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GOP senator says he was surprised at sentence for 'sleazoid' Manafort

GOP senator says he was surprised at sentence for 'sleazoid' Manafort
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) said Sunday that he was surprised at the length of former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFlynn spurs questions of who Trump might pardon next On The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges to NY high court MORE's sentence last week.

"I thought it would be longer," Kennedy said on "Face the Nation."

"Mr. Manafort is a grifter," he continued. "He used to be a partner with Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneFlynn spurs questions of who Trump might pardon next OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn MORE. He’s — I’m sorry, Margaret — he's just a sleazoid. He’s always played at the margins."

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Kennedy refrained from criticizing the judge in the case, T.S. Ellis III, explaining that he'd like to read the sentencing memos to understand the decision.

"Rather than just be opinionated, I’d rather be informed," he said. "Judge Ellis has been on the bench 30 years. I haven’t read the sentencing memos. He obviously believed four years was enough. I might disagree with him, but I’d have to read the sentencing memos."

Ellis, a federal judge in Virginia, last Thursday sentenced Manafort to 47 months in prison, well below the 19 to 24 years Manafort could have received under the advisory sentencing recommendations. The former Trump associate was convicted last year on bank fraud and tax fraud charges.

Manafort is due in court Wednesday for separate sentencing in Washington, D.C. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for conspiracy against the U.S. and conspiracy to obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses.