Edward Snowden rips light Manafort sentence: 'Your sentence derives from your proximity to power'

By Daniel Chaitin

March 10, 2019 "Information Clearing House" Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden condemned the light sentence obtained by former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort last week, arguing that "proximity to power" leads to leniency.

In a tweet, Snowden compared the amount of prison time dealt to once powerful figures Manafort and former CIA Director David Petraeus to that of Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst for the U.S. Army.

"#Manafort: 47 months for a lifelong carnival of criminality. Petraeus: 0 days for trading the country's highest secrets for a more favorable biography. Manning: 35 YEARS for revealing evidence of actual war crimes to the press. Your sentence derives from your proximity to power," Snowden said.


Manafort, a longtime lobbyist who led a presidential campaign, got less than four years behind bars for eight financial crimes, including bank fraud, tax fraud, and failure to disclose a foreign bank account. The decision by T.S. Ellis III, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and serves on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, defies a requested prison term of 19 to 24 years by special counsel Robert Mueller. Manafort's light sentence could be extended next week in a Washington, D.C., federal court in an illegal lobbying case.

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Petraeus, a retired general, pleaded guilty in 2015 for sharing classified information with Paula Broadwell, his biographer. A federal judge gave Petraeus two years probation and a fine of $100,000.

Meanwhile Manning, a trans woman formerly known as Bradley Manning, was convicted in 2013 for violating the Espionage Act after she provided thousands of national security documents to WikiLeaks. She originally faced 35 years in prison, but former President Barack Obama commuted her sentence and she was released in 2017. Manning was taken into custody Friday after she was found in contempt of the court for failing to appear before a secret grand jury investigating WikiLeaks.

Snowden himself leaked secret information from the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. Facing a criminal complaint from the U.S. government on the charges of espionage and theft of government property, Snowden asked for asylum in Russia back in 2013 and has remained there ever since.

This article was originally published by "Washington Examiner" -  

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