Former prosecutor Glenn Kirschner tore into Republican-appointed judge T.S. Ellis III on Thursday for ignoring Robert Mueller‘s sentencing guidelines and instead of giving Paul Manafort a light sentence of just 47 months.
In an interview with MSNBC‘s Chris Matthews, Kirschner slammed Ellis, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan, for ignoring the big picture – that Manafort was essentially using his position with the Trump campaign to “get whole with the Russians” – and letting him off with a light sentence.
“As a former prosecutor, I’m embarrassed. As an American, I’m upset,” Kirschner said. “It’s an outrage and disrespectful of the American people.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 8, 2019
As a former prosecutor, I’m embarrassed. As an American, I’m upset. Because what did we hear Paul Manafort say after he landed the position as Trump‘s campaign chairman? ‘How do I use this to get whole with the Russians?’ And a Judge Ellis will basically throw that out the window in favor of giving him a sentence that is so far below the guidelines that it is an outrage. Just as proud as I was to be in the courtroom when Judge Emmit Sullivan called out Mike Flynn for being a traitor to the country and disrespecting everything the flag stands for, I am just as disappointed with Judge Ellis who apparently knows better than the guidelines sentencing commission who said for these crimes this man deserves 19 to 24 years and he said 47 months. It’s an outrage and disrespectful of the American people.
Not only is Manafort’s sentencing disappointing, but it highlights the two justice systems that exist in America depending on wealth and race.
Public Scott Hechinger highlighted the disparities in the U.S. justice system in a tweet posted after Manafort’s sentence was announced:
For context on Manafort’s 47 months in prison, my client yesterday was offered 36-72 months in prison for stealing $100 worth of quarters from a residential laundry room.
— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) March 8, 2019
Justice can still be served for Manafort
While the light sentence comes as a shock to most people following this case, justice can still be adequately served for Paul Manafort.
As I noted a short time after Manafort’s sentencing, the former Trump campaign manager will not face such a sympathetic judge next week when Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Washington D.C. sentences him for two conspiracy charges which face a combined maximum of 10 years in prison.
And while Thursday’s sentence was far too light, it’s hard to call it good news for the White House.
As MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin said on Thursday, this shouldn’t be reported as a win for Donald Trump when tomorrow’s headlines will read that his former campaign manager was sentenced to nearly four years in prison and could face even more next week.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.