Paul Manafort Sentenced to Almost Four Years in Prison

08 March, 2019, 04:09 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Paul Manafort Donald Trump's campaign team chief sentenced to 47 months in prison

Manafort's investigation began a year ago, when the FBI stormed his house in Alexandria, Virginia and seized documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's potential collusion with Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential race. Prosecutors have said the work in Ukraine was on behalf of politicians who were closely aligned with Russian Federation, though Manafort has insisted his work helped those politicians distance themselves from Russian Federation and align with the West.

Manafort will face sentencing next week on separate counts of witness tampering and conspiracy.

He made an appeal to the judge for a light sentence.

But Judge Ellis said the sentencing guidelines were excessive and would create "an unwarranted disparity" with other cases. The crimes were unrelated to his time serving in the Trump campaign.

Attorney Brian Ketcham (L) arrives with other members of the Manafort defense team for a sentencing hearing for his client former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort at U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., March 7, 2019. It said Manafort "blames everyone from the special counsel's office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices". "I hope you will reflect on that".

But Mr Manafort still faces sentencing in a second case in Washington next week, where the maximum penalty is 10 years and the judge has appeared more sympathetic to prosecutors.

The judge, however, declared a mistrial on 10 other fraud-related charges.

"He neither pled promptly nor provided complete and honest cooperation". Manafort, according to the filing, still owes the U.S. Treasury over $6 million.

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Prosecutors laid out their arguments against Manafort last August, charging that he defrauded banks and the USA government by skirting millions of dollars in federal taxes.

Prosecutors say Manafort failed to pay more than $6m (£4.6m) in taxes, as he funded his opulent lifestyle, including a $15,000 ostrich-skin jacket and a luxury renovation of his Hamptons mansion.

They said "it is Manafort's own criminal actions that have led to these consequences; it can not be blamed on the government or a jury's holding him responsible for his crimes". At one court hearing, prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said a meeting between the two men at a cigar bar in Manhattan on August 2, 2016, goes "very much to the heart" of Mueller's investigation, though he provided no details.

First, they said Manafort has suffered serious health problems since he has been incarcerated, mostly in solitary confinement, at the Alexandria jail where he awaits sentence.

"None of his prescribed treatments or medications indicates that his life is in any danger from a long period of incarceration", prosecutors wrote.

Judge Ellis came to this conclusion even as he recognized that Manafort "did not express regret".

Ellis had been consistently hostile to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team throughout the case, even as he repeatedly found that the prosecutors' legal arguments had merit.

"Manafort was the lead perpetrator and a direct beneficiary of each offense", the special counsel's office said in its sentencing memo. He pleaded guilty to those additional charges from the special counsel in September.

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