Paul Manafort is looking at 47 months behind bars. The sentence was handed down today in a Virginia Federal Court. Federal guidelines called for up to 24 years.
This sentence comes after a federal jury, back in August, convicted Manafort on tax and bank fraud. In a sentencing memo, Robert Mueller’s team made it clear these were no small crimes:
In the end, Manafort acted for more than a decade as if he were above the law, and deprived the federal government and various financial institutions of millions of dollars. The sentence here should reflect the seriousness of these crimes, and serve to both deter Manafort and others from engaging in such conduct.
But today, as many expressed shock at the light sentence, his lawyer downplayed his crimes.
Manafort is 69-years-old and is said to be in frail health. He arrived
And this isn’t the only sentence he is set to receive. Mueller will be back in a DC Federal court on March 13th. NBC reports:
The judge in that case, Amy Berman Jackson, must decide if Manafort, who turns 70 in April, will serve the two sentences at the same time or whether they must be served consecutively.
In that case, he pleaded guilty in September to two new counts, admitted his guilt to the 10 outstanding counts the Virginia trial and agreed to cooperate with special counsel prosecutors in a deal that would have made him eligible for a lighter sentence. He also agreed to forfeit multiple bank accounts and properties, including his apartment in Trump Tower. However, Judge Jackson since agreed with investigators’ assessment that Manafort lied to them in order to protect a Russian conspirator.
As such, the cooperation deal is off, and he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
The speculation is that Donald Trump will offer Manafort a pardon to spring him from jail, BUT a pardon would not apply to state charges. There are reports that the District Attorney’s office in New York City is investigating potential state crimes.