Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manager, who goes on trial later this year after being indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has something else to worry about.
Jeffrey Yohai, Manafort’s former son-in-law, who has also been his business partner, has cut a deal with the Justice Department and pleaded guilty to two charges related to his real estate deals and banking transactions in New York and California.
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As part of his plea deal, Yohai is required to cooperate with other federal criminal probes, which is likely to include the charges again Manafort for tax evasion, bank fraud, lobbying for a Ukraine client without registering and other matters. Manafort has pleaded not guilty.
“As a close business partner,” reported Reuters, “Yohai was privy to many of Manafort’s financial dealings, according to the two people familiar with the matter and court filings in the bankruptcies of four Los Angeles properties in 2016.”
“In addition to co-investing in California real estate,” Reuters continues, “the two cooperated in getting loans for property deals in New York, Manafort’s indictments show.”
Yohai was divorced from Manafort’s daughter last August.
Yohai has not yet been told he will be required to testify against Manafort but it appears likely.
Jeffrey Yohai (pictured right). former son-in-law of ex-#tRump campaign manager @PaulManafort (pictured left), has reportedly agreed to a plea deal with the Justice Department. https://t.co/bpf2OKNUb6 pic.twitter.com/dFxaOT6XZp
— Jeffrey Guterman (@JeffreyGuterman) May 17, 2018
In any case, it puts more pressure on Manafort, who Mueller clearly hopes will seek his own plea deal and then become a witness for the government.
Manafort would be able to testify about his role as Chairman of the Trump for President campaign in 2016, and how that may relate to his many Russian connections.
A plea deal might take pressure off Manafort – although he could face prison time and fines – but it would greatly add to the pressure on Trump, which it appears is where Mueller is headed.