Former Whitewater Independent Counsel Robert Ray discussed the indictment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates, telling FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast,” “I guess the only silver lining for the Trump White House is that within five months after Bob Mueller’s appointment he has now taken action and brought charges.”
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Ray says the speedy timetable suggests, “They’re obviously applying pressure to attempt to obtain information to resolve the reason why he was appointed in the first place which is to determine whether or not there’s provable collusion that constitutes a federal crime.”
When asked if the indictments were a way to persuade Manafort and Gates to provide information about other people, Ray replied, “Sure, but that’s not the only reason. In other words, if this were just a case that were handled by any other of the 90-something U.S. attorneys across the country, this case independently would appear to have merit.”
President Trump weighed in on the indictments, tweeting, “Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign.”
Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2017
Ray responded to the tweet, telling Cavuto, “Sure, he has a point. I mean, you look at the first paragraph of the indictment, you’re talking about the activity principally between 2006 and 2015.”
According to Ray, it’s still in the early stages of the overall investigation and Manafort could potentially face more charges.
“I’m sure also this is not the full extent of charges against Paul Manafort.”
Ray then reiterated that the progress in the investigation is a good sign for the Trump administration and for congressional Republicans preparing for reelection in 2018.
“If you’re ever going to have the chance at getting an investigation to a reasonable conclusion before the midterm elections, this is a good sign, that’s the silver lining in this for the Trump White House.”