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'This Isn't Middle School': Judge Sends Former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort to Jail Over Witness Tampering


'This Isn't Middle School': Judge Sends Former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort to Jail Over Witness Tampering

Common Dreams staff

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Saying the court could not "turn a blind eye" to accusations by prosecutors of witness tampering, a judge on Friday sent Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, to jail—revoking his house arrest as he faces trial on numerous charges.

As the Associated Press reports:


So, let’s see. He has to stay in jail until his case goes to trial? But he can’t go to trial unless he turns state’s evidence to Mueller? And Trump can’t pardon him until he’s found guilty. And the whole shebang following Mueller’s report is dependent on Congress taking action?

Whoa!! Think I better send the man chalk to mark the days.


I’m looking forward with great anticipation to settling in—with a bowl, a large Guiness and a small Tullamore Dew—to watch Trumpgate unfold on TV in real time. It’s going to be great therapy, like seeing Senator Sam grill Haldemann and Erlichman back in the day.

And some fine day, to paraphrase Richard Milhous “Tricky Dick” Nixon, “We won’t have Twitler to kick around anymore.”


"The leading Supreme Court case is Ex parte Garland (1867). Justice Stephen J. Field, writing for the Court in a 5-4 decision, held that the President’s pardoning power is ‘‘unlimited,’’ and ''It extends to every offense known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken, or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment.’’[emphasis added.]

“In Murphy v. Ford (1975), a Federal District Court in Michigan rejected a suit for a declaratory judgment that President Ford’s unconditional pardon of Richard M. Nixon was unconstitutional. The court found that the President had the constitutional power to grant a pre-indictment pardon, citing Ex parte Garland in its support.”


President can pardon anyone, convicted or not:


Yup, a POTUS can in essence, give someone a get out of jail free card. Or in the James Bond vernacular, a license to kill.
Who do you suppose Manafort would kill first?


Yes, the venerated founders had their flaws, as well. They very much liked some parts of the monarchical system they were throwing off, like a president who was mostly above the law. It was basically paying taxes to a faraway king that they resented the most. We could fix this stuff through amendments, but not with the current power structure, which is why the Constitutional Convention that some are demanding would be a horrible idea right now.

“Who do you suppose Manafort would kill first?”

I have no idea, but were he to do so, I doubt it would be a federal crime and thus would not fall within the president’s power to pardon.


Was reading an old Time article on all this from IIRC October of last year. I could be very slow on the uptake, but, you know, most viewers lump Ukraine influences [Manafort] and Russian influences [Papadopoulos] together. I never did this, but maybe I committed the sin of no-thought. Weren’t these interests at odds with one another??? Was the campaign playing each of’em off against the other? How in the world could Manafort help Yanukovych? Sure, if Manafort funnelled the money on over to the Trump campaign…that helped the campaign. Was that all it was? Was this PR job of Manfort’s just a cover for bribes aforehand to get favorable policy for Ukraine once Trump was in? Same on the Russia side? Man, this is nothing but what every country on Earth does.


Could someone, anyone, send me news if and when Manafort actually does hard time??!!

I seriously doubt the weasel will.



The Criminal-in-Chief is itching to break out his “pardon pen” before Manafort decides to cooperate with prosecutors.


Even if convicted, “jail” in America for a rich scumbag like that is a walled off vacation resort most Americans would consider a vast improvement from their own daily lives.


“But he can’t go to trial unless he turns state’s evidence to Mueller?”
The Constitution guarantees him the right to a speedy trial. He can insist on that.

“And Trump can’t pardon him until he’s found guilty.”
Several have already referred to past precedent, including Pres. Ford pardoning Richard Nixon. So those who want Manafort and others to be beyond the reach of Trump’s pardoning power had better seek state charges against Manafort, et al. (The advantages of Federalism)

“And the whole shebang following Mueller’s report is dependent on Congress taking action?”
Any number of other persons can be charged and sent to prison, if juries convict. As for Trump, the conventional wisdom is that Congress would have to impeach him, or we would have to wait until Trump leaves office. You can’t expect to duplicate Argentina, where a massive left-wing protest forces the president to flee and resign. (smile).

To refer to the meaning, if not the exact words, not since Benjamin Harrison have so many men risked prison in order to put their man in the White House. Original sentiment expressed c.1889.

BTW, the people here should pause to contemplate how much they desire US of America to become a ‘one party state’, and a one-thought dogma society, and whether we would be better off for it…


Unfortunately you are right. A black youth with an once of weed gets a beating and a stay in prison.
Manafort will not face the same punishment. Even if he gets locked up it will be a cushy stay.


Manafort’s alleged crimes were nearly a decade before the Trump campaign. There’s no connection unless they can extort Manafort to give them dirt on Trump.

(No, calling this extortion is not defending Trump and attacking Muller- it’s attacking this disgusting justice system in this nation where the state continually extorts defendants to cooperate by sometimes risking their lives to get dirt on someone else or to plead guilty to get lesser charges. There is no justice in our system. Never cooperate with the police and the prosecutors. Never talk to them. Always insist on a jury trial. Make them do their job. If everyone arrested did this we might get justice reform.)


Your comment is ironic in the sense Manafort has worked hard to avoid a trial and both he and Cohen’s trials are the things Trump reportedly fears most. Moreover, I can’t wait to learn the pancake recipes Rick Gates was exchanging with a Russian agent—one he knew was an agent of the GRU—through October of 2016 per special counsel’s filings. Wonder why Gates lied at first about it then flipped so quickly? Guess we’ll find out soon. I mean, money laundering can’t have anything to do with exchanging political favors with a foreign government. Eh, let’s go Greenwald and justify it all, right? Happens all the time, to the best of us.


Right to a speedy trial-------Please the Bill of Rights is dead----tell this to Kalief Browder who spent three years in Rikers accused of stealing a backpack. But then you can’t because he committed suicide.


I listened to the exchange by the Judge and lawyers----it just shows the two tier “justice” system in this country. If any common person was witness tampering it would be straight to jail----but because its a rich guy he gets a few weeks to put together an argument with the court.

And commentators seemed joyous that he would be placed in the DC jail system filled with cockroaches ----just as some think its ok to send people to prison and get raped. We live in an insane world.


Stupid Republicans tampering with witnesses.

They ought to have learned from Bill Clinton’s tarmac meeting with Loretta Lynch. Smart grifters tamper with the prosecution, it’s so much more effective.


This article says that Manafort is already in jail.

The description of life in the jail: it is “VIP” only because of the previous status of the people who have been held there and compared to other sections of jails. My guess is that he better enjoy spending his time curled up with whatever book is available, and be a good conversationalist with the other prisoners, because there is no other way to occupy one’s time in there.

In the Google headline of another article on Manafort and jail, a Watergate prosecutor thought that Manafort might never get out of jail.

About that last sentence: presuming that he has any dirt that would bring charges against Trump …

A method that only works for Democrats working with their own nomenklatura. Reference the recent IG’s report on the FBI. Republicans could never get away with that.


You mean the FBI report that confirmed that the whole email thing was just that, a thing and nothing more? It also seems not to have fully addressed a much bigger concern: