Paul Manafort is Not Having a Good Day
Minutes after a Federal judge added 43 months to his sentence, New York state prosecutors unsealed an indictment that could yield another 7 years.
When he woke up this morning, Paul Manafort was expecting to serve 43 months in jail.
YahooNews/USA Today (“Paul Manafort sentenced to a total of 7.5 years in prison. ‘It is hard to overstate the number of lies.’“):
Paul Manafort, the man who helped guide Donald Trump to the presidency, was sentenced to a total of more than seven years in federal prison on Wednesday after a judge added 43 months to the sentence he received in another case last week.
The pair of prison sentences marks the end of Manafort’s abrupt transformation from a globe-trotting political operative with mansions and lavish clothing to a frail-looking, wheelchair-bound, gray-haired inmate who, in his own words, had been “humiliated” by his changed circumstances.
Manafort, speaking from a wheelchair, told the judge: “I want to say to you now that I am sorry for what I’ve done.”
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson appeared unpersuaded, delivering a withering rebuke from the bench. She said Manafort had spent much of his career “gaming the system,” that he cheated taxpayers so that he could maintain an extravagant lifestyle, and that he remained unrepentant despite his apology. “Saying I’m sorry I got caught is not an inspiring plea for leniency.”
A federal judge in Virginia sentenced Manafort to 47 months in prison last week for a scheme to defraud banks and taxpayers out of millions of dollars. Jackson added more than three years to that in the related case in Washington, where he faced a maximum of 10 years after pleading guilty to two conspiracy charges. She also ordered him to spend three years on federal supervision, when he is freed from prison and to pay $6 million in restitution. The nine months he has already spent in jail will count toward his sentence.
Her decision brings Manafort’s total prison sentence to 7 ½ years.
“It is hard to overstate the number of lies and the amount of fraud and the extraordinary amount of money involved,” Jackson said.
Well, it couldn’t get any worse, right? Not so fast! Just minutes later, this happened.
YahooNews/AP (“Manafort indicted in New York on state charges“):
Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been indicted in New York on state charges, seen as a strategy for preventing a potential presidential pardon.
An indictment unsealed Wednesday in Manhattan accuses the 69-year-old Manafort of conducting a yearlong residential mortgage fraud scheme that netted millions of dollars.
The indictment filed March 7 was unsealed the same day Manafort was sentenced in Washington in the second of two federal cases against him.
He would serve more than seven years in prison in those cases. Trump has repeatedly defended him and floated the idea of granting a pardon, but would not be able to do so in a state case.
Our resident attorney, Doug Mataconis, may have more but I really have nothing to add but “Wow.”
Hopefully, however, this posting will satisfy regulars who feel we have given short shrift to Manafort’s plight.
This is a peek into Donald Trump’s future. Charges piling up, bills piling up, the death of a thousand cuts.
Dear Heads of Crime Families: I cannot emphasize enough that inviting the kind of attention a political candidate, let alone a POTUS gets, is stoopid. Stay in crime. You might still get caught, but if you’ve got the entire media of the world eyeballing you, you’re sure to get caught.
Next up: Jared, Ivanka and Don Jr., or as I like to think of them, Christafuh, Meadow and Janis.
Residential mortgage fraud? At some point it’s going to be easier to list the crimes that Trump people didn’t commit.
“I’m just a fat fuckin crook from
So let’s do a witch-hunt review, shall we?
Trump Campaign Manager – 7 years and another indictment outstanding.
Trump Personal Attorney – 3 years…and implicated Trump as an un-indicted co-conspirator.
Trump Nat’l Security Advisor – pled guilty and has wrapped up cooperating with prosecutors.
Trump longtime associate and “self-professed dirty trickster” – Indicted and facing a court hearing tomorrow re violating a court gag order.
And there’s many more. So many fine people…only the best people.
Trump was/is stupid and narcissistic enough to believe he could run the presidency the way he ran his corrupt fiefdom.
I especially liked this part of the judge’s comments:
“The ‘no collusion’ refrain that runs through the entire defense memorandum is unrelated to matters at hand…. The ‘no collusion’ mantra is simply a non sequitur.”
I imagine that one day at some point in the future when private citizen Trump is being hauled into state court on charges of tax-fraud, money-laundering, or whatever, he’ll be screaming “No collusion!” the entire way.
He is a 72 yo man who, by no cause of his own, was born rounding third, headed for home…and has never been held to account for anything. Anything. Not the least of which was his very low IQ.
He won’t change; he can’t change.
The timing of this feels very “do not even think about bothering with a pardon”-ish.
Running for president as an elaborate marketing ploy is likely going to be the worst decision Trump has ever made, followed closely by his hiring choices.
It’s good that this Judge actually took Manafort’s crimes seriously. The first Trumper Judge was an embarrassment to American justice. (I realize he wasn’t appointed by the Orange-Mafiosa-Wannabe but he made his leanings apparent from day one.). In him we have a premonition of the damage done by all the Trump-Trash being installed on benches throughout the judiciary.
There are good tendencies associated with conservatism and bad ones, but perhaps the most disgusting is the tendency to behave in a lick-spittle obsequious manner toward their “betters”, aka the rich and powerful. Thank god this second judge did not also fall into that camp.
Did you ever wonder why Nixon a) made tapes of WH conversations, and 2) did not destroy the tapes before their existence became widely known?
Dennison finally grounded the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9’s.
Leading from behind, because his donors are more important than the lives of the people on those planes.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl:
This is actually really disturbing. There is an FAA that makes this decisions based on reality. The idea that the President of the United States just willy-nilly decides he is going to ground a plane is an abuse of power. Will he become friends with Bob AT&T and decide that T-Mobile is shut down? Will Jared need a loan from a Saudi Prince invested in a pharmaceutical company and Trump will shut down Pfizer?
Does Boeing have a case to sue Trump or the government? I would think so.
well, there is an FAA that is supposed to make decisions based on reality. But it run by an airline lobbyist…sooooo…
This should have happened much sooner…it’s disturbing that it didn’t because, politics.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl:
Putting lobbyists in charge of life or death decisions is obviously wrong. But that doesn’t change the fundamental equation. If a regulators decision is shown to be capricious or malicious rather than following their standard procedure, the manufacturer has a pretty darn good case to sue and have that decision overturned. Haven’t we seen dozens of Trump administration decisions overturned for the exact same reason.
If Boeing can sue for damages as well, that might be 10’s of billions of dollars.
The problem with the plane is well documented, and this is the last country in the free world to ground it.
This is not a problem of over-reach…but one of the Government bending over for lobbyists.
To be clear, Trump hasn’t yet NOT gotten away with running the presidency like his criminal fiefdom. Sadly, the US still needs one of its major political parties to place country before naked corruption in the service of maintaining power.
Trump is still just a symptom. The disease is the current GOP.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl: I haven’t followed this super closely, but it seems like I heard that the United States was the last country to ground those planes.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl:
It is the prudent move.
In the 50s, the De Havilland company introduced the first passenger jet, the Comet, into service. After a few accidents involving total loss of passengers, crew, and airplane, all within a year of entry into service, the fleet was grounded.
It turned out cracks developed through metal fatigue along the corners of the windows. The windows were square, with right angle corners. The problem was solved by making the windows oval,a s they are in today’s planes.. This flaw meant all Comets would eventually fail.
The DC-10 had a faulty latch in a cargo door, which led to the loss of a couple of planes as well. An earlier 737 version had a rudder issue which caused a few crashes.
The latter two were very bad, but not certain to make the airplanes fail.
The issue with the MAX seems to be either software, bad readings from a sensor, or maybe even a training issue.
To repeat something I posted in another comment thread, and lifted whole from Lucky at One Mile at a Time: the airlines and regulators don’t know for sure there is a fatal flaw in the MAX, but they also don’t know for sure that there isn’t one.
So the prudent course is to ground the fleet and study the matter.
And hope a finding and solution won’t take long.
Yes and no.
Mexico has not, to my knowledge, grounded the MAX. But Aeromexico, sole operator of the MAX in Mexico, grounded its MAX fleet (6 jets, I think) a couple of days ago.
There is a difference. As I understand it, until today, any US or Canadian airline still flying the MAX could have flown one to Mexico, even though Aeromexico had grounded theirs.
The 737 design, BTW, is over 50 years old. The MAX is likely the last iteration. For one thing, the next model needs more clearance off the ground to accommodate larger engines.
I think this is great that Manafort is going down – and the NY AG stepped forward with more indictments today! Like Springsteen once sang, he’s “going down, down, down, down, going down, down, down” etc. etc.
But let’s keep a weather eye peeled for the next thug who’s taking notes about how easy it is to scam the GOP and get the nomination, and who won’t be stupid like Cheetoh Jesus. That’s when the fight will really begin.
I remembered that one as being the L-1011. Am I confusing my design flaws, or did they both have cargo door issues?
Does anyone know if the “residential mortgage fraud” was the “buy a property for cash at an inflated price and then take out a mortgage” trick for money laundering? I haven’t had a chance to read the indictment.
I’m not aware of any such major design flaw in the L-1011. I am sure it was the DC-10. The Turkish Airlines accident in Paris is a classic in air crash investigations.
They’re easy planes to mix up. Both are extinct, triple-engine, widebody passenger jets, and the only two such models (the MD-11 is really a DC-10 variant).
@Michael Reynolds: Dr Fine, Dr Howard, Dr Fine….
While I agree, the question of whether Trump gets away with his crimes goes beyond the question of how the GOP behaves. Whenever he does finally leave office, he could be in serious legal jeopardy. That isn’t dependent on how the GOP behaves, and it doesn’t require that he ever be impeached while in office. Even if, as most of us expect, Republicans in the Senate never vote to remove him from office, and even if he can’t be indicted for as long as he’s president, he’ll no longer have that protection by 2021 if he loses reelection. If he wins reelection and manages to serve an additional four years, a lot will depend on statutes of limitations (and I’m not familiar with how those apply to his current legal predicaments). That’s a big reason why, while he may not have originally intended to become president when he first ran, he sure as hell wants to stay president now.
And that’s not even getting into the trouble the rest of the Trump family could be in, which doesn’t have to wait until Trump leaves office.
I can imagine a scenario where Trump is compelled to resign as part of a deal to reduce or eliminate the legal problems he’ll face when leaving the White House. I don’t think this scenario is particularly likely–but it’s a helluva lot more likely than his being removed through impeachment or the 25th Amendment (which strikes me as the least likely of all).
Actually it is one crash, Turkish Airlines Flight 981. Flt 981 was the worst Aviation disaster in history at the time. American Airlines Flight 96 had a cargo door failure but safely made an emergency landing.
Aviation accidents are usually caused by a series of mistakes or mechanical failures not just one thing. Take for instance the Turkish crash. Two things that should have prevented it from happening- A visual inspection by the Flight Engineer prior to take off or the flight having a cargo handler who could read English or Turkish. The Engineer didn’t do his job and the handler while an Arab and fluent in multiple languages didn’t understand Turkish or English.
We don’t know what happened in Ethiopia. Heck, no report is in on the Lion Air Flight. Ethiopia Airlines has a very good reputation, Lion Air is based out of Indonesia where most if not all its carriers are forbidden to fly to Europe.
Bottom line- People can be jumping to conclusions.
Note- I am more than a bit of an aviation accident buff. In fact almost 50 accident articles at Wikipedia were created by me.
My point was that Trump thinks that’s the way you do it.
@Bill: I thought there’s now some suspicion that faulty sensor readings in the nose sensor of the plane and the automated calculated reaction to it has been causing problems with the MAX 8.
(Sometimes I think we just go back to zeppelins and sailing ships for long-distance travel.)
I thought the AA DC-10 with the faulty door, not the one with the falling engine, also resulted in loss of the plane, even if there were no fatalities.
Commercial aviation is one of my minor interests. It also ebbs and flows (mostly ebbs when I don’t fly for years), along with air crash investigations.
I understand there’s no definitive report for Lion Air, and it will be weeks before even preliminary findings in the Ethiopian crash. But the aviation blogs, admittedly non-professional operations, indicate a similar flight profile, with the nose pitching down during the initial climb.
It would be prudent to ground the MAX line for a few weeks while a more intensive investigation is carried out. I know this means losses for some airlines (there are around 350 MAX in service today), and inconvenience for many passengers.
It could be a coincidence. Pilots have made some amazing errors, crashing even perfectly good aircraft well within their operating envelope (like AF 447), or securing the flow of fuel to the unaffected engine, or that Air Canada flight in SFO which nearly landed on a taxi way chock-full of fueled-up widebodies.
@Mike in Arlington:
how does that work?
@Michael Reynolds: “Next up: Jared, Ivanka and Don Jr., or as I like to think of them, Christafuh, Meadow and Janis.”
To me they’re Fredo, Fredo and Fredo.
As much as I’d like to believe this, it assumes the GOP, mindful of the threat from their emboldened & rabid base, won’t be willing to burn it all down on behalf of the tribe.
Just the other day on a different OTB post, there was discussion on the choice made by Obama to not pursue criminal charges against the fraudulent claims that led to the Iraq War or the well-documented use of torture by the Bush/Cheney administration.
I really, truly believe that seeing Trump in an orange jumpsuit would be the best possible curative for the harm being done now to our institutions and political norms, but if the political cost is zero progress on the next Democratic agenda, will that price be paid? I’ll need to see it to believe it.
@wr: IMO Don Jr. and Eric are a poor man’s Bevis and Butthead (doesn’t matter which is which, they are interchangeable). Javanka is a little tougher to pin down. Maybe Kim Kardashian/Kanye West wannabees (that’s a pretty sick concept in its own right). They can’t be Sopranos, because that would make Trump Tony, and Tony is ten times smarter and abler than Trump on his best day.
@SenyorDave: yeah I don’t remember Tony declaring bankruptcy 5 times on the Bada-Bing. 🙂
@Kathy: Thank you for all that information, it is very interesting, and a nice respite from “The Apprentice: DC Assholes Edition”…
As someone on the other thread pointed out, there’s a big difference between declining to pursue charges and actively handing out pardons or other measures to protect the people from the legal consequences. Despite the unpopularity of the Bush Administration, most Americans at the time weren’t paying much attention to this particular matter. What was on their minds was the economic collapse, and if there was any widespread outrage at rich crooks getting a pass, it was far more likely to be directed at the controversial bank bailout than at the architects of the waning Iraq War.
I don’t see how that will apply to Trump if he loses in 2020–particularly if his loss follows a string of unsavory revelations. It would become far more central to the conversation than the war crimes of the Bush Administration were in 2008 (especially since there’s such a long history of US presidents committing war crimes, and besides, torture is popular with the American public), so there’d be a much bigger public demand for heads. And that’s not even getting into whether there are state charges the next president can’t touch.
@Teve: However it works, there’s a high chance that that building in NYC Jared bought at a ridiculously high price is a prime example.
I suspect the building is “bought” at a very high price and sold at a lower one. The idea is to turn “dirty money” into nice “clean money” with a certificate of innocence plastered to it, so you don’t really care if you lose some of the money in the process.
It appears that the answer to my question is “no”, he was indicted on lying to mortgage lenders.
@Teve: I’m not an expert in this, but I was able to find something. There is a legitimate reason to buy a property using cash and then getting a mortgage on it called delayed mortgage financing, but then, well, there’s this.
I believe there were a lot of rules put into place after 9/11 to make this sort of thing difficult, and there were more regulations making it more difficult still of late, but if you have a business partner who has an elastic view of morality, it still may be possible.
Completely off topic:
I’m in Miami. Was schedualed to fly back to Denver (blizzard) on Thurs., on an AA 737Max8 (cancelled).
If I was a conservative, I am sure that I would find a way to blame this on Obama.
@Kathy: Yeah the original 737 had issues with the rudder PCU malfunctioning due to manufacturing errors. It basically forced the rudder to move in the opposite direction as commanded. The faulty parts were replaced and pilots were trained to deal with such a scenario in the future.
The max on the other hand is a bit of a can of worms at this point. To fit the bigger more efficient engines they had to move the mounts and increase landing gear height in the nose. The movement of engines caused the plane’s flight controls to be off and they “fixed it” with a software solution to automatically lower the nose when a couple sensors indicate a stall. The problem is if one of the sensors malfunctions at all the plane’s flight computer will freak and start trying to push the nose of the plane down. If the plane is fine and in level flight such a move would cause it to nose dive uncontrollably…. Oh and boeing didn’t tell any of the pilots about this software being added…
Outside of the new max stuff the 737 is a super reliable workhorse of a plane.
Nobody official has yet said why the plane was pitching up and down. It could be a bad airplane, but pilot error, bad maintenance, or mechanical problems not limited to the 737 also. Right now it is all speculation.
Good airplanes can get a bad reputation because of one incident. That’s what happened to the DC-10 and the 1979 accidents in Chicago and Antarctica were not aircraft related.
I loved the DC-10. Mainly because of its large 1st class sections. From June 1996 to February 2001, I flew almost a half million flight miles. Most of which were with Northwest and Continental who NW had a deal with. I flew NW because
1 They always took good care of me. You know you fly too many miles when the ticket counter staff at PBI knows you by name.
2 My wife is from the Philippines and she likes to fly home periodically. NW flew to Manila.
My traveling was mostly from Southeast Florida to Los Angeles. NW hubs at DTW, MSP, and Memphis but there are not many flights to Memphis from Florida. So I usually went through Detroit and get on their 1230 pm flight to LAX. Which was a DC-10. I’d take the noon flight back to DTW, also a DC-10. From the time I first got elite FF to 2002, I only once missed getting upgraded to 1st class.
All my FF flyer miles allowed me and the wife to make trips to London, Switzerland, Poland/Czech Republic/Austria, Singapore, and Hong Kong. We flew Business Class.
One time when flying into FTL from MEM on NW, our landing was aborted. The pilot said there was someone out on the runway. FTL only has 2(?) runways for jet traffic and wasn’t spaghetti like DTW.
Before that happened, NW needed one last passenger to take a voluntary bumping. They went as high as a $1,000 voucher before getting someone. I have always regretted not volunteering and doing one of these starting the next day in Orlando instead.
“I have always regretted not volunteering…”
Last week, I made $1800 volunteering on two flights. 800 on the first, 1000 on the second.
Total time delayed: 4 hours. Love that Texas all-at-once spring break!
I liked the DC-10, too. I only flew economy, but the 2-4-2 configuration made it have fewer middle seats than the 747 at 3-4-3. I flew them with Continental, Aeromexico, and Mexicana. On Continental, a trip from Gatwick to IAH, the plane was only about 1/3 full, I took a middle row for myself, as did many other passengers.
That happened to me flying Atlanta to Orlando in 1990.
That’s not my scariest landing. That honor belongs to an Interjet flight MTY to TLC. We went into clouds on the descent, and stayed in a white fog for a very long time, when we broke out we were only a few miles from the runway. That long within clouds was unnerving.
Trump grounded the 737 Max because last night Rachel Maddow pointed out that Boeing and the FAA were in talks about a software fix. . . talks suspended for weeks during Trump’s tantrum shutdown. IOW, no shutdown, no dead Ethiopians. Also we have no real head of the FAA because Trump tried to give the job to his personal pilot and got shot down.
Do we? Are you sure about that? Who is the director of the FAA, 2 years into the Trump administration?
Oh, no one.
The acting director might be a fine, competent man, and this may all be on the up and up (maybe the rest of the world was wrong to jump the gun… well no, but for the sake of argument…) — then Trump should nominate him.
the development, construction, and testing of the MAX took place under Obama. He allowed Boeing to market an inferior plane. This would never have happened under Dennison. people say he knows more about airlines than airline executives. many people say this. he ran an airline and did GREAT with it. Witch Hunt! There was NO COLLUSION!!!1!
There is a chance, not a good chance, that today El Cheeto’s faux emergency will be shot down in the Senate by a 61-39 vote. The most likely outcome is 52-48, though.
@Gustopher: As a side note, it seems like the FAA actually made the decision based on their analysis, and Trump in his usual moronic way just took credit for it, managing to cast doubt on its legality in the process by saying things like “We didn’t have to do this” and “I decided”.
But the bigger point still stands. The President is an executive, not a king. An executive is an employee charged with overseeing the management of various offices. He is not qualified to take the place of the FAA or the FDA or the FCC or the Transportation Authority, etc. You might say that he is somehow “the head” of those organizations but that doesn’t matter. They are governed by laws and regulations and have authority to act insofar as they follow those laws and regulations. “The President says so” is not a legal process and cannot serve as a legal basis for a ruling.
Think about it. Trump is a moron who believes that vaccines cause autism. If he declared that starting tomorrow vaccines are prohibited until he is satisfied “the problem has been fixed”, do you honestly think it would have any legal authority?
That’s right! He just declared that digital technology isn’t worth the complication, proving his genius! Forget digital computers – use steam!
There was a message board where I constantly criticized Boeing for clinging to a design as old as the 737. was reminded the 747, still in production today in its fourth iteration, is about as old (it turned fifty last week).
This is true. But the Queen of the Skies was designed as a heavy lift, long haul, wide body passenger and cargo jet, and it remains just that today. The 737, on the other hand, was originally a regional, short haul, narrow body passenger jet. It still carries passengers, but everything else has changed. Today they can fly 7 hours or more, and carry as many as 200 passengers. I classify 7 hours as the short edge of long haul.
It had overextended the original air frame design by the past iteration in the 90s. Maybe the larger, more efficient LEAP engines of the MAX went beyond a simple massively complicated stretch.
Airbus designed the A320 in the 80s and only now reached a second iteration with the A320 neo. They’re overreaching, too, even if it was originally a medium haul passenger jet. It’s also reaching for long haul, and even a bit beyond with the A321 XLR variant.
I get it that designing a clean slate plane is much more expensive than modifying an existing production design. And the 737 and A320 lines are the big staple in the plane makers’ diet.
OT – Breaking…
The POTUS just threatened civil war, while talking to Breibart:
Seemingly out of nowhere, Matt yglesias just reiterated that he thinks a coup is coming:
And he linked to this essay he wrote 3 years ago.
american democracy is doomed.
@Daryl and his brother Darryl: huh. When I posted the yglesias post I hadn’t seen yours yet. Maybe that’s what triggered him.
Hmmm…he doesn’t even reference it.
That piece probably took a while to write…so coincidence, I think.
The AA DC-10 incident was a near crash (and indeed preceded the Turkish Airlines LOA). The sole difference between the two was the degree to which the floor collapsed post decompression. The AA aircrew managed to retain some degree of control over the flight surfaces and was able, barely, to get the plane back on the ground because the cabin floor didn’t completely collapse. In the TA incident, the control lines were completely severed and therefore the flight crew lost all control over the airframe.
That incident is notable because the NTSB investigation identified design flaws in the design of the cargo door, but the FAA chose not to issue an AD, relying instead on a promise from MD that it would correct the problem. It took the second loss to finally get them to do what they should have done from the outset.
@Kathy: The 737 is a known quantity optimized in many ways. It’s robust and has a proven track record with readily available parts at reasonable prices. If you want a new long haul plane then head on over to the 787. While your at it compare the prices for new air frames of each type…
EDIT : Not only is a new plane design more expensive (via RnD, retooling, and time required to complete certifications) but there are also inevitable teething issues which may or may not include several hundred of your passengers dying too…