National Security

Giuliani: Mueller may be going after Manafort because he thinks he will 'flip faster'

President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Fox News on Saturday that he believes special counsel Robert Mueller has targeted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort because Mueller thinks Manafort will be easier to flip against the president.

In an interview with Fox News's Jeanine Pirro, Giuliani speculated that New York's attorney general had passed off the investigation into bank fraud charges against Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to Mueller while continuing to investigate Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman.

"And of course [New York] developed that whole Cohen investigation and gave it away. Why did they give away Cohen, and not Manafort? Maybe they think Manafort's somebody they can flip faster," Giuliani said.

"This all plays into what my client, the president of the United States, has been saying for quite some time. The judge, in some substance, said this is a witch hunt," he added. "There's a tremendous amount of government misconduct attached to it."

Giuliani was referring to a judge's Friday comments to attorneys working for Mueller's team, when the court suggested that Mueller's team was not truly interested in Manafort's finances.

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort," U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III said. "You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you to lead you to Mr. Trump and an impeachment, or whatever."

The judge added, summing up Mueller's probe, "We said this was what [the] investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying."

Giuliani and Trump have called the Mueller investigation into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia a "witch hunt" repeatedly, with many Republicans questioning the scope of the probe.

Manafort was charged with bank fraud and money laundering last year, alongside a business associate, for his alleged efforts to cover up money made by lobbying for pro-Russia political parties in Ukraine. He has plead not guilty to the charges.