Last week, Manafort was sentenced by Judge T.S. Ellis III, a Reagan appointee, to nearly four years in prison, considerably less than the 19 to 24 years called for under federal guidelines. That punishment, at a federal courthouse in Virginia, came as a surprise to many legal analysts who expected he would receive a stiffer sentence for crimes uncovered during special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Manafort, who turns 70 next month, faces up to 10 years in prison for two charges of conspiracy that he pleaded guilty to last year as part of a deal that involved his full cooperation with the special counsel’s office. That agreement, which allowed Manafort to avoid a second criminal trial, imploded after Jackson determined that he lied to prosecutors about a number of subjects related to the investigation.
It’s now up to Jackson, an Obama appointee on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, to decide whether to stack her sentence on top of the one Manafort received in Virginia. Ellis gave Manafort nine months off for time already served, meaning his sentence amounted to three years and two months behind bars.
Shan Wu, a criminal defense attorney who represented Manafort’s associate Richard Gates before he pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the U.S. and lying to the FBI, isn’t expecting Jackson to be too stern.