Judge Delays Paul Manafort’s Sentencing to Resolve Robert Mueller's Allegations of Deliberate Lying

Paul Manafort
(Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Paul Manafort is not appearing in court on Feb. 8 as the federal judge ordered the cancellation of his sentencing on the said date. In a one-page order, U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III said that he decided to postpone the sentencing to resolve Robert Mueller's allegations that Donald Trump's former campaign chairman had lied to the investigators and effectively breaching his plea deal.

CNN reported that Judge Ellis III is supposed to sentence Paul Manafort in connection to his bank and tax fraud charges but the case with Robert Mueller's prosecutors had to be dealt with first so that he could hand down the right judgment. It was added that the resolution will definitely have an impact on Manafort's sentence.

"Because it appears that resolution of the current dispute in defendant's prosecution in the District of Columbia may have some effect on the sentencing decision in this case, it is prudent and appropriate to delay sentencing in this case until the dispute in the DC case is resolved," the judge wrote in his order that was released on Monday, Jan. 28.

Last summer, Judge Ellis III presided over Manafort's fraud trial in Virginia where he was found guilty of depositing millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts in order to hide the money and avoid paying federal taxes. As per CNBC, Trump's former aide was charged with eight counts of criminal charges that include bank fraud and failure to declare and file foreign bank account reports. With his offenses, the 69-year old is likely to get a minimum of seven and up to 10-year jail term.

Aside from fraud charges, Paul Manafort also has to face U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Feb. 4 for another case that could lead to more years in jail. He is scheduled for a hearing that will look into the evidence that was presented by Mueller's lawyers for the alleged intentional lies during meetings with the special prosecutors while testifying to the grand jury with regards to the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election that saw Donald Trump winning in the presidential race.

It can be recalled that Manafort pleaded guilty in the D.C. case and agreed to cooperate with Mueller in his probe on Russia's meddling in the 2016 elections. However, the plea deal fell apart when Mueller accused him of lying over and over again while testifying. In any case, judge Jackson is set to hand down her sentence on Manafort on March 5. 

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