Bonus Episode: The wind-up before the punch

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Special counsel Robert Mueller has a few tricks left up his sleeve. Pete Souza/CC

Last week, two sentencing memos involving President Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen were released. Listeners will remember that Cohen pleaded guilty to tax and bank fraud, as well as making an illegal contribution to Trump’s political campaign in the form of the not-very-effective hush payment to Stormy Daniels. Those pleas were made on charges brought by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Additionally, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Robert Mueller’s investigators. The recommended sentence for Cohen’s crimes is looking like “substantial” prison time.

As for the Paul Manafort memo, it’s relatively easy to read between the heavy redactions. Manafort lied about his contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, an associate of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska during Trump’s presidential campaign. He lied about his contacts with the administration regarding his own guilty plea. And he lied about discussions involving another criminal case (possibly Michael Cohen’s case). All things considered, Manafort is staring down a hefty sentence.