President Donald Trump on Wednesday complimented his former campaign chairman’s decision to fight charges against him and took a swipe at his former personal attorney for cutting a plea deal the day before.
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family,” Trump said in a tweet. “‘Justice’ took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him.”
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A jury on Tuesday found Manafort guilty on eight counts of tax and bank fraud charges.
Trump compared Manafort’s refusal thus far to cooperate with investigators to Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to eight unrelated charges, including bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
“Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal,’” he tweeted. “Such respect for a brave man!”
Trump also pointed to the number of counts the jury in Manafort’s trial were unable to come to a consensus on as evidence of a “witch hunt.”
“A large number of counts, ten, could not even be decided in the Paul Manafort case,” he said.
Jurors couldn’t decide on three counts of failure to file reports on foreign bank and financial accounts, five counts of bank fraud conspiracy and two counts of bank fraud.
Trump’s sudden kind words for Manafort — which came after Trump’s prior attempts to distance himself from his campaign chairman — raise the question of whether or not Trump has plans to issue a pardon on the matter.