Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, appeared in court in a wheelchair on Friday to learn the date of his sentencing.
Manafort was convicted of eight bank and tax fraud convictions in the summer and has been in a local Virginia jail ever since waiting to be sentenced.
The former political consultant was brought into the court in a wheelchair with his right foot bandaged and elevated and did not rise when the judge presiding over his case addressed him.
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He was wearing a prison jumpsuit that read "Alexandria inmate" after previously being refused permission to appear in a suit.
Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing told Judge TS Ellis that there are “significant issues with Manafort’s health right now that have to do with his confinement”.
Mr Downing said the conditions of his confinement are for Manafort’s safety, but he asked that Mr Ellis expedite the pre-sentence investigation so Manafort could move as soon as possible out of a local jail and presumably to a federal prison. Downing did not elaborate on Manafort’s health issues.
“I’m not the judge who ordered that confinement,” Judge Ellis said, but he added he would bear the concerns in mind.
The 69-year-old is reported to have a serious medical condition related to this diet. His bandaged foot is thought to be caused by a dietary-related inflammation in his foot.
He learned on Friday that he will be sentenced on February 8 next year and legal experts suggest he is likely to face around 10 years in prison.
Since his conviction Manafort has been co-operating with Robert Mueller, the man heading up a federal investigation into possible Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
The plea deal with President Trump’s former campaign chief was seen as a major turning point for the Russia investigation.
Manafort is the most senior of the president’s former aides to be convicted in Mr Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Under the deal, Manafort pleaded guilty to a series of other financial charges he had set to stand trial on. He is reported to have spent over 50 hours with Mr Mueller’s team.
As part of the deal, Mr Mueller did not have to decide whether to prosecute Manafort on 10 remaining charges until after he is done co-operating or is sentenced – whichever came last.
But Judge Ellis called that agreement "highly unusual" and Mr Mueller’s prosecutors agreed yesterday to dismiss the charges and prepare for sentencing.
However the charges were dropped the charges without prejudice, meaning the prosecution could reintroduce them at a later date, giving them further leverage over Manafort.