In just a few weeks, Paul Manafort is scheduled to go on trial for many more crimes, this time in DC, where the judge, Amy Berman Jackson, is not likely to put up with any of Paul Manafort's bullshit. Pretrial stuff has already started in this case, where there will be more than 1,500 documents in evidence, and did we mention that in this trial, we're going to get into the hot wet Russia stuff? That's right, in this trial, we will be dealing with Manafort's foreign agent work and rampant money laundering conspiracies and his witness tampering and all kinds of sexxxy stuff. Let's see how Donald Trump's Twitter fingers react to that!
And WHOA HEY BREAKING NEWS! That trial, which was set to start September 17, is now starting September 24, apparently because the Manafort team needs more time. Remember what we just said about 1,500 documents in evidence?
But it turns out that, while the jurors were deliberating in his Virginia trial, Manafort was -- for the very first time ever, that we know of -- actually trying to work out a plea agreement with Robert Mueller's team for the DC charges. Was he going to try to flip on Donald Trump like a common flipper? We don't know! But he was trying to do ... something. Unfortunately, according to the Wall Street Journal, "the deal fell apart." And it didn't fall apart because the Russians contacted Manafort and said "E-way Ill-Way Urder-May Ou-Yay Ith-Way Olonium-Pay" in retaliation for potentially cooperating. (At least we don't think that happened, but that still might be a thing Manafort just knows.) According to WSJ, it fell apart on Mueller's side.
But wait! Wasn't President Poop Knuckle just saying to "Fox & Friends" that Paul Manafort is a very good guy who resisted the pressure to tell investigators all the crimes the president has done, which is why maybe Trump would like to pardon him RIGHT FUCKING NOW, which is why Trump has reportedly talked about bringing in another lawyer to draft a pardon if White House counsel Don McGahn won't do it? Turns out Manafort might be an attempted flipper! Is he still a very good man, Donald Trump?
Let's wildly speculate about why Manafort might have wanted to plead out and/or flip:
- Maybe he is guilty of all the crimes he's charged with in DC, just like he's guilty of everything he was charged with in Virginia, and when he and his legal team saw those eight guilty verdicts come back, and also the 10 verdicts of "would be guilty 'cept for this one juror was a dimwit," they saw the legal writing on the wall and decided it is time to play ball, lest Manafort die in prison.
- Maybe Josh Marshall is right and Paul Manafort really is the one who knows the whole story of the Trump/Russia conspiracy, and he now finally realizes that cooperating might give him a chance of not dying in prison.
- Maybe he's getting wobbly on whether Trump will be able to get away with pardoning him? And/or knows there are a buncha un-pardonable state charges ready to fall on his ass, so a pardon might not matter?
- Maybe it has occurred to him that if Putin's gonna polonium his ass, he'll probably get to him whether he's in lock-up or on a beach in Bora Bora, so YOLO!
We just don't know. Regardless, we think he's actually getting scared. Guess you can only be an international foreign agent money criminal with a Russian spy for a partner for so long before shit starts to catch up to you.
We do know that it seems like Paul Manafort is getting tired of being transported to jail, and has thus waived his right to be present for pretrial stuff. Maybe he is a-skeered of being in regular jail where any old Igor can sneak in with some polonium in his butt, hey, did we say polonium in this post yet? Because that's a thing Russia does, GLENN GREENWALD.
Also, when you are transported to regular jail, you have to ride on the bus like a commoner, and you don't even get to wear your ostrich jacket to keep you warm. And there are cray people in gen pop and in the basement holding tank at the courthouse.
One more story, before we close out this post, since it is John McCain Week. Back in 2008, Paul Manafort really really really REALLY wanted to run the Republican convention, because he thought it would be a good way for him to leverage his connections to make some more money from his Kremlin-allied clients. Unfortunately and LOL, John McCain told Paul Manafort to fuck off, because he was way too far up the Russians' ass, which caused Manafort to go into "a fit of rage and depression." (Of course, those sorts of connections didn't seem to bother Donald Trump in 2016, because he picks the best people, and is also almost certainly a Russian intelligence asset himself.)
Anyway, now Paul Manafort is in "a fit of rage and depression" for a whole different set of reasons, and he will hopefully die in jail, everybody point and laugh at sad Paul Manafort!
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