Paul Manafort could face the rest of his life — and almost 300 years or more — in prison, a federal judge said Tuesday.
“Given the nature of the charges against the defendant and the apparent weight of the evidence against him, defendant faces the very real possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison,” federal judge T.S. Ellis III of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia wrote Tuesday.
Ellis last week placed Manafort under home incarceration while wearing a GPS monitor and set a $10 million unsecured bail.
Manafort, 68, has been under similar home arrest and bail conditions for a separate case in Washington, DC, federal court that was filed in late October.
Taken together, the former Trump campaign chairman faces strict restrictions and heavy potential consequences as he awaits his two jury trials this year. If Manafort were to choose to avoid trial and change his plea to guilty, like his co-defendant Rick Gates has already done, he could be forced by special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors to share details he knows about Trump campaign officials’ contact with Russians and other foreign nationals.
Manafort for decades had conducted business built upon his relationships with Russian-sympathetic Ukrainians and other powerful European former politicians, and had been in contact with them while leading the Trump campaign.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.
Ellis said Manafort has the financial resources and international connections to help himself flee before his trial and stay at large, “as well as every incentive to do so.”
Manafort is currently wearing two GPS monitors — one from the federal court in Virginia and one from the federal court in DC.
Manafort faces a maximum of 305 years in prison if found guilty on all charges.