Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s squad inquiring into allegations of collusion between Team Trump and President Putin’s Russia broke into the home of Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort in the middle of the night, drew their guns on Manafort and his wife, carted out boxes of stuff and took out Manafort himself in handcuffs and pyjamas, telling him to expect an indictment.
For what, precisely?
If prosecuting authorities uncover evidence to support a prosecution, they charge someone. They don’t tell that individual to expect a charge about some unspecified offence at some unspecified future date unless they are putting the metaphorical screws on him. Nor do they physically strong-arm him as though he were a dangerous mobster especially if – as in the case of Manafort – he was already cooperating with Congressional investigators and had made 300 pages of documents available to them.
Manafort may have unsavoury business associations – as former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy puts it, he is “tight with Kremlin cronies, and his roster of lobbying clients includes a rogues’ gallery of human-rights abusers and corruptocrats”. But so far there has been no evidence at all to connect him to unconstitutional dealings with the Russians.
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