Following Paul Manafort’s sentencing on Thursday, Rachel Maddow suggested that “ongoing investigations” involving a conspiracy with Russia in 2016 could be directly targeting Donald Trump.
“Prosecutors told the judge in Manafort’s case in D.C. that that allegation … goes to the heart of what the special counsel is investigating,” Maddow said, citing court filings. “But those charges are clearly not being adjudicated against Paul Manafort. We know that now.”
The MSNBC host added, “If they aren’t using those allegations in the case against Paul Manafort, where are they using those allegations? In what case? Against who?”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 8, 2019
Manafort’s fate still to be settled in terms of next week’s sentence. But in terms of the story here and inters of the scandal and in terms of how Manafort fits into this, the one big dangling thread here is not what can Manafort tell prosecutors about the president or anybody else, they’re not interested in anything he has to say. They think he’s a liar. They don’t think he’s useful. The big dangling thread here with Manafort now learning his fate, next time we’ll know if he’ll be spending even more time in prison than he was just sentenced to tonight. With Manafort’s fate becoming clear and his case ending, there is this thread, there are uncharged allegations described in the Manafort case about alleged contacts and the provision of secret data from the highest ranks of the Trump campaign to Russian intelligence while Russian intelligence was interfering in the election to try to help Trump win. Prosecutors told the judge in Manafort’s case in D.C. that that allegation, that thing that he lied to prosecutors about, it goes to the heart of what the special counsel is investigating. But those charges are clearly not being adjudicated against Paul Manafort. We know that now. His case is coming to an end in two federal jurisdictions, so why is the government redacting that allegation in his case? Why is he government trying to keep all references to those allegations under seal in his case? The government says they wanted those redactions from those documents in order to protect ongoing investigations. What ongoing investigations? If they aren’t using those allegations in the case against Paul Manafort, where are they using those allegations? In what case? Against who?
The answer to Maddow’s question should terrify Trump
While Manafort’s light sentence on Thursday came as a shock, his case does show that this is not the end of investigations involving a potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
As Rachel Maddow noted, if serious allegations of Russian collusion aren’t being used against Paul Manafort, as the latest developments indicate, then who are they being used against?
The answer to that question should scare the White House as these investigations approach their conclusion.
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.