Will Manafort be able to Escape the Federal Crimes?

paul-manafort

On Wednesday, District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced the former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort for additional 43 months in prison. While the punishment blotted Manafort’s reputation, it brought relief to the Democratic lawmakers, who had expressed disappointment over the Virginia sentence.

Before declaring the judgement, Jackson said that it was “hard to overstate” the lies and fraud involved. She also stated that Manafort is “not public enemy”, but is also “not a victim”. Originally, the sentence was for a total of 73 months, 30 of which were run simultaneously with the last week’s sentence of 47 months.

The latest charges are based on the Russian investigation being carried by the Special Council Robert Mueller. Last September, Manafort pleaded guilty to two felony charges, including conspiracy against the US and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

During the hearing, the former Trump aide apologized for his whatever he has “done and for all the activities” of the past. A distressed Manafort said, “This case has taken everything from me already – my properties, my cash, my life insurance, trust accounts for my children and grandchildren, and even more.”

While the 69-year-old is devastated, the Constitution gives President Trump the power to issue pardons for federal crimes. Trump, in the past, has several time expressed his intentions to pardon Manafort, but he now seems confused on the issue.

The President said he “feel very badly for Paul Manafort”, and that he has not given a thought to pardon his former aide. “It’s not something that’s right now on my mind,” he said.

Later on Wednesday in New York, he was also charged with 16 counts related to mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records.

While President Trump has the power to save his aide from the federal crimes, such authority is not applicable in state charges. It is being expected that if convicted of serious charges in the new indictment, Manafort could face up to 25 years in the state’s prison.

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