United States judge sentences Manafort to 73 months in prison

Alexandria Sheriff's Office  Handout via REUTERS

The sentencing hearing for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is underway in Washington.

Manafort already received 47 months in Virginia court last week.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted by a NY state grand jury on mortgage fraud charges Wednesday, immediately after being sentenced to more than 7 years in prison in D.C. federal court.

Manafort asked for mercy, saying the criminal charges against him have "taken everything from me already". But the judge in Washington ultimately increased the total amount of prison time. "While I cannot change the past, I can work to change the future". He pleaded with her to "please let my wife and I be together". "She needs me, and I need her".

Manafort said in court he's "sorry for what I have done".

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Prosecutors described Manafort as a "hardened" criminal who "repeatedly and brazenly violated the law" for more than a decade and said he continued to operate illegally after he was indicted in 2017.

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.

His attempts to cover up his crimes by asking witnesses to lie for him, Weissmann said, "is not reflective of somebody who has learned a harsh lesson". Still, it remains unclear if Manafort will express remorse for his crimes, as Ellis recommended. "It is evidence that something is wrong with sort of a moral compass".

Manafort was being sentenced for concealing from the government foreign lobbying work he did on behalf of a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party. Please do not take us away from each other for any longer than the 47 months imposed last week...

Manafort's sentence stemmed from his guilty plea for lobbying on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian political figure without declaring the work, making it a key part of Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 USA election.

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Manafort, who suffers from gout, arrived in the courtroom Wednesday in a wheelchair, wearing a suit and tie.

"But for a short stint as campaign manager in a presidential election, I don't think we'd be here today", Downing said. But Trump has no power to intervene in Vance's state prosecution.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is due back in court for his second sentencing hearing in as many weeks. 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.

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".

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