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Here Are the Most Eye-Popping Moments in Nearly 100 Pages of Transcripts From Manafort’s Sentencing


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U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III got a lot of heat on Thursday for sentencing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to 47 months in prison — a far cry from the 19.5-24 years the Special Counsel’s Office cited according to sentencing guidelines.

Now we have nearly 100 pages worth of transcripts from that fateful day in Ellis’ courtroom, and many details jumped right off the page. Here are some highlights that provide more context regarding how Ellis arrived at the sentence he handed down.

A preview of the sentence to come

Ellis prefaced everything by mentioning that sentencing guidelines are “advisory.” He would emphasize this point many times over the course of the 90-plus pages.

“As I’m sure most of you, if not every one of you, knows, the sentencing guidelines are advisory. They are not mandatory as they once were. They’re one factor for the Court to take into account in imposing an appropriate sentence,” he said. “And there is a statute that itemizes the factors the Court is required to consider in imposing an appropriate sentence, and the guidelines is merely one of those factors.”:snip:

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