Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced to a total of seven and a half years in prison on federal charges Wednesday, then was hit with fresh state charges in New York that could put him outside the president’s power to pardon, reports the Associated Press. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., rejected Manafort’s pleas for leniency and rebuked him for misleading the U.S. government about his lucrative foreign lobbying work and for encouraging witnesses to lie on his behalf. “It is hard to overstate the number of lies and the amount of fraud and the extraordinary amount of money involved” in the crimes, Jackson told Manafort, 69. She added three-and-a-half years on top of the nearly four-year sentence Manafort received last week in a separate case in Virginia. He will get credit for nine months already served.
Manafort was among the first people charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election campaign. Though the allegations did not relate to his work for candidate Donald Trump, his foreign entanglements, and his business relationship with an associate the U.S. says has ties to Russian intelligence, have made him a pivotal figure in the probe. Soon after Manafort’s federal sentence was imposed, New York prosecutors unsealed a 16-count indictment accusing him of giving false information on mortgage loan applications. The new case could protect against the possibility that Manafort could avoid much more prison time with a pardon from Trump. New York state law prevents state-level charges that mirror federal counts that have been resolved and bars prosecutors from pursuing state-level charges when a person has been pardoned for the same federal crimes.