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Before Paul Manafort’s sentence-o-rama tour through the courts last week, he faced a potential for consecutive sentences running into decades in prison. By this afternoon, Manafort appeared to have gotten off lightly not once but twice. Judge Amy Berman Jackson added a 43-month prison term to the 47 months Judge T.S. Ellis handed down, with enough overlap that Manafort faces 81 months in federal prison altogether.
That may not be good news, but it wasn’t as bad as it might have been:
Zeldin - Dems - Spineless - Disgusting - Resolution
Zeldin to Dems: Do you really want to know why I'm voting against your "spineless and disgusting" resolution?
Defense attorney Kevin M. Downing said his client is genuinely remorseful and has endured a “media frenzy” that few other defendants in this country have faced. Downing said all sides have sought to spin Manafort’s predicament to their political advantage, adding, that “but for a short stint as campaign manager in a presidential election, I don’t think we would be here today. I think the court should consider that, too.”
Jackson - Argument - Manafort - Inspiring - Call
Jackson dismissed that argument, telling Manafort, “Saying ‘I’m sorry I got caught’ is not an inspiring call for leniency.”
And yet Jackson wound up being relatively lenient anyway. She spent a significant part of the hearing rebutting the defense’s claim that Manafort was a mere pawn in Robert Mueller’s special-counsel probe, noting that Manafort got convicted of and pled guilty to crimes of his own making. Jackson criticized Manafort for lying to Mueller even after cutting a plea deal, and for lying most of his life to boot. “It is hard to overstate the number of lies and amount of money involved,” Jackson summarized at one point.
And yet, while she could have sentenced Manafort to ten...
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