Politicians and Pundits Sound Off After Manafort and Cohen’s Bad Day in Court

August 21, 2018, 10:41 PM UTC

President Trump suffered a one-two punch on Tuesday that was unprecedented even for his tumultuous tenure in office. And the reaction on Twitter served as a reminder why the troubled social network remains useful when big news breaks.

Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court to eight criminal counts Tuesday, admitting, among other things, that he coordinated with President Trump to pay former porn star Stormy Daniels to stay silent during the presidential campaign.

Within minutes, news broke that a federal jury had separately convicted Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort on eight counts of tax and bank fraud. Without Trump’s intervention, Manafort’s only hope for leniency would be to cooperate with Mueller’s probe.

The news sent pundits, journalists, and politicians into overdrive with their reaction to the events. The initial responses ranged from the analytical to the wry.

Trump, who is often vocal on Twitter, had not published any tweets about the day’s court events. However, reporters who questioned him Tuesday afternoon received familiar replies from the president about the Mueller probe.

Members of Congress, meanwhile, were quick to chime in—although Democrats were more vocal while Republicans, for the most part, remained silent in the immediate aftermath of the reports.

The discussion quickly turned to what’s likely to happen next, with some raising the possibility that Trump may quickly move to issue a pardon, and others calling for Congress to pass laws protecting Mueller.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has faced his own storm of criticism over the social network’s handling of trolls and misinformation. For a couple of hours Tuesday, the newsfeeds on Twitter resembled the vision that Dorsey once had for his service, where one can “look out the window and figure out what’s happening.”