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Democrats Slam Manafort's 'Disgraceful' Sentence

AOC says it shows justice is 'bought'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2019 2:31 AM CST
Attorney Kevin Downing arrives at the Federal Court for the sentencing of his client, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, in Alexandria, Va, Thursday, March 7, 2019.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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(Newser) – Paul Manafort received a sentence far below the federal guideline Thursday, and Democrats are seething. The former Trump campaign chairman was sentenced to 47 months in federal prison for bank fraud and cheating on his taxes, which would have been roughly 20 years if US District Court Judge TS Ellis III hadn't considered those guidelines "excessive." Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the many Democrats who called the sentence too lenient. Manafort "getting such little jail time for such serious crimes lays out for the world how it’s almost impossible for rich people to go to jail for the same amount of time as someone who is lower income," she tweeted. "In our current broken system, 'justice' isn’t blind. It’s bought."

Other Democrats accused the judge of being biased, CNN reports. Rep. Jackie Speier tweeted that the sentence was a "gross injustice" and accused Ellis of "angling for a presidential judicial appointment." "White collar criminals who betray their country can obviously get preferential treatment in Judge Ellis's courtroom," tweeted Rep. Veronica Escobar. "Disgraceful." Sen. Richard Blumenthal noted that the judge had shown "hostility" to the Robert Mueller investigation, and suggested Manafort might get a harsher sentence when he goes before Judge Amy Berman Jackson for a second sentencing next week. When he sentenced Manafort, Ellis said anybody who didn't think 47 months was harsh enough should "go and spend a day, a week in jail," the Washington Post reports. (Read more Paul Manafort stories.)

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