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    09.14.18 Professor Miriam Baer Comments on Manafort Deal and Mueller Investigation for Vox and CBS News
    Professor Miriam Baer 121x131

    Professor Miriam Baer recently spoke with Vox about Paul Manafort’s plea deal with federal prosecutors and CBS News about the state of the ongoing Mueller investigation.

    In a Sept. 14 Vox story about what Manafort’s plea deal might mean for the president, Baer, an expert in the area of white collar crime and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, explained the ways in which prosecutors use cooperating defendants to their advantage.

    “The most traditional use is the calling of a cooperator at a co-defendant’s trial to give testimony, which is how the government used Rick Gates in Manafort’s first trial,” she said. “But cooperators can also aid the government in other ways: by providing the government new leads, by confirming information the government already has, and by explaining evidence the government has collected but does not quite comprehend due to missing contextual information.”

    Baer also said Manafort’s cooperation aids Mueller’s team in other important ways, particularly in terms of optics and momentum for their investigation: “Those who committed crimes in concert with Manafort are now on notice that a co-conspirator has decided to ‘spill the beans.’ Accordingly, Manafort’s cooperation agreement may well induce other targets to come forward with evidence and seek the benefits of a cooperation agreement.”

    Appearing on a Sept. 11 segment of CBS News' “Red & Blue,” hosted by Tanya Rivero, Baer, who has become a regular guest on the program, discussed the assertion made by Rudolph Giuliani, the president’s attorney, that the investigation should end well before the November elections. Specifically, Baer addressed whether explicit laws or timelines exist for cases brought by the U.S. Department of Justice.

    “There certainly is no argument for saying you may not have any investigation ongoing whatsoever within 60 days of an election,” she said. “What there is, is a very strong policy that you shouldn’t in any way try to influence an election, and you generally shouldn’t, if possible, announce charges close to an election. But that’s a far cry from saying you’re not allowed to investigate anything within 60 days.”

    At the Law School, Baer teaches in the areas of corporate law, white collar crime, criminal law, and criminal procedure and serves as associate director of the Center for the Study of Business Law and Regulation. She has been a frequent commentator on legal issues related to the Mueller investigation.

    Watch the CBS News segment about the Mueller investigation here
    Read the Vox story about Manafort’s plea deal here