Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Paul Manafort sentenced to additional 3 1/2 years in prison

Paul Manafort returns to court for another sentencing Donald Trump's Former Campaign Manager Sentenced To Eight Years In Jail
Kenny Thornton | 13 March, 2019, 19:43

"The Office of Special Counsel proved beyond a preponderance of evidence that Mr. Manafort intentionally gave false testimony with respect to that matter which was one of several matters in regards to false statement with regard to Mr. Klimnik", U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said early during today's hearing. He pleaded with her to "please let my wife and I be together". Please do not take us away from each other for any longer than the 47 months imposed last week... "I would be surprised if she really threw the book at him".

"This case has taken everything from me already", he said.

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.

As the judge in Washington decided whether the sentences should run consecutively or at the same time, she was likely to take into account allegations by prosecutors that Manafort tampered with witnesses after he was charged and that he lied to investigators even after he pleaded guilty and pledged to cooperate.

It also comes as expectations grow that Mueller will soon wrap up his 22-month-old investigation by submitting a final report on his findings to Attorney General William Barr.

Manafort, who suffers from gout, arrived in the courtroom Wednesday in a wheelchair, wearing a suit and tie. "I promise you if you do, you will not regret it".

In the 16-count indictment, Manafort faces raps for residential mortgage fraud, attempted residential mortgage fraud, conspiracy, falsifying business records and scheme to defraud.

Manafort faced two federal trials because he exercised his option to keep the tax and bank fraud charges in the state where he lived.

PM Theresa May faces challenge despite securing key Brexit changes
If that is the choice, Parliament will decide Thursday whether to seek an extension that would delay Britain's departure date. European Union envoys from the remaining 27 member states were due to meet at 0800 GMT on Wednesday to discuss next steps.

While addressing the court, Judge Jackson declared that Manafort "is not public enemy No. 1", nor is he a violent criminal. However, Manafort has been in jail since June after Jackson revoked his bail for seeking to obstruct ongoing investigations into Russian political interference.

"I believe that is not reflective of someone who has learned a harsh lesson".

The two prison terms Manafort has been sentenced to serve now total over seven years. Trump has denied collusion and obstruction and Russian Federation has denied US intelligence findings that it interfered in the 2016 election in an effort to boost Trump.

The second sentencing will cap a legal saga which began in October 2017 when he and his longtime employee and campaign deputy Rick Gates became the first defendants publicly charged in Mueller's probe.

In court on Wednesday, Manafort attorney Kevin Downing revealed that Manafort and Kilmnik were "communicating with senior State Department officials in Kiev", and noted that Mueller's team has conceded that "the highest level of state department officials knew of his activities".

Jackson said at the outset of the sentencing hearing that she would not be influenced by last Thursday's sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis in Alexandria, Virginia, where Manafort was convicted in August 2018 by a jury for bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

This is a developing story.

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