Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager currently facing a litany of indictments in the special counsel probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election on behalf of Trump, knows just a tiny bit more about his fate today. Washington D.C. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson has finally set a trial date for the onetime lobbyist for Ukraine, and it happens to be at a pretty bad time for anyone who might be hurt by revelations during the trial.
A very bad time.
Judge Jackson set Manafort’s trial date for September 17th, 2018, just 51 days before November’s midterm elections in which all 435 members of the House of Representatives will be up for re-election, as well as 33 Senators in regular contests and one Senate seat that’s technically a “special election,” since the sitting Senator was appointed — but it’s taking place the same day.
This is no laughing matter for the Republicans: Poll after poll shows that not only do a majority of Americans believe that Russia meddled in the 2016 election on behalf of Trump, but that they also believe Trump is doing nothing about. And while pollsters have yet to conduct any opinion research specific to Manafort, it’s hard to imagine that America thinks anyone facing 32 indictments mustered by the former head of the FBI is innocent.
Seven weeks before the midterm is what you might call the height of the election.
Unfortunately for Manafort, that’s not the only trial he’s facing — that’s just the one regarding his treasonous involvement in the Trump campaign’s conspiracy with Russia. He also faces charges unrelated to the case, based on evidence turned up at the early morning, no-knock raid executed on his Alexandria, Virginia home last year. The tax and bank fraud charges in that case alone will certainly ruin Manafort financially, if not add prison time to the sentence he will likely be facing in the conspiracy case.
No matter what, though, Republicans do themselves no favors if they don’t begin the arduous task of distancing themselves from Trump well in advance of September when the legality of all this will once again be in stark contrast to the political spin the president loves to do on social media… Because the witch in this hunt is about to get burned.
Featured image via Alex Wong/Getty Images