In what most called a serious miscarriage of justice, Judge Ellis gave Paul Manafort a slight slap on the wrist compared to what the Department of Justice guidelines suggest. It seems quite clear to me, and I think to the majority of Americans, that one or more of the reasons that affected Judge Ellis’s destructively lenient sentence includes the following:
(a) He was bribed;
(b) he will do anything to help his fellow Republicans and for their president, in this case saving his real punishment for Robert S. Mueller III Special Counsel Investigation into the president and Russian connections and potential conspiracy;
(c) he was paid off;
(d) he was and is seeking a higher judicial appointment from the president;
(e) he is suffering from dementia and/or from senility or both; or
(f) all of the above.
The answer may indeed be (f). But my personal feeling is that the answer is probably (b). In giving such a ridiculously low sentence, more than anything else Judge Ellis displayed his far-right, Federalist Society, anything-for-a-white-rich-Republican prejudice to the public at large.
We used to live in a society where Justice and the Rule of Law prevailed. If we still lived in a just society, Judge Ellis would quickly be removed from the bench and his sentencing struck down. But Judge Ellis’s decision clearly shows us all that we no longer live in that type of country or society. In our current society, Justice is far easier on those with power, connections and money (even when they have stolen all of their loot), and far more difficult for those without. Guidelines are not followed, and Justice can be found for any who can afford to buy it.
Federal Judge Amy Berman-Jackson has a chance to give Manafort the fullness of a prison sentence, when she pronounced her sentence on the convicted con man, cheat, liar and treasonous thug named Paul Manafort.
We can only hope that she gives Manafort the full ten years of prison time and adds this as a sentence to be serve after Manafort has served out Judge Ellis’s full 38 months sentence, rather than making this concurrent with Ellis’s weak rebuke. In total, this will give Paul Manafort 13 years in prision collectively, which still is not near enough for the totality and seriousness of Manafort’s ongoing criminal acts.
Let us all also hope and pray that the State of New York also charges Manafort with state crimes related to tax evasion and bank fraud, crimes that the president cannot pardon.
Lastly, let us hope that Mueller has a sealed indictment for Manafort that he still withholding and will soon be unsealed, charging Manafort (and hopefully many others) with Conspiracy Against the United States of America, which will result in yet another trial for Manafort, with a subsequent conviction and sentencing to be add to his prison time. One way or another, l hope that Manafort never again sees the light of day and dies in prison where he belongs.
If we still live in a nation of laws, then something akin to this scenario will play itself out over the next months and years.
As for Judge Ellis and his miscarriage of justice, his sentencing decision for Paul Manafort will live in infamy long after his body and that of Manafort have decomposed and turned to dust.