Manafort expresses remorse while awaiting second round of sentencing

Manafort expresses remorse while awaiting second round of sentencing
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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortCollege admissions scandal underscores importance of attorney ethics in America Five things to watch for as White House readies for Mueller report As Russia collusion fades, Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges MORE on Wednesday expressed remorse for his criminal conduct and apologized to loved ones and others who have been hurt by his actions.

“I am sorry for what I have done and for all of the activities that have gotten us here today,” Manafort said in remarks to a federal judge in Washington, D.C., who is weighing whether he should face more time in prison.

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“I know that it was my conduct that brought me here today,” Manafort, wearing a suit and seated in a wheelchair, said in the packed and quiet courtroom. “For that, I am remorseful.”

Manafort is in federal court to be sentenced for two conspiracy charges he pleaded guilty to in connection with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation.

Manafort, who was ensnared in the probe after being charged with crimes stemming from lobbying work for pro-Russia forces in Ukraine, has already been sentenced to less than four years in prison for bank and tax fraud in a separate case.

On Wednesday, Manafort said he was “ashamed” and embarrassed for his conduct, repeatedly noting the pain that he has caused his family as his case has played out under intense public scrutiny for more than a year.

Manafort pledged to Judge Amy Berman Jackson that he would change his behavior going forward, describing himself as a changed man with a new self-awareness.

“While I cannot undo the past, I can ensure that the future will be different,” he said. “I can say to you with conviction that my behavior in the future will be very different.”

His first sentencing, for bank and tax fraud crimes he was found guilty of by a jury in August, played out dramatically in a federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va., last week, during which he described himself as “humiliated” and “ashamed” for his conduct. Manafort did not, however, explicitly express remorse for his actions at that time, something Judge T.S. Ellis III noted in his closing remarks on Thursday before handing down Manafort’s sentence.

On Wednesday, Manafort said he took responsibility for his actions.

“Let me be very clear: I accept the responsibility for the acts that have caused me to be here today," Manafort said.

He pleaded with Jackson to consider his wife when deciding his sentence, noting that he is her primary caretaker and that separating them would adversely impact their life.

“She needs me and I need her,” Manafort said. “This case has taken everything from me already.”

Manafort faces up to 10 years in prison for the charges in D.C., which he admitted to last September as part of a deal to cooperate with Mueller. The agreement collapsed after Mueller accused Manafort of lying on various subjects in the course of his cooperation.

Jackson, who ruled last month that Manafort deliberately lied on three subjects, is expected to take those lies into account as well as his involvement in an effort to tamper with witnesses when she hands down his sentence Wednesday.