(Gray News) - Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman for the 2016 presidential election, was sentenced to just under four years - 47 months- in prison on Thursday.
He had asked “for compassion” as he faced the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.
“The last two years have been the most difficult years for my family and I,” the 69-year-old Manafort said to U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis at his sentencing hearing. “To say that I feel humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement.”
He added, “I know it is my conduct that has brought me here.”
He did not apologize for his crimes.
The sentencing was a major departure from the recommendation that had been submitted by special counsel Robert Mueller, which called for 19-24 years.
Judge Ellis called that recommendation “excessive" and appeared to characterize Manafort as a good man who’d gone astray, saying he had “lived an otherwise blameless life” apart from the financial crimes he committed, which involved evading taxes on he made doing political consulting work in Ukraine.
His sentencing in Alexandria, VA, federal court was the first of two court appointments, with a second hearing scheduled for later this month.
He was convicted in August of eight felony counts for tax fraud and other financial crimes and faces up to 24 years in prison, the Associated Press said.
Manafort pleaded guilty to witness tampering, conspiracy and money laundering in a separate federal case filed in Washington, DC.
Prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office slammed Manafort in a filing this week, saying he “blames everyone from the Special Counsel’s Office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices.” They recommended the judge reject his pleas for leniency.
Manafort’s lawyers argued his age should be taken into account.
He has been in jail for months since his plea deal was withdrawn for alleged witness tampering. Prosecutors said he also lied under oath.
His health has been in decline, and he’s been using a wheelchair and a cane.