President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was just found guilty on eight of 18 charges in his highly publicized trial for a slew of financial crimes that he’s committed over the years. CNN reports that:
Manafort was found guilty of five tax fraud charges, one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud.
He was charged with 18 counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and hiding foreign bank accounts in the first case Mueller brought to trial as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
Judge T.S. Ellis declared a mistrial for the remaining ten counts, as jurors were unable to reach a conclusive verdict.
Donald Trump's 2016 Presidential Campaign Chairman, everyone… pic.twitter.com/JSX6GOrZQI
— jordan (@JordanUhl) August 21, 2018
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Manafort’s crimes were committed long before he joined the Donald J. Trump for President campaign, and he still faces another slew of charges in Washington D.C. federal court for failing to register as a foreign agent and for not declaring his lobbying work for Russia’s Ukranian puppet leader, Victor Yanukovych, at the behest of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
The guilty verdict comes as a serious blow to President Trump, who has insisted from the beginning that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into his campaign and everyone that worked on it was nothing but a “rigged witch hunt.”
At the very same time that Manafort was found guilty, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a host of his own financial crimes, including paying off women who allegedly had affairs with the President while he was married to his third wife, Melania.
The double-whammy blow of guilt against the Trump campaign puts him on his back foot and proves to the nation that the Mueller probe is not a “rigged witch-hunt;” at the very least, he’s exposing just how easily it is for rich white men to get away with ridiculous amounts of crime, no matter how greedy (Manafort) or stupid (Cohen) they are.