Paul Manafort, the convicted felon who led Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign during a crucial period, was sentenced to an additional 43 months in federal prison on Wednesday — ensuring the disgraced Republican political operative will spend seven-and-a-half years behind bars for his crimes.
Manafort’s new prison time — which he received for committing conspiracy against the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct justice after Manafort attempted to tamper with witnesses in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — will be tacked on to the 47 months in prison Manafort was sentenced to last week by a federal judge in Virginia.
That 47-month sentence Manafort received was incredibly light compared to the 19- to 24-year sentence recommended for the host of crimes Manafort was both convicted of and pleaded guilty to committing. And the judge in the case — T.S. Ellis —has been widely panned for being sympathetic to Manafort, somehow saying Manafort had lived a “blameless life” despite Manafort’smany crimes and work for brutal and violent dictators.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson was much harsher in her sentencing than a federal judge in Virginia was last week.
Jackson chided Manafort during the sentencing, saying it was “hard to overstate” the numbers of lies he told and the fraud he committed. And she said he made these choices in order to “sustain a lifestyle at the most opulent and extravagant level” and to buy “more houses than one man can enjoy, more suits than one man can wear.”
Her tough words were widely expected, as Jackson had been much harsher on Manafort during the tiral process. She was the judge who decided to revoke Manafort’s bail last June and have him locked up while he awaited trial and sentencing, after it was determined that he committed more crimes after his initial indictment.
Still, Jackson said during the hearing that she did not take into account the Virginia sentence when determining how to proceed.
“What is happening today is not or can not be a revision of a sentence that is imposed by another court,” Jackson said, according to NBC News.
Trump, for his part, has not ruled out pardoning Manafort. However if Trump does pardon him, New York state prosecutors are weighing charging Manafort with state crimes that do not fall under Trump’s pardon power.
In total, at least six members of Trump’s campaign or inner circle have been indicted, convicted or pleaded guilty in Mueller’s probe — which is still ongoing. And dozens of other Russians and companies have also been hit with indictments for their hacking and meddling during the 2016 campaign.
The so-called “witch hunt” Trump has accused Mueller of conducting sure has found a lot of witches…
Published with permission of The American Independent.