Mueller’s Next Scalp, Kind Of: Former Son-in-Law Jeffrey Yohai Flips on Manafort

Paul Manafort
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Paul Manafort’s former son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai — who was never involved in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign — has reportedly entered into a plea agreement with the Justice Department and is expected to cooperate with ongoing criminal investigations, presumably Robert Mueller’s prosecution of Manafort.

“The guilty plea agreement, which is under seal and has not been previously reported, could add to the legal pressure on Manafort, who is facing two indictments brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election,” reports Reuters.

While Justice Department officials have yet to notify Yohai of what probes he will be asked to cooperate in, sources tell Reuters that he may be ordered to assist with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Under the agreement, Yohai pleaded guilty to misusing funds stemming from various real estate loans.

As a close business partner, Yohai was privy to many of Manafort’s financial dealings, according to the two people familiar with the matter and court filings in the bankruptcies of four Los Angeles properties in 2016. In addition to co-investing in California real estate, the two cooperated in getting loans for property deals in New York, Manafort’s indictments show.

Reports that federal investigators may have been seeking a plea deal with Yohai emerged last November.

The plea deal could be another yet another sign that Mueller wants to continue the pressure on Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who was indicted in February on charges relating to bank fraud and undisclosed lobbying services for a Ukrainian political party.

Jason Maloni, a spokesperson for Manafort, declined to comment for the Reuters story.