We'll Say This For Paul Manafort, He Puts On A Hell Of A Show!
Sucks to be Paul Manafort, who got his ass kicked around the courtroom yesterday by Judge T.S. "Cranky" Ellis. After losing his motion to move his trial to Redstate, Virginia, last week, Manafort got the postponement he'd been asking for. Sort of. Instead of going on trial tomorrow for all the money laundering, Paulie gets a one-week reprieve -- not December as he'd requested. Maybe he'll even bother to shave for the big day!
And if Manafort's attorneys are trying to piss off Judge Ellis, they're doing a hell of a job! Imagine a squad of lawyers who are being paid $10,000 PER HOUR, arguing with a straight face that their client needs a postponement so the government can provide him with his own subpoenaed ledgers for free, instead of him paying his old bookkeeper to regenerate them. Judges love that! THEY DO!
Judge Ellis was similarly skeptical of Manafort's request to ask the jury if they voted, calling it theatrics.
I'm not in the theater business. You have to be better looking for that.
Manafort got a win of sorts when five of the 30 witnesses against him were granted use immunity -- that is, forced to testify but guaranteed that their testimony can't be used to prosecute them later -- but the government lost its motion to have their names shielded from the public.
Hey, remember all the breathless speculation from the wingnuttosphere that John and Tony Podesta were going down, dude? And a few of our leftwing brethren got hot-n-bothered when they saw Bernie Sanders's campaign manager Tad Devine's name on the list of email chains subpoenaed? Yesterday was the big witness reveal, AND ...
Why it's five accounting people you've never heard of JUST LIKE WE TOLD YOU IT WOULD BE!
(Okay, if you want to nitpick, we told you the list might include Manafort's ex-son-in-law Jeffrey Yohai, who partnered up with him on a bunch of shady shit, because we forgot that he'd already cut a plea deal. DOH!)
The most interesting witnesses are Dennis Raico and James Brennan, both of whom were employed at Federal Savings Bank (FSB) in Chicago. Allegedly, FSB President Steven Calk greenlighted $16 million in loans for Manafort as a quid pro quo for a job in Trumpland. Calk, with his history of banking fuckery and loathing of regulation, was a perfect fit to advise the Trump campaign on banking and economics. But Secretary of the Army? Lololol sure why not. Calk got to advise the Trump campaign but never got to be the Army secretary. SAD!
The rest of the witnesses will likely have hilarious stories of the good old days, like when Paul Manafort would bring in a loan application covered in Wite Out, and they'd have to dummy up a new one from scratch. Did they doctor up his bullshit loan applications just to be nice? Or was there a box of Entenmann's coffee cake with a couple of hundreds taped to the lid for their troubles?
WE'LL FIND OUT NEXT WEEK! And we'll find out today who the rest of the witnesses are, since Judge Ellis just told the government to disclose the whole list.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.