The Max Bialystock School of Prosecution: Manafort Charges Flaunt A Disregard For The Constitution

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Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the New York charges brought against Paul Manafort. As I have previously written, double jeopardy protections have been watered down by the Supreme Court through the years. However, this is also a matter of state constitutional protections. Regardless of the outcome, there are troubling concerns raised by this filing. Many New Yorkers often see themselves as civil libertarians, but such concerns seem to be dismissed when the target is an unpopular individual like Manafort.

The New York Constitution has a prohibition on double jeopardy, which is further defined under New York’s Criminal Procedure Law 40.20 which states, “A person may not be twice prosecuted for the same offense.” Section 40.30 sweeps broadly to include any case “filed in a court of this state or of any jurisdiction within the United States, and when the action either: (a) Terminates in a conviction upon a plea of guilty; or (b) Proceeds to the trial stage and a jury has been impaneled and sworn or, in the case of a trial by the court without a jury, a witness is sworn.” That would include not just federal counts but those that were subject to both Manafort’s convictions and guilty pleas.

Here is the column:

This month, the greatest off Broadway production should be titled “The Prosecutors,” starring Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and New York Attorney General Letitia James. As in another dramatic comedy, “The Producers,” the state case against former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort seems designed to fail, leaving its prosecutors with the convenient windfall of public support and none of the burden.

The New York state charges that Vance filed against Manafort appear to run afoul of state and federal protections against double jeopardy, or being prosecuted twice for the same underlying conduct. The timing of the charges alone seemed right out of the playbook of “The Producers” character Max Bialystock, the corrupt Broadway figure who insisted that in New York the rule is “if you got it, flaunt it, flaunt it.” Accordingly, Vance waited just minutes after the Manafort sentencing to hit him with state charges, guaranteeing the maximum exposure and credit for his effort.

The problem is that the case appears not only constitutionally flawed but ethically challenged, coming right out of the Max Bialystock School of Prosecution. I have long been one of the longest and loudest critics of Manafort. He is a corrupt and despicable person who deserves the two sentences that could keep him in jail for the rest of his life. However, it is not his crimes but his association with President Trump that has driven the manic effort to charge him in New York. In this current age of rage over Trump, Manafort is a readily available surrogate for selective prosecution.

For more than a year, leading New York state prosecutors have openly pledged to get Manafort on some undefined crime to prevent Trump from releasing him from jail on a presidential pardon. They promised to find crimes that could be alleged in the state system, which would not at all be impacted by a presidential pardon. To do that, they only had to strip all citizens of certain rights. Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman pushed the legislature to rescind a core protection against double jeopardy to allow him to charge Manafort on the same criminal conduct that he would later be sentenced for in federal court.

New York is one of those states with its own protections against such abusive and duplicative charges. When Schneiderman was forced out of office for alleged sexual assault, his cause was picked up by his successor, Barbara Underwood, who has deemed the constitutional protection a loophole that would “thwart the cause of justice rather than advance it.” You heard that right, a constitutional protection would “thwart justice” because it could be used by an unpopular individual such as Manafort.

These calls were then picked up by Vance and James, who promised to get Manafort at any cost. James actually campaigned for and was elected to the attorney general post in part on her effort to reduce constitutional protections for everyone in order to get one man. Now Vance has fulfilled his pledge and charged Manafort in New York. It is a striking contrast here that Scheiderman was allowed to walk on sexual assault charges because prosecutors determined that some punching and slapping without any consent is allowed for “sexual gratification.” Yet, Manafort was charged on essentially the same alleged fraudulent conduct as in his federal case.

When I read the complaint against Manafort, I was struck not only by the overlap but the overkill. I had never seen the Manhattan district attorney bring such a case, but I could be mistaken. After all, Vance proclaimed he had a sacred duty to protect the “integrity of our residential mortgage market.” That was news in itself. The core allegation was that Manafort lied about a condo being used as a home by his family, as opposed to a rental property. If that type of misrepresentation were truly prosecuted with vigor, New York would be a ghost town. In the land of rent controlled apartments, fraudulent practices are the norm. Indeed, Aaron Carr of the Housing Rights Initiative, a nonprofit housing watchdog group, declared recently that in New York “rent fraud is like finding rain in a rain storm.”

Given the absence of past serious criminal prosecutions, I reached out to the office of Vance with a simple request: Could he show me other cases like this where he prosecuted people like Manafort to uphold the integrity of the residential mortgage market? After repeated attempts, the office declined to respond. I then searched New York cases on Lexis Nexis, which contains all published opinions, and found only a handful of opinions on mortgage fraud in New York and nothing on point from Vance. While there are just the published opinions, there is no evidence of his focus on misrepresentation of rental properties before the Trump era.

What emerges is a picture that should trouble everyone who values blind and fair justice. Vance took the same underlying conduct from the federal cases to recharge Manafort then used the same conduct over and over to pile up 16 counts for mortgage fraud and falsifying business records. Most of the counts are built around defrauding Citizens Bank, leaving just four or five more charges pertaining to his involvement with a second bank. It is unclear whether “Lender #1” in many of the New York state charges is Citizens Bank, but it sure looks like those state charges are related to the Citizens Bank loan with “Lender #1” featured in the federal prosecution.

Manafort was convicted of defrauding the bank by securing a $3.4 million loan for his New York condo by saying that his family was living in it rather than renting it. However, James and others never succeeded in stripping the New York state constitution of the core protections related to double jeopardy. Vance charged him anyway, apparently following the Bialystock script by making a splashy premiere and satisfying voters who want to see this one individual prosecuted in the most selective and grandiose way.

Equally glaring is the absence of prosecuting Michael Cohen. Vance does not seem concerned over the “integrity” of the markets for the long list of criminal acts committed by Cohen in New York. Indeed, the Cohen case was transferred to New York because they primarily concerned that city and its markets. Yet, Cohen now represents a direct threat to Trump, so he is untouchable to prosecutors. Although Cohen received a ridiculously low sentence, neither Vance nor James have any expressed interest in bringing state charges for his fraud related to banks and taxi medallions. That would not be nearly as popular a production. Ironically, Cohen has criminal allegations that would not be barred under double jeopardy.

The greatest danger is not that Vance will fail on constitutional grounds but that he may succeed. If Vance can single out an unpopular individual and convict him again on the same crimes, he would eviscerate the core protections in New York. Worse, Vance and James fed a public appetite for selective state prosecution that will only become insatiable if successful.

The best that can be said here is that Vance may view this is a just a stunt unlikely to get to trial. However, it is a dangerous game, as shown by the Bialystock character that was ruined when his production of “Springtime for Hitler” became a hit. It left Bialystock with a lament many in New York soon could be voicing, “How could this happen? I was so careful. I picked the wrong play, the wrong director, the wrong cast. Where did I go right?”

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

105 thoughts on “The Max Bialystock School of Prosecution: Manafort Charges Flaunt A Disregard For The Constitution”

  1. NEW EMAILS REVEALED BY JUDICIAL WATCH SEEM TO SHOW MORE CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS ON CLINTON’S PRIVATE SERVER

    New Emails Revealed By Judicial Watch Seem To Show More Classified Documents On Clinton’s Private Server
    9:26 AM 03/22/2019 | Politics
    Newly revealed emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server seem to show the then-soon-to-be secretary of state discussing classified foreign policy — sometimes with world leaders.

    The documents, unearthed by Judicial Watch and revealed Thursday, would appear to contradict Clinton’s 2015 testimony, under oath, that she had already relinquished all of her classified emails to the State Department. In the correspondence, Clinton roves from apparently sensitive foreign policy concerns in Israel to helping a friend of her daughter Chelsea find employment at the State Department, Fox News reports.

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on during an event to discuss reproductive rights at Barnard College, January 7, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on during an event to discuss reproductive rights at Barnard College, Jan. 7, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
    In the emails, Clinton is discussing foreign policy concerns with then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair as well as suggesting she initiate “private, 100% off-the-record” back channel discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (RELATED: Federal Court Says Clinton Must Answer More Questions About Her Emails)

    The files were found in a pile of 72,000 documents that the FBI found and gave to the State Department in 2017 but are not believed to comprise all of the Clinton emails that are still missing.

    As secretary of state in 2011, Clinton was on the phone with the British PM discussing confidential foreign policy points and advising him about a “speech” that has been redacted in the emails provided through the Freedom of Information Act. She also assisted a friend of her daughter Chelsea Clinton in applying for a job with the State Department.

    While George W. Bush was still president in January 2009 and Clinton was awaiting the inauguration of then-President-elect Barack Obama, Clinton was emailing Blair about “Gaza.” Blair said he wanted an issue “resolved before Tuesday,” or Inauguration Day. (RELATED: Report: DOJ Told FBI To Ignore ‘Gross Negligence’ As Reason To Charge Clinton Over Emails)

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli, Libya October 18, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli, Libya Oct. 18, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    Clinton’s reply directed Blair to use her private email server with his response: “Tony – We are finally moving and I am looking forward to talking w you as soon as I’m confirmed, tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest. Your emails are very helpful so pls continue to use this address, hr15@att.blackberry.net.”

    “It would be great if we could talk before any announcements are made,” Blair responded, according to the emails published by Judicial Watch.

    The emails also indicate that Clinton may have met with Bidzina Ivanishvili, a close confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin, before Ivanishvili became the prime minister of Georgia, reportedly with help from a Putin-led poltical operation.

  2. Peter,
    I knew that about Cromwell….I was the thinking that some stupid aide must have mentioned the “Cromwell treatment” to Trump, who then got the ” motocade idea”🤔

  3. THE ‘LOGIC’ BEHIND TRUMP’S ATTACKS ON MCCAIN

    The Post reports that Trump allies view McCain as a “useful foil” in the eyes of Trump voters. McCain has been dead for nearly seven months, so this itself seems to betray that Trumpworld has a rather dim view of those voters.

    But it’s why this is the case that’s of interest here. Trump allies believe McCain symbolizes “everything his core voters have come to loathe” about “the GOP’s political elite,” including its support for the Russia probe and its “opposition to Trump’s nativist agenda.”

    Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) defends Trump’s attacks by claiming his voters see McCain as the “embodiment” of the sort of “lifetime career politician” who left them feeling “powerless and voiceless for many years,” until Trump arrived.

    GOP consultant Mike Shields claims Trump’s attacks on McCain tap his voters’ frustration with “politicians that lie to them” and “aren’t real,” whereas these attacks show Trump is “real.” Trump’s outsider authenticity turns out to be a willingness to slime a dead man who can’t defend himself.

    Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) defends Trump’s rage at McCain as “reasonable,” because McCain wanted to “stick it to the president” when he voted against repealing Obamacare in 2017.

    And in a new interview with Fox News, Trump himself makes similar claims. He rips into McCain as “horrible” for voting against Obamacare repeal, adding: “We would have had great health care.” And he slams McCain for turning over to the FBI the “Steele dossier,” which he claims was “paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.”

    Thus, the narrative Trumpworld is spinning is that, in attacking McCain, Trump is standing up for his voters, by going after a symbol of the GOP elites he campaigned against and of the deep-state forces working against the will of those voters, and those who blocked him from delivering on his health-care promises.

    Edited from: “The Trump Scam Has Officially Hit Rock Bottom”

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    However irrational these attacks on McCain appear, they actually make sense in Trumpland. McCain was disturbed by the Steele Dossier so that makes him lower than a snake. In reality, McCain saw the dossier rather late. But that scarcely matters to Trump loyalists. They constantly need someone to blame for Trump’s problems.

      1. Tom, that Onion piece is basically what happened to English Puritan Leader Oliver Cromwell, 1599-1658. He was responsible for disposing of King Charles 1. But after Cromwell’s death, the monarchy was restored and Charles II had Cromwell’s body dug up for a posthumous execution. Here’s the Wikipedia account:

        “Cromwell’s body was exhumed from Westminster Abbey on 30 January 1661, the 12th anniversary of the execution of Charles I, and was subjected to a posthumous execution. His body was hanged in chains at Tyburn, London and then thrown into a pit. His head was cut off and displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall until 1685”.

  4. I really can’t believe today’s post, so I had to read it twice. You actually wrote: “What emerges is a picture that should trouble everyone who values blind and fair justice.” You actually complain about N.Y. prosecutors “flaunting” the criminal charges against Manafort, complaining that they are “ethically challenged”, and you mention that Schneiderman apparently got away with criminal sexual assault under the guise of rough sex, all in the context of trying to make the case that poor little Trumpy Bear’s campaign manager is getting a raw deal and that the Constitution is getting trampled by crooked prosecutors.

    Can you think of anyone on Earth who flaunts himself more than Trump? At least in the case of the prosecutors, the reason is to reassure N.Y. citizens that they are doing everything they can to prevent Manafort from getting away with his crimes, including lying under oath, witness tampering and refusing to cooperate because of the likely pardon that is coming. Here’s the reason: TO PRESERVE JUSTICE, not politics. The majority of Americans do not approve of Trump, did not vote for him and want him gone. They don’t want Trump to pardon him, and they know Trump is a crook who does not deserve to be in the White House. Trump cheated to “win the victory” with the help of Russians because Trump is an arrogant deadbeat who defaulted on too many loans and hostile foreigners looking for favors are the only ones who would bail him out financially. Putin and MBS own him. Manafort deserves life in prison, and doing the Kellyanne Pivot to try to point to lack of similar prosecutions, apparently to feed into the Trumpster need for daily affirmation that the “Dems” and “the left” are out to get Trump is purely disingenuous and completely irrelevant to Manafort’s crimes. But, it does provide fodder for Rush, Tucker and Hannity. You apparently need money, too.

    You want to talk about being “ethically challenged”? O.K. Can you think of any public persona who lies more than Trump? Well, maybe your former student Kellyanne.

    You complain that the N.Y. prosecutors wouldn’t open up their files to you. Why should they? You are blatantly biased and they could foresee your agenda anyway, so why should they spend their time helping you out? Next, you talk about your research on Lexis/Nexis, but they only have “published opinions”. Again, this is food for the Trumpsters and very misleading, but your reason is clear: to try to manufacture the argument that Manafort is getting screwed and the records prove this. You know very well that only a very small percentage of court decisions are published, so mentioning the lack of large numbers of similar prosecutions is of no consequence. However, lay people really don’t understand what a nothing burger this comment is.

    So, we are supposed to be left with the impression that somehow Manafort’s Constitutional rights are being trampled for political reasons? Nope. Won’t work, and you should feel ashamed, Jon Turley.

    1. You’re a pretend-lawyer with emotional problems. You’re not in a position to critique anything he says from a professional standpoint.

    2. The column states that former New York AG Sneiderman worked for legislative changes that would remove protections against double jeopardy, and allow New York State prosecutors a freer hand in going after Manafort.
      I’m not sure how Natacha/Anonymous concludes that Schneiderman was somehow working on Trump or Manafort’s behalf in pressing for state prosecution of Manafort.

      1. I misinterpreted Natacha’s point about “Master Schneiderman”……I guess she felt it was unfair of JT to bring up the allegations of sexual abuse against Schneiderman that forced his resignation.
        Nonetheless, Schneiderman should be OK. There are probably opportunities for him to join another illustrious former New York AG, Eliot Spritzer, at MSNBC or a similar media outlet.
        Maybe Natasha feels that someone like Schneiderman should never have been caught up in the hashtag- it’s- all- about- me movement.

  5. Manafort got got in trouble because of his relationship with Trump. If he had nothing to do with Donald Trump there would have been no investigation of him.

  6. To the extent there is a civil liberties issue here, this is a worthy discussion, but mostly the same people have been defending Manafort through thick and thin because ……… why do you keep defending him?

    1. “mostly the same people have been defending Manafort through thick and thin because”

      Anon, who are those people? I am not sure anyone on this blog likes Manafort. They prefer that their dislike of him not overrule the rule of law.

  7. PT,
    Manafort worked for the Yanukovych Administration, which lost favor among the Obama Administration and the EU because of it’s pro-Russian tilt.
    And lost favor with a substantial part of the Ukrainians who elected him, and subsequently rioted against him.
    There were alternative methods of ousting Yanukovich, but the “direct approach” of seizing and occupying government buildings seemed to be the preferred method for the anti-Yanukovych mobs.

  8. Manafort and a whole bunch of others, of which Greg Craig is but one;

    “Former Obama White House Counsel and Clinton-linked attorney Greg Craig may soon be charged by the Justice Department for engaging in illegal unregistered overseas lobbying, in a case initially probed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller — a development that would make him the first Democrat to face prosecution amid the long-running Russia investigation.”

    – Greg Re

  9. “it is not his crimes but his association with President Trump that has driven the manic effort to charge him in New York.”

    It’s not Manafort’s association with Trump that has brought the New York charges, but the belief that Trump will thwart justice with a pardon (also part of a conspiracy to obstruct justice).

    1. if so, then it’s that much more illegitimate. the states are not in a position to indict anybody because they don’t like the federal president’s pardon power. will New York be seceeding soon, over this?

      1. That the President has pardon power in not an issue. That he is willing to use it to thwart justice doesn’t mean that New York has to stand idly by. Who does Trump think they are, Congress?
        Seriously there are crimes Manafort has commited in New Yorks jurisdiction that they have every right, perhaps duty to prosecute. They were lazy to pick ones where they could use the same set of facts and to which Manafort has already confessed.
        You don’t seem to be ghe least bit outraged that one can escape jail with a Trump pardon, skipping the whole normal process where you have to be found guilty and serve a portion of your sentence and go through a vetting process (Nixon excepted) before being considered. There is no question of Manafort’s guilt, why in the world would he deserve a pardon, other than not ratting out Trump and his Russian buddies?

        1. Translation:

          “I got nothing in the world to contradict Professor Turley, except:
          RUSSIA!
          RUSSIA!
          RAY-sis!
          RAY-sis!”

        2. Vetting process? You mean like Bill Clinton did when he pardoned those upstate NY Rabbis who insured that 100% (yes, actually 100%) of local residents voted for Hillary in her first Senate bid? The Rabbis who stole tens of millions of dollars in taxes from US citizens?

          You mean THAT kind of vetting, for pardon in exchange for votes?

          Also see “Frank Rich” pardoned by child rape artista Bill Clinton.

          1. Excellent! I do love some wackjob wingnut tomfoolery. Please post more material Just. Like. This. I’m surprised you didn’t screech about “MORE BENGHAZI HEARINGS!” Pro tip: we already knew what today’s Rush scam was about, a big fat whataboutism burger.

            this is to “I have a ‘hannity was here’ tattoo across my lower back” princess

        3. lazy or not, it means they picked things for which he’s already been tried and sentenced, hence, double jeopardy.

          let them pick whatever other facts and laws they can prove Manafort violated and run with those if they want. otherwise, they are overstepping

        4. no i’m not outraged over any such thing, mostly because it was a bogus political prosecution. FARA is totally ignored. The Ukrainian stuff was typical lobbyist mischief, he just did it for th wrong side. And the tax problems had been declined for prosecution before. So basically it was a load of bull. Which is why he got a light sentence. Nonetheless, I acknowledge his guilty as proven. The issue is selective prosecution which if it’s bad enough can be considered a denial of due process.

            1. Hillary Clinton took a bribe from Tyson Chicken (why did she stop trading cattle futures?), in 1978, as the Gov.’s wife after being ensconced in the Rose Law firm as the Gov.’s wife long before she criminally set up illegal severs in her basement to obstruct justice, mishandled classified material, destroyed 30,000 e-mails using BleachBit and conspired with Obama (i.e. pseudonymous e-mail account) in attempts to conceal crimes and obstruct justice.

              Bill Clinton was a demonstrable serial molester and the rapist of Juanita Broaddrick.

              Neither of these criminals has been charged.

              Communists bizarrely expect prosecution of Americans and immutable exoneration in perpetuity for themselves.
              ________________________________________________________________________________________

              Facts, we don’t need no stinking facts!

              “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

              – William Casey, CIA Director

            2. What happened many years ago was known to the prosecutors a long time ago and they decided not to prosecute. Maybe they should have at the time. Suddenly he is prosecuted for those crimes because he worked for Trump. The Democratic Congress today is punishing 80 or so people who did nothing wrong except work for Donald Trump. They are bankrupting them with legal fees, interrupting their lives and costing them their jobs. What they are doing is is acting like despots.

        5. Enigma,
          I’m not familiar enough with New York State’s constitutional protections against double jeopardy prosecution to know what the State prosecuters can pursue and what they can’t persue.
          I’ve seen analysts weigh in on both sides of this but no real consensus as to what NY State can go after and what would violate protections against double jeopardy.
          If the state does try to press criminal charges against Manafort and the charges are found to be “too similar” to the federal charges, they may be prevented from prosecuting Manafort on at least some charges they’re considering.
          I don’t know if there is any precedent for this out there that clarifies what is “off limits” and what is “fair game” for NY prosecution.
          The argument over what is “too similar” could result in an interesting, protracted court battle.

          1. See Andrew McCarthy on the subject. The ‘dual sovereigns’ fandango is not permissible in New York law. Manafort’s prosecution by federal officials prevents his prosecution by New York state officials if they’re recycling the same factual material. (The new state attorney-general ain’t one of this nation’s great legal minds).

            1. Did Schneiderman’s successors convince the legislature to “customize”/taylor/water down statutory protection to go after Manafort?
              Not sure if a push for statutory/ legslative change has been tried in New York before to go after one individual.
              Earlier, I thought that it was only the NY State Constitution that provided double-jeopardy protections, and I wasn’t aware of the statutory protections.

    2. You’re about as mentally sharp as a deflated basketball. What law exactly, would Orange Man violate by pardoning Manafort? TDS much?

      You should just stick to driving your goil friends and family members to the abortion clinic, to jack up the black abortion rate. It’s been stuck at a measly 40% for some time. Get to work! With a little “push” (pun intended) we can reach 100%!

      /sarc off

    3. “but the belief that Trump will thwart justice with a pardon”

      In ther words Enigma is a proponent of selctive prosecution. Gosh and I thought the aim was to get southerners to give up on selective prosecution based on racism along with other things but here this ugly idea pops up again with Enigma.

      1. On a topic having nothing to do with race; Princess Trohar, George, and you Allan have nothing else to talk about. Why is that? I certainly didn’t raise the issue. If I called you a racist you al would holler. Maybe not George, he’d wear the label like a badge of honor. But is that all you can see or talk about?

        1. Rhetorical Volleyball. That and they can’t get past your nom de plume let alone your thumbnail portrait out in front of that name. They are nothing if not pathetic twerps.

          1. Can we end the artificial tilt in your favor and level the playing field, have you parasites stop cheating and abolish “Affirmative Action Privilege” and “Generational Welfare” yet? Are you just going to continue cheating through your communist dictatorship? Please cite the Constitution wherein theft and parasitism are provided for. Decent people succeeding on merit would be embarrassed to beg for “alms for the poor” as you do. Your claims are vacuous. You need to break through the “glass ceiling” made by Americans and/or outright steal their money – both sins, aside from your obvious acts to covet. The White Man’s Money – Don’t Leave Home Without It! Incredible – the Israelite slaves were out of Egypt before the ink was dry on their release papers. They had pride in their self-reliance and no intent to leech off of the Egyptians forever.

        2. You can call me a racist if you wish as the left calls anyone they don’t like racists. You can also call me anti-Semitic just like many called Trump anti-Semitic despite the fact that his daughter is Jewish and his grandchildren are Jewish as well. You might as well go for the trifecta and call me anti-Catholic as well. That seems to be your nature and it doesn’t bother me at all since I don’t believe in racism or any of that cr-p in any form.

          I stated that you supported ” selctive prosecution”. We have seenselective prosecution all the time where racism was involved. We have seen that action done against Jews and Catholics and others that were not in power. Good old Enigma wants to bring back selective prosecution to its former heights.

            1. “I didn’t call you anything, but you keep going back to the same well”

              I responded to the well you drink at. You said, ” If I called you a racist you al would holler.” I just wanted to make sure that you understood that I don’t care what you think because you are just that kinda guy.

              The real discussion is on preventing selective prosecution and living by the rule of law, basic Americanism which you don’t seem to abide by.

          1. Freedom of speech, thought, religion, belief, publication, press, assembly, socialization and every other conceivable, natural and God-given right and freedom per the 9th Amendment but we cannot use our capacity to discern and discriminate? We cannot base our opinions on the criteria of our choice including race, religion, ideology, creed, etc? Me thinks these communists deliberately conflate racism with violence, in order to deceive and obtain sympathy and pity. Will we next be mandated whom to marry? Either Americans are free or they’re not. They covet of envy, therefore they dominate. About what time does the judicial branch support the Constitution?

              1. Alas, I am not free to be as CONSTITUTIONAL as I want; as fundamental law provides.

                Thank you. You seem very smart.

    4. A revelatory example of the acumen and brilliance of the affirmative action and generational welfare beneficiaries purchased with $22 trillion of actual American taxpayers since the declaration of the War on Poverty in 1964 by comrade and Dear Leader Lunatic Baines Johnson. It’s no wonder why every aspect of the American welfare state was precluded by the Framers and is unconstitutional.

  10. It is lovely watching leftist justice. Manafort who I assume to be totally and irredeemably corrupt would likely be walking free today and going to parties with all the bigwig lefties that so deperately want him in jail but for the fact that he has ties to Trump.

    That type of action in a free society such as ours represents a despotic state that can only come from the left.r

  11. Article V from The Bill of Rights:

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    [end excerpt]

    The Fifth Amendment does not prevent any defendant from being tried once for criminal offenses and a second time for civil offenses. Because the criminal offenses are not the same offenses as the civil offenses–not even if “the underlying conduct is the same.” By the same token, criminal offenses against the United States are not the same offenses as criminal offenses against the State of New York–not even if “the underlying conduct is the same.”

    None of Manafort’s offenses are capital offenses; though they may be otherwise infamous crimes. Manafort has not been placed in jeopardy of life nor limb. That leaves Manafort with an argument about having been deprived of liberty or property without due process of law. But the due process at issue would have to be found in the laws of the State of New York. The double jeopardy clause of The Fifth Amendment protects only Manafort’s life and limb against being tried twice only for the same offense–not for different offenses.

    1. Repeated with editing for the sake of “focus”:

      nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb . . .[edit] . . . nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . .

      [end excerpt]

      I am still not a lawyer. But isn’t there some sort of rule against redundancy in the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution? And especially so when the intervening clause has nothing to do with the question of jeopardy to life or limb? As opposed to the question of being deprived of life, limb, or property, without due process of law?

      Is Res Ipsa Loquitur still a legal blawg?

        1. Is that seriously supposed to be a rebuttal to something that I wrote?

          You don’t really know how to argue your case. Do you? Bring it blowhard. And by “it” I mean something other than knee-jerk reactionary “opinion.”

          1. sorry I missed what you were saying, somebody was paying to talk to me on the phone. oh wait sorry I need to take another call. not as much time for fun today madam ta-ta

            1. I get it. You’re a phone-sex worker. And your clientele is none the wiser. That explains a lot about The Fictional Character’s well publicized peccadillos.

      1. Leftist progs like enigma would rather convict of treason every single person who helped Orange Man win, and have them all including Orange Man drawn and quartered on pay per view.

        PROGS shall never, ever, in a billion years forgive their countrymen for electing Trump to office. If he walked on water, cured cancer, and brought world peace, it would still be:

        “RUSSIA!”
        “RUSSIA!”
        “RAY-sis!”
        “RAY-sis!”

        BTW, Manafort was working with and for Ukraine, and Ukraine is against Russia and Putin. Don’t ever bring this to the attention of half witted sufferers of TDS, because it goes completely against their “RUSSIA IS SATAN” meme.

          1. That “pro-Russian Ukrainian” was the elected president of the Ukraine.
            I think that’s worth mentioning, since it appears to have slipped “Anon’s” mind to mention that little detail.

            1. More accurately Manafort worked for the party Yanukovych was head of and he was in and out of office as Prime Minister or president and was a complete sleazeball and agent of the Russian oligarchs.

              1. I take it that you have not followed the protests against Yanukovych’s successor.
                I wonder if Ukraine is destined to go the way of the former Yugoslavia….there are so many competing factions that I’m not sure of any president’s ability to keep that country together.

                1. I have not. No claim to expertise on the Ukraine. Europe is a pastiche of ancient tribal groups who’s identities are best buried and forgotten. Keep the colorful clothes and food and move on to the future..

                  1. Well a lot of us call those “ancient tribal groups” our ancestors and don’t want to forget them. you can have your wonderbread and plastic cheese I will stick to real food.

                    1. I call them my ancestors too. May they rest in peace.

                      Excuse me while I cut a piece of this hard crust sourdough rye to go with my porter.

                2. it’s a more coherent group than Yugoslavia was, overall. But Yugoslavia was not totally different– the Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs all share a lot of culture, and similar language, beyond the religion which divides them. Keep in mind, this old division was essentially the result of Muslim Turk invasion of Europe, and the failure of the Christian European powers to cooperate in excluding them west of the Bosporus.

                  But Ukraine does have a similar split between a Catholic and more western-European society and an Orthodox and more Eastern- pro- Russian side. At least there are no Muslims to deal with. That is, assuming Ukraine never joins the EU, in which case they will be forced on them.

                  (Now you know why a lot are still pro Russian)
                  (and now you know why Muslims have been a problem in europe for lets see the whole time they were trying to invade one way or another)

                  Compare to what’s the most ethnically incoherent nation on Earth?

                  that is, the USA. will we fragment? a lot less holding us together than the Yugoslavians had thats for sure

                  1. Thanks for the history, but I think you overestimate our differences – we are virtually all pro-integration, pro-free enterprise (with the argument over how much regulation), pro-democracy, pro-freedom of speech, no real fascists, blood and soil types – and underestimate the cultural sameness resulting from high mobility, national brands, and instant communications. There are liberals in west Texas and conservatives in Cambridge – they all go to Starbucks and follow Breaking Bad. How do we even choose up sides for this fragmentation?

                    1. “we” ha …. ha… all you have to do is look inside a prison and see how it all works out if things jump off.

                      cultural sameness is another word for blandishment.

                      i thought we should embrace diversity?

                      and here you are telling us to forget our ancient tribal whatever

              2. Ms Anon, NATO THANKS YOU FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO PROPAGANDA!

                They would give you a cookie– McCain was handing them out personally I hear– but you are a couple years too late.

                And I don’t think Pravy Sektor would like your kind, anyways. Best stay stateside.

  12. So despite your belief about Manafort’s corrupt (potentially legal term) and despicable (NOT a legal term), you are now seeing the corrupt and despicable behavior of the NY DA and AG. But the whole Trump delusion and unprecedented selective, political prosecutions illustrate the corrupt and despicable behavior of: the Clinton campaign, Mark Elias, the Obama administration, Comey, Lynch, McCarthy, Clapper, Bruce and Nelly Ohr, and the DNC who paid for the Steele lies, which created a corrupt and despicable Mueller investigation. Manafort’s corruption is dwarfed by the corruption of the Democrat political machine that has selectively prosecuted him and imprisoned him. The doors should be swung wide open for the others.

    1. Manafort’s motions to dismiss the charges against him were review and denied by two different federal judges. Manafort’s motions to suppress evidence were denied. Every other defendant besides Manafort who has filed motions to dismiss the charges Mueller brought against them has also had those motions reviewed and denied by federal judges. Andrew Miller’s motion to quash Mueller’s subpoena was denied. Miller has one or two chances of appeal remaining. “Corporation A” will almost certainly have its expedited appeal to SCOTUS to quash a subpoena from Mueller denied.

      Your case against Mueller is literally unwarranted.

    1. mespo……..the best! I heard the movie soundtrack LP before I saw the film in ’67.
      Dick Shawn was my favorite
      ich lieb dich, ich lieb dich nicht
      “I lieb ya, I lieb ya, baby..now lieb me alone” in that Southern drawl….
      He died too soon.

  13. Here’s a doozy comment illustrating the madness of the Left. I give you the sagacity of “actor” John Cusack on 3/17/2019:

    “Trump should be tied on the neck by a chain with a 2o foot leader- in a trash heap in New Jersey – & be allowed to feed only on the local vegetation.”

    Such as this would govern us.

    1. H’es a good actor but like most of the Hollywood fools, should keep his yap shut about politics. If we were interested in his personal ideas, then he would not be given a “script!”

      Some future leader of our great nation, may have to open a reeducation facility there in the hills of LA to help vindictive rich boys like Cusack overcome their limitations. Shovels, pickaxes will be supplied for free. Water and thin gruel for rations will be charged against the inmate , er, I mean “student” earnings while in retraining.

    2. Cusack has already established strong credentials as a jackass and a fool.
      He needn’t work so hard trying to elevate his status in those areas.

  14. New York has a terrible political culture, court systems are wretched six ways to Sunday, and the legal profession is rotten. You have to start stripping judges, prosecutors, and lawyers of the privileges and immunities they now enjoy (and smack the law professoriate while you’re at it). You’re not going to go there, though.

  15. New York is the most prominent place in the whole world for people to live and think that their itShay don’t stink. They do not even know Pig Latin. So when they charge the Fart guy with crimes already charged in Federal Court they forget about the whole notion of double jeopardy. Double Jeopardy is a show which has been on TV for 35 years or so and still has the same host. New Yorkies are seldom contestants on the show and when they are they never win. They went in dumb and come out dumb too. They are hustlin round 5th Avenue in their alligator shoes. They are keeping the farters down. Yes. They are Rednecks, Rednecks. They dont know their arse from a hole in the gournd. Tehy are Rednecks. They are keeping the Farer down!

  16. (music- to the tune of Henry The 8th I am I am)
    I’m Man a Fart the 8th I am…
    Man a Fart the 8th I am I am.
    I got charged with crimes before…
    Now I’m charged with the same crap galore..
    Oh, every Yorkie hates the Man a Fart!
    etc

  17. More unethical Leftist overkill to punish defendants for their affiliations rather than their crimes. Manafort may die in prison. If so, I have no doubt his corpse will be hauled into some state courtroom and stand trial for loitering on public property since he didn’t remove himself from the “yard” when asked to do so. Like Dumas’ character, Villefort, these prosecutors are obsessed, not with prosecuting crimes, but with standing in judgment. And despite Manafort being no threat to the public, he will be “piled on” by virtue of the constitutionally dubious “Separate Sovereign Doctrine.” The issue isn’t criminal conduct but political conduct. It’s the “Justice” of a Banana Republic that the Democrats so long for.

    1. A minor biographical note. I spent several happy years in Baltimore as a youth. Baltimore has elected and re-elected to the position of state’s attorney who is simply unfit, intellectually and morally, to hold a position of responsibility. They have done so even though she has humiliated herself with malicious incompetence. Now New York (where I’ve spent 85% of my sorry-assed life) has placed in the Attorney-General’s job a woman of similar disposition to the wench currently abusing the people of Baltimore. It’s a horror.

      1. TIAx3:

        I used to frequent venerable Memorial Stadium on 33rd Street watching the Os and the Colts. Even saw Game 7s of the ’71 and ’79 World Series there. Baltimore was a great city until it went at all Mao.

        1. It didn’t go all Mao. It suffered a secular decay in public order which has made much of the core city unlivable. It’s political class was too stupid to go to school in re the Giuliani-Bratton program in NYC. In 1980, New York and Baltimore had similar homicide rates. By 2014, that in Baltimore exceeded that in New York 7-fold. Now it’s 10-fold. The reaction of the black electorate to Marilyn Mosby’s abuse of power was to put her back in office because, you know, we can’t acknowledge a sistah is incompetent and malfeasant.

          1. One might consider other factors in the problems some previously urban centers are facing when compared to NYC, which is unique more for it’s stature as a world business and cultural center – much like London – and attendant high rents which chase the always problematic poor away. The decline of manufacturing and attendant shipping, etc. have done their damage in place like Detroit, Gary, and Baltimore more than those darned colored people.

            1. Everything to Anon is about race. It isn’t. It is about management plain and simple. It doesn’t matter what color the managers are. It matters what ideas they have and whether they wish to manage based on hate and tribalism or whether they can go past the tribalism and manage in a fashion that benefits the city and the people within.

              There are loads of examples that DSS can provide if he wishes to. One can use other segments of populations throughout the world where only one race is involved and show similar problems occurring with bad management.

            2. Actually the criminal element among the black residents of these cities, not all of them, but the criminal element, which seems to persist in disproportionate levels, is partly responsible for the urban decline.

              But global economic factors have contributed as well.

            3. I see you’re grasping. The New York metropolitan area has a population of 18 million embracing every stratum of society. The 82% decline in homicide rates in the five boroughs (which account for 45% of the whole) was not complemented by an increase in the homicide rate in any other notable component of the whole metropolis. The racial composition of the city has remained quite similar over the period since 1990. None of New York City’s 80-odd police precincts have registered in recent years homicide rates exceeding 16 per 100,000. (The national average for metropolitan centers in 1980 was about 12 per 100,000; core cities Upstate suffer rates ranging from 8 to 20 per 100,000).

                  1. You’re welcome.

                    Cindy, I believe in equality. Women should be able to pump gas! 😀 That is what I tell my wife as I fill her car up. 😇

                    1. Allan…….LOL! It’s pure punishment, for anybody.
                      Bring back service station attendants!!

              1. Crime rates have declined significantly across the nation, and the differential between small towns and large cities has almost disappeared. One interesting theory based on dovetailing studies is that lead poisoning from exhaust fumes – since eliminated – created behavioral problems in children.

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