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Paul Manafort Faces Second Sentencing Hearing

13 March 2019

"He served to undermine, not promote, American ideals of honesty, transparency, and playing by the rules".

He pleaded for compassion from Jackson, noting that he was nearing 70 and serves as his wife's primary caregiver. He asked that she not impose any more time than the 47-month sentence he received last week in a separate case that Mueller's team brought in Virginia, for tax and mail fraud charges. He said it was part of a conspiracy that included a misinformation campaign to boost the Russian-backed government in Ukraine, as well as money laundering and tax violations.

Paul Manafort received a total sentence of about 7 and a half years in prison on Wednesday following the guilty plea in his Washington, D.C., conspiracy case.

"Please let my wife and I be together", he added on Wednesday. "She needs me, and I need her". The amount Ellis sentenced him for sparked outrage among attorneys and Democrats last week, who believed Manafort deserved more time. Last week, in what experts say was a surprising and generous diversion from norms, Manafort was sentenced to just 47 months when guidelines specified about two decades.

"The media attention around us...results in a very harsh process for the defendant, and I hope the court can consider, that harshness", Downing said.

Jackson said the punishment Manafort was given in Virginia federal court last week has no bearing on what she will decide; any term Jackson imposes could overlap with or be served in addition to the almost four years Manafort received last week in federal court in Alexandria on related tax and bank fraud convictions at trial.

"He has been sentenced for each of the individual offenses that he was convicted in the Eastern District of Virginia", Jackson said.

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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.

One key figure in that scheme was Manafort's partner Konstantin Kilimnik, whom prosecutors have linked with Russia's intelligence services. He faces up to 10 additional years in prison when he is sentenced in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump election campaign and Russian Federation.

But she said Manafort should get credit for acceptance of responsibility, because he pleaded guilty to the conduct at issue. 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.

Manafort's criminal prosecution has led to several related criminal cases and investigations and a multimillion dollar Justice Department settlement with a USA law firm for illegal lobbying for Ukraine.

"I think it's excessive", he said of those guidelines. Still, it remains unclear if Manafort will express remorse for his crimes, as Ellis recommended. "I promise you if you do, you will not regret it".

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". Manafort and business associate Rick Gates were among the first of 34 people charged, and though the charges against Manafort weren't tied to his work on the Trump campaign, his foreign entanglements have made him a subject of intrigue to prosecutors assessing whether the campaign colluded with Russian Federation to sway the outcome of the 2016 election. Gates later pleaded guilty to conspiracy and lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This is a developing story.

Paul Manafort Faces Second Sentencing Hearing