandria Virginia appear thank you. I want it over KH IVC news consultant. Kate we are here talking about the political ramifications of being found. Guilty on eight counts for getting hung jury on the other ten what a legal ramifications of Moses. Well I mean until you're talking about the possibility of jail time of course now you know we're looking at bared their could be decades in terms of attendance record attached to the conviction on the account the jury did convict on. But you know an additional legal questions that have to be swirling around the White House and the president's advisors right now with the question of pardons right. The president has stake unilateral power to pardon. He could pardon common for a ten day if he wanted to do. You know you could pardon for conduct that even that hasn't been tried or convicted yet so. To bet that that pardons. Critics and even to the kinds of things that haven't yet been trials in the DC case that's scheduled for September. So you know I think there have to be a lot of conversations ongoing right now. About whether. To use of that kind of unilateral power. Do you utilities security clearance stripping our board that single security and stripping that the president is flexing his muscles in terms of some of the unilateral I'm presidential power so. So I imagine there he at least is thinking about. And Kate in terms of the relation to the campaign you know this wasn't a direct tie in with the Russian investigation it was Robert Muller's first case. But it sounds Exxon is what's going on. While implement a fort was working for the campaign could be campaign somehow get dragged into this. You know a couple of possible linkages one is the kind of timing connection rights summit that Condit wasn't going to. While plummet toward what connect to the campaign so there's that linkage. I'm and then there actually is the linkage not just of the campaign but but. To the Russia probe at least in general terms in that. You know the fund that were being hidden in banks and that board then being reported. If that were the subject of the tax fraud claims that were of their big victory did convict on a lot but sort of public fund. Or many of them were Ukrainian clients of Pullman export many of which were Russian affiliated. And so there's a connection to Russia sort of that leaves behind a lot of the conduct that the issue here so go to Russia in the campaign. Are in the background even though none of those things are squarely at issue in terms of the conduct that was charged. And on which the jury convicted. An F from the perspective of the tram campaign if there is something to worry about do you find a fact that he hasn't. Cooperated with prosecutors until this point. Is that reassuring does that sort of mean he either doesn't want to or doesn't have anything or could he now go forward and still cooperate in this issue with this next case. You know I if you count the likelihood. And I think stranger things have happened but I I would be very surprised. I'm having sort of stood the pressure to cooperate. Even beating that the amount of jail time that he is facing. I do at this point it doesn't seem that likely to be that he can reverse course now I think far more likely he's holding out the hope didn't get the complete pardon and never have to do any jail time at all. And now he's looking at jail time it sounds like with these eight counts at least he's already. Been in jail on this witness tampering. Issue and there will be until he serves in that next case. So what are the what are the potential that were looking at in terms of how much time comment or could get. It looks like decades and the total in it in terms the eighteen counts I it looked like he was speaking something like 300 years of aggregate jail time. And I think in terms of the eight that we've seen convict that the convictions are on it looked like up to eighty years and so you know. Functionally that would get life in prison. Of course that an outside limit and you know sentencing judge would by no means obligated to get back kind of maximum sentence but it's essentially like imprisoned that. Could be on the table. Is there any way for Paul man afford to sort of make things better for himself at this point. Well you know look he could choose to cooperate. And then of course that the extent that he had useful information to provide the prosecutors. The possibility of reduced prison sentence would very much be kind of on the table. Or you know he can make it clear to the president and the team that. He interest have been apart and but I would say that those are at this point a look at could appeal these you know I. I point and errors in terms of these proceedings and obviously. He's got a legal team that I matchup would be able to continue fighting but obviously this is a tough day for him and his family. And in terms of the ramifications and a potential of this potentially affecting you know the White House president. One of the star witnesses or the star witness in this case was ranking aides who worked side by side with metaphor for many years both in his businesses but also. In the campaign itself could gates pose a problem for at the. So gates' testimony was not as effective but the prosecutors had hoped it I mean he was subject to. Tough cross examination over the course of a couple of days now we don't know what a hundred mean critic could've been that most of the jurors. Wanted to convict even on the counts that were so reliant on gates' testimony. But there were a couple who you know I believed that. Did the defense is essentially successful and undermine his credibility. So I think all of that you know it's hard to know we know what that project that the jurors could not reach an adamant. Verdict to convict on those counts of but you know if it seemed that they'll probably he's provided all the useful information he had to provide. As to did charges that were at issue in this trial. As we know there's different conduct that is going to be subject to scrutiny in testicle. Couple weeks in the T he trial that we don't. We know what Kate's. Might provide in conjunction with those proceedings. And Kate just real quick can get a added eighteen counts. Yes the rest a hung jury do prosecutors consider this a win. I think they do look I'm sure they would have been happy. To go you know a 100% eighteen out of eighteen but but they got convictions on one account so so I think that they're probably very pleased with the result. Alan I had back over at seven to iron out Kate shot thank you so much. One in the back of network morning producer Devin Dwyer adds and we heard Kate saying you know kind of mixed bag for the prosecution but she would say well. A win ultimately. What does that mean politically do you think Robert Mueller declaring. Victory right now. Well I think the special counsel certainly as Kate says there's probably happy with at least some sort of negate guilty. A convict in conviction here in this case but. I've got to politically for the president this is not good news and in fact and the Drudge Report very popular conservative blog site just started pandering. Trump's hell day to give you a sense of how this is playing in that space. And you remember during the 2016 campaign when all of the president's supporters chanted lock her rock lock her up. With respect to Hillary Clinton and her alleged crimes well today you started here chance of lock him up lock him up outside that courthouse. Just after that verdict was read and. That's something I think he should keep keep an eye on as the mid term campaign plays out Democrats. Diane have seized on this they see. This is a sign of corruption their campaign against corruption either pointing out the president has surrounded himself with some characters now who have run afoul of the law. And now politically this could be a hot issue and I just a few weeks and voters head to the polls. And Devin the president is getting ready to speak at a rally tonight in West Virginia do you expect him to address. Well he he he might he is as you know very well he has a hard time. Resisting comment on the top topics of the news his team was just asked actually. An Air Force One their flying out to Charleston, West Virginia Marie as a rally at 7 PM eastern time sir Sanders the Press Secretary said she had nothing. To comment on right now we're guarding poem and a four or. The president's personal or Michael Cohen who's in in court right now in New York's owed no comment officially from the White House. The president herta question earlier boarding the plane about manna for no comment there either. But as you've been talking about the president has been very fond of Paul metaphor he's talked about how he thinks that he has been treated fairly. How he it's been a sad day for the country to see this case go forward. In his view because upon them for its connection to the president. And so you know has a lot of people talking about those pardons you heard Kate mention that's very much on the table the president hasn't taken those pardons off the table. So it will be worth watching very closely tonight at that rally in the days ahead how this White House responds and what signal it might send department afford his team. It will indeed Devin thank you an action running it over to Alex Mallon who is traveling. With the president and Alex what do you expect to hear from the president tonight. Like actually think that happy row Urquhart and a waste of big news regarding. Or investigate and Paul Mann a port. President had been bitten. Make it basically that the whether he's he's going to be restraint and not to mention these both. It tells stories. That have potential major legal applications or MI output got an erratic talking with members of the proud of and I eight mostly authority and a port is but after the Michael Cohen here and then have a heart separating any unit. From what the president what are all the witch hunt they largely agree with them Eric thinking at all art. No he speak but he beat. And that and I think that it doesn't matter much that people there are here at get caught the typical rally talked about it. Immigration. Tax. Really right now I'm not a lot of negative reaction the likely death on the a lot of people here Beijing through their Smart phone. Trying to get a better sense of what that is actually needing. Yet there is a lot to dig through for sure I wonder if you might choose to speak they're giving it is. Jamie recent deposit a crowd that will probably linked to his benefit. Yeah I mean and the pats doubly hurt the president we are in the wake actually I bring up. His rally NRA a couple of months ago when people you know you don't with some pot what they thought it. And I knew that the metaphor trial and that such yet eloquent. Was questioning Muller's mandate and the president trouble more than happy to bring it up at that rally outside this obviously having it under. Unclear how president might be able latest good news certainly indicate that Michael old and not a lot of it is to get a lot of there. I'm upper app will help look at that mistrial on that voters several counts against all Massport. But no he spoke glowingly about him just last week. Honest doubt on site reporter but the good man. Currently that as what we could hear from midnight we get to hear the boilerplate which. That we generally are commodity rally. I'm not a game particularly right now but. Obviously adding at this particularly in a rut spending neared a lawyer McGrath that. And Alex you know given this verdict drops on the same day that. The president's. Personal attorney and former fixer Michael Colin is seemingly agreeing to a plea deal. What are the political ramifications here for the president especially going into an election season hence the campaign rally. I think that backers say it despite the I've been talking it. Every Democrat here president some going to be here speaking out app. Attorney general Patrick board the that they eat red gate and they're trying to unseat democratic senator Joseph mentioned out play like you're nothing but. Art Ingrid dull. From the members of this crowd they want to yeah participate. In its war against. The seat against Democrat the president broke been waiting on it Witter. And waiting and public remarked I think that that he's going to be able to the lip then. They wait what all the other I call it a brought the country. And Alex stay with me at is Fontana recap for anyone who's just joining us Paul Mann of port was facing eighteen felony counts ranging in bank fraud and tax evasion. Has been found guilty on eight of those counts hung jury on the remaining ten he was the former campaign chair for the tramp campaign. And we're just sort of running through now the political ramifications and legal ramifications of all this the president. Is getting ready to speak at a rally in West Virginia it's night and Alex Mallon we're speaking to right now is traveling. With the president you know Alex the prosecutors' dedicated this picture of man afforded someone who made. A lot of money consulting pro Russian politicians. And then sort assists Kidd that money in foreign accounts got used to this opulent lifestyle and then when the money ran out resorted to bank fraud and tax evasion in order to continue. That opulent. Lifestyle the president at first. He has seemed to sort of stand by an out of court and away but then also kind of distance himself. From that Ford. Has he changed his tone at all lately as this verdict has come closer and closer. The certainly what the first. Or about airport here that burger and it bit and felt safe. 08. We don't at all medical excellent president campaign. For five months. And Eric and during and here so it it is you've. Been saying. Get mad at this last week I think what was it then deputy head of the shame for our country what alternate port. Don't anchors I think their argued here real appeal to supporters. Who sign that it and it eat out to get the president theories that presents well on Justice Department. Firing against and some way at the same time we. We repeatedly heard the president state that whatever all airport data it was completely distance from his campaign and real note correct Obama leak any. Brian. And what he was doing while serving as campaign chairman. Well we heard this morning again at which time we hear the president say that he could actually coordinate the Russian investment yeah Hellman essentially do Robert Mueller so. We'll see how he weighs in on that today at that rally in West Virginia if he weighs in on it at all what else are we expecting to hear from the president at that Alia. I think what we're obviously what ended up about is beat Obama Eric all regulation that the president. The current administration and out that they're rolling back today it didn't make it. He's here for all producers shut out of northern pre higher metal regulations. Now we're we're not ideal administration. Al what it did the greatest at the Betty can't enter the UP. At and they wanted to and I immigration act but several. Several members that crowd earlier really. Are we got the immigration issue here they think that it hear president talk about building law. And what the progress this with that I think they are let. In the Rutland that aspect and Michael Owen old man ordered all people don't that are bearing down the president did you see. And little order date not we. That's couple days but I think that they really want it here last out now. Well we lift and buddy here that Alex thanks so much for being their power as. We looked over to Chad you more about that the right now I want to bring in. Man that's parks our deputy political director. Very us you've heard us talking to Alex there as the president gets ready to speak at this rally in West Virginia. You think it's advisable for him to address both the man a court verdict. And this potential plea from Colin. The president hasn't exactly followed advice from legal experts in the past. I doubt you'll begin to do so now it was pretty surprising kill a lot of England the White House people in Washington and it obviously legal experts are on the country. The president weighed in on the manna for a child Wald the jury was deliberating. Over the last few days so he was willing to weigh in then. I can't imagine he goes to your entire speech entire freewheeling campaign I tonight without mentioning. The tone is there were they counting on this is as a complete surprise. And no I don't think this was a surprise that the the prosecutors laid out a pretty. And convincing case especially on those tax charge is obviously you've been talking about all the documentation and the evidence. That the government presented. I think a lot of people were expecting some guilty. Verdicts at least on some of those charges because it seemed like such an extensive paper trail. And marry us you can stay with me I just wanna bring in the new argue season attorneys on the phone with us right now to ask him about that actually. The new wiese the prosecution lay out I think it was 27%. To 27 witnesses pieces of evidence that setter at the defense's tactic here seem to just be well. They didn't prove their case. Legal experts have said that's not unusual but given the results do you think that that was not the correct strategy here. America than at any strategy that he would be there one correct strategy this case I think it and. Didn't that. The circumstances. Couldn't put on a case. I didn't see any chances and not a case and what they did what they attacked and look there and counts. The jury came backlit look no verdict. So the UK some small power and that unfortunately. The captain convicted. Will will carry out.

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