Judge Andrew Napolitano has always had a sharp eye when it comes to legal matters. Napolitano’s latest analysis of an FBI raid has serious connotations for President Trump.
The FBI conducted a pre-dawn raid of Paul Manafort’s home, and Judge Napolitano believes it may be part of an attempt by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to pressure Manafort into turning on President Trump.
Judge Napolitano explained that often when law enforcement is conducting a large investigation, they will search a minor, but related, individual to try and find an unrelated crime, so they can get that minor character to help them prosecute the larger crime.
Essentially, the FBI would find some dirt on Manafort and offer him a plea bargain on his own crime, under the condition that he provide testimony of the larger crime.
In this case, Mueller is looking for dirt on President Trump, and likely assumes that if he can get his hooks into Paul Manafort, he will deliver something damaging about President Trump. Conducting this raid before dawn, while Manafort and his family were home, as well as having an investigator talk to Manafort’s son-in-law, all indicate that Mueller is trying to put pressure on Manafort to flip.
In fact, Napolitano suggests that General Michael Flynn may have been flipped already, though there’s no public indication that has happened.
The FBI’s warrant was, according to a report from Business Insider, for Manafort’s tax records and foreign banking records. A judge must have signed-off on this warrant, and must have agreed that Manafort was unlikely to actually turn over all of his records if a subpoena was issued.
Even if Mueller finds that Manafort has committed some unrelated crime, that’s no reason to think he will “turn” on Trump, mostly because Trump has not committed a crime. If there’s no crime, there’s nothing to tell the FBI.
There’s no indication that Manafort has an unsavory character. In his statement to CNN, President Trump reaffirmed that he has “always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man.” In the five months he was involved with Trump’s campaign, Manafort apparently conducted himself well.
Former Justice Department officials also told Business Insider that there may be other reasons the FBI chose to conduct a raid instead of simply issuing a subpoena. They may be worried Manafort will exercise his Fifth Amendment rights or that if they don’t move swiftly they will run out of time.
Overall, the FBI raid on Manafort’s home suggests two main things. First, Manafort has not yet turned on President Trump. If he had, the FBI would not have conducted the raid in the first place.
Second, it also suggests that Mueller is more than likely probing around blindly. Judge Napolitano stressed how very aggressive this move is and that you don’t push this hard when you already have a case together.
It’s likely Mueller realizes he hasn’t found anything on President Trump, and is trying to turn Manafort as a desperate last resort. In either case, Mueller’s actions are nothing short of unacceptable.