So what are we to think, and more important, what should the government do, when the president of the United States, as he did on Friday, tells reporters — while jurors are deliberating in the tax- and bank-fraud trial of Paul Manafort — that “I think the whole Manafort trial is very sad,” that Manafort “happens to be a very good person,” and that “I think it’s very sad what they’ve done to Paul Manafort.”


Here we have the president publicly declaring that the government — the Department of Justice — is wrong to prosecute his former campaign chairman. The trial marks the first big test for the investigation of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III — also much maligned by the president — into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, though the 18 counts that Manafort is facing are not related to his work on the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.