Mueller vs. Manafort: End Game

UPDATE: Manafort was convicted on 8 counts but the jury couldn’t reach agreement on 10 others so the judge declared a mistrial. This aligns with the impression from the reading that he would be partially exonerated, although the government can still choose to retry him so it could amount to no more than a reprieve.

With the Paul Manafort corruption trial now at the jury-deliberation stage, I dragged out South Park’s favorite tarot deck (not really, I just made that up), Brian Williams’ sociopolitically literate Post-Modern (PoMo) Tarot to see what the jury will make of Manafort’s fate. I used my “Enemy at the Gate” Vulnerability Spread, with reversals. For the subject card (Significator) I chose Justice (Crowley’s retitled Adjustment) from the Thoth deck as the issue at large here. Manafort occupies the top row as the target of legal action and the prosecution has the bottom line.

All images © U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT and Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY

Column #1: Manafort’s Strength/Mueller’s Strength

The Woman of Bottles (Queen of Cups) suggests that the jury’s sympathies lie with Manafort. For his part, Mueller with the 6 of TVs (note that I see TVs as Air, not Fire as Williams asserts) has the full weight of the government’s legal apparatus at his disposal to convince them otherwise, but it’s tempting to see TVs as  the media attention that has tried to link Manafort’s legal woes to the political issue of campaign meddling. I give Manafort a “+1” score here.

Column #2: Manaforts Weakness/Mueller’s Weakness

The Ace of TVs suggests that Manafort’s legal argument is limited in scope and may not be robust enough to sway the jury. On the other hand, Mom (the Empress) as Mueller’s weakness looks to me like he represents an arm of the “Nanny State” that may be meddling in ways it shouldn’t, at least in the eyes of the jury. Rather than “Big Brother,” he represents “Big Momma.” Nonetheless, Mueller gets “+1” for wielding more clout.

Column #3: Manafort’s “Edge”/Mueller’s “Edge”

The Hermit in Manafort’s corner lends him a “David vs. Goliath” credibility (again in the jury’s estimation), while the Wheel of Fortune in Mueller’s wheelhouse implies a juggernaut that will ride roughshod over the hapless Hermit. Again “+1” to Mueller.

Column #4: Manafort’s Allies’ Power/Mueller’s Allies’ Power

Mueller has the “Big Kahuna” of allies (President Trump) on his side, although the jury has been instructed to pay no attention to what has been going on outside the courtroom. Mueller’s allies seem disorganized (reversed 4 of Bottles) and perhaps not in agreement among themselves. Manafort gets “+1” here (“with a bullet” as the old Billboard Magazine notation would have it).

Before moving on to the quintessence cards, I will mention that the numerical analysis was a wash, with both parties garnering two points; the impression is that it’s too close to call.

Column #5: Manafort’s Chances/Mueller’s Chances

With the Lovers, Manafort may have a way out of his jam (the Lovers shows a crossroads more than a loving embrace) that the jury could see fit to bestow upon him. Mueller gets the Devil, which suggests that the jury may be suspicious that he has Machiavellian motives. The interesting thing here is that both antagonists received an expression of the number Six as an indication of their chances for success (the Lovers is numbered Six and the Devil reduces numerologically to Six – 1+5 = 6). This is a number of harmony and balance; both adversaries have champions on the jury but Manafort’s proponents are more forthright about their support.

The “Decision” Card

The “Grand Quintessence” card is the Universe, a card of closure and success. Crowley observes: “The crystallization of the whole matter involved,” and “perseverance; persistent stubbornness in difficulty.” The overall implication is that Manafort will emerge vindicated in large measure, but the card also corresponds to astrological Saturn, the “Taskmaster,” so he is unlikely to come away completely unscathed. I think a number of the charges will be struck down, but enough mud will stick to him to warrant some level of judicial sanction. It appears, though, that Mueller  won’t get nearly as much as he’s after.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s