Paul Manafort, the embattled former chairman of the 2016 Trump campaign, will now await his trial from the confines of a jail cell. Previously given bail—after surrendering his multiple passports—but forced to wear two ankle monitors, Manafort drew the ire of prosecutors and the judge by emailing former colleagues regarding their pending testimony.
You’d think a guy accused of “conspiracy against the United States” would act with a bit more discretion. But, no, Manafort spiced up his conspiracy and money laundering with a dash of suborning perjury. Nothing says “I’m innocent” like coaching foreign nationals on what to say when interviewed about your back-room deals to subvert the lawful government of a country. Manafort already had a motion before the judge to reduce his $10 million bond and the terms of his home detention. All he had to do was sit back and let his (hopefully very well paid and highly trained) lawyers do their job.
The crimes Manafort stands accused of may not (probably do not) implicate the President. However, any sober individual who cares about the Republic should question why a man so obviously corrupt was allowed anywhere near a presidential campaign, much less the chairmanship of said campaign. Every political operative in DC, and quite a few who’d left the game, knew that Manafort was, if not dirty, at least shady, when he was hired. All the Trump family had to do was a simple Google search. Mr. Trump, of course, couldn’t be bothered with substantive evidence that the man he’d just appointed to head his floundering campaign had a questionable past. He needed a fixer for the convention and results were all that mattered. Manafort made his name in politics by ramming the Ford nomination through the 1976 convention. He was the obvious choice—if you didn’t mind that he was in the pocket of powerful pro-Putin oligarchs.
That the current President of the United States allowed such a man to run his campaign, even for a few months, casts serious doubts on the judgement of the President.