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March 14, 2019

Another Costly Payday

Harry M. Covert

Well, I was glued to the telly, probably like others in punditry, not able to resist the urge to see payday Wednesday for the former lawyer-lobbyist of international renown.

 

The term pundit is important for today’s scribblers. It comes from a Sanskrit term meaning a learned man (also a woman in current vernacular) and a person who is erudite.

 

Now, isn’t that nice in this day of verbosity, vitriol and venom? The answer is “yes.” We journalists have always been aware and enjoyed the exalted positions of nonstop chattering without penalty. Thanks must be given to James Madison, at five foot, four inch the shortest ever president. Number Four, who used his nib pen for free speech.

 

Back to payday which obviously is not only on Fridays. I am writing about Paul Manafort. He gave up his law license in January, not disbarred. While he made his fortunes on the international stage, he earned his law degree at Georgetown University Law School. He was not on a basketball scholarship.

 

Mr. Manafort’s second sentencing before the federal bar of justice Tuesday resulted in another three-and-a-half years in jail for his wheeling and dealings over the years. He likely will serve a total of seven years in the Cumberland, Maryland, federal pokey.

 

His book, if he is so inclined, could be named “The Arts of the Deals.”

 

Manafort turns 70 years old in a few weeks. Some learned pundits figured he would get a decade-plus penalty, noting a life sentence. Others liked to say a death term. He is superannuated.

 

I did not intentionally avoid mentioning that the Connecticut native was chairman of The President’s campaign. He expertly organized the nominating convention operations. That was an extreme error. Had he not done his job so well, he might have escaped probes by another millionaire lawyer, Robert S. Mueller, III. His assets are valued at $15.2 million.

 

Mr. Mueller is a graduate of the University Of Virginia School Of Law. I wonder what Mr. Jefferson would say.

 

One thing ringing is that government work is rather good.

 

Manafort confessed to all his Mueller-alleged crimes. He did plead for mercy at sentencing, admitting his criminal activities. He didn’t want justice.

 

Both judges in the cases pointed out that the results had nothing to do with the alleged bogus Russia collusion charges in the 2016 presidential combat. Everybody knows that.

 

It is time for the enlightened, the considered intelligentsia, to get back to reportage, the facts. Leave the fiction to non-newspersons.

 

The use of the word pundit doesn’t refer to puns, which are quips, witticisms and double entendres. They are fun for sure. The learneds of today’s punditry are enjoying fine telly talks. Cash and carry.

 

Now maybe Mr. Mueller and his minions will turn their attentions to the money grubbers who lost.

 

hmcovert@gmail.com

 



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