WASHINGTON– Paul Manafort, the former chair of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was sentenced Tuesday to additional 43 months on federal conspiracy charges, bringing his sentence between two federal courts to 7.5 years.
Manafort, 69, was sentenced by district court Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C. on two criminal charges: conspiracy against the US and conspiracy witness tampering, which he pled guilty to last November.
In August a Virginia court found Manafort guilty of five counts of filing false tax returns, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to report overseas bank accounts.
“He engaged in crime, again and again. He has not learned a harsh lesson,” prosecutor Andrew Weissmann told the court, referring to the witness tampering charge. “He served to undermine — not promote — American ideals of honesty, transparency and playing by the rules.”
Manafort’s attorneys had argued that he may have received a lesser sentence had he not been caught up in the Robert Mueller investigation — a probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election that has gone on for almost two years.
Manafort, for his part, was more contrite but reminded the judge of his advancing age.
“I am sorry for what I’ve done,” Manafort told the courtroom. “Let me be very clear, I accept the responsibility for the acts that caused me to be here today. Please let my wife and I be together.”
“That argument falls flat,” Jackson shot back. “Saying, ‘I’m sorry I got caught,’ is not an inspiring plea for leniency. Court is one of those places where facts still matter.”
“It is hard to overstate the number of lies and the amount of fraud and the extraordinary amount of money involved,” Jackson said. “There is no explanation that would warrant the leniency requested.”
In a statement, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said prosecutors “should be ashamed” of their treatment of Manafort.