Paul Manafort

Paul Manafort's Lenient Prison Sentence Isn't the Travesty—the Rest of the System Is

The problem isn't that a judge went easy on a rich defendant. It's that mandatory minimums make it impossible to do the same in many other cases.

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Jonathan Ernst/REUTERS/Newscom

A federal judge has sentenced international sleazebag and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to 47 months in prison. This was a dramatic downward departure from the federal sentencing guidelines, which recommended 19 to 24 years in prison for Manafort's panoply of criminal offenses, but U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III declared that Manafort "has lived an otherwise blameless life." It was surely the first time the word "blameless" has been uttered in the same breath as Manafort's name.

The sentence has sparked outrage from many who felt it was a mere slap on the wrist. For instance, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) says Manafort's sentence shows the "absolute unfairness" of the justice system.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y) has chimed in on Twitter. "Paul Manafort getting such little jail time for such serious crimes lays out for the world how it's almost impossible for rich people to go to jail for the same amount of time as someone who is lower income," she wrote. "In our current broken system, 'justice' isn't blind. It's bought."

The reaction to Manafort's sentence is understandable. There is a gut revulsion when one sees a rich prat get off easy while less fortunate people are railroaded daily. We instinctively feel it's wrong when, say, the feds cut a sweetheart deal with ultra-rich Jeffrey Epstein to avoid prosecuting him when there was credible evidence that he was a serial sexual predator.

Many compared Manafort's sentence to Crystal Mason, a Texas woman who received five years in state prison for mistakenly voting while she was on parole. I've interviewed numerous people who received outrageous sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, like a woman who was sentenced to life in federal prison for trading a few bottles of sudafed for meth.

But the problem with Manafort's sentence isn't that the judge departed from the guidelines that are routinely used to lock away poor defendants for decades. The problem is that the guidelines are that high to begin with—and that in most of the drug and gun cases that federal judges oversee, their hands are tied by mandatory minimum sentencing laws, unlike in many white-collar cases.

As legal commentator and former federal prosecutor Ken White explains in The Atlantic, several factors make Manafort's sentence more than just a simple example of a judge showing favor to a wealthy white defendant:

[T]he U.S. sentencing guidelines treat some crimes more harshly than others, and though, unlike mandatory minimums, they are only recommendations, not strictures, they strongly influence judges. USA Today reported that fraud cases in Ellis's district yielded an average sentence of 36 months, versus 66 months for firearms charges and 84 months for drug charges, all higher than the national average. Ellis announced that he was sentencing Manafort below the recommended guideline range because that range was far above what defendants received in similar cases. That is, in fact, a factor that he's required by law to consider. Manafort's case was arguably much more serious than others, but there's no question that his sentencing range was atypically high for a white-collar defendant. This is how the system's discrepancies become self-justifying and self-perpetuating: Judges give white-collar criminals lower sentences because white-collar criminals typically get lower sentences.

The answer to disparities in the criminal justice system isn't to call for harsher punishments. Pillorying judges who go easy on well-heeled defendants—the successful recall of the California judge who sentenced Brock Turner, for example—doesn't make them more likely to show mercy to defendants who statistically receive longer sentences on average. It makes them less likely to show mercy, period. Indeed, concern over judicial bias is what largely led to the end of indeterminate sentencing in states like California and the rise of mandatory minimums.

Meanwhile, four years in federal lockup is nothing to sniff at, even in the minimum-security camp Manafort will likely end up in. In any case, Manafort will face sentencing by another judge next week for violations of foreign lobbying laws, and that judge could slap him with up to 10 more years in prison.

He'll have plenty of time to think about his crimes. The tragedy is he'll be serving it alongside people doing far more for far less.

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  1. Now if they would put Podesta in the same prison, this would be OK.

    1. Selective prosecution is the preferred prosecution of the left as they spittle out cries of banana republic to the orange Hitler.

      1. is this just a bad Haiku?

        1. select who is tried
          prosecution projection
          Left good but Orange bad

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        2. The system has indeed turned reality inside out, very much in the manner of some particularly atrocious Haikus. Arguably the crime of criminal “satire” is far more dangerous, with a far greater impact on public safety, than Manafort’s so-called fraud, and one of our nation’s worst “parody” perpetrators has been allowed to remain at large without serving any sort of an appropriate jail sentence at all. See the documentation at:

          https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

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  2. Trump’s character in context

    Truman cheaply compared 1948 presidential opponent Thomas Dewey to Hitler and attacked him as a supposed pawn of bigots and war profiteers.

    Truman hyperbolically claimed a Republican victory in 1948 would threaten America’s very liberty.

    In the pre-Twitter age, Truman could never keep his mouth shut: “My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.”

    When a reviewer for The Washington Post trashed Truman’s daughter’s concert performance, Truman threatened him with physical violence.

    “It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful,” Truman wrote in a letter to critic Paul Hume.

    “Someday I hope to meet you. When that happens, you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes and perhaps a supporter below!”

    Such outbursts were Trumpian to the core.

    1. Truman cheaply compared 1948 presidential opponent Thomas Dewey to Hitler and attacked him as a supposed pawn of bigots and war profiteers.

      Truman hyperbolically claimed a Republican victory in 1948 would threaten America’s very liberty.

      How is this different than what “both sides” do today?

      1. It isn’t

        I’m pretty sure that’s Ray’s point

        1. Yessir. That’s what the linked article is about.

      2. The difference is that Democrats have been calling Republicans “Hitler” since anybody had heard of the guy, but today they’re insane enough to believe it. And start acting like they think it’s true.

        So many generations of Democrats have been raised drinking that Koolaid that now they’ve got Koolaid running through their veins instead of blood.

        Oh, and when was the last time Republicans called the Democratic candidate “literally Stalin”? Even if Bernie gets the nomination in 2020, at least Republicans know the difference between “literally” and “figuratively”.

        1. unlike shit & shinola…

        2. The other problem is that as we inch further away from the Holocaust, more Nazis are making their way into the mainstream. And I mean real Nazis, not pejorative Nazis. They’re finding strange yet unsurprising bedfellows with Muslims who Democrats love to import. They’re pushing accelerationism really hard and it will come to violence if things keep up. That’s what happens when we’re all divided into “enemy of my enemy” alliances. Nazis will use anti-Jewish sentiment to seize power and then everyone else comes next.

    2. “Such outbursts were Trumpian Trumanian to the core.”

      Time, how does it work?

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      2. Or perhaps “would be”.

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    4. People forget that Harry Truman wanted to keep wartime tax levels and use them to set up a “cradle to grave” welfare system with universal healthcare, guaranteed “full employment” complete with mandatory union membership and complete planning of the economy at the federal level

      And he would have done it too, if it hadn’t been for those damn republicans

      The “Greatest Generation” loved HST; that is until a a bunch of them ended up getting called up to go to Korea

      1. I’ve had diarrhea, I’ve had gonnorhea, I don’t want none of that KOrea

      2. People forget that Harry Truman wanted to keep wartime tax levels and use them to set up a “cradle to grave” welfare system with universal healthcare, guaranteed “full employment” complete with mandatory union membership and complete planning of the economy at the federal level

        Isaac knows his “Square Deal” history!

        1. Make that, “Fair Deal”.

  3. The walls are closing in.

    #TrumpRussia
    #ItsMuellerTime

  4. Is this still a libertarian site? Where’s the revulsion at his investigation and prosecution for political reasons??? He is ONLY going to prison because he is an associate of Trump. There are countless others who commit similar crimes but are not investigated and prosecuted since they have the “right” political friends. And his “serious crimes” pale in comparison to that of Bill and Hillary Clinton who sold her office for a hundred million while exposing a mountain of classified information in an effort to hide their crimes. And she lied to investigators. And where’s the revulsion over “10 more years” for violating foreign lobbying laws? Shouldn’t citizens be free to participate in “foreign lobbying?” I mean WTF is that anyway? This is insane.

    As for his sentence, he’s going to prison for about FOUR YEARS for financial crimes against banks and the government. I don’t see that as lenient at all for purely financial crimes.

    1. “Where’s the revulsion at his investigation and prosecution for political reasons??? ”

      In many many many other threads.

    2. Hillary didn’t sell her office for millions. You’re just a fucking liar or worse an idiot.

      1. I’m sorry the truth about Hillary makes you salty.

      2. Millions? It might be over a billion by now. She is one of the most corrupt public figures in IS history, along with her serial rapist husband.

        They are a political crime family.

        1. Hahahaaaaaahaha! You go girl.

      3. Not just a few million, over a hundred million. How the fuck did she and Bill make over a hundred million then? What did they produce? Are their words really worth that much? You are a fucking imbecile.

      4. “Hillary didn’t sell her office for millions.”

        You’re right. The hag ran discount sales on a regular basis, along with treating classified material as if it were her laundry list.

      5. Yes, OP, she is just worth numerous millions because of her hard work…

    3. Is this still a libertarian site?

      No.

      Reason is libertarian like the ACLU is about civil liberties. Sometimes, maybe.

    4. I have known people who have gone to trial and been imprisoned for financial crimes. Not on this scale but for sure financial crimes.

      He was not convicted for political reasons. He was caught because he was in the political limelight.

      Fraud, deceit in transactions, are clearly a violation of the NAP as I understand it.

      I agree that four years is enough. He is facing other charges. He clearly was a financial predator and a thief.

      1. Well, sure, and if the traffic cops sit by the side of the road, and pull over only the police chief’s enemies for speeding, they ARE being rightfully charged and convicted of speeding.

        And, at the same time, they’re only being charged and convicted because they’re the police chief’s enemies.

        Because all the people who weren’t his enemies were given a pass.

        DC is a dirty town, any independent counsel who wanted could go through the place racking up convictions. Doesn’t mean he’s not being political if he’s making his decisions about WHO to go after on political grounds.

        1. As has been mentioned…Podesta did the EXACT same thing.

          He didnt get prosecuted.

        2. YUP. This was purely political. End of story. Not only Dems, but even guys who have done similar types of shit for more “acceptable” RINO types are not screwed with like this. Orange Hitler association is the sole reason.

  5. The judge set himself up by saying that Manafort had led “an otherwise blameless life,” something that was surely not proved in court, nor something of which the judge could reasonably take “judicial notice”. In fact, the judge clearly took non-judicial notice of the fact that Manafort was a well-dressed white guy, “just like me”. And, of course, anyone who is just like me is blameless. Unless he gets caught.

    1. Everyone leads a blameless life until the contrary is proved. Presumption of innocence, how does it work?

    2. Not proven! What else was he blamed for? If nothing than he was otherwise blameless.

  6. Having some difficulty here: He was convicted of tax fraud. The victim is the IRS.

    1. Other victims include everyone else in the country who has to pay more taxes when some individuals shirk paying what they are obliged to by law. Or don’t you mind paying more tax so that Manafort can buy one more ostrich coat?

      1. “Other victims include everyone else in the country who has to pay more taxes when some individuals shirk paying what they are obliged to by law. Or don’t you mind paying more tax so that Manafort can buy one more ostrich coat?”

        That’s funny!

  7. How does guy who was paid millions to promote the criminal interests of Putin wind up as Trump’s campaign manager?

    1. They better indict this motherfucker for lying about his involvement with the Russians. The Russians broke laws to help elect Trump. Any decent American would help that investigation in every way they could. Not only are Trump and Manafort not answering questions, they’re going even lower by lying about what they know. It’s fucking ridiculous. We’ll see how it all turns out.

      1. “They better indict this motherfucker for lying about his involvement with the Russians. ”

        Oh yay more process crimes.

        1. Who are they protecting with these lies? Every lie has a motive behind it. These process crimes are being committed to coverup something else. That’s just simple logic.

          1. Oh yay more lame defenses of prosecuting process crimes.

            1. Trump is knee deep in a larger conspiracy. That’s my sense of it.

              1. Oh yay more delusional speculation to justify an investigation which thus far has produced dick and some process crimes ( great band name).

              2. OP, you have no sense. That’s the problem. Not trump.

              3. Ordinary Person|3.9.19 @ 2:02PM|#
                “Trump is knee deep in a larger conspiracy. That’s my sense of it.”

                That’s because you’re a fucking lefty ignoramus.

              4. “”Trump is knee deep in a larger conspiracy. That’s my sense of it.””

                That’s your sense of it?

                Too bad you can’t say it is because the evidence points to it.

                I think a lot of people are going to be disappointed when the Mueller report comes out.

          2. If process crimes had meaning, why did everyone around Hillary get immunity instead of being charged with them?

      2. Hey Ordinary… heres a hint. When you say something retarded, dont reply to yourself with something even more retarded.

    2. It all makes sense when you realize Drumpf has been a Russian intelligence asset since 1987.

      Fortunately Mueller will produce his final report soon and ? with the cooperation of the #BlueTsunami Congress ? Putin’s Puppet will be #Impeached.

    3. Because you just made that up out of thin air. He was paid millions to advise Ukrainian Politicians. If you go look at your map you will notice that the Ukraine is NOT Russia, And unlike Hillary, who advised Ukrainians to stay close to Putin, he advised them to work toward EU membership, and to keep Putin at a distance.

      1. “Because you just made that up out of thin air. He was paid millions to advise Ukrainian Politicians. If you go look at your map you will notice that the Ukraine is NOT Russia, And unlike Hillary, who advised Ukrainians to stay close to Putin, he advised them to work toward EU membership, and to keep Putin at a distance.”

        OP lies on a regular basis, so long as the lies support his TDS and make any D look like an angel.
        Pretty much assume any claim by OP *is* a lie until he comes up with a credible cite or someone else confirms it.

    4. So you admit to being a fucking idiot Ordinary Person? It was Ukraine, bot Russia. As far as criminal interests.. not a single charge against Manafort implies that.

  8. Thank you for drawing attention to the widespread issue of Draconian sentencing.

    People concerned about misuse of government power should also look into the conditions in our country’s prisons. The director of the BOP admitted in testimony to Congress that providing medical care is a challenge. Numerous current and former inmates report that there’s no evidence of any good faith attempt, and the reports have been consistent over decades.

    Then comes the question of preparing inmates for life after their sentences. I had a prison pen pal who’s spent her life seeking education. She started her sentence determined to make the most of it and make the most of herself. She found NO post-secondary education and a vocational program with 2 openings for 300 women. I don’t feel safer.

    More than one lawyer has estimated that 70 percent of us are guilty of federal felonies, so this doesn’t just affect strangers.

    1. I agree. One of the reasons most (well – every) countries went to lower prison sentences is because recidivism is directly correlated with time in prison (in every country on Earth). More time in prison, the more incapable one is of turning their life around and the more likely it is that they have to do so without family around either. Obviously violent crimes are different cuz part of the prison sentence is simply ‘protecting everyone else from this person’ rather than simply ‘punishment for the crime’. But the combo of long sentences and high recidivism is why the US has a permanent ‘criminal class’.

      The countries that ‘do things right’ re recidivism (Norway, Singapore, Australia) are all over the place re the severity/structure/disparities of their penal system. What none of them do however is just waste money by ‘locking them up and throwing away the key’ and then just release when time’s up. They all think of ‘punishment’ and ‘reintegration’ as separate necessary processes – and they more than fund the reintegration with shorter pointless punishment.

      1. “One of the reasons most (well – every) countries went to lower prison sentences is because recidivism is directly correlated with time in prison (in every country on Earth)”

        How about a cite for that; sounds good, but…

  9. It was surely the first time the word “blameless” has been uttered in the same breath as Manafort’s name.

    Oh brother. Most of you jerkoffs had never even heard of the guy until like a year ago.

    1. He’s dirty in the way that anyone who rises to that level is dirty, i.e. uskng influence and back door dealings to get what he wants/needs. It is a particularly blind or hypocritical person who thinks he is any different from the rest of the politerati.

      1. Manafort worked in d.c. he did nothing unique to get 4 years. His offenses could be used against half of k street.

        1. Exactly. He had lead a “blameless life” by DC standards., and it was just too obvious he was being nailed to the wall only because he’d dared to work for Trump.

      2. Your continued excuses for Trump and his circle of miscreants is cringeworthy.

        1. “Your continued excuses for Trump and his circle of miscreants is cringeworthy.”

          Tell us how wonderful the hag is, shitbag.

          1. If you’re referring to your mother, that’s rude, and she’s just OK. I had to do the heavy lifting if I’m honest.

            1. Tony, no one will ever say that about your mother. I hear she’s very enthusiastic and well motivated…

        2. Looks like the exact opposite of an excuse to me. That you think I was excusin anyone rather than simply acknowledging reality is more an indictment of your own thought process than anything else.

          More than anything it looks like you’re just bitchy because you know I totally defused your stupid criticisms of Manafort by pointing out that he isn’t unique or even notable.

          1. “Manafort is guilty” is an “excuse” to Tony, who ges salty when you call him an idiot even though he earned it.

          2. How many other presidential campaign chairs have been sent to prison? Stole $50 million? Represented vile dictators?

            You’re trying to let Trump off the hook by pretending that Manafort is just some normal case. Why waste your life in this way.

            1. “How many other presidential campaign chairs have been sent to prison?”
              Irrelevant, scumbag.

              “Stole $50 million?”
              Lie, scumbag

              “Represented vile dictators?”
              Lie, scumbagh

              “You’re trying to let Trump off the hook by pretending that Manafort is just some normal case. Why waste your life in this way.”
              Because it’s a hell of a lot better than being a fucking lefty ignoramus like you.

            2. “How many other presidential campaign chairs ”

              So you think being hyper specific proves your point and not mine?

              Lol.

            3. “You’re trying to let Trump off the hook by pretending that Manafort is just some normal case. ”

              See it actually looks like YOU are trying to implicate Trump by association. Which just proves my point AGAIN.

              1. They are fucking associated!

                Also, Trump has committed enough crimes on his own that are in the public record to send a gangster to prison for life.

                But, I beg of you, do keep defending him. I want so much for you to be vindicated for your defense of him.

                1. “Also, Trump has committed enough crimes on his own that are in the public record to send a gangster to prison for life.”

                  Lefty scumbag has an active fantasy life.
                  Plus a case of TDS and remains a sorry loser along with the hag.
                  Fuck off, slaver.

                2. “”They are fucking associated!””

                  Serious question Tony. If association makes you guilty why do you not acknowledge the Clintons should have went to jail over Whitewater?

            4. Ukraine has a vile dictator?

              1. mandatory accessory in all former soviet bloc nations…

            5. How many other presidential campaign chairs have been sent to prison? Stole $50 million? Represented vile dictators?

              Podesta did the last 2. WITH Manafort, to boot. Weird, huh?

    2. Nah, he is a sleaze.

      …but not unlike pretty much every political consultant.

      He is sleazy. He is not special.

  10. “There is a gut revulsion when one sees a rich prat get off easy while less fortunate people are railroaded daily.”

    Two words that don’t appear in this article: Hillary Clinton.

    1. This. Hillary Clinton’s name should appear in every article.

    2. Just cant quit her.

      1. To be fair, she can’t quit us either.

        It’s been two years of sitting around in her bra and panties, drinking scotch, and watching old reruns of The West Wing. If she can’t let it go, why would we?

        It’s been two years now. She still lost, and it’s still hilarious.

        1. LOL. I picture her in a muumuu and fuzzy slippers, shouting at the television.

        2. “”To be fair, she can’t quit us either.””

          The Clinton camp is still active in the anti-trump movement. Lanny Davis was Cohen’s lawyer.

  11. To emphasize the obvious – His sentence is 47 months longer than either of the Clintons, Comey, Holder, Lerner, etc.

    1. And their victims werent just the government but ACTUAL private citizens.

    1. Yet wages are incresasing…

      And sure it’s a losing streak for people who sold the stocks at a price lower than they wanted, but it’s a winning streak for those who got a bargain on the stocks they wanted.

  12. “Paul Manafort getting such little jail time for such serious crimes . . .

    —-AOC

    It’s so early in her political career, and she’s representing the Democrat political machine in New York City. If her future hasn’t already become vulnerable to the demands of corrupt public employee unions, it’s only a matter of time.

    Keep this quote of hers handy for future reference. We’ll want to revisit it if and when she’s convicted.

    1. She’s off to a good start with some campaign finance violations to her credit.

    2. Just a couple of months into her first and probably last term in office and already she his subject to 4 separate accounts of ethics violations. That has got to be a new record, especially for a dimwit who continued to tell everyone that she will fight against corruption and dirty money.
      Every time AOC opens her mouth it just confirms how truly ignorant and stupid she really is.
      She will be very lucky to last her full term, let alone win re-election in a few years.
      This is the woman who threatened Trump Jr that he had better stop criticizing her because she is a member of a body which has sopeana.
      This is the woman who told everyone that unless they come up with an alternative green plan that they are just ‘shouting from that cheap seats’ and that ‘I’m in charge’. The sheer arrogance and egotism from someone who got elected in one of the safest Democratic seats in America.
      The optics of such statements could not be worse.
      This is the woman who declared victory over Amazon for forcing them to not open a head office in her district which would have brought thousands of jobs. How the hell is this any kind of victory.

    3. Just a couple of months into her first and probably last term in office and already she his subject to 4 separate accounts of ethics violations. That has got to be a new record, especially for a dimwit who continued to tell everyone that she will fight against corruption and dirty money.
      Every time AOC opens her mouth it just confirms how truly ignorant and stupid she really is.
      She will be very lucky to last her full term, let alone win re-election in a few years.
      This is the woman who threatened Trump Jr that he had better stop criticizing her because she is a member of a body which has sopeana.
      This is the woman who told everyone that unless they come up with an alternative green plan that they are just ‘shouting from that cheap seats’ and that ‘I’m in charge’. The sheer arrogance and egotism from someone who got elected in one of the safest Democratic seats in America.
      The optics of such statements could not be worse.
      This is the woman who declared victory over Amazon for forcing them to not open a head office in her district which would have brought thousands of jobs. How the hell is this any kind of victory.

    4. Just a couple of months into her first and probably last term in office and already she his subject to 4 separate accounts of ethics violations. That has got to be a new record, especially for a dimwit who continued to tell everyone that she will fight against corruption and dirty money.
      Every time AOC opens her mouth it just confirms how truly ignorant and stupid she really is.
      She will be very lucky to last her full term, let alone win re-election in a few years.
      This is the woman who threatened Trump Jr that he had better stop criticizing her because she is a member of a body which has sopeana.
      This is the woman who told everyone that unless they come up with an alternative green plan that they are just ‘shouting from that cheap seats’ and that ‘I’m in charge’. The sheer arrogance and egotism from someone who got elected in one of the safest Democratic seats in America.
      The optics of such statements could not be worse.
      This is the woman who declared victory over Amazon for forcing them to not open a head office in her district which would have brought thousands of jobs. How the hell is this any kind of victory.

    5. Just a couple of months into her first and probably last term in office and already she his subject to 4 separate accounts of ethics violations. That has got to be a new record, especially for a dimwit who continued to tell everyone that she will fight against corruption and dirty money.
      Every time AOC opens her mouth it just confirms how truly ignorant and stupid she really is.
      She will be very lucky to last her full term, let alone win re-election in a few years.
      This is the woman who threatened Trump Jr that he had better stop criticizing her because she is a member of a body which has sopeana.
      This is the woman who told everyone that unless they come up with an alternative green plan that they are just ‘shouting from that cheap seats’ and that ‘I’m in charge’. The sheer arrogance and egotism from someone who got elected in one of the safest Democratic seats in America.
      The optics of such statements could not be worse.
      This is the woman who declared victory over Amazon for forcing them to not open a head office in her district which would have brought thousands of jobs. How the hell is this any kind of victory.

      1. Man, you sure pissed off he skwirrles…

      2. The question of what has she done for her district is fair game. So far she has done nothing expect run jobs away. I’m no fan of the deal Amazon received either. But bringing jobs to your district is a thing politicians try to do for bragging rights to get reelected.

        I think the DNC will play nice to the newbie socialists in their party because they don’t want to tip their hand that they are doing to stab them in the back and work to get more establishment dems elected.

  13. Sure, he’s a sleazy influence-peddler but did he hurt anyone?

    1. The IRS; their *bleeding*, I tell you!

      1. The IRS budget doesn’t change because someone is a tax cheat. Nor does it get its feelings hurt.

        1. Imagine my surprise!

        2. So the IRS is better than you?

    2. OMG, he was working for and supporting Donald Trump–and you have the nerve to ask if he hurt anyone?!

      What could be worse than that?

      1. And yet his crimes have absolutely nothing to do with Trump or the Trump campaign

        1. Don’t tell Tony…

  14. It has been discordant being annoyed by the “rich white guy” discount on his sentence while also not believing that all prison sentences are too harsh. I doubt his sweetheart deal will inspire mass criminal justice reform, however.

  15. The first sentence of the article refers to Manafort as a sleazebag. I didn’t read any further. This site is misnamed. Reason.com? Not hardly.

    1. Drink!

    2. He was a lobbyist for the worst dictators on earth. Are you objecting to the mildness of the term “sleazebag”?

      1. Tony|3.9.19 @ 9:03PM|#
        “He was a lobbyist for the worst dictators on earth. Are you objecting to the mildness of the term “sleazebag”?”

        Uh, no. As usual, your claim is far removed from any connection with reality, shitbag.Care to offer cites for you claim, so we can all laugh at you once again?
        You, OTOH, are the first to require hired thugs to enforce any whim which passes your fancy. Decent people opt for coercion only when all else fails. You, you pathetic piece of shit, default to it at first chance.
        You wonder why you are so despised here? There it is. No, I do not engage in small talk with fucking thugs like you, and I encourage all who post here to treat you as you so richly deserve:
        Fuck off, you pathetic piece of shit. You would gladly emulate Stalin had you the ability.

      2. “Tony|3.9.19 @ 10:03PM|#

        He was a lobbyist for the worst dictators on earth”

        That is an imbecile’s take.

  16. Lenient? I thought people were shocked that a white collar criminal got 4 years in lockup, instead of 2 in a country club prison.

    1. Yeah, 4 years in prison is a lot. It always amazes me how many people seem to think that years in prison can be in any sense a minor punishment. Long prison sentences for anyone who isn’t violent or dangerous are all unreasonable.

      1. Yeah, the guy is 70, for goodness sake. He just got sentenced to something like half his likely remaining life. At his age, a 4 year prison term could easily mean dying in prison. And that’s not even considering that his legal troubles aren’t over; He stands a good chance of never getting out of prison alive.

        It’s not at all like somebody 20 going to prison for four years, and having time after to pick up the pieces and put their life back together.

  17. Let’s put this into perspective.
    Mueller was head of the FBI when Manafort’s crimes were committed and at that time he had absolutely zero interest in these crimes. Now, 10+ years later when Manafort is linked to Trumps campaign Mueller wants him prosecuted and locked up.
    The real question here is why Manafort is actually under investigation 10+ years after the crime.
    It is obvious even to the most blind partisan hack that if Manafort had absolutely no links to Trump he would not even be a footnote in the news cycle. He is being squeezed to force him to give up any information on Trump which could help prosecute Trump.
    Trump should absolutely pardon Manafort. He is being singled out and the Podestas are being overlooked for exactly the same crimes because they are connected to the Clinton campaign

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  20. “Many compared Manafort’s sentence to Crystal Mason, a Texas woman who received five years in state prison for mistakenly voting while she was on parole.”

    No, this is simply false. I might go so far as to call it a lie. She received five years in state prison for deliberately voting while she was on parole.

    Yes, it’s true that she claimed it was a mistake. What else was she to do, confess she was guilty and throw herself on the mercy of the court? The factual elements of the case were absolutely indisputable, her only possible defense was error.

    The judge reviewed the evidence and concluded that it wasn’t a mistake. Maybe you think the judge was wrong, but you can’t just go around saying of every criminal who pleaded innocent and was convicted anyway, that they were sent to prison for being innocent.

    Well, you can, but you come across as an idiot when you do it.

  21. The entire perjury trap system is evil. Manafort is being sentenced for “crimes” committed over 10 years ago. His real crime was working for DJT for about 3 months. How many readers of this site really know what a travesty of justice this has been? He is accused of white collar crimes involving failing to register as a lobbyist and paying income taxes from his lobbying work. Wow! Over 10 years ago, none other than Rod Rosenstein (Yeah. That guy.) did not bring charges against Manafort. This was because he believed him when he said that not only did his accountant commit the crimes in question, but that the accountant STOLE millions of dollars from him in the process! He fired his accountant over the affair. Now for the bonus round. How many of your know that this same accountant (of course given immunity from prosecution) was Mueller’s star witness against Manafort? Hmmm? Buehler? Buehler? How bogus is that? The guy who actually committed the crimes gets to lie against his former employer….and lay all of the blame on him! Nice. I hope after Mueller is finished with his report that Trump will pardon Manafort. A double-standard system of justice. A strict one for conservatives or Republicans, and an unlimited get-out-jail-free no accountability justice system for demonRats, liberals, socialists, “protected classes”, and deep-staters.

    1. A definitive take on Manafort’s “crimes” and the tragic dual system of justice in this country that won’t let rich, white Republican men get a break.

      1. Lol even your idiot ass realizes they’re “crimes” and not crimes. Why waste your life shilling for Dems?

        1. I believe the US criminal justice system is who gets to determine whether they are crimes.

          If the people involved had (D)s after their names, you’d comprehend it.

          1. “I believe the US criminal justice system is who gets to determine whether they are crimes.”

            Not long ago, it was a crime to be gay, you fucking idiot.

  22. Hillary Clinton Benghazi Investigation
    4 years
    0 indictments
    0 convictions

    Hillary Clinton Email Investigation
    2 years
    0 indictments
    0 convictions

    Trump-Russia Investigation
    15 months
    34 indictments/charges (Individuals) (and counting)
    3 indictments/charges (Companies)
    5 guilty pleas (and counting)
    4 convictions (and counting)

    1. Trump-Russia Investigation
      15 months
      34 indictments/charges (Individuals) (and counting)
      3 indictments/charges (Companies)
      5 guilty pleas (and counting)
      4 convictions (and counting)

      Great! One more pile of innuendo from our resident lying piece of shit!
      That hag skates on what would have put anyone else in jail; they never bother to investigate her selling political access for bribes from foreign governments
      Yeah, Manafort was convicted of something which had nothing to do with Trump. The rest amount to speeding tickets and unpaid parking fines.
      You know that and yet you post your scummy innuendo; do you wonder why you’re held in such contempt, you fucking pile of shit?

      1. I knew you’d be along. That’s not innuendo, by the way, they’re numbers.

        1. I knew you’d never post anything honest, you pathetic pile of shit.
          And more bullshit: “That’s not innuendo,…”

          1. Lay off the Mountain Dew, bro.

            1. You’re the one exhaustively documenting process “crimes” but please don’t lay off the Dew, of there’s anyrhing libertarians love it is when idiot progs like you make the case for them without realizing it.

              1. Process crimes? What are you, Rudy Giuliani’s spittoon?

            2. “Lay off the Mountain Dew, bro.”

              Fuck off, lying scumbag. And I’m not your ‘bro’; I despise you.

              1. That only makes me more horny for you.

                1. “That only makes me more horny for you.”

                  Go suck that hag’s ass, scumbag.

        2. You do realize that none of those indictments or convictions has anything to do with the election right?

          1. Also nobody was indicted over Hillary sending work emails on a private account.

            1. Well, we didnt have an AG with epic conflicts recuse themselves there, either…

            2. Well, we didnt have an AG with epic conflicts recuse themselves there, either…

            3. “Also nobody was indicted over Hillary sending work emails on a private account.”

              Correct; now file a FOIA request for those emails.
              Oh, they were destroyed? Government property was destroyed by that hag and she walks? How….
              convenient.

              1. Those emails were subpoenaed as part of a Judical Watch lawsuit. The deletion of them is a text book case of obstruction of justice.

                Funny that people who throw the obstruction term around Trump fail to comprehend this.

            4. “”Also nobody was indicted over Hillary sending work emails on a private account.”‘

              That’s generous. You mean a private email server. A device that was not authorized to receive classified information. I get that you do not have the experience of working with sensitive information, and seem not to have the capacity to grasp it. But anyone who has work with sensitive information knows they would have went to jail if they did the same thing Hillary did.

              1. Lol.

                But Trump’s innocent as a snow angel.

                1. Nobody is saying he’s an innocent. Just he’s innocent when it comes to “collusion”.

      2. What is funny is Tony likes to pretend the FBI did a real investigation of Hillary. They went out of their way to protect her. Even changing the outcome of the report to protector her from an indictment.

      3. What is funny is Tony likes to pretend the FBI did a real investigation of Hillary. They went out of their way to protect her. Even changing the outcome of the report to protector her from an indictment.

        1. They cost her the election. You people are delusional and you need help.

          1. The FBI cost her the election?

            That’s funny.

            The IG of the FBI called out Strzok for changing the language on the report. It was done on his computer using his log in. Strzok himself said in testimony to Congress it was changed because if it was not, it would have left Hillary open to an indictment.

            Funny you call facts delusional. Not one here is surprised.

            1. You’re delusional because you watch FOX news and don’t get your facts from anywhere else. As a good liberal I must consider you a victim of propaganda, but as some point you should really grow the fuck up.

              1. Funny again. I don’t watch fox news.

                Do you dispute the congress testimony?

                “‘but as some point you should really grow the fuck up.””

                Do you have anything to say on the issue on the adult level? You have yet to display it.

              2. Also, if the FBI wrongfully interfered and cost Hillary the election. Shouldn’t they be held accountable?

    2. “Obama’s DOJ people were so dirty that they refused to prosecute their own people” probably wasn’t what you intended to highlight. That’s quite the own goal for you.

    3. You don’t think a motivated prosecutor could get some indictments on either of the Clinton things you mention if they really wanted to? That Clinton and those surrounding her are uniquely angelic creatures who have never violated any federal law or spoken an untruth to a federal investigator?

    4. So, what you’re saying is, all an administration has to do is corrupt the DOJ and they magically become innocent, no matter what we know of their behavior?

      1. Don’t be silly.

        That administration still has to have a (D) after it.

    5. It helps that Obama’s don was giving out immunity like it was Halloween for Clinton’s crew.

    6. Hey, one innocent filmmaker was imprisoned by the pressure of Obama and Clinton.

      But omelettes and eggs, amirite?

  23. We can quibble about the IRS but lying to the banks to get loans is outright theft.

    1. >>> lying to the banks to get loans is outright theft.

      alternatively banks who lend money to liars haven’t done their diligence.

  24. “Mr. Manafort was convicted of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. ”

    Political prosecution for paperwork crimes. Sounds like freedom.

    “Many compared Manafort’s sentence to Crystal Mason, a Texas woman who received five years in state prison for mistakenly voting while she was on parole.”

    When illegal immigrants subvert US democracy, it’s “mistaken”.

    I’m curious – how exactly does one “mistakenly” vote? I thought I was just eating a pumpkin pie, but it turned out I cast a vote!

    I suppose it’s possible that Manafort had been an international crime wave for decades. But it’s strange that no one noticed his criminal empire until he worked for Trump for a couple of months.

    Meanwhile, the ocean of crimes by Hillary and the Deep State which went to the heart of our democracy are entirely unpunished. Instead, the criminals are busy prosecuting the administration elected to drain them.

    Complete banana republic stuff.

    Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.

    1. Was Obama’s original Treasury Sec convicted of not paying his taxes, when he signed forms saying he did so and was paid extra specifically to pay the taxes and then blamed the whole thing on TurboTax?

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  27. total bullshit he was prosecuted for anything the 47 months is still the travesty.

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  30. “American Style Tech Snooping”? Really? The Australians were the vanguard of western-style government techno-snooping. They had the Great Firewall before China was thinking about it. If anything, the rest of the world is adopting Australian Style snooping.

  31. WOW, the TDS is extra strong in this article. He was given a sentence “that short,” because the typical sentence for similar crimes is HALF what he was actually given. He STILL got railroaded more than if he had just been some random small town businessman who got caught somehow.

    I really don’t get how even slightly libertarian leaning people can be so all in on the delusional TDS stuff. Trump is no great, flawless, political hero… But he is better than most pols. By a lot. I just don’t see how people get so enraged about him being contrary to their views, but ultimately eminently sane and reasonable, on a few things like immigration or whatever gets their panties in a twist. It’s mind blowing.

  32. Your confusion is understandable, but this blog is called The Volokh Conspiracy.

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