Is Paul Manafort’s Sentence Too Light?
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On Thursday, March 7, 2019, T.S. Ellis, a seasoned judge in the Eastern District of Virginia federal court, considered a litany of complicated legal and financial questions regarding Paul Manafort’s sentencing, said in court, “He is not before the court for any allegation that he or anybody at his direction colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 presidential election.” Manafort was being sentenced for tax fraud, hiding foreign bank accounts, and bank fraud. Many of Manafort’s admitted crimes, such as illegal foreign lobbying and money laundering, were not part of what Ellis considered on Thursday. Despite the recommended 19 to 24 years, Ellis ended up sentencing Manafort only 47 months, with 3 years of supervised release, $24 million in restitution, and $50,000 fine for bank fraud supplanting all. Many are concerned about the fairness and consistency of this sentence.
President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for financial fraud charges — far less than the prosecutors’ recommendation of 19 to 24 years. CBS News Washington correspondent Paula Reid reports on the decision, and legal analyst Rikki Klieman joins CBSN to discuss the judge’s ruling, in the video “Questions raised about Paul Manafort’s 4-year prison sentence for fraud“, below:
Federal Judge T.S. Ellis shocked Washington giving former Trump campaign boss Paul Manafort a 47-month sentence. Former Assistant Watergate Special Counsel Jill Wine-Banks reacts to this sentence, in the video “Jill Wine-Banks: Manafort Judge’s Behavior and Sentencing Were ‘Terrible’, The 11th Hour, MSNBC“, below:
Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, was sentenced to 47 months in prison Thursday by a federal judge in Virginia on tax and bank fraud charges, considerably less than the federal guidelines. The Morning Joe panel reacts, in the video “Joe: No One Would Say Paul Manafort Lived A Blameless Life, Morning Joe, MSNBC“, below:
Paul Manafort was placed in solitary confinement leading up to his sentencing; Doug McKelway has the details, in the video “Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison“, below:
Before announcing Manafort’s sentence, Ellis also said, “I don’t expect the sentence I’m about to announce to meet with every one’s approval. I don’t sit to do it that way. I sit to impose a just sentence, and I have to satisfy myself about it.” Ellis said that he believed the advisory recommendation of decades of punishment for Manafort was far too harsh. Ellis said near the end of Thursday’s hearing, “Clearly the guidelines were way out of whack on this, as the history of the sentences in this area show. It’s a fundamental principle of justice that like cases should be treated alike, and if they’re treated differently, there ought to be a good reason for it.” He added, he believed that the sentencing recommendations for fraud on tax and foreign banking disclosures are too high.
The probation office had recommended that Manafort’s crimes merited a 19 to 25 year sentence. But, unless certain crimes carry congressionally mandated sentences, judges have wide latitude to sentence however they want. Manafort’s crimes did not have minimum or mandatory sentences set by Congress
Rep. Eric Swalwell tells Chris Hayes former Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort’s sentence is far too short for a list of crimes that is too long, in the video “Representative Eric Swalwell: Paul Manafort’s Sentence Is Far Too Short, All In, MSNBC“, below:
Rep. Eric Swalwell, believing that Trump is simply dangling the pardons to keep people quiet but which will not be realized, tweeted, “This sounds like malarkey. BUT, I challenge @realDOnaldTrump. If you are innocent of #RussianCollusion and didn’t offer any pardons, declare now that no person in the #RussianInvestigation will be pardoned. Your move.”
Former federal judge Nancy Gertner gets the last word on Paul Manafort being sentenced to 47 months in prison and how it could affect Manafort’s sentencing next week in DC., in the video “Fmr. Federal Judge On What Manafort Could Face Next Week, The Last Word, MSNBC“, below:
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