You wouldn’t be wrong if you called yesterday Tragic Tuesday for Donald Trump, his supporters, and the entire GOP. At practically the same time long term Trump lawyer/”fixer”, Michael Cohen was pleading guilty to various charges include illegal campaign finance violations, in a federal courthouse in New York, and also implicating Trump himself in some of those crimes, Trump former Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort was learning his fate in Virginia as he awaited the verdict in his trial on multiple federal charges including tax fraud.
Guilty was the verdict on 8 out of the 18 crimes Manafort was charged with. CNN (@cnn) reported, Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial on the 10 crimes the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on. The FEDS still hold all of the cards in the mistrial charges as they can decide to re-try Manafort on those charges if they wish to.
Manafort was found guilty of five (5) tax fraud charges, two (2) counts of bank fraud, and one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts. Manafort faces a maximun 80 years behind bars for the 8 counts he was convicted on. Manafort may have some relief heading his way in the form of a presidential pardon, which Trump kind of hinted at early on Wednesday morning.
A Manafort pardon by Trump will be Republicans worst nightmare. Manafort was convicted by a jury of his peers. Not by angry Democrats or Republicans. He was convicted by law abiding, tax paying citizens of this Country. Attacking the verdict is not an attack on law enforcement or the FBI. An attack on this verdict will be an attack on America and its citizens who found Manafort guilty after a fair and legal trial. Republicans manage to look the other way when Trump does most things, but this one won’t be so easy to ignore. This will be an attack on the American democracy itself….. In the famous words of Donald Trump, “we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”