Cohen, Manafort and Trump: What’s Next?

What was Mr. Manafort convicted of?

Mr. Manafort has been sitting trial in Virginia, in the first of two criminal cases against him.

On Tuesday, a jury convicted him of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. The judge declared a mistrial on the remaining 10 counts.

What is a mistrial?

A mistrial makes no judgment on Mr. Manafort’s guilt. In this case, it simply means that jurors could not agree on a verdict on those charges.

Prosecutors have the option to bring the remaining charges against him again, until a verdict is reached.

Regardless, he will face sentencing on the charges he was convicted of Tuesday.

How much prison time could he face?

A sentencing date has not yet been set. The most serious charge of which he was convicted carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

It’s possible Mr. Manafort could try to lessen his sentence by cooperating with the special counsel.

Mr. Manafort also faces a second criminal trial next month in Washington on other charges brought by the special counsel, including obstruction of justice, failure to register as a foreign agent and conspiracy to launder money. If convicted, he could face additional punishment.

But wait, could President Trump pardon him?

Yes. Legally, the president has the power to pardon federal crimes.

But some legal experts say that such pardons, coupled with other actions, could increase Mr. Trump’s risk of prosecution for obstruction of justice. Abuse of the pardon power could also be grounds for impeachment. More on that later.

What happened with Mr. Cohen?

For months, federal prosecutors in Manhattan had been examining Mr. Cohen’s personal business dealings and his role in helping to arrange financial deals with women connected to Mr. Trump.

On Tuesday, Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws, as well as multiple counts of tax evasion and bank fraud.

What did he say about Stormy Daniels?

Mr. Cohen made the extraordinary admission that he had arranged payments to the two women: Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels; and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model.

In both cases, Mr. Cohen said that he made payments at the behest of the president to shield him from politically damaging disclosures.

Will he face prison time?

Mr. Cohen will be sentenced on Dec. 12 before Judge William H. Pauley III. Though he faces a total of up to 65 years on all eight counts, the plea agreement provides for a far more lenient sentence.

Could President Trump pardon him, too?

Since Mr. Cohen, like Mr. Manafort, was convicted of federal crimes, he also could be pardoned by Mr. Trump.

Will these cases help Robert Mueller’s investigation?

For months, Mr. Trump has been condemning the special counsel investigation as a witch hunt and has railed against investigation into his associates.

Mr. Manafort’s conviction was a win for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, if only in denying the president more ammunition for his campaign to discredit Mr. Mueller.

In addition, both Mr. Manafort and Mr. Cohen could now have incentive to cooperate with prosecutors, said John P. Carlin, a former federal prosecutor who also served as chief of staff for Mr. Mueller when he was director of the F.B.I.

“Defendants have cooperated after conviction hoping to get a lesser sentence,” he said.

Will the Stormy Daniels lawsuit proceed?

One collateral effect of Mr. Cohen’s plea agreement is that it may allow Michael Avenatti, Ms. Clifford’s lawyer, to proceed with a deposition of Mr. Trump in a lawsuit that Ms. Clifford filed accusing the president of breaking a nondisclosure agreement concerning their affair.

The lawsuit had been stayed by a judge pending the resolution of Mr. Cohen’s criminal case. Mr. Avenatti wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that he would now seek to force Mr. Trump to testify “under oath about what he knew, when he knew it and what he did about it.”

Could the president himself be charged?

If Mr. Mueller believes he has enough evidence to charge Mr. Trump with a crime in federal court, the special counsel could ask a grand jury to indict him. But he would have to get permission from Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general overseeing the investigation.

An indictment, however, has grown increasingly unlikely. The office of the special counsel has told the president’s lawyers that it plans to abide by the Justice Department’s view that sitting presidents cannot be indicted no matter what the evidence shows.

If Mr. Mueller finds wrongdoing, he has a variety of options short of indictment, including writing a lengthy report. Congress could then use the findings and begin impeachment proceedings if it sees fit.

Separately, Mr. Trump could be indicted after he leaves office.

How would impeachment work?

The Constitution says that a president can be removed for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” which members of Congress can essentially define themselves.

The process would begin with House Judiciary Committee hearings, followed by a panel vote to move articles of impeachment to the House floor. How this would be handled would almost certainly depend on whether Democrats or Republicans control Congress in January, after November’s midterm elections.

Sharon LaFraniere contributed reporting.

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