|Former Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort|
Donald Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, will now serve seven and a half years in prison after Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Federal District Court in Washington added 3.5 more years to his sentence on Wednesday.
In issuing her ruling, Judge Jackson said Manafort “spent a significant portion of his career gaming the system.”
From the New York Times:
Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Federal District Court in Washington sentenced Mr. Manafort, 69, on two conspiracy counts that encompassed a host of crimes, including money-laundering, obstruction of justice and failing to disclose lobbying work that earned him tens of millions of dollars over more than a decade.
“It is hard to overstate the number of lies and the amount of fraud and the amount of money involved,” she said, reeling off Mr. Manafort’s various offenses, rapid-fire. “There is no question that this defendant knew better and he knew what he was doing.”
Each charge carried a maximum of five years. But Judge Jackson noted that one count was closely tied to the same bank and tax fraud scheme that a federal judge in Virginia had sentenced Mr. Manafort for last week. Under sentencing guidelines, she said, those punishments should largely overlap, not be piled on top of each other. Mr. Manafort was also expected to get credit for the nine months he has already spent in jail.
Per Judge Jackson’s sentence, Manafort received for Count One 60 months, of which 30 months will run concurrent with last week’s sentence.
For Count Two, he received a sentence of 13 months which will run consecutive to count 1 and the earlier sentence in Virginia.
He also forfeits $11 million in assets.
The Times reports that Manafort begged Judge Jackson not to add to his time in prison. “This case has taken everything from me, already,” he said as he listed the assets he’s forfeited. “Please let my wife and I be together.”
Donald Trump hasn’t said definitively if he will pardon the 69-year-old, but he’s repeatedly spoken well of Manafort calling him “a brave man.”
Immediately following the sentencing hearing, Manfort was indicted by New York state Attorney General Cyrus R. Vance Jr. on 16 state felony charges including mortgage fraud.
The new state charges against Mr. Manafort are contained in a 16-count indictment that alleges a yearlong scheme in which he falsified business records to obtain millions of dollars in loans, Mr. Vance said in a news release after the federal sentencing.
“No one is beyond the law in New York,” he said, adding that the investigation by the prosecutors in his office had “yielded serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.”
The indictment grew out of an investigation that began in 2017, when the Manhattan prosecutors began examining loans Mr. Manafort received from two banks.
This complicates Manafort’s life much more.
While Donald Trump may pardon Manafort for his federal crimes, and it’s appeared that Manafort is counting on that, Trump has no pardon power over state charges.