If you're following along, quite a few members of the Trump administration have fallen prey to indictments by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as part of his ongoing investigation into possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. But you know whose presidency doesn't have a single indictment marring its record? President Barack Obama's. While speaking at Rice University on Tuesday, Nov. 27, Barack Obama dragged Donald Trump about his legal troubles with a perfect burn. Because, if you're wondering, the number of Trump administration indictments is up to nine.
While attending the Baker Institute's 25th anniversary gala at Rice University in Houston, Texas, Tuesday night, near the end of his speech, Obama gave his own administration a little pat on the back for being "the only administration in modern history" to have no indictments and not even coming "close to being indicted." according to The Hill. The former president said,
Not only did I not get indicted, nobody in my administration got indicted, which, by the way, was the only administration in modern history that can be said about. In fact nobody came close to being indicted. Partly because the people who joined us were there for the right reasons.
The entirety of Trump's presidency thus far has had the dark cloud that is the Russia investigation hanging over it. As of November, multiple people close to Trump have been indicted or taken plea deals, according to Vox. These include former aide George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI; Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty to making false statements and conspiracy; and even his personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to eight counts of financial violations, including campaign finance violations.
The most prominent of those caught up in the legal hullabaloo might be Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chair who was charged with 18 counts of tax evasion, bank fraud, and hiding foreign bank accounts. On Aug. 21, Manafort was found guilty on eight of those charges — five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of hiding foreign bank accounts, according to CNN. The other 10 charges were declared a mistrial by Judge T.S. Ellis, meaning the jury could not decide on a verdict.
Facing up to 80 years in prison, in September, Manafort decided to enter into a plea deal with Mueller ahead of a second trial. Under the deal, Manafort pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges and agreed to speak “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly” on any questions about “any and all matters," according to The New York Times. In exchange, his possible 80 years in prison would be cut to a maximum of 10. However, a Nov. 26 court filing alleged that Manafort might have violated the terms of his plea deal. Per the filing, prosecutors working for Mueller claim that Manafort allegedly "committed federal crimes by lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel’s Office on a variety of subject matters," and therefore is in breach of his agreement. Representatives of Manafort did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment, while the special counsel's office declined to comment on the filing to Elite Daily.
While Manafort's deal might be in jeopardy, what he allegedly lied about is still unclear. The filing, however, does state that more information about the nature of Manafort's alleged lies will be given before Manafort's sentencing. Currently, Manafort's sentencing is scheduled for February, according to The Daily Beast.
A Nov. 27 New York Times report also found that Manafort's legal team has allegedly been briefing Trump on the former campaign chair's discussions with Mueller, even after a deal was reached — which provides the Trump team with a bit of inside information into the investigation. However, there was no mention of that in the Nov. 26 filing. Representatives of Manafort did not respond to Elite Daily's request for comment.
Manafort's defense team, on the other hand, said in the filing that Manafort "does not agree" with the prosecutors' allegation that he "breached the agreement," and "believes he has provided truthful information."
The Manafort mess is still unfolding. In the meantime, let us all reminisce with Obama about happier — and indictment-free — times.