Imagine the President’s former campaign chairman is on trial for various felonies. Imagine the jury is in middle of deliberations. Imagine the President publicly calls the case unfair & praises the defendant There was a time when that kind of thing was considered inappropriate
— Jake Tapper, CNN news anchor
Jake Tapper’s tweet — posted above — actually understates how one should consider a president who seeks to prejudice a jury that is considering whether to convict or acquit someone of a major felony.
It is far worse than “inappropriate” for a president to rail against a trial involving a former top campaign official. I would call it something more akin to reprehensible, contemptible, disgraceful.
Yet this president sees nothing at all wrong with saying that a trial involving his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is “unfair” and that the court is trying to railroad him. He tells us that Manafort is an upstanding individual and a “good man.”
Manafort’s fate now is in the jury’s hands. He was indicted and brought to trial on charges involving tax evasion and money laundering. He faces a possible life term in prison. Manafort’s indictment was brought by the grand jury that received a complaint from special counsel Robert Mueller.
The prosecution presented witnesses. Manafort’s defense team was allowed to cross examine them, which did with vigor.
Normal presidential protocol would dictate that a president keeps his trap shut on a criminal proceeding. This one now is headed for a verdict. Yet Donald Trump keeps yapping, he keeps seeking to influence the outcome from the peanut gallery.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. Maybe we shouldn’t be appalled. I mean, this kind of ignorant approach to what I would call a form of jury tampering is part and parcel of Trump’s utter lack of understanding of presidential protocol, let alone of judicial conduct.
This individual, the president, is completely out of control.