Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced by a federal judge in Virginia Thursday to 47 months behind bars, a term far short of what prosecutors had sought.
Manafort was facing the possibility of around 20 years in prison — an effective life sentence for the soon-to-be 70-year old — following charges brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
“Let me be clear: the guidelines would suggest sentencing is a calculation. It is not. It is a judgment,” Judge T.S. Ellis said while handing down Mueller’s sentence, according to NBC News.
Manafort was convicted by a federal jury in August 2018 on five charges of bank and tax fraud tied to his consulting work for Ukrainian politicians. He is the only person indicted by Mueller to have been convicted by a jury. Several others struck plea bargains with the special counsel’s office.
Manafort is slated to be sentenced in a separate case on March 13 after pleading guilty in a Washington, D.C. federal court to two charges and agreeing to cooperate in Mueller’s ongoing probe.
Judge Amy Berman Jackson will have to decide whether Manafort will serve that sentence concurrently or in addition to the sentence he was handed Thursday.
Jackson previously ruled that Manafort lied to Mueller’s team, violating the terms of his plea bargain and opening the door to a stiff sentence.
The plea agreement Manafort struck before lying to investigators allowed for his term to be served concurrently with any sentence he receives from a separate case in Virginia.
Jackson determined in her four-page decision that Manafort lied about a variety of issues, including his contacts with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national accused of having ties to Moscow’s intelligence services. Kilimnik has been charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy but has not faced the charges in the U.S.