Flipping Witnesses

President Donald Trump decries it.  So have I in writing about the Manafort case and the credibility of Mueller’s prosecutors’ witnesses.

What’s interesting to me and saddening, and what’s dangerous to our system of justice—which includes justice for the accused as well as the victim—is prosecutors’ response to Trump’s decrial.

Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor, said that Mr Trump’s comments amount to “an absolutely outrageous statement and to any prosecutor would just be shocking to hear.”

“It’s hard to overstate how fundamental” to prosecutions cooperating witnesses are, Mr Zeidenberg said.

And Stephen Gillers, a New York University School of Law professor:

Trump’s idea would effectively demolish one of the basic and valuable tools of criminal law enforcement in the US.

It’s dangerous for our prosecutors to so blatantly and avidly rely on their ability to do the testifying by using the mouths of “witnesses” they’ve either browbeaten into testifying in a certain way or who’ve sold their testimony to the prosecutors like Thursday night hookers.

If the prosecutors can’t make their case without such witnesses, they don’t have a case to make.

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