Paul Manafort sentenced to additional 3 1/2 years in prison

Paul Manafort sentenced to additional 3 1/2 years in prison

Paul Manafort sentenced to additional 3 1/2 years in prison

The announcement adds to the legal trouble for Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, who is already facing years in prison on federal charges.

President Donald Trump's former presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been indicted on 16 new charges in NY including residential mortgage fraud, state prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Last week, a judge in Virginia sentenced Manafort to 47 months in prison for tax and bank fraud, bringing his total sentencing to 7 and a half years. Manafort apologized for his actions and asked for leniency during a sentencing hearing.

The newly filed charges are separate from the two concluded federal cases stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

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".

Trump has the authority as USA president to pardon Manafort for all his federal convictions, meaning he could be freed from his combined seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

While addressing the court, Judge Jackson declared that Manafort "is not public enemy No. 1", nor is he a violent criminal.

"As I've sat in solitary confinement, I've reflected on my life and can see I've behaved in ways that did not always comport with my personal values", Manafort said, as The Atlantic's Natasha Bertrand reports, adding, "my behavior in the future will be very different".

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He also agreed to co-operate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry in a deal for a possible lighter sentence.

Jackson sentenced Manafort, a veteran Republican political operative who earned millions of dollars working for pro-Russia politicians in Ukraine, for two conspiracy charges to which he pleaded guilty in September 2018 in Washington.

Manafort and his attorneys argued that he hadn't knowingly engaged in a pattern of deception with the prosecutors in the case and that his cooperation agreement should stay in force - that he should get credit for his plea and for the information he had given the government.

Manafort faced two federal trials because he exercised his option to keep the tax and bank fraud charges in the state where he lived. "It is not a reflection of remorse", Weissmann said.

Trump has not ruled out a presidential pardon for Manafort, and after last week's sentencing said "I feel very badly" for his former aide.

"He has not learned a harsh lesson", Weissmann said. A pardon might not, however, end Manafort's legal troubles.

Jackson also made clear that neither of Manafort's court proceedings in Virginia or D.C. touched on the subject of collusion, indirectly shooting down Trump's incorrect claim last week that Judge Ellis said "there was no collusion with Russian Federation".

Mueller's team also said that Manafort had lied about an August 2016 meeting with Kilimnik, a business associate who the US said had ties to Russian intelligence.

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