Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to nearly four years in prison on Thursday, but the unusually light sentence has left some critics with questions.
Despite federal sentencing guidelines recommending between 19 1/2 and 24 years in prison for Manafort’s conviction, the former Trump associate received just 47 months in prison. Manafort still faces sentencing for additional counts in Washington, D.C. next week, but the light sentence in the first case is turning heads.
Independent Senator Angus King of Maine is just one of many pointing out the disparity between Manafort’s sentencing for white-collar financial crimes and the sentencing for other lower profile cases every day.
“I have to tell you, if I was on the jury in that case, I’d be scratching my head this morning and saying, ‘Why did they take months out of my life for this?'” King told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota in an interview on “New Day” Friday.
The senator pointed to Manafort’s lack of cooperation or remorse for his crimes to question the leniency with which he was sentenced. “His remorse seemed to be about getting caught, not about what he did,” King suggested.
Watch the video below, via CNN:
.@SenAngusKing calls the Manafort sentence "astonishing."
"We’re going to be flooded with stories of people selling … an ounce of marijuana or stealing quarters from a laundry room with an equivalent or greater sentence." https://t.co/7ugXYVqHOL pic.twitter.com/amHyw1uIEm
— New Day (@NewDay) March 8, 2019
King argued that people convicted of crimes he considers less severe are serving equal or greater sentences than Manafort will serve:
“I just find it an astonishing sentence and I can assure you that every defense lawyer in America is now going through cases and we’re going to be hearing — we’re going to be flooded with stories in the next 24 hours about people with relatively minor offenses, selling an ounce of marijuana or, you know, stealing quarters from a laundry room, with equivalent or greater sentences.”
The senator also called for a larger discussion about the disparities in sentencing between white-collar crime and “street crime,” as he referred to it.