Manafort Ordered to Jail


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website

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54 Responses

  1. Avatar bookdragon says:

    Lock him up! Lock him up!

    (someone had to say it)Report

  2. Avatar Morat20 says:

    This was entirely expected. Judges do not care for people violating the terms of their bail, and really don’t care for witness tampering.

    He’s not leaving jail until, at the earliest, his trial ends. (If he’s found guilty).

    I wonder if spending the next few months in jail, awaiting his trial, will make him want to cooperate more (jail sucks) — or fight harder (being in jail convinces him he’d do anything to avoid prison, and I don’t think he can get a “no prison time” deal).Report

    • Avatar greginak says:

      He’s not going to cooperate. Never. He’s been in business with a lot of …umm…rough around the edges characters involved in the Russian underground economy with connections to the highest levels of government. If he cooperates he will wake up dead one day like that guy ( and his daughter) who barely survived an assassination attempt in England a few weeks ago. If Manafort didn’t’ know the deal when he joined up years ago it has certainly been made clear to him more recently.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Awww, poor Paul. Look, I got this here tiny violin…Report

  4. Avatar pillsy says:

    I don’t really think I have what it takes to successfully turn to a life of crime, but I think I’d do a better job than this chucklehead.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      So far as I can see, the only mistake he made was to get involved in the Trump campaign. For that matter, that seems to be the problem for a number of them: you can get away with doing a lot of money laundering and other organized crime-ish things, so long as you keep your head down. Getting involved in a Presidential campaign isn’t “keeping your head down.”Report

      • Avatar pillsy says:

        Like, I’m not a lawyer or anything, but the whole witness tampering while out on bail thing seems less than swift.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          None of this is particularly clever white collar crime stuff. Trump’s charity? He wasn’t funneling money into his own shell companies via things like charging his own charity ridiculous prices for his catering company to cater events, or paying himself ridiculous salaries to be on the board.

          He apparently never had an actual board, the Treasurer since like 1999 never knew he was involved in the charity at all, and oh — they have Trump’s signature on a form dispersing charity funds to pay for legal settlements. They weren’t even trying.

          They apparently approached the whole Russia thing with the same total lack of concern, care or caution.

          I can’t tell if it’s because everyone involved with Trump seems to think laws are something that happens to someone else, or if it’s just that after a decade or so of at least trying to cover up their crimes they realized nobody was noticing, so why bother?

          Reminds me of the one embezzlement case I was ever close to — a secretary embezzled millions over a few years, because her boss (who was in charge of payroll) had her do all that work. So she just bumped her salary up to a ridiculous number, higher even than the guy who owned the company, and just…left it there. She wasn’t caught by the company’s accountants, or an external audit, or anything like that. She was caught because she forgot to turn her salary back to “normal” when she went on a vacation, and her boss — having to do his job for once and sign off on payroll — noticed she was making a lot more than he was. Like three times what he, a VP of the company, made.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe says:

            Which is also why, almost always, if you work with money (or most other postions of trust, like government spy stuff) they make you take your vacations. So they’ll get another set on eyes on things (and the system those things reside in) for a while.Report

            • Avatar Michael Cain says:

              Yeah, when I was young (dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and every medium-sized prairie town/city had its own independent bank), my dad worked for an insurance company that covered, among other odd things, losses due to embezzlement. There was a substantial reduction in premium if you made everyone in a position of authority at the bank take two weeks off in one chunk each year.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                It’s possible you’re the one that told me that factoid. Or I picked it up in my (very basic) counter-intelligence training.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                Then there’s the opposite requirement. When my brother-in-law was installing custom software packages in US Army command-and-control bunkers in West Germany (which sets the time period), his security clearance required that he check in at a US military base or embassy every 72 hours or less. He got the job because the guy who had been doing it previously missed a check-in by a couple of hours. The BIL is from a small town in Nebraska. He has an amusing story about the phone call he got from his older brother during the clearance process: “What have you done? The FBI is here and they’re grilling everyone in town about you!”Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

                That’s financial controls 101.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Right up there with “Don’t get into a land war with Asia”.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 says:

        Nobody thought Trump would win. It’s real clear that Trump expected to lose the primary, then expected to lose the general.

        Hell, he’s still using the “I lost the election” talking points (“rigged! Millions of illegal immigrants voted!”).

        Just today we learned he apparently told the leader of Japan we’d ship then 25 million illegal immigrants so that somehow Abe would lose his next election.

        Trump clearly ran for the PR, to boost his new idea of Trump TV. Like the dog who caught the car, he has no damn idea what to do with it. But he’s way too narcissistic to quit.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        I’ve been rewatching Deadwood and there’s a scene where Swearengen asks his top lieutenant something like “why did you tell me this [valuable secret], instead of trying to make money off of it yourself”. And Dan the lieutentant says “I know when I’m out of my depth”

        Manafort (and a bunch of other people in Trump’s orbit) did not have the same wisdom.Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

        One thing that’s becoming clear in this process is that lots of white collar crime is more or less legal and you have to practically shout from the rooftops to get in trouble.

        Judge Jackson still called it “an extraordinarily difficult decision” which is either her trying to be polite or indicative of how reluctant we are to treat rich, well-connected white guys like we do the “common criminals.”Report

        • Avatar Morat20 says:

          In all fairness, many white collar criminals actually take steps to make proving their crime difficult. It appears everyone involved here is using the guile of a drunken toddler.

          But yeah, in general — white collar crimes don’t get a lot of investigative dollars. Very little, in fact, especially given I suspect (like IRS auditors) they more than pay for themselves.

          As to the Judge — “innocent until proven guilty” means pre-trial detention is generally based on whether the defendant is considered either a flight risk or a danger to society. White collar criminals, once they’ve put up enough bond and are personally lo-jacked, aren’t a big flight risk and are generally not going to go out and embezzle more in the interim.

          Not to say the majority isn’t wealth and access to good lawyers, but the societal risks of letting them out on bail is a lot lower.

          All that aside, I’d not be surprised to learn that rescinding the bail of a white collar criminal is pretty damn rare. Almost unicorn like. Most of them aren’t that flagrantly stupid, or at least willing to be talked out of it by their lawyers.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

            I remember an interview with a former FBI agent who basically said that unless it’s a *really* big crime, it’s often not worth prosecuting. Prosecuting a guy who shoplifted from 7-11 is easy because the charges don’t require expertise and he probably has a public defender. Prosecuting financial crime is ridiculously expensive because it requires accountants and specialty lawyers and the defendants have good legal teams.

            If it’s small potatoes grifting like much of what the Trump organization did, it’s often not worth the resources to investigate too deeply because the payoff is low and the probability of failure is high. So they all just swim in a sea of small to mid-scale fraud. And because none of them are more than two degrees separated from a real white collar criminal, they’re all a little shocked when one actually goes down. It seems unfair because everybody does it and gets away with it normally.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter says:

          Judge Jackson still called it “an extraordinarily difficult decision” which is either her trying to be polite or indicative of how reluctant we are to treat rich, well-connected white guys like we do the “common criminals.”

          There’s “well connected” and then there’s “what will the President do”.Report

  5. Avatar pillsy says:

    Trump’s taking the news with his typical aplomb.

    Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns. Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob. What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others? Very unfair!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018


    • Avatar Morat20 says:

      He’s thrown Cohen under the bus too, explaining that this is all about Cohen’s “business dealings” and has nothing to do with him. Which seems an even dumber idea than dumping Manafort.

      There’s a lot of speculation about what’s going on with Cohen and his legal defense — his lawyers are finishing out the document review then leaving, and it appears he’s shopping for plea specialists — but one of the reoccuring rumors is Trump (who was paying some of it, at least) was unhappy with the costs associated with the doc review and washed his hands of it. (Apparently they had a firm working it, instead of outsourcing to a document review firm. They were burning six figures a week, minimum, going through this stuff).

      Why he’d throw his personal fixer under the bus is….well, crazy.

      Again, I suspect years of not getting caught means everyone involved thought they couldn’t get caught — that they were outwitting the police. The white collar equivilant of driving down a deserted road 40 over the limit at 3:00am without getting caught, and thinking that means you could speed down main street and no cop would ticket you.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

        Why the scorpion would sting the guy who is carrying him across the river is an enduring mystery.Report

        • Avatar pillsy says:

          Which, of course, is story Trump likes to relate at his rallies, to the delight of the MAGA faithful.

          I suppose the man really can’t help himself.Report

      • Avatar Dark Matter says:

        Why he’d throw his personal fixer under the bus is….well, crazy.

        Isn’t this something he’s done before?

        You pick a guy who isn’t very smart, is very aggressive, and has a law degree. You tell him to deal with things and not tell you the details. His job is to fix things, i.e. deal with people you’ve screwed over. You’re not giving him enough money to actually make everyone you’ve screwed over whole. His job isn’t, technically, to do anything illegal… but if he can’t do his job you fire him and start over. You structure his pay so the less he pays out the more he gets.

        So his job is extremely risky and he’s been selected for a high likelihood of doing illegal things to make stuff happen.

        Sooner or later he’ll get caught, make a mistake, or change jobs but whatever. Everything you’ve ever said to him is not-illegal and privileged.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter says:

          Oh, and I’ll add that in order for this relationship to make economic sense, you need to be screwing people over so often that it makes sense to have a guy to deal with that. This includes hook-ups with porn stars and so on.

          Note this guy’s job isn’t to make everything go away, it’s just to minimize damages, and there will be damages, but they’re less than the cost of just not screwing people over.

          So things like Trump’s guy paying off a porn star without bothering to tell him about it make sense. It’s not a big deal, it must be Tuesday.Report

        • Avatar greginak says:

          Hiring a guy who isn’t smart but will know about many/all of the skeletons in the closet and is very likely to get caught is about the unwisest thing ever. For one thing he could have cabinets of blackmail material. If the law was being broken then privilege could very quickly go out the window. Thirdly non-bright, aggressive people are likely to fix things poorly leading to more problems.

          You hire dim people who are willing to take a lot of personal abuse because that is the what you want.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter says:

            What “closet”? It’s public knowledge Trump does this kind of stuff.

            Trump breaks a contract. He gets sued. His “fixer” makes illegal threats and such.

            Said fixer is further over the line than Trump himself, wasn’t ordered to break the law, and can only testify to his own criminal acts.

            Trump can claim (even truthfully) he didn’t know anything about the Fixer’s criminal acts, and if he finds the Fixer telling him of this sort of thing then he fires him.Report

            • Avatar greginak says:

              If there was no “closet” then why were there NDA’s for porn stars/affairs? Answer: he has closet skeletons.

              Then Trump shouldn’t be concerned about Cohen’s legal problems. In fact Trump and his mouthpieces should be fine and dandy with the law going after Cohen. It’s not like dim people don’t break laws in a clownishly bad manner or testify against their bosses. No muss, no fuss.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                I’m sure some lawyers around here can clarify, but AFAIK, there is no privilege when the attorney is part of the crime.

                P.S. Again, the lawyers can correct me, but “Everybody knows I’m a crook” isn’t the best legal strategy.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Yeah i know but i’m sure there are some technicalities involved.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                If there was no “closet” then why were there NDA’s for porn stars/affairs? Answer: he has closet skeletons.

                They need to be skeletons by Trump’s standards, he gets graded on the curve. You need a lot more than “because it was Tuesday”

                Then Trump shouldn’t be concerned about Cohen’s legal problems. In fact Trump and his mouthpieces should be fine and dandy with the law going after Cohen. It’s not like dim people don’t break laws in a clownishly bad manner or testify against their bosses. No muss, no fuss.

                I’ve been promised “this is the move which leads to President Pence” before.

                Oh, and if Trump isn’t concerned then he’ll inject huge amounts of Drama, which is exactly what he’ll do if he is concerned. I’m not sure if that counts as “fine and dandy”.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Per my comments above, I don’t think “I should be graded on a curve” is a good legal strategy either.

                Courts generally take a dim view of the “Mulligan” approach as well.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                “graded on a curve” WTF. My (lack of) God.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Mostly that’s towards political consequences. But keep in mind “political consequences” is what you need. He won’t step down willingly, you need to impeach him. Banging a porn star isn’t even close to enough, NO ONE thought he was capable of fidelity before he was elected.

                As for legal consequences… if his relation with his lawyer is as I described, Trump isn’t actually guilty of anything beyond banging a porn star (and cheating his business partners, contractors, etc).

                My expectation is we’re on a spirit quest to prove “Trump is vile”, and while it will work, it won’t actually help. Trump can shrug off scandals which would break someone thought to be decent man. Trump deliberately fires up Drama to steal oxygen from issues that would hurt him.

                Thus far, this is not a scandal by Trumpian standards. This is wishful thinking that we’re going to get a scandal by examining his sex life and how his lawyer was involved in the same.Report

              • Avatar greginak says:

                Oh of course he won’t step down absent some gigantic unforeseen changes. The porn star stuff is not going to take him down though it is casting a long term sheen on Trump’s party. Various financial crimes could take down the lesser Trump’s fwiw. Those sure as heck won’t help Trump. The rising tide of sleaze and potential collusion may never sink Trump with true believers.

                I guess the question then is what happens in congress and in 2020. That is the pro trump gamble. That what you are getting now is worth the costs. Trumpism only works with Trump, the rest of the R’s drown in the swill. If there is D prez, senate and house in 2020 they will not be conciliatory. Endless excuses for Trump are a short term gamble.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Trump isn’t actually guilty of anything beyond banging a porn star (and cheating his business partners, contractors, etc).

                In the world the rest of us live in, that’s known as “fraud” and people go to jail for that.

                Really, you can look it up!

                … this is not a scandal by Trumpian standards.

                So what does this tell us about Republican voters?

                I mean, your whole argument in these posts is that “Yes, Trump is a fraud and conman, a liar and a cheat, someone who should never be trusted or taken seriously, and yes, us Republicans believe he should be the leader of the free world and have access to incredible amounts of power.”

                What picture does this paint of Republicans?Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                This is going to sound snarky but it’s really, genuinely not:

                I think a lot of annoying arguments would be avoided if more people were as up front as @dark-matter about grading Trump scandals on the Trump Curve of, “If it’s not a capital crime, it’s not much of a scandal.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                What I think is remarkable is that no one anywhere seems to be making a positive defense of Trump.
                That is, no one is saying he is honest, or trustworthy.
                No one says he is a good person.

                It really is a case of “He’s a sociopath, but he hurts the right people.”Report

              • Avatar pillsy says:

                There are people who do that, though, and seriously believe he’s a good person. They write books about the power of his Christian faith or even spin elaborate conspiracy theories about how he’s about to bust the Pizzagate thing wide open.

                I’d like everybody to agree that, “I’d like to have a beer with that guy,” is a bad standard, and, “Well, he just made a six figure payoff to hush up an affair, but so what?” is also a bad standard, but transparency is, at least, a big step forward.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                You’re welcome. 🙂

                These minor scandals are…
                A) A distraction because they take oxygen away from his more serious scandals.
                B) Doubly so if it’s on something where he’s already been vetted by the American people.
                C) Totally irrelevant if they’re something you’d tolerate from a Democrat.
                D) A media overreaction, i.e. “being used”.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                In the world the rest of us live in, that’s known as “fraud” and people go to jail for that.

                Trump has a good idea where the lines are and he stays just barely outside what’s provably criminal. The rules are written to handle legit business disputes and don’t work well with a bad faith actor who games the rules, i.e. follows the letter of what’s provable.

                So Trump is to business what HRC is to politics. Now there’s a ton of stuff he can do which she can’t because she needs to run for election every now and then so there’s a limit to how vile her perceived actions can be.

                So what does this tell us about Republican voters?

                A significant faction of GOP voters decided Trump was the least evil choice. That anyone vetted and backed by the establishment was just HRC wearing a different name-tag. That all of the non-Trump choices were just Kang vs Kodos.

                They viewed themselves as disenfranchised voters being ignored by both parties. So HRC’s “deplorables” statement was her being too honest. Most of them have been enjoying serious economic depressions for years. Any effort for them to bring their issues/needs to the forefront would be slapped down as “racist” because they have the wrong skin color.

                This is a minority of the GOP, but it’s a double digit minority in a field split 15 ways so Trump (especially with his media backing) was able to be so far ahead of everyone else that he won the nomination. (Jesse Ventura is another example of the minority candidate winning even though he was the least popular.)

                The rest of the GOP voters decided Trump would be better for Guns!, God!, & Money! than HRC.

                So Trump won with a mandate to tour lots of places with a bulldozer and to ignore lots of traditional/idiot advice. He’s the President the GOP has rather than the one they’d like to have.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Trump has a good idea where the lines are and he stays just barely outside what’s provably criminal.

                “Look man, I’m a convicted fraud and conman, not a criminal. Crime is not my bag, baby!”

                One letter in your handwriting urging someone to donate to your Foundation to resolve a lawsuit, which is a crime, baby.

                Most of them have been enjoying serious economic depressions for years.

                No, this is not possible.
                I have been reliably informed by many an internet commenter that the global marketplace has lifted billions of people out of poverty, and we live at the pinnacle of economic success and prosperity.
                Unemployment is low, goods are cheap, the economy is booming.

                No, there must have been some other motivation for voting for Trump.
                Something I just can’t seem to put my finger on.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                Unemployment is low, goods are cheap, the economy is booming.

                Does that mean we can end welfare and such?

                No, there must have been some other motivation for voting for Trump. Something I just can’t seem to put my finger on.

                But is that where their heads are at, or it is just where yours is at?

                Everyone sees the world with themselves at the center of the universe explaining things. If racism is Blue and Orange Moralityto them, then I’m not sure how useful a persuastion technique it can be.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                The thing I’m finding fascinating about Trump is that his best defenders basically describe him as an organized crime boss, which is the type of person his defenders would generally not think highly of, but they make an exception in just this one case.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                I think it’s more that the ethical bar has been set so low in Washington that he’s seen as an improvement.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                We’ll have to see how that one works out. I’ve made my predictions.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                One should never bet against Trump finding new lows.

                But imho it’s also a serious mistake to create a situation where the likes of him look like an improvement.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                I can’t think of any president in recent history who has had an ethical profile similar to Trump. I think that people who believe that recent presidents of either party were more self-interested and less motivated by real policy beliefs than he is are drinking too deeply from media that gives them warm tingly feelings instead of actually trying to figure out what’s true.

                I’m all for satisfying hyperbole like, “They’re all criminals so we might as well just elect a criminal,” but I’m not a big fan of actually pretending it’s reality. There are clearly enough people who can’t tell the difference and getting them riled up has consequences.Report

              • Avatar Jesse says:

                Right, even Sarah Palin didn’t turn into a grifter until after she lost the election.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter says:

                I’m thinking more of “the gov doesn’t work for me and mine so we might as well take a real gamble”.

                Also people in the main election could reasonable think Trump was the cleaner candidate.Report

              • Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

                Develop appropriately lazy, hedonistic media consumption habits and you can reasonably believe basically anything, I suppose.

                The bonus is that when you don’t get decent international news with daily counterexamples, it makes total sense to say things like, “I can’t imagine how it could possibly get worse, so we might as well blow everything up and see what happens.”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels says:

                Well, the very essence of their worldview is the preservation of hierarchy.
                Landowners over peasants, men over women, fathers over households, where no one is a peer, but an absolute tyrant over their fiefdom.Report