Manafort Returning to Federal Court for Another Sentencing

Clay Curtis
March 13, 2019

President Donald Trump's former presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been indicted on 16 new charges in NY including residential mortgage fraud, state prosecutors said on Wednesday. Last week, he was sentenced for another term over tax and bank fraud.

Manafort appeared in court in Washington on Wednesday in a dark business suit - a change from the green prison uniform in his Virginia hearing - sitting in the wheelchair he has used since attorneys say he developed health problems while in jail. "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".

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III in Virginia federal court sentenced Manafort to prison for 47 months for bank and tax fraud related to consulting and lobbying work he did in Ukraine.

Manafort, 69, faces up to 10 additional years in prison when he is sentenced Wednesday in Washington in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Speculation has mounted that Trump could pardon his former campaign chairman on the federal charges, and Vance had been looking at state charges as a way to thwart Trump's pardon. "Let me be clear, I accept responsibility for the acts". The prosecutor said Manafort took steps to hide 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.

"Though I know I am not that person" as publicly depicted, "I still feel shame and embarrassment for what I have caused to my family, to my friends and to all who have been affected by my behavior", Manafort said.

"He has not learned a harsh lesson", Weissmann said. "The question of whether there was any collusion with Russia.was not presented in this case, period, therefore it was not resolved by this case".

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But Jackson noted that she must factor in the common conduct in the two cases and signaled early the complexity of that decision.

At Wednesday's hearing, Andrew Weissmann, a member of Mueller's team, argued that Manafort "engaged in crime again and again", and dismissed the idea that his failure to register as a foreign agent was more than merely failing to file paperwork. "That should be your true regret, and you should have remorse for that". Ellis did not say that and instead explained that the charges were unrelated to any Russian collusion or the 2016 presidential election.

"What's happening today is not and can not be a review or revision of a sentence that was imposed in another court", she said.

"This defendant is not pubic enemy Number 1", Jackson said. Downing's statement was the first time that detail was made public.

Wednesday's sentencing comes in a week of activity for the investigation. He was convicted at trial in the Virginia case and pleaded guilty in Washington to two conspiracy counts, each punishable by up to five years in prison.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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