ChrisWeigant.com

The Unindicted Co-Conspirator

[ Posted Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018 – 17:10 PDT ]

Listening to the ever-more-frantic attempts by Trump supporters to explain away all the rampant lawbreaking committed by his inner circle is certainly amusing, that much is for sure. I even heard the laughable: "Paul Manafort's going to walk away on 10 out of 18 charges!" Well, um, yeah... if he's lucky, in about 10-15 years he will be walking away; but that's hardly a stunning legal victory to brag about. Bob Mueller can always (if he chooses) retry Manafort on the 10 charges, but he may not even have to since Manafort still faces his second trial in a few weeks, on multiple other felony charges. But according to Sean Hannity, this is somehow all Hillary Clinton's fault -- can't forget to wow the audience with the oldies, right?

If I seem a bit dismissive, well, that's because I am more than a bit dismissive of such ludicrous attempts to spin yesterday's double-whammy as some sort of victory for the president. It was perhaps Donald Trump's worst day in office, and that's pretty tough to spin. He has even sounded subdued (a new emotion, for him, one assumes) in answering reporters' questions, in his West Virginia rally, and in his weak Twitter attack on Michael Cohen this morning. Trump's still going through the motions, but you can see how hard all the guilty verdicts and pleas have hit him. Give Team Trump a few days, and they'll come up with some sort of talking point or another, but so far they've been pretty flatfooted in their response.

Spinning it for the other side is easier than shooting fish in a barrel, of course. Yesterday was the day when America could start speaking of its second president in history to be "an unindicted co-conspirator." That's it, plain and simple. The link to Nixon is there, the link to serious legal charges is there, the threat of impeachment is even there -- it's really got it all. President Donald J. "Unindicted Co-Conspirator" Trump.

This is even beyond dispute. In Michael Cohen's allocution, he referred to "Individual-1" (the way such things can be handled in court to avoid naming names), but at one point this "Individual-1" is followed by: "who at that point had become the President of the United States." There's no need to connect these dots -- they come preconnected. Individual-1 is the person who ordered the illegal campaign contributions happen, which is a crime. Hence only one man can possibly be this unindicted co-conspirator, period.

And Mueller's just getting started, really. Already the number of campaign or White House aides who have either pled or been found guilty of felonies is higher than can be counted on one hand. And that's just for the peripheral crimes. These are all the counts which are such slam-dunks that they are used as leverage over people to get them to spill what they know about bigger crimes. This is the way any standard mob or RICO investigation happens, to put it another way. You squeeze the little guys to get to the medium guys, and then you squeeze them to get to the biggest fish. Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are medium-sized fish, at the very least.

Trump and his defenders continue to cling to the bizarre notion that if Mueller hasn't filed any charges on any particular issue (or crime), then no proof of that crime must exist. This is nothing short of wishful thinking. The only time that would be true is after Mueller closes his investigation and releases his report -- which from all accounts is a long way off. Just because Mueller is now collecting the low-hanging fruit doesn't mean he'll later return to snag the juiciest fruit further up the tree, in other words.

We're going to see this in action in a few weeks, in fact. Manafort's first trial was on pretty simple charges -- bank fraud and tax fraud. But Mueller, please remember, wanted to hold just one trial and try Manafort for everything at once. Manafort's lawyers got the two separated (because Manafort lived and filed his taxes in Virginia and not in D.C., the first trial was held there). But the second trial contains much more serious charges. Not only will Manafort be tried for foreign political involvement with Ukraine, but also for witness-tampering, which neither juries nor judges are particularly fond of. Legally, the first Manafort trial was the easy one -- the second one will be much more important in terms of how many years he'll have to spend behind federal bars. And much more important to Mueller's overall investigation of foreign interference in our election.

The next week or so will be interesting, because there is a longstanding Justice Department tradition (the one that James Comey completely ignored, for reference) of not doing anything in the political realm within roughly two months of an upcoming election. This means Labor Day is essentially a deadline for Mueller to file other charges or make any other legal moves before this two-month window begins. If he doesn't make those moves by September, then he won't make them at all until after the election is over. Again, this two-month pause shouldn't be seen as Mueller not doing anything in the meantime, just that any public filings from his team will be on hold.

Of course, right smack in the middle of that period will be Manafort's second trial. But this decision was up to the judge, not Mueller, so he really can't be held accountable for the timing of it. Manafort's second trial will likely not shed much (if any) direct light on the Trump campaign, because those charges have not been brought against anyone yet. But it'll certainly ramp up the pressure on Trump, that's for sure. Will Trump pardon Manafort? If he does, it will generate a political firestorm unseen in Washington since Ken Starr's time. Either way, if Manafort is found guilty on the more serious charges in the second trial, Mueller is only going to emerge stronger from the fray. And if the first trial was any indication, we should be getting the verdicts roughly one month before everyone goes out to vote.

Democrats are already picking up on the theme of fighting corruption in Washington, due to other Republicans in Congress either having to quit in disgrace or being federally indicted themselves (as, ironically, has now happened to both of Trump's very first two congressional supporters). Anti-corruption is a familiar theme for Democrats, since they used it quite effectively in 2006 -- the last time they took back control of the House. With Trump's promise to "drain the swamp" ringing laughably hollow now, it's an easy political move for Democrats to make -- and they've already begun to use anti-corruption as a signature campaign issue. At the center of their spotlight, from this point on, will be the Unindicted Co-Conspirator In Chief in the Oval Office.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

39 Comments on “The Unindicted Co-Conspirator”

  1. [1] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    I'll be darned. Tonight, Maddow connected the "hacking" dot in Cohen's court transcript with Steele's redacted-sourced claim that Cohen discussed deniable payments to hackers in Prague.

    Yep, Cohen's a problem.

  2. [2] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    I have no f*ing idea why there is a line feed in the middle of comment [1].

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    everyone knows donald only became president to steal air force one.

    “That really is truly amazing. It’s so amazingly amazing, I think I’d like to steal it.”

    oh wait, that was zaphod beeblebrox. i get the two confused...

    https://www.buildquizzes.com/QFVIMY

    JL

  4. [4] 
    neilm wrote:

    https://www.buildquizzes.com/QFVIMY

    Bloody brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

    I got 19/20.

    I know my HHGTTG

  5. [5] 
    Kick wrote:

    Lone holdout on Manafort jury blocked conviction on all counts, juror says

    A juror in the trial of Paul Manafort said Wednesday all but one of the jurors wanted to convict President Trump’s former campaign chairman on every charge he faced — though she criticized special counsel prosecutors as seeming “bored” throughout the trial and said she believed their true motive was to “get the dirt on Trump.”

    The juror, who spoke on the record to Fox News and gave her name as Paula Duncan, said jurors “again and again” laid out for the lone holdout the evidence that persuaded them Manafort was guilty. But the holdout, a female, said she harbored reasonable doubt, Duncan said.

    “The evidence was overwhelming,” Duncan said, pointing to prosecutors’ extensive paper trail. “I did not want Paul Manafort to be guilty, but he was, and no one’s above the law.”

    https://tinyurl.com/yad82r87

    So there you have it: But for one juror, Manafort would have been found guilty on all 18 counts due to the overwhelming evidence prosecutors presented with paper. There was a lone holdout on 10 counts, and the judge in the case can take this into consideration when sentencing.

    Prosecutors would be nuts not to preserve their right to seat a new jury to reach a verdict on the 10 charges with the lone holdout... unless, of course, they can otherwise reach some kind of other agreement with Manafort.

  6. [6] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Bob Mueller can always (if he chooses) retry Manafort on the 10 charges, but he may not even have to since Manafort still faces his second trial in a few weeks, on multiple other felony charges.

    Shhhhhhhh, CW. The gullible Trump minions are genuinely convinced that a mistrial in a court of law is the exact same thing as an acquittal by a jury. Pay no attention to the fact that the jury could have chosen to acquit Mr. Manafort and did not do that on any of the 10 remaining charges... which fact should surprise exactly zero people since Manafort's attorneys chose NOT to present a single witness in his defense.

    Dear misinformed ignorant people:

    No, a mistrial is not the same thing as an acquittal. A hung jury is not the equivalent of being found innocent.

    Meanwhile, the same morons insist that Hillary Clinton is guilty of "something"... without ever being charged with anything... because Hannity said so. It's mind bogglingly ignorant and would be comical if it wasn't so pathetic. :)

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    LB,

    Per our agreement in the last commentary..

    Show me what ya got... :D

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Meanwhile, the same morons insist that Hillary Clinton is guilty of "something"... without ever being charged with anything...

    Meanwhile, the same morons insist that President Donald Trump is guilty of "something"... without ever being charged with anything...

    Yep... It STILL works.. :D

    Funny how that is, eh? :D

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    I even heard the laughable: "Paul Manafort's going to walk away on 10 out of 18 charges!"

    Says the guy who claimed the case went to the jury a full 3-4 days before it actually did.. :D

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, a mistrial is not the same thing as an acquittal. A hung jury is not the equivalent of being found innocent.

    An American is INNOCENT until proven guilty in a court of law..

    At this point in time, Manafort is INNOCENT of those 10 charges against him.

    This is FACT whether you recognize it or not..

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    To be really pedantic would have been to list all sixteen counts of guilty which appeared in courtrooms today, but: "Guilty. Guilty. Guilty... (etc.)... Guilty."

    Uh.... Once again, REALITY and FACTS are no where to be found here in Weigantia. :^(

    As an aside, I owe you an apology for this one..

    Had I read more carefully, I would have realized you were conflating two completely different and separate cases linked ONLY by the desire to nullify a free, fair and legal Presidential election..

    As such, I withdraw that particular comment about lack of facts and reality here in Weigantia.. In that particular case, I was wrong..

    My bust... :D

  12. [12] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    8

    Meanwhile, the same morons insist that President Donald Trump is guilty of "something"... without ever being charged with anything...

    If I was talking about "President Donald Trump," you would have a point, but I wasn't... so you don't. I was discussing Manafort being called innocent when he wasn't acquitted and Hillary being called guilty when she wasn't charged.

    But let's do talk about "President Donald Trump" since you deflected... as per your usual. It is DOJ policy not to indict the sitting President of the United States, but that absolutely in no way precludes a grand jury from handing down an indictment against the President of the United States that is then placed under seal. Those sealed indictments are more likely than not to remain under seal until the BLOTUS is no longer under the cloak of the office of president. In the meantime, the Special Counsel will follow his order to bring charges against the other co-conspirators. Anyone who thinks the Special Counsel is going to play his hand early is a special kind of stupid.

    The Trump minions should absolutely pay no attention to the fact that indictments, guilty pleas, and guilty verdicts are being entered into courtrooms all over America. We wouldn't want to upset the snowflakes. :)

  13. [13] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    10

    An American is INNOCENT until proven guilty in a court of law..

    If that were a fact, then James Hodkinson is INNOCENT, Adolph "He Who Must Not Be Named" is INNOCENT, and Bubba Clinton is INNOCENT of the rapes you incessantly whine about.

    At this point in time, Manafort is INNOCENT of those 10 charges against him.

    No, sir. The fact that 11 jurors chose to find him guilty while 1 juror chose to acquit him of those 10 charges is NOT the equivalent of whether or not Paul Manafort committed the crimes.

    You are confusing legal terms of art with opinion and/or colloquial terms. The fact is, guilty people walk free every day, and innocent people are found guilty every day. It's not all that complicated. The facts of a case do not change regardless of the jury verdict. :)

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW...

    Paul Manafort has NOT been convicted in a court of law of those 10 charges...

    Ergo, Paul Manafort is INNOCENT of those charges..

    You can dance around the FACTS all you want, employ whataboutism until yer blue in the face... It's irrelevant that ONE jury was a holdout or that they ALL were hold outs..

    The SIMPLE FACT remains..

    Paul Manafort is INNOCENT of those 10 charges..

    This is FACT.....

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, sir.

    Aww, how sweet.. You call me 'sir'... Good for you.. :D

    The fact that 11 jurors chose to find him guilty while 1 juror chose to acquit him of those 10 charges is NOT the equivalent of whether or not Paul Manafort committed the crimes.

    It doesn't say

    INNOCENT UNTIL *ALMOST* PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW

    It says:

    INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW

    Has Paul Manafort been PROVEN guilty in a court of law on those 10 charges??

    No, he has not..

    Ergo... Paul Manafort is INNOCENT of those 10 charges..

    You just can't handle that FACT... Just like you can't handle the FACT that you are wrong and I am factually accurate...

  16. [16] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    14

    INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW...

    Yes. That's called "presumption of innocence."

    Do you need it explained to you that that a presumption and a "fact" are two different things?

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yes. That's called "presumption of innocence."

    Really??

    INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW

    Funny.. I don't see the word "presumption" in there at all...

    Ahhhh I get it.. You got silly-slapped on the FACTS so you are adding words to attempt a lame argument..

    I guess if you can ADD words, you can make up any lame argument you want.. :D

    But when all yer silly Party Slave BS is said and done, the facts remain...

    1. An American is INNOCENT until PROVEN guilty in a court of law...

    2. Paul Manafort was NOT proven guilty in a court of law over those 10 charges..

    3. Paul Manafort is INNOCENT of those 10 charges..

    These are the facts and only a Party slave dullard would argue them..

    And I honestly wouldn't have taken you for a dullard.. :D

  18. [18] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "I even heard the laughable: "Paul Manafort's going to walk away on 10 out of 18 charges."

    Well, that at least seems to answer my question from a previous thread on whether you read the comments when you are not responding to the comments.

    "Spinning it for the other side is easier than shooting fish in a barrel, of course."
    That's it. Plain and simple. The spinning it is there. The implication that there is only one other side is there. And taking the easy way out instead of taking on the real other side is there.

    This makes you just like the rest of the unindicted co-conspirators in the media that are letting the current major parties remain unindicted by not informing citizens aboot other options.

    It's way past time to inform the "jury" aboot One Demand so they have all the information available for when they render their verdict in November and future elections.

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Victoria,

    See, here is your problem..

    In your world, ACCUSATION = GUILTY

    But *ONLY* when that person has a -R after their name or otherwise further your Democrat Party agenda...

    We don't live in your world, Vickie... :D

  20. [20] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    So the Democrats are already using the anti-corruption theme that they last used in 2006, the last time they took back control of the House.

    And then what happened? Did the Democrats hold the House and clean up the corruption?

    No.

    In fact, Trump used the same strategy in 2016- remember Draining the Swamp?

    Why are you letting both of the artificially created sides continue to get away with these lies election after election? (see comment 18)

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why are you letting both of the artificially created sides continue to get away with these lies election after election?

    OH!!!! OH!!! I KNOW!!!! PICK ME!!! PICK ME!!!!

    Because it's easier to just be a Party slave rather than buck the trend and actually DO SOME GOOD for this country...

    That's why I am a Trump supporter...

    President Trump is the first President since Saint Reagan who sticks it to BOTH Partys and simply does what is best for the country...

  22. [22] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    17

    Really??

    Yes, really. That is the definition of "presumption of innocence." I have never met a so-called "law enforcement officer" who didn't understand the basics of law.

    INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW
    Funny.. I don't see the word "presumption" in there at all...

    Now you're just embarrassing yourself. "Please proceed, Governor." :)

  23. [23] 
    Kick wrote:

    Michale
    19

    In your world, ACCUSATION = GUILTY

    Your made up bullshit proves only that you will lie.

    But *ONLY* when that person has a -R after their name or otherwise further your Democrat Party agenda...

    This tired shit of yours proves your dearth of ideas and that you will lie.

    We don't live in your world, Vickie... :D

    Obviously... since you live in Shithole. :)

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW
    Funny.. I don't see the word "presumption" in there at all...

    Now you're just embarrassing yourself. "Please proceed, Governor." :)

    Says the person who is adding words to make a bullshit argument that only a Left Wing moron would find valid.. :D

    "INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW"

    No "presumption" mentioned in there whatsoever...

    You lose.. AGAIN.. :D
    Obviously... since you live in Shithole. :)

    That would be the "shithole" that is the NUMBER ONE STATE in the country to live in for personal and economic freedom..

    Unlike your state which is #50 in the country for personal and economic freedom..

    Howz life in yer shithole, Vicky?? :D

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:

    A so-called "law enforcement officer" who whines incessantly that someone is adding words to the basic legal concept of "presumption of innocence." Tells you everything you need to know.

    Unlike your state which is #50 in the country for personal and economic freedom..

    Liar :)

    lying and just making shit up never stops.

  26. [26] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Manafort was convicted on 8 of 18 charges, the ten remaining charges were undecided as the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision. End of. I fail to see the argument here, other than the usual one, which is always about the saying and not the said. That's all America seems to have left in its political discourse these days, sniping and fratching over wording or phrasing...if I didn't know better (or have some experience in) it sounds like the kind of thing you hear in divorce court when deciding the disposition of the family dog. I'd be more concerned about the sewage flowing from Trump this day. It's now considered laudable to not co-operate with law enforcement, and somehow reprehensible to own your (or at least a portion of) wrong-doings and throw yourself at the mercy of the court. In Trump's seedy little mind it might be, but not anywhere else. I happen to take great pride in the fact that I have successfully handed down my moral compass to my kids, as my dad did to me. What generation of vipers is Trump suggesting people create by insisting you're a better person if you never admit your mistakes?

    It's disgusting and immoral to peddle a mafia-like mentality as virtuous, and my only hope is Trump is ignored as some kind of moral beacon.

    LL&P

  27. [27] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [26] Kick...you have to remember, Michale, like his 'Whiskey priest' president, isn't concerned whatsoever about the rule of law. So long as they can preen under the sun of decent economy, decency be damned. That's all history will say about Trump...'they plugged their noses and held hands with the devil, then it all tanked and they awoke from their dream to a society in ruins"

    LL&P

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    A so-called "law enforcement officer" who whines incessantly that someone is adding words to the basic legal concept of "presumption of innocence." Tells you everything you need to know.

    Says the ignorant Party slave who ADDS words to make a lame argument.. :D

    lying and just making shit up never stops.

    Yea.. That's yer claim..

    And, as usual, you NEVER have any facts to back it up.. :D

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    But hay... I'll play your ignorant little semantic game..

    Manafort is presumed INNOCENT of all of those 10 charges..

    You STILL lose.. :D

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    See how you just got played, Vicky???>

    I maneuvered you to use the word INNOCENT with regards to Manafort and those remaining 10 charges..

    BBBWWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Like shootin' fish in a barrel.. :D

  31. [31] 
    Kick wrote:

    James T Canuck
    26

    It's now considered laudable to not co-operate with law enforcement, and somehow reprehensible to own your (or at least a portion of) wrong-doings and throw yourself at the mercy of the court. In Trump's seedy little mind it might be, but not anywhere else.

    Exactly right, JTC. The Moron-In-Chief and his bullshit is NOT normal. It takes a special kind of stupid to keep changing your story and moving the goalposts and then whine about "flipping" and how "it almost ought to be illegal." The so-called "law and order" candidate wouldn't recognize the rule of law if it lived on his face. Poor Donald. He simply can't get over the fact that Jeff Sessions recused himself... like he had a choice. Moron.

    It's disgusting and immoral to peddle a mafia-like mentality as virtuous, and my only hope is Trump is ignored as some kind of moral beacon.

    It's comical to watch Trump reveal himself for exactly who he is... Mafia Don. That is, it would be comical if it wasn't so pathetic. Trump too shall pass. :)

  32. [32] 
    Kick wrote:

    But hay... I'll play your ignorant little semantic game..

    You needn't "play" at being ignorant if you keep insisting that a basic concept of law is a "semantic game." Presumption of innocence in a court of law and claiming that someone is in fact innocent are two wholly different things. I would think that a "law enforcement officer" would understand the concept, but here we are... again.

    Manafort is presumed INNOCENT of all of those 10 charges..

    In a court of law. Manafort knows the facts regarding his guilt or innocence notwithstanding the presumption of innocence he enjoys in the courtroom. Nothing that goes on in the courtroom changes the "facts."

    You STILL lose.. :D

    I'd say Manafort lost... just to state the obvious. :)

  33. [33] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    [32] Without a doubt Manafort lost (bigly) and will again. Also, as far as I can tell, there is no provision that ensures 'a right to a speedy re-trial'...Manafort has to realize, Trump's blatant carrot/pardon dangling notwithstanding, that his benefactor is easily outmaneuvered where his pardon power is concerned. Say what you want about Cohen, but he knows how Trump's mind works, hell, he spent ten years keeping the hamster wheel in his head turning. Cohen took the best deal he could rely on to stick, like a true to form henchman, he understood that Trump was throwing him to the slag-pile pretty early on. Also, when you think about it, Cohen has been taking out Trump's trash for years, to be shunned just when some of your loyalty should be coming home to roost, has to leave a bitter taste. Trump isn't doing himself any favours by moaning in public about loyalty, when he himself has shown none to his former operatives. It's very short sighted to think others 'in the know' about Trump's slippery dealings haven't taken serious note of how the Cohen/Manafort scenario has played out...it could be, Manafort will spend two years behind bars before Trump even dare show clemency. That can't be comforting for him, given his age and what must now be dawning on him as to Trump's uni-directional loyalty beliefs.

    LL&P

  34. [34] 
    James T Canuck wrote:

    Giuliani when asked about a Trump impeachment replied...

    "There's no reason. He didn't collude with the Russians, he didn't obstruct justice. Everything [Michael] Cohen says has been disproved. You'd only impeach him for political reasons. And the American people would revolt against that."

    Can you count the bald-faced lies in this one statement?

    I found six. Giuliani is nipping at Trump's heels for most lies told in a calendar year. The trophy is a bronzed Pork Pie sat atop a Pinocchio styled nose. Quite handsome really. Wouldn't look out of place on either mans mantle.

    LL&P

  35. [35] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Hey CW,

    Did my comment get snagged?

  36. [36] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LeaningBlue [1,2] -

    Me either, so I just went ahead and fixed it for you...

    nypoet [22] -

    Nice Zaphod Beeblebrox quote... heh.

    Kick [5] -

    Yeah, that certainly argues for Mueller to refile the 10 charges. Maybe the next jury will confront the evidence that 11 of the first jury did...

    Michale [9] -

    Touché. Should've corrected that one, but didn't, which is on me.

    [10] -

    Hey, whatever helps you and Hannity sleep at night, bro.

    Jury:
    12-0 on 8 counts
    11-1 on 10 counts.

    If you think that's a wonderful legal victory, then so be it. It's like (to use a Trumpian example) arguing Al Capone wasn't guilty of anything but tax evasion....

    [11] -

    Yep, you were wrong yesterday. But I was too nice to point it out. Heh. But at least we can both admit lapses when they happen, right?

    :-)

    Kick [12] -

    Yeah, this is another bizarre bit of attempted spin I didn't address in the article. The whole "DOJ won't indict a sitting president" does not, in fact, mean that anyone's "above the law" forever. All it says is that DOJ will wait until either (a) the president is impeached, convicted, and removed from office, or (b) the president's term is up before actually indicting him of any crime. But some bizarrely see it as a get-out-of-jail-free card. It's not. All it says is that the political process (impeachement and trial in Senate) has to happen first, that's all.

    Michale [14] -

    Technically, it would be: "Paul Manafort, at the present time, is legally innocent of the 10 charges, but he is still in legal jeopardy over them, because he was not acquitted or declared innocent by a jury." The key phrase? "at the present time."

    However, since we're talking about facts, here's one for you: Paul Manafort is GUILTY of 8 serious felonies. He is facing up to 80 years in prison because of this.

    Don't forget that part, in protesting his innocence too much...

    It's like crowing about Hannibal the Cannibal not being convicted of using proper table manners, in other words.

    [15] -

    Boy, you're really having fun beating this dead horse, aren't you?

    The fact you refuse to face: Manafort HAS NOT been found innocent of the 10 charges by a jury.

    That is a fact. You refuse to face it, in your continued efforts at spin.

    [17] -

    Now you're just getting silly. Look up the phrase "presumption of innocence" -- Kick didn't coin it on the fly, here.

    Don Harris [18] -

    "aboot"? Are you posting north of the border?

    Heh. Couldn't resist.

    Michale [19] -

    Let's see... has Michale ever pronounced guilt of a member of the opposing party before a jury has had its say? Hmmm... there must be an example or two here... (stands back as Fibber McGee's closet cascades endlessly and noisily...).

    Oh, that's right! You do it ALL THE TIME, pal!

    Nice try at taking the high road, though. Points for effort...

    James T Canuck [26] -

    It's all about the spin, and the Trumplestiltskins don't have much ammo in the current battle.

    But I do like your larger point, and applaud it wholeheartedly. Remember when the Republicans used to pretend they cared about personal responsibility? Ahh... those were the days....

    Michale [28] -

    Since your google seems to be broken, here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presumption_of_innocence

    Once again, this phrase was NOT coined here today...

    OK, enough of this. Heads-up: Today's column is almost up...

    -CW

  37. [37] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    OK, new column is up, enjoy!

    -CW

  38. [38] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    JTC: The trophy is a bronzed Pork Pie sat atop a Pinocchio styled nose. Quite handsome really.

    Really? Because every mental image I can conjure of that looks like an Adult Film Award.

    Michale [30]: I maneuvered you to use the word INNOCENT with regards to Manafort and those remaining 10 charges..

    That's what Trumpers have been doing since the election: playing word games, biding their time while the wrecking crew they've installed does its work. I'm onto them.

    What they don't want us to discuss is the vandalism itself. Today it was the UN Human Rights Commission. Who does that benefit? Russia, for one, who'd really like to wrap up the Syrian war without pesky UN guys underfoot objecting everytime Assad tosses a barrel bomb at a population center.

  39. [39] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Yeah, this is another bizarre bit of attempted spin I didn't address in the article. The whole "DOJ won't indict a sitting president" does not, in fact, mean that anyone's "above the law" forever. All it says is that DOJ will wait until either (a) the president is impeached, convicted, and removed from office, or (b) the president's term is up before actually indicting him of any crime. But some bizarrely see it as a get-out-of-jail-free card. It's not. All it says is that the political process (impeachment and trial in Senate) has to happen first, that's all.

    Yes, exactly this! And although I know I sound like a broken record sometimes, the State of New York has no such rule on its "books," and...………….…… drumroll
    ……………………………………………………………...……………….

    FUN FACT: The sitting President of the United States could literally be indicted by the State of New York at any time. If he has done nothing wrong, then he's got nothing to worry about.

    Pardon me? Nope. Not in New York! Poor Donald and his spawn and his ilk: No pardon for you in New York! :)

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