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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 11 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
Sounds like a bail revocation—and new indictment—are coming for Manafort. A defendant sitting in jail pre-trial is far more likely to flip on a Big Fish than one lounging in his living room. This could be a big deal, especially if this case—and/or the new one—drags on for months.
2/ What this is likely to do is hasten Trump making his first—and perhaps last—Big Unforced Error: pardoning Manafort on the theory that he can't risk Manafort sitting in jail pre-trial and thereby getting cold feet about "staying strong" for Trump (i.e., keeping his mouth shut).
3/ Don't forget that, per Howard Fineman of NBC, Donald Trump has told friends that Manafort can seriously hurt him if he flips. So the Manafort Pardon Watch will begin the moment Manafort's bail is revoked, if not well before then—i.e., *right now*. This is a *huge* development.
4/ America's Big Question tonight should be this: when did Donald Trump last speak to Paul Manafort, either directly or through an intermediary? The were rumors former Trump lawyer John Dowd floated a pardon—and we know Trump stayed in touch with Manafort months after firing him.
5/ Note that Trump suddenly began tweeting about Manafort—trying to distance himself from him, after not discussing him much for months—over the past 48-72 hours. What did he hear about this sudden Mueller filing *beforehand*—and how, and from whom? All questions needing answers.
6/ Now for the *law*: when a defendant is accused of violating his pretrial release conditions, the court holds a hearing on the alleged violation and can either remand the defendant to government custody (incarcerate him pending trial), modify his bail conditions, or do nothing.
7/ If the judge finds *probable cause* the defendant committed a new crime while on bail OR *clear and convincing evidence* the defendant violated a condition of his release, bail can be revoked. In Manafort's case revocation almost *certainly* would mean immediate incarceration.
8/ The court will hold a hearing ASAP, and either at that hearing or soon thereafter we should expect one or more Witness Tampering charges against Manafort, for which a separate bail will then have to be set. That bail would likely be *very* high due to the nature of the charge.
9/ Witness Tampering charges tend to accrue high bails—putting aside Manafort's separate bail revocation issue on his *existing* charges—because *definitionally* they imply a defendant is predisposed to commit *new* crimes if left free while his federal criminal case is pending.
10/ Add all this to the fact that Manafort is currently facing two separate sets of charges, and I'll tell you now that the chances Paul Manafort is about to be incarcerated for *months* pretrial are *very* high. So too, then, are the chances Manafort starts considering flipping.
PS/ Many defendants simply lose it the moment they're incarcerated, particularly those who've lived "soft"—i.e. luxury-filled—lives like Manafort. You can bet Trump is now on RED ALERT about the need to pardon Manafort or somehow get a message to him that he eventually will. /end
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