He’s been sitting in solitary confinement since June. His lawyers say he’s been mostly serving his time in a wheelchair or with a walker. Now, the man who Robert Mueller successfully brought to his knees, is now getting a much lighter sentence than the original 17-24 Robert Mueller had hoped for.
The Washington Examiner is reporting – Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to nearly four years in prison on Thursday for concealing millions of dollars he earned overseas.
The light sentence, which could see Manafort, 69, released within two years, was well short of federal guidelines. It represented an implicit rebuke to special counsel Robert Mueller, whose prosecutors had called for 17 to 24 years — a range that would probably have led to the long-time GOP consultant dying in jail. Manafort does, however, still face sentencing in a separate case.
Manafort was found guilty last year of five tax fraud charges, two bank fraud charges, and one charge of hiding foreign bank accounts. The charges were brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller, who uncovered evidence of the violations as part of his sweeping investigation into President Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia to win the 2016 election.
The 47-month sentence was handed down just as Mueller’s office was arguing against leniency for Manafort. Mueller’s office said Manafort has shown a “lack of remorse” and said Manafort ” blames everyone from the Special Counsel’s Office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices.”
Mueller’s office had recommended a sentence ranging from 19 to 24 years in prison. Manafort’s attorneys accused Mueller of “attempting to vilify Mr. Manafort as a lifelong and irredeemable felon” and claimed prosecutors had gone “beyond the pale and grossly overstated the facts before the Court.”
Manafort sentencing judge said: This has nothing to do with Russian collusion
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) March 8, 2019
Manafort himself spoke to the judge ahead of his sentence, thanking him for a fair trial and asking for compassion. “Humiliated and shamed would be a gross understatement,” he said, detailing how difficult the past two years have been for him and his family.
Legal observers had long wondered how the outspoken Judge T.S. Ellis might rule. During the court proceedings in 2018, Ellis had told prosecutors: “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud … What you really care about is what information Mr. Manafort could give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment.”
When arguing for a lengthy sentence, the special counsel’s office said “Manafort’s misconduct involved more than $16 million in unreported income resulting in more than $6 million in federal taxes owed, more than $55 million hidden in foreign bank accounts, and more than $25 million secured from financial institutions through lies resulting in a fraud loss of more than $6 million.”
Manafort’s attorneys say that for the 69-year-old Manafort, “a significant additional period of incarceration will likely amount to a life sentence for a first time offender.”
President Trump has remained steadfast in his resolve that the Paul Manafort case has nothing to do with Russia.
This is a witch hunt, and it’s a disgrace: Trump