Paul Manafort Found Guilty on 8 Counts ⚖️

 Win McNamee / Getty Images

Win McNamee / Getty Images

The jury has spoken

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's campaign chairman for a brief period in 2016, has been dealt a "guilty" verdict by a jury as a result of the Russia investigation. His convictions include 8 counts related to tax and bank fraud from his work as a lobbyist. The jury couldn't decide on 10 other counts and they were ruled a mistrial by the judge. 

 

Manafort reminder

Paul Manafort is a political consultant who served as head of Trump's presidential campaign from June to August 2016. He's advised or lobbied for foreign leaders from Ukraine to the Philippines. He got wrapped up in the Special Counsel's investigation into whether Russia and Trump's campaign colluded in the 2016 election. Instead, he found himself in trouble for his shady financials from his time as a lobbyist.



The right focuses on the fact that Manafort was found guilty on only 8 of 18 counts (the others being a mistrial). More importantly, they say, the charges are in reference to work Manafort did prior to his involvement with Trump's campaign. They note that these charges have nothing to do with Russia collusion - internally justifying their claims the whole thing is a 'witch hunt'.

The left is calling this "Trump's worst day ever". Many of the powerful men, from Manafort to Cohen, in Trump's inner circle are falling and it is only a matter of time before Trump does too. Articles are hopeful that Manafort will ultimately flip on Trump and share damning details about Trump and Russia. They claim that since so many men around Trump are guilty of crimes, there's no way Trump didn't know something illegal was going on.

Is this a big deal?

The media is making it a bigger deal than it should be. While Manafort could be a key figure in the Russia probe, these convictions have nothing to do with Trump-Russia collusion. This verdict does, however, provide fuel to the fire to keep the special investigation alive. Meanwhile, Michael Cohen's guilty plea is the one that could cause immediate damage to Trump.


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