Paul Manafort Will Still Die in Prison

While everyone is correctly pointing out the terrible discrepancies in our criminal justice system, it is important to remember that Paul Manafort’s sentencing today is not the end of this story. Next week Manafort will appear before Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Federal district court in DC. It was Judge Jackson who ruled that Manafort had, in fact, lied, obstructed, and witness tampered in regard to the Special Counsel, his investigators, and his prosecutors post trial and conviction in her court. And it is Judge Jackson who will sentence Paul Manafort next week. Unlike Judge Ellis, who is a well known crank and who, in a properly functioning political system with two actually functional political parties concerned about the general welfare, the rule of law, and the common weal, would have been removed from the bench a long time ago, Judge Jackson is considered to be a jurist who takes her responsibilities seriously. Do not expect Judge Jackson to be lenient. And don’t expect her to ignore actual facts to state that Manafort had previously led a blameless life. Do expect her to hand down a sentence with teeth in it. It is entirely possible that Judge Ellis departed from the sentencing guidelines because he knew Judge Jackson wouldn’t. Doing something like that fits with his history of contrarianism masquerading as jurisprudence. Regardless, Paul Manafort will die in prison. And we should all be thankful for that.

Open thread!






202 replies
  1. 1
    debbie says:

    You don’t think he’ll get a pardon?

  2. 2
  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: Even if he does, charges will be brought against him by the NY state Attorney General and the District Attorney in Manhattan.

  4. 4
    plato says:

    That’s some serious wishful thinking, dude.

  5. 5

    A Black guy caught with a bag of weed would have gotten more time. Shit.

  6. 6
    MomSense says:

    I hope you’re right because the Ellis sentence was a farce. I’m so angry. I work with people who have done much more time for far less.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Correct. Shamefully on all of us for allowing it to be done in our names so.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I like it when federalism works for us for once.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    One can hope that criminal justice reform will get a boost from this.

  10. 10
    daryljfontaine says:

    I mean, it looks like a ready-made plank for any Democratic candidate’s platform: tough on white-collar crime.

    D

  11. 11
    lamh36 says:

    no offense, but i’m not comforted about the hope/possibility of a 70 year old man possibly dying in prison after 14 years (the assumption is that he dies either by another inmates hand or old age?) as opposed to say a 34 year old being sentenced to 20-30 years or even life for less offense that 70 year old Paul Manafort.

    Not comforting at all.

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Updated with the appropriate imagery up top.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: Stayaets Raahtz!

  14. 14
    Eolirin says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Much improved, thank you.

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: And getting rid of lifetime appointments for Federal judges.

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: It isn’t meant to be comforting.

  17. 17
    hilts says:

    @soledadobrien
    Black lady who voted accidentally got more time than Paul Manafort.

    @AdamSerwer
    They jailed 16 year Kalief Browder for three years over charges related to a stolen backpack.

    @Rob_Flaherty
    Two weeks ago a black Mississippi man was given 12 years in prison for possessing marijuana that he bought legally in Oregon

  18. 18
    Miss Bianca says:

    Boy, I hope you are right, Adam.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m definitely warm to the idea, but I don’t know if it really helps fix the problem of something like this happening. A new term limited judge can be just as awful as an old lifetime appointed judge.

  20. 20
    lamh36 says:

    @AdamSerwer
    2h2 hours ago
    More
    They jailed Kalief Browder for three years over charges related to a stolen backpack.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Also, I don’t think the Special Counsel is going to be finishing any time soon:

  22. 22
    Alan in Pa says:

    That cat is super awesome!
    All else is human based bullshit..

  23. 23
    lamh36 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: saying Manafort will STILL die in prison is mean to be what then?

    seems to me it’s to say, yeah, this was a bum deal, but at least…

    which is meant to be comforting…is it not?

    Not trying to be a B-I-T-C-H about it, but IJS

  24. 24
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    here’s some good, or at least amusing, news for anyone who missed it

    NatashaBertrand
    Cohen sues for $1.9 million, says the Trump Org paid his legal bills through May 2018 but stopped in June 2018 “without notice or justification” just after he started telling friends and family that he’d cooperate with Mueller and SDNY.

    I gotta think this is pure Lanny Davis (whose own lobbying career is pretty horrid, as I understand, but I’ll accept most co-belligerents these days)

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: True, but you don’t have to wait as long to replace them.

  26. 26
    lamh36 says:

    @SamWangPhD
    Follow Follow @SamWangPhD
    More Sam Wang Retweeted John Cassidy
    One in six circuit court judges in America is now a Trump appointee.

    Reason #99999999 why GOP are sticking with Chump

  27. 27
    JGabriel says:

    Adam L. Silverman @ Top:

    … [Judge Ellis] is a well known crank … who, in a properly functioning political system with two actually functional political parties concerned about the general welfare, the rule of law, and the common weal, would have been removed from the bench a long time ago …

    Unfortunately, this is exactly the type of judge Mitch McConnell is filling the US judiciary with.

    I am appalled and disgusted with this ruling. It’s sickening.

    And I am heart-broken for our country and our democracy. While Berman Jackson may rule more justly when she sentences Manafort, it is clear that her type of jurisprudence will become rare in this country going forward – and the MAGAt-hatted, Fox News watching, non-just rulings from ‘judges’ like Ellis will only become increasingly more common as McConnell fills the federal bench with his ilk.

  28. 28
    randal m sexton says:

    @daryljfontaine: a very good point

  29. 29
    Just Chuck says:

    @lamh36: Manafort sold out this country. I’d be happy if he died immediately.

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @lamh36: thought experiment, if the evil genie who gave trump this election had told McConnell and Ryan they could have tax cuts or judges, but not both, what would they have chosen, I think it would’ve been a split vote, then McConnell would have slit Ryan’s throat and said, “Judges”

  31. 31
    JaySinWA says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I thought he was planning to leave the rest of the homework to DAs as an “exercise to the reader”. And boy is he dumping a lot of reading material on them. He might just bankrupt Stone with the legal fees to find the ponies in that document dump though.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    @daryljfontaine:

    I mean, it looks like a ready-made plank for any Democratic candidate’s platform: tough on white-collar crime…

    …followed by the second plank: en masse pardoning of any/all non-violent drug crime offenders. Okay, any/all weed offenses. Seriously, just put ’em all in a database* and throw the switch on Day 2

    *or use the one they’re already in…or whatever…

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: It was meant to be a response to everyone freaking out that he was getting off lightly. Not all the sentencing is done. He’ll get a lot more next week in DC. And then he’ll face prosecution in NY. That’s the point of the post.

  34. 34
    cmorenc says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    @Baud: And getting rid of lifetime appointments for Federal judges.

    The proper solution would be to term-limit federal judges (including SCOTUS justices) to a substantial, but less than lifetime appointment, e.g. 20 years, and NOT make the position elective or in any way vulnerable to political intervention, short of impeachment for criminal activity. The founding fathers had the right general idea to insulate the federal judiciary from political meddling as best they could – the part they got wrong was doing so by lifetime appointments rather than merely by giving them lengthy, but term-limited (and non-renewable) appointments of e.g. 20 years. They understood in doing so that some hacks would slip in, but hoped that a substantial and strategic enough bulk of the appointments would be on nonpartisan, non-ideological merit that the system would work far better than elected judges/justices.

  35. 35
    notoriousJRT says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Not a double jeopardy issue for NY state prosecutions? I hope you are right, Adam. If anyone ever deserved to do the time, it is Paul J. Manafort. He and Cohen are such glaring examples of the “quality” of individuals attacted to Trump (and the sort of souless greed monsters with which Trump surrounds himself). I weep from anger and sorrow alike.

  36. 36
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @cmorenc: Yep.

  37. 37
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And getting rid of lifetime appointments for Federal judges.

    I’m good with this. Let Ellis be a rallying cry for the Democr…oh, who am I kidding but it’s worth a try. We’ll never (quite) match the RWNJs’ fervor for judicial appointments, but if we can get even a fraction of our side more motivated, pull in a few blessed ‘swing’ voters with this, then yeah, let’s add it to the list.

  38. 38
    Raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Forget it Jake. . .

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @notoriousJRT: No, because there were a lot of things that the Special Counsel did not charge him with involving tax evasion and other frauds that can be prosecuted in NY state and Manhattan where he committed these crimes. Also, the Attorney General for DC may get in on the action.

  40. 40
    NotMax says:

    What a sadistic way to put it, in the headline. Brutality is not your usual style.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Raven: It is what it is.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: Blunt is sometimes necessary.

  43. 43
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: Yea, this dickhead thought to too:

    “That’s some serious wishful thinking, dude.”

  44. 44
    JGabriel says:

    cmorenc:

    … The founding fathers had the right general idea to insulate the federal judiciary from political meddling as best they could – the part they got wrong was doing so by lifetime appointments rather than merely by giving them lengthy, but term-limited (and non-renewable) appointments of e.g. 20 years. They understood in doing so that some hacks would slip in, but hoped that a substantial and strategic enough bulk of the appointments would be on nonpartisan, non-ideological merit that the system would work far better than elected judges/justices.

    I think the founding fathers were a bit more cynical than that. I think they hoped – planned, really – that the hacks on each side would be balanced by hacks on the other side.

    Republicans have broken and ruined that assumption by gaming the system to appoint a majority of the judges, and by developing a monopoly on partisan, ideological, judicial hacks.

  45. 45
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Plus, he appears to be a rapidly and badly aging 70. Judge could have given him 100 years; Manafort would still be dead in fifteen.

    Actually, maybe Paulie can hope to see freedom in his late 80s, only to see infirmity and misery diminish that hope.

  46. 46
    hilts says:

    @JGabriel: @Jeffro:

    This makes it all the more imperative that Democrats flip the Senate in 2020 along with beating Trump’s fat totalitarian ass.

    And getting rid of lifetime appointments for Federal judges.

    Yes to this and also getting rid of that goddamn Electoral College.

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I smiled when I saw it too. I love when they sue one another. Although- anyone who doesn’t get the money up front when working for the Trump family is…not getting paid. But Cohen probably didn’t do any real work anyway, so it’s still enjoyable.

    I was thinking today the Trump Family hires in the federal government are the first Trump Family hires who don’t have to sue to get paid.

  48. 48

    @cmorenc: Good idea and good luck amending the Constitution to make it happen.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Lapassionara says:

    It was the “otherwise blameless life” comment that just seemed so clueless and wrong, given the testimony at the hearing. How do citizens keep putting up with the injustices doled out by the courts, when some judges are so unjudgelike?

  51. 51
    Aleta says:

    Scott Hechinger @ScottHech

    16-year-old Kalief Browder was jailed on Rikers for 3.5 years, *pretrial,* for allegedly stealing a backpack. Committed suicide when released. City just settled for a paltry $3.3 million. Meanwhile cash bail still exists, Rikers still open, & 89% jailed there are Black or Latino.

    Matthew Charles was released after 21 of his 35 year sentence for crack sale. Got a job, began volunteering, reconnected w/ family. The prosecution appealed. He was thrown back in jail. Fortunately, just released again. But should have never gone back.

    To be clear: I’m not advocating here or anywhere for worse treatment for all. Just wish my clients received same treatment as the privileged few. Wrote about this in context of Manafort, Cohen, & other Trump allies in @nytopinion

    Reposted from thread below:

    Scott Hechinger @ScottHech

    For context on Manafort’s 47 months in prison, my client yesterday was offered 36-72 months in prison for stealing $100 worth of quarters from a residential laundry room.

    My colleague’s client today was forced to plead out to the mandatory minimum of 3.5 years (5 months shy of Manafort) for simple possession of a firearm. No allegation of use. Prosecution wouldn’t drop top count after a hearing. Best they had been willing to do was 2 years.

    Also from Scott Hechinger:

    15 years in prison for drug possession. You shouldn’t need more info than that to be outraged. But then learn: Juanita is a mother of 6. Her 18 year old is now head of household. Raising 5 kids. Crime is not even a felony in Oklahoma anymore.

    OK Justice Reform: Juanita has been apart from her six children for 28 months. Commutation would give her a second chance. #ProjectCommutation: Juanita Peralta’s Story

  52. 52
    notoriousJRT says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks. I will hold on to the hope tha Manfort gets a much deserved keelhauling at the hands of the state of NY.

  53. 53
    Ruckus says:

    @cmorenc:
    Do remember when the founders did that the average life span was much less. That was your term limits. But the average life span has gone up considerably and people with decent health care can last a lot longer than average.

  54. 54
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Holy cow, 2.2M. A case of printer paper is 20k sheets, so Rog is gonna need a bigger boat.

  55. 55
    plato says:

    "People are like 'It's Mueller's master plan!' I'm like, 'What plan?! The plan where agencies are purged and the courts are packed with people who will stop anything from actually being done with the Mueller report? What an amazing plan!" — @gaslitnation https://t.co/0zQITxCnCg— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) February 20, 2019

  56. 56
    Raven says:

    @Ruckus: Here’s hopin!

  57. 57

    @trollhattan: It’s 2k sheets per case*, he’s gonna need a much, much bigger boat.

    *When you work in litigation support, you know these numbers(that’s for letter size).

  58. 58
    plato says:

    The statement by Paul Manafort’s lawyer after an already lenient sentence — repeating the President’s mantra of no collusion — was no accident. It was a deliberate appeal for a pardon.One injustice must not follow another.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 8, 2019

  59. 59
    Searcher says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m fairly certain that if push came to shove you could get a 5-4 ruling out of the current Court that capital gains taxes are unconstitutional.

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: I’d just be happy if they made him wear pants.
    https://twitter.com/ZackBornstein/status/1103727096361213952

  61. 61
    The Dangerman says:

    For these crimes, Manafort was probably never going to do more than 2 years anyway (he likely gets a pardon early on 1/20/21, along with a shitload of other people).

    As for state crimes, we shall see. I expect Manafort dies in prison (or dies early out of it from some form of violence).

  62. 62

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’d just be happy if they made him wear pants.

    Wait, is that a thing now? Did anyone inform Cole or Baud?

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I found the tweet because Cole retweeted it. Just be glad I posted the link instead of embedding it.

  64. 64
    Aleta says:

    PresidentialHarassHat @Popehat
    Retweeted emptywheel

    emptywheel @emptywheel

    Note, even if ABJ gives Manafort the max she can, and makes it consecutive, he will still be sentenced than less than what guidelines for EDVA case said.

  65. 65
    Dan B says:

    Just looked at Joe My God blog post about Manafort’s sentence. 400 comments (of outrage) already. Pretty good for a top tier gay blog. The usual count is 90 comments in an hour. 400 is a good sign of the level of outrage.

  66. 66
    Ohio Mom says:

    @JGabriel: Maybe also the founding fathers were thinking in terms of shorter lifespans on average?

    ETA: I see that Ruckus is a faster typist than I am.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @Lapassionara:

    Most citizens don’t come before them, so no one really knows the extent of the horror. Sometimes jurors are horrified, though. That’s happened here, where they were really shaken because the judge was bonkers and blatantly biased or just crazy as a loon. NOT what they expected.

  68. 68
    lamh36 says:

    Once again, we are living a in a Chappelle Show Skit.

    “In an alternate universe, drug dealer Tron Carter and a white businessman experience the justice system in very different ways.”
    https://youtu.be/HeOVbeh2yr0

  69. 69
    trollhattan says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    My bad, it’s 10k sheets: 20 reams/case, 500 sheets/ream. 20k pages/case if double-sided.

  70. 70
    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’d just be happy if they made him wear pants.

    Damn, shouldn’t that come with a warning or something (brain bleach coupon, etc.)? I didn’t know they made male thongs (maybe he borrowed from his wife).

  71. 71
    donnah says:

    I think, speaking for myself, that today’s verdict was just another slap in the face of justice. It’s another case of Trump’s “side” getting a win instead of a truly rotten character having to pay for his crimes. I am at the point now where I am losing hope that Mueller’s report will make any difference. I’m just burned out of hope.

    So I do wish Manafort would die in prison and I don’t feel the least bit guilty for wishing it. I’m sick of the bad guys winning.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aleta: Oh good, EmptyWheel has now invented math. I don’t know how much longer I could have gone on without it.

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: the “make him wear pants” wasn’t warning enough?

  74. 74
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Sorry to be a party pooper but I’ve read it is a photoshop. Wrong shaped head for one thing.

    But it is easy to imagine that Stone would sport a thong, isn’t it?

  75. 75

    @trollhattan: It’s 2,000 pages per a bankers box(letter size), I believe it is 1,800 legal size.

  76. 76
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ohio Mom: Or less.

  77. 77
    daryljfontaine says:

    @trollhattan:

    My bad, it’s 10k sheets: 20 reams/case, 500 sheets/ream. 20k pages/case if double-sided.

    Mueller to Stone: “Dear Roger, I. :clap: HAVE. :clap: THE. :clap: RECEIPTS. :clap:

    D

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    “Packing the courts” is starting to look better and better, huh? :)

    Asawin Suebsaeng
    ‏Verified account
    @swin24
    6h6 hours ago
    More
    We should pack the Supreme Court until we get to the point that I’m on it

  79. 79
    MJS says:

    I know this is ridiculously optimistic, but Paul Manafort is in jail. He will be there for at least 4 more years. He will probably get more time next week. His time in prison, and his money, will be spent fighting charges from the SDNY. His life will suck, especially in comparison to what it used to be. I agree it’s outrageous, and unfair, but if someone told me 2 years ago that this would be the outcome for Manafort, I’d have taken it. The tide on this shit is turning, however slowly.

  80. 80
    trollhattan says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    I’m talkin’ raw materials, not stuff wut done been printed, reviewed, marked up, stuffed in banker boxes (2.25 cu ft ea) and shipped off to Iron Mountain. What the folks in repro deal with.

  81. 81
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I see even Adam couldn’t calm the mob..

    The Moar You Know had it right.

    Hyphen-Americans are only interested in the grievances of their fellow hyphen-Americans. Tribes will destroy America.

    I’d rather hang with Americans. FIDO.

    You can go back to your pointless snarling now.

  82. 82
    trollhattan says:

    @daryljfontaine:
    Heh. Rog knows he’s toast and at this point is pondering doing a Ken Lay after he’s convicted. I doubt the closets at Club Fed are sufficiently large.

  83. 83
    Lapassionara says:

    @Kay: that’s good to know. But I am just bereft at what I am seeing daily in the courts.

  84. 84
    Kay says:

    @amyklobuchar
    3h3 hours ago
    More
    My view on Manafort sentence: Guidelines there for a reason. His crimes took place over years and he led far from a “blameless life.” Crimes committed in an office building should be treated as seriously as crimes committed on a street corner. Can’t have two systems of justice!

    It’s catching on!

    Now we just need 50 more. 59, technically, I guess.

  85. 85
    MJS says:

    @donnah: Not being convicted would have been “winning”. Hearing “You are hereby sentenced to time served” would have been “winning”. 4 years in prison may not be nearly enough, but it’s not “winning”.

  86. 86
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Baud:

    That’s what I was just thinking. These tweets are very powerful.

  87. 87
    Aleta says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Why the sarcasm toward that point? Popehat and Wheeler add to tonight’s discussion on the internet that, even if we could assume the maximum possible sentence next week, the total sentence for the two will still be less than the minimum recommended for this one.

    Outrage today is justified. It’s not the same as freaking out. We all hope for the best later, but nothing is certain til it happens. This blog is a good place to react to a bad ruling.

    * Laurence Tribe @tribelaw

    Manafort’s 47-month sentence in ED Va is outrageously lenient. Judge Ellis has inexcusably perverted justice and the guidelines. His pretrial comments were a dead giveaway. The DC sentence next week had better be consecutive.

    * 


Calling Manafort’s life of criminal collaboration with murderous dictators and of stealing tens of millions of dollars from American taxpayers “otherwise blameless” is a sick joke. It’s as though Judge Ellis himself was angling for the pardon Trump dangled in front of Manafort.
    *
    *

    Laurence Tribe Retweeted Lisa Fitzgerald
    *
    Lisa Fitzgerald @LisaFitzzzzz
Replying to @tribelaw @thisisrobsmith 
I am Ukrainian with relatives in the Ukraine. Ukrainians died because of Manafort. Ukraine is being destroyed and that comes with Manafort’s help.

    *
    * 
Right! Calling Manafort’s crimes nonviolent is itself not just tone-deaf but utterly ignorant. That greedy, inhumane felon has blood on his hands for sure, however often he tries to wash them. It’ll serve him right for Trump to withhold the pardon he’s so temptingly dangled.

    



  88. 88

    @trollhattan: The largest box of paper from Office Depot is 5k pages, standard box is 2k.

  89. 89

    What other blogs do people find insightful. I think I need to diversify my online diet.

  90. 90
    Pete Downunder says:

    Here in the land downunder judges at all levels including the High Court (our Supreme Court) must retire at 70. They get full pension if they have served 10 years so most are appointed when under 60. They are appointed by the government of the day (either state or federal) and govt is usually guided by bar association recommendations so we get few real nut jobs or extremists.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aleta: Popehat is actually an attorney, a former Federal prosecutor now doing defense work in fact. EmptyWheel has a PhD in English literature.

  92. 92
    lamh36 says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    …Hyphen-Americans are only interested in the grievances of their fellow hyphen-Americans. Tribes will destroy America.

    I’d rather hang with Americans. FIDO.

    https://media1.tenor.com/images/5ec4d6f738796b0d3f631861e4516bc9/tenor.gif?itemid=9980425

  93. 93
    zhena gogolia says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I think tweets have taken over from blogs. The problem is that I have no intention of tweeting myself, so I don’t get to participate in the conversation. But I regularly read the tweets of Asha Rangappa, Jon Zal, Kyle Griffin, Adam Parkhomenko, and Mrs. Betty Bowers (most of whom I was led to by comments here).

  94. 94
    zhena gogolia says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    For example, I just read this on Asha Rangappa:

    More Asha Rangappa Retweeted Stephen White
    Chin up, Stephen! Don’t forget that a *Trump appointee* appointed a Special Counsel who has brought 199 charges against 37 individuals — 7 of whom are directly in the Trump campaign’s. The House is conducting oversight. Lawyers and the FBI are fighting. Long game, man.💪🏾⚖️🇺🇸Asha Rangappa added,
    Stephen White
    Verified account

    @sgw94
    Meh. I don’t know how anybody could look at the last two years and still give a full throated endorsement of this notion of “the rule of law.” If anything, these Trump years have exposed the fact that “the rule of law” has always been a farce, especially for rich white people. …
    61 replies 104 retweets 566 likes

  95. 95
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    That’s just not true, though. Those who reached adulthood lived about as long as we do now.

  96. 96
    Juju says:

    Didn’t Wesley Snipes get sentenced to three years for some misdemeanor tax evasion? I wonder why he got almost as much time as Manafort for lesser crimes? Hmmmm.

  97. 97
    zhena gogolia says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Kyle Griffin

    Verified account

    @kylegriffin1
    3h3 hours ago
    More
    The headline should still be that the former campaign chairman to the President of the United States was just sentenced to 47 months in prison and could face an even longer sentence after next week.

  98. 98
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: This is what we consider a standard box.

  99. 99
    oldgold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I concede emptywheel is often too weedy and lacks a strong legal background, but in covering this matter, all things considered, she has substantially added to the discussion.

  100. 100
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Pete Downunder: Yeah, but you have like 12 types of poisonous spiders.

  101. 101
    Another Scott says:

    @Ohio Mom: Infant mortality was a huge thing back then.

    Franklin: 84
    Adams: 90
    Jefferson: 83
    Jay: 83
    Madison: 85

    Etc.

    I agree that lifetime appointments to the federal courts are another feature of our system that needs to be revised. (But elected judges are another abomination.)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  102. 102
    HeleninEire says:

    I am seething MAD. That plus I’m +3 means I should get the hell off the internet. Yeah fuck it.

    Tonight we have White Boy Josh Marshall trying to convince us that 4 years is a lot. He tells us we only think it’s not because all the other sentences in America before this were way too much. Thank you for playing Josh and where have you been the last 50 years?

    When I was new in the workforce (30? years ago) someone started “Bring your daughter to work day” because women were not represented in the workforce. The SHIT HIT THE FAN. “Oh, my stars” said all the White Boys. “What about the boys??” You know; all those boys who have been neglected in the workforce. And now it’s “Bring your children to work day”

    It’s the exact same as what happened with Black Lives Matter. All of a sudden all the White Boys are offended. “All lives matter” they said. And they were full of shit. Only when THEY were excluded did they bitch.

  103. 103
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Paul Manafort will die in prison

    I’d prefer a fire.

  104. 104
    Jay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    It wasn’t a boast, it was a suggestion for judicial reform.

    And there’s way more than 12.

  105. 105
    plato says:

    "We are two years into this. The problem has not been that we don't know what happened. It happened right in front of our eyes. The problem is accountability and an unwillingness to confront this crisis with the assertiveness needed." — @GaslitNation https://t.co/cvXPvhnro6— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) March 7, 2019

  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Juju: Correct. And it is a puzzlement!

  107. 107
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @oldgold: I’m not going back down this rabbit hole with anyone. I’m just going to end with this discussion I had with my Mom last week:

    The Mominator: I’ll be home early from synagogue this week.
    Me: Why?
    The Mominator: They’re having a talk on what’s going on in the Middle East.
    Me: The GI doctor who is tied to AIPAC?
    The Mominator: Yes, which is why I’m not staying after services.
    Me: Since the GI doctor is going to give another talk about the Middle East, do you think the rabbis would be interested in having me give a talk about colorectal cancer?
    The Mominator: Eyes roll loud enough to be heard in Australia.
    End scene.

  108. 108
    NotMax says:

    As we’re peripherally discussing the setting aside of guideline, let us remember that the supposed inability to indict a sitting president is also a guideline.

    Just now on O’Donnell’s show, one of the jurors in the Manafort case actually said she had voted for Dolt 45, would do so again, and that when she voted (word for word) “there were no Russians at the polls” so therefore no influence.

  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: Are you implying that John Adams killed 90 babies? I knew I shouldn’t have slept through early American history.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    “Until he was arrested for murder, Ted Bundy had lived an otherwise blameless life!”

  111. 111
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Be careful what you ask for.

    ;)

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Honestly, it is more likely to be a shiv as a result of a contract originating somewhere in a former Soviet state.

  113. 113
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: Welcome to my TedTalk: The Duodenom: The Secret Weapon of the Gastrointestinal System

  114. 114

    @NotMax: So it’s A-OK to buy an election, just don’t show up at the polls.

  115. 115
    Skepticat says:

    @JGabriel:

    … it is clear that her type of jurisprudence will become rare in this country going forward – and the MAGAt-hatted, Fox News watching, non-just rulings from ‘judges’ like Ellis will only become increasingly more common as McConnell fills the federal bench with his ilk.

    This. And this and the hideously painful stories of totally irrational sentences for “normal” people are driving me to a very strong drink in a very short time.

  116. 116
    JR says:

    @JGabriel: I think we give the founders a little too much credit. They deserve plenty, but it’s worth mentioning that Thomas Jefferson, for example, was pretty ardent supporter of the French Revolution, which was happening contemporaneously with the ratification of the Constitution.

  117. 117
    Pete Downunder says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yeah, and also of the 10 deadliest snakes in the world we have all 10. All so the deadliest jelly fish, crocs, sharks…..

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @HeleninEire:

    He tells us we only think it’s not because all the other sentences in America before this were way too much.

    Are you really arguing that the American justice system doesn’t overcharge defendants and then impose draconian sentences on those who are convicted? You just came back from living in an EU country; you should know better.

  119. 119
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Oleg ain’t getting his $19 million back, may be he’ll settle for a pound of flesh.

  120. 120
    JR says:

    @Brickley Paiste: That’s not actually true, either. Infectious disease was a big deal in the pre-antibiotic era. Here’s a good way to visualize that data (England only, but it can probably be generalized to the west).

  121. 121
    Yutsano says:

    @Pete Downunder: There isn’t anything in the Constitution that would keep us from enacting something similar now. That’s all a matter of statute. Same as number of justices on the Court. It’s definitely the branch where Congress has the most wiggle room to mess with it.

  122. 122
    Jay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No, she’s pointing out that he’s a moron.

  123. 123
    NotMax says:

    @JR

    Like the Articles of Confederation, it looked good on paper.

    ;)

  124. 124
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: The only way an attempt isn’t made on Manafort is because he’s going to a Federal minimum security prison and not a SuperMax or a place like Rikers in the NY state system. If he was going to a prison like that, they’d have to keep him in solitary for his own protection. They may still have to.

  125. 125
    Jay says:

    @Yutsano:

    And, it can also start at the State level.

  126. 126
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    What other blogs do people find insightful. I think I need to diversify my online diet.

    I like Juanita Jean’s – The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon for all things Texas. I love Shower Cap – the man can turn a phrase. Brad DeLong’s Grasping Reality for economics. Informed Comment – Juan (the other) Cole’s website is a must for all things Middle East and Asia. Brad’s Blog is excellent for voter fraud issues. Digby, Emptywheel, Driftglass, Daily Kos, Buzzflash, and Crooks and Liars are all excellent.

    Oh… and there’s a really weird one I like called Balloon Jizz or something.

  127. 127
    Lyrebird says:

    @Baud:

    One can hope that criminal justice reform will get a boost from this.

    This, THIS, one hundred times this!!!

    Can we archive the video of Mr. Stone’s arrest, Judge Jackson agreeing that Mr. Manafort could come to court in a suit, etc., and just say okay from now on, anyone suspected of a crime, this is the new minimum standard for how they should be treated? PRETTY PLEASE?

    Sigh.

    Back to reality, but seriously, from your lips to the FSM’s ears, Baud!

  128. 128
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JR: to say nothing of that whole problematic relationship with his wife’s sister and their children…

  129. 129
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    They will. Theres lots of Bratsva in Federal Minimum.

  130. 130
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: I’m sure.

  131. 131
    HeleninEire says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No. I am arguing that Josh is way too late with his argument. Did you read my other examples?

  132. 132

    @The Midnight Lurker: To make things more confusing, Juan Cole’s given name is John R. Cole.

  133. 133
    Adam L Silverman says:

    I’m just now getting to the interview that O’Donnell did with the Manafort juror who is a big supporter of the President. That woman is dumb as a stump.

  134. 134
    NotMax says:

    @The Midnight Lurker

    Jeeze, haven’t been to Crooks and Liars in years.

    Back when I was actively blogging and also guest blogging at someone else’s place, several of my posts at the latter made it to the ‘daily highlight’ (or whatever it was called) section at C&L.

  135. 135
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: You never see him and Cole together. Coincidence? I think not…

    Even more coincidence: I’ve written for Juan Cole’s site.

  136. 136
    Aleta says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yet he believed that quoting her added something relevant.

  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @HeleninEire: Yes, I did.

  138. 138
    Juju says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m baffled.

  139. 139
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Rikers is a City facility, not State. Manafort won’t end up there.

  140. 140
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Fun fact: the first Black man to be elected to California’s state legislature was Jefferson’s great-grandson:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Madison_Roberts

  141. 141
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Reality is pretzel-shaped in her world, ain’t it?

  142. 142
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That wasn’t my point and you know it. And if he’s prosecuted by the Manhattan DA, as has been reported, he might.

  143. 143
    HeleninEire says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I think you and I agree. Maybe it’s in the semantics.

    ETA: Please stop telling me what I should know better.

  144. 144
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: She is what she is.

  145. 145
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: What about Plum Island? Can we send Manafort there?

  146. 146
    Jay says:

    @HeleninEire:

    “Tonight we have White Boy Josh Marshall trying to convince us that 4 years is a lot. He tells us we only think it’s not because all the other sentences in America before this were way too much. Thank you for playing Josh and where have you been the last 50 years?”

    Can you point me to this?

  147. 147
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: That facility has been closed, IIRC.

  148. 148
    HeleninEire says:

    @Jay: On his Twitter. I don’t know how to link.

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @HeleninEire:

    Please stop telling me what I should know better.

    Got it. Obviously I made a bad assumption.

  150. 150

    @Adam L Silverman: Juan Cole and overlapped for a year at UCLA my senior year.

  151. 151
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: This much coincidence takes a lot of planning!

  152. 152
    Aleta says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    How about the Farallones ?

  153. 153
    NotMax says:

    @HeleninEire

    Spoke today with Mom, living practically within spitting distance of you, who said it’s been really, really cold and there’s too much ice on the streets and sidewalks to venture out. How you holding up?

  154. 154
    HeleninEire says:

    @NotMax: I’m fine. Brought my former next neighbor (now across the street from me) groceries. She’s 78 amd fell down last week.

    Where is your Mom? Can I bring her something?

  155. 155
    NotMax says:

    @HeleninEire

    Thanks for asking. She’s cool (no pun intended).

  156. 156
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @Lapassionara: Seems like fertile ground for a Twitter meme: John Wilkes Booth: other than the incident at the Ford’s Theater, an otherwise blameless life.

  157. 157
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Nah! Sharks won’t eat Manafort – professional courtesy.

    I got it! We’ll get the French to reopen Bagne de Cayenne!

  158. 158
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Adam L Silverman: now that’s one weird trick

  159. 159
    different-church-lady says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Stone promptly publishes all of it on his website…

  160. 160
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @different-church-lady: Instagram.

  161. 161
    chopper says:

    @Aleta:

    exactly. i don’t see what’s wrong with what she wrote. so she isn’t a lawyer, neither are any of the FPers here but they’re still opining on this issue.

    popehat thinks she made a really good point. what’s the problem again?

  162. 162
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @JR:

    Huh. TIL.

  163. 163
    Aleta says:

    Elie Honig @eliehonig

    A below-guidelines sentence would’ve been perfectly fair but 47 months is a joke. Steal millions from US Government, violate bail, get convicted by jury, fake cooperate, lie to prosecutors, refuse to accept responsibility – and get an enormous break. That’s an unjust sentence.


    *

    southpaw @nycsouthpaw
    * 
I don’t know if a below guidelines sentence for Manafort is just. I know Judge Ellis repeatedly put a heavy thumb on the scale to undermine the government in front of the jury during the trial, and saw eight convictions come back anyway.


  164. 164
    Kay says:

    “And most importantly,” he added, “what you saw today is the same thing that we had said from Day 1: There is absolutely no evidence that Paul Manafort was involved in any collusion with any government official from Russia.

    What a weirdly specific and narrow denial. By the end of this they’re going to be saying “there is no evidence we worked with Vladimir Putin, personally”.

    The Trump Administration would love if they could do this:

    Russia’s parliament has approved a controversial law that allows courts to jail people for online “disrespect” of government or state officials, including the president, Vladimir Putin.

    They’d extend it to include Fox News anchors.

  165. 165
    Jay says:

    @HeleninEire:

    We are quick to outrage.

    Josh Marshall’s twitter feed is 99% ripping on the Judge, over the sentence and the sentenceing statement,

    1% retweeting and agreeing with another Twitteratii that Federal Sentencing Guidelines are severe,

  166. 166
    Aleta says:

    (At CNN by Elie Honig)
    Simply put, Judge Ellis’s sentence is an injustice. It fails to adequately punish Manafort for committing a series of deliberate crimes over many years, and it sends terrible messages to the public about our criminal justice system.

    Given Manafort’s age, health, lack of prior convictions, and nonviolent offenses, I expected Judge Ellis to sentence Manafort below the guidelines range, but not nearly so far below as 47 months (just under four years).

    Today’s sentence sends a corrosive two-pronged message to the American public.

    First, Manafort openly flouted the criminal justice system at every step and still got an enormous break.

    Following his arrest, Manafort got caught trying to tamper with witnesses … [At trial] he denied culpability but was found guilty by a jury on eight counts. He then pleaded guilty to even more crimes and purported to try to cooperate with Mueller, but instead told more lies to Mueller and the FBI. Even today at sentencing, the judge found that Manafort did not accept responsibility.

    Second, as Mueller noted in his sentencing memo, Manafort committed crimes repeatedly, deliberately, and over many years, stealing millions of dollars from the US government.

    Yet Manafort received about the same sentence that I’ve countless times seen given to a typical low-level, nonviolent, first time drug offender in the federal system.

    Manafort’s sentence forces us to ask whether Judge Ellis gave him a break — perhaps not intentionally or consciously — because of his age, race, socioeconomic standing and quasi-celebrity profile. It is not a comfortable question to ask, but it is unavoidable.

    Before Manafort starts counting down the days until his release — which, given the standard 15% reduction for good behavior in prison and deducting the approximately nine months Manafort already has served, could happen in 2022 — two important hurdles remain.

    First, Mueller’s team might choose to appeal today’s sentence. It is rare for prosecutors to appeal a sentence, and even more rare for them to win, but the sentence here fell more than 15 years below the bottom of the guidelines range.

    Second, Manafort faces another sentencing next week in federal court in Washington, in front of Judge Berman Jackson.

    I suspect Judge Berman Jackson will add some time to Manafort’s sentence, but not enough to fully remedy today’s injustice.

  167. 167
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Juan Cole discuss pets, misplaced condiments, or doing household chores au naturel.

  168. 168
    dogwood says:

    @Aleta:
    He would have been convicted on all counts but for a single hold-out. I suspect the MAGA juror on LOD is the same woman I saw after the trial. She’s a real idiot. Loves Trump., but she wasn’t the hold-out juror.

  169. 169
    NotoriousJRT says:

    @NotMax:
    That was SO bad. Lawrence had high praise for a nitwit who made like a broken clock when confronted by overwhelming evidence. Time I’ll never get back.

  170. 170
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @dogwood: She’s a real idiot. Loves Trump., but she wasn’t the hold-out juror.

    Think of that, there was a bigger idiot on that jury, and Manafort was still convicted on all but one count

    @NotoriousJRT: I’m glad I skipped it. Did O’Donnell dig into her trump support at all? I guess one segment with a rando doesn’t leave much time to figure out how she says “It’s just gotten too hard to be white in this country!”

  171. 171
    Jay says:

    So ReThugs are creating fake “local” digital “newspapers” to further Fauxify fake news,

    https://www.snopes.com/news/2019/03/04/activists-setup-local-news-sites/#_ga=2.131229580.260106883.1551797726-1088718101.1535999858

  172. 172
    SFAW says:

    @HeleninEire:

    Tonight we have White Boy Josh Marshall trying to convince us that 4 years is a lot. He tells us we only think it’s not because all the other sentences in America before this were way too much. Thank you for playing Josh and where have you been the last 50 years?

    I must be reading the worng Josh Marshall, because I don’t see anything like that on his twitter thing, nor at TPM. Josh talked about Manafort hitting the jackpot, about how Ellis made it clear from the start that he wasn’t going to do much to Manafort, and that Ellis did a “vast downward revision from the sentencing guidelines.”

    What/where am I missing?

  173. 173

    Sarah Kendzior, probably through gritted teeth.

    I don’t know why people are lying — maybe it’s false hope, maybe naivete, maybe it’s more malicious. I do know that pretending justice is served or will definitely be served is *enormously* disrespectful to Manafort’s victims around the world, as well as strategically bankrupt. – https://twitter.com/sarahkendzior/status/1103884342923747334

  174. 174
    Jay says:

    @SFAW:

    One entry,

    https://mobile.twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1103817434786680832

    But we are quick to outrage these days.

  175. 175
    Lyrebird says:

    @lamh36: Yet another perfect gif, pronounced however you prefer.

    Here are some that show my own messy thoughts.

    Seems like the closer we get to convictions of Trump Cartel members, the more the sh-t flingers fling their sh-t, and it seems to be affecting everyone else’s nerves.

    Peace…

  176. 176
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Raven Onthill: Kendzior is seeing much more positive reactions than I am.

    In any case, what solution does she propose? We be mad louder?

  177. 177
    SFAW says:

    @Jay:
    Thanks for the link. It does not appear to be on his Twitter page (or whatever they call it). On the other hand, I’m not aware of all Twitter traditions, i.e., I’m far from an “expert level” user.

    That being said: balancing that one comment against the other 20 (more or less) where he makes it clear he thought the sentence was a joke, I’m thinking Josh is not where fire should be directed.

  178. 178
    Aleta says:

    @chopper: Now that you mention it, John himself might secretly be one of those Englishy computer-wise communicator types who read things.

  179. 179
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’ve always had the impression that she thinks we are doomed.

  180. 180
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’ve never read her stuff, just seen her on Joy Reid’s show from time to time. She strikes me as smart and interesting, but the idea that people are putting a happy face on this verdict is nonsense.

  181. 181
    Jay says:

    @SFAW:

    There is so much shit coming down the shitfunnel every day, that many are skim reading, reading out of context, or just getting triggered.

    There’s also a lot of ratfucking and shit stirring going on, and old wounds and injuries.

    eg Omar?

    I just try to stay calm and read on.

  182. 182
    Debbie(Aussie) says:

    @Jay:
    I see what you did there 😀

  183. 183
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Kendzior was trained as an anthropologist, and went from studying the rise of authoritarianism in the former Soviet Union to studying the rise of Republican authoritarianism in the Midwest. This may have somewhat depressed her estimates on the chances of America surviving the current moment…

  184. 184
    Jay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    There is no legal or contractual requirement for the people who report injustice to also propose solutions.

  185. 185
  186. 186
    Jay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Lifetime Federalist Judges,……..

  187. 187
    dogwood says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    Nope. He was convicted on 8 counts, and 10 counts were disregarded. Eleven jurors including the nitwit voted guilty on 18 counts.

  188. 188
    Onmes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: And….?

    It’s not like the US hasn’t had shitty judges before.

  189. 189
    Jay says:

    @Onmes Omnibus:

    Well, you’ve got a huge crapload more. Something like 3/5 now. Closer to 3.5/5 by September. At all levels. Gonna be quite a bit harder to recover the Republic when most of the judges are against it.

  190. 190
    Raven Onthill says:

    We’re going to be a generation cleaning up the mess Trump and the Republicans leave behind, if not a century.

  191. 191
    SRW1 says:

    And don’t expect her to ignore actual facts to state that Manafort had previously led a blameless life.

    Target as bigly hugh as a barn door if judge Jacksone feels like commenting on judge Ellis’ crankery without commenting on it in any way shape or form.

  192. 192
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay:

    Something like 3/5 now. Closer to 3.5/5 by September.

    Citation?

  193. 193
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Raven Onthill:

    We’re going to be a generation cleaning up the mess Trump and the Republicans leave behind, if not a century.

    I tend to be an optimist, but this is probably true.

  194. 194
  195. 195
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jay: That doesn’t support your claim.

  196. 196
  197. 197
    Central Planning says:

    @trollhattan: a case is 5k sheets which makes your calculation even bigger (former printing geek here)

  198. 198
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I think Kendzior wants us to understand that none of this will work and we’re going to lose, so we can better emotionally prepare for the long period of suffering under an authoritarian government that we’re going to endure.

  199. 199
    Ohio Mom says:

    @SFAW: Josh Marshall has an extremely dry sense of humor/sarcasm/irony. As a result, he can be easy to misinterpret.

    I think the same can be said sometimes of Atrios, though he tries harder to make sure he’s not misunderstood.

  200. 200

    @Matt McIrvin: she said early on that we need to act, the faster there better. I don’t think she’s changed her view, but she worries that the longer this goes on the more entreched Trump and the Republicans become.

  201. 201
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @lamh36:

    There’s a difference between being woke, and being an asshole to your roommates.

    I’m gonna do like the rest of you fools, and take care of my own. It’s obvious you don’t want to help.

  202. 202
    Adam Geffen says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m glad I attend a progressive Synagogue and have not had to deal with medical doctors giving foreign policy / history / etc talks.

    Also, thank you for your welcome message from a few days ago.

    They are about to close the airplane door. Heading back home to Detroit. :)

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