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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Reported Deaths: 693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
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Lauderdale71358
Madison69422
Scott63010
Neshoba58937
Jones56622
Forrest52338
DeSoto5036
Leake40012
Rankin3856
Holmes38524
Jackson30313
Copiah2904
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Monroe25225
Leflore25130
Lincoln25024
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Smith14511
Covington1431
Clarke13818
Kemper13611
Chickasaw13012
Lafayette1274
Lee1245
Carroll11511
Coahoma1144
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Clay1084
Winston1051
Lawrence1021
Simpson950
Hancock8711
Wilkinson859
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Tunica533
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Stone300
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Franklin282
Tallahatchie261
Quitman250
George211
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Alcorn141
Greene91
Sharkey70
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16530

Reported Deaths: 591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2124112
Jefferson1712100
Montgomery154134
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Marshall6689
Lee53332
Franklin5147
Shelby48419
Tallapoosa41864
Butler39213
Chambers34924
Madison3184
Elmore3137
Walker2991
Baldwin2819
Etowah24411
Dallas2443
DeKalb2413
Morgan2311
Coffee2241
Lowndes22210
Sumter2136
Autauga2053
Houston1884
Bullock1833
Pike1790
Colbert1612
Russell1590
Marengo1556
Lauderdale1532
Calhoun1523
Hale1517
Choctaw1488
Wilcox1347
Barbour1321
Clarke1292
Randolph1257
Marion11911
St. Clair1161
Pickens1014
Talladega1003
Dale990
Chilton971
Cullman960
Greene924
Limestone870
Winston820
Covington771
Jackson752
Crenshaw722
Bibb711
Henry712
Macon712
Washington666
Blount581
Escambia493
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Conecuh351
Coosa351
Monroe352
Perry350
Cherokee342
Clay272
Lamar210
Fayette130
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