Manafort Trial Starts Tomorrow

Welcome to the week in which the trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort begins.

Tomorrow, to be exact.

I'm seeing lots of very excited tweets about the impending "fireworks" and about how "explosive" it will be and telling people to "buckle up" and "grab the popcorn" and so forth.

Maybe! But probably not!

Unless something very dramatic and unexpected happens, it will probably be a fairly dull and technical trial. Which is okay! In fact, it will be better than okay if it results in convictions against Manafort, because he is a very bad guy who needs to be held accountable for being a gross, mercentary dirtbag who helps gross, authoritarian nightmares seize and consolidate power.

It's just important to have reasonable expectations about what to expect from this trial. Which is about Manafort and his various swindles.

There is still a possibility Manafort will strike a deal in exchange for testimony against a bigger fish. My guess is that said possibility is very small, given that Manafort surely knows that his best bet is to protect Donald Trump, in exchange for a future pardon.

In any case, we'll get a look at one part of Special Counsel Bob Mueller's case for the first time, and we'll get to see what some other major cooperating players, like Rick Gates and Tad Devine, have to say for themselves. It doesn't need to be a thrill-ride to be compelling.

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