Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison in Virginia trial, sentencing in Washington DC case next week

Trump's former campaign chief faced up to 25 years in prison, was sentenced to less than four.

Paul Manafort speaking to the court today, courtroom sketch artist: Art Lien

A judge sentenced former Donald Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort today to 47 months in jail, which adds up to almost four years of incarceration. Manafort faced the possibility of up to nearly 25 years, based on federal sentencing guidelines.

He will receive credit for 9 months of time already served.

Paul Manafort had previously been convicted by a jury on eight charges: 5 counts of tax fraud, 2 counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account.

NOTE: In a separate trial, Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced for other crimes in DC next week.

Before issuing the sentence, Judge T.S. Ellis said the sentencing range for Paul Manafort of 19-24 years is "excessive," noted he "lived an otherwise blameless life," was a good friend and generous person to others. "That doesn't erase his crimes however," Judge Ellis said.


After Manafort's lawyer called it "a very unusual case," Ellis replied, "nobody denies that."

Ellis then says he's "rarely had a courtroom ever close to this full."

"The real essence of his violation is that he stole from us, the people who pay their taxes," Judge Ellis says of Manafort.

Manafort entered the court in a wheelchair, and used a cane in the courtroom. He spoke before the judge for about four minutes at the end of the trial, before the judge issued his sentence.

Prior to sentencing, the judge said Manafort would get no credit for accepting responsibility for his crimes.

On those 50 hours of testimony, Mueller prosecutor Greg Andres said, "Manafort did not provide valuable information to the special counsel that wasn't already known."

Manafort got away with lucrative crimes around the world for decades.

The mistake that did him in?

Teaming up with Trump.

Background from the New York Times:

Mr. Manafort's lawyers repeatedly implied that the special counsel's office pursued their client with unusual vigor because of his importance to the Russia inquiry. They said his political consulting work for four American presidents, including Mr. Trump, spoke to his high ideals. And they argued that the special counsel's office has vilified him for what are essentially garden-variety crimes that for other defendants merited only limited time behind bars.

But prosecutors said that Mr. Manafort had been under criminal investigation before Mr. Mueller was appointed in May 2017, that his fraud scheme lasted a full decade and that he committed new crimes by tampering with witnesses after he was indicted. Those new offenses led a federal judge to revoke his bail and jail him in June.

"The defendant blames everyone from the special counsel's office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.

Mr. Manafort was indicted on 18 counts in the Northern Virginia case, but the jury convicted him on only eight: five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failure to disclose a foreign bank account. Because of one holdout juror, the panel deadlocked on the other charges. Mr. Manafort admitted that he was guilty of those as well, though, as part of his plea agreement.

Below, observations from Twitter.