Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort Sentenced to 47 Months

Paul Manafort faces less than four years in prison

- Ari Melber (@AriMelber) March 8, 2019I would expect on Manafort, after this 47 month sentence in VA, that the special counsel will seek, and Judge Amy Berman Jackson will impose, a few years' consecutive time in the DC case.

"The sentence here should reflect the seriousness of these crimes, and serve to both deter Manafort and others from engaging in such conduct", officials said.

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.

The sentence is well short of the 19 to 24 year sentence recommended by prosecutors, but the judge indicated that such a punishment would be excessive, according to news reports.

In their response released Tuesday, prosecutors tried to explain to the court why Manafort should not receive a sentence less than commensurate with his crimes, reiterating his criminal conduct and arguing he should receive no credit for pleading guilty in Washington, D.C.

Manafort said the "media frenzy" surrounding the case had taken a toll on him, but that he hopes "to turn the notoriety into a positive and show who I really am". In his filing, Manafort emphasized he had spoken freely to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014 about his work for Russia-backed Ukrainian politicians. Still, prosecutors sprinkled tantalizing clues in court filings about Manafort's interactions with an associate, Konstantin Kilimnik, linked by Mueller to a Russian intelligence service.

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

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"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 lawyers wrote in their sentencing memo.

He is still facing additional years in prison from another case: After his conviction in Virginia, Manafort pleaded guilty in Washington to foreign lobbying violations and witness tampering as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

In arguing for a reduced sentence, they repeatedly mentioned that there was no evidence of collusion, while citing various factors like health concerns, acceptance of responsibility, numerous testimonials to character, and a slew of other bank/tax fraud cases where defendants received a significantly lighter sentence than the one Mueller proposed.

Manafort spoke briefly at his sentencing hearing, not apologizing for the crimes, but asking for leniency and compassion.

Mueller's team issued a scathing rebuttal, stating that Manafort had breached a plea agreement reached with the government and lied repeatedly to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Counsel's office. "He was well educated, professionally successful, and financially well off". In addition to his almost four years in prison, Manafort has been ordered to pay at least $6 million in restitution to the government. Now we wonder whether President Trump will issue a pardon.

Defence attorneys also complained that Manafort was unfairly snared by special counsel Mueller's investigation into whether Russian Federation meddled on Trump's behalf during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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