Prosecuted for support
Last week former, and we might add very briefly-tenured, Trump campaign director Paul Manafort was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison for tax evasion, lying to Congress, and violation of laws pertaining to registry as an agent of a foreign government. The 44-month sentence was immediately attached by the usual suspects in the Democratic Party and Never-Trumpers in the media as too lenient, and a miscarriage of justice. In fact, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller asked for between 19-24 YEARS as a sentence for the 70-year-old Manafort.
Judge T.S. Ellis called the recommendation by Mueller “excessive,” and it would seem so. Tax Evasion sentences rarely are extended sentences, and the registry violation is a seldom-enforced act. In the last 30 years it has only been prosecuted seven times. Interestingly, Democrats working in the Hillary Clinton camp have not been charged for the same offense.
Our problem with the prosecution of Manafort is one that should be disturbing to every American, no matter what their political stripe. Mueller’s investigation, which, thank goodness, is winding down, has exhibited the worst in American prosecutorial conduct. In at least three cases: Manafort, George Papadopoulos, the short-term, low-level Trump operative, and Gen. Michael Flynn, the former National Security advisor in the Trump White House, the modus operandi has been the same: Charge the person with lying, even (in the case of Flynn) where agents believe he was telling the truth, and then bankrupt him with long, drawn out cases, and move to imprison. The Flynn case is most egregious. Flynn, a highly decorated general, was driven into penury by Mueller.
Perhaps, though Andrew McCarthy of National Review said it best: “Paul Manafort would never have been prosecuted if he had not joined Donald Trump’s campaign. He would not have been prosecuted if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election and spared Democrats the need to conjure up a reason to explain their defeat.”
It must be remembered the charges against Manafort, particularly the charges of tax evasion, were resurrected by Mueller from 2005, when they were dropped by an FBI and Justice Dept. Mueller was head of the FBI at the time. These were brought back up to corner Manafort, who is a sleazy character, but nonetheless has been poorly treated here. The fact he did not give the Mueller team anymore information was the reason for the excessive sentencing recommendation.
Throughout the two-year investigation of collusion, Mueller and his team have exhibited the worst in prosecutorial conduct. The American justice system is not supposed to be politicized, slanted or otherwise favoring a party or candidate. Yet, throughout this probe more and more evidence has come out that the FBI and Justice Dept., with the possible cooperation of the Obama White House, sought to favor Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, taint the Trump Campaign with a false narrative (headlined by the debunked “Steel Dossier”) and then bring down the Trump Presidency in a coup.
The Mueller investigation is going to be shown as a farce, and an attempt to hide what really happened with Obama, the upper levels of the DOJ and FBI and the Clinton campaign. Those facts are coming to light. In the meantime, the American Justice system was used as a political cudgel, even on unsavory people like Manafort.
It’s just un-American.