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(thread) Manafort’s crimes, presidential pardons, and GOP cynicism

The NY DA charged Manafort with 16 counts of Residential Mortgage Fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. He falsified business records to illegally obtain millions of dollars.
1/ While we don’t learn much that’s new about Manafort, the larger picture comes into sharper focus.

This indictment reinforces what we’ve seen elsewhere: While managing Trump’s campaign, Manafort was brazenly breaking laws.
2/ Fourth and Fifth Counts (mortgage fraud) allege that the crimes occurred from Dec. 22, 2015 until August 18, 2016.

Manafort joined the Trump campaign on March 28. He resigned on Aug. 19, 2016.
3/ The conspiracy appears to be with his son in law (“individual 1”) and his daughter (“individual 3) among others.
Just to confirm that the wheels turn slowly. In a statement from the NY DA, we learn that the investigation began March 2017. . .
4/ The Indictment was returned on March 7, 2019.

One year—and these charges were relatively simple compared to what Mueller is tackling.

Regarding pardons: Hopefully this indictment will put to rest some of the Trump Pardons worries.
5/ Some people still aren’t seeing the difference between the crimes committed by Trump and friends and, say, the pardons that happened after the Iran Contra deal.

One difference is that Trump and Pals are lifetime lawbreakers. They’ve committed boatloads of crimes. . .
6/. . . including lots of state crimes that presidential pardons don’t reach.

I’ve also suggested that they’re part of what Robert Mueller has called “iron triangles.”

This also makes the crimes different in type and motivation.
7/ Double Jeopardy is another overblown worry. Most state crimes have essential differences between their federal counterparts, which means that similar crimes can also be brought by state DAs.

If you want a refresher on what DJ means, see:
8/ New York has a stricter DJ clause than most states, and the NY DA was still able to charge this crime.

@jedshug has been arguing for a while that pardons can’t save Manafort because Mueller left out charges that could be brought by state prosecutors👇
9/ (We do have real stuff to worry about. DJ & pardons isn't it)

One theory I’ve offered for the kind of brazen lawbreaking we see coming from folks like Manafort and Trump is that they’re breaking the laws that they don’t believe should exist.

10/ I do believe that eventually all these indictments and trials will lower Trump’s approval. For most of the past year, his 538 average has hovered near 40+% approval.

He has, however, dipped as low as 36% on 538’s aggregate, which may be his floor.
11/ 36% is low enough for the GOP to have a bloodbath in the next election, but not low enough to turn the GOP against him.

Responses like this one👇also show that no matter what comes out of the investigations, some people will spin it all as political.
12/ The only way to claim that people guilty of real crimes are being politically targeted is to believe that all people commit crimes, so Manafort is no different from anyone else, he just got caught.

Such cynicism👇 is alarming and dangerous.
13/ The other attitude behind the "it's all political" mantra is that “all our laws are stupid,” as Trump claimed in 2018👇 so a person shouldn't be punished for breaking them.

This, too, is a dangerous idea that undermines Rule of Law.
All of my threads are now blog posts. You can view this one here. terikanefield-blog.com/manaforts-crim…
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