By Andy Kroll
( Tomdispatch.cm ) – For about a week in the summer of 2018, I caught an early-morning train from Washington, D.C., to the Albert V. Bryan federal courthouse in the suburb of Alexandria. Located a short drive from George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon, that courthouse serves the Eastern District of Virginia. It has played host to a wide variety of closely watched cases, from terrorism trials and inscrutable cybersecurity matters to the government’s prosecution of whistleblowers Daniel Hale and Chelsea Manning.
The defendant whose trial I was covering was Paul Manafort, who had been the chairman of Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign. The special investigation led by former FBI director Robert Mueller probing Russian interference in the 2016 election had led to Manafort’s indictment on multiple charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and other financial crimes. He denied the allegations and decided to take his chances at trial, putting his future in the hands of 12 northern Virginia jurors….