Other than Paul Manafort himself, no one was very happy with the sentencing hearing he had on Wednesday. Manafort will serve a total of seven and a half years in prison, which includes the time he’s already spent waiting to be tried and sentencing. For anyone who isn’t wealthy, seven and a half years for conspiracy against your country sounds a little too good to be true.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff posted on Twitter regarding the hearing, saying that it was little more than a plea for a pardon from Trump. He noted the out-of-place “no collusion” diatribe Manafort’s lawyer went on once again, just as he did during Manafort’s previous sentencing, that sounded as if it was written by Trump himself.
In short, the hearing was, as Schiff characterized it, a “barely concealed appeal for a pardon.”
Trump has yet to rule out the idea of granting Manafort a pardon and will face a massive wave of political backlash if he does. He has repeatedly referred to his former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen as a “rat,” or a person who tells on someone when they’ve committed crimes, which doesn’t exactly bode well for Trump’s chances of escaping all this unscathed. For Manafort, though, Trump offered that he “feels bad” for his former campaign manager, a man Trump has said he doesn’t know well and has distanced himself from since his indictments.
While Schiff is correct that it shouldn’t be a state attorney general’s job to clean up the mess of the federal courts, it seems that’s the way this will play out. Manafort was indicted for sixteen separate state crimes shortly after leaving the court. As NBC noted following that announcement, “a presidential pardon is ineffective against state crimes.”
Twitter was furious over the light sentence Manafort received. Read some of their comments below:
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