Former campaign chairman for Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, was sentenced for crimes uncovered by the investigation conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller over the last several years.
Manafort was charged with a bevy of crimes related to tax evasion, fraud and activities related to failing to register as a foreign agent. In a subsequent indictment, Manafort was charged with violating the terms of a plea agreement struck with Mueller’s team by lying to investigators and attempting to tamper with witnesses.
Manafort’s cases were held in two separate federal courts: one in Virginia and one in Washington, D.C. Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in the Virginia case and ordered to pay $25 million in penalties. He was sentenced to 43 months in the D.C. case.
Legal experts agree the combined sentence was less than was expected. Mueller’s team had recommended between 19-24 years of prison time for Manafort, which would essentially have amounted to a life sentence for the 69-year-old.
But Virginia Federal Judge T.S. Ellis called those recommendations excessive and seemed to sympathize with Manafort, saying that aside from his current legal troubles he had “lived an otherwise blameless life.”
D.C. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson had harsher words for Manafort, saying “There was no question this defendant knew better and he knew exactly what he was doing.” But Jackson did mention she was not taking the political circumstances surrounding Manafort into account when considering his sentence.
Manafort’s legal troubles have not ended however as within minutes of the second sentence being handed down, the district attorney of Manhattan announced charges against Manafort for the crimes of mortgage fraud, conspiracy and falsifying business records in New York City.
“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance wrote in a statement. Manafort’s alleged actions “strike at the heart of New York’s sovereign interests,” he added.
There were sixteen counts in all in the new charges.
Speculation has swirled around a possible pardon issued by President Donald Trump for Manafort. Such a pardon would not shield Manafort from charges issued by individual states however. A court date for Manafort to face the New York charges as yet to be set.
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