In that case, sir, you are free to go.

So he’s using the time-tested “Spanky and Alfalfa” defense. Presumably, he will not be allowed to run away and join the circus.

This is a real line from the article:

“Lawyers for Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, asked a federal judge in Northern Virginia on Friday to show leniency when he sentences Mr. Manafort next week, casting him as a loyal, compassionate, idealistic man who has learned a ‘harsh lesson.'”

Yeah, that sounds like him.

A quick reminder: In addition to the crimes he committed before his arrest, he continued to commit crimes while out on bail, then continued to commit serious crimes under house arrest, then continued to commit more crimes while actually in jail (by lying to the prosecutors after agreeing to a plea deal). Just a compassionate, idealistic man!

Of course, what else could the lawyers say? Lawyers are paid to offer the best possible defense of their client. They’d probably like to say, “Yeah, we admit it, he’s a total sleazeball with no remorse. And a con artist – don’t forget the fake wheelchair.” But that’s not how the system works.