Manafort at sentencing hearing: I'm 'humiliated and ashamed'

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortDOJ investigating one-time Trump campaign adviser over alleged ties to Qatar: report Foreign lobbyists donated over M during 2020 election: report Former Mueller prosecutor representing Donoghue in congressional probes: report MORE pleaded with a federal judge for mercy Thursday at his sentencing trial for a slew of financial crimes. 

“The last two years have been the most difficult years for my family and I,” Manafort said at the Eastern District of Virginia courtroom. “To say that I feel humiliated and ashamed would be a gross understatement.”

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Asking for “compassion,” Manafort added that “I know it is my conduct that has brought me here,” according to The Washington Post.

Manafort did not apologize for his crimes, but praised Judge T.S. Ellis, saying he steered the hearing in a professional manner.

“I appreciate the fairness of the trial you conducted,” he said. “My life is professionally and financially in shambles.”

Manafort added that the national scrutiny over his case has weighed on him, though he aims “to turn the notoriety into a positive and show who I really am.”

Manafort is being sentenced on bank and tax fraud charges in Virginia Thursday and will be sentenced in a D.C. federal court in the coming days on conspiracy charges related to his lobbying on behalf of the Ukrainian government. His trial over the summer showed Manafort cheated the IRS out of millions of dollars.

The former campaign chairman has criticized the financial charges levied against him, noting they fell outside of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE’s initial purview of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

However, Ellis dismissed lawyers’ claims that the widened scope of Mueller’s probe delegitimized the charges against Manafort. 

“I concluded that it was legitimate” for Mueller to bring forth financial charges, Ellis said.

Virginia sentencing guidelines dictate Manafort should serve between 19.5 and 24 years in prison on the eight financial charges on which he was convicted.