U.S. District Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson, a Black woman, will be presiding over Paul Manafort and Rick Gates’ case and conservatives have attacked. Fox News wrote a profile on Judge Robinson and opened with mentioning her son’s criminal past while GOP members have tried to frame her as a liberal-friendly ally despite the fact she’s levied sentences on both sides fairly.
Under the headline “Paul Manafort judges: Who are Deborah A. Robinson and Amy Berman Jackson?,” Fox News digs into the personal histories of two U.S district judges in D.C who are presiding over Manafort’s indictment. In the very first paragraph, the author—who is not named—targets preliminary Judge Deborah A. Robinson by attacking her son for an unrelated criminal conviction eight years ago.
The article also made sure to point out that Robinson presided over the cases of two high-profile black defendants—former D.C. City Councilmember and Mayor Marion Barry and NBA superstar Allen Iverson.
Judge Robinson’s role in the Manafort indictment is brief but consequential. She presided over Monday afternoon’s preliminary hearing in which she set the terms of Manafort and Gates’ release, ruling that both men were to remain under house arrest after posting bonds of $10 million and $5 million respectively, and turn in their passports.
In typical Fox News fashion, the dodging of the real issue and pushing forward facts that Judge Robinson, a 30-year veteran, is an appointee of former President Barack Obama among other unrelated facts. People on Twitter took notice and mocked the network for taking the low road.
The case will eventually move to U.S District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s courtroom, who Fox News types might be thrilled to know is white but like Judge Robinson is also an Obama appointee. Let’s see what they’ll dig up there.