Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said on Sunday that Donald Trump’s ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort received an “incredibly lenient” sentence for crimes involving long-term tax and bank fraud.
Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” McCabe reacted to news that Manafort was sentenced to less than four years in prison on Thursday after being convicted in August on eight counts involving bank fraud and filing false income taxes. Sentencing guidelines recommended he serve between 19 and 24 years in prison, which U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III described as “excessive” as he handed down the prison term.
The case in Virginia is one of two criminal cases Manafort is facing that grew out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“I was really surprised by the sentence he was given,” McCabe said. “I think it’s an incredibly lenient sentence in light ― not just of the offenses he was convicted for, but the additional offenses that he has pled guilty to in D.C. and the offenses he’s acknowledged in the sentencing process in Virginia that he is responsible for.”
“I was shocked,” McCabe added.
Manafort still owes the government about $6 million, and he faces an additional sentencing hearing this week in another case involving guilty pleas for conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Manafort pled guilty to both charges in September in a plea deal with Mueller’s team.
McCabe was fired by the Trump administration last year after a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded the acting FBI chief was involved in leaking information to the media regarding an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
McCabe maintains that he was fired because he opened an investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia and whether he obstructed justice in firing FBI Director James Comey.