Paul Manafort could receive a "heavy sentence" if he is found guilty of tax fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy against the United States government, but in the end he might be pardoned anyway, retired Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department lieutenant Randy Sutton told Newsmax TV.
Sutton was on Wednesday night's "Newsmax Now" and said Manafort, who briefly served as President Donald Trump's campaign chairman in 2016 and is now on trial, appears to be in legal trouble.
"He's gonna get a heavy sentence [if he's found guilty], there's no doubt about it," Sutton said. "These are very serious charges, I think actually it's a little bit of overkill with what they charged him with. The Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney are famous for doing that when they have a target on someone's back.
"But federal time is a whole lot different than state time. You get sentenced to 10 years, you're gonna pretty much do all 10 years. There's no doubt in my mind that if he's found guilty, he's gonna get a lengthy sentence."
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Special counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and it is not yet clear whether Trump himself is a target of the probe. Mueller is trying to interview Trump about what he knows.
If Manafort were to be found guilty, however, there is a chance Trump could grant him a pardon.
"The president has the right to pardon anybody he feels like," Sutton said. "President Obama pardoned about 2,000 drug dealers and violent criminals, and there was no outcry over that.
"But there's no doubt in my mind that if he does pardon Paul Manafort, there will be an element of society that loses its mind. But the president doesn't really care what certain elements think about him, so I think a pardon is a possibility."
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