News World Trump campaign ex-chief Manafort faces second sentencing

Trump campaign ex-chief Manafort faces second sentencing

U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will be sentenced by a second judge on Wednesday who will determine whether to add to a surprisingly lenient four-year prison sentence imposed in a separate case last week.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson, of the U.S. District Court in Washington, can give Manafort up to 10 years – five for each of the two conspiracy counts he pleaded guilty to last year in a cooperation deal with prosecutors that later imploded after he was found to have lied.

Jackson’s sentence will mark the end of a two-year legal battle between Manafort, a veteran Republican political operative who worked for Trump’s campaign for five months in 2016, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who made exposing Manafort’s covert lobbying for pro-Kremlin politicians in Ukraine a centerpiece of his Russia probe.

It also comes as expectations grow that Mueller will soon wrap up his 22-month-old investigation by submitting a final report on his findings to Attorney General William Barr.

Manafort’s sentence on Thursday by U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis in Virginia, where he was convicted for financial crimes, was two decades below the upper limit of federal sentencing guidelines, prompting criticism among legal experts that it was too light.

In the Washington case Manafort will be sentenced for conspiracy against the United States, which included a range of conduct from money laundering to unregistered lobbying, and a second count related to witness tampering.

In addition to its length, the focus will be on what portion of her sentence Jackson decides to run simultaneously with the 47 months imposed by Ellis, and what time, if any, she tacks on to run consecutively. In September Jackson warned Manafort, who turns 70 in April, that she had discretion on the matter.

Shanlon Wu, a Washington criminal defense attorney, said Jackson would have to weigh the fact that Manafort admitted his guilt, a mitigating factor, against her finding that he lied to prosecutors in breach of his plea deal, which freed prosecutors from any obligation to recommend leniency.

Wu predicted Jackson’s sentence would likely add about three years to his total prison time.

“I think she will run some of her time consecutively,” said Wu, who appeared before Jackson during a previous stint representing Manafort’s former business associate Rick Gates. “I would be surprised if she really threw the book at him.”

“A TALE OF TWO JUDGES”

Mueller’s team has not made a specific recommendation on Manafort’s sentencing in the Washington case but called him a “hardened” criminal in a filing last month, arguing he should be held accountable for the “gravity” of his crimes.

Manafort’s lawyers countered that their client should be given credit for admitting his guilt while also stressing that none of the Mueller’s charges related to the special counsel’s core mandate: collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Ellis, who has been critical of the special counsel, echoed that sentiment at the hearing on Thursday, later prompting a misleading claim by Trump that the judge had exonerated his campaign.

Jackson has displayed a more even-handed stance, defense lawyers said. She allowed a disagreement over Manafort’s bail to carry on for months and only threw him in jail last June when he was indicted for an attempt to tamper with witnesses in the case.

“This a tale of two judges. Judge Ellis showed little restraint in his comments as well as his action,” said George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley. “Judge Jackson has shown considerable restraint.”

While many people believe Ellis’ sentence was “absurdly low,” Turley said he did not think Jackson would seek to rectify the matter, saying it was not “the providence of a second federal judge to correct an error by the first judge.”

Whatever Jackson’s ruling, the possibility of a presidential pardon – a prospect Trump has not ruled out — will likely continue to hang over the Manafort situation, lawyers said.

A pardon might not, however, end Manafort’s legal troubles.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is pursuing criminal charges against Manafort, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters last month. The charges, which originate from unpaid state taxes, could not be erased by a presidential pardon, which are only applicable to federal crimes.

(Reuters)

Read more:

https://in-cyprus.com/manafort-memo-shows-plan-to-promote-cypriot-party/

Top Stories

166 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

The Health Ministry announced 166 new COVID-19 cases on 30 October, out of 3,672 laboratory tests, taking confirmed infections to 4,217. The break-down of new...

Samos island: two children dead from collapse of wall; six dead in Turkey’s Izmir area

Two children died when a wall fell on them on the island of Samos on Thursday, the first reported Greek casualties of an earthquake...

Protest outside Polish Embassy organized Saturday 15.30

A protest outside the Polish Embassy is being organized for tomorrow, Saturday at 15.30 in solidarity to the women in Poland since the government...

Seismologists warn of strong aftershocks to follow Samos earthquake

Seismologists warned that people should expect a series of strong aftershocks to follow the 6.7 Richter earthquake that hit the island of Samos and...

33-year-old arrested for stealing dogs

A 33-year-old man from Larnaca has been arrested in connection with a case of stealing animals. According to the police an arrest warrant was pending...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...