People who actually bother to learn something will know that a plea deal and cooperation are two different things.
And yet, you've consistently made the same claim as to the meaning, for both cases. If you had restricted yourself to only claiming "cooperating with the investigation" meant "He's rolling over on Trump!", you'd at least have half a point to make. A weak half point, but something.
Seriously, this is some world class whistling past the graveyard where you're telling yourself "Oh, well, he's cooperating with the investigation but, uh, that means nothing!"
Does it mean "rolling over on Trump"? That's the question here. Ok. So let's leave plea deals as a whole off the table and just discuss cases where the accused agrees to "cooperate with the investigation". What does that mean?
The fact that these deals DO include a cooperation agreement means that the defendant is offering to trade knowledge for a lighter sentence and the prosecutor thinks that knowledge is valuable enough to bargain.
That's literally not true. Cooperation could mean anything. You agree not to contest certain charges. That's "cooperation". You agree to meet with the investigators willingly rather than via subpoena. That's cooperation. Heck. You agree to be interrogated by the investigators at all. That's cooperation. You do get that the accused is under no obligation to testify, right? It's only codified in one of the freaking first 10 amendments to our constitution.
And yes, providing testimony which could provide investigators evidence to use to pursue additional defendants is *also* cooperation. But there is no possible way to know, much less assume, that this is the form of cooperation in any of these cases.
And guess what? If you're one of the increasing number of people, like myself, who believe that the entire purpose of the investigation isn't actually to prove any charge related to Russian collusion, but merely to provide fodder to present to the public to try to sway them in future elections, then you also see these leaks about how so and so is "cooperating with the investigation" as designed precisely to create the very perception you keep repeating.
Sadly, the forum search is broken as heck and I can't find anything meaningful from back in the Plame investigation, but I'm reasonably certain that back then you also breathlessly repeated every leak about this person and that person "cooperating" with the investigation, thinly worded statements that meant nothing but could be interpreted to mean something serious, and frankly every bit of garbage that came out, and insisted that it meant "Bush/Cheney/<someone close to them> was going to get caught red handed leaking Plames identity to the press. And OMG heads would roll.
Right? You remember that, don't you? You got played then Joph. And you're getting played again. The sad thing is that you don't mind being played because you don't mind the outcome that results from it. You'll blissfully ignore that your "side" lies to you, because you're more than happy to repeat the lies that come out if it helps your party win elections. Just like it helped them win back the house and senate back then. That's the goal here. And I'm 99% certain you know that's what's going on here too.
The fact that Manafort's plea deal was structured in a way to not be nullified by a pardon would strongly suggest that the information/cooperation in question is (a) about Trump and (b) valuable enough that Mueller wants to be sure he has it.
How does the logic work on that? If he actually had damning evidence against Trump, why would they need to make it so Trump couldn't pardon him. Why would Trump pardon him
? You can't honestly believe that Trump would respond to someone testifying against him by pardoning him? That's... nuts.
What actually happened btw is not what you just described. The theory that was floated out there was that Trump could pardon Manafort (or promise to) in return for Manafort just sitting tight and doing nothing (ie: no cooperation at all). If we're going with that theory and assumption, then the moment Manafort did decide to plea (whether it involved "cooperation" or not), that's somewhat off the table. Again though, there's no logic that could allow us to assume that by cooperating it somehow means anything related to that at all. Again, arguably, it goes in the other direction. I'm pretty sure that if I had evidence sufficient to take down the sitting president, in an environment where the investigators and a whole "side" of the political spectrum desperately wants that to happen, I'd pretty much demand the freaking world in exchange for it. Not a plea to a lesser sentence, and not after already having been convicted of multiple felonies to which my only chance of not serving significant prison time is the very man I'm testifying against and taking down.
He'd have demanded full immunity for all crimes related to any foreign interactions he's ever had. Right? That's what you would demand. That's what I would demand. That's what any sane person would demand. And if they had such testimony, something that was the true smoking gun that would take down Trump, he'd get it, right? They'd leap at it.
But that's not what happened, is it? Ergo, the whole freaking theory you're going on isn't true. It's nothing more than wishful thinking, that plays out in the media, and is used to influence people's opinion. The left loves to play this stuff out in the court of public opinion, where they can selectively leak and report on "facts" that imply things that aren't necessarily true. It's not like it's very hard to see this pattern in the past and conclude that this is likely what they're doing now. Edited, Sep 25th 2018 5:02pm by gbaji