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The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by hepcat » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:40 pm

In short: the Kushners are crooks.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by stessier » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:45 pm

hepcat wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:40 pm
In short: the Kushners are crooks.
Spoilers!!!
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:46 pm

What's the "FBI Records Vault" account? Is that the weird FBI account that periodically belches out old records at random times?

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by pr0ner » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:49 pm

stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:40 pm
Can you summarize as I have no idea what to make of that (or even what I'm looking at) from a brief scan.
No, as I don't have time to all of it, either.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by stessier » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:51 pm

pr0ner wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:49 pm
stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:40 pm
Can you summarize as I have no idea what to make of that (or even what I'm looking at) from a brief scan.
No, as I don't have time to all of it, either.
What do you think you posted then? I'm not looking for an indepth review - but you must have posted it for some reason. The first 9 pages of the thing are just deletions - of what it is unclear.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by pr0ner » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:01 pm

stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:51 pm
pr0ner wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:49 pm
stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:40 pm
Can you summarize as I have no idea what to make of that (or even what I'm looking at) from a brief scan.
No, as I don't have time to all of it, either.
What do you think you posted then? I'm not looking for an indepth review - but you must have posted it for some reason. The first 9 pages of the thing are just deletions - of what it is unclear.
I found it fascinating the FBI did a dump of the investigations of the Kushner family's dealings while Jared Kushner is in the news, again, over his top secret security clearance.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by pr0ner » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:02 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:46 pm
What's the "FBI Records Vault" account? Is that the weird FBI account that periodically belches out old records at random times?
This appears to be the case.

I don't know if this one was "random", though.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:06 pm

pr0ner wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:02 pm
El Guapo wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:46 pm
What's the "FBI Records Vault" account? Is that the weird FBI account that periodically belches out old records at random times?
This appears to be the case.

I don't know if this one was "random", though.
Yeah, I remember it from the 2016 campaign. IIRC they belched out old Clinton records (Whitewater, maybe?) at an odd time. Though I don't know whether these releases are actually "timed" like this, or if it's genuinely random / prescheduled and we only notice the account when a release lines up with other news.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by coopasonic » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:23 pm

stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:45 pm
hepcat wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:40 pm
In short: the Kushners are crooks.
Spoilers!!!
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by LawBeefaroni » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:00 pm

stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:51 pm
pr0ner wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:49 pm
stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:40 pm
Can you summarize as I have no idea what to make of that (or even what I'm looking at) from a brief scan.
No, as I don't have time to all of it, either.
What do you think you posted then? I'm not looking for an indepth review - but you must have posted it for some reason. The first 9 pages of the thing are just deletions - of what it is unclear.
It looks like an FBI report regarding a lawsuit filed against Charles Kushner's company (one of them). From what I can tell it was an age discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee. Me being on a phone and not really able to look at it.


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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Zarathud » Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:37 pm

Someone tell Hannity that Cohen admits lying to him, not lying now. The whole part of a "cover up" of the hush payments was to lie to the media. Duh!
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Max Peck » Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:30 pm

The FBI Records Vault twitter account is associated with the FBI FOIA office, and appears to be used to promulgate the results of FOIA requests submitted to the FBI. My read is that the particular tweet in question (Kushner Companies) is just the result of someone having submitted an FOIA request on that subject. The deletions are redactions of material that could not, for whatever reasons, be released.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:19 pm

Manafort to spent 47 months in prison.
The longtime political operative faced between 19-and-a-half to 24 years behind bars, according to federal guidelines. Judge T.S. Ellis called that range "excessive" prior to announcing Manafort's sentence, and said he "has lived an otherwise blameless life."
What?

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Alefroth » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:40 pm

Wow, don't even need a pardon for that sentence.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:51 pm

A quarter of the minimum sentence or the idea that except for his crimes, his life was free of crime.

Neither is particularly confidence inducing coming from a judge.

Presumably the sentence includes time served. 4 years would be significant if it started today. As is, he'll probably be out in time to chair the re-election campaign.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Zaxxon » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:54 pm

The best part is the 'otherwise blameless life.'

Narrator: He faces a possible 10-year sentence the very next week for other crimes.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:13 pm


FYI in 2018, #JudgeEllis sentenced Frederick Turner, 37, to a mandatory minimum of 40 years in prison for dealing methamphetamine: "I chafe a bit at that, but I follow the law. If I thought it was blatantly immoral, I'd have to resign. It's wrong, but not immoral." #PaulManafort

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Enough » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:48 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:13 pm

FYI in 2018, #JudgeEllis sentenced Frederick Turner, 37, to a mandatory minimum of 40 years in prison for dealing methamphetamine: "I chafe a bit at that, but I follow the law. If I thought it was blatantly immoral, I'd have to resign. It's wrong, but not immoral." #PaulManafort
Ellis also sentenced Bill Jefferson (money in the fridge corrupt congress person) for 13 years.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by malchior » Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:59 pm

It is almost like people haven't been complaining for years that our system for sentencing has been incredibly unfair to some participants (brown people) compared to others (whites) and especially a special class (white collar criminals).
Zaxxon wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:54 pm
The best part is the 'otherwise blameless life.'

Narrator: He faces a possible 10-year sentence the very next week for other crimes.
This is the part where we have to acknowledge this judge has been on the bench for *32* years. I'd want to be generous and say it is experience but it is hard to argue against some deep seated bias at play.

Also what a message to send. Blow up your plea deal. Lie to the United States. Evade taxes. The judge even talked about the fact that Manafort didn't show remorse then delivers a mere slap on the wrist. Fucking disgusting.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Alefroth » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:48 am

He's really just a good friend and a generous person.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by stessier » Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:51 am

Smoove_B wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:13 pm

FYI in 2018, #JudgeEllis sentenced Frederick Turner, 37, to a mandatory minimum of 40 years in prison for dealing methamphetamine: "I chafe a bit at that, but I follow the law. If I thought it was blatantly immoral, I'd have to resign. It's wrong, but not immoral." #PaulManafort
Assuming the judge is using his words appropriately, that really is a different thing. For drug crimes, there are (maybe were?) actual statutory minimums. In this case, there was just a sentencing guideline that really is just a guideline and not a statutory requirement.

The result is surprising though. Popehat guessed he would get a minimum of 120 months from this judge.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:39 am

stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:51 am
Smoove_B wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 9:13 pm

FYI in 2018, #JudgeEllis sentenced Frederick Turner, 37, to a mandatory minimum of 40 years in prison for dealing methamphetamine: "I chafe a bit at that, but I follow the law. If I thought it was blatantly immoral, I'd have to resign. It's wrong, but not immoral." #PaulManafort
Assuming the judge is using his words appropriately, that really is a different thing. For drug crimes, there are (maybe were?) actual statutory minimums. In this case, there was just a sentencing guideline that really is just a guideline and not a statutory requirement.

The result is surprising though. Popehat guessed he would get a minimum of 120 months from this judge.
Yeah, that really sounds like a mandatory minimum driven sentence (given the "I follow the law" part). And FWIW Ellis is a vocal opponent of mandatory minimum sentencing.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by tjg_marantz » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:07 am

I'm not mad at the sentence. I think it's more than fair in and of itself.

I'm mad at all the other overly harsh sentences that affect minorities at a disparate rate.

The system is broken.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:12 am

tjg_marantz wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:07 am
I'm not mad at the sentence. I think it's more than fair in and of itself.

I'm mad at all the other overly harsh sentences that affect minorities at a disparate rate.

The system is broken.

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I tend to agree. In some ways I'm more disgusted by the "otherwise blameless life" comments, especially given (even setting aside his known crimes) his client list, including propping up Russian puppets in Ukraine (and, well, America).

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Holman » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:19 am

Does Manafort face sentencing (is it next week?) in his other trial? Prosecutors recommended 10 years there, and it's a different judge.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:21 am

Holman wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:19 am
Does Manafort face sentencing (is it next week?) in his other trial? Prosecutors recommended 10 years there, and it's a different judge.
Yes. While they're not directly connected, intuitively one would imagine that this judge giving a very lenient sentence would cause the second judge to err more on the punitive side of whatever range they are contemplating. But we'll see.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:10 pm

I get that he's not a violent criminal, but the optics for those outside the legal community are terrible. Once again (as mentioned) you have a white-collar criminal that's essentially skating. While I have no doubts 47 months in a federal facility are going to be awful, when you hear that he was looking at a 19.5 years (or more) and the judge decided it wasn't warranted so he lowered it to 47 months...it sends (IMHO) the wrong message and furthers the narrative that rich white dudes committing financial crimes get preferential treatment. Maybe I am naive in thinking part of the job of the judiciary is to make sure they're setting an example when sentencing and (to me) this doesn't feel like that's the case given what was represented.

I'm certainly willing to listen to those more educated and experienced telling me otherwise, but I still maintain that it doesn't look good.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by tjg_marantz » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:34 pm

This is an example of sentencing. It is the right example as long as it's implemented in other cases. If it isn't (it won't), then the failure is not of this sentence but of a broken system.

All the other wrongs should not be compounded by another wrong.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by LordMortis » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:10 pm

he optics for those outside the legal community are terrible.
Optics or whatever.

You have a guy who declined the plea deal.
You have a guy who who tampered with witnesses
You have a guy who broke rules at every opportunity during the trial
You have a guy covertly working with foreign agents while in employ for elected officials of the US
You have a guy whose fraud equates to millions of dollars in lost revenue as well as shedding a light on who he is actually working for.
You have a guy who would have been convicted on a whole lot more if it weren't for our lousy system of jurors

So yeah, the optics is JustUs.

Steal a car (non violently) worth $1500, and you get a in jail. Spend years defrauding people and concealing your fraud equating to millions of dollars in theft and acting hostilely every step of the way toward prosecution, it's like three counts of stealing a beater.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by stessier » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:02 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:10 pm
I get that he's not a violent criminal, but the optics for those outside the legal community are terrible. Once again (as mentioned) you have a white-collar criminal that's essentially skating. While I have no doubts 47 months in a federal facility are going to be awful, when you hear that he was looking at a 19.5 years (or more) and the judge decided it wasn't warranted so he lowered it to 47 months...it sends (IMHO) the wrong message and furthers the narrative that rich white dudes committing financial crimes get preferential treatment. Maybe I am naive in thinking part of the job of the judiciary is to make sure they're setting an example when sentencing and (to me) this doesn't feel like that's the case given what was represented.

I'm certainly willing to listen to those more educated and experienced telling me otherwise, but I still maintain that it doesn't look good.
If you don't want mandatory sentences (and I think we don't), then this is what can happens. We pick our judges and trust them to show leniency where appropriate. I don't agree that they people lives should be used to send messages. That is politics and should be kept out of the justice system. (I know that's not how it always works, but as long as we are dreaming, that is how I think it should work.)

I'm not sure the sentence wasn't appropriate. The recommended sentence was effectively a death sentence given Manafort's age. Even 85% of his current sentence could be the end of him given his current health issues and the penal's system less than stellar medical facilities.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Zarathud » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:46 pm

The "otherwise blameless life" statement inflicted terrible damage on the judicial system's integrity. Putin really received an incredible return on his investment in Trump/Manafort for damage to the U.S.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:12 pm

stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:02 pm
If you don't want mandatory sentences (and I think we don't), then this is what can happens. We pick our judges and trust them to show leniency where appropriate. I don't agree that they people lives should be used to send messages. That is politics and should be kept out of the justice system. (I know that's not how it always works, but as long as we are dreaming, that is how I think it should work.)

I'm not sure the sentence wasn't appropriate. The recommended sentence was effectively a death sentence given Manafort's age. Even 85% of his current sentence could be the end of him given his current health issues and the penal's system less than stellar medical facilities.
The message isn't political in the sense of partisanship.

There are several aspects of punishment under the law, one of which is to act as a deterrent. That's "sending a message" using someone's life. It's inherent in the system. "Sending a message" with Manafort's life is particularly appropriate given his complete disdain for America and the rule of law there. The justice system and judges have always punished more harshly those that disrespect the law and the justice system. It's why contempt of court exists. It's why a plea bargain often includes the accused listing and accepting responsibility for his crimes, it's why those who show genuine remorse and accept responsibility are often (not always of course) given a lesser sentence.

Manafort has attempted to use all the avenues open to a defendant to reduce his legal guilt and punishment, which is good and we expect that. He has also ignored his responsibilities in these areas when it suited him. He has shown that he will make whatever agreement necessary to get what he wants, while completely ignoring his responsibilities that allowed those agreements to be made in the first place.

If I make a rule that my son can have an ice cream sandwich after he cleans his room, then catch him eating the sandwich without cleaning his room, I'm gonna be pissed, and rightly so. If he tells me he's sorry and he'll clean his room AND the bathroom to keep from being punished, and then does neither, you're damn right I'm "gonna send a message" to him and his siblings.

Dying in prison is the (potential) price you pay for being a criminal when you're old.

Manafort? Fuck that guy.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Enough » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:19 pm

Zarathud wrote:The "otherwise blameless life" statement inflicted terrible damage on the judicial system's integrity. Putin really received an incredible return on his investment in Trump/Manafort for damage to the U.S.
This. I am persuaded by some of the defense but his comment is so stupid.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by El Guapo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:21 pm

Enough wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:19 pm
Zarathud wrote:The "otherwise blameless life" statement inflicted terrible damage on the judicial system's integrity. Putin really received an incredible return on his investment in Trump/Manafort for damage to the U.S.
This. I am persuaded by some of the defense but his comment is so stupid.

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FWIW Popehat seems to view it as typical judge bullshitting.

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:40 pm

stessier wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:02 pm
If you don't want mandatory sentences (and I think we don't), then this is what can happens.
You're right - I don't want mandatory sentencing, no. But when the recommended sentencing is 19.5 years and the judge metes out 47 months, that seems...strange.
We pick our judges and trust them to show leniency where appropriate. I don't agree that they people lives should be used to send messages. That is politics and should be kept out of the justice system. (I know that's not how it always works, but as long as we are dreaming, that is how I think it should work.)
I guess we're different. Not everyone should be made an example of - I have to trust in the capabilities of the judges appointed to use their discretion. However, there's also nothing in the Manafort case (as presented) that suggested he was a "one off" or a guy that got caught up in a bad situation and made poor decisions. Instead, he's presented as someone that not only made bad decisions but actually benefited from them and continued to do for a long time.
I'm not sure the sentence wasn't appropriate. The recommended sentence was effectively a death sentence given Manafort's age. Even 85% of his current sentence could be the end of him given his current health issues and the penal's system less than stellar medical facilities.
I don't really know either as I'd need someone with better historical knowledge to get me a comparison of people that have committed similar crimes and see what their punishments were.

I guess my take home lesson here is that I should wait until I'm 65 or 70 to start committing financial crimes and then hope I can use the "anything longer than 4 years is a death sentence" as leverage for my punishment. :wink:

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by LordMortis » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:11 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:40 pm
However, there's also nothing in the Manafort case (as presented) that suggested he was a "one off" or a guy that got caught up in a bad situation and made poor decisions. Instead, he's presented as someone that not only made bad decisions but actually benefited from them and continued to do for a long time.
Like at least until February of 2018?

https://www.justsecurity.org/57518/thin ... -standard/

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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Jaymann » Fri Mar 08, 2019 6:39 pm

This is why we need Kamala Harris to get tough on crime.
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Max Peck » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:06 pm

I don't see Manafort as someone who made bad decisions. I see him as someone who decided to do bad things.
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GreenGoo
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:40 pm

He's a criminal because he decided crimes were the best way to get what he wanted. He was thoughtful, motivated and extensive in his planning and execution of those crimes.

He's not a kid who submitted to peer pressure and shoplifted some cigarettes (he's old enough to remember when cigarettes were available within easy reach like everything else :D ).

He's a career criminal.

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Enough
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Re: The Trump Investigation(s) Thread

Post by Enough » Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:55 pm

El Guapo wrote:
Enough wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:19 pm
Zarathud wrote:The "otherwise blameless life" statement inflicted terrible damage on the judicial system's integrity. Putin really received an incredible return on his investment in Trump/Manafort for damage to the U.S.
This. I am persuaded by some of the defense but his comment is so stupid.

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FWIW Popehat seems to view it as typical judge bullshitting.
One throwaway bad decision can have large impacts, just ask that woman who got five years for incorrectly voting.

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