In a recent television interview on Fox Business with Trish Regan, Judge Anthony Napolitano said then-prosecutor Rod Rosenstein decided to not prosecute Paul Manafort for the same crimes he is now charged with.
THE WITCH HUNT
This would back up the President’s charge that this is a witch hunt.
“Paul Manafort was investigated by the federal government by a team of federal prosecutors and FBI agents for all this stuff eight years ago and they exonerated him,” said Napolitano. “And who was the young prosecutor that led that exoneration? Rod Rosenstein.”
— USA NEWS (@USANEWS007) July 31, 2018
THE PROBE IN 2014
We don’t know about a probe eight years ago, but Paul Manafort did make note during a January civil suit of a probe four years before.
In what turned out to be a frivolous civil filing in January, Paul Manafort’s lawyers brought up the fact that Mueller is charging him with old matters, i.e., previously well-known matters that the Justice Department decided not to prosecute long before Mueller was appointed.
Manafort claims that Mueller’s prosecution is based on information Manafort voluntarily provided to the Justice Department and FBI four years ago, after which they closed their investigation. Far from being new, Manafort points out, the conduct is so stale that much of it is time-barred under the statute of limitations.
NO GUARANTEES UNFORTUNATELY
Unfortunately, even if accurate, former U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy writes in National Review that there are no guarantees it won’t or can’t be revisited:
“…the closing of an investigation does not come with a guarantee that the investigation will never be reopened. Nothing prevented the Justice Department itself from reviving the Ukrainian case against Manafort.
Therefore, if Manafort’s tie to the Trump campaign convinced Rosenstein that the Trump Justice Department would have a conflict of interest in any criminal investigation involving Manafort, Rosenstein could properly have assigned the reopened Ukrainian case to a special counsel in the first instance — i.e., as part of Mueller’s original jurisdiction.
Thus, there is no reason why Rosenstein could not expand Mueller’s jurisdiction to include the Ukrainian case — especially if, as one would expect, Mueller’s investigation has turned up new evidence to support the charges.”
As frustrating as that is, Mueller had the right to reopen the case.
On the other hand, there still is reason to believe this is a witch hunt. Why go after Manafort now? There are legitimate reasons to prosecute Manafort. However, would Mueller go after him if he wasn’t trying to squeeze him to turn on the President?
THE REASON HE’S PROSECUTED NOW
Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz believes he has the answer.
“It’s very simple. His crime is being associated with Donald Trump,” Dershowitz told Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “They are just trying to get him [Manafort] convicted so they can squeeze him. If you squeeze a witness not only does the witness sing but sometimes, according to the judge, the witness composes. That is, he becomes creative. He makes up information, he elaborates.”