Paul Manafort Buys More Time
All things considered, President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, didn’t have a great day in court, but it wasn’t all bad either.
Manafort appeared in court today wearing a prison jumpsuit. Gone are those days where Manafort confidently walked up the court house steps wearing thousand dollar suits and flashing a smile like there was nothing wrong in his world.
Why was Manafort in court today?
Reason 1- Immunity (Five Witnesses)
Robert Mueller’s team was before U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis on a hearing to grant immunity to five witnesses. Until today, we didn’t know who these five witnesses were, but you are about to find out since Judge Ellis denied Mueller’s motion to keep their identities secret. There are thirty more witnesses whose names will also be released publicly.
However, now that these five witnesses have been granted immunity, Manafort should be concerned because these witnesses no longer have to invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
This should worry Manafort because without potential criminal charges, they can and will speak freely. This only adds more pressure to Manafort who still faces the ultimate decision- cooperate with Mueller or proceed to trial, hope he wins, or is granted a pardon by President Trump if convicted.
Reason 2- Trial Date