Washington, .- Paul Manafort, former campaign chief of the now president, Donald Trump, was sentenced this Thursday to 3 years and 11 months in prison for the 8 crimes of fraud of which he was convicted last August.
The sentence against Manafort is not related to the activities he carried out as head of the Trump campaign, although it is the product of the investigation into the Russian plot led by the special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
Manafort, 69, faced up to 24 years in prison for the crimes of tax and banking fraud for which he was convicted, but the judge in the case, T.S. Ellis, with court in Virginia, said that number would have been “excessive”
The magistrate said Manafort is a man who “has lived an irreproachable life” except for “the theft of money to all who pay taxes.”
For his part, the former Trump campaign manager between June and August 2016 responded feeling “humiliated and ashamed” and asked the judge to be benevolent.
In a separate and still unsentenced case, Manafort is accused of working for decades advising foreign governments without informing the US Executive. nor to quote to the public treasury, as the law marks.
It is expected that Manafort next Wednesday will receive the sentence of this second case, which must add to 3 years and 11 months.
Manafort, in fact, had to resign from the leadership of Trump’s campaign when it was discovered that he concealed from the authorities a payment of 12.7 million dollars for an advice to the deposed Ukrainian president Víktor Yanukovych (2010-2014).
When the Justice Department appointed special prosecutor Robert Mueller in May 2017 to investigate the Kremlin’s alleged interference in last year’s White House elections, he put the magnifying glass on Manafort’s finances to force him to collaborate in the investigation.
Fenced by the accusations against him, Manafort ended by signing a collaboration agreement with Mueller prosecutors investigating the Trump campaign in exchange for receiving a reduced sentence in their proceedings.
However, Mueller broke the deal by considering that Manafort had lied to him repeatedly, something Judge Amy Berman Jackson has considered proven and could add years to the sentence next week.
According to the judge, Manafort lied to prosecutors about his relationship with his partner Konstantin Kilimnik, with alleged ties to Russian intelligence; about a payment he received through a political committee of Trump and over another an ongoing investigation of the Department of Justice that he did not disclose.
Much has been speculated about the possibility that Trump could decree a pardon in favor of Manafort.
The lies to Mueller were not the only obstacle that Manafort put to the investigation on the Russian plot and the processes against him.
On June 15, while he was under house arrest from the indictment of the first charges on October 30, 2017, Jackson decreed his imprisonment by accusing him of trying to influence the statements of other witnesses.
Mueller and his prosecutors are investigating the alleged interference of the Kremlin in the 2016 presidential election, as well as possible contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
The fall from grace of Manafort joins that of Michael Cohen, ex-lawyer of Trump, sentenced to 3 years in prison for crimes on campaign financing, sentences with which Mueller narrows the siege on the US president.
Cohen is scheduled to enter prison on May 6. Unlike Manafort, Cohen is now confronted with Trump and is dedicating the weeks prior to his incarceration to collaborate in ongoing investigations against the president. (EFEUSA)