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Ex-Trump Campaign Chief Jailed For Fraud

Paul Manafort Convicted Guilty On Fraud Charges US President Donald Trump’s ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort has been given a 47-month jail sentence for fraud. He was convicted last year...

Paul Manafort Convicted Guilty On Fraud Charges

US President Donald Trump’s ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort has been given a 47-month jail sentence for fraud. He was convicted last year of hiding millions of dollars of income earned by his political consulting in Ukraine.

The charges stem from an inquiry into alleged Russian election meddling in the 2016 US elections. None of Manafort’s charges relates to collusion with Russia in the election. Trump has always denied the charge, describing the inquiry as a witch hunt.

The 47-month sentence is far shorter than what was recommended by US Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller is thought to be finishing up his 22-month investigation, which has dogged the Trump presidency.

Manafort is due to be sentenced in another case next week related to his illegal lobbying.

What happened at the hearing?

Manafort – who will receive credit for time served – must also pay $24 million in restitution and a $50,000 fine. The 69-year-old addressed the court on Thursday evening in Virginia saying, “the last two years have been the most difficult of my life.”

“To say I am humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement,” he added, asking the judge to be “compassionate.” He described his life as “professionally and financially in shambles.”

Judge TS Ellis said he was surprised that Manafort did not “express regret for engaging in wrongful conduct.” Nevertheless he said sentencing guidelines cited by prosecutors calling for between 19.5 and 24 years in prison were “excessive.”

The formerly dapper lobbyist – who entered the court wearing a green prison jumpsuit and in a wheelchair – was impassive as he learned his fate. His legal team has previously said he suffers from debilitating foot pain resulting from gout as a result of his incarceration.

Manafort has been held in solitary confinement for the last nine months at a local jail since his bail was revoked for alleged witness-tampering. His sentencing marks a spectacular downfall for a high-rolling Republican political guru who advised four US presidents, including Trump, and foreign leaders.

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