Color me surprised. Shocked, maybe!
Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who faced a sentence of as long as 25 years in prison, today got a 47-month prison sentence in what has been labeled one of the major surprises in the string of cases being litigated against political friends of the president.
Manafort was convicted of an array of tax and illegal lobbying charges. He cheated the country out of millions of dollars in taxes. He hid money in offshore bank accounts. He lied about it. He lobbied illegally on behalf of Ukrainian interests.
It’s all seedy and quite unseemly.
The president calls Manafort a “good person.” The judge said he had no criminal history prior to his involvement with the Trump campaign. Hmm. A lot of criminals commit single crimes in their lives and then get tossed into the slammer for the rest of their lives.
I am among many Americans who expected Manafort to get a much lengthier sentence than he got today.
Has justice been done? I suppose you could say in a technical sense that it has been done. A federal judge has wielded his substantial discretionary power in giving Manafort a light tap on the knuckles.
But . . . there’s more to come. Much more, indeed.