24 June 2018

A Twist in the Russia Investigation

It appears that both the prosecution and defense have filed motions to exclude Manafort's time as Trump's campaign chairman from the trial:
The former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and special counsel Robert Mueller have finally found something they can agree on.

Mueller‘s prosecutors and Manafort‘s defense team filed separate motions with a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Friday asking to block lawyers at an upcoming trial for the longtime lobbyist and political consultant from mentioning his stint at the helm of the Trump campaign in 2016.

The requests came in court filings spurred by Manafort‘s looming trial next month on charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and failing to report overseas bank accounts.

Mueller’s team went first, asking U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis to prevent Manafort‘s defense from arguing to jurors that he was targeted for prosecution because of his role in Donald Trump’s presidential bid.


Manafort‘s defense followed up a short time later with an even broader motion asking to bar any discussion at all of the defendant‘s role in the Trump campaign, as well as all mention of Mueller‘s mandate to investigate potential collaboration between Trump‘s team and Russia. “Evidence or argument relating to Mr. Manafort‘s work for then-candidate Trump’s campaign in 2016 or the Special Counsel’s investigation of the campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russian government is wholly irrelevant to whether Mr. Manafort’s personal income tax returns were false, whether he willfully failed to file reports of foreign accounts, and whether he conspired to commit, or committed, bank fraud,“ Manafort‘s attorneys wrote.

The defense lawyers’ motion also evinced concern that their client could become the victim of anti-Trump bias among potential jurors.
Basically, the case comes down to Manafort being a corrupt son of a bitch, though one wonders how he is really different from any of the other international lobbyists in Washington, DC.

The other twist is that The Nation magazine just published an article debunking the whole "Russiagate" thing.

I find it interesting because The Nation is the last place where I would expect to find such an article.

I'm still guessing that it will be the coverup, and not the underlying crime, that will end up having real repercussions.


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