Paul Manafort sentenced: Live updates
Paul Manafort was sentenced to prison today for convictions stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Here's everything you need to know about today's sentencing:
- The sentence: Manafort, 69, received 47 months —or almost four years — in prison for defrauding banks and the government, and failing to pay taxes on millions of dollars in income he earned from Ukrainian political consulting.
- The restitution: Judge TS Ellis set Manafort's restitution payment in a range from $6 million to almost $25 million because it's not yet clear how much money Manafort will relinquish to the federal government in his forfeiture proceeding.
- What Manafort said: He spoke briefly about how prayer and faith have helped get him through this time and asked Judge TS Ellis "to be compassionate." He told the judge that "the last two years have been the most difficult years for my family and I."
- Prosecutors wanted more time: Prosecutor Greg Andres said Manafort never gave meaningful help during his cooperation with the special counsel's office, despite spending 50 hours together. Prosecutors argued that Manafort deserves between 19 and 25 years in prison.
- What the judge said: Ellis said he thought the sentencing recommendation was "excessive," adding that he believed Manafort "lived an otherwise blameless life," was a good friend and generous person to others.
When Judge TS Ellis gave Paul Manafort his sentence, it wasn't a clear-cut four years for all his crimes. Instead, Ellis gave Manafort several penalties of prison time that will all run simultaneously.
He was convicted by a jury on eight crimes, ranging from tax fraud, to failure to disclose bank accounts to federal regulators, to bank fraud.
So what makes up his 47-month sentence? Manafort's bank fraud conviction. The other crimes Manafort committed have lesser sentences, which he'll also serve at the same time. So the longest prison sentence is what matters most.
A reminder: Manafort has already spent almost 9 months in jail, so Ellis will give him credit for time served.
One thing to note: Judge Amy Berman Jackson will sentence Manafort next week for separate crimes. She will also decide whether her sentence should run concurrently or in addition to Ellis' judgment.
Paul Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing emerged from court after the sentencing and said his client “accepts responsibility for his conduct.”
“I think what most importantly what you saw today is the same thing that we said from day one. There is absolutely no evidence that Paul Manafort was involved in any collusion with any government official from Russia," Downing said.
What happened in court: Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison for defrauding banks and the government, and failing to pay taxes on millions of dollars in income he earned from Ukrainian political consulting.
Paul Manafort's lawyer Kevin Downing requested in court that Manafort serve his time in a federal prison camp in Cumberland, Maryland.
The prison there has a medium security facility as well as an adjacent minimum security camp.
Some background: Manafort has been held at a detention center in Alexandria, Virginia, for several months. He has been in solitary confinement for his own safety because other inmates could threaten him with violence.
Judge TS Ellis gave Paul Manafort credit for the nine months he's spent in jail, after a different judge revoked his bond last June.
"I want him to receive credit for nine months," Ellis said at the end of the hearing.
If that happens, Manafort's time in prison from now on would total a little more than three years.
Why that matters: There is another judge who will sentence Manafort next week, and has some latitude to decide how the two sentences from Ellis and from her court fit together.
If Manafort has maintained good behavior while in jail, he could be released early as well. Defendants often don't serve the full amount of time they're given by a federal judge.
There were no cameras allowed in the courtroom when Paul Manafort was sentenced today in Virginia.
But there was a sketch artist.
While Judge TS Ellis read the sentence, there was no visible reaction from Paul Manafort or his wife, Kathleen, who was watching in the gallery.
After the hearing ended, Manafort was wheeled out of the room. He looked directly at his wife.
Manafort's eyes appeared bloodshot.
After the hearing ended, Manafort's wife stayed in her seat for several minutes. Her friends huddled around her, with one man kneeling down beside her.
She was the last person in the room to stand up out of her seat — including court staff, reporters, prosecutors, and members of the public.
Judge TS Ellis said he believes he gave Paul Manafort "a just sentence for that conduct."
"I'm convinced that's a just sentence for that conduct," Ellis said as he delivered the sentence.
Even though Ellis gave Manafort a more lenient sentence than the court's probation office had recommended, he told Manafort he was disappointed that Manafort did not express remorse.
"I was surprised I did not hear you express regret for engaging in criminal conduct," Ellis said. "I hope you will reflect on that."
Before Ellis delivered his sentence, he said, "Life is making choices, Mr. Manafort, and living with the choices you make."
"You made choices to engage in criminal conduct," Ellis added.
Judge TS Ellis ordered Paul Manafort to pay at least $6 million in restitution to the government.
But Ellis set Manafort's restitution payment in a range from $6 million to almost $25 million.
Why this matters: It's not yet clear how much money Manafort will relinquish to the federal government in his forfeiture proceeding.
A $6 million restitution judgment from Ellis will at least cover the taxes Manafort stole from the US government, Ellis said. He agreed the Justice Department could seek restitution for four times that amount, if Manafort owes it.
However, Ellis noted, "I don't want him paying more than these people really lose."
Manafort will not have to pay interest on the amount.
Manafort, who must also pay a $50,000 fine, was also ordered to serve three-years supervised release on top of his 47-month sentence.