In the multiple investigations surrounding the Trump presidency and his administration, former National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, pled guilty to lying to the FBI and cooperated with the government. He cooperated ostensibly to earn a “substantial assistance letter” and downward departure motion, which is filed by the government on a defendant’s behalf to seek a sentence below the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines’ range, in this case 0 – 6 months.
With Tuesday’s convictions in the criminal trial of President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III, has garnered five guilty pleas and 32 indicted individuals still pending. In addition, yesterday’s guilty plea in the S.D.N.Y., by Michael Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and self-styled fixer, admitting to making payments to two women who allegedly had affairs with President Trump in violation of campaign finance laws at the direction of the President along with other charges, demonstrate that our system of justice is working as it should.
Rick Gates, Paul Manafort’s former business partner, is the star witness in the first trial resulting from the Special Counsel’s Russia collusion investigation in federal court in Virginia. Gates pled guilty to felony charges and agreed to testify against Manafort in an effort to receive a substantially reduced sentence. The government and defense agree on one thing – the cooperating defendant/witness is guilty of financial crimes, moral misdeeds and has lied repeatedly in the past. Despite that, Gates is on the witness stand, under oath testifying as a government witness in a highly publicized trial of great public interest.