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Trump's broken men – Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen

But now, Hubris has humbled Roger Stone, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort.

All three men have been convicted or convicted, or have pleaded guilty to crimes and alleged offenses that in most cases are not directly related to their work for the president.

But if they were not eagerly dived into the Trump's riding tank, and if he did not run for the President, they would not have drawn the attention of the special adviser Robert Mueller and possibly other prosecutors in cases that led to their downfall.

The White House line, whenever one of the president's men goes down, is that none of it has nothing to do with Trump. Technically, that is often true: So far no one of the trio has been charged with a conspiracy to collude with Russia, for example.

Yet all three are under suspicion of allegedly communicating with Russian intelligence assets, contacts or alleged frontier organizations such as WikiLeaks In Washington, there is an alert to this if any of these episodes will be referenced in Mueller's final report, which could be delivered to Attorney General Bill Barr as early as next week.

What is clear is that these are men who have Trump been happy have it by his side While their partnerships were working and before the prosecutors swooped, he never seemed to be troubled by their dubious reputations and bare-knuckle tactics.

Stone, a protagonist of Trump mentor and mob lawyer Roy Cohn, has moved in the president's world for decades. He is his longest political adviser, after a self-styled career as a dirty trickster fashioned after his hero Richard Nixon.
Cohen, who is expected to lift the lid on some of the president's life and business secrets in what could be a sensational Capitol Hill hearing next week made himself indispensable as a man who cleaned up Trump's messes.

And Manafort traded in the life of a jet-setting international political consultant who rubbed the shoulders with the oligarchs to turn Trump, the 201

6 GOP primary victor , in a nominee who could make a run at the presidency itself as his campaign chairman.

If their story has a common moral, it is this: Sooner or later, even hard-charging political and legal bruisers who seem to fly

Only time, Mueller, various other legal proceedings and the excitement of congressional investigations will tell if Trump hisse lf will learn the same hard truth or was smart enough to avoid the fate of his tainted operatives.

'Attack, attack, attack'

In a 2008 New Yorker profile, Stone explained one of His "rules" to Jeffrey Toobin, who is also CNN's chief legal analyst.

"Attack, attack, attack – never defend," he said. "Admit nothing, deny everything, launch a counterattack."

That was his approach a few weeks ago in his first court appearance in Florida, when he was defiant and reveling in the attention – flashing Nixon's "V for victory" sign with His hands above his head are in the courtroom steps.

But there was no attack, attack, attack on Thursday. That Roger Stone was nowhere to be seen in a Washington courtroom. He was abject and apologetic after he was hauled in to explain his Instagram post.

 Roger Stone can not speak publicly about the case, judge rules


His bravado drained out of him in the day the life of political chicanery finally claimed its price.

"I do not offer any rationalization or excuse or justification. , "he told the furious judge, pleading his case by saying he was having trouble putting food on the table and paying rent owing to legal fees.

Stone has been walking the line and crossing over it for decades. In effect, he was being cross-examined by Judge Amy Berman Jackson for being Roger Stone. And now, thanks to the full gag order, which will prevent him from talking about the case in the media, that person should go silent on the topic that interests him most – his political tricks.

"He has played this character for David Urban, who mastered Trump's victory in Pennsylvania in the 2016 campaign and is now a CNN commentator.

"He has always pushed the line, and I "Urban said in CNN's" The Lead. "

Jackson told Stone that his apology was hollow and she was not impressed with his explanations. [19659002] "This is not a baseball, there's no third chance," she said.

The depth of his plight might have begun dawning on Stone as the gag order was formally imposed.

"He just put his head in his hands, he leaned back and it looked like his eyes were closed, letting the reality of this sink in, "said CNN reporter Kara Scannell, who was in the courtroom.

Cohen vows he will not be Trump's" villain "

Cohen attached himself to Trump more than a decade ago, glorying In the role of the legal strongman who cared for business.

"They say I'm Mr. Trump's pit bull, that I'm his right-hand man, "Cohen once said. He was not threatening the reporters in the vernacular of a mobster.

When his famous client became a presidential candidate, Cohen turned himself into a political The surrogate for the man he always referred to as "Mr. Trump. "

" He took care of what had to be taken of. I do not know what should be taken care of. But all I knew was Michael was taking care of it, "Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg told CNN's Gloria Borger last year.

Once, Cohen said he would" take a bullet "for Trump.

No more. In December, a federal judge sentenced him to three years in prison for crimes that included arranging payments during the 2016 election to two women who claimed affairs with Trump. [19659008"It'ssadthatIshouldtakeresponsibilityforhisdirtydeeds"CohentoldABC'sGeorgeStephanopoulosinDecembersayinghehadliedforTrumpfor10years"outofloyaltyto

Michael Cohen came to Capitol Hill ahead of his testimony next week ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190111135846-03-michael-cohen-lead-image-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190111135846-03-michael-cohen-lead-image-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190111135846-03-michael-cohen-lead-image-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190111135846-03-michael-cohen-lead-image-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190111135846-03-michael-cohen-lead-image-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190111135846-03-michael-cohen-lead-image-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190111135846-03-michael-cohen-lead-image-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>

Cohen has caused a stir in Thursday by showing up on Capitol Hill and spending several hours in the Senate Intelligence Committee's secure rooms ahead of its closed-door testimony to that panel, also scheduled for next week. Senators are likely to quiz him on many issues – including his efforts to broker a Trump Tower project in Moscow, even during the presidential campaign.

A broken man

Another Trump associate who tumbled to Manafort was an uber-lobbyist and epitome of Washington's swamp culture, exporting the dark arts he learned as a GOP operative to several unsavory political characters abroad.

Before he was snared by Mueller, Manafort was an uber-lobbyist and epitome of Washington's swamp culture.

He worked for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, in just one of the contacts that have drawn interest in Mueller.

The work was lucrative. His riches bought an ostentatious wardrobe that includes ostrich and python skin jackets.
 Swamp on trial: Why people are hooked on the Manafort case

Manafort also built a bloated real estate portfolio, with one home boasting an outdoor kitchen financed from offshore accounts. His Hamptons hideaway included a $ 10,000 karaoke system and a giant flowerbed in the shape of M.

But his spending sprees also led him to take a $ 10 million loan from a Russian oligarch close to President Vladimir Putin, a connection that has raised the suspicions that he might have been compromised by Moscow

Now Manafort may be facing the rest of his life in jail.

He will be sentenced for his conviction of financial fraud on March 8, a federal judge in Virginia said Thursday He will be sentenced in Washington, where he pleaded guilty to conspiracy and broke a plea deal with Mueller on March 13.

Even before long years behind bars, Manafort is a painfully diminished figure.

In his most recent court appearance last month, he had to ask the judge for permission to wear a suit instead of his dark green prison duds.

His obscured appearance and now almost completely gray hair shocked observers – after he limped into the court using a cane – In the contrast with the cocky self-assurance he once showed while lording over the Trump campaign.

As he left the courtroom, Manafort blew a kiss to his wife, Kathleen.

CNN's Kara Scannell Katelyn Polantz and Sarah Murray contributed to this report.

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