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writing for godot

Cooperation - The Manafortress has Fallen

Written by Zepp Jamieson   
Friday, 14 September 2018 07:54

September 14th, 2018


Paul Manafort has flipped. He’s going to give Bob Mueller everything he knows; about that Trump Tower meeting, about any and all other contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and the exact degree each played in subverting the Clinton campaign and forced propagandization of the public discourse.

It’s a devastating blow for Trump, le coup de grâce, and it’s now becoming very unlikely that he will still be president six months from now.

It’s bad enough for a president when his campaign manager pleads guilty to two counts of conspiracy against the United States. (Trumperdoos, “Conspiracy” is the legal term for “collusion”).

Trump, when Manafort’s going to spill the beans, rat you out, sing like a canary, give it up to the G-men, telling them every thing you did as a part of that, you have a pretty sizable problem.

Mueller has a death grip on Manafort’s throat. In addition to the two guilty pleas and promise of cooperation, Manafort has agreed to give over nearly all of his personal wealth, some $145 million including four mansions, to asset forfeiture. It leaves just enough so his wife and kids won’t starve while he rots in jail. Manafort is clearly a man with no options and no bargaining chips, other than to give over Trump and many others close to Trump. This way, his family isn’t destitute, and he might actually live long enough to get out of prison, something not in the cards last week.

Shortly after Cohen decided to plead out and turn evidence, Trump got asked about ‘flippers.’ His answer was characteristically weird, in that he said he knew a lot of flippers and they were just part of his regular environment.

You have to wonder what other crime lords would have made of that statement. James Cagney’s characters would have prefaced any remarks made to suspected flippers with “Youse doity rats” and ended up with escapades involving cement overboots and the East River. Real mobsters would have arranged for brake failures, or skiing accidents (“Both legs”). For a man who supposedly demands absolute personal from all the people he’ll eventually betray, it was an oddly tepid response.

If America had to elect a mafia don president, at least they picked one that was profoundly incompetent and abjectly stupid. Trump can’t even call his little friend and arrange for Manafort to have an adventure involving ricin, polonium or novichok. It’s too late.

Manafort has already given everything he has to convince Mueller to let him off with just a decade or two and $145 million. All he had to do was sign the paperwork, and all that evidence were there for Mueller to do with as he pleased.

It’s too late for Trump to pardon his way out of it, too. A lot of the evidence will go to the State of New York Southern District, who will use it for state charges. Trump can only pardon federal offenses.

A lot of that evidence stands to implicate Trump himself. Even with Trumpenstooge Kavanaugh on the court (not a foregone conclusion at this point) the Court is unlikely to rule that a president indicted for criminal conspiracy against his own country (which is now quite likely) can pardon himself. Even Dead Tony would have trouble arguing that this came under the aegis of original intent.

I suspect that it wasn’t for their damp lust to get Kavanaugh on the court, thus assuring a corrupt corporate majority, the Republicans would have dumped Trump by now. Unfortunately for them, they need to maintain the few remaining tatters of presidential legitimacy Trump possesses for them to get Kavanaugh confirmed.

But it’s costing them massively, since the American people, Republicans in particular, are beginning to realize that this isn’t a witch hunt or a librul conspiracy; this is real, and Trump’s position becomes less defensible by the day.

A lot of Republican Senators, even those in safe states, are wondering what the real costs may be of forcibly rubber-stamping a man to the highest court in the land by a president facing indictment for criminal conspiracy against the United States. For Republicans, the question is no longer, “How badly will we lose the mid-terms?”

They have to ask if they can survive at all as a party, or even a movement. They’ve bet all their political, ethical and moral legitimacy on this one last toss of the dice. your social media marketing partner
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