On Friday night the Wall Street Journal broke the story that New York City and New York State are both investigating the banking records of former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, in a presumed attempt at getting to Trump himself. Now it turns out that while that story was breaking, Manafort was at a New York Yankees game – and the two things just might have something to do with each other.
The WSJ ran its story on Friday night, May 12th, with a time stamp of 9:00pm eastern time (link). And based on the fact that the story included a response from Paul Manafort’s spokesman, it’s clear that Manafort knew the story was coming out – and he probably knew it was coming out that night.
It turns out a guy named Syd Falco managed to get video footage of what is almost certainly Paul Manafort having a conversation inside of a suite at a New York Yankees game. He posted the video to Twitter, which you can watch here:
It’s low quality, but that’s Manafort in the turquoise vest. We can’t identify the bearded man he’s speaking with. The Yankees game on Friday started at 7:05pm eastern time. So Manafort was in fact at the game when the Wall Street Journal story broke.
These two things may have been a coincidence. But you have to wonder if Paul Manafort decided to go out and attend that Yankees game to try to get his mind off the damning story that he knew was coming out about him in the WSJ that night. Was he seeking a moment of calm before what increasingly feels like a deepening storm? If New York City and New York State do find something criminal in Manafort’s banking records, Donald Trump can’t pardon him for non-federal crimes. We’ll see where this one goes.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report