U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is handling the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is being reported to be confused by the “leniency” towards Manafort, coming from prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
A hearing was held today to discuss negotiating a bail package for Manafort and Rick Gates. During the hearing, Judge Jackson expressed high levels of concern that prosecutors from Mueller’s office were not being harsh enough with Manafort and Gate’s travel restrictions. Manafort has simply agreed to pay $10 million if he fails to appear in court and Gates agreed to pay $5 million, but Judge Jackson said those promises aren’t enough. “There’s not really much assurance in that,” Jackson said.
Judge Jackson wanted an answer as to why Manafort and Gates are not being monitored by GPS, because the prosecution has previously described the two as a flight risk. One of Mueller’s prosecutors suspiciously brushed off her concern and said that, “we didn’t think the GPS monitoring was required.” Judge Jackson responded by saying that she is not convinced and is still inclined to require continued GPS monitoring, impose a curfew and to limit their travel to airports. “That’s where I was headed, but I will keep an open mind,” she said.
Jackson claimed she would keep an open mind and will wait until a final bail package is negotiated with Manafort. Mueller’s prosecutor Greg Andres then said that, “I think, for Mr. Manafort, we’re getting close,” while “predicting” that a deal on Manafort’s bond package would be made “within two days.”
So what we have here is a Federal Judge that is observably confused about why prosecutors are being observably lenient with a suspect charged with literal conspiracy against the United States. Folks, when things don’t add up, there is always more going on behind the scenes.
Why would prosecutors act leniently with Manafort and Gates? And Manafort in particular? The only reasonable explanation is that one, or both of them, are cooperating with Mueller’s probe, or in talks to cooperate. A possible explanation as to why Judge Jackson is so confused is because Mueller’s team is keeping the cooperation secret for now.
Although it excites us to learn about what Mueller and his probe are up to, there have been reports that say he is unhappy with the leaks. As the investigation escalates, secrecy is of the utmost importance. Perhaps Manafort’s cooperation explains why he was suspiciously smiling so much after turning himself into the FBI?