While CPAC chants 'lock her up,' Trump campaign aides indicted again


Conservatives still want Hillary Clinton jailed. Meanwhile, Trump campaign advisers are actually facing real prison time.

At the nation's annual gathering of conservatives that kicked off Thursday, the crowd renewed its tired 2016 Trump campaign cheer: "Lock her up!"

It's what Trump's most fervent supporters and campaign surrogates angrily chanted on the campaign trail, and all this time later, they haven't given it up yet.

But not far away from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland, two members of Trump's 2016 campaign faced a whole new slew of charges from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were already indicted for, among other things, conspiring against the United States. They now face 32 more charges, ranging from money laundering, to defrauding banks, to falsifying tax returns — all to, as the indictment against Manafort reads, "enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income."

While Manafort was the first member of Trump's campaign team to be indicted, he was certainly not the last.

There was also George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the campaign, who pleaded guilty in October to lying to the FBI. Trump's defenders tried to claim he was nothing more than a coffee boy. But he's been cooperating with the special counsel's investigation for the better part of a year. His fiancee has promised, "There's a lot to come."

Michael Flynn, who briefly served as national security adviser and was one of the most vocal proponents of jailing Hillary Clinton, was indicted and pleaded guilty in December.

Only a week ago, Mueller indicted 13 Russians who, while not officially on the Trump campaign, were actively working to benefit the campaign. That indictment mentioned Russian communication with "unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign."

It is too soon to know whether the investigation may ultimately reveal that such individuals were not so unwitting after all.

It is a cruel irony or perhaps willful ignorance that more than a year after Trump's election, conservatives still think his political opponent should be jailed for ... something. Emails. A private server.

Meanwhile, Trump's White House is drowning in scandals involving, among other things, its recklessly casual approach to national security. After one top aide resigned amid allegations of domestic violence, it was reported that dozens of White House staffers could not get permanent security clearance.

That means some of Trump's closest advisers are handling the nation's top secrets without the appropriate clearance to do so.

And some of his former closest advisers are now facing actual jail time for their crimes, some of which they have already admitted.

But yes, lock her up. Always.