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March 13, 2019

Paul Manafort gets additional (consecutive) 43 months in prison at second sentencing, resulting in 7.5 year total term

As reported in this Politico piece, headlined "Paul Manafort’s prison sentence was upped to seven-and-a-half years on Wednesday, bringing an end to Robert Mueller’s most public legal battle and capping a spectacular fall for the globe-trotting GOP consultant and former chairman of the Trump campaign." Here is more:

It's the longest sentence by far for anyone ensnared in Mueller’s nearly two-year-old probe. Manafort’s punishment reached its final length after U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Wednesday gave Manafort an additional 43 months in prison for a series of lobbying and witness tampering crimes he pleaded guilty to last fall. Manafort also must serve nearly four years for his conviction in a jury trial for financial fraud crimes in Virginia.

Manafort, wearing a dark suit and seated in a wheelchair, issued a full-throated and blunt apology shortly before Jackson handed out his second — and final — prison sentence in the Mueller case. “I am sorry for what I have done and for all the activities that have gotten us here today," said Manafort, contrite and stone-faced.

But Jackson swiftly upbraided Manafort's penitence, insinuating that it was insincere and hinting that she believed Manafort had previously calibrated his statements to appeal to President Donald Trump for a pardon — the only way out of a multi-year prison sentence at this point for the ex-Trump aide, who turns 70 next month.

"Saying I'm sorry I got caught is not an inspiring plea for leniency," Jackson said, exhaustively recounting Manafort's deception and propensity for hiding money in offshore accounts, ducking millions in U.S. taxes, tampering with witnesses and repeatedly failing to come clean when confronted with his behavior.

"Why?" she asked. "Not to support a family but to sustain a lifestyle at the most opulent and extravagant level," she said, a reference to the high-end suits, designer clothes, custom rugs and luxury cars that Manafort collected over the years. "More houses than one man can enjoy, more suits than one man can wear."...

Manafort made his plea to Jackson about charges brought in the D.C. court, which centered on his lobbying work in Ukraine and conspiring with a suspected Moscow-linked business associate to tamper with potential witnesses. But his shorter-than-anticipated Virginia sentence was hanging over the entire court proceedings.

Jackson stressed that she was not there for a "review or revision" of the Virginia sentence, which drew condemnation from some in the legal community who felt the punishment was unfairly brief, given the scope of the crimes and sentencing guidelines that called for Manafort to receive between about 19 and 24 years....

As a result, one major question facing Jackson, an Obama appointee, was whether she would make Manafort serve his D.C. sentence after he completes the punishment from his Virginia case, or whether she would allow him to serve them both concurrently. Manafort has been using a cane and wheelchair in his recent court appearances and has asked for leniency by citing his deteriorating health, as well as the strains of solitary confinement at the Alexandria, Va., detention center.

Ultimately, Jackson split her decision, making some of her sentence — 30 months — concurrent with the Virginia punishment, but ordering that the rest be served consecutively. Manafort’s nine months already spent in jail since his bond was revoked last June for witness tampering will count toward his time served, meaning Manafort is on track to be released from federal custody around the end of 2025.

By my calculations, if Manafort were to get all available good time credit, he might be eligible for release in 2024.  And, thanks to the FIRST STEP Act, Manafort might also eventually be able to earn some additional time off for participating in prison programming (though the particular of "earned" time credits will likely not be fully in place until next year).

Some of many prior related posts:

March 13, 2019 at 01:51 PM | Permalink

Comments

Trump hires "the very best" people. Without doubt, Trump's is the most corrupt adminstration in American history.

Posted by: anon1 | Mar 13, 2019 4:35:45 PM

Without doubt!

Posted by: Heather | Mar 13, 2019 6:45:40 PM

Doug:

Considering that Manafort showed such contempt for the law, while out on bond, makes the sentences, shockingly, lenient.

The judge was correct, Manafort's, only, remorse is that he got caught, as confirmed by his continued criminal activity, while on bond.

There is no doubt.

The first sentence was, shockingly, light. Had the case been in Chicago, New Jersey or Louisiana, I would have said "looks like someone got to the judge".

Posted by: Dudley Sharp | Mar 14, 2019 9:32:50 AM

Heather and anon1:

You're both, completely, ignorant of history.

Very common malady, these days.

Willful ignorance is not a good trait.

Just search government scandals, by US Presidents, the House and Senate and then look at the ones from Louisiana, New Jersey and Chicago.

You will be researching for months or years.

So far, no confirmed evidence of illegal corruption within the Trump administration.

Is there?

Many of Trump's personal piccadiloes are horrendous, but that is a different matter, entirely.

Posted by: Dudley Sharp | Mar 14, 2019 9:44:34 AM

Mr. Dudley, what history books are you reading?


The biggest political scandal in American history

"without seeing Robert Mueller's report, or knowing what prosecutors with the Southern District of New York have unearthed, or what congressional investigators will find, we already have witnessed the biggest political scandal in American history.

Historians tell Axios that the only two scandals that come close to Trump-Russia are Watergate, which led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974, and the Teapot Dome scandal of the early 1920s, in which oil barons bribed a corrupt aide to President Warren Harding for petroleum leases.
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• Mueller has already delivered one of the biggest counterintelligence cases in U.S. history, author Garrett Graff points out — up there with Aldrich Ames (a former CIA officer convicted in 1994 of being a KGB double agent), or Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (executed in 1953 for spying for the Soviets).

• Watergate yielded more charges than Mueller has so far: A total of 69 people were charged in Watergate; 48 people and 20 corporations pleaded guilty. Mueller so far has indicted 27 people; seven have been convicted or pleaded guilty.

• But historians say that both Watergate and Teapot Dome were more limited because a foreign power wasn't a central player, and a much narrower band of potential offenses was under investigation.

• A fourth notable scandal, the Iran-Contra affair of the mid-1980s — in which arms were traded for hostages held by Iran, with the money used to fund rebels in Nicaragua — also involved a more limited range of issues.
The "biggest" realization might strike Trump supporters as overblown or plain wrong. But consider what we already know about actions of Trump and his associates:
Scandal 1: Trump secretly paid hush money to two mistresses on the eve of his presidential victory, and lied about it. His longtime personal lawyer is going to prison after carrying out the scheme on his behalf.
• The historical parallel: Bill Clinton was impeached (but acquitted by the Senate) for lying under oath about an affair with a White House intern.
• Clinton impeachment Article 3, passed by the House, was obstruction of justice.
• Earlier presidents, or their friends, had also been known to pay off mistresses.
Scandal 2: During the presidential campaign, Trump confidantes continued negotiating for a tower in Moscow, potentially one of Trump's most lucrative deals ever. He hid this from the public and lied about it. His lawyer is going to prison for making false statements to Congress about the deal.
• The historical parallel: None.
Scandal 3: Russian officials had more than 100 contacts with Trump associates during the campaign and transition, including his son, his closest adviser, his lawyer, and his campaign manager. The Russians offered assistance in undermining Hillary Clinton. The FBI and other government authorities weren't alerted about this effort to subvert our election.
• The historical parallel: None.
Scandal 4: Michael Flynn was national security adviser at the same time U.S. intelligence officials believed he was compromised by the Kremlin. He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.
• The historical parallel: None.
Scandal 5: Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, and told NBC's Lester Holt it was at least in part because of the Russia investigation: "[T]his Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story."
• The historical parallel: In the "Saturday Night Massacre" of 1973, Nixon tried to stop the Watergate investigation by abolishing the office of Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox; and accepting the resignation of Attorney General Elliot Richardson, and firing Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus, when they refused to fire Cox.
Scandal 6: Trump overruled the advice of his lawyers and intelligence experts, and granted his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top-secret clearance. This so alarmed his White House chief of staff John Kelly that he recorded his opposition in a memo. Trump and his family repeatedly denied he had interfered.
• The historical parallel: None.
The big picture: Presidential historian Jon Meacham tells us that this "transcends scandal — it’s a national crisis in the sense of a period of elevated stakes, high passions, and possibly permanent consequences."
• "We’re in the midst of making history more than we are reflecting it."


Posted by: anon1 | Mar 14, 2019 11:50:56 AM

anon1, you've nailed Sharp to the wall. And that's just Trump. What about Kushner, Ivanka, Zinke, Pruitt, Icahn, and the rest of the parasites Trump brought in to suck the blood from the American taxpayer and despoil our environment.

Posted by: anon12 | Mar 14, 2019 11:54:48 AM

I could not be arsed to read the other commentary, it was so ignorant.

But what is obvious is that this sentence is bullshit.

Where are the prosecutions of the Podestas? They did exactly the same.

Where are the prosecutions of dozens, nay hundreds of Washingtonians?

They did the same thing.

That these commenters pontificate about some utter nonsense bullshit? Pursue the Podestas, you hypocritital loons!

What is wrong with you, you retarded fools? The Podestas are your next target, nes pas?

Wait. You don't want to prosecute the Podestas and Hillary Clinton for the exact same crimes you prosecuted Manafort for?

What does that say about you? And what does that say about America that you could get away with this crime of not applyng the law equally? What does it say???

Posted by: restless94110 | Mar 14, 2019 8:46:56 PM

when will the nightmare of Trump's government be over?

Posted by: anon5 | Mar 17, 2019 8:10:52 PM

In a little less than two years.

Posted by: Emily | Mar 18, 2019 12:52:59 PM

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