(National Sentinel)Â Bombshell: Eight years ago Paul Manafort was investigated for the very same charges he has since been indicted for by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew NapolitanoÂ made this point on Wednesday during an appearance on the network’s morning show, “Fox & Friends.”
What’s more, a legal teamÂ led by current Deputy AG Rod RosensteinÂ was responsible forÂ exonerating Manafort, as Napolitano reminded the audience.
According to Bizzy Blog, which posted a transcript of Napolitano’s appearance:
JUDGE NAPOLITANO:Â Hereâ€™s Manafortâ€™s defense: ‘I was investigated for all this by the government eight years ago, and I was exonerated.Â And Iâ€™m going to put on the stand as my first witness the young lawyer who exonerated me.
‘You know who that young lawyer is? Rod Rosenstein.’
STEVE DOOCY: What?
NAPOLITANO: Yes! So this is going to be quite a show if they succeed in getting Rosenstein, who now runs the Justice Department â€”
DOOCY:Â So why was I innocent then and guilty now?
NAPOLITANO: There you go.
The former judge made the same point later in the day during another appearance on the network:
NAPOLITANO: Paul Manafortâ€™s lawyers are former federal prosecutors who are every bit as talented and experienced as the people on the other side of the courtroom.
One of their arguments is this: Paul Manafort was investigated by the federal government, by a team of federal prosecutors and FBI agents for all this stuff eight years ago, and they exonerated him.
And who was the young prosecutor that led that exoneration? Rod Rosenstein, who now runs the Justice Department.
And they have threatened to call Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein as their first witness and have himÂ give to the jury all the reasons why he declined the prosecution of these charges eight years ago.
Maybe this helps explainÂ why Manafort has refused to cut a deal with Mueller despite the fact that he is facing decades in prison.