John Wood was quoted in the National Law Journal regarding the unsealed indictment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Monday. Wood also appeared on Fox Business.
The Oct. 30 story noted that the indictment is the first to be produced by U.S. Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections. Manafort and his business partner, Richard Gates, were charged with, among other things, laundering tens of millions of dollars in foreign payments to hide their overseas wealth and avoid paying taxes on that income. Both pleaded not guilty in federal court in Washington, D.C. on Monday.
Wood said he was surprised at the “eye-popping” amount of money that Manafort and Gates were attempting to keep hidden.
“Everyone’s known for several months now that there was a pretty strong case against Manafort under the Foreign Agents Registration Act,” he said. “The other charges in here are a lot more serious than for a failure to register.”
Wood also said the allegations relate to the Russian investigation largely because it strengthens Mueller’s hand.
“To the extent that either Manafort or Gates or both are in a position to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, Mueller has a lot of leverage over them right now,” he said.