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Ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort jailed for 4 years

08 March, 2019, 04:11 | Author: Taylor George
  • Paul Manafort

President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to just under four years in prison on Thursday after being convicted last year of tax and bank fraud.

A Virginia-based jury found Manafort, 69, guilty on eight of those counts after a lengthy trial in August, setting the stage for a hefty prison term. The jury was hung on the remaining 10 counts due to a lone holdout juror.

Mueller's charges led to the stunning downfall of Manafort, a prominent figure in Republican Party circles for decades who also worked as a consultant to such worldwide figures as former Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and Yanukovych.

Manafort contends he is mere collateral damage in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election. In his filing, Manafort emphasized he had spoken freely to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2014 about his work for Russia-backed Ukrainian politicians. They do not directly address Russia's interference in the 2016 USA presidential election.

Donald Trump's ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort could be set to receive a decades-long prison sentence for tax and bank fraud.

"Manafort did not commit these crimes out of necessity or hardship", Mueller's office said.

The President's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to campaign financial violations for paying off Mr Trump's alleged mistresses Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. "He nonetheless cheated the United States Treasury and the public out of more than $6 million in taxes at a time when he had substantial resources".

He has used his presentencing court filings to ask Ellis for leniency and to argue that he is sorry, with the hope that his sentence will be light and he can live abiding by the law if he is released.

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"To say I have been humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement", Manafort, who opted not to testify during his trial, told the court. The special counsel's office recommended a punishment in line with federal sentencing guidelines of 19 to 24 years in federal prison. They argued that Manafort, a first time offender, was "truly remorseful for his conduct".

Mr Trump and several of his family members are now being investigated by the Special Counsel, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Attorney for the Southern District of NY as well as the states of NY and New Jersey.

Defense attorneys for Manafort have suggested that Mueller's team had improperly ensnared their client in its probe, as the case did not have anything to do with Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

However, the special counsel fired back by saying it's clear Manafort has no remorse for his crimes and hasn't taken responsibility for his actions. "The defendant blames everyone from the special counsel's office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices", the prosecutor wrote.

Regardless of Ellis' decision, Manafort's legal travails are far from over.

His associate, Rick Gates, plead guilty in February to two charges of conspiracy and lying to federal investigators, and served as the government's star witness in Manafort's trial. But that agreement collapsed after Manafort was found to have lied to Mueller's team.

Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced in Virginia on Thursday.

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