— Ex-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in jail for fraud in Mueller case
A federal judge on Thursday sentenced President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort to serve 47 months in prison, a far shorter length of time than prosecutors in the case had argued for.
The decision from federal judge T.S. Ellis in Virginia comes less than a week before Manafort’s second sentencing hearing in another case in Washington, D.C., district court. Both cases were brought on charges lodged by special counsel Robert Mueller in his ongoing probe of Russia’s election meddling and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
Manafort is expected to serve only 38 more months of the 47-month sentence because of time he has already spent incarcerated. In addition to the sentence, Ellis ordered Manafort to pay a $50,000 fine, the lowest fine provided for by guidelines that recommended a fine between $50,000 and $24 million.
Manafort, a veteran Republican political consultant, was found guilty last August by a jury of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.
The nine months he has already served will count towards his sentence.
Manafort has been in jail since June 2018, a period of time the judge took into account when handing down the sentence.
The crimes were uncovered during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 US presidential election. He has also been looking into whether Trump’s campaign conspired with Moscow and whether the president tried to obstruct the inquiry.
But the judge noted that Manafort “is not before the court for any allegations that he, or anyone at his direction, colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election”.
The former lobbyist was Trump’s campaign chief for five months in the run-up to the vote.
He faces sentencing in a separate case next Wednesday in Washington, after pleading guilty last September on two conspiracy charges. It could bring a further jail sentence.
Mueller is preparing to submit to US Attorney General William Barr a report on his investigation. US intelligence found that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in an effort to boost Trump – which Moscow denies. The president has repeatedly denied collusion and obstruction.