Guilt by Association
Today is the second day of Paul Manafort’s first trial on charges of bank fraud, tax evasion, and money laundering.
Judge Ellis was quoted as saying, “We’re not going to have a case tried that he associated with despicable people, and therefore, he’s despicable. That’s not the American Way.”
Of course, Donald Trump tweeted today that “Paul Manafort worked for Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other highly prominent and respected political leaders.”
Does this mean that Manafort’s association with Reagan, Dole, etc. cannot be used to shame them? Or that their association Manafort make him above reproach?
According to Judge Ellis, that is not the American Way.
The judge was referring to the term “oligarchs” being used by the prosecution. It has been used in very derogatory contexts in the press over the last few years. It is almost ironic that the Reagan years brought the rise of the oligarchs and the decline of the American middle-class. Reagan was just a minor actor in his greatest role, and he could read his lines correctly, unlike Trump. Dole was probably just an oligarch already. We will not go into the Clinton years banking deregulation so the nouveau riche could thrive. Somebody in the legal investigative field should already be looking into Manafort’s etc. employers.
In another one of Trump’s recent tweets, he asks, “What kind of lawyer tapes his clients?” The answer is simple. The kind of lawyer that Trump hires. Does that tarnish Cohen by associating with Trump, or Trump with association to Cohen? I will try to remember Judge Ellis’ statement; that is not the American Way.