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White-collar crime expert helps make sense of Paul Manafort’s 47 month sentence, which has sparked controversy among legal experts




Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse for a hearing on June 15, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse for a hearing on June 15, 2018 in Washington, DC.
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Paul Manafort went from being a powerful political operative who spending thousands on suits and even an ostrich coat to sitting in a wheelchair in a green prison jumpsuit asking Alexandria, Virginia District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III for compassion in sentencing him after he was convicted on charges of financial fraud brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office.

Judge Ellis ultimately sentenced Manafort to 47 months in prison and was given credit for nine months already served, meaning he could be released in about three years. The sentence alarmed many former prosecutors and legal experts, who said the sentence was too lenient. Others felt the sentence was appropriate, noting that the 69-year-old Manafort was a first time offender said those who argue the sentence was too lenient should spend a day in a federal penitentiary before suggesting that four years in prison was too light a sentence.

From a legal perspective, what did you think of Paul Manafort’s sentence as it pertained to the circumstances of the case and the crimes of which he was convicted? Do you think it will factor into the judge’s decision when he’s sentenced in Washington, D.C.? Today on AirTalk, guest host Libby Denkmann talks with Columbia Law white-collar crime expert and former American Bar Association Federal Sentencing Reporter John Coffee to help parse the legal issues at play.

With guest host Libby Denkmann

Guest:

John Coffee, professor of law at Columbia University where he specializes in corporate law, securities fraud and white collar crime



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