A Peek Into Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen’s Future

I need to get my peepers checked and a new prescription because the eye strain headache I have right now is on almost a migraine level. So, this post will be shorter than it would otherwise be. There is someone who was just convicted of 23 felonies, including charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and violations of federal election law. He also misused charities and fraudulently misled donors. He used the money to finance personal purchases and well as to pay for political dirty tricks. He’s going to jail pending sentencing because he’s a flight risk.

Somewhat shockingly, this person is neither Michael Cohen nor Donald Trump. Yes, one or both of them are guilty of all of the same felonies. But, no, this person is a former congressman from Texas named Steve Stockman.

Stockman will appeal the verdict, but he’s up shit creek.

A jury in federal court in Houston ruled Thursday afternoon that Stockman is guilty of all but one of the 24 felonies he was charged with last March. After about 16 hours of deliberations over three days, the 12-person panel only declined to convict on one of four counts of wire fraud…

…That verdict puts Stockman — a firebrand conservative who served two nonconsecutive terms in the U.S. House before losing a 2014 challenge to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas — at risk of decades in federal prison.

I am somewhat surprised at the amount of jail time people like Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen are facing considering that their crimes are white collar, but when you get nailed on more than a dozen counts the jail time quickly adds up to an effective life sentence for a man already past the age of 50.

I doubt Stockman knows anything about Trump that Bob Mueller is interested in, but Manafort and Cohen still have a get out of jail free card if they want to use it. They might not escape jail entirely, but they can avoid effective life sentences. Or they can wait around for Trump to obstruct justice again by pardoning them. But then they’ll lose their right to invoke the Fifth Amendment and they’ll have to talk.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.