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MANAFORT VERDICT: Guilty on 8 Counts, Mistrial on 10 Others

MANAFORT VERDICT: Guilty on 8 Counts, Mistrial on 10 Others

The eight counts are related to bank and tax fraud.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjlHoabxsn0

The jury in the Paul Manafort trial found him guilty on eight counts in connection to bank and tax fraud and the judge declared a mistrial on the other 10 counts.

From The Wall Street Journal:

*Of Verdicts, Manafort Found Guilty on All Five Counts of Tax Fraud

*Manafort Also Found Guilty on One Count of Failure to File a Report on a Foreign Bank Account

*Manafort Also Found Guilty on Two Counts of Bank Fraud

*Mistrial Declared on Remaining Foreign-Bank-Account Charges and Bank-Fraud Counts

The six men and six women of the jury were in their fourth day of deliberations Tuesday. Earlier, they heard two weeks of testimony in which prosecutors from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office alleged Mr. Manafort didn’t pay taxes on at least $16 million in income he earned through political consulting work in Ukraine during the early 2010s.

The jurors also are weighing charges accusing the longtime political consultant of providing three U.S. banks misleading or false financial information to obtain more than $20 million in loans in 2016 and 2017. Mr. Manafort faces the possibility of more than a decade in prison if convicted.

Earlier in the day the jury sent a question to the judge:

The jury asked in a note signed by the foreman today: “If we cannot come to a consensus for a single count, how can we fill in the verdict sheet?”

The jury note also said they needed a new verdict sheet, and they asked what not coming to a conclusion would mean for the “final verdict.”

The wording left unclear whether the jury was unresolved on just one count, or 17 of the 18. I guess we’ll find out when the verdict is announced.

The Judge told the jury to keep deliberating.

Manafort faces another criminal trial in September “on charges of money laundering, conspiracy, acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, and other counts.

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Comments

The Judge told the jury to keep deliberating.

So, when you know perfectly well that you don’t know what you’re doing . . . officialdom’s response is to have you do more of it.

Well, no surprise there.

caseoftheblues | August 21, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Twitchy reporting verdicts for 8 of the 18

Note…. Is there a fire escape?

I heard they found him guilty on 21 of 18 counts.

    The Packetman in reply to Matt_SE. | August 21, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Wouldn’t it be a kicker if a juror approaches Manafort’s legal team in a week and admits that their votes were influenced by the specter of having their names and addresses plastered all over the news if they didn’t convict …

My record on predicting SCOTUS decisions is something like 0-14, WHICH IS ACTUALLY VERY IMPRESSIVE FROM A CERTAIN PERSPECTIVE.

Who turned caps lock on? Stupid smartphone…

… anyways, I’m not going to bother predicting anything. I’ll just jinx us.

heading says 10 of 8 (kind of impossible…) not 10 of 18

Maybe there is only G or NG on the sheet? They need a box for I have no clue.

Per Fox, guilty on 8, jury run out of town.

The jury tried to be fair with the mountain of documents foisted upon it. That’s all I could have hoped for. After all, they had to sort out what Manafort was guilty of as opposed to his partner who cut a deal. Sounds like it was a mess.

    Tom Servo in reply to JBourque. | August 21, 2018 at 5:30 pm

    I agree – it sounds to me as if the jury took their responsibility very carefully and considered all of the evidence, which is why they returned a split verdict. The failing to report income on his tax return always looked like the strongest charges, they had printouts of accounts he withdrew money from that he never reported on his taxes. Manafort presented no explanation to the jury for that.

    Close The Fed in reply to JBourque. | August 21, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Okay, let’s say that’s true, that the jury was mindful of it’s duty.

    Someone PLEASE EXPLAIN to me then, why wasn’t Manafort prosecuted before? Wasn’t it Rosenstein that nolle prossed it 10 years ago?

    Sooooo, what is going on over there at the FBI and DOJ?

      They didn’t have Gates and the accountants rolling on him ten years ago.

      I never, ever took a position on this website that Manafort was innocent. I just wanted to see the process prove his guilt or lack thereof, and the degree thereof. You can’t just say, “But what about X!” if he actually committed the crime.

      Though retrying him on the other 10 counts is just mean. How many centuries do they need his withered corpse to serve behind bars?

      thalesofmiletus in reply to Close The Fed. | August 22, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Because no one cared that he evaded taxes. The only “crime” anyone cared about was his working for Donald Trump.

I’m interested in seeing how the actual G/NG breaks down according to the charges, to see if there’s a logic behind the decision or if we just have some of these and some of those…

Since I’m far from the smartest guy in the class, perhaps one of you all could enlighten me —

Gates got a pass in return for testifying against Manafort. But didn’t Gates do worse stuff than Manafort? How does it make sense to let a guy who kills six guys (metaphorically) go in exchange for that guy’s testimony to convict some other guy of killing one person?

The world (or at least I) wants to know.

Looks like a loser for Trump. He is blowin’ it with the legal side of the coin. From the start. The left will grab this ball and run with it.

Message: if you have a shady past of criminality, ranging from cattle futures to theft of National Archives to falisfying legal docs for the FISA court… don’t campaign for anyone but Democrats.

Message: if you have a shady past of criminality, ranging from cattle futures to theft of National Archives to falisfying legal docs for the FISA court… don’t campaign for anyone but Democrats.

Close The Fed | August 21, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Exactly Fen.

So when does our side do the same scorched earth prosecutions of the dems and the socialist/commie nuts?

I cannot doubt that Brennan, Rice, Clinton, H., Brazil, etc., haven’t done much worse. Much much worse.

Matter of fact, this seems the RIGHT TIME to focus ALL federal law enforcement agencies on the Seth Rich matter. That young man deserves justice and if we have to get the NSA to provide all the comms & tracking between all the players, so be it.

We have to win in November, we absolutely must win.

Did the jury escape?

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on Tuesday afternoon on eight counts of financial crimes, while Judge T. S. Ellis declared a mistrial on ten other counts for which the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Manafort was found guilty on five counts of tax fraud, one count of hiding foreign bank accounts, and two counts of bank fraud. Each count carries with it a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, meaning he now faces up to 240 years behind bars.

Manafort has also been charged by Mueller with seven counts of obstruction of justice, failure to register as a foreign agent, and conspiracy to launder money. The trial on those charges is expected to start next month.

President Trump just landed in West Virginia for a Make America Great Again rally and responded to reporters:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday responded to the news that his former campaign chief, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen, his former longtime lawyer and fixer, were now both felons.

“Paul Manafort is a good man… it doesn’t involve me but it’s a very sad thing… it had nothing to do with Russian collusion,” Trump told reporters during a campaign trip to West Virginia. Trump pointedly ignored any mention of Cohen, who implicated Trump in two counts of felony campaign finance violations.
—————————————————–
Several things appear evident.

Monofart faces a VERY long time in prison, contra some of the idiots posting here about the charges here being trivial matters that are commonly dealt with by a fine, etc.

Monofart CAN be retried on the ten counts the judge declared mistried.

He yet faces the charges in the coming trial next month.

Plea bargains are not uncommon post-verdict.

Two close associates of Duh Donald…people he hired and kept…are now convicted felons (barring a successful appeal by Monofart). This cannot be a good week for T-rump from a political perspective, especially since Cohan pleaded that he committed campaign related crimes.

Going back to an earlier theme, this isn’t about your tribe winning or losing. It is about criminal conduct. If you have a moral compass AT ALL, that has to be your focus.

    Arminius in reply to Ragspierre. | August 21, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    When the law is selectively applied based upon party affiliation and how “important” you are, it is no longer about criminal conduct.

    Arminius in reply to Ragspierre. | August 21, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    Only someone without a moral compass could or would ignore that fact. If certain acts only comprise criminal conduct because lady justice no longer wears a blindfold then the crime is who you are, and not the conduct.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Ragspierre. | August 21, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    The motivation behind the prosecution makes a huge difference. Manafort may actually be guilty of some of the things of which he is accused, but the prosecution was motivated not by a sense of justice or fair play, but by a political vendetta. Government prosecutors passed on a swipe at him earlier, and took this swipe solely because of his association with Trump. That’s a sorry situation for America and Americans. And it’s a form of political theater meant to help sway votes in the midterms (as is the continuing investigation into “Russia, Russia, Russia”).

    Powerful sectors of the federal government have been politically weaponized and turned against the will of a large fraction of the American electorate. This trial was one of the fruits of that weaponization. This is far more important than Manafort’s guilt.

    Rags: “Two close associates of Duh Donald…people he hired and kept…are now convicted felons”

    They were charged only because they were associated with Trump. They were not prosecuted in service to Justice, they were prosecuted to gain leverage that would induce them to flip and provide fodder for impeachment hearings, which is a political process, not a legal one.

    Please, let us hear no more from you about Justice or First Principles.

    Ragspierre. If criminality should be our focus, why did you speak of political problems for Trump? Strange.

    Because I am not personally involved in the cases, I am concerned not only with the people who have been tried and convicted of crimes, but with the people who should have been, and were not.

    If Trump only has to worry about political problems, and not indefinite solitary confinement and/ or imprisonment until the end of his natural life like Manafort, he’s doing well. You cannot be Republican and not have people accuse you of crimes. Jeb, Cruz, and Rubio would have faced much the same, like Romney and McCain did when they were no longer convenient for the media.

      Ragspierre in reply to JBourque. | August 21, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      No. Nothing “strange” in my comment.

      I can walk and chew gum. If you’re honest, you’ll note that my comment was about the law principally. That was my focus.

        Rags: “my comment was about the law principally.”

        Can you explain why you had no interest in this before Manafort joined the Trump campaign? He wasn’t charged the first time around, so the allegations of tax evasion were already known.

        It appears these “law principles” of yours didn’t come into play until you realized Manafort’s case would reflect poorly on Trump. Can you explain that?

        BTW, all 8 of the charges involved periods of time BEFORE Manafort became associated with Trump.

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | August 21, 2018 at 10:00 pm

          Can you read my mind? No. I’ve had Monofart on my radar for years.

          BTW, I don’t care when Monofart was committing crimes. Just that he was.

          You care.

          Barry in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 2:03 am

          “I’ve had Monofart on my radar for years.”

          Sure you did. Bet you can point us to those comments about the dastardly Manofort from several years in the past….

          Your “radar” is a smoking broken mess of hallucination.

          Corrupt big government wins, and you cheer.

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 11:18 am

          For many, many years Monofart was known as a stereotypical sleazy lobbyist.

          You either didn’t know what I’ve known for years, or you think that’s OK.

          A jury of his peers has now found him guilty of several Federal crimes. You are attacking me because you are a hate-filled old nutter and pathological liar who cannot deal in substance.

          Fen in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm

          Rags: For years Manafort was known as sleeve lobbyist

          Really? And you knew this how? I work in DC, I live 30 mins from K Street. I frequently have business there. You live in Austin Tx right? Care to identify any other sleezy lobbyists here, since you are so tuned into K Street long-distance… you

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 1:12 pm

          I read. Duh.

          Do you dispute that Monofart has for years been a known sleazebag lobbyist?

          Fen in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 2:34 pm

          Not by you. You’ve certainly never mentioned it, during all our political conversations here over the last 6 years.

          I never heard if him until Meuller. And I work in DC.

          You didn’t either.

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 5:23 pm

          I certainly did. I know stuff you don’t. You can’t make a claim about what I know or don’t without lying.

    Colonel Travis in reply to Ragspierre. | August 21, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    You 24 hours ago:

    I suspect that the vast majority of Americans don’t give a good crap what the jury decides. Neither do those of us who know who Monofart has been for decades.

    For someone who doesn’t give a good crap, you’ve typed the longest comment on here.

      Ragspierre in reply to Colonel Travis. | August 21, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      Most of what I posted was just reporting from a sound source.

      I never said I didn’t care about this case. Quite the contrary, I’ve followed the matter with some interest. Why are you lying?

      And I’ll maintain my position that most Americans don’t give a crap about this case. You have anything to show the contrary?

        Colonel Travis in reply to Ragspierre. | August 21, 2018 at 10:24 pm

        I quote you verbatim and then you lie about it. And then you accuse me of lying.

        Letting that stand on its own….

          Ragspierre in reply to Colonel Travis. | August 21, 2018 at 10:57 pm

          Most of what I posted was just reporting from a sound source.

          I never said I didn’t care about this case. Quite the contrary, I’ve followed the matter with some interest. Why are you lying?

          And I’ll maintain my position that most Americans don’t give a crap about this case. You have anything to show the contrary?

          So… You’ve got nutin’. Just stupid name-calling. I don’t lie, liar.

        Rags: “I never said I didn’t care about this case. Quite the contrary, I’ve followed the matter with some interest. Why are you lying?”

        You said both:

        1) I’ve been following the case with interest

        2) Most Americans don’t give a crap… Neither do those of US who know blah blah blah.

        Hell, it’s 2-3 posts above this one.

        But enough about you. Let’s talk more about you (sigh)

          Fen in reply to Fen. | August 21, 2018 at 11:58 pm

          Rags: “I suspect that the vast majority of Americans don’t give a good crap what the jury decides. Neither do those of us who know who Monofart has been for decades.”

          Do I really need to diagram those two sentences?

          Perhaps you mispoke. Who do you mean by “us” ?

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 3:35 am

          Both are true statements, and not the least contradictory.

          I’ve followed the case with interest as an attorney.

          I’ve never needed anyone to confirm what I’ve known for years about Monofart.

    Obakemono in reply to Ragspierre. | August 22, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Looks like someone left their strip-mall legal advice clinic early to crow about this verdict. Go home little man and play courtroom with your toy soldiers. This is the adult conversation table, the little kids like you can go to the fold out table with the other little kids that don’t like Trump and love Hillary.

      Ragspierre in reply to Obakemono. | August 22, 2018 at 11:24 am

      Outside of your stupid trolling personal attack, have you anything adult to bring to the conversation, little man?

    Here is what we have in the Manafort case.

    Manafort earned a significant amount of money upon which he did not pay axes. In order to avoid conviction on the tax evasion charges, the jury would have to believe that Manafort was a complete imbecile. This was never likely to happen. On the Reporting charge, there was sufficient evidence to convince the jury that Manafort knew of it and willingly participated in it. The loan fraud charge is really only an issue if Manafort reneged o the loan. Other wise it is nothing more than a technical violation, not a substantive one.

    The usual sentence for similar tax evasion charges is usually the payment of taxes, interest, penalties and a term of incarceration of 3 years or less [usually less]. The failure to report charge is similar in sentencing to the evasion charges, 3 years or less. The fraud charges, while more troubling is usually far less than the 30 year maximum, especially if the lender did not suffer a loss. And, all of these charges would run concurrently. So, realistically, Manafort is actually looking at about 10 years, if not significantly less. And, we have not seen the sentencing hearing yet.

    Now, the effect on Trump is almost nonexistent. Manafort was known to be a shady character. So, it is really no surprise that he was convicted of some of the charges. Add to that they fact that NONE of these charges have ANYTHING to do with Trump, the Trump campaign or Russian Collusion with Trump and predate the campaign by years, this is all a nothing burger in its potential negative effects on Trump. In fact, just the opposite is true. Now,, Trump and his supporters have an even bigger platform to demand equal judicial treatment for liberal/Progressive players and candidates, including HRC.

And how much did the investigation cost the taxpayers to get this dangerous criminal convicted?

HRC could be convicted just by reviewing the evidence out in the open. What would that cost?

    The vast majority of the charges that he was actually convicted on were charges that should have been brought up in tax court and settled with the back taxes and a fine. Only 2 of them actually related to bank fraud, which I’m still fuzzy on. I mean were there actual losses at the bank, and if so, why didn’t the bank press charges?

      Elzorro in reply to georgfelis. | August 21, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      12 to one. At least the jury escaped. It was a clean getaway.

      Mac45 in reply to georgfelis. | August 22, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      “Only 2 of them actually related to bank fraud, which I’m still fuzzy on. I mean were there actual losses at the bank, and if so, why didn’t the bank press charges?”

      Exactly. I have never seen a criminal complaint of bank fraud which was not instigated by the extant lender [except Awan], usually because the borrower failed to pay back the loan. I am assuming that Manafort did not renege on the loans.

“Going back to an earlier theme, this isn’t about your tribe winning or losing. It is about criminal conduct. If you have a moral compass AT ALL, that has to be your focus.”

Using plea bargains to extort information for the purposes of a conviction of another, just received another boost in the arm.

The conviction of man ought to be based upon the crimes that man committed and not upon the testimony that may be extorted from the guilty.

The use and abuse of our courts to advance political ambitions continues apace.

    Elzorro in reply to MSO. | August 21, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    They escaped with their scalps intact.

    Fen in reply to MSO. | August 21, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    Funny how everyone can see this except Rags.

    His reasoning is circular:

    Two of Trump’s hires are felons Selective prosecution of Trump’s hires

      Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | August 21, 2018 at 8:52 pm

      You know less about logic than you do about being truthful.

      “Two of T-rump’s close associates are convicted criminals”.

      Mic drop.

        If you selectively convict people solely because they are associated with Trump, you get convicted felons associated with Trump. Circular. I don’t understand why this has to be FenSplained to you.

        Would you care to express any reservations you may have about motivations for these prosecutions or the manner in which they were handled? Do you have any concerns about people being prosecuted solely because they have the “wrong” politics?

          Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | August 21, 2018 at 10:33 pm

          “If you selectively convict people solely because they are associated with Trump…”

          Stupid, false predicate, Hen.

          Monofart was convicted on the evidence of his crimes by a jury. Nobody alleged he was connected with your man-crush. As a matter of fact, several people here have made the point he’s not tied to T-rump in his conduct as a sound matter of fact.

How do you find someone half guilty?

regulus arcturus | August 21, 2018 at 8:16 pm

Farce.

Rags: “moral compass, tribal”

You approve solely because you hate Trump.

It has nothing to do with your morality and everything to do with your tribalism.

The Justice system is being used as a prop to remove the President from office, because he opposes the Deep State and Establishment Wings of both parties. This abuse of the Rule of Law is being orchestrated by an unaccountable corrupt authoritarian elite that have no regard for either Justice or Liberty.

And you are just fine with that, as you wrap yourself in the flag of Morality. It would be blasphemous if not for how ridiculous you look in this pose.

    Elzorro in reply to Fen. | August 21, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Yes, it is. Awful. Selective prosecution. We are all felons now.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 3:34 am

    No, Hen. I approve because Monofart is a crook who violated MANY laws MANY times.

    That has nothing to do with my objective fact-based conclusions about Duh Donald.

    I’d love to see Hellary and Dollar Bill put away on multiple convictions for their crimes, too.

    No more. No less.

      NY Sun: This is part of an effort by the Democrats and their collaborators to overturn a presidential election that they thought they would win. No crime of which either man was pronounced guilty today is as foul as the campaign underway to foil the decision of the American people.”

      Still no comment Mr Principles?

        Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | August 22, 2018 at 1:05 pm

        You insist on not reading.

        No, Hen. I approve because Monofart is a crook who violated MANY laws MANY times.

        That has nothing to do with my objective fact-based conclusions about Duh Donald.

        I’d love to see Hellary and Dollar Bill put away on multiple convictions for their crimes, too.

        No more. No less.

        I don’t give a good crap about some opinion from a NYC rag.

        Apparently you think that’s a moral lodestar.

          It accurately sums up the opinion of most everyone here, the ones you insult as “idiots”, so I don’t believe you when you claim not to care. You are dodging. Here it is again:

          “This is part of an effort by the Democrats and their collaborators to overturn a presidential election that they thought they would win. No crime of which either man was pronounced guilty today is as foul as the campaign underway to foil the decision of the American people.”

          Do you approve of that? Do you disagree with the analysis? Do you not care if the legitimate election of our President is overturned by political trials?

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | August 22, 2018 at 3:20 pm

          Of course you, being you, lie.

          “Monofart faces a VERY long time in prison, contra some of the idiots posting here about the charges here being trivial matters that are commonly dealt with by a fine, etc.”

          As I’ve noted on this thread, I don’t see any connection between Monofart’s decades of criminality and Duh Donald, except as respects his smarts as an employer. It is super “swampy”, but it has no other implications. Those are large enough. But they could not be used as a predicate “to over-turn an election”.

          I don’t accept the predicate of the “Sun” stupid opinion piece. Which is it? Monofart is connected to Duh Donald in this trial, or is he not? I say he is not.

          I also don’t respect your fallacy of an appeal to popular opinion.

He is looking at being the Birdman of Leavenworth. He will roll over and play dead for Sessions attack dog Mueller.

Rags: “contra some of the idiots posting here ”

As a long time moderator, and in light of the Professor’s recent remarks about the tenor of his blog… In my experience there is an easy solution to this type of trolling that never fails:

If any part of the guest’s post violates the code of conduct, delete his entire post. What trolls hate the most is to type up 500 words for nothing because they couldn’t exercise some self-discipline.

If you insult, your post gets deleted. Period. Make him type it all over again and resubmit sans insults, and he’ll get the message.

He obviously has zero respect for the staff or the Professor himself. Probably because he doesn’t take you seriously.

How the hell is hillary klinton walking around free?

How the hell is jeff sessions still attorney general. We might have well have holder or lynch.

WTF.

So . . . if this extortionate behavior by Mueller was intended to inspire Manafort to leak the secret of the Magic Bullet, embarrassing information which will allow Mueller to hound the President with something real . . . did it work? All I see is a conviction on charges which, though real enough, should never have been brought. Does Mueller win his prize now, or later?

BierceAmbrose | August 22, 2018 at 1:26 am

Given Mueller’s track record, that’ll leave what, 1 conviction standing in a year or so, to plead down to something closer to standard practice? None?

Maybe an agreement: “You’re still guilty, but we’ll dump the charges if you dump the lawsuit for malicious prosecution on the others.” Now that there’s all this attention, having to pay off a few million for target locking on not the guy will look bad. Maybe bad enough that they’ll want to get out, rather than get caught. The prosecution, I mean.

Perhaps we should revisit the whole question of prosecutorial discretion and the non-admissibility of selective prosecution as a defense.

Perhaps a defendant should be able to introduce evidence that similarly situated people have not been prosecuted, and make the prosecutor explain those decisions and distinguish them from the current case. Absent a sufficient distinction, a prosecutor who previously decided that it’s not in the public interest to prosecute such cases should be estopped from prosecuting this one.

    Would that revolve around equal protection under the law? I can see the potholes – prosecutorial discretion is… broad, above dispute, blah – I can’t think of the correct legal term here, help me out.

    Didn’t SCOTUS rule on Florida 2000 based on equal protection – standards for recount changed day to day, depending on what district was being recounted.

Ragspierre, I’ve gotta tell ya, I started following Legal Insurrection thanks to Andrew’s coverage of the Zimmerman trial. In many ways I’ve found your input instructive, insightful and entertaining. But the incessant need to always write tRump or Monofort when your old enough, smart enough and hopefully respectful enough to use proper names is a bit juvenile. Couple that with the retort of always calling others a liar or other names and it’s just exhausting. Part of me wants to believe a fourteen year old son, grandson, family friend or local golf course caddy has hacked your account and you’ve been to busy to notice.

Thing is Manafort does seem to be a pretty sleazy guy and now he’s a convicted felon. Fine. I have empathy for him because of his family and I feel a great deal of sympathy over the fact that his prosecution was, without question, politically motivated. Understand, he’s guilty – the jury said so and I respect that. Yet, to paraphrase the late, great Frank Zappa; “great-googly-moogly” this would’ve never occurred but for a political desire to put Pres. Trumps head on a spike! Shoot, the DOJ had investigated Manafort and decided to punt – until a Special Counsel was appointed with unchecked resources and authority. IOW: yeah, Manafort is wrong but so too is the politically motivated prosecutor and as my fortune cookie once told me, “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

In terms of Cohen, again he’s wrong – no doubt. But lets not play holier than thou games and act as if he or Pres Trump are the first folks to ever use an NDA. Again, its the political nature of the justice being sought that’s a problem for many folks, myself included.

I wasn’t a Trump guy during the campaign and am not really one now. Still, I like the low unemployment, the consumer confidence, the renegotiation of NAFTA, the negotiations with NK (it means a great deal to me as a vet to see our boys home), the continued push on immigration,the SCOTUS appointment (soon to be two), the honest confronting of our NATO “allies” and so much more. Frankly, I’m impressed and think its even more impressive considering the daily coverage and open hostility by so many reporters, entertainers and average folks via Facebook and Twitter. Guys got some kinda weird mojo, I’ll give’em that.

Anyhow just wanted to say that maybe you can consider a “reset” or wrestle the iPhone, laptop or tablet away from the adolescent firebomber that’s taken it over and become a bit more tempered and adult. Sure others have baited you and been equally as goofy but you have the power to stop it by not responding. If it helps, take FLOTUS Obama’s advice, “when they go low, you go high”. It’d help to restore some rational, adult, insightful comments IMO.

I await the appeal.

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