Former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova warned Tuesday that Paul Manafort cannot get a fair trail in the nation’s capital on charges filed against him by special counsel Robert Mueller because of the politically charged nature of his case and pervasive bias against President Donald Trump.
“Paul Manafort cannot get a fair trial in the District of Columbia,” diGenova told host Laura Ingraham on “The Laura Ingraham Show” Tuesday. “We now know from the Scooter Libby case and the interviews with jurors after that case that two-thirds of the jurors in the Scooter Libby case hated the president of the United States, hated Dick Cheney, wanted to know why Cheney wasn’t in the docket along with Scooter Libby. There is no way a Republican gets a fair trial in a politically charged case like this in the District of Columbia.”
DiGenova was referring to Scooter Libby, a former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney, who was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in 2007 in an investigation of who leaked the name of Valerie Plame, a former covert CIA agent. Libby insisted on his innocence and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage confessed to being the individual who leaked Plame’s name.
President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s sentence in 2007 and Trump pardoned him in 2017 after DiGenova’s wife, Victoria Toensing, approached the White House Counsel’s office on Libby’s behalf.
Manafort previously worked for a few months as chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Manafort has been a main target of Mueller’s probe of allegations that Trump campaign aides colluded with Russian interests against Clinton.
He is now being held in solitary confinement pending his trial in Virginia on multiple bank fraud charges, all of which involve activities that predate Manafort’s tenure with Trump and are not related to Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller focused on Manafort early in his probe, with his team eventually requesting an indictment against him. But critics see the investigation as improperly going outside its purpose to pressure people into cooperating by uncovering dirt on them. DiGenova warns that the solitary confinement is nothing more than using the legal system to intimidate witnesses and potential witnesses.
“This is an in terrorem use of the judicial and investigative process to force people to do …