Paul Manafort Sentenced to 47 Months in Prison in Fraud Case

Arturo Kim
March 8, 2019

The judge's finding could add years to Manafort's prison sentence.

Manafort said he hoped to turn things around "through the power of prayer and God's guiding hand" before asking the judge for compassion. He did not express remorse for his actions but talked about how the case has been hard for him and his family.

"The special counsel's attempt to vilify Mr. Manafort as a lifelong and irredeemable felon is beyond the pale and grossly overstates the facts before this court", his attorneys said.

"The cases that the special counsel have brought against Mr. Manafort have devastated him personally, professionally and financially", they wrote in a March 1 filing.

Manafort was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair, holding a cane. Ellis dismissed efforts by Manafort's defense team to justify a lesser sentence.

Prosecutors alleged during his trial that Manafort used offshore bank accounts to hide tens of millions of dollars from Ukrainian politicians from the Internal Revenue Service.

Prosecutors stated that Manafort "poses a serious risk of recidivism", noting his "lies to the government and grand jury are aggravating factors and an additional basis for the denial of any reduction for the acceptance of responsibility".

Judge TS Ellis, imposing the sentence, told Manafort he "lived an otherwise blameless life" but that did not outweigh his crimes, however.

In just under a week, on March 13th, he faces a second sentencing hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. on felony counts that he pleaded guilty to a year ago.

FILE PHOTO: Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort arrives for arraignment on a third superseding indictment against him by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on charges of witness tampering, at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., June 15, 2018.

"Here, a court has already found Manafort lied to the government and the grand jury", Mueller said.

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"Mr. Manafort's physical, mental, and emotional health, together with his age and his nearly nine-month stay in solitary confinement, weigh in favor of a sentence in this case that does not include a lengthy period of incarceration", they argued.

Trump, who has called Mueller's investigation a politically motivated "witch hunt", has not ruled out granting a presidential pardon to Manafort, saying in November that "I wouldn't take it off the table". He remains out of prison to continue cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe. They do not directly address Russia's interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.

The charges stem from an inquiry into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation to win the 2016 election.

In their sentencing memo, Manafort's lawyers argue for leniency.

Manafort, a longtime lobbyist and Republican political operative, was Trump's campaign chairman from May to August 2016.

Prosecutors have recommended Manafort face decades in prison-essentially life sentence for the 69-year-old.

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

In the case in Virginia, Judge Ellis showed some antagonism towards Mueller's prosecutors.

"It isn't a crime to have a lot of money and be profligate in your spending", Ellis told prosecutors during the trial.

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