A Manafort-sized cloud hangs over Washington

The ongoing trial of...

Posted: Aug 18, 2018 8:27 PM
Updated: Aug 18, 2018 8:27 PM

The ongoing trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on a series of financial crimes isn't the buzziest story of the week. That title goes to the release of reality TV villain and former White House official Omarosa Manigault Newman's tell-all memoir about her time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But it is the most important story of the week -- and one with the broadest implications as to what Donald Trump's presidency will be like going forward.

Friday, the trial was in its 14th day. The jury got the case on Thursday, and deliberations are expected to continue next week.

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Asked Friday about the possibility of pardoning Manafort, President Trump said:

"I don't talk about that, no. I don't talk about that. I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad. When you look at what's going on there, I think it's a very sad day for our country. He worked for me for a very short period of time. But you know what? He happens to be a very good person. And I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort."

Here's the thing: This Manafort trial -- as Trump likes to remind anyone who asks -- has zero to do with the time he spent as the head of Trump's 2016 campaign. The charges all relate to work Manafort did in Ukraine prior to his affiliation with Trump. (Side note: Kind of sounds like he might pardon him, right?)

BUT the charges that Manafort faces are the direct result of the special counsel investigation, led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion. The Manafort trial in Virginia (there will be another in Washington) is the leading edge of the Mueller probe. Fail to secure a conviction of Manafort, and all of the Trump allegations about the investigation as a "witch hunt" and a "hoax" will only grow louder. Convict Manafort, and momentum is built for the coming report from Mueller, which is still expected to be released sometime this fall.

The Point: For all parties, then, there is a lot riding on what 12 people in a court in Alexandria, Virginia, decide about the fate of Paul Manafort. Washington is holding its collective breath until the verdict is announced.

Below, the week that was in the world of Trump -- as told through 23 headlines.

Monday: 

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

Friday:

Read Friday's full edition of The Point newsletter, and sign up to get future editions delivered to your inbox.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 94021

Reported Deaths: 2846
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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DeSoto542555
Harrison374372
Jackson339967
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Lee261067
Jones242778
Forrest239570
Washington218171
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Carroll31212
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Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2439
Benton2201
Franklin1893
Choctaw1795
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CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19123337
Mobile13122290
Montgomery8688173
Madison763075
Tuscaloosa7323114
Lee575159
Shelby571950
Baldwin508749
Marshall387943
Calhoun337439
Etowah336547
Morgan321426
Houston272722
Elmore255847
DeKalb237119
St. Clair224335
Walker224380
Talladega207726
Limestone200119
Cullman186218
Dallas174926
Franklin174528
Russell17312
Autauga169124
Lauderdale165333
Colbert160926
Escambia156425
Blount156014
Jackson151611
Chilton150227
Dale133343
Covington131127
Coffee12838
Pike11619
Tallapoosa113683
Chambers113242
Clarke105517
Marion94828
Butler91138
Barbour8387
Winston71612
Marengo70119
Lowndes64927
Pickens63814
Bibb63610
Randolph62212
Hale61528
Lawrence59220
Bullock59114
Geneva5814
Monroe5768
Cherokee56916
Clay5527
Washington54913
Perry5386
Wilcox53111
Conecuh52411
Crenshaw52331
Macon47820
Henry4754
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Sumter41819
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