By now you've probably read that the judge in Paul Manafort's first trial gave him an extremely light sentence of 47 months, less time served. He would thus get out of prison before Michael Cohen. That, as the thread title indicates, is an absolute travesty. How could this happen? Let me itemize the ways:
1) Judge Ellis is a Reagan appointee, and a true believer. He has a reputation for giving generously lenient sentences to white collar criminals (contra harsh sentences to drug offenders). Chuck Rosenberg, former U.S. Attorney, for the Eastern District of Virginia, former chief of staff at the FBI, former acting DEA chief, among other things, noted before sentencing "not to be shocked" if Manafort got a light sentence from Judge Ellis. I'll bet even he didn't expect this light a sentence.
2) Ellis is 8 years older than Manafort, and therefore viewed him sympathetically. Fellow old white guy.
3) Ellis also has a reputation for being harsh and cavalier toward government attorneys. He displayed that during the trial.
4) Ellis does not agree with the existence of a Special Counsel, and also made that abundantly clear in court.
In my humble opinion, Judge Ellis should not have presided over this case, and displayed his obvious bias. His sentence is consistent with his attitude. Unfortunately, there is little room for a government appeal.
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.
Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich