Among President Donald Trump's criticisms of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is it costs the taxpayers millions, but seizures from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's plea deal might cover most of the cost, The Washington Post reported.
Manafort's deal includes forfeiture of property to the U.S. government which totals $22.7 million, according to zillow.com estimates, according to the report.
The properties include, per the Post:
- Union Street, Brooklyn, N.Y ($4.1 million).
- Howard Street, Manhattan, N.Y. ($3 million).
- Jobs Lane, Water Mill ($7.3 million).
- Baxter Street, Manhattan ($4.1 million).
- Trump Tower, Manhattan ($3.7 million).
On the heels of the report, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, a President Trump critic and Republican defector, tweeted a slam on the GOP on Saturday night.
"Mueller just made the US government $20 million dollars," Scarborough tweeted. "That means he's the only Republican still in Washington running a surplus."
The issue with these summations, though, is there are likely co-owners involved, and there are possible mortgages and debt on the properties, too.
"You can seize them, but seizing them doesn't mean it's all said and done . . . they do have to account for any other owners," Columbia Law School expert Jennifer Rodgers told the Post.
". . . The bank is not going to be out because he is a criminal."
Manafort is also surrendering bank accounts of unknown amounts including a $4.5 million insurance policy, albeit there are potentially some debts related to those, too, according to the report.
"The government's seizures from Manafort could be worth about $42 million, including the upper estimates of just the properties, Federal Savings Bank loan, and insurance policies," the Post's Philip Bump wrote. ". . . That's enough to pay for the Mueller probe for some time to come.
". . . What was seized could also be, and probably is, a much smaller amount."
Any potential presidential pardon of Manafort will not undo the "civil forfeiture" submitted to in the plea deal, so that money will be the government's to keep, the Post concluded.
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