Manafort Sentenced to Over Seven Years in Federal Prison

Joshua Perry, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman for President Trump has been sentenced to over seven years in federal prison Thursday following his previous sentencing of 47 months a week ago after being convicted on several counts of bank and tax fraud.

The first conviction came as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, although no connection was unearthed in the Manafort case. President Trump took pains to emphasize this development.

“Both the Judge and the lawyer in the Paul Manafort case stated loudly and for the world to hear that there was NO COLLUSION with Russia,” he tweeted.

However, the sentence of nearly four years given to Manafort has astonished many across the country for its perceived leniency. Manafort’s judge, T.S. Ellis, defended the sentence, which was far short of the 25 years expected, saying that the lobbyist and aide had “lived an otherwise blameless life.”

“Go and spend a day in the jail or penitentiary of the federal government,” Judge Ellis said, according to the New York Times. “Spend a week there. He has to spend 47 months.”

But according to Franklin Foer of The Atlantic, Manafort is far from blameless. Foer said that Manafort’s sentencing is a travesty of justice.

“He had devoted his career to normalizing corruption in Washington,” Foer said. “By the time he was caught, his extraordinary avarice had become so commonplace that not even a federal judge could blame him for it.”

Junior Andrew Delmore said that he might not know enough about the case to make a judgement about Manafort’s culpability, but a clean criminal record shouldn’t be a free pass.

“Obviously in this case the judge knows more than I do, but I don’t think that just because you were ‘innocent’ besides the money laundering, tax fraud, and bank fraud you should (get) off easier,” he said. “At the end of the day he is now a convicted criminal.”

This most recent conviction is accompanied by another indictment by the State of New York, which cannot be pardoned by the president should Manafort be sentenced yet again. However, Trump still has the power to pardon Manafort for his current sentence. Delmore said that wouldn’t be ideal.

“He has been found guilty,” Delmore said, “so I would certainly hope he would stay that way.”