*I mentioned in a previous column, President Donald Trump runs the White House like a mob boss. He’s obsessed with loyalty, hires family members, because they’re less likely to turn on him, and calls people who betray him, like Michael Cohen, rats. He also frequently breaks the law and has surrounded himself with criminals.
Now we understand that, we have to process everything he does through this lens. Like many other Americans, I was shocked when former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort received a light sentence from U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis. Although he was facing up to 20 years for tax evasion and bank fraud charges, Ellis only gave him 47 months.
And to add insult to injury, Ellis acted as if Manafort had only recently started breaking the law. When he handed down the sentence, he claimed Manafort had led “an otherwise blameless life.”
This is simply not true. Manafort didn’t turn into a criminal overnight. He’s been cutting shady deals ever since the 1980s when he lobbied for African tyrants such as Angolan warlord Jonas Savimbi and former Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo) dictator Mobutu Sese Sekou. One of Manafort’s daughters described his wealth as “blood money.”