Nothing that happened on Thursday reduced Trump's potential legal or political exposure or rejected Müller's investigation, which uncovered a pattern of Trump acolyte's lie about unclear links with Russia. It is a measure of how grim the past few years have been for the President that the detention of his former election chairman for his White House could in any way be interpreted as good news.
And nobody outside Müllers County has any idea what's in store The final report to be sent shortly to Attorney General William Barr will speak about the President's conduct.
But Thursday's events raise some political and legal issues regarding the ambition of Müller's prosecutors and their tactics when faced with a skeptic judge and the credibility that Cohen has in the most damaging statement against Trump in the past Week has set.
In the victory-loss calculation that has shaped Trump's life, the president can take advantage of the surprising courtroom drama. Anything thrown as a hit against the celebrity star will be included in the campaign in Trump's conservative media chorus to bolster the president's standing among GOP voters, which is vital to his long-term viability.
Mueller's team had demanded a 19-25 year prison sentence for a tax and financial fraud conviction Manafort's lavish lifestyle resulted in sharp feelings over-lobbyist who turned his dark arts for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine.
That would probably have thrown 69-year-old Manafort into prison for the rest of his life. But the term of less than four years shocked many legal observers and caused amazement among the prosecutors in Judge T. S. Ellis' courtroom.
The indulgence of the judge does not change the fact that Manafort was convicted by a jury of his colleagues. A less well-respected judge in Washington will sentence him to a jail sentence next week in a separate case in which he is accused of lying to Muller and violating a plea. A decade behind bars in a sentence that could run concurrently or after the sentence delivered on Thursday could begin.
However, the following week, Ellis effectively persuaded Trump's team to a welcome talk, when he pointed out that it was tax fraud and fraud that had nothing to do with Russia's electoral fraud.
"I think what you saw most today is the same thing we said from day one," Manafort attorney Kevin Downing said in court. "There is absolutely no evidence that Paul Manafort was involved in an arrangement with a government official from Russia."
The attorneys at Manafort had tried to show during the trial that their client was being prosecuted more severely than another defendant because of his close ties to the president – an argument that Ellis seemed to accept.
"Misjudgment of justice"
. Trump's critics expressed their disbelief in Manafort's verdict.
"The American people would be entitled to the feeling that in the forbearance of this judgment a miscarriage of justice has occurred, said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, to Erin Burnett of CNN on" OutFront "
. Freshman Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez condemned Manafort's verdict as a prime example of condemning differences between high-income and low-income defendants.
"Paul Manafort, who spends so little time on such serious crimes, presents to the world almost impossible is for rich people who have to go to jail for as long as someone who has a lower income, "tweeted the New York Democrat." In our current broken system, "justice" is not blind. It was bought. "
Elie Honig, a former prosecutor and CNN legal commentator, said that a punishment under the guidelines would have been perfectly fair, but 47 months" is a joke. "
" Steal millions from The US government, bail you, get a jury convicted, forge a collaboration, lie to the prosecutors, deny responsibility – and get a huge break. This is an unjust punishment, "tweeted Honey.
In the short term, Trump and his allies are likely to take the punishment to argue that Muller missed his goals after an ambitious trial and exceeded his mandate through persecution.
The President has embarked on a long-term campaign to discredit Mueller, and he has practiced turning every street the Special Representative encounters into food to try to fuel public skepticism in his investigations, Fox News commentator Sean Hannity, an outspoken Trump ally, claimed Thursday's developments had proven that the Mueller investigation was a "witch hunt."
But Trump's efforts to benefit from the Thursday's conviction may well be the next Week to be undermined by Judge Amy Berman Jackson is chair of the next stage in Manaforts Rec
"The condemnation of Paul Manafort is only half the time," said Jack Weiss, a former prosecutor at CNN on Thursday. "When the game is over, that will be a lot closer to the 10 years than the five years, and Paul Manafort will not be five-fold."
The conviction, combined with Manafort's failure to express remorse, prompted immediate speculation that Trump might pardon his former campaign manager.
"The plea by Paul Manafort's lawyer after an already lenient punishment – repeating the President's mantra without collusion – was not a coincidence, it was a deliberate appeal for a pardon, one injustice must not be followed by another." Adam Ship, D-California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted.
Manafort's chances of a pardon may have increased since he had a chance A 47-month jail sentence may be considered less risky for the president than a 25-year jail term.
Carrie Cordero, CNN's legal commentator, however, suggested that the judge's ruling on leniency could also lead to arguments that Manafort deserved more mercy.
"It is very hard for the President to assume now that Paul Manafort has been treated unfairly, and in fact, he has been given some mercy by Judge Ellis," Cordero told CNN's Anderson Cooper about "AC360."
Cohen Under Attack
When Manafort stood before his tribunal, Cohen faced He once again exposed attacks on his credibility as he alleged he had congressional during his explosive testimony last week lied, had attacks.
The matter will be scrutinized in Congress, following Cohen's public and private testimony, in the past two weeks before three congressional committees.
It is questionable whether there was an attempt to seek a pardon or to offer a pardon in return for cooperation, which will go to jail in May after allowing for tax and financial crimes and lied to the Congress.  3] Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democrat of Maryland, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, said he told Cohen that he would "nail you to the cross" if he did not tell the legislators the truth again.
"I'm going to study the transcript. First, that's # 1. I'll see what the allegations are, and then I'll go from there," Cummings said to Manu Raju of CNN.
Trump is not waiting for an investigation that will take a fresh shot of a former legal fixer tweeting an MSNBC headline: "Cohen's lawyer disagrees with Cohen's statement that he has never sought a presidential pardon.