While there has (appropriately) been a lot of attention paid to the conclusion of the first Paul Manafort trial, Rachel Maddow pointed out that his second trial could potentially do great damage to the Trump presidency.
According to Maddow, not only does the next chapter in the Manafort saga revolve around the former Trump campaign manager’s work as a foreign agent, but it’s telling that the special counsel has held onto the case tightly, even while handing off other cases.
“We do not know if the president has anything to worry about,” the MSNBC host said. “But the Manafort case is the one case that is actually being tried by the special counsel’s office.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 24, 2018
In the next trial for Manafort, he is going on trial for being an unregistered agent of a foreign power while he was running Donald Trump’s campaign to become president. His co-defendant for some of the charges that he’s about to face in his next trial is his Russian-speaking, Soviet-born, longtime business partner who the FBI says is linked to Russian intelligence and who is believed by prosecutors to have fled to Moscow ahead of him being charged alonside Paul Manafort with some of the felony charges that have led to this next trial that Manafort is about face. Old bank fraud and tax fraud charges back in the day? Okay. But being a secret foreign agent running a presidential campaign and committing felonies in cahootz with your Russian-speaking, Russian military intelligence-linked business partner as recently as this year? That’s going to be a different kind of case. And we don’t know if the president has anything to worry about in terms of what may come out in that second trial of Paul Manafort, or if the president has anything to worry about if Manafort, in fact, decides to change his mind and start cooperating with prosecutors in order to lessen his prison time and the pending charges against him. We do not know if the president has anything to worry about. But the Manafort case is the one case that is actually being tried by the special counsel’s office, that the special counsel’s office has held onto to prosecute itself with its own personnel.
Paul Manafort could soon get the Michael Cohen treatment from Trump
First, the eight charges that Paul Manafort was found guilty of this week shouldn’t be overlooked. The fact that Trump hired a convicted felon to run his campaign is a big deal.
That’s even more true of the Michael Cohen trial, which directly implicated Trump in the commission of a federal felony. This is serious stuff that, with a half-decent Congress, would at the very least result in immediate investigations.
But as Rachel Maddow pointed out on Thursday, the next Manafort trial could do even more legal damage to Trump as it relates directly to his former campaign manager’s work as a foreign agent during the 2016 election. It could provide similarly damning links to Trump as the Cohen case revealed.
Donald Trump may be showering Paul Manafort with praise after the first trial, but he may be getting the Cohen treatment when all is said and done.
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Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.