NY prosecutors charge Manafort with residential real estate fraud

Nov. 6 2017 Paul Manafort President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman leaves the federal courthouse in Washington

Zoe Tillman, a legal reporter for BuzzFeed, tweeted that Manafort faced a "when it rains, it pours" scenario on Wednesday when-on top of Jackson's sentence-Vance announced that "a grand jury indicted Manafort on new charges related to a residential mortgage fraud scheme".

The decision comes weeks after Manafort was sentenced to 47 months in prison for charges uncovered -yet unrelated- to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election.

Trump has the authority as United States president to pardon Manafort for all his federal convictions, meaning he could be freed from his combined seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

The charges filed against Manafort may stand as a kind of prosecutorial insurance policy against a possible presidential pardon - a scenario that Trump has refused to discuss as Manafort's case worked its way through the federal court system.

Mueller is preparing to submit to U.S. Attorney General William Barr a report on his investigation into whether Trump's campaign conspired with Russian Federation and whether Trump has unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson is not happy with Paul Manafort.

There has been much speculation as to whether President Donald Trump might pardon Manafort, for whom the president has repeatedly said he "feels very badly". He has not learned a harsh lesson.

The political environment since Manafort's indictment has been "very harsh", attorney Kevin Downing told the judge. Manafort was among the first people charged in the investigation, and though the allegations did not relate to his work for candidate Donald Trump, his foreign entanglements and business relationship with an associate the USA says has ties to Russian intelligence have made him a pivotal figure in the probe.

"I know it was my conduct that brought me here today". "For those mistakes, I am remorseful".

Jackson also made clear that neither of Manafort's court proceedings in Virginia or D.C. touched on the subject of collusion, indirectly shooting down Trump's incorrect claim last week that Judge Ellis said "there was no collusion with Russian Federation". "At each juncture, though, Mr Manafort chose to take a different path", Mr Weissmann said.

His motivation, she added, was "not to support a family, but to sustain a lifestyle that was ostentatiously opulent and extravagantly lavish - more houses a family can enjoy, more suits than one man can wear".

Ellis, who has been critical of the special counsel, echoed that sentiment at the hearing on Thursday, later prompting a misleading claim by Trump that the judge had exonerated his campaign.

"The most damning thing she said was she accused him of not being candid with her during the sentencing".

The Mueller team had prosecuted Manafort in Washington and Virginia for his foreign consulting work on behalf of a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party.

But this time, Manafort made clear he was apologetic due to Ellis saying he was "surprised that I did not hear you express regret".

Jackson suggested that argument was aimed at winning a pardon from Trump.

"I have not even given it a thought as of this moment", Trump said.

Trump has declined to say whether he plans to pardon Manafort for the federal convictions.

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