Former Trump campaign chief to be sentenced, could face life in prison

08 March, 2019, 04:12 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Getty Images

A Virginia-based jury found Manafort, 69, guilty on eight of those counts after a lengthy trial in August, setting the stage for a hefty prison term.

It could have been much worse: A judge sentenced Paul Manafort to 47 months in prison Thursday over bank and tax fraud, reports Politico.

His lawyers have asked U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III for a "significantly" lower sentence given his age, failing health, low risk of reoffending and cooperation with the special counsel's office.

Manafort was convicted after prosecutors accused him of hiding from the USA government millions of dollars he earned as a consultant for Ukraine's former pro-Russia government.

Manafort has another trial next week with a different federal judge, to receive sentencing for two crimes he pleaded guilty to over the summer: witness tampering and conspiracy related to his illegal Ukrainian income. The case revolved around Manafort's overseas work for oligarchs backing pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine and his efforts to keep that money from the US government. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction and Russian Federation has denied election interference.

"Manafort acted for more than a decade as if he were above the law, and deprived the federal government and various financial institutions of millions of dollars", prosecutors wrote in a court filing.

Manafort did not testify in his own defense at his trial, which revealed a life of excess, even among high-rolling Washington lobbyists.

Two months later, the special counsel's office accused Manafort of violating this plea deal by "lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Counsel's Office on a variety of subject matters".

His sentencing marks a spectacular downfall for a high-rolling Republican political guru who advised USA presidents, including Mr Trump, and foreign leaders.

More news: FOUND: Young Girls Missing In Wooded Area Of Humboldt County

Manafort was prosecuted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, but this case isn't related to Donald Trump's campaign. It was a far cry from Manafort's usual dapper appearance and stylish garb.

"The last two years have been the most hard years for my family and I", Manafort said inside the Eastern District of Virginia courtroom.

Manafort asked the judge for mercy at his sentencing for a host of financial crimes - conduct that could now earn the once high-flying political consultant years in prison.

Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos was given a 14-day sentence for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about the campaign's purported collusion with Russian Federation.

Donald Trump's presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been jailed for almost four years.

Mueller's office, in court filings, said that only Manafort is to blame for his crimes, that he has shown no remorse and that his lies to prosecutors after his guilty plea should be taken into account.

In arguing for a lighter sentence, Manafort's attorneys said he has been "devastated personally, professionally and financially".

Ellis also noted during the hearing that Manafort "is not before the court for any allegations that he, or anyone at his direction, colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election".

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