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The jury convicted him of five counts of tax fraud charges, one count of hiding his foreign bank accounts and two counts of bank fraud.

Prosecutors laid out their arguments against Manafort last August, charging that he defrauded banks and the USA government by skirting millions of dollars in federal taxes.

Manafort asked the judge for mercy at his sentencing for a host of financial crimes - conduct that could now earn the once high-flying political consultant years in prison. But US District Judge T.S. Elliss said the sentencing guidelines were excessive and would create "an unwarranted disparity" with other cases.

In just under a week, on March 13th, he faces a second sentencing hearing in federal court in Washington, D.C. on felony counts that he pleaded guilty to a year ago.

Wearing a green jail uniform with the words "ALEXANDRIA INMATE" in block letters on the back, Manafort entered the Eastern District of Virginia courtroom in a wheelchair.

"The special counsel's attempt to vilify Mr. Manafort as a lifelong and irredeemable felon is beyond the pale and grossly overstates the facts before this court", Manafort's attorneys said.

In arguing for a lighter sentence, Manafort's attorneys said he has been "devastated personally, professionally and financially".

Manafort's decisions, Mueller's team said, "were his own and his efforts at misdirection are further proof that he has not accepted responsibility for his criminal conduct". At one court hearing, prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said a meeting between the two men at a cigar bar in Manhattan on August 2, 2016, goes "very much to the heart" of Mueller's investigation, though he provided no details. The ruling voids his plea deal and exposes Manafort, at a minimum, to a harsher sentence.

Trump blasts House Democrats over probe, United States News & Top Stories
Cipollone said an offer to brief the committee on the clearance process and allow them to review certain documents still stands. He added: "You know, the attractive thing? It's all a hoax".

The charges against Manafort were not connected to his role in the Trump campaign, which he headed for two months in 2016, but were related to lucrative consulting work he did for Ukrainian politicians from 2004 to 2014.

Prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller's office said Tuesday that Manafort "blames everyone from the Special Counsel's Office to his Ukrainian clients for his own criminal choices". He continued to commit crimes even after being indicted, he lied to investigators during a cooperation agreement, and he showed no remorse for his crimes. Several others including former campaign aides Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen have pleaded guilty, while longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone has pleaded not guilty.

Manafort was convicted by a jury in Virginia on eight counts in the case there.

The verdict marked a dramatic fall for Manafort, a savvy political operative who advised USA presidents as well as foreign leaders.

In response, defense counsel for Manafort sought a term "substantially below" sentencing guidelines, citing their client's age and health.

Manafort was also present at a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign staff and a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer promising "dirt" on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

"It isn't a crime to have a lot of money and be profligate in your spending", Ellis told prosecutors during the trial.


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