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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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Watch: Schumer Compares McConnell to Southern Segregationists for Blocking Voting Rights

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On Tuesday, following Senate Republicans’ lockstep vote to block debate on voting rights, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) gave a thunderous speech comparing Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to the southern segregationists who fought the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

“Republican state legislatures across the country are engaged in the most sweeping voter suppression in 80 years,” said Schumer. “Capitalizing on and catalogued by Donald Trump’s big lie. These state governments are making it harder for younger, poorer, urban and non-white Americans to vote. Earlier today, the Republican leader told reporters that, quote, ‘Regardless of what may be happening in some states, there is no rationale for federal intervention.’ The Republican leader flatly stated that no matter what the states do to undermine our democracy — voter suppression laws, phony audits, partisan takeovers of local election boards — the Senate should not act.”

“The Republican leader uses the language and the logic of the southern senators in the ’60s who defended states rights, and it is an indefensible position for any senator, any senator, let alone the minority leader to hold,” said Schumer. “When John Lewis was about to cross that bridge in Selma, he didn’t know what waited for him on the other side. He didn’t know how long his march would be. And his ultimate success was never guaranteed. But he started down that bridge anyway. Today Democrats started our march to defend the voting rights of all Americans. It could be a long march, but it is one we are going to make.”

Watch below:

 

 

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GOP Senators Orchestrate ‘Blockade’ of Key Biden Agenda Bills: Voting Rights Bill Killed, Infrastructure in Doubt

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Republicans Tuesday evening killed debate on the For the People Act, a key component of Democrats’ agenda to protect democracy, expand and strengthen voting rights, and reduce the influence of dark money in elections. As Senators were voting on the motion to begin debate on the bill, news broke that the GOP Whip, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota had announced another critical piece of Democratic legislation, the infrastructure bill, was even further in doubt.

GOP Senators appeared to be orchestrating a complete and total shutdown of key legislation critical to President Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.

Democratic Majority Leader Schumer immediately denounced Republicans’ “blockade.”

Sen. Thune also said Republicans would oppose a slimmed down version of a voting rights bill:

60 votes were required to begin debate on the voting rights bill. The motion failed in a 50-50  vote. As voting was taking place GOP Minority Leader Mitch mcConnell could be seen huddling with other top Republican Senators including John Cornyn of Texas and John Kennedy of Louisiana.

The only option to pass the bill now would be for a simple majority of Senators agree to kill the 60-vote filibuster. Some are supporting a modification to 55 votes. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona had steadfastly refused to support killing the filibuster.

“This is a dark day in this country,” Al Sharpton said on MSNBC.

“This is a dark day for Republicans,” host Nicolle Wallace replied. “Republicans won’t just walk over norms, they will burn them down,” she told host Ari Melber during the handoff.

Voting rights expert Ari Berman weighed in, chastising the GOP:

 

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‘Monster’: Internet Makes #AbbottHatesDogs Trend After Texas Governor Vetos Bipartisan Anti-Cruelty Bill

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#BetoLovesDogs Rises

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is under fire for vetoing the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act, bipartisan legislation to protect dogs by making it illegal to tie them up with heavy chains outdoors, or leave them without water or shade. He criticized the bill as “micro-managing and over-criminalization.”

The legislation “would have expanded and clarified the state’s animal cruelty laws,” and “had the support of animal control officers, law enforcement agencies and organizations, county prosecutors, and advocates for animals, and it passed 28-3 in the Senate and 83-32 in the House,” as The Week reports.

Abbott increasingly has been in the national news, amid speculation he might run for the White House in 2024. He is also facing a possible primary from the right. As #AbbottHatesDogs trended on social media the Texas Republican governor posted a clip of his two dogs. It did not seem to help.

Vetoing legislation to protect dogs does not seem to have helped his future prospects, as many social media users appear to think, but it did help former U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s fortunes as people started to post #BetoLovesDogs tweets.

 

 

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