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Friday, March 8, 2019

President Trump's ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort jailed for 47 months

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been sentenced to 47 months for bank and tax fraud.

His was the first trial sparked by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. The 69-year-old, who is awaiting sentencing for different charges next week, faced potentially spending the rest of his life in prison.

However, US District Judge T.S. Ellis has handed down a 47-month sentence for the eight charges the veteran Republican political consultant was convicted of by a jury in Alexandria, Virginia last August. It doesn't follow federal sentencing guidelines cited by prosecutors that call for 19-1/2 to 24 years in prison He will be sentenced on March 13 in Washington, on two conspiracy charges to which he pleaded guilty last September.

The maximum sentence for that charge is capped at 10 years. However US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson potentially could stack that on top of whatever prison time Ellis imposes in Virginia, rather than allowing the sentences to run concurrently.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis also ordered Manafort to pay a fine of $50,000 in a hearing in which the veteran consultant also asked for mercy but did not express remorse for his actions.

In handing out the jail time, the judge said the sentencing guidelines were excessive and would create "an unwarranted disparity" with other cases. Manafort, who opted not to testify during his trial, told the court that "to say I have been humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement." He described his life as "professionally and financially in shambles."

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