After US president Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison for various crimes involving bank and tax fraud, Manafort also received another three and a half year sentence.
This new sentencing was doled out on Wednesday following his conviction in a D.C. court in September for failing to register in the US as a foreign agent. The judge in D.C., Amy Berman Jackson, seemed to be less forgiving than the judge who gave Manafort his sentencing in Virginia a week prior. Jackson stated that Manafort “is not public enemy number one, but he’s also not a victim either. There’s no question this defendant knew better, and he knew exactly what he was doing.”
In Virginia a week prior, the judge, in that case, said Manafort should serve less time due to his spotless record, and because he has “lived an otherwise blameless life.”
Around the time Manafort received his sentencing in D.C., the New York Attorney General’s office announced that a grand jury has charged Manafort with 16 counts of mortgage fraud, along with various other crimes. The news of new charges from New York is especially important due to the fact that it would be impossible for Manafort to receive a pardon from president Trump for these new charges.
A presidential pardon is able to absolve anyone of any federal crime, such as the ones Manafort was recently sentenced to, but the pardon does not apply to state level crimes, like the ones Manafort has been charged with by New York’s attorney general.
It is unclear if Trump will actually pardon Manafort, as he has not said so explicitly. However the president said when Manafort was convicted in August that he has “such respect for a brave man.” When Manafort received his sentencing last week in Virginia, Trump mentioned Manafort’s case, but that was more related to Trump stating once more that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia. It is unclear if this means he supports Manafort enough to pardon him, or if Trump is only using it as an opportunity to proclaim his innocence.