Paul Manafort is still going to spend the rest of his life in prison – and so is Donald Trump

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Paul Manafort has just been sentenced to four years in prison, which is ridiculous, but still devastating for him. Manafort still has yet to be sentenced in his other federal trial next week, where another decade or more will be tacked on. New York State will tack on even more years. That’s before getting to whether Mueller re-files the ten deadlocked federal charges. Manafort is 69 years old. He’s almost certainly going to die in prison. That makes Manafort the first criminal co-conspirator in the Trump-Russia election rigging scandal to be handed this particularly dark fate. But he won’t be the only one.

Michael Cohen is only going to prison for three years. He got lucky. He’s led a life of crime, but he managed to steer clear of the election rigging plot that’s going to effectively end a number of lives. Michael Flynn got lucky as well. He committed treason or its statutory equivalent, yet because he happened to have evidence to take everyone else down, and he was the very first to flip, he’s getting off with a slap on the wrist. But that’s where the leniency ends.

Donald Trump Jr, who committed espionage, and who appears to have his hand in an endless number of money laundering, insurance fraud, and bank fraud schemes, could easily end up with an even longer prison sentence than Paul Manafort. Junior is 41 years old. Maybe he’ll get out someday. Jared Kushner’s entire real estate empire is one alleged criminal scheme, and he stands accused of selling U.S. classified secrets to foreign governments. If he’s convicted on all of it, he could conceivably go to prison for the rest of his life. But these aren’t the people who have to worry the most.

Roger Stone is 66 years old. He’s been hit with seven felony charges thus far, with seemingly dozens more coming. The evidence against him is overwhelming. If he doesn’t cut a plea deal, he’ll likely die in prison. Jeff Sessions is 72 years old. If he sees any prison time at all for his perjury and his conspiracy with the Russians, he’ll probably never get out. The same goes for 74 year old Rudy Giuliani. This is all rather morbid, but the reality is that these people participated in a treason plot, stole the election, and hijacked the United States government. They’re no different than any other terrorists who have attacked the United States.

By the way, if you haven’t figured it out by now, there are no magic pardons. There’s a reason Donald Trump has disingenuously dangled pardons at his underlings, but never intended to go through with it. State level charges alone ensure that federal pardons won’t get anyone off the hook. And that’s before getting to questions of whether an attempted federal pardon of an alleged co-conspirator would be struck down by the courts.

Really, there’s one person who has to worry the most: Donald Trump himself. He’s committed roughly all the same crimes that Paul Manafort has committed, along with all the crimes that Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner stand accused of committing, and then some. The minute Trump is no longer in office, he’ll be arrested and charged with dozens if not hundreds of felonies. The evidence is beyond overwhelming. Unless he cuts a resignation deal soon in exchange for reduced criminal charges, Donald Trump will die in prison.

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