Special Counsel Robert Mueller in Paul Manafort’s case took a total of ten days to present their arguments and evidence to the judge and jury. The Prosecution called over two dozen witnesses to testify against Manafort. Tuesday morning the defence began their case in favor of Manafort, and by Tuesday afternoon they had rested. Manafort’s attorney’s did not call a single witness to the stand. Manafort himself called upon his 5th amendment right to protect an individual from self-incrimination. It was a wise decision for Manafort to not take the stand. Any statements he would have made on the stand could have been used against him in any other trial, including the upcoming trial this fall in Washington D.C.. Any questioning by the defense would have inherently opened Manafort up to a cross examination in which the defense would have retained little control and Manafort would have likely been asked to explain several documents with his signature on them. When asked why the defense rested so quickly, attorney Kevin Downing said, “the government has not met its burden of proof.” Closing arguments are scheduled to begin Wednesday morning and Judge Ellis instructed neither side take longer than 2 hours.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, cited the economy as the reason the GOP will retain control of the House in the upcoming midterm elections this fall. “These are very good times and the midterms will be a report card on that...The confidence indices are telling a very important story, and POTUS is polling in the low to mid fifties on the economy.” Kudlow assured that “The great blue wall has crashed. I think GOP will lose seats but keep the House.” Republicans in large are not using the economy as part of their campaign strategies, rather they are focusing on guns, immigration, and vilifying democrats. Trump in the other hand is calling as much attention as possible to economy and the rate at which available jobs are growing. There are some obstacles in the way of republicans however; a tax-cut bill focused on lowering corporate rates is growing more unpopular by the day, raising to a 63 percent disapproval rating in June. There is also the issue of Trump’s tariffs with China on both steel and aluminum that are causing concern for many republican districts. Despite the obstacles and House republicans avoidance of the topic, Kudlow maintains it will be the economy that helps the GOP hold the House.