With legions of Ivy League-educated prosecutors, the investigative resources of the FBI, the Treasury Department and virtually the entire federal bureaucracy at the disposal of prosecutors, an ordinary citizen has little chance of winning a court victory.
I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!
“We can see a reason why he might want to do that. What’s the need for another trial?…They’ve got enough to put him in jail. His lawyer is going to argue they shouldn’t. The judge should decide this. … I think it’s pretty clear if they were going to get anything from him, they’d have gotten it already. … From our perspective, we want him to do the right thing for himself.”
Manafort may have tendered his plea for a variety of reasons including the possibility that it would protect his family from financial ruin and the fact that at age 69, the sentences likely to be imposed in both his Virginia and Washington cases could have ensured that he would spend the rest of his life in prison.
On the other hand, if he cooperates “fully and truthfully” with Mueller but does not implicate the President, he will almost surely receive a presidential pardon. Nothing linking President Trump personally to any criminal acts surfaced during the first Manafort trial in Virginia. Pending Mueller’s final report and despite the fondest hopes of Trump’s opponents, there may be no such provable links.
If so, it will not be forgotten by the White House that Manafort fought a long and determined war with federal prosecutors at great personal cost while remaining loyal to the President. He also has entered his guilty plea before the runup to the mid-term elections, avoiding the damaging anti-Trump headlines that could have emerged from a new trial in Washington.
After all, while Mueller has played the jail card, Manafort is still likely to be holding the Trump Card — — and no one remains in prison when that card is played.