Mueller Plays Hardball With Manafort
Pretty Big Bombshell In The Case Against Trump’s Former Campaign Chairman
Prosecutors late last evening accused Paul Manafort of witness tampering involving use of encrypted messaging apps to attempt to contact two witnesses. That could land Manafort in jail immediately while he awaits trial.
Of course, what may be most significant is how Trump responds to this. Trump could play this two ways:
- Continue to depict Manafort as someone he doesn’t know very well, even though he ran Trump’s campaign from June 2016 until Steve Bannon took over in August. In recent days Trump has even blamed the “F.B.I. or Department of ‘Justice’” for not warning him about Manafort’s chequered past.
- Receive this as a “shot across the bow” by the Special Counsel; Mueller’s way of counterpunching against Trump’s frenzied Twitter attacks, and pardons and talk of pardons (including of himself) designed to send a message to those possibly getting squeezed by Mueller they needn’t worry.