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 ManafortGiuliani draws attention with latest trip to Ukraine GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties GOP fantasies about Ukrainian election 'interference' blow up Trump's impeachment defense 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 StoneSchiff says investigators seeking to identify who Giuliani spoke to on unlisted '-1' number What if impeachment fails? Juan Williams: Trump has nothing left but smears 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.