President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was sentenced this week to just under four years in prison on federal charges related to fraud. However, it’s his comments in open court that are making headlines nationwide.
Speaking openly before his sentence was handed down, he made a heartbreaking confession. “My life is professionally and financially in shambles,” he said, after graciously thanking Judge T.S. Ellis for conducting the trial with “fairness.”
Manafort’s statement was short and subdued, but he made some necessary time to ask “for compassion,” admitting, “I know it is my conduct that has brought me here.” He also sorrowfully expressed the deep toll his trial has placed upon his loved ones.
“The last two years have been the most difficult years for my family and I,” he said. “To say that I feel humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement.” It appears that Manafort’s candor had a positive effect on the judge.
Judge Ellis recognized that Manafort has “been a good friend to others, a generous person” and, aside from this federal conviction, the 69-year-old family man “has lived an otherwise blameless life.”
Manafort’s attorneys skewered special counsel Robert Mueller in court earlier in the day. They accused Mueller and his team of trying to “vilify Mr. Manafort as a lifelong and irredeemable felon” and maliciously spreading “misinformation about Mr. Manafort to impugn his character.”
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