US judge sentences Manafort to 73 months in prison
Manafort appeared in a Washington, DC courtroom in a wheelchair on Wednesday, asking the judge for leniency. The “case has taken everything from me already” the 69-year-old lawyer said.
“I am sorry for what I have done and all the activities that have gotten us here today,” Manafort told the court. “While I cannot undo the past, I will ensure that the future will be very different.”
Judge Amy Berman Jackson was apparently unmoved by Manafort’s speech, slapping him with a 6-year prison term for two conspiracy charges related to illegal lobbying.
Last week, in a federal court in Virginia, Manafort was sentenced to nearly four years in prison (47 months) in a separate case, involving bank and tax fraud. Some 30 months from the new term, however, will run concurrently with the previous conviction, with Manafort spending seven and a half years behind bars in total.
The veteran lobbyist who ran Trump’s presidential campaign between March and August 2016 was targeted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors in the course of their “Russiagate” probe. Instead of turning up any evidence of “collusion” with the Kremlin, however, the prosecutors charged him with financial crimes connected to his lobbying work in Ukraine, entirely unrelated to the 2016 election.
Mueller was appointed by the deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in May 2017, after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. He was tasked to investigate allegations that Trump and his campaign “colluded” with Russia back in 2016, receiving near-unlimited authority.
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