paul manafort

Manafort Gets Light Sentence for Tax and Bank Fraud

It could have been worse for former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort after his conviction for bank and tax fraud. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Former Trump campaign manager and veteran lobbyist for unsavory clients Paul Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in federal prison today. It could have been a lot worse for the man who earned the first criminal conviction produced by the Mueller investigation. Federal sentencing guidelines had suggested a 19-to-24-year stretch in the hoosegow for the eight charges of bank and tax fraud he was convicted of last August (the jury deadlocked on 10 other charges), and prosecutors had urged the judge to refuse anything less than that. But Virginia-based district court judge T.S. Ellis apparently found Manafort to be a sympathetic figure, as CNBC reports:

Before delivering his sentence, Ellis said that Manafort has “been a good friend to others, a generous person.”

The judge added: “He has lived an otherwise blameless life.”

That may be going a bit far, but Manafort did try to tug at some heartstrings:

Manafort, seated in a wheelchair and clad in a green prison jumpsuit during the hearing, spoke of the hardship he has faced as a prime figure in the high-profile Mueller investigation.

“The last two years have been the most difficult for my family and I,” Manafort said in his plea for compassion from the judge.

It seemed to work, but Manafort’s not out of the woods just yet, as the Associated Press noted:

Manafort still faces sentencing in the District of Columbia, where he pleaded guilty in a separate case connected to illegal lobbying.

Manafort’s legal trouble, at this point at least, hasn’t been related to the Trump campaign, but rather to his work for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Reaction to Manafort’s light sentence was mostly negative, with this observation being among the most pertinent:

And there was this:

Being a rich old white man comes with some privileges, even when he’s about to put on an orange jumpsuit.

Manafort Gets Light Sentence for Tax and Bank Fraud