Paul Manafort apologized in the court today prior to sentencing, explaining he is broken and changed by this. The near-70-year-old said he is his wife’s sole means of support [his wife is legally deaf]. Manafort, appearing in court in a wheelchair, said his health is declining and promised the judge that she would not regret a light sentence. He asked for compassion. This is a far more contrite Paul Manafort.
Manafort didn’t apologize at his last sentencing, so that’s an improvement.
“I am sorry for what I have done and for all of the activities that have gotten us here today,” Manafort said in remarks to a federal judge in Washington, D.C.
“I know that it was my conduct that brought me here today,” Manafort, wearing a suit and seated in a wheelchair, said in the packed and quiet courtroom. “For that, I am remorseful.”
About Paul Manafort, the judge said, this defendant is “not public enemy number one, but he’s not a victim either.”
The Russia-Trump collusion/conspiracy case was not solved by this case, Judge Jackson said. She made clear with that statement that she is only going to sentence Manafort on the crimes before her. No one was implicated in collusion or conspiracy in this case.
Manafort was Donald Trump’s campaign manager for four months and was investigated because of the case by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Manafort was sentenced to serve 47-months by Judge Ellis for other crimes.
Judge Jackson noted the witness tampering and perjury affecting her court and said Manafort did not accept responsibility for that. That is sticking with her.
The judge wants the appellate record to clearly show that she is sentencing Manafort for the crimes before her and it’s obvious the witness tampering truly irked her. She said she understands his incarceration will affect his family but that’s true of all defendants. That argument and his apology “falls flat” she said. Jackson believes he’s been gaming the system for years.
Jackson said he lied to his own lawyers and the U.S. government.
He failed to submit a written letter taking responsibility, she said. “Saying I’m sorry I got caught is not an effective plea for leniency,” she said. Jackson rejected Manafort’s statement that he did not collude with Russia offended her.
He’s being tried for a pattern of tax and bank fraud, hiding money from the IRS, for years.
Manafort was given an additional 3.5 years in prison which gives him 7.5 years incarceration. Fifteen percent will come off the sentence if his behavior is good. CNN reported that sentencing guidelines require some of the time be served consecutively. His nine months served so far does count.
Catherine Herridge says he will serve about 81 months.