Posted by on March 13, 2019 3:04 pm
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Categories: Economy

Lobbyist and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was sentenced to more than six years in prison by a federal judge in the District of Columbia on two conspiracy counts. Manafort pleaded guilty last fall to the two charges which encompass a host of crimes – including money laundering and obstruction of justice. 

Manafort was sentenced to 60 months on count one, with 30 months of that overlapping a 47 month sentence handed down last week in a separate trial in Virginia – and 13 months on count two. 

In total, he will serve 90 months in prison, or 7.5 years. 

During the hearing, Manafort asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson for leniency during Wednesday’s hearing, saying that the criminal charges against him have “taken everything from me already,” and asking that Berman Jackson not impose any additional prison time beyond the sentence handed down last week. 

Jackson agreed with Manafort that the original 19-24 year sentencing guideline “overstates the seriousness of this offense.” 

“I am sorry for what I have done and all the activities that have gotten us here today,” said Manafort in a calm and steady voice as he read from a prepared statement. “While I cannot undo the past, I will ensure that the future will be very different.”

The 69-year-old Manafort – who arrived to court in a wheelchair, said that he was his wife’s primary caregiver and wanted to be able to resume their life together. 

“She needs me and I need her. I ask you to think of this and our need for each other as you deliberate,” said Manafort. “This case has taken everything from me already — my properties, my cash, my life insurance, my trust accounts for my children and my grandchildren, and more.”

In response, prosecutor Andrew Weissmann suggested that Manafort should be given no quarter. 

“I believe that is not reflective of someone who has learned a harsh lesson. It is not a reflection of remorse,” said Weissmann. “It is evidence that something is wrong with sort of a moral compass, that someone in that position would choose to make that decision at that moment.”

His plea for leniency followed prosecutor Andrew Weissmann’s scathing assessment of crimes that the government said spanned more than a decade and continued even while Manafort was awaiting trial. He said Manafort took steps to conceal his foreign lobbying work, laundered millions of dollars to fund a lavish lifestyle and then, while on house arrest, coached other witnesses to lie on his behalf. –AP

Before reading her decision, Berman Jackson reamed Manafort – saying that there was no good explanation for granting the leniency Manafort had requested

What you were doing was lying to Congress and the American public,” said Berman Jackson, adding that Manafort had “contempt for” and “believed he had the right to manipulate these proceedings.” 

“Saying I’m sorry I got caught is not an inspiring plea for leniency,” the judge said, adding that Manafort’s defense that there was “no collusion” with Russia is not related to the case. 

Jackson also blasted Manafort for being “dissembling” and “less than candid” about multiple issues, and that “A significant portion of his career has been spent gaming the system.”

Last week’s case in which Manafort received 47 months in prison was overseen by Judge T.S. Ellis of the Federal District Court in Alexandria, VA. He was found guilty on eight felony counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and failing to disclose a foreign bank account.  

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