Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been sentenced to 73 months on two charges, including conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice after he attempted to tamper with witnesses.
Manafort's total sentence in the two hearings he has faced in recent weeks amounts to 90 months — or seven years and six months — in prison.
Manafort asked Judge Amy Berman Jackson for mercy on Wednesday, saying the criminal charges against him have “taken everything from me already.” He pleaded with the judge not to impose any additional prison time beyond the roughly four-year sentence he received in a separate case last week.
“I am sorry for what I have done and all the activities that have gotten us here today,” Manafort said in a calm and steady voice as he read from a written statement. “While I cannot undo the past, I will ensure that the future will be very different.”
The 69-year-old, who arrived in court in a wheelchair, said he was the primary caregiver of his wife and wanted the chance for them to resume their life together.
“She needs me and I need her. I ask you to think of this and our need for each other as you deliberate,” Manafort said. “This case has taken everything from me already — my properties, my cash, my life insurance, my trust accounts for my children and my grandchildren, and more.”
His plea for leniency followed prosecutor Andrew Weissmann’s scathing assessment of crimes that the government said spanned more than a decade and continued even while Manafort was awaiting trial. He said Manafort took steps to conceal his foreign lobbying work, laundered millions of dollars to fund a lavish lifestyle and then, while on house arrest, coached other witnesses to lie on his behalf.
“I believe that is not reflective of someone who has learned a harsh lesson. It is not a reflection of remorse,” Mr Weissmann said. “It is evidence that something is wrong with sort of a moral compass, that someone in that position would choose to make that decision at that moment.”
Manafort was being sentenced for concealing from the government foreign lobbying work he did on behalf of a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party. The judge stressed that the case did not involve Russian collusion, which she noted during her sentencing was strange for Manafort's attorneys to have brought up in their memos.
In dismissing the claims, she said, “It's hard to understand why an attorney would write that,“ adding, ”No collusion” is “simply a non-sequitur.”
Additional reporting by AP