When Paul Manafort’s prison sentence for violating various federal laws was extended to more than seven years by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Wednesday, the aggregate sentences received by people linked to President Trump stretched to more than a decade.
Manafort, as you probably know, was Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman for several months, though the crimes to which he admitted weren’t related to that service. (They were, instead, related to lying, witness intimidation and various financial wrongs.) With a finalized prison sentence, he joined Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who was sentenced to three years for committing fraud and for admitting to violating campaign finance laws by facilitating payoffs in 2016 to two women who alleged sexual encounters with Trump.
A third Trump campaign associate has, unlike Manafort and Cohen, already served his sentence. That was George Papadopoulos, an adviser to Trump’s campaign who admitted to lying to investigators working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. He served two weeks.
What’s remarkable about this is that all three men rose to prosecutors’ attention because of their work on and for Trump’s campaign. Meaning that they will end up collectively serving far more time than Trump will serve in office — even if Trump serves for two terms.
They aren’t the only people sentenced to time in prison after being targeted by Mueller’s probe. Richard Pinedo was caught after he provided bank account numbers to Russians who were allegedly engaged in an effort to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. Alex van der Zwaan was a member of Manafort’s extended circle who also admitted to lying to investigators. He ended up being deported.
And remember, these aren’t the only people who will be sentenced. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn — also an adviser to Trump’s campaign — is yet to be sentenced for lying to Mueller’s team. Manafort’s longtime business partner Rick Gates is similarly awaiting his fate. Roger Stone, who’d worked with Trump for years, was indicted in January on various charges and could also spend time in prison.
In other words, the two-and-a-half presidential terms to which Manafort, Cohen and Papadopoulos have already been sentenced may be on the low end of the spectrum. The upper end remains unclear — as do any additional names that might contribute to the total.