The tale of Paul Manafort, former Trump election campaign chairman, reached its conclusion March 13 as a judge in Washington, D.C. sentenced him to a total of 73 months in prison – just over six years. Some of this time will be served concurrently with the 47 months Manafort received at his previous trial in Virginia, meaning that, in total, he faces 7.5 years of incarceration, not accounting for possible early release.
Manafort certainly committed a list of crimes and further incriminated himself by lying to investigators and tampering with witnesses. The entire affair has been tainted by political antagonisms, and this man’s fate was always viewed by the media and the general public as a sort of trial in absentia of the president himself. Trump’s opponents have tied Manafort’s trial to the special counsel investigation into alleged collusion between the president’s campaign team and Russian officials. As such, those foes wanted Manafort to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Why the Left Hates Paul Manafort
It is hard to ignore the fact that Manafort is a man who was driven by sheer greed, breaking laws to enrich himself and demonstrating little or no genuine contrition when his crimes were discovered. Even at his D.C. sentencing, Manafort and his legal team attempted to pour on the self-pity. To any fair-minded person, Manafort does not come across as a man deserving of sympathy.
Even so, it is impossible to ignore the fact that he has been reviled in the media, not for his actual crimes, but because of his relatively brief association with Trump’s campaign. The fact that, as things stand, Manafort will not rot in prison for the rest of his life will evoke enormous indignation on the political left. In truth, the president’s enemies wanted Manafort to die in prison because he chaired Trump’s campaign and not for any other reason.
The one thing that really irks those who hate the president is that nothing in the investigations, trials, and sentencing has revealed any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia. Indeed, most of the charges Manafort faced concerned crimes committed long before he ever became involved with Trump’s 2016 run for president, while the remaining charges stemmed from his own behavior during the investigations.
As Manafort sat in prison – mostly in solitary confinement – awaiting his fate, Democrats and their media groupies waited for the Russia collusion story to be revealed. The investigation, they believed or hoped, would – sooner or later – unearth damning proof that he, Manafort, was a central figure in a sinister Trump-Russia conspiracy. That such proof never came to light is surely a source of enormous frustration for those who wanted this affair to bring down the president.
Although this chapter in the special counsel Russia saga has come to a close, Manafort himself faces still more legal problems. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has now indicted the 69-year-old for various crimes, including mortgage fraud. It is likely that still more indictments in other states will be forthcoming.
Despite his guilt and the fact that he should face the consequences of his crimes, Manafort – it appears – will ultimately face even more years behind bars. He will do so, primarily, because the left wants him punished for his connection to Trump and, more importantly, for his failure to deliver evidence against the president.
Political motivation has been attributed to both the investigations of Manafort and to the sentences imposed upon him. He is both a victim of his own avarice and lack of ethics and his political leanings. What his tale really reveals is the grey area that exists between the criminal justice system and political partisanship.