If Manafort is found Not Guilty on all charges, anti-Trump heads are going to explode in a simultaneous combustion not seen since about 1.30 a.m. Eastern on November 9, 2016
No verdict to day in the Paul Manafort case.
The jury deliberated a little later than usual, until about 6:15 p.m., but then adjourned to resume tomorrow.
The media and social media frenzy is building.
Excitement filled the media ballpen when the jury sent a note to the judge. But alas, it was just tomorrow’s lunch order:
Talk about reading tea leaves and spinning:
On the news that the jury hadn’t reached a verdict, Manafort attorney Kevin Downing told reporters, “Mr. Manafort was happy to hear that and thinks it was a very good day.”
Defense attorneys generally see long deliberations as an indication that jurors disagree about their clients’ guilt or have substantive concerns about complicated legal aspects of the case, which could lead to a hung jury, or that they have avoided rushing to judgment. But experts have cautioned that the case against Manafort is complex, and that jurors could simply be taking their time.
The whirlwind trial is the first to result from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling, although Manafort’s prosecution does not relate to any election interference or alleged collusion by the Trump team with Russian officials.
A source close to the Manafort defense team told Fox News that after days of deliberations, the proceedings have taken on the feel of the run-up to the 2016 election, in which everyone had been suspecting things to go one way, only to be surprised by the outcome.
In this case, the defense team has been pleased that pundit predictions about a quick guilty verdict haven’t panned out.
Unlike in the morning, as the jurors entered the courtroom in the evening, they seemed to turn away from both the prosecution and defense, avoiding eye contact. The jurors, with a few exceptions, seemed flat and drained.
Earlier on Monday, Downing said he and Manafort remained confident, and that Manafort was “doing very well.”
Seriously, what’s the point of defense counsel exuding confidence and spinning to the media?
Or as Hillary would say, what difference, at this point, does it make?
The topic of the media request for juror names and addresses continues to stir We covered the request last Friday, and why it was dangerous in this social media mob environment:
In a case such as this, that could be seen as an act of media intimidation — the jury is not sequestered so they certainly would hear about it. In an environment of online mobs and CNN having threatened to doxx a gif maker who mocked CNN, the jurors rightly would be concerned if the judge released their personal information to the media.
The media could have waited until after the verdict, but that would not have allowed the media to camp outside jurors homes in time for the immediate news cycle. Jurors also could have been given the choice, after the verdict, whether to have their names revealed.
That’s not to say these same media outlets won’t take it on themselves to out the jurors, particularly if there is a not guilty verdict, but the judge wasn’t going to make it easy for them.
Byron York had a good Twitter thread on it:
Thinking about Manafort jury and social media. First trial of Trump era. Resistance feels morally justified doing anything. So what if jury returns verdict and Resistance disapproves? Maybe mixed decision viewed as insufficiently punitive?
In that case, doxxing seems inevitable if jurors’ names become public. That’s why media request was troubling. One thing for jurors to come forward, speak voluntarily. Another to have court reveal their identities…
Either way, journalists, freelance Resistance types will search for jurors’ names. And then: Have they ever posted anything objectionable on social media? Have their children? Relatives? Any questionable online associations?
One can see KFILE, Twitter mobs, others dig, dig, digging. Didn’t happen–wasn’t possible–in Clinton era or even Plame affair juries. Seems inevitable with confluence of social media and Trump Resistance.
Having read a lot of Twitter reactions as the day went on, there is only one prediction I can make with certainty:
If Manafort is found Not Guilty on all charges, anti-Trump heads are going to explode in a simultaneous combustion not seen since about 1.30 a.m. Eastern on November 9, 2016DONATE
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