Prosecutors Uzo Asonye, Greg Andres and Brandon Van Grack must be exhausted. They spent last week putting on an evidence-intense case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. They survived scoldings from U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III — and even procured an apology. They extracted cooperating witness Rick Gates’s long list of lies and crimes, but then drew out eyewitness testimony of the inner workings of Manafort’s financial chicanery. The predicate for the testimony had already been set out by documents and prior witnesses, so even if the jury chooses to discount some or even all of Gates’s testimony, there will be more than enough remaining evidence.
The country got a look at the independent judiciary and the excellent lawyering by two prosecutors from the team that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has assembled. The country could see this was no witch hunt. To the contrary, many observers questioned what defense Manafort could credibly present.
Susan B. Glasser aptly described the delight in watch the trial unfold:
The self-contained Ellis courtroom is that rare place today where there is presumed to be a truth that is real and verifiable. A place where the facts are worth so much to the public that the U.S. government had a forensic accountant meticulously match the flow of money from Manafort’s overseas bank accounts to his invoices from luxury-car dealers, couturiers, decorators, and the like. I found the testimony of the accountant, in its own way, just as compelling as Gates’s rendition of his life as the henchman of an international high-roller. Forget “alternative facts.” Here are actual ones. And, yes, they are damning.
For all that and for their diligent public service in the face of smears and lies directed from the White House, we can say well done, Mr. Asonye, Mr. Andres and Mr. Van Grack.