As the bank and fraud trial of Paul Manafort got underway, Tucker Carlson blasted the already severe punishment that the former Trump campaign manager has had to endure.
The bank fraud and tax evasion trial began Tuesday in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia against Manafort who has been in solitary confinement 23 hours a day and is facing 305 years in prison.
“Manafort had his bail revoked, an unusual penalty for a man with no criminal convictions,” Carlson said on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Tuesday. “He has been held in solitary confinement pretty much ever since for 23 hours a day. Manafort now faces 305 years in prison. That’s several life sentences.”
“So what exactly is Paul Manafort accused of doing?” Carlson continued.
“If you guessed murder, guess again. Most murderers don’t get treated like that by the government. The average violent felon in this country receives just six-and-a-half years behind bars,” he explained. “No, Paul Manafort is accused of something far worse than murder – tax evasion and violating banking regulations. The government isn’t even suggesting Manafort stole money from a bank. They say he was dishonest on loan applications.”
“If you are confused, maybe this will clear up the story for you,” Carlson told viewers. “The prosecutor leading the case against Paul Manafort is named Andrew Weissmann. He’s an enthusiastic Democratic partisan… and now he’s trying to send Donald Trump’s campaign manager to prison for life on a tax charge. For perspective on that, the average sentence for tax fraud in this country is a year and three months. It could be much longer though if you have the wrong politics, apparently.”
And for more perspective on Mueller’s witch hunt, Tony Podesta, who reportedly worked with Manafort and is the brother of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta, has not been charged with any crimes. He was also offered immunity by Mueller to testify against Manafort.
Retired Harvard law professor, Alan Dershowitz, unpacked the simple reason why he believes Manafort is being threatened with a sentence Carlson described as “so disproportionate compared to the average.”
“It’s very simple. His crime is being associated with Donald Trump,” Dershowitz told the Fox News host. “They are just trying to get him convicted so they can squeeze him. If you squeeze a witness not only does the witness sing but sometimes, according to the judge, the witness composes. That is, he becomes creative. He makes up information, he elaborates.”
“This trial today is not about Manafort. If Manafort hadn’t been associated with the Trump campaign, he’d be out in New York or wherever doing his business,” Dershowitz added. “It’s an attempt to convict him of doing whatever they could possibly find against him. No matter how unrelated is to the Mueller probe, to see if they can get him to sing or maybe even compose.”
Carlson wondered how this behavior was any different than what the mafia does.
“That’s not justice as I thought it was practiced in this country, at all,” he noted.
“Unfortunately it is the way that justice has been practiced against the mafia and against terrorists and we civil libertarians have long been opposed to this way of dealing with problems,” Dershowitz replied. “But the civil libertarians are quiet today. Why? Because the object is Donald Trump.”
“Do you hear the ACLU complaining about this? Do you hear the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers complaining?” he asked. “We have always complained about this tactic when it’s used against other people… And civil libertarian all over the country ought to be concerned about this.”
“Especially when an actual human being, a 68-year-old man is facing life in prison for not filling up the bank forms correctly,” Carlson concluded. “That’s pretty unbelievable.”