Paul Manafort’s Manic Monday

There was some tease that it could happen as soon as the end of this week, but after some minor delays in the proceedings, we now know that Monday is day. That’s when Robert Mueller and his team will rest their case in the Paul Manafort trial, forcing Manafort and his lawyers to make some fateful decisions about how to play out one of the weakest hands a defendant has ever been dealt. From there, things are going to progress very quickly.

The prosecution told the judge on Friday that it would finish up its case on Monday, according to several major news outlets who had reporters in the courtroom. Paul Manafort’s team has been cross examining each of Mueller’s witnesses as they’ve been called. So unless Manafort plans to call any witnesses of his own, this may all be finished on Monday.

Of course there will still need to be closing statements, but that should take less than a day. So in the swiftest scenario, the jury could potentially be in deliberations by Tuesday or Wednesday. It’s anyone’s guess how long it might take the jury to come to a verdict, depending on whether they all already think he’s guilty based on what they’ve seen so far, or whether there are undecideds who want to go back and review the evidence more closely.

When this trial started on July 30th, Palmer Report predicted that it could be finished within three weeks, based on what legal experts were telling us about was typical, and based on the judge’s insistence that the trial proceed quickly. We now very much appear to still be on track for that timeframe. In any case, Paul Manafort has some major decisions to make on Monday about whether he wants to present a defense, or whether he’s ready to let the jury decide his fate.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report