The one-time international
consultant and adviser to Republican presidents appeared in Washington before US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who chastised him for his conduct as an international
consultant and for trying to tamper with witnesses.
Manafort “is not Public Enemy No. 1,” the judge said. But she added that it was “hard to overstate” Manafort’s fraud and lies and that “there is no good explanation that would warrant the leniency that he requested.”
She also criticized the defence argument that Manafort wouldn’t have been charged if not for the special counsel’s investigation into unrelated election interference by Russia, pointing to a U.S. investigation that predated the Russia investigation. “The ‘no collusion’ mantra is simply a non sequitur,” she said, adding that “Saying I’m sorry I got caught is not an inspiring plea for leniency.”
Manafort, who used a wheelchair to enter the courtroom, pleaded for leniency, telling the court that he and his family needed one another and saying, “I have already begun to change.”
He also did something he hadn’t done previously, apologizing for his crimes. “I am sorry for what I have done and for all the activities that have gotten us here today,” he said.