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Judge Blasts Manafort’s ‘Contempt’ for the Law as She Sentences Him for Felony Conspiracy Convictions

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Sentenced to Additional Three and a Half Years – About Seven and a Half Total

Former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort has been sentenced to just over six years for two felony counts of conspiracy related to money laundering and obstruction of justice. Last week, in what experts say was a surprising and generous diversion from norms, Manafort was sentenced to just 47 months when guidelines specified about two decades.

Buzzfeed’s Zoe Tillman breaks it down:

It’s effectively an additional 43 months on top of the 47 months he received last week, for a total of about seven and a half years.

MSNBC’s Pete Williams calls today’s sentence “relatively light.”

“He’ll get out of prison when he’s roughly 75 or 76 years old,” depending on if he gets out early, Williams added. Manafort will turn 70 on April 1.

“The Office of Special Counsel proved beyond a preponderance of evidence that Mr. Manafort intentionally gave false testimony with respect to that matter which was one of several matters in regards to false statement with regard to Mr. Klimnik,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said early during today’s hearing.

Judge Jackson blasted Manafort’s “contempt” for the law and “his belief he had the right to manipulate these proceedings.” She also said Manafort’s “career was spent gaming the system.”

“If the people don’t have the facts, democracy doesn’t work,” she also told Manafort and his attorneys.

Judge Jackson also addressed the defense’s arguments about Manafort and collusion.

“It’s hard to understand why an attorney would write that,” she said. “No collusion” is “simply a non-sequitur,” she added, as CNN reports.

Manafort, in a wheelchair and wearing a suit, chose to address the court.

“I am sorry for what I have done,” he said, in contrast to showing no remorse last week. He also claimed he is a different person now.

“As I’ve sat in solitary confinement, I’ve reflected on my life and can see I’ve behaved in ways that did not always comport with my personal values,” Manafort said, as The Atlantic’s Natasha Bertrand reports, adding, “my behavior in the future will be very different.”

Federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told Judge Jackson, “Mr. Manafort committed crimes that undermined our political process.”

“At each junction,” Weissmnan added, “Mr. Manafort chose to take a different path. He has not learned a harsh lesson. He served to undermine, not promote, American ideals of honesty, transparency and playing by the rules.”

Judge Amy Berman Jackson effectively telegraphed Wednesday morning Manafort’s sentence would not be “clean up” for the light sentence passed down last week by Judge T.S. Ellis.

 

RELATED STORIES:

TRUMP’S TEAM HAS BEEN TELEGRAPHING TO PAUL MANAFORT THE PRESIDENT WILL PARDON HIM AFTER MIDTERMS

INTERNET REJOICES AS PAUL MANAFORT GOES TO JAIL: ‘FIRST WARLOCK IN CUSTODY, AND THE HUNT CONTINUES’

REDACTION ERROR SHOWS MUELLER IS ACCUSING MANAFORT OF SHARING 2016 POLLING DATA WITH SUSPECTED RUSSIAN SPY

SCHMIDT ASKS IF TRUMP-RUSSIA IS ‘GREATEST CRIME’ IN US HISTORY – AFTER LIKENING MANAFORT TO ‘RUSSIAN AGENT,’ TRUMP TO ‘CAGED ANIMAL’

 

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Fox News Host Suggests Trump ‘Force’ Court to Throw Him in Jail – by Quoting Him

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The Fox News host who targeted a juror serving on Donald Trump’s criminal New York trial is now suggesting the ex-president should violate his gag order and “force” the court to throw him in jail, by quoting the Fox News host.

Jesse Watters came under fire earlier this week for profiling juror number two, sharing possibly identifying information published by a myriad of reporters but then using that information to pass judgment on her ability to serve.

“I’m not so sure about juror number two,” Watters concluded on Fox News.

Jurors, at the judge’s direction, were to remain anonymous, for their protection and the protection of the trial.

The judge excused her, after she said she felt she was not able to be impartial because friends and family were calling her asking if she had been chosen to serve on the Trump trial, after the media blitz.

New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan admonished the press for reporting the information, but some news outlets appeared to ignore his warning.

Watters on Wednesday “did a segment with a jury consultant, revealing details about people who had been seated on the jury and questioning whether some were ‘stealth liberals’ who would be out to convict Trump,” the Associated Press reported.

READ MORE: Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

Trump later posted Watters’ quote on his Truth Social platform, leading some, including New York prosecutors, to ask the judge to cite him for allegedly breaking his gag order.

Judge Merchan ordered Trump to not mention witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, court staff, or the family members of prosecutors and court staff, CNN has reported.

New York prosecutors told Juge Merchan Trump has violated the gag order at least ten times.

“Prosecutor Christopher Conroy described the ‘most disturbing’ example as a social media message Trump posted on Wednesday evening quoting a Fox News host as saying, ‘They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury,'” Politico reports.

That host was Jesse Watters.

RELATED: ‘Afraid and Intimidated’: Trump Trial Juror Targeted by Fox News Dismissed

Friday afternoon, Watters appeared to egg Trump on, urging the ex-president to violate the gag order.

“I would make them put me in jail,” Watters said on Fox News. “I would have a tweet about something perhaps I said on ‘The Five’ or ‘Jesse Watters Primetime,’ and I would force them to throw me in jail.”

Watch Watters’ remark below or at this link.

 

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Gaetz: ‘Corrupt’ Republicans Could ‘Take a Bribe’ and Throw House to Dems, Blocking Trump Run

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U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says some of his fellow House Republicans would “take a bribe” to throw the razor-thin GOP majority to the Democrats if a far-right faction calls up a motion to oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, allowing Democrats to hand the gavel to the Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries. he warned if that happens, Democrats would immediately declare Trump ineligible to be President, pack the U.S. Supreme Court, and pass numerous laws like the American Rescue Plan.

“I do believe in a one seat majority there could be one or two or three of my colleagues who would take a bribe in one form or another in order to deprive the Republicans of a majority at all,” Gaetz said Friday on his podcast (video below.)

He added, “the risk that one or two of my corrupt Republican colleagues might take a bribe, take a walk, feign an ailment and flip this thing to the Democrats is a risk that is too high for me at this time.”

Gaetz’s fellow far-right Florida Republican member of Congress, Anna Paulina Luna, told listeners, “I heard that when, if and when the motion vacate is introduced, that there will be immediate resignations of a couple of more moderate members of Congress. And in the event that that happens, that ultimately means it does go to a Democrat speaker.”

RELATED: Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last month filed a “motion to vacate,” which she can use at any time to force a vote to oust the GOP Speaker, Mike Johnson. U.S. Rep. Tim Massie (R-KY) and just today, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has signed on as co-sponsors.

Congressman Gaetz told listeners if Democrats do take the House through a force vote to remove Johnson, Democrats would “be declaring Donald Trump an insurrectionist and setting up a barrier to him being able to become the president United States.”

“That’ll be their leadoff hitter, and then the chaser to that shot will be a massive spending package that looks a lot more like the American Rescue Plan. They will blow past every concept of every cap ever imagined. You’ll be looking at Universal Basic Income, you could be looking at packing the Supreme Court.”

Watch a short clip of Gaetz’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

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Jeffries Vows Democrats Will Ensure Ukraine Aid Passes as Johnson Defectors Grow

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Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries vowed Friday the majority of Democrats will support Republicans’ Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and Gaza foreign aid legislation as Republican Speaker Mike Johnson lost support of another member of his conference to a faction determined to oust him.

“Democrats will provide a majority of our majority as it relates to funding Israel, humanitarian assistance, Ukraine, and our allies in the Indo Pacific,” Minority Leader Jeffries said. “It remains to be seen what Republicans will do in terms of meeting the national security needs of the American people, but it was important for House Democrats to ensure that the national security bills are going to be considered.”

Despite Republicans having a one-vote majority, more Democrats on Friday voted to move the critical and long-awaited foreign aid bills forward than did Republicans.

READ MORE: ‘Stop Bringing Up Nazis and Hitler’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Smacked Down by Democrats

The 316-94 vote included 165 Democrats and 151 Republicans voting yes, and 55 Republicans and 39 Democrats voting no.

Axios’ Juliegrace Brufke posted the list of Republicans voting against their party’s legislation.

Calling it a “rare” moment in modern congressional history to have to rely on opposition party votes to pass legislation, BBC News reports Speaker Johnson’s “hold on power is tenuous, and the legislators who oppose him – and his bid to provide aid to Ukraine – occupy some key positions within the House’s power structure.”

Amid the procedural vote to move the foreign aid funding bills forward, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a far-right Republican of Arizona, announced he is joining Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Congressman Tim Massie (R-KY) in formally announcing their will vote to oust Speaker Johnson.

Gosar, like Greene, is reportedly a Christian nationalist. In 2022 CNN reported his “lengthy ties to White nationalists, [a] pro-Nazi blogger and far-right fringe received little pushback for years.”

RELATED: ‘Repercussions’: Democrats and Republicans Stand Against ‘Pro-Putin’ House GOP Faction

“We’ve been very honest in our assessment of the situation from the beginning,” Jeffries on Friday also declared. “At the appropriate time as House Democrats, we will have a conversation about how to deal with any hypothetical motion to vacate.”

“Moscow Marjorie Taylor Greene, Massie, and Gosar are quite a group. But central to our conversation is to make sure that the national security legislation in totality is passed by the House of Representatives.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

 

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