Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s indictment could give special counsel Robert Mueller leverage over Manafort to help him put President Trump in legal jeopardy, a veteran House Republican worried Monday.
“That’s obviously the plan here, in my judgment,” Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., told a Phoenix radio host on Monday morning.
Manafort and business partner Rick Gates surrendered to the FBI on Monday; they face charges related to money laundering and failing to register as foreign agents, after years of working on behalf of pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians. President Trump countered that the crimes were allegedly committed before the pair joined his campaign, but Franks sees danger anyway.
“They’ll threaten Manafort in every way that they can,” Franks said on KTAR radio. “They’ll try to say ‘Well, listen. We’re not really after you, we’re going to try to manufacture something against Donald Trump no matter what, and if you can help us, it would sure go well for you.’ And I think we need to be prepared for that.”