Today marks the end of what The New York Times recently called “a textbook example of justice gone awry.” Thankfully, justice was not completely absent from the courtroom this morning.
During yesterday’s closing statements, prosecutors argued that General Sinclair should be thrown out of the Army and lose his military benefits for his “deliberate and criminal” conduct. General Sinclair’s defense team, led by members of Montgomery McCracken’s Government Investigations and White Collar Crime practice group (and fellow White Collar Alert contributors), compellingly argued that General Sinclair’s conduct, which is not considered criminal in the civilian world, did not warrant such a hefty penalty.
Earlier this morning, military judge Col. James L. Pohl, who has been witness to the “rapid and … embarrassing collapse” of the Army’s case over the past few months, sided with the defense. General Sinclair was sentenced to a reprimand and a $20,000 fine. This sentence – the lightest the General could have received – was just heralded by The New York Times as “a sweeping victory for the defense.”
After two years of suffering public humiliation and vilification for offenses he did not commit, this sentence certainly serves as a vindication for General Sinclair.