14 March 2019

Drop Kicked

Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced yesterday in his second federal criminal trial. The sentence effectively means he'll serve a total of about seven and a half years in prison on all federal charges (details here).

The second sentence was effectively harsher than the first one, given fewer counts were involved and a longer term was ordered, but he can serve part of this sentence concurrently with the first one. Still, the sentence is lighter than what the prosecution sought and demonstrated yet again how white collar criminals often receive lighter sentences than others do for more traditional nonviolent crimes.

Literally within hours of Manafort's second sentencing, the Manhattan district attorney announced that Manafort was being charged with sixteen counts of criminal charges under New York state law for residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy, falsifying business records, and more (details here). If convicted, his state sentence cannot be pardoned by Trump like the federal ones could be.

He could face as much as twenty-five years behind bars in state prison if he is convicted on some of the charges. And notwithstanding these charges, Manafort is still the subject of other New York criminal investigations.

Manafort's attorneys undoubtedly will try to fight these new charges. But they open an interesting new chapter in this saga and will also ensure that the criminality of Trump's campaign chair will remain in the news for months to come.

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