Paul Manafort faces 25 years in prison at sentencing Thursday


A jury in Alexandria convicted Manafort a year ago on eight counts of tax and bank fraud related to his overseas work advising politicians in Ukraine.

Manafort was convicted after prosecutors accused him of hiding from the USA government millions of dollars he earned as a consultant for Ukraine's former pro-Russia government.

But he said the sentencing guidelines cited by prosecutors calling for between 19.5 and 24 years in prison were excessive. "These guidelines are quite high", Ellis said.

Judge Ellis also said Manafort was "not before the court for any allegations that he, or anyone at his direction, colluded with the Russian Government to influence the 2016 election".

Manafort still faces sentencing in the District of Columbia in a separate case related to illegal lobbying. Even Ellis at the outset of the case speculated that prosecutors' true motive in prosecuting Manafort was to pressure him to provide evidence against Trump.

"The question was asked yesterday about pardons, with respect to Paul Manafort, who - it's very sad what's happened to Paul, the way he's bring treated, I've never seen anybody treated so poorly - but the question was asked to me by the New York Post and I said no, I have not offered any pardons", said the president. He described his life as "professionally and financially in shambles".

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to 47 months for tax and bank fraud in federal court Thursday. Even after his trial and guilty plea, Manafort's legal team had an unusual arrangement with Trump's legal team that gave Trump's team insight into the questions Mueller's team was pursuing. "The defendant blames everyone from the special counsel's office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices", the prosecutor wrote.

Judge: He said that Manafort has been a "generous person" who has "lived an otherwise blameless life", but that Manafort's tax evasion was "a theft of money from everyone who pays taxes". But that agreement collapsed after Manafort was found to have lied to Mueller's team.

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Manafort is scheduled to be sentenced in Virginia on Thursday.

Manafort served as Mr Trump's campaign chairman from March to August of 2016, before being replaced by Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway.

Prosecutors stated that Manafort "poses a serious risk of recidivism", noting his "lies to the government and grand jury are aggravating factors and an additional basis for the denial of any reduction for the acceptance of responsibility".

The veteran Republican political consultant had been convicted of eight charges by a jury in Alexandria last August.

Also last month, Manafort's lawyers inadvertently revealed in a court filing that their client had shared polling data about the 2016 Trump campaign with Mr Kilimnik.

The verdict marked a dramatic fall for Manafort, a savvy political operative who advised US presidents as well as foreign leaders.

The sentencing capped a stunning downfall for Manafort, a prominent figure in Republican Party circles for decades who also worked as a consultant to such global figures as former Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and Yanukovych.

"It isn't a crime to have a lot of money and be profligate in your spending", Ellis told prosecutors.