I absolutely am utterly understanding of all the people who wanted Paul Manafort to get the longest sentence that was possible and being disappointed (and a little surprised) it wasn't more. But as I said the other day, I think that's mainly an "I want revenge" attitude, not one related to the law and how it impacts sentences for other people upcoming. In the end, although disappointing that it wasn't more, this is all fine. Not only is 7-1/2 years in federal prison really pretty awful, most especially when you're starting it when 70 years old and used to a grand lifestyle of high-living…but the New York City indictments from the D.A. could bring him up to 16 more years -- and keep in mind that he's already plead guilty to all the facts he was indicted for, which is a pretty high hurdle to overcome. AND there are still likely to be further charges by the New York State Attorney General. AND FURTHER, it's not even certain that Robert Mueller is done with him, and could bring additional federal indictments, this on Russian conspiracy felonies (boy, would Manafort's lawyer be red-faced about that), not just financial crimes. On top of which (yes, there's more!) the U.S. Justice Department petitioned the court for him to pay $25 million in restitution. So, while being bothered that he doesn't already have 30 years in prison and accept that the concept of "May he rot in hell" is very understandable, I can't lose much sleep over his sentence yesterday not being the maximum. Paul Manafort was not celebrating his good luck last night. Yes, I wish Manafort got more. A lot more. More than was even allowed. But his future nonetheless is really very dismal.
But my biggest reaction to yesterday's sentence is focused more on the many other Really Big Names yet to be indicted who are far more complicit in even bigger national crimes than Manafort. And that because (to me) I think the New York City District Attorney may have been even the biggest news. It not only give Manafort potentially more time in prison (up to 16 additional years), but more importantly it had to have given a horrifically bad night to Don Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Jared. And Trump. It not only shows how even New York City -- not just the state -- is going after them, but that the D.A.'s office has already been investigating it and were so prepared that they were ready to go the INSTANT the federal sentencing came down. More than anything, perhaps, it's that blatant preparation that should stoke the most terror in their bodies.
It may even be the most important news here. It shows how prepared they were – it not only shows how prepared they are, but that they are well-passed “fishing expositions” or trying to figure out if there are any crimes hidden. It shows they they know precisely what they’re looking for, and they found it. Further, and on its own pinnacle, none of these indictments, if proven guilty, can be pardoned. And the fact that the D.A. went after mortgage fraud - which, as I said, could get up to 16 years in prison - and these potential defendants are all realtors involved with mortgages, they all have to have been in hell last night. (If they're smart, which admittedly may not be the case…) And this is just New York City, not even New York state. Or the feds.
So, to me, as much as most of the attention was on Judge Jackson's sentence, those New York City indictments to me wee the biggest part about the day's sentencing news, even though it wasn't directly related to sentencing.