Editor's Brief

Relying on the Pardon

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump speaks to the press upon arrival at Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia on August 21, 2018. - Trump said he was 'very sad' about Manafort conviction. Donald Trump's former... TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump speaks to the press upon arrival at Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia on August 21, 2018. - Trump said he was 'very sad' about Manafort conviction. Donald Trump's former campaign chief Paul Manafort was found guilty of fraud Tuesday, in the first trial resulting from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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September 13, 2018 11:15 a.m.

What should we make of President Trump’s joint defense agreement with Paul Manafort? Here’s my take.

On the one hand, I assume a high degree of bad-acting – on-going bad acting – on the part of Trump and Manafort. I would have assumed that they have some channel of communication because I believe they are both covering up evidence of their involvement in a conspiracy tied to the 2016 election and Russia. Manafort can protect Trump (or do his part to do so) and Trump can protect Manafort (via a pardon). So both need to know what the other is doing. It’s a classic prisoner’s dilemma situation. If the prisoners can compare notes that changes everything.

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