A Black Woman, Judge Deborah Robinson, Will Hear the Manafort Case; Watch the B.S. Begin

Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson is pictured before the start of a ceremony at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., on May 1, 2008. (Charles Dharapak/AP Images)

As soon as word came that a black woman would be the presiding judge for the Paul Manafort indictment, I braced myself for what is surely to come: pure fuckery—especially from the president and the conservative press.


And so it has begun.

On Monday night, Fox News published an article, “Paul Manafort Judges: Who Are Deborah A. Robinson and Amy Berman Jackson?”


Of course, in the case of Robinson, the black judge, with one of the blackest names ever, by the way, the Fox lead begins by noting that she “has experienced the criminal-justice system firsthand—when her son was convicted of dealing heroin.”


Jared Kushner’s father was convicted of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion and witness tampering (and, on a truly douche-y note, paid a prostitute $10,000 to have sex with his brother-in-law and then sent photos to his sister so she wouldn’t cooperate with the feds; she went straight to the FBI, and he served time in federal prison for it), but you don’t see this son of a convict, aka President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, called out as such, do you?


But back to Magistrate Judge Robinson.

Bustle reports that she is a graduate of Morgan State University and Emory University Law School and was sworn in as magistrate judge in 1988. She has sat on the bench for almost 30 years, before that spending eight years as an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting criminal cases in the Superior Court and the U.S. District Court.


Robinson has presided over both political and high-profile cases in Washington, D.C.

In 2005, Robinson oversaw a case that resulted in a guilty plea from former President Bill Clinton’s former national security adviser Sandy Berger. She also was the judge in the criminal case involving Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the George W. Bush White House aide who got 30 months in prison for leaking the name of CIA agent Valerie Plume.


In the district, Robinson also oversaw cases involving former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, notorious drug kingpin Rayful Edmond III and even an assault case against then-Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson, who was sued for assault. Robinson denied Iverson’s request to give his testimony in Philadelphia instead of Washington, D.C., reports Bustle.

Given Donald Trump’s disdain for both judges (see Gonzalo Curiel and any other judge who has actually upholds the Constitution) and for black women (see Jemele Hill, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Omarosa Manigault Newman’s marginalization, etc.), it’s almost a guarantee that Robinson will be in the bull’s eye.


But we ain’t down for the bullshit.

Read more at Bustle.

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About the author

Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.