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Sir, you’re no paragon of virtue! Paul Manafort sentenced a second time, to serve extra 43 months

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“I am sorry for what I’ve done” – Paul Menafort
“Saying ‘I’m sorry I got caught’ is not an inspiring plea for leniency”  – Judge Jackson
‘You are not sincere’ in expressing remorse court tells president’s former campaign chairman
Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered Paul Manafort to serve an additional 43 months in prison, on top of his 47-month sentence he received last week from the court in Virginia
Judge to Manafort: Prison is “hard on everyone, young and old, rich or poor”
“No collusion” is “simply a non-sequitur,” noted judge Jackson during sentencing
“Court is one of those places where facts still matter” –  “If the people don’t have the facts, democracy doesn’t work”
Judge Jackson admonished Menafort for believing he had the right to manipulate the court proceedings and making overblown statements
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Menafort [photo], will serve almost 7 years after sentencing in Virginia and Washington DC within the last six days

Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered Paul Manafort to serve an additional 43 months in prison, on top of his sentence he received last week from the court in Virginia.
“I am sorry for what I’ve done”.
Paul Manafort has begun his allocution, and it started with an apology.
“I am sorry for what I’ve done,” he told the court.

Manafort has a prepared statement with him, and he has put on his glasses. He remains seated in his wheelchair.
“Let me be very clear, I accept the responsibility for the acts that caused me to be here today,” he said. “While I cannot undo the past, I can assure the future will be very different.”
Manafort said he is upset with himself “for these personal failures” and said his time in jail over the last nine months have helped him reflect.
“My behavior in the future will be very different. I have already begun to change,” he said.

“Saying ‘I’m sorry I got caught’ is not an inspiring plea for leniency”. Judge Amy Jackson told Paul Menafort at his second sentencing in DC  today

Judge upbraided Manafort: “Saying ‘I’m sorry I got caught’ is not an inspiring plea for leniency”. Taking issue with one of the points noted by Paul Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing earlier today, that but for the special counsel, Manafort wouldn’t have been charged in the first place — Jackson said, “Saying ‘I’m sorry I got caught’ is not an inspiring plea for leniency.” Adding that Manafort may not have been repeating some points for the person he was trying to persuade as she put her hands on her chest and not for “some other audience.”

No collusion: Paul Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing was booed after Wednesday’s sentencing when he repeated at a press gathering that his client was not found guilty of collusion with Russia

Correcting earlier assertions by the Menafort defense team about his solitary confinement, which was a significant feature of his allocution today, Judge Jackson said the defendant was in jail not for violating the gag order, but because he broke the bail by breaking the law after his arrest.
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Jackson reminded the court he was first sent to Northern Neck Regional Jail, saying she was concerned about how far that jail was, but then Manafort’s team asked for that location. Then he was moved to Alexandria because of their complaints.
“It was this disingenuous by the part of the defense and repeated the term over and over … for public sympathy …” she added.
She said Manafort “realized the tactic had backfired immediately.” He was in a self-contained [“VIP”] suite in Northern Neck, Jackson added.
“I’m not going to split hairs over whether the word solitary was accurate because he had a room of his own,” Jackson said.
Menafort is now in protective confinement, not technically solitary.
He has a window, radio, newspapers and view of TV. He’s released for a few hours a day to walk around and be with other people.
“Mr. Manafort, I don’t want to belittle or minimize the discomforts of prison for you. It’s hard on everyone, young and old, rich or poor,” Jackson said.
She also noted that despite the defense statements about their client’s ill health she hasn’t received doctors orders about his health issues.

“The defendant’s insistence” that this shouldn’t have happened to him [Manafort] “is just one more thing that’s inconsistent with the notion of any genuine acceptance of responsibility,” Judge Amy Jackson [photo], said at sentencing on Wednesday

Judge Amy Berman Jackson called out the defense’s memo, which stated that the special counsel was never able to charge Russian collusion as which was their preferred response to the sentencing memo: “It’s hard to understand why an attorney would write that,” she said about Manafort’s defense team’s approach.
“No collusion” is “simply a non-sequitur.”
Noting that Manafort’s argument about the Russia investigation won’t affect her sentence, the judge said.
“The defendant’s insistence” that this shouldn’t have happened to him “is just one more thing that’s inconsistent with the notion of any genuine acceptance of responsibility,” Jackson said at sentencing.
Seeking a lighter sentence, Paul Manafort’s defense team argued in a recently filed sentencing memo that the former Trump campaign manager should serve less than the 10-year maximum total.
Manafort’s lawyers asked that his sentence in DC run alongside his sentence in Virginia, instead of stacking the two sentences consecutively. Manafort pleaded guilty to his crimes as a part of a cooperation agreement.
“His case is not about murder, drug cartels, organized crime, the Madoff Ponzi scheme or the collapse of Enron,” Manafort’s defense attorneys wrote in the sentencing memo.
“Rather, at its core, the charges against the defendant stem from one operable set of facts: Mr. Manafort made a substantial amount of income working as a political consultant in Ukraine.
“He failed to report to the government the source and total amount of income he made from those activities, and he attempted to conceal his actions from the authorities.
“He has accepted full responsibility by pleading guilty to this conduct,” Manafort’s attorneys wrote.

Today’s sentencing marks the second in less than week for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Manafort who has been in jail since June 2018 for a witness tampering allegation to which he admitted, learned on Feb 7 that he will serve almost four years in prison — far short of what had been expected and recommended — for financial fraud convictions obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigated Manafort’s alleged collusion with the Russian government in 2016.
The crimes, though serious among white-collar offenses, did not relate directly to Manafort’s work as Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman.
Manafort, 69, had been facing up to 25 years in prison, a sentence that could have essentially kept him in jail for the rest of his life.

At Wednesday’s sentencing Jackson addressed the key parts of Manafort’s defense pleading before sentencing, specifically when his defense team wrote, “Mr. Manafort spent his life advancing American ideals and principles.”
“There aren’t really any exhibits or letters that go along with that,” she said, assessing that argument.
“He does, though, appear to have brought real skill, structure, to the latest campaign,” Jackson said, crediting him for the Trump campaign.
“In court facts still matter”.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson expressed that she was not happy with how Paul Manafort approached the final stretch of this case.
“Court is one of those places where facts still matter,” Jackson said.
She said Manafort has begun to “minimize his conduct and shield others.”
Jackson admitted she couldn’t tell from an FBI document if Manafort was actually asserting false facts or not.  – Jackson believes he’s repeating a lie in his sentencing memo.
She went on to say that Manafort believed he had the right to manipulate the court proceedings and that he’s made overblown statements about where he was housed in jail when it was his benefit to do so.Judge Amy Berman Jackson spoke directly to Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, about foreign lobbying, carpeting him for lying directly to Americans and Congress.
“If the people don’t have the facts, democracy doesn’t work,” she said.
Manafort was watching Jackson with no smile, almost sheepishly.
She then moved on to describing the witness tampering offense against Manafort.

Manafort [right] was crucial in the latter stages of the primaries for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump [left] as both are seen side by side at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 21, 2016

Jackson said Manafort “immediately began reaching out to witnesses” involved in Hapsburg group to “remind them” all the work in Europe he did.
“He isn’t being straight with me now” about it, she said.
Jackson continued: “He did not plead guilty to contacting witnesses. He pled guilty to conspiring” with his Russian associate Konstantin Kilimnik to contact the witnesses.
Noting that Manafort is not “victim No. 1,” Judge Jackson went on to say “the briefing and the argument, to a lesser extent today” has been marked by “hyperbole” and intensity.
She also remarked that today’s sentencing “will not incriminate anyone” in the ongoing investigation.
“Any conspiracy, collusion… was not presented in this case,” she said. “Therefore it was not resolved by this case.”

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