Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort Sentenced to 47 Months

U.S. judge sentences Trump ex-aide Manafort to under four years in prison

Manafort was found guilty on two counts of bank fraud, five counts of tax fraud and one count of failing to declare a foreign bank account.

Prosecutors said Manafort, 69, hid income earned from political work overseas from the IRS while fraudulently obtaining millions in bank loans.

The two-week trial at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., featured boxes of evidence and testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, including Manafort's former right-hand man, Rick Gates.

While prosecutors had not recommended a specific sentence for Manafort, they cited federal sentencing guidelines that called for up to 24 years in prison.

He asked the judge, T.S. Ellis, for "compassion", and said "To say that I feel humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement".

Judge 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".

Manafort has also been charged in Washington with money laundering, witness tampering and other offences and faces separate sentencing in that case on March 13. Federal prosecutors say Manafort "blames everyone" but himself for his crimes and shows no remorse for his actions. "My life is professionally and financially in shambles".

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Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for Donald Trump, exits the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, Feb. 28, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Manafort's decisions, Mueller's team said, "were his own and his efforts at misdirection are further proof that he has not accepted responsibility for his criminal conduct".

None of the charges against Manafort are connected to his role in the Trump campaign, which he headed for a couple of months in 2016. Those proceedings revealed that prosecutors were highly interested in Manafort's 2016 interactions with an associate in his Ukraine dealings who has been linked to a Russian intel agency. "The special counsel's conduct comes as no surprise and falls within the government's pattern of spreading misinformation about Mr. Manafort to impugn his character in a manner that this country has not experienced in decades". Another plausible outcome could involve a presidential pardon, which Trump said he has not ruled out.

The judge has used hearings in Manafort's case previously to inject politics into the proceedings.

Ex-Trump aide Cohen was recently sentenced to three years in prison for financial crimes that include tax fraud and hush-money payments to two women Trump allegedly had affairs with in violation of campaign finance laws, as well as lying to the Congress. But prosecutor Greg Andres argued that those details weren't relevant in the Virginia matter because Manafort chose to fight the Virginia case and because a federal judge in D.C. found that Manafort lied after he had agreed to cooperate with the government.

The sentencing capped a stunning downfall for Manafort, a prominent figure in Republican Party circles for decades who also worked as a consultant to such global figures as former Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and Yanukovych.

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.

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