Trump ex-campaign chief Manafort indicted for mortgage fraud

Alexandria Sheriff's Office  Handout via REUTERS

Alexandria Sheriff’s Office Handout via REUTERS

Manafort is set to be sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for crimes related to witness tampering and lobbying violations, charges that are apparently unrelated to Manafort's work on the Trump campaign.

Manafort, 69, apologized during brief remarks before Jackson handed down the sentence.

A federal judge in Washington had minutes earlier ordered Manafort to spend a total of 7.5 years in federal prison for a decade's worth of financial and lobbying crimes and obstruction of justice.

Jackson ruled on February 13 that Manafort had breached his agreement in the Washington case to cooperate with Mueller's office by lying to prosecutors about three matters pertinent to the Russia probe including his interactions with a business partner they have said has ties to Russian intelligence.

Prior to Manafort's being sentenced in federal court or the announcement of the state indictment, President Trump had declined to rule out the prospect of a pardon for the federal crimes of which Manafort has pleaded guilty or been convicted.

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Whatever Jackson's ruling, the possibility of a presidential pardon - a prospect Trump has not ruled out - will likely continue to hang over the Manafort situation, lawyers said.

The sentencing hearings for Manafort mark a bookend of sorts for Mueller's investigation as it inches toward a conclusion.

Mueller is preparing to submit to U.S. Attorney General William Barr a report on his investigation into whether Trump's campaign conspired with Russian Federation and whether Trump has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. "Please let my wife and I be together", Manafort said. Jackson emphasized that this case was not about collusion.

The potential maximum penalty in the case was 10 years, although the judge said sentencing guidelines in the case contemplated more time given the amount of money involved with the conspiracy that Manafort admitted.

In August 2018, Cohen pled guilty to eight criminal charges, including bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations-before pleading guilty, in November 2018, to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower Moscow in Russian Federation.

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Berman dismissed most of Manafort's claims of contrition to boost his previous sentence, in a Virginia court last week, by 43 months to 90 months, a heavy punishment for the 69-year-old veteran Republican and worldwide political consultant.

"I think she will run some of her time consecutively", said Wu, who appeared before Jackson during a previous stint representing Manafort's former business associate Rick Gates.

Manafort, a lifelong political operator whose clients have included dictators Ferdinand Marcos and Mobutu Sese Seko, said he has learned his lesson.

The hearing may offer a window into allegations that aren't part of the criminal cases against him but have nonetheless surfaced in recent court filings - that Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate the USA says has ties to Russian intelligence, and that the two men met secretly during the campaign in an encounter that prosecutors say cuts "to the heart" of their investigation.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to 73 months in prison on Wednesday. But he reached Mueller's team, and pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy. He agreed to cooperate with the investigation and has yet to be sentenced. Ellis did not say that and instead explained that the charges were unrelated to any Russian collusion or the 2016 presidential election.

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Manafort had "to make a choice", the prosecutor said.

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