US President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort should be going to prison for his hideous US $15,000 ostrich-skin jacket, just one of many baffling pieces the political operative bought before his arrest on tax and bank fraud charges.
Instead, he has been sentenced to 47 months for those actual crimes. The fashion police will take what they can get, we guess.
Manafort, who served as the Trump campaign’s top dog for a few wild months in 2016, was today convicted of deliberately obscuring millions of dollars he earned by advising pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine and failing to pay tax on that income.
Those charges against the 66-year-old were dug up by Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but they actually have nothing to do with the Russia investigation itself. It just so happens the investigation dug up other indictable dirt that will see Manafort spend just under four years behind bars.
It’s worth noting the sentence handed down to Manafort is far below the decades-long sentencing guidelines highlighted by prosecutors, but it’s hardly the end of Manafort’s legal troubles.
He faces sentencing on March 13 for separate charges of conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice in relation to his illegal work in Ukraine. Earlier, Manafort copped to a plea deal on those conspiracy charges on the condition he’d assist Mueller & Co. He didn’t. In fact, he did the opposite by consistently lying to investigators. Due to all of that, Manafort faces a maximum of ten years in prison for those conspiracy charges.
It’s now up to a judge to decide if he can serve his fraud sentence and the conspiracy sentence concurrently.
In January, Trump distanced himself from his former advisor, saying he had zero idea Manafort had liaised with suspected Russian spy Konstantin Kilimnik in the lead-up to the election.
“No, I didn’t know anything about it,” Trump said.
“Nothing about it.”
As for Manafort’s wardrobe, we highly recommend looking at these photos from the Special Counsel’s Office. Madness.