One month less than 4 years, when sentencing guidelines are 24 years.
“He’s lived an otherwise blameless life,” Ellis said. The judged noted Manafort has no past criminal history and “earned the admiration of a number of people” who wrote letters to the court support Manafort.
Getting millions of dollars for helping dictators: “blameless”. Selling a few grams of coke, or a couple of pounds of marijuana: “hardened criminal”.
So people are surprised?
That fuq’n Judge Ellis smh…passing the damn buck to DC…so if DC does less…then Ellis like …what “oh well”…smh
State charge time
Gin & Tonic
Otherwise blameless, because the judicial system turned a blind eye to his crimes for how many years?
@Gin & Tonic: Scooter.
Lying to the Mueller people in contravention of the cooperation deal should have warranted more time, standing alone. Would send a message to the likes of Roger Stone if he had the same judge.
Ellis joins Roberts, Kennedy, and the RightWingFour as judges I just might spit on if I saw them on the street.
White & Gold Purgatorian
Oh good grief!! Is this the only sentence Manafort is looking at or does he still face other charges before a different judge — one who may not be a member of the old white boys’ club?
@White & Gold Purgatorian: there is another.
Manafort didn’t even express regret. And he lied to prosecutors.
Not the rignt message, Judge Ellis.
OTOH, such a short sentence, Trump may not think it’s worth the pushback to pardon. If Manafort had gotten what he deserved, Trump could have hidden behind “excessive sentencing”.
Gin & Tonic
@White & Gold Purgatorian: More next week before Judge Amy Berman Jackson.
Shouldn’t a jury sentence him, or do I not know how the justice system works?
@MazeDancer: “OTOH, such a short sentence, Trump may not think it’s worth the pushback to pardon. If Manafort had gotten what he deserved, Trump could have hidden behind ‘excessive sentencing’.”
That gets the glass-half-full award for the day.
White & Gold Purgatorian
@Gin & Tonic:
Thank you both. Keeping fingers crossed for some semblance of equal justice.
@clay: Judges sentence, unless it’s the death sentence.
@White & Gold Purgatorian: Judge Amy Jackson still to come. She can sentence him to up to 10 years, and she can make it concurrent or consecutive. And NY State hasn’t even started going after him on the charges they’ve got.
Manafort has a lot more sentencing to go. I don’t think he’s getting out of prison any time soon.
Is this the case during which he was later charged with witness tampering? I think so.
A Ghost To Most
Given the stink-eye this judge held towards the prosecution, this sentence was foreseeable.
Amy Berman Jackson, on the other hand, is PISSED.
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
For people who don’t remember Ellis is the Reagoon appointee who tried everything to help get Manafort off during his original trial.
@Baud: That’s a weird exception. The general public is competent enough to kill somebody, but not competent enough to decide how long to lock them up?
OT. No link, but David Brooks (!) just came out in favor of reparations. Srsly.
White collar crime causes far more destruction than blue collar crime, but will never, ever be punished UNLESS, as was the case with Madoff, the criminal ruins the lives of rich people.
We are living in a multi-tiered society. We have an aristocracy, and the rules are different for them.
Barbara Tuchman said: “Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant it has deposed.”
Complicated Supreme Court constitutional law principles on death penalty at play.
He came out in favor of making reparations a debate topic for the election.
@Emerald: Viva Zapata!
Last summer, I spent a day in Maidan Square in Kiev. It took me a long time to look at the photograph of each person gunned down by Manafort’s client. Please. Watch Winter of Fire about Ukraine’s fight for democracy. It’s on Netflix and well done. Really. Watch it.The bood of those people is on Manafort. Blameless???? The man as an accomplice to murder.
Between Kavanaugh and this, I’m very torn about staying here (grandchildren) and going back to beloved New Zealand.
This is a Fucking disgrace.
@MattF: no f’n way
He wants Dems to go all in on reparations ‘cause (at the moment) it is not a popular position in general and would split the Ds
Mr Stagger Lee
I wonder if there is an extradition treaty with Ukraine, I’m sure a Democratic Administration would look into it. Then again isn’t Manafort in hock to some Russian oligarchs? He better go to Protective Custody or as most prisoners call it Punk City.
@PPCLI: Folk need to come on with this…yes we know the DC court is next.
But let’s not act like this is STILL bullshit. the max the DC Judge can give is 10 correct…even concurrent, that’s 14 years…
This sentence by Ellis was bullshit…and passing the buck to the damn DC court doesn’t negate the bullshitness of this Judge’s sentencing.
A Ghost To Most
@MattF: So Brooksie is finally letting his Russian plant flag fly.
@A Ghost To Most:
here’s hoping he gets a way bigger sentence out of her.
Keep in mind that these are the kinds of judges..and young..that Trump and McConnell are packing the courts for the next decades.
F the Stein voters, the purity patrol.
It’s bullshit. WTF is wrong with Ellis. Until now Manafort lead a blameless life??? He’s a generous person?? Manafort has blood on his hands.
Hope Dems make Ellis their poster boy as to the dangers of RWNJ judges, and why elections matter
Even his daughter says their blood is on his hands. Disgraceful statement by this “judge.”
I wish I had a New Zealand to run to. I can’t stand this much longer.
@Nelle: New Zealand might be one of the few sane, actually free places left in the world. That and the Faroe Islands. Maybe Iceland.
This is the problem with our legal system:
the law – and the judges who oversee it – simply do not view white-collar crimes – all forms of fraud, pretty much – with the level of seriousness those crimes really are. These same judges will quickly throw a 16-year-old kid – it doesn’t even have to involve race, just coming from a poor family will do it, I’ve seen it here in Florida and up close – into the slammer for a DECADE at least all because they had a small bag of pot on them. And they’ll do it because “those punks” aren’t gentlemanly enough to deserve a second chance.
more often than not, the ones committing white-collar crimes come from the very elevated ranks of the upper class. they tend to be White, and they tend to be from the same social circles as the judges and politicians creating political connections that protect them later when these crooks get caught. I’m willing to bet the judge in this case looked at Manafort and considered him a potential next-door neighbor in his gated mansion community. /headdesk
This is the problem our legal system has. it’s the lack of awareness, it’s the lack of proportion, the willingness to go light on upper-income bank robbers who just happen to steal everything with suitcases instead of guns all the while crushing every low-income criminal (some of whom do deserve jail time, just not the viciousness of the legal system hitting them) for the crime of not being wealthier or politically connected.
Manafort is making a mockery of the idea of “Justice For All.” But it’s the judge and the legal system that’s giving him the punchlines.
Mike in NC
A number of people including David Dennison, Jared Kushner, Sebastian Gorka, Steve Bannon, etc.
There should be drug rehab as punishment for drug possession convictions and there should be 20-year mandatory minimums for bank fraud.
Apparently getting credit for time served already.
A Ghost To Most
@chopper: I spend way too much time watching former federal prosecutors, and they mostly were looking for a reduced sentence from this judge, because of his obvious animus towards the prosecution.
They also think (generally) that Berman Jackson is aware of this sentence, and may increase her sentence to compensate. So, perhaps we should wait and see. She may drop the hammer.
Here’s hoping Judge Ellis gets the Sarah Sanders-Stephen Miller treatment at his next dinner out.
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
Another chapter in #EconomicAnxiety
@A Ghost To Most: What fun would that be? Let’s get hysterical NOW!!!!
Mandatory minimums aren’t the best comparison for this judge because they’re . . . mandatory
republican judge covering a republican’s ass. what horseshit.
i’m sure his sentencing history is going to get a shit ton of scrutiny and it’s probably not going to look good.
We were hoping the judge would have followed the sentencing guidelines, considering how Manafort kept breaking his deals with prosecutors. If you follow Popehat on Twitter, he was projecting a 120-month sentence.
@PaulWartenberg: I don’t have to follow anybody, I know what time it is.
@lamh36: IOKIYAAR ETA, well less bad anyway. Besides Blagojevich is a funny name. Sounds kinda Foreign.
FUCK this shit. I went to IRS.gov today to download the forms I’ll need to file US taxes. Even though I owe nothing, and didn’t make a penny in the US I still have to file. Also downloaded form 8938 to report my overseas assets. This is one of the things he was found guilty of.
Went to Fincen to file my overseas assets separate from my tax forms. This is also one of the things Manafort was found guilty of; no Fincen forms. His lawyer said they were “too hard.”
A Ghost To Most
@Raven: At this point, it’s all about patience.
This is going to be exhausting enough. Breathe. Have a drink. Exercise. Smoke a bowl. Eat something good. Make something.
@A Ghost To Most: Two out of four ain’t bad.
Of course, the totus thug got this far and will still go scot-free.
What a great checks and balances system.
Amurka, fuck yeah.
@lamh36: This is fucking intolerable. What a goddamn racket.
Gin & Tonic
@Nelle: Please spell it Kyiv not Kiev.
O/T, but did you send me a message on Messenger in the last day or so? There seemed to be something slightly “off” about it, so I didn’t open it nor did I respond. If it’s legit, I’ll do both those things.
Yup, I’m gon keep on posting these articles long as folks keep talking bout “well we got DC next week”.
A Ghost To Most
@Raven: Every thing in moderation, including moderation.
Eta Different strokes for different folks
This society depends on voluntary compliance with tax laws and a hell of a lot of other things. Compliance looks stupid.
@SiubhanDuinne: No. A few of my other friends got it too. Powerball, yes? No method as to who got it.
@HeleninEire: None for me.
For the Win!
Amen to Laurence Tribe.
@JaySinWA: Blago deserved it for the helmet hair alone… //
The Midnight Lurker
Actually, I would be down with Manafort’s sentence…
…if he served it in a Ukrainian prison.
From amy do you want more pillows berman? Laughable.
An otherwise blameless life …
I guess I ought not be surprised, but instead, I’m gobsmacked, sickened, and seriously depressed that our “justice” system has come to this. Why should anyone honest have any shred of faith in our country and its institutions? On the other hand, if writing letters to a court is all that’s needed to determine a sentence, I guess I’d better buy a case or eight of ink cartridges.
As Charlie Pierce would say, “This is your democracy. Cherish it.”
Elites have decided that stopping Trump and doing what is needed to prevent this from happening again in the future can only be accomplished at an unacceptable cost in elite (and white) privilege. They’re going to ride this train to the end. If Trump and the Trumpists win, they’ll do so the same way almost every other extremist leader and movement did… not by convincing elite and majority identity groups that they are heroes but by convincing them that they are the lesser evil.
A Ghost To Most
Feel free, but it doesn’t change a thing at this point in time. Sentencing reform is needed, but won’t affect Manafort’s sentence. Berman Jackson can.
You won’t be able to savor the victories if you’re exhausted from fruitless rage.
@Raven: Good. There really has been no method. Looks like mostly Irish friends but not exclusively. And fewer than 10 that I know of.
Not sure if it makes a difference, but Blagojevich is a Democrat.
Don’t know about Powerball. Sorry your account has been hijacked, but glad I didn’t click to open. I’ll delete it.
Mike in DC
I hope he gets at least 6 years tacked on next week. Maybe if state charges get brought he’ll actually finally break.
That’s just a bizarre sentence, but as others have said Ellis didn’t seem to like the prosecution from the start, so he probably decided to get his say at the end.
While I’m hopeful that the D.C. sentencing will pile a lot more time on, it doesn’t really have any effect on how inappropriate this sentence is.
This makes me sick.
We’ve got to do something about the judges. This makes a mockery of equal justice before the law.
And here we have a Twitter thread of people getting harsher sentences than Manafort for much smaller offenses: https://twitter.com/ScottHech/status/1103815177382825995.
@A Ghost To Most: dude…I”m allowed to express my “fruitless rage”… so allow me to do that online rather than in out when I have to be at work with MAGA idiots and racist.
Maybe THIS is how I work throught that rage to be able to still smile and feel as if the system ain’t trually stacked against me and mine?
At some point this system will lose all credibility. They simply refuse to punish powerful people in any way that is remotely comparable to how ordinary people are punished. The difference is just glaring- you could see it from space.
It’s not sustainable. You can’t incarcerate and punish the way we do and then set up a special, tiny class who are immune to that.
@A Ghost To Most:
What a load of bs. Guess, we all need to just suck it up and move on?
There was also a hold-out in the jury who would not agree with on Manafort’s guilt, leading to a mistrial on 10 of the 18 counts.
Lawyers fear juries, and I’m starting to, too.
@plato: I have an idea, do whatever the fuck you want to do.
According to Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece, Cohn was also responsible for introducing Trump and Rupert Murdoch. Quite the player, that lad.
Yeah, the factor of tribal conservative white male privilege played a part in the relatively light sentence – but Ellis might have also factored in lowering the risk of tempting Trump to nullify the courts with a pardon had he given a very severe sentence. Which factor is absent, of course when he’s sentencing black dudes to stiff sentences for drug offenses.
Mueller’s handling of Manafort has been
The only sense of it I can make is that Mueller does believe he has the evidence to proceed with a broad conspiracy indictment.
OT, but still criminal. Pentagon’s going to tap $1billion from military retirement & pay for drumpfs fucking wall.
I read the other day that Exxon’s recidivism rate for environmental lawbreaking is higher than that of drug traffickers for drug dealing. They’re repeat re-offenders, Exxon. They destroy – over and over and over. They whole executive suite should be wearing the equivalent of an ankle monitor.
@Raven: I have an idea too, GFY.
The curve for Unqualified White Men is REAL ? ?
But, yeah, it is time for some muthaphuckin’ state charges
From Manafort’s prepared allocution (before sentencing)
@cmorenc: Since when can Chump be counted on to remotely do anything that folks expect that fuq’er to do?
@Amir Khalid: It makes a difference.
@oldgold: This isn’t Mueller’s. He handed Manafort charges off to the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of New York.
Next week Mueller’s charges come before Amy Berrman Jackson in DC. New York is waiting to see what VA and DC give him, and what charges didn’t stick, before they file.
@Nelle: My partner will be livid. He regularly rants about Manafort and his horrible work in Ukraine. Would love to watch Winter of Fire but need to think hard about my honey going super-critical, as in boom!
Knowing either: a) there will be an outcry and the money won’t get taken or 2) congress will appropriate additional funds to cover it.
Ellis is a solipsistic moron, it was nearly inevitable that he’d show as much leniency as humanly possible to a defendant whose only apparent defense was sucking up to Ellis. Still and all, to justify leniency because Manafort was “a good friend” and “generous person”? That’s practically insane. There are mass murderers who a generous to their friends.
Scott Hechinger @ScottHech
Who gets the 25 million? The justice system? So they’ll have sufficient funds to send a couple million more low income 19 year olds to prison for life?
Maybe the could spend it on a re-establishing a white collar crime prosecution process that looks remotely like the one the rest of us get. Hire some police, for one thing.
I believe Judge Ellis is the same judge who sentenced Rep. Jefferson for bribery.
In that case, he sentenced Rep. Jefferson to 13 years and wanted to make an example of him.
Hm. Rep. Jefferson is black, BTW.
@plato: You can’t do any better than that? You must not be THAT angry.
@Kay: I repeat: we have an aristocracy and the rules are different for them.
I dunno what anyone can do about it. Impeach the judges?
@Mike J: Congress should instead cut funding from military retirement and pay on the grounds that the Pentagon has so much excess it can’t spend it all. Then let the Pentagon scramble to move funds out of some of its bloated programs to make up the shortfall.
@lamh36: My sister in law, attorney, believes in the rule of law. She screamed at us about Marriage Equality being settled law so us gay guys had no reason to fear Trump. Rule of Law has ominous overtones for nearly every minority. Sis in Law is a clueless control worshipper. That’s all that matters.
I don’t know- I feel like they’re playing with fire with this. We incarcerate A LOT of people. Ramping up on the many while granting special leniency to the few just doesn’t seem sustainable. It’s a bad plan. This is what revolutions are made of.
Also, if I;m not mistaken, Wesley Snipes served three years for one count of MISDEMEANOR tax evasion.
@lamh36: Now now, don’t get all comparisony on us.. that would result in awful “Identity Politics” that is tearing us apart.
/s. In case you had any doubt.
I don’t know what to do either. I think people have to continue pointing it out and hope there’s some kind of general public revulsion and outcry at some point. Because it’s really just brutally unfair. You don’t have to be particularly sympathetic to low status defendants to see how unfair this has become. It’s WILDLY disparate.
You could play this game for hours. Find the poor people who got longer sentences than Manafort for lesser crimes. Tens of thousands of them. And the deference and respect with which they’re treated in these proceedings! My God, it’s like night and day with how ordinary defendants are treated. If I hear one more time about these creeps families I will scream. “Families” aren’t a concern in our justice system! No one gives a shit for regular defendants. They could be the sole support for 18 orphans and no one cares.
@MattF: This is an excellent idea. Step one is to figure up the real estate value of every parcel in America (along with the mineral rights) and write a check to every Native American descendant living today.
It’s hard to predict what Jackson will do because there was no trial in DC. and I don’t know what her track record is in these types of cases. She doesn’t seem to like Roger Stone, but he’s been given privledged treatment despite that. A good share of her career was spent in private practice. William Jefferson(DLa) was one of her clients in 2009. We’ll see if she’ll buck the system now that she’s in the exclusive club.