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WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, has been ordered to serve a total of seven and a half years in prison after a second federal judge added more time to his sentence on Wednesday, saying he “spent a significant portion of his career gaming the system.”

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of Federal District Court in Washington sentenced Mr. Manafort, 69, on two conspiracy counts that encompassed a host of crimes, including money-laundering, obstruction of justice and failing to disclose lobbying work that earned him tens of millions of dollars over more than a decade.

“It is hard to overstate the number of lies and the amount of fraud and the amount of money involved,” she said, reeling off Mr. Manafort’s various offenses, rapid-fire. “There is no question that this defendant knew better and he knew what he was doing.”

Each charge carried a maximum of five years. But Judge Jackson noted that one count was closely tied to the same bank and tax fraud scheme that a federal judge in Virginia had sentenced Mr. Manafort for last week. Under sentencing guidelines, she said, those punishments should largely overlap, not be piled on top of each other. Mr. Manafort was also expected to get credit for the nine months he has already spent in jail.

Soon after the additional sentence was handed down, Mr. Manafort was charged in state court in New York with mortgage fraud and more than a dozen other felonies, an effort to ensure he will still face prison time if Mr. Trump pardons him for his federal crimes.

Mr. Manafort asked the judge in Washington not to add to his time in prison. “This case has taken everything from me, already,” he said, running through a list of his financial assets that now belong to the government. “Please let my wife and I be together,” he added, hunched over in a wheelchair because of a flare-up of gout.
Mr. Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing told the judge that while he was not accusing the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, of mounting a politically motivated prosecution, “but for a short stint as campaign manager in a national election, I don’t think we would be here today.”

But the judge firmly rejected the argument that the prosecution was somehow “misguided or invalid,” saying it showed Mr. Manafort did not fully accept responsibility for his crimes. She suggested that defense lawyers kept repeating it not because they hoped to influence her thinking, but “for some other audience” — an apparent reference to Mr. Trump, who has commented repeatedly on the Manafort case.

Andrew Weissmann, one of Mr. Mueller’s top deputies, said Mr. Manafort had squandered his education and a wealth of opportunities to lead a criminal conspiracy for more than a decade. Once caught, he obstructed justice by tampering with two witnesses, he said, and then repeatedly lied to prosecutors and to a grand jury after he agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s office in September.
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“He served to undermine — not promote — American ideals of honesty, transparency and playing by the rules,” Mr. Weissmann said.

Mr. Manafort’s case stood out in many ways, not the least of which is because it was brought by the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. It is also rare that the government reaches a plea deal and then pulls out, claiming that the defendant has deceived them instead of cooperating.
Judge Jackson ruled earlier that Mr. Manafort breached his plea agreement by lying, but prosecutors have not publicly disclosed why they consider those lies important, saying they wanted to protect an open investigation. That was expected to make it harder for Judge Jackson, who takes pride in explaining herself in terms that ordinary people can understand, to describe how she arrived at her sentence.

In another oddity, Mr. Manafort’s prosecution was divided into two cases — the one before Judge Jackson, and the related case overseen by Judge T. S. Ellis III of Federal District Court in Alexandria, Va. Last week, Judge Ellis sentenced Mr. Manafort to 47 months in prison for eight felony counts of tax evasion, bank fraud and failure to disclose a foreign bank account.

Judge Ellis’s sentence set off a firestorm of criticism from commentators who complained it was overly lenient for a defendant who had orchestrated a multimillion-dollar fraud over a decade. Much of the legal world considered the sentencing guidelines in the Virginia case, which called for a prison term of 19 to 24 years, far too harsh. But some public defenders and former prosecutors said a 47-month sentence exemplified the sentencing disparities in a criminal justice system that favors wealthy, white-collar criminals.

Instead, some predicted, she would most likely allow Mr. Manafort to serve his sentences simultaneously, which would cap his prison term at 10 years.

“What is happening today is not and cannot be a review and a revision by a sentence imposed by another court,” Judge Jackson said on Wednesday, referring to the sentence Mr. Manafort received last week.

Hanging over the entire case has been the chance that Mr. Trump could pardon Mr. Manafort. Asked about that possibility, Mr. Trump’s answers have varied. He said late last year that he “wouldn’t take it off the table.” More recently, he said, “I don’t even discuss it.”
Asked about a pardon on Monday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said, “The president has made his position on that clear, and he’ll make a decision when he is ready.”

Last June, when Judge Jackson revoked Mr. Manafort’s bail and sent him to jail after prosecutors filed new charges of witness tampering, President Trump said Mr. Manafort was being treated like a mafia boss.

“Who was treated worse, Alfonse Capone, legendary mob boss, killer and ‘Public Enemy Number One,’ or Paul Manafort, political operative & Reagan/Dole darling, now serving solitary confinement — although convicted of nothing?” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

After the sentencing, Mr. Downing told reporters outside the courthouse that the judge had handed down a “callous, harsh sentence that is totally unnecessary.” Judge Jackson conceded that the prosecutors brought no evidence of a conspiracy with Russia’s election interference, he said, omitting that she also noted that the Kremlin’s campaign was never part of the Manafort case and she was not responsible for ruling on it.

Judge Jackson is comfortable with complex decisions, said Robert P. Trout, a defense lawyer who runs the law firm where she worked for a decade before President Barack Obama appointed her to the bench in 2011. “If anyone can get their head around the complexities and sensibilities of the sentencing considerations in play here, it is Judge Jackson,” Mr. Trout said.

The special counsel has not requested a specific sentence in any criminal case it has brought. In the case before Judge Jackson, prosecutors said that Mr. Manafort had “repeatedly and brazenly” violated a host of laws and did not deserve any breaks. Even though sentencing guidelines recommended a prison term of up to 22 years, the maximum sentence was governed by the statutes, not the guidelines, and so was limited to 10 years.
The judge sentenced Mr. Manafort to five years on the first conspiracy count, but said 30 months of that would be served concurrently with the Virginia sentence because of the overlap between the two cases. On the second conspiracy count, which involved obstruction of justice, she sentenced him to 13 months, saying that his efforts to influence witnesses had “largely been nipped in the bud.”

Judge Jackson tends to be relatively lenient on convicted criminals who appear before her. In the five years that ended in 2017, she handed down an average prison sentence of just 32 months, below both the Washington district’s 46-month average and the nationwide average of 47 months, according to court data maintained by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

But Judge Jackson has gone out of her way to make clear that being well-connected earns no chits in her court. “She knows who commits white-collar crime,” said Heather Shaner, a Washington lawyer who represented an embezzler in her court. “And she thinks it’s perfectly fine to punish them if they commit a crime and hold them to a higher standard because they have the education, and because they have the wealth.”

Six years ago, she sentenced the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., the former Illinois congressman and son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, to 30 months in prison for stealing $750,000 from his campaign to pay personal expenses. He had asked for probation. But she told him: “How would I explain a probationary sentence to those troubled youths who are locked up, who didn’t start where you started, and were not given what you were given?

“It would be read one way and one way only, as a clear statement that there are two systems of justice: one for the well-connected, and one for everyone else,” she added. “I cannot do it. I will not do it.”
Oh wow, I guess he shouldn't have done that shaddy shit with the Podesta brothers.
And the Democrats once again are the party of law and order unlike the Republicans who are the party of giving rich, white men a slap on the wrist.

Hi trumptard
What shit? Link in advance next time.
Beep boop
bump for tumbling down
Hi Cletus
>those sheeple didn't read the same nutjob conspiracy theory blog i did, therefore they are ignorant
and still nothing to tie Trump to Russian collusion...
Except the Russians doing everything to help Trump and all the Trump campaigns contacts with the Russians and all the obstruction of justice to stop the investigation
i cant wait to see your reaction when the mueller report is released
Only everything and everyone - From his “campaign” captains, little mafia family, retarded “deals” from decades ago, to the Rusky gangsters laundering money through Trump Tower.

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