Paul Manafort sentencing: What you need to know

Paul Manafort sentencing: What you need to know

Paul Manafort sentencing: What you need to know

Manafort was found guilty on two counts of bank fraud, five counts of tax fraud and one count of failing to declare a foreign bank account.

Prosecutors laid out their arguments against Manafort last August, charging that he defrauded banks and the US government by skirting millions of dollars in federal taxes. But US District Judge T.S. Elliss said the sentencing guidelines were excessive and would create "an unwarranted disparity" with other cases.

Manafort added that he hoped to turn things around "through the power of prayer and God's guiding hand" before asking the judge for compassion.

Manafort faces sentencing in a separate case in Washington on March 13 on two conspiracy charges to which he pleaded guilty last September.

During today's hearing, Mueller prosecutor Greg Andres told the judge "Manafort did not provide valuable information to the special counsel that wasn't already known".

They pointed out that Manafort, who suffers from gout, is a first-time offender and said the sentencing guidelines are "clearly disproportionate" for the crimes he committed. Even Ellis at the outset of the case speculated that prosecutors' true motive in prosecuting Manafort was to pressure him to provide evidence against Trump.

"The special counsel's attempt to vilify Mr. Manafort as a lifelong and irredeemable felon is beyond the pale and grossly overstates the facts before this court", his attorneys said.

In arguing for a lighter sentence, Manafort's attorneys said the veteran Republican political consultant has been "devastated personally, professionally and financially".


At one point, Ellis chided prosecutors for spending time on a loan that a bank ultimately did not give Manafort, even though it is a crime to defraud a bank regardless of whether the loan is granted.

"The defendant blames everyone from the special counsel's office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices", prosecutors wrote in a final court filing earlier this week to the Judge.

The sentencing hearing for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has begun in Virginia with the 69-year-old entering the courtroom in a wheelchair.

Trump has also dangled the possibility of pardons for some of those indicted - including Manafort, who he has praised as a "good man" who has been treated unfairly.

During Manafort's trial, much of the damaging testimony against him was provided by his former deputy Rick Gates, who is awaiting sentencing after reaching a plea agreement with the Special Counsel's office. However, in the proceedings in D.C. over the breach of his plea deal, there have been hints at what in Manafort Mueller's team see as being at the "heart" of their probe. The sentencing in that case is scheduled for Wednesday.

Donald Trump's ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort could be set to receive a decades-long prison sentence for tax and bank fraud. But the longtime lobbyist was found guilty by a jury in federal court in Virginia of evading taxes and misleading banks, after which he admitted to related conduct in D.C. federal court.

In an 848 page sentencing memo released last month, the special counsel laid out a pattern of deception that was not done out of necessity, but out of greed.

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