ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
71°
Mostly Cloudy
H 86° L 65°
  • clear-night
    71°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 65°
  • cloudy-day
    84°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 65°
  • cloudy-day
    86°
    Evening
    Mostly Cloudy. H 89° L 69°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
What the Manafort guilty plea might mean for the Mueller probe
Close

What the Manafort guilty plea might mean for the Mueller probe

What the Manafort guilty plea might mean for the Mueller probe
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

What the Manafort guilty plea might mean for the Mueller probe

The Special Counsel investigation led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller took a big step forward on Friday, as former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort plead guilty to two criminal charges, and more importantly agreed to cooperate with Mueller's investigation, which President Donald Trump has repeatedly denounced as a 'witch hunt.'

Manafort had already been convicted on eight charges of bank and tax fraud in an earlier federal trial in Virginia; his trial in Washington, D.C. was to begin next week, focused on allegations that he failed to disclose his foreign lobbying work, money laundering, and false statements to government agencies.

Now that Manafort is working with Mueller investigators, what does that change? Will it lead to something dramatic? Or is this just a nothing burger?

1. The biggest unknown is all about the President. With Manafort now cooperating with the Special Counsel investigation, Robert Mueller's investigators are able to get information from Mr. Trump's former campaign manager, deputy campaign manager (Rick Gates), and future National Security Adviser (Michael Flynn). But does any of it get to the issue of contacts between the Trump Campaign and Russian intermediaries? That remains the big unknown. For many supporters of the President, this remains a witch hunt, as they argue Manafort has nothing that ties the Trump campaign to Moscow. To quote one of my colleagues - time will tell.

2. The Manafort plea might have a short term benefit for Trump. In one sense, not having the start of a second trial next week for Manafort is probably good for the White House. The first trial produced a daily drumbeat of news for several weeks, and when the verdicts came down, it grabbed the headlines. With this plea bargain by Manafort, now that court scene - and all the testimony - won't be repeated over the next few weeks, and even into October. In that sense, that's good for the President. The flip side is that Manafort is cooperating with investigators, something that President Trump had praised him for not doing, just several weeks ago. "Such respect for a brave man!" the President tweeted on August 22. Now that's changed.

3. There is no language barring Manafort cooperation on Russia probe. I don't know where this started on social media, but soon after Manafort plead guilty, a number of people told me that I was lying about the details of the Manafort cooperation agreement. But nowhere in the 17 page document is there anything that says Manafort won't be helping out on the question of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Again - Manafort may not have anything to offer on that question - but he has agreed in this plea bargain to fully cooperate "in any and all matters which the Government deems the cooperation relevant."

c9f363e5-975b-490e-9fb0-851508bbc08d{ "/Pub/p9/CmgSharedContent/2018/09/14/Images/WPIMAGE_cmgwsbradiojamiedupree_manafort48_18380.jpg?uuid=8kGKVjTQEemxKaMrYufZxg", "", "cc2584973d384fb5b488684a7f8338b4" "image" "" }

4. What might Mueller want to get from Manafort? Some of the answers to this are obvious. Manafort was a part of the infamous Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and a woman lawyer who represented herself as having ties to the Kremlin. Manafort might have information from inside the campaign related to Russia contacts - or maybe no Russian contacts. But some believe it could also lead to other people inside of the President's tight inner circle as well. Seth Waxman is a former federal prosecutor.

5. The Mueller investigation is not ending soon. For anyone who was hoping that the former FBI Director was going to wrap up his work soon, one might argue the exact opposite at this point. With the plea bargain involving Manafort - and his cooperation agreement - the Mueller team seems to be gaining momentum. We learned nuggets from the first Manafort trial about possible foreign money in the Trump Inauguration. And don't forget - there's still the open question of whether the President will answer any questions from the Special Counsel. While the President's legal team keeps saying it's almost over - it's not.

For more details on the Manafort plea bargain, you can read a statement of the offenses that Manafort acknowledged.

Also, there is a 17 page explanation of what's expected from Manafort under his cooperation agreemnt with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A large flightless bird with dagger-like talons that was blamed for fatally attacking its owner at a Florida farm earlier this month is heading to the auction block Saturday along with dozens of other exotic animals. >> Read more trending news  The animals are part of the estate of Marvin Hajos, who was killed when he fell in between the pens of his cassowaries, a colorful, emu-like bird native to Australia and Southeast Asia that can weigh up to 130 pounds. Other animals on Hajos’ farm include lemurs, macaws, and Kookaburras. The animals will be auctioned off by Gulf Coast Livestock Auction, according to The New York Times. A friend of Hajos told the Times the group organized Saturday’s auction because Hajos wanted the animals sold after his death.  Original story: A dagger-clawed, large, flightless bird fatally attacked its fallen owner Friday at a Florida farm. Marvin Hajos, 75, was killed by a cassowary after apparently falling, Alachua County Fire Rescue told the Gainesville Sun.  “It looks like it was accidental,” Deputy Chief Jeff Taylor told the Sun. “My understanding is that (Hajos) was in the vicinity of the bird and at some point fell. When he fell, he was attacked.” Cassowaries, like emus are about 6 feet tall. The endangered bird is native to Australia and New Guinea. It is believed their population is about 4,000, according to the Australian government.  It is considered one of the most dangerous birds on the planet. “The cassowary can slice open any predator or potential threat with a single swift kick,” the San Diego Zoo said in its description of the animal. “Powerful legs help the cassowary run up to 31 mph through the dense forest underbrush.”  The man was breeding cassowaries at his Florida farm, state wildlife officials said. The bird was taken to a private location after the incident. It is unclear what will ultimately happen to it.  Florida state wildlife officials say the cassowary can “pose a danger to people.” To obtain a mandatory permit, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission requires cassowary owners to have “substantial experience” and meet specific cage requirements, spokeswoman Karen Parker told the Sun.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A child has died after being hit by a truck in south Orange County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Troopers said the incident happened near East Wetherbee Road and Landstar Boulevard around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. The child was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando for treatment where he died. FHP also said that it is not clear if the semi-truck driver knew whether it hit the child or not. This incident is not being reported as a hit-and-run at this time. They are still still searching for the involved semi-truck.
  • Idaho is known for its consistently high-quality potatoes, and now visitors can sleep in a giant fake one if they can afford $200 a night. As pointed out by the Detroit Free Press, a potato “hotel” the size of a small house is now a place people can stay.  It’s located in a field southeast of capital Boise.  Interested travels can check out its official Airbnb rental page: The actual prop is 28-feet long and made from steel, plaster and concrete.  It was made to celebrate the Idaho Potato Commission’s 75th anniversary, according to the Free Press, and has been on the road for the last seven years until owner Kristie Wolfe decided to let people stay inside. Here’s a video documenting its construction: (Video)
  • President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would turn to the Supreme Court if Democrats decided to pursue impeachment proceedings against him. >> Read more trending news “I DID NOTHING WRONG,” the president wrote in a series of tweets posted Wednesday. “If the partisan Dems ever tried to impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court.” It was not clear how the Supreme Court could legally intervene if Congress moved to impeach Trump. The court ruled unanimously in 1993 that authority over impeachment trials “is reposed in the Senate and nowhere else,” according to government records and Politico. >> How does impeachment work? Here is the step-by-step process Joshua Matz, a lawyer specializing in constitutional law, told The Washington Post that Trump’s tweets reflected “a profound misunderstanding,” as the court has “no constitutional warrant to second-guess the substance of an impeachment judgment.” Calls for Trump's impeachment have grown following the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian election meddling. The special counsel said he found no evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials to win the 2016 presidential election, though he couldn't rule out the possibility that the president might have obstructed justice. >> What are the 10 times Mueller said Trump may have obstructed justice? “The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment,” Mueller said in his report. “At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.” The report spelled out 10 instances of potential obstruction of justice by Trump.  U.S. Attorney General William Barr said at a news conference that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided after reading Mueller’s report that there was not enough evidence to bring charges against the president.
  • A local pet rescue organization is expanding and they need your help! Polka Dogz Pet Rescue stopped by the News 96.5 WDBO studios on Wednesday to introduce the staff to several of their dogs. President Heidi Hardman says they have been able to place more than 600 dogs in the 3 ½ years they have been operating. “We average about 200 a year and we’re growing from that and that is with a lot of seniors and special needs,” said Hardman. Polka Dogz is in the process of purchasing a new facility in Lake County that will give the dogs more room to roam and could allow the organization to take on more rescues. “We want suites in there, it’s not going to be cages, but the only time they’re going to be in their ‘rooms’ as we call them is for nap time and for overnights,” said Hardman. The home sits on 20 acres near Howey-in-the-Hills.  Hardman says they plan to build play yards and agility equipment.  Polka Dogz is accepting donations to help make the necessary upgrades to the property. To find out how you can help click HERE.   

Washington Insider

  • As President Donald Trump on Wednesday once more called for Congress to change America's laws dealing with illegal immigration, threatening again to close part of the Mexican border, and vowing to send more armed soldiers to help stop illegal immigrants trying to enter the United States, there was no evidence that Republicans in the Senate - or Democrats in the House - were ready to launch any legislative drive to help deal with the tide of migrants. In a speech at an opioids conference in Atlanta on Tuesday, the President again appealed for action to change what he said were 'horrible, obsolete, weak, pathetic, immigration laws.' 'And that's why I've declared a national emergency, which is exactly what it is,' Mr. Trump added. 'Our facilities are at full capacity,' Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said earlier this week, as he echoed the President's call for lawmakers to help deal with those coming across the border illegally. 'Congress must act with additional authorities, resources & tools in order to accomplish our humanitarian & security mission,' the new DHS chief tweeted. Earlier this week, the President's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said he was putting the final touches on an immigration package to be presented to his father in coming days. But there was no indication of whether that plan would be presented to Congress for action, of it would serve as only a partial guide for lawmakers on the politically sensitive subject. “We desperately need some immigration legislation,' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Fox News earlier this month.  'It is finally time for us to step up and not only solve the crisis at the border, but do some changes to immigration laws that are sensible,' the Kentucky Republican added, saying it's time to end 'years of gridlock' on immigration matters. At this point though in the halls of the Congress, there is no indication that lawmakers will be voting on any immigration plan anytime soon. For obvious reasons, Democrats aren't interested in taking the lead for the President on immigration legislation, pointing back to early 2018, when a bipartisan Senate group seemingly reached an immigration deal which was acceptable to President Trump - only to watch him quickly tack away. 'The President put forth his criteria. He had the Senate Republicans and Democrats come together, proposed something to him and then he walked away from it,' said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Back in February 2018, the President's preferred immigration plan garnered only 39 votes, with 13 GOP Senators refusing to support Mr. Trump's nearly $100 billion package. That plan featured money to build a border wall, an end to chain migration, stopping a visa lottery, and a number of other immigration law changes desired by the President. But it won the votes of only three Democrats, mainly because it did not do enough to help younger illegal immigrant 'Dreamers' in the country under the DACA program. The House and Senate are currently out on a two week break for Easter; immigration legislation is not on the agenda in either legislative body at this point.