Manafort’s lawyers back in court

Paul ManafortAttorneys for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will be back in court, one week after he was found guilty on eight counts. Manafort faces a second trial in Washington, DC that’s set to start September 17. While Manafort awaits sentencing on the earlier convictions, he won’t be appearing in court this time. CNN reports his lawyers will be arguing against asking potential jurors whether they voted in the 2016 election. Manafort faces seven criminal charges in the upcoming trial. Then on Wednesday, prosecutors will state whether they intend to seek another trial on the ten charges in which the jury couldn’t reach a verdict.

Trump’s trouble with ‘flippers’

Donald J. TrumpPresident Trump doesn’t care much for so-called ‘flippers’ like his former attorney Michael Cohen. The president said “it almost ought to be illegal” for a person who’s accused of a crime to signal a willingness to help investigators. In an opinion piece on TheHill.com, former federal prosecutor Gregory Wallance writes that flippers have helped convict “some of the most notorious criminals and corrupt politicians in American history.” But he’s more concerned that Trump’s comments are part of an assault on the rule of law that erodes the public’s confidence in law enforcement.

The president and due process

Donald J. TrumpPresident Trump’s tweets about due process for two men formerly on his staff accused of domestic violence reveals a misunderstanding of how due process works, according to a legal analyst at CNN. Caroline Polisi says Trump’s refusal to acknowledge victims of alleged abuse reveal that his defense is really all about himself.

In this aftermath of #MeToo, it is critically important to make the distinction between courts of law and courts of public opinion. Trump’s conflation of the two by way of a disingenuous appeal to “Due Process” is a commonly used, but ultimately dangerous argument, because it damages our collective understanding of the issues, both legal and otherwise.

Due process applies to governmental action, Polisi says, not to the news media, political races or social media. The due process rights owed to the accused are “alive and well in our justice system. They are thriving, in fact,” according to Polisi. Her complete commentary is available here.

Can a sitting president be indicted?

Donald J. TrumpAs the White House debates whether to allow President Trump to be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, legal scholars are debating another issue: can you indict a president while he or she is still in office? The Office of Legal Counsel, of course, says you can’t. But is Mueller bound by that opinion, or will he disregard it? Former White House Counsel Bob Bauer writes at Lawfare that constitutional arguments against indicting a president are problematic. Click here to read his opinion.