Brennan Critiques Manafort’s ‘Extraordinarily Lenient’ Sentence

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March 8, 2019 8:21 a.m.

Former CIA Director John Brennan characterized Paul Manafort’s sentence Thursday as “extraordinarily lenient,” adding that Judge T.S. Ellis’ high praise for the former campaign chairman is “mind-boggling.”

“It’s an extraordinarily lenient sentence in light of the extent and scope of Mr. Manafort’s criminality,” Brennan said to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. “It just shows that there’s a lot of power vested in the hands of judges. I think this sentence says a lot more about Judge Ellis than it does about Paul Manafort.”

“Guidelines are used for a reason. But obviously Judge Ellis felt he could decide unilaterally on this one,” he added, referencing the government’s sentencing recommendation which Ellis called “excessive.” “Paul Manafort has a demonstrated track record of criminal, unethical, unprincipled behavior.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office recommended that Manafort serve 19 to 24 years in prison for his crimes. On Thursday night, Ellis sentenced Manafort to 47 months, or just under four years.

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