The FBI has played a central role in the Deep State’s anti-Trump conspiracy.
Former Director James Comey used unverified, partisan opposition research as the basis for a FISA warrant that allowed the Bureau to snoop through the Trump campaign’s communications.
Now the FBI is on trial and the verdict could drive the final nail in the Deep State’s coffin.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted Paul Manafort on a host of financial crimes completely unrelated to the 2016 election.
But Manafort isn’t going to roll over.
His legal team has the option of mounting a defense that keys in on the FBI’s anti-Trump bias.
“Paul Manafort’s legal team faces a critical choice as he heads to trial: how aggressively the former Trump campaign chairman should base his defense on alleged political bias and misconduct by federal investigators.
Manafort, a criminal defendant fighting two separate cases, is uniquely positioned to try to dredge up information on bias or potential overreach by FBI and Justice Department officials who have played roles in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Whether Manafort will seek to uncover and spotlight disparaging details about federal officials, potentially including an FBI agent dismissed from Mueller’s team last year, has become the subject of speculation and anticipation by lawyers involved in the Russia investigation.
“This is something we’ve all been talking about,” said one defense attorney representing a witness in Mueller’s probe. “It’s a hard question.”
Some expect Manafort to take a slash-and-burn approach. “I think they’re going to try to throw any dirt possible,” said former federal prosecutor Randal Eliason. “If he’s going to trial, then I would expect it to be an all-out war, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to make those kinds of claims that the prosecution is tainted.”
Manafort’s defense that he was targeted by partisans at the Bureau who are using this investigation as a fishing expedition to destroy Donald Trump would allow jurors to render a verdict on the FBI’s conduct and send a message to the Bureau that engaging in partisan warfare violates America’s democratic norms.
Even if Manafort loses at trial, his defense could lay the groundwork for a pardon.
Politico also reports:
“The degree to which he can show broader FBI misconduct in his investigation can lay a foundation for a pardon,” said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. “Thus far, Manafort has not been able to benefit from the controversy surrounding the FBI. To the extent he can make himself part of that narrative, it can only help him — certainly with the president.”
Manafort’s trial is a chance to turn the tables and make the Deep State’s conduct an issue.
His team will have access to documents through discovery and can call witnesses that will shed light on what was really behind the special counsel’s zeal to bring this to trial.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this story.