So much bullshit comes out of the Insult Comedian’s stupid bazoo that sometimes I tune him out. It’s one way to stay sane as the world goes mad. I missed the importance of something he said on Friday until the Guardian pointed out what should have been obvious:
“I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad,” Trump said. “I think it’s a very sad day for our country. He happens to be a very good person, and I think it’s very sad what they’ve done to Paul Manafort.”
On Saturday, with the jury recessed for the weekend before an expected third day of deliberations on Monday, legal experts said it was highly uncharacteristic for a sitting president to weigh in on an ongoing trial, much less one involving a former aide.
I was so focused on Trump’s witness tampering antics that I missed the significance of this comment. The Manafort jury is not sequestered. The fate of the trial hangs on the notion that jurors will ignore the news and not let it effect their deliberations. Juries do their best to fulfill this obligation BUT there’s an outside chance that Trump’s comments could taint the jury. There was method to his madness for a change.
It will be interesting to see if prosecutors ask Judge Ellis to further instruct the jury to ignore these comments. My hunch is that they will keep their powder dry and see what happens. They cannot appeal an acquittal but they *can* ask for the judge to set aside an adverse verdict. I still think Manafort will be convicted but the possibility that Trump’s comments could impact at least one juror and lead to a mistrial is most worrisome.
The last word goes to 10cc: