After 47-Month Sentence From Judge TS Ellis, Paul Manafort May Still Get Decades From Judge Amy Berman Jackson
Paul Manafort was handed a 47-month sentence from Judge TS Ellis on Thursday for his federal fraud conviction, but amid outrage over what many saw as a light sentence, the former campaign manager for Donald Trump could still face decades in his other upcoming sentencing for a separate conviction.
Manafort was handed the nearly four-year sentence on Thursday after being found guilty in August of bank fraud, tax fraud, and a number of other financial crimes related to the work he did for Ukrainian politicians. Sentencing guidelines for the conviction ranged from 19.4 to 24 years, but Judge Ellis chose to give roughly one-quarter of that guideline. While the light sentence drew anger — along with Judge Ellis’ comments that Manafort, who as a lobbyist was known to work for dictators and authoritarian regimes, lived an “otherwise blameless” life — it does not mean that Manafort is out of the woods.
He still faces a subsequent sentencing for another federal case in which he pleaded guilty to illegal lobbying. As The Guardian reported, the two charges in that case have a minimum of five years each, though Judge Amy Berman Jackson could rule that the sentence will run concurrent to the Virginia prison term, meaning Manafort would have a maximum of 10 years in prison.
As CNN noted, Judge Amy Berman Jackson is the most active of all federal judges related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, also handling Roger Stone’s case.
“In addition to the Manafort and Stone cases, Jackson also handles the criminal proceedings of Trump deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates; the Dutch lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan who worked with Manafort and Gates; Manafort’s Russian associate Konstantin Kilimnik; the 12 Russian intelligence officers who allegedly hacked the Democrats; and Sam Patten, a lobbyist who admittedly to illegally getting tickets to the Trump inauguration for a Ukrainian oligarch.”
— Maya Wiley (@mayawiley) March 8, 2019
Prosecutors could still also choose to re-try Manafort on a handful of charges that jurors deadlocked in his trial last year.
Paul Manafort is the highest-profile member of Donald Trump’s inner circle to be sentenced in relation to the Russia probe. Manafort came on as Trump’s campaign manager before the Republican National Convention. He was charged as a result of Mueller’s investigation, which uncovered financial fraud related to the work Manafort had done on behalf of Russian-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was later convicted of treason for allowing Russia to invade Ukraine. Yanukovych has since fled to Russia.
Paul Manafort faces his sentencing from Judge Amy Berman Jackson next week.